Yeah, it’s been forever since I used this, but hey, I have ample reason to revive this blog now. It died off because a) I lacked the time to write, what with college and stuff, and b) Smash being something of a focus for me left it sort of dead with no news since I wrote these pieces at the end of the DLC cycle for Smash 4. However, with the Nintendo Switch being revealed, alongside the fact that the Smash port is stronger than ever now with the absence of new patches for Smash 3DS/Wii U since May on top of there being a date to expect new stuff in January 2017, I can get back to this with much to write about. But now…Smash speculation, oh joy.
On November 3rd I posted this to Twitter. Eight(newcomer) characters I find logical reasons to vouch for in a Smash Switch assuming it were a port of Smash 4, Ultra Street Fighter 4 or UMVC3 style.
Twitter, obviously, isn’t a place where you write a thesis. So at first glance maybe a choice or two can come across as unexplained. That’s what this piece is for. Let’s start things off from the top left and work our way counterclockwise from there.
If you had asked me about them during Smash 4’s DLC cycle, I would have mentioned that I found a lot of their perceived chances to be exaggerated, on top of being an IP that for all intents and purposes would have only existed for a few months while the Smash Ballot was underway from April to October. Nowadays, though, it’s clear that Splatoon is an extremely safe choice of game to pull from for a Smash character. The brief shot of what looks like a new Splatoon game in the Switch trailer goes to show that the IP must go on, and rightfully so. To say nothing of the impressive amount of moveset potential available to the Inklings from the plethora of weapons at their disposal. Back then, I was skeptical. Now, I’m all for it.
King K. Rool(Donkey Kong)
It’s difficult to understate how much of a sensation King K. Rool was during the Smash Ballot’s lifespan. It’s known that the campaign was noticed by Retro Studios themselves. And more infamously, it’s known that as a possible response to this, the obese croc got a Mii costume instead, which would serve to give some staggering parallels to how Metroid’s Ridley slowly went from a character widely expected to a character whose ultimate fate was uncertain up until their respective periods ended(although Ridley admittedly had a more definitive answer that was defied by the fanbase at large). King K. Rool ultimately didn’t win the Ballot as many fans expected, but at the same time, he’s recognized by a fanbase that fought hard to gain attention. Who’s to say said attention couldn’t be rewarded more in full by the next game, port or otherwise? Some people probably can’t deal with the tension of speculating for him a third time. To them I say, give it another shot. Just go in with a balanced set of expectations lest history repeats.
This is arguably a controversial choice to defend because of her status as an Assist Trophy, but there really isn’t anything truly stopping the team from upgrading an AT to full character unless they were adamant about keeping them as is. Little Mac made the jump from AT to roster as well, though he did it between games, and this theoretical for Isabelle is based on a rumor of a port. Still, if people like to suggest Takumaru, another Assist Trophy, for the roster, I think it’s fair to defend a choice that’s logical in the context of their home series; Isabelle is a popular character in the Animal Crossing franchise right now, between her crossover appearances in games like Monster Hunter to having her own Twitter account(yes), something like Smash seems reasonable. That’s not to say I find her particularly likely for a UMVC3-style port, but there’s room to try.
People who know me may rightfully find it odd to see me defending a character whose fanbase I had mixed feelings on, mostly because of a few incidents of discord between me and some of them plus the character being considered a sacred cow back then, but those times are long past gone now.
Isaac is an odd case where his series has both gained and lost in the transition from Brawl to 4. Losing the Assist Trophy but gaining a song. Golden Sun, as such, isn’t forgotten to the development team. Smash is fond of niche characters at times, which Isaac happens to be in contexts other than internet fanbases, and which have precedent with inclusions like Shulk, the initial inclusion of Marth, and Brawl‘s addition of Pit, who hadn’t seen a game in decades at that point. To those saying he would be another swordfighter, Corrin exists, showing that the team is willing to keep adding to a familiar archetype that has a borderline hatebase now for the sake of uniqueness.
Sure, his support not as loud compared to others, not even receiving a Mii costume during Smash 4’s DLC cycle(something I personally thought would happen).But his series is still in Smash, so there’s something to look out for in the next game.
A Sun/Moon Pokemon
Yes, I do believe we can get another Greninja scenario. But here’s why I left that space open otherwise; it’s really hard to pin down. Standout Pokemon right now are limited.
Taking into account how Greninja was adapted to Smash, if I had to select one mon only for this space, it would be Decidueye, the final evolution for the Grass starter Rowlet. Full archer-style movesets can work in fighting games(see Green Arrow/Hawkeye in Injustice/UMVC3), and in an environment like Smash, the possibilities are numerous when you combine that with the fact that as a Pokemon, ideas can go much further. Beyond that, however, it’s hard to pick out any new mons with ample reasons for me to vouch for. Primarina(final evolution of Popplio) by virtue of being a starter Pokemon, Incineroar(final evolution for Litten) under the same banner but with a clearer moveset vision, possibly wrestling-based, Lurantis(a Totem Pokemon and thus worthy of a passing mention) could work as an agile but frail fighter with Grass-based moves, and while Mimikyu(a new Ghost/Fairy mon) is certainly a breakout character this generation with some clear marketing behind it, I can’t see how to adapt it to an environment like Smash(for now, anyway). Anything beyond these is difficult for me to defend as they likely lack an emphasis in Sun/Moon’s marketing and would likely lack a significant role in the game itself, though that can change by the time it releases on the 18th and more info is unearthed.
While this is partly a bias choice at heart, there are some factual reasons to cite as to why the character is at the very least slightly viable for inclusion in an updated port. As early as E3 2015 the character became more notable during talk of the much maligned Federation Force, described as a spinoff buildup game to a proper Metroid Prime entry. Come the game’s release and it’s known that Sylux is very heavily implied to be the character seen in the secret ending to the game, stealing a baby Metroid. This lines up with the statements said by producer Kensuke Tanabe saying that he wanted to build upon the connection between Sylux, Samus Aran and the Galactic Federation. As with Isaac, Sylux fits into the category of a niche character, but from an established series which fans have requested a third character for. When you consider the wild card that is Ridley(who I still want in Smash, mind you), Sylux ends up being a character that is fairly easy to justify including with pseudo-relevancy and no truly hindering issues. These are points you can hear me discuss on Episode 2 of Source Gaming’s Character Corner.
Yes, I am guilty of peddling the ‘Paper Mario is dead’ shtick when Color Splash was seen as the death of the sub-series. Turns out it wasn’t. And it gives the prospect of a third Mario in Smash some credibility. Some new ideas to throw around to make the paper plumber separate from his normal and
possibly unqualified doctor variants. The idea isn’t impossible either when you consider that Mr. Game & Watch exists, plus the aforementioned Color Splash keeps the guy notable for now. So if we’re getting a new Mario character that isn’t from that Switch title shown briefly during the reveal, there’s reason to look into a third Mario.
Elma(Xenoblade Chronicles X)
Xenoblade benefited from interest after Shulk’s inclusion into Smash. So we got a spiritual successor. Anyone who has played and finished X knows that the true protagonist story-wise is your fellow squadmate Elma, not the actual ‘main character’ that is your avatar. No, I won’t go into any spoilers to prove that point, since anyone that knows about what I would say should agree. Between moves that seem tailor-made for a fighting game, story prominence, and the aforementioned spoilers, there are reasons to defend her for inclusion. Plus, they ain’t done with the world they set up in X. Would seem fair to expect a successor on the Switch.
And that, readers, is my in-depth reasoning for all of the characters I mentioned then. I don’t expect everyone to agree, but I think I’ve provided reason enough to at least be understandable for each. Of course, this is the tip of the iceberg if we’re actually getting a Switch port. Who knows what might sway my opinions then.
But for now, we wait.