A Followup to that one chart I posted to Twitter: Characters for a Smash Switch port

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.

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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.

Inkling(Splatoon)

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Something something kids squids

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)

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Cheesy singing not included

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.

Isabelle(Animal Crossing)

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Man’s best friend

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.

Isaac(Golden Sun)

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Golden Boy

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

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Set fire to the former, steal the latter

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.

Sylux(Metroid)

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Needs no introduction from myself

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.

Paper Mario

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Chances no longer paper-thin

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)

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Tickle Me-wait wrong character

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.

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3 thoughts on “A Followup to that one chart I posted to Twitter: Characters for a Smash Switch port”

  1. I’m not entirely sure on K. Rool, Issac, or Paper Mario.

    With K. Rool, although the popularity factor is there, I quite honestly don’t see a reason for him over someone like Dixie as K. Rool hasn’t been in a game for almost a decade, and his last appearance being on a Mario spin-off of all things. If K. Rool was at the very least hinted to return for a possible 3rd entry in Retro’s revival to Donkey Kong Country, then I would say it ups his chances. The only other downside I see to him is the idea that Nintendo might not see Donkey Kong as so much it’s own big series but as a sub-series to Mario, and given that K. Rool’s last appearance WAS on a Mario game, it stands to reason on that front as well.

    As for Issac, while the argument that the series loves niche characters and that swordsmen need not have issues – Issac is at best a magical swordsman, and we have that in Robin – who covers more on the spectrum as opposed to Issac’s more major focus on Earth. Like K. Rool, I could see Issac if Golden Sun is getting a new entry, given that Camelot seemingly rushed Mario Tennis Ultra Smash out the door to die and that could because they’re focusing on making a Switch entry of Golden Sun. Sure, Shulk’s inclusion in Smash is definitely questionable given how niche his game is, but it also got a new entry in Xenoblade Chronicles X and a re-release port on the New 3DS – so from a business perspective, it makes sense to add him. (the fact that he could buff himself and change his stats mid fight to handle different situations also made him unique as a fighter) Most other new fighters from niche series in Smash either had a new entry between games, or came from the 8-bit era, whereas Golden Sun came from the 2000’s and Dark Dawn came between Brawl and Smash 4.

    Finally, Paper Mario. Now to be fair, there really isn’t anything stopping him from being a character. Granted though, it becomes more of a matter of how he is represented. But given the context of the series, at least until Sticker Star and further canonized by Paper Jam – Paper Mario was for all points considered, just regular Mario – the paper aspect being a mere art style motif instead of a driving force of how the world and characters are dictated. With that being said, if Paper Mario were to appear in Smash, just as the current team behind Paper Mario seems to think, it would have to incorporate the paper element to a greater degree than earlier, more well-loved entries – the same entries that the character has seen the greatest amount of fan support from, and the ones I see make some of the *cough* laziest movesets for. (essentially, most movesets I see for Paper Mario deals with his partners from the first two entries appearing to attack on his behalf – while Paper Mario’s take on world building and character development is a notable contrast from the minimalist take from the core series, at the end of the day the partners are not what make Paper Mario “Paper Mario” and it feels more like a disservice to the games and the characters themselves for such theorized movesets) But on top of that, while Paper Mario did get a latest entry (if you don’t count Paper Jam, which I don’t) – things start to stand as why Paper Mario of all things should get a character when in the grand scheme of it all, it is but one of many Mario spin-offs – so the question falls to why does it get special treatment? After all, Mario & Luigi has had just about the same amount if not more entries than Paper Mario – and Paper Mario was really nothing more than an sub-series meant to fill a void since Nintendo didn’t have Square to rely on for RPGs (as they had gone off no thanks to Nintendo’s treatment of their company with censorship and in some cases hardware limitations, like with the N64 VS the Playstation.) – a point with worth to it as Paper Mario became less RPG-like with each entry and Nintendo had gained more RPGs to be on their systems from the days of the Gamecube onward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eh, I have to disagree in a few areas. For K Rool, I believe his uniqueness and, more importantly, popularity within the ballot gives him reasoned to be argued (although it doesn’t rule Dixie out). He’s a character that I don’t necessarily think needs a newest entry to justify his appearance, although it would help ten fold.

      For Issac, I don’t really know him or his series too well, but aside from one spellsword not really being enough in my opinion to claim that a character archtype is already filled, I mostly agree with this.

      My biggest disagreement though is with Paper Mario. While Nintendo seems to be treating Paper Mario like he’s nothing these past few years, he’s always differentiated himself from Mario extremely well ever since his series began, at least from a moveset potential direction. Even if you do want to claim he was still technically the same Mario, that never really made a difference to not include Link and Toon Link or Link and Young Link (one of which literally IS the same character). We also have Samus and Zero Suit as well as Zelda and Sheik, but that’s just me giving examples why having multiple of the same character doesn’t really change anything in Smash. Past that, your argument about perceived movesets for him and reasons why he should be excluded somewhat felt like they contradicted each other. You claim that his later entries making him less unique (or at least this is what I understood from your point) is why he shouldn’t be included, while a moveset based on his earlier games are “lazy” and a “disservice.” To be honest, I feel the exact opposite about his moveset. In the first three games, Paper Mario’s partners made up literally over half of your moves in the games. Furthermore, when in the environment, Mario uses them in place of having moves of his own. You treat it like Mario’s partners appearing to attack on his behalf is a jarring inclusion when this is literally how you fight in the earlier Paper Mario games. You want to first strike from a distance? Use your Koopa partner. Want maximum damage and save FP for your first strike? Use your bomb partner. Want to evade the battle? Use your ghost partner. All of which interact with Paper Mario to use these moves, they don’t act independently when deployed. If we’re being technical, and if I remember correctly (though it’s been a long time since I’ve played this, so I might not), literally every single move Mario can use in Super Paper Mario besides his basic jump is utilizing his partners (however bland they may have been). Even Paper Mario’s signature Hammer and Ground Pound were replaced by partners that gave him these abilities in this game.

      Personally, I would see it as a disservice to the games and characters themselves if they were excluded from his moveset. They made up over half of his moveset in the first two games and over 90% in the third. It feels extremely natural in my opinion to designate Paper Mario’s B moves to partners and A moves to Jump and Hammer based attacks. Afterall, it’s not like you have to pick and choose a small select of partners now that customs exist. Paper Mario has created enough partners of specific types to cover the customs for the most part, especially if you include Super Paper Mario.

      Yeah, yeah, I’m an early Paper Mario series fanboy, but to be honest…..I haven’t played them since Super Paper Mario, but from what I have seen, they haven’t added a lot to warrant nearly the moveset potential that his partners enable him to have. Correct me if I’m wrong (I actually would be curious to hear the counterargument, because once again, I haven’t played them), but a large majority of his moves in the latest Paper Marios appear to be jumps and hammers…..and that’s it. That giant fan thing could probably make a cool Final Smash, but I don’t see how those object things could or should be utilized past that. I think you call these movesets lazy because they’re the most obvious thing to do, but that’s because it’s what people want to see and…..well, it IS obvious to do it, because that is what makes, or at least made, Paper Mario Paper Mario.

      Liked by 1 person

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