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My Hopes for Smash 5
With Nintendo E3 coming tomorrow and Smash Bros Switch confirmed to be a central part of Nintendo’s presentation, I decided I’d better write an article about what I want to see in this new game (I seriously wasn’t planning to finish so last minute). I want to be clear that I’m not calling this a “prediction” because I have no information on which to base predictions. This is simply what I want from the game and some of the characters that I think would make it better and more fun. There’s also a couple of characters, franchises and companies that I think deserve to be celebrated in Smash. Be warned that there may be some salt in the reading both from me and from you if you can’t accept the opinions of others. So you’ve been fairly warned.
Now that my little preamble is out of the way, what is the biggest thing that comes up when people talk about what they want from a new Smash Bros game? The roster, of course. I’m going to break this up into four sections—returning characters (maybe small changes), characters I want to see major changes, characters I want to see cut, and new characters.
Mario. Add Cappy to his move set.
Luigi. Add the Poltergust into his main move set. He’s becoming better known for Luigi’s Mansion games and this would give him some more individuality.
Bowser. Get rid of Giga Bowser as his final smash. Giga Bowser is a Smash Bros thing and I think a character’s moves should be based on their source material. I suggest Dry Bowser as the final smash, instead.
Peach, Yoshi, Bowser Jr., Rosalina. Just make Rosalina plain Rosalina, not “Rosalina and Luma.” Other than that, no changes to suggest for these characters.
Donkey Kong Series
Donkey Kong. Give him a better final smash. Maybe something that references the team up abilities from Tropical Freeze.
Diddy Kong. No changes to suggest.
The Legend of Zelda Series
Zelda. Change her down special to something other than Phantom Slash. Zelda has often used magic in the form of sealing/paralyzing light rays, which would be useful for a slower character like her. I will talk more on why I want Phantom Slash removed later.
Link, Toon Link, Sheik. We already know that Link is going to be taking on his Breath of the Wild incarnation. Whether this is an additional Link or a revamp that replaces the old Link, we’ll have to wait and see. As for Toon Link and Sheik, I’d like to see them get some new final smashes to make them different from Link and Zelda respectively.
Young Link. I think Young Link could become relevant again if adult Link is going to be changing to his Breath of the Wild incarnation with all new abilities and play style. In this way, Young Link can inherit most of adult Link’s identity, be distinctly different from Toon Link and have Fierce Deity Link as his final smash.
Zero Samus. I think Zero Suit Samus should have her name changed to Zero Samus. I think it’s plain weird to reference her clothing in her character’s name. I also want her high heels gone and a return to her Brawl move set that emphasized her whip. Zero Samus was my Brawl main and the changes they made to her in Smash 4 were so jarring for me that I was no longer able to play with her.
Samus. No changes to suggest.
Kirby. Make Kirby’s mech suit from Planet Robobot his final smash.
King Dedede. Make Swole Dedede his final smash.
Meta Knight. No changes to suggest.
Falco. Change his final smash to the arwing instead of the landmaster. Maybe even have the chicken walker version.
Wolf. Change his final smash to the wolfen instead of the landmaster. Remember that in Starfox Zero, the wolfen now have a ground “wolf” form just like the arwing.
Fox. No changes to suggest.
Greninja. Change his final smash to Ash Greninja.
Pikachu, Mewtwo, Charizard. No changes to suggest.
Ness, Lucas. Make their final smashes different. I’m not familiar enough with Earthbound to suggest a new final smash for one of these characters.
Fire Emblem Series
Robin. Get rid of Robin’s weapon degrading over time. It was nothing more than a little reference to how weapons have a limited number of uses in SOME Fire Emblem games and never really impacted the way Robin plays in Smash 4, other than being occasionally annoying.
Marth, Roy, Ike. No changes to suggest.
Kid Icarus Series
Pit, Palutena. No changes to suggest.
Wario. Change his move set to be more in line with the Wario Land games. His move set is barely connected to his Wario Ware franchise and I don’t feel it truly reflects who he is supposed to be.
Duck Hunt Dog. Change his name from Duck Hunt to Duck Hunt Dog and take out the tin can and wild gunman references, which make the character feel watered down. Instead, give him a zapper for his neutral special and for his down special, have him pop down into the grass and scare up some ducks which attack the nearest opponent.
Mega Man. Change his franchise symbol from the gear to his helmet. The helmet is a much more recognizable icon of the Mega Man series.
Sonic, Captain Falcon, Olimar, ROB, Sonic, Snake, Villager, Little Mac, Shulk, Pac-Man, Ryu, Cloud. No changes to suggest.
Ganondorf. It was always a mistake to make Ganondorf a heavier version of Captain Falcon. Ganondorf needs to be completely revamped from the ground up to be a sorcerer like he was in Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess. There have already been several fan mods that share my opinion on this, so I don’t think this idea is very revolutionary.
Pokemon Trainer. I have a new vision for Pokemon Trainer as something of a hybrid between Olimar and Mega Man. That is to say that Pokemon Trainer would no longer be a background character, but actually takes to the field and attacks with Pokemon the way that Olimar’s attacks are dependent on having Pikmin and/or how Mega Man’s attacks are all based on the robot masters’ power-ups from the Mega Man series.
Mii. Instead of dividing the Mii character into three, I say have the Mii be one character that is something of a combination of the three and give them a standardized move set. Really, just get rid of all of the alternate move customization that was introduced in Smash WiiU/3DS.
Jigglypuff, Lucario, Mr. Game and Watch, Corrin, Wii Fit Trainer, Bayonetta. I would cut Jigglypuff and Lucario because the characters don’t feel relevant to me anymore (I know I just stepped on the toes of Lucario fans with that statement). Corrin should never have been included in Smash 4 because Fire Emblem Fates was too new and the title hadn’t yet proven itself. And really, in my opinion the title kind of ended up being a bit disappointing—especially when compared to the massive success that Fire Emblem Awakening enjoyed. Wii Fit Trainer is just a weird inclusion in Smash 4 that I don’t think anyone wanted or liked. As for Bayonetta, I’m still salty that she was declared the winner of the Smash ballot. I really just don’t like her character or the way she plays in Smash 4.
For those of you keeping track, there are three remaining characters—Dr. Mario, Dark Pit and Lucina. I’ve been saying since Smash 4 came out, that having these three characters as separate clones of existing characters with slightly tweaked moves was a mistake. They aren’t different enough like Ganondorf and Captain Falcon or Marth and Roy or Ness and Lucas to justify their inclusion in the game. They should have been full model swaps for Mario, Pit and Marth and I think that’s how they should be included going forward in the next iteration of Smash Brothers. We already have precedent for this kind of thing through Olimar/Alph and Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings.
However, I wouldn’t stop there. In fact, I think this is a golden opportunity to include more characters in Smash Bros while maintaining a more streamlined roster. As such, I’m going to get a little bit ahead of myself and make a list of some “new” characters that I think would be terrific model swaps for existing characters.
Peach can have Daisy as a model swap.
Samus can have Dark Samus as a model swap.
Meta Knight can have Dark Meta Knight as a model swap.
Fox McCloud can have his father James as a model swap.
Olimar already has Alph as a model swap. Why not include every Pikmin captain? Louie, President, Brittany and Charlie all play identically in the Pikmin games, so there shouldn’t be a problem with them all being in Smash.
Sonic can have Shadow as a model swap.
Pac-Man can have Ms. Pac-Man as a model swap.
Can Mega Man have Proto Man as a model swap?
Marth can have model swaps for (in addition to Lucina) Chrom, Lyn, Erika, Eliwood, Celica… really any Fire Emblem character with a rapier.
Roy can have Azuma as a model swap. Why Azuma? Well, they both have magic swords. Maybe Corrin could even be a model swap for Roy.
Ike can have model swaps for heavy blade users such as Xander and Alm.
Robin can have model swaps for mages such as Soren, Michaiah, Liz and Leo. I already know what some of you are going to say, “Those characters can’t use swords!” And you’re right. But they can use staffs. So just swap out Robin’s levin sword for a staff.
I’m not going to make an all-exhaustive list of every cool character that could be included, but I think you should now have a general idea for what I have in mind for this extensive model swap / alternate character system I’d like to see in Smash Brothers.
All of the characters I’m including on this list are characters I would like to see in the game. I’m actually not picking “favorites” here, as some of these characters are from games I’ve never played, but I have enough knowledge to understand their importance. However, I’m going to break up this list into three categories. “Highly Likely” characters are characters that I feel have a good chance of actually appearing in the next Smash Bros. “Possible” characters I think don’t have a great chance of appearing in Smash Bros, but I don’t think their chances of being in the game are 0. “Only in my Wildest Dreams” are characters that I would LOVE to see in Smash or that I feel really DESERVE a slot, but I don’t think there’s any chance it would ever happen. Incidentally, if I was writing this piece for Smash 4, I would have categorized Cloud on this list as Only in my Wildest Dreams, so who knows?
Inkling (Splatoon). With inkling already confirmed, I only want to say that inkling would have been included on this list if we didn’t already know they were in the new Smash Bros.
Decidueye (Pokemon). This is another low-hanging fruit for the next Smash Bros. To complete the fire/water/grass starter trifecta of Charizard and Greninja, I think Decidueye has the popularity and a unique enough design for Smash. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Decidueye was created in a focus group purposefully to be included in the next generation of Smash Bros.
Ridley (Metroid). More villains! I already offered Dark Samus as a model swap for Samus. But I think it’s high time Ridley was introduced as a playable character rather than just a boss or stage hazard. Admittedly, this is another easy choice that a lot of other people would like.
Toon Zelda (Zelda). Now you know why I wanted Zelda’s down special to be replaced with something other than the Phantom Slash. So give the Phantom Slash to Toon Zelda.
Isabelle (Animal Crossing). While Villager may be the “main” character of Animal Crossing, Smash lacking an ANIMAL representative from that franchise is just criminal. In recent iterations of Animal Crossing we’ve seen Isabelle pretty much become the face of the game, possibly in an even greater capacity than Villager.
Knuckles (Sonic). You may be wondering why I’d include Knuckles on this list and not Tails. Well, personally I feel that Tails never really had as much presence in the series. Especially once Sonic went 3D, Tails was always more of a side character that occasionally piloted a mech or build some other gadget. Knuckles on the other hand has a distinct character and game play style that is separate from the other characters in the Sonic universe and has strong popularity.
Camilla (Fire Emblem), Cordelia (Fire Emblem). If we get more Fire Emblem characters, I want to see axe and spear users to round out the weapon types we see in the Fire Emblem series. These characters could have several model swaps just like the other Fire Emblem characters. Hector could be a model swap for Camilla and Ephraim for Cordelia.
Lloyd Irving (Tales of Symphonia). We need to get some representation from the Tales games in Smash Bros. Lloyd is popular, has appeared on Nintendo systems and could have a very different kind of move set from other sword users because he dual-wields.
Travis Touchdown (No More Heroes). No More Heroes had its birth on Nintendo and continues to give us plenty of funny moments and quirky game play.
Isaac (Golden Sun). I’m a huge Golden Sun fan boy. I spent months writing my own walkthrough for the original two games and I still hold out hope that we will get Golden Sun 4 someday.
Krystal (Starfox). Lets get some more female characters in Smash Brothers… er… Smash Siblings? As much maligned as Starfox Adventures was by some fans, to me it was the best Starfox game since Starfox 64. She would also represent a different kind of play style because she uses a staff. If Krystal appears in Smash, I hope we’d see a hybrid of her Adventures/Assault appearance.
King K.Rool (Donkey Kong). Although he’s been absent from Donkey Kong games following Donkey Kong 64, to me at least, he’s still the most iconic villain from Donkey Kong and in addition to being a new addition to the villains club, he’s also a heavy character that needs more representation, too.
Mega Man X. At first I wondered if Mega Man X could be a model swap for regular Mega Man and after thinking about it for a while, I decided that he’s too different. He’s an iconic part of gaming history and I feel that a Mega Man variant could be an interesting character for Smash.
Yu Narukami (Persona 4).Nobody can deny the enduring popularity of Persona 4. It’s basically Altus’s flagship series and would be a great way for them to have a character representing their company in Smash.
Phoenix Wright. This charming series that has spawned so many memes and offers unique game mechanics while still providing a great story and challenge really stuck in my mind the few times I borrowed the game from a friend. I think he deserves a spot in Smash.
Sora (Kingdom Hearts). I’ve never played Kingdom Hearts, but I love watching lets plays of the game. It has a lot of character (no pun intended) and I can see why it has captured so many people’s hearts (pun intended). If Cloud can be in Smash, I don’t see why Sora can’t, too.
Only in my Wildest Dreams
Hatsune Miku. We need a representative from the rhythm game genre in Smash and Vocaloid 01 is my first choice candidate.
Dark Matter (Kirby series). After King Dedede, he’s the most common recurring villain in the Kirby series and I’ve said it before—I want more villains.
Jack Frost (Shin Megami Tensei). I know I already mentioned Yu Narukami to be Atlus’s character representative in Smash Bros. And while Yu is a great character, he’s a Persona character and Nintendo has more of a history with the Shin Megami Tensei series. So I think Atlus’s mascot, Jack Frost, could be a cool choice, too.
Tiz (Bravely Default). Tiz is the character I voted for in the Smash Ballot. Bravely Default is in my opinion one of the best video games in recent years and deserves to be represented in Smash Bros. Really I’d like to see Edea, Agnes or Magnolia because I like those characters better. But Tiz is the character I think is the most “main” character of the series, so if anyone from Bravely Default gets into Smash, it’s going to be him.
Zero (Mega Man X). I’ve always liked Zero better than Mega Man X. Even though I think Protoman or Dr. Wily would be in Smash before we get anyone from the Mega Man X series, with the Mega Man X legacy collection coming out later this year, who knows?
Jack (Harvest Moon). Harvest Moon has always been a family friendly game and I doubt Natsume would want their IP associated with violence. However, Harvest Moon is a huge franchise with a loyal following. I’ve always enjoyed their laid-back games. I’m not sure if Jack is this character’s official name, though.
Asuka (Senran Kagura). If I’m going to cut Bayonetta, I figured I’d throw in a fanservice character for consolation. I still can’t believe that Nintendo allowed Senran Kagura to be published on their console. And who knew it would actually be a really fun game.
Gunvolt (Azure Striker Gunvolt). Most people who want an indie representative in Smash would mention characters like Shovel Knight, Shantae or Steve from Minecraft. Not me. I never really got hooked on those games the same way that I did with Azure Striker Gunvolt. And with Mighty Gunvolt Burst being one of the most successful indie titles on Switch, I don’t think Gunvolt is too unpopular to not be included in Smash (although I know a lot of people would be pretty salty if he made it in Smash instead of their own indie darling).
Why didn’t you include?
Rayman, Banjo-Kazooie, Geno, Ice Climbers, Master Chief, [insert your favorite character]…
This is already a really long article and I’m sure that at some point along the way I forgot to include some of the ideas I had while I was brainstorming. The short, truthful answer is that this is at its heart an opinion piece and not me predicting who might be in or doing some kind of unbiased point system to decide who deserves to be in the next Smash. I either don’t know enough about the character because I haven’t played their game or for the same reason I don’t want Bayonetta to return, I just don’t like the character.
If you’ve made it to the end, I thank you for reading. I’d like to hear your opinions on my ideas, so comments and feedback are welcome!