At E3, Nintendo revealed that Mega Man — Capcom’s beloved but oft-neglected robot mascot — would be joining the cast of the next Super Smash Bros. game, which is being developed for both the Wii U and the 3DS. Mega Man’s return was definitely a pleasant surprise (though it’s still ridiculous that he wasn’t included in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, but he’s allowed to appear in Nintendo’s crossover fighter,) and gamers across the internet are already tossing out wild ideas about who’ll be added to the Smash Bros. roster next. Since I’m always eager to jump on a bandwagon, I’d figure I’d toss my own baseless, crazy speculation into the mix and talk about the ten characters who I think deserve a place alongside Smash Bros’ legendary cast of gaming icons.
Here’s the usual fine print before I dive into the list proper: I made my picks with the assumption that every character from Smash Bros. Brawl from the Wii would return (including guest characters Sonic the Hedgehog and Solid Snake.) Masahiro Sakurai (the game’s director) hasn’t confirmed that everyone will be returning, but since the series so far has been pretty good about bringing characters back for every sequel, I’m going to assume that most (if not all) of Brawl’s cast will return.
I’m sure there’s plenty of Smash Bros. lists on the internet already with plenty of unrealistic choices (Master Chief! Kratos! An Ouya!) but I tried to limit my picks to characters who would be interesting to play as (or against,) and actually have a realistic chance of actually showing up in the game, not just the characters who I think are the coolest. One of the great things about Smash Bros. is that you can never predict who’s going to be in the game: anybody that’s ever appeared on a Nintendo platform is a potential character from the game, and everybody has their own ideas about who deserves to be in the newest game. With only ten picks, I obviously couldn’t include every character that people would like to see.
So as always, these are just my personal, subjective picks, so there’s a good chance I missed a few characters that you would’ve picked; feel free to leave your selections in the comments section. Or if you simply want to tell me what a dumb ass I am for not liking/hating the same games that you do, feel free to let your Asperger’s run wild in the comments section. God knows previous commenters haven’t been shy with their nerd-rage and their inability to cope with somebody else’s opinions in all of the other top5/top10 lists I’ve written.
Simon Belmont (Castlevania)
When I think of NES platformers, I think of three franchises: Mario, Mega Man, and Castlevania. Mario and Mega Man are already in Smash Bros., so it would be a shame to leave the protagonist of the original Castlevania, Simon Belmont, out of the party. With his iconic arsenal of sub weapons (the cross, holy water, dagger, etc.) Simon could be the most versatile fighter in the Smash Bros. line-up besides Link, and his trademark “Vampire Killer” whip seems perfectly suited for Smash Bros’. multi-directional style of combat.
Of course, there are plenty of characters in the Castlevania universe who would be well-suited for Smash Bros., so it doesn’t have to be Simon: Dracula’s rebellious son Alucard (from Symphony of the Night) would be a good choice as well, as would Soma Cruz, the reformed reincarnation of Dracula from Aria and Dawn of Sorrow. I really don’t care which Castlevania character they put into the game, but the series definitely needs to represented somehow — while the franchise went multiplatform decades ago, I think anyone who grew up in the 8-bit era still associates Castlevania with the NES just as much as Mario, Zelda or Mega Man.
One of Sonic’s non-shitty friends
The Sonic fanboys are probably going to send me a lot of angry comments and emails for saying this (honestly guys, I’m surprised you can all type so well from within those furry costumes,) but most of the characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise are garbage. I mean, Cream the Rabbit? Shadow and Silver the Hedgehog? …Seriously? Most of the new characters added to the Sonic universe in the last decade are the epitome of the creatively bankrupt, designed by committee characters that The Simpsons lampooned in its infamous “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show” episode. Sometimes it feels like Sonic Team steals their ideas for new characters from the embarrassing part of DeviantArt.
Thankfully, Sega seems eager to discard Sonic’s shitty friends like a used condom (they’ve only made mercifully minor appearances in most of the recent games,) but not all of Sonic’s cohorts have to be kicked to the curb. Tails and Knuckles — Sonic’s original entourage — are arguably just as iconic as the Blue Blur himself, and both of them would make excellent additions to the Smash Bros. line-up. I’ve always thought that Smash could use more faster, nimble characters, and Tails and Knuckles would suit that role perfectly without being simple reskins of Sonic.
Kefka Palazzo (Final Fantasy VI)
Nintendo has mended their off-again, on-again relationship with Square Enix, so it’s about time that a Final Fantasy or a Dragon Quest character showed up in Smash Bros. While most FF fanboys would probably want Cloud or one of the other Nomura era self-absorbed pretty boys in the game, it’s probably more likely that one of the characters from the 8 or 16 bit Final Fantasies will join the fray. If a Final Fantasy character does make it into Smash Bros., I’m willing to bet that they’ll use either the Warrior of Light (from the original Final Fantasy,) or Cecil from Final Fantasy IV.
I wouldn’t necessarily mind Cecil (his ability to switch from the Paladin to the Dark Knight class could make him a very interesting character to play as,) but Final Fantasy VI will always be my favorite in the series, and the game’s nihilistic villain, Kefka, will always be my favorite character — he’s funny, he’s insane, he’s sadistic, and he gets really annoyed by all of the personal angst surrounding the rest of the game’s cast. His magic-based fighting style would add another long range character into the mix, and his schizophrenic personality would definitely make him stand out from Smash Bros.’s mostly chipper cast of happy mascots.
Leon Kennedy (Resident Evil)
Resident Evil 4 was one of the Gamecube’s best games (if not the best,) so Nintendo should definitely reserve a spot for Leon Kennedy, RE4’s smart-assed, knife wielding playboy. Like Solid Snake in Brawl, Leon would probably have to give up his arsenal of realistic guns in order to maintain the game’s family friendly ESRB rating, but that’s fine, cause Leon has proven that he doesn’t need a lot of firepower to survive: as RE4 showed, he’s an expert with a knife, his spinning kicks are powerful enough to decapitate multiple Ganados at once, and he’s also pretty good with a rocket launcher and a laser gun.
Since Capcom has released most of the RE saga on Nintendo consoles (sans RE5 and 6) most of the STARS team are up for consideration as well: Chris Redfield’s brute strength and his ability to uppercut volcanoes would definitely help him go toe-to-toe with bruisers like Bowser and Ganondorf, and Jill’s agile fighting style easily make her a match for Shiek or the Wii Fit Trainer. Oh, and Barry “I Hope This Isn’t Chris’ Blood” Burton should definitely be in the game too, because… well, he’s awesome. Check out that beard!
Palutena (Kid Icarus)
Pitt may be the main character, but his matron goddess Palutena was the real star of Kid Icarus: Uprising. Her witty (and sometimes incredibly inappropriate) banter with Pitt and her fellow Greek Gods during Uprising’s missions often made me laugh so hard that I’d end up failing the level because I couldn’t hold my stylus straight.
If Princess Peach is guaranteed a spot on the Smash Bros. line-up, then a more proactive ruler like Palutena definitely deserves to be in the game as well. Since Palutena mainly enforces her will through Pitt, we’ve only seen glimpses of what her fighting style could be like, but considering that the Smash Bros. team has already created original fighting styles for characters who never actually fought anything in their own games (like Zelda and… uh, R.O.B. the Robot,) I don’t think it’d be too difficult to create some signature attacks for Palutena.
Since the new Smash Bros. is being co-developed with members of Namco’s Tales Of and Soulcalibur teams, it seems pretty safe to assume that we’ll see at least one character from each of those series’ on Smash Bros.’ line-up (my guess is that they’ll pick the most obvious choices and go with Lloyd from Tales of Symphonia and Soulcalibur’s giant sword wielding posterboy Siegfried.) I love both of those franchises so I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing them represented in Smash Bros., but Namco has an older character who’s arguably more deserving of a spot in the game.
Pac-Man was one of the original video game icons, and while Namco has often made some bizarre decisions with the character, he’s still just as famous today as he was in 1980. In terms of mainstream recognition, Pac-Man is probably the only videogame character who’s more famous than Mario. With that said, I’m not exactly sure what Pac-Man’s fighting style would be like, but Nintendo will be remiss if they left a legend like him off of the roster. Pac-Man may not be the flashiest or coolest video game character anymore, but he’s still definitely one of the most iconic.
Ezio Auditore de Firenze (Assassin’s Creed)
Nintendo doesn’t exactly have a rosy relationship with most third parties, especially the Western ones, but Ubi Soft is the one exception: they were one of the few major third parties to turn a profit on the original Wii, and they’re still one of the few third parties who hasn’t completely jumped ship on the Wii U. The Smash Bros. cast has traditionally been dominated by Japanese characters (which makes sense, given that Nintendo is a Japanese company,) but if they do add a Western created character to the roster, I bet that they’d probably leverage their relationship with Ubi Soft and add one of their characters to the game.
Ubi Soft has plenty of characters that would work with Smash Bros.’s gameplay: Splinter Cell’s gruff voiced Sam Fisher would be a fine replacement for Solid Snake should he not return, and the inclusion of Jade or P’eyj would probably enough to get the legions of long suffering Beyond Good and Evil fans to buy the game. Rayman is probably the most realistic choice, as most of his games have appeared on Nintendo platforms and his wacky, cartoon style would make him fit in with the rest of Nintendo’s fighters.
I’d be pretty happy if any of those characters joined the brawl, but I’d be absolutely ecstatic if my favorite protagonist from the Assassin’s Creed series, Ezio Auditore de Firenze, was added to the line-up. Okay, sure, technically Ezio’s only appearance on a Nintendo platform was in the mediocre DS “side story” Assassin’s Creed II: Discovery, but I’d still prefer to see him in Smash Bros. over any of the other assassins from the series. Ezio’s got the widest variety of tools and weapons to work with, and his personality is far more interesting than Connor’s from AC3. Out of all the characters I’ve put on this list, Ezio is probably the biggest long shot, but man would it be cool to see him leap down from some high perch and clash blades with Link or Marth.
Ryu Hayabusa (Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive)
Video games and ninjas go together like… well, video games and anything that involves mindless violence. There have been dozens of bad ass ninja characters throughout gaming history, so it’s strange that there are no ninjas in Smash Bros. (no, Sheik doesn’t count.) While Nintendo could put in Capcom’s Strider or Sega’s Joe Musashi (from Shinobi,) I think the mostly likely candidate would probably be Tecmo’s stoic master ninja, Ryu Hayabusa.
Gamers growing up nowadays probably associate Ryu with the 3D Ninja Gaiden games or the Dead or Alive series, but to me, he’ll always be the bright purple ninja from the sidescrolling NES Ninja Gaiden trilogy. Like Simon Belmont, he’d be perfectly suited for Smash Bros.: he’s got a large arsenal of sub weapons to use for special attacks (kunais, windmill shuriken, flame wheels, etc.,) he’s fast, his trademark wall jump could be used as his recovery move, and most importantly, he’s bad ass. Like Castlevania and Mega Man, the Ninja Gaiden series has moved on to other consoles over the years, but I’ll always associate it with the NES. Nintendo has a surprisingly good relationship with Tecmo (Team Ninja developed [the disappointing] Metroid: Other M, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razer’s Edge was released on Wii U first,) so there’s actually a realistic chance that one of Tecmo’s characters might make it into the game.
Dillon (Dillon’s Rolling Western)
Nintendo gets a lot of flack for supposedly sticking with their established, “safe” franchises and never investing in new IP, but while it’s true that the company is very reliant on sequels (like the Smash Bros. sequel that we’re all speculating about right now,) they have created their fair share of new franchises (Denpa Men, Sakura Samurai, Pushmo, etc.) over the last couple years — but since all of these games were only released digitally, they seem to have slipped off the radar of most gamers.
Dillon, the stoic bounty hunter armadillo from the 3DS’ Rolling Western series, is arguably the most interesting new character to come out of Nintendo’s experimental new franchises. Rolling Western’s mix of action and tower-defense style strategy could make Dillon one of the more unique characters in Smash: besides being able to fight directly with his claws and rolling attacks, he also has the ability to erect automated gun towers that could fight for him. Hard to use “trap”-type fighters have proven popular in some of the more traditional fighting games, so Dillon’s hands off fighting style could really shake up Smash Bros.’s established status quo.
The Ouendan Cheer Squad (Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!)
Okay, the characters from Ouendan may not be as well known as the other characters from this list since the games they were in were only released in Japan, but these surprisingly masculine male cheerleaders would be an awesome addition to the Smash Bros. roster nonetheless. They could fight using their rhythmic dance moves, or maybe even incorporate some of the Ouendan games’ tap-and-drag icons into their fighting style.
There are a couple of reasons why Nintendo would chose to keep the Ouendan crew out of Smash Bros. though: most of the Ouendan games were only released in Japan, and Nintendo’s attempt to remake the game for American audiences, Elite Beat Agents, didn’t sell very well. Putting in characters from an import only game would also serve as an unwelcome reminder of Nintendo’s own annoying region locking policies, so Nintendo may chose to leave them out to avoid highlighting the topic of import games. Still, I think they’d be a fun group of characters to play as, and if they do make it in the game, let’s hope that Nintendo of America retains their Ouendan appearance and doesn’t try to remake them into the less cool Elite Beat Agents.