Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Top 8 Picks For Super Smash Bros For 3DS and Wii U

It seems to me that I've done a great disservice by not bringing up this series before, even going so far as to overlook it in my 100 Posts Retrospective. While I've never mentioned Super Smash Bros on the blog before that doesn't mean I'm not a fan. Quite the opposite, actually. I've been a fan of the series since its debut on the Nintendo 64, I've been following the development of Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U from the beginning, and I was even an off-and-on part of the largest Smash Bros fanfic in existence, Super Smash Stadium.

So, yeah, to say that I'm a fan of the series would be a bit of an understatement. So, in anticipation of the upcoming Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U (God, I hope that game gets a better title before launch), I thought I'd join the crowd by listing my own personal top picks for the new fighters.

Also, note, I'm speaking specifically about NEW characters I'd like to see. While there are still plenty of as yet unconfirmed characters I'd like to see return, that's not what this list is about, so don't expect to see Snake or Meta Knight appear here.

And before you ask, no, this doesn't mean that I've forgotten my promise to review Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. This is coming first, due to both being on my mind right now and because I still haven't actually beaten that game yet.

8. Kevin, Captain N the Game Master
Captain N the Game Master, for anyone who doesn't know, was a cartoon that ran from 1989 to 1991 about Kevin Keene, supposedly the greatest video game player ever, who was brought into the world of Nintendo to become Captain N and win the fight against all the villains of Nintendo.

Okay, so he's not actually a video game character at all, but so what? He's pretty much the perfect candidate for a Smash Bros character. He personifies everything that is Nintendo, he fights using a Nintendo Zapper and an NES controller, and his cartoon series was THE original massive Nintendo crossover, teaming him up with characters like Megaman and Pit against villains like King Hippo, Mother Brain, and Eggplant Wizard.

Unfortunately, there are two massive obstacles standing in Captain N's way. Number one: Nintendo doesn't actually own the rights to the character, DiC does, and Nintendo doesn't seem to be interested in getting said rights especially since, number two: Captain N the Game Master was only ever really a thing in the United States. Japanese and European fans would have absolutely no idea who the Hell Kevin Keene was, and Nintendo is understandably not so keen (pun fully intended) on spending the money to acquire the rights to the character just to please a few nostalgic Americans.

7. Phoenix Wright, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Phoenix Wright isn't actually a Nintendo character, though he is closely tied in with Nintendo as (not counting ports to iOS and Android systems) all of the Ace Attorney games have been exclusive to Nintendo handhelds.

People will likely point out that Phoenix Wright isn't really known for fighting. I would counter that first off, that didn't stop him from being a playable fighter in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and second, neither was Captain Falcon prior to Super Smash Bros 64.

It isn't very likely that we'll see him appear thanks to the inclusion of Megaman as Capcom's representative. If, however, Capcom is able to get two representatives in Smash Bros then I would love to see their number two be Phoenix Wright.

6. Simon Belmont, Castlevania
As much as I liked Snake being in Smash Bros. Brawl, I have to admit that when I think about Konami games that helped to put Nintendo on the map I don't think Metal Gear so much as Castlevania, so much so that I was honestly shocked when Snake was announced as Konami's entrant into the series instead of a Belmont.

Like everyone else I played the crap out of these games back in the day, and unlike Metal Gear, this franchise has remained closely tied in with Nintendo, with numerous games on their handheld systems, as well as Castlevania Judgment on the Wii.

The obvious choice for a character to represent the series would be Simon Belmont. Not only was he the first protagonist in the series, but his games were among the top games that helped make the NES a contender, far more so than Metal Gear ever had.

5. Ryu Hayabusa, Ninja Gaiden
Speaking of games that made the NES worth playing, nothing speaks to that quite so much as Ninja Gaiden. I personally didn't really play the game so much at the time, but I've developed an appreciation for it more recently, and I know a lot of people did play it back in the day. Let's face it: this series helped make the NES, period.

Since then, Ryu and his series moved on to other consoles, to the extent that they're now more commonly associated with the XBox and Playstation, though showing some love to Nintendo wouldn't be entirely unreasonable since Ninja Gaiden 3 got a rerelease on the Wii U as Ninja Gaiden: Razor's Edge.

There's also the fact that Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U now has the pokémon Greninja, who is basically Ryu Hayabusa as a frog. Full on ninja battles between these two, or perhaps a tag team pitting them against the player as one of the challenge levels, would be just plain awesome.

Perhaps the biggest roadblock in Hayabusa's path is his series' violent nature. Snake had this problem too, but Ryu puts even him to shame. Ryu Hayabusa soaks in more blood than your average Evil Dead movie.

4. Black Mage, Final Fantasy
Square-Enix has historically worked very closely with Nintendo. They created an entire game, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, in cooperation with Nintendo, and prior to the seventh game in the series Final Fantasy had always been a Nintendo title. Of course, fans know that Final Fantasy 7 was where the two parted ways, thanks to Nintendo's decision to make the N64 a cartridge-based system instead of a disc-based one. If there was any animosity over this it seems to have evaporated, judging by the existence of Mario Hoops 3-on-3, a Square-Enix game for the Nintendo DS that included Final Fantasy characters including Black Mage.

Okay, so a Mario basketball game isn't exactly the best precedent, but it does prove that Square-Enix is not averse to the idea of their characters appearing in Nintendo titles, and Black Mage is a perfect candidate. He's a well known character with powers that would be interesting in the series, plus he's an FF character who doesn't use a sword - between Link, Toon Link, Ike, Marth, Roy, and Meta Knight we've got more than enough of those.

And no, idiots, they wouldn't be forced to use Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy 7 instead. That's a stupid argument and you should feel like a moron for using it.

3. Isaac, Golden Sun
That's enough of the greatest third party hits of the NES, because the truth is there are plenty of Nintendo characters and franchises that aren't represented well or at all. Nintendo's handheld-based RPG series Golden Sun is one of these sadly neglected franchises.

I'll admit that I don't know a whole lot about Golden Sun, having never played the games. Still, I do feel that this franchise deserves to get some representation, and Isaac seems to be the most popular candidate.

2. Geno, Super Mario RPG
Geno first made his appearance in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. He's a spirit from Star Road, who took control of a wooden doll in order to help Mario save the Mushroom Kingdom from the villainous Smithy. He became easily the most popular character in that game, thanks to his interesting and powerful moveset, despite being a completely new character to the series.

Sadly, that was to be Geno's first and only starring role, due in large part to the afore-mentioned falling out between Square-Enix and Nintendo. Still, there is a chance for him to reappear. His cameo appearance in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga suggests that Nintendo does own at least enough rights to use his likeness, and he does remain a fan favorite even long after Super Mario RPG's release.

If he's going to appear again, the Super Smash Bros franchise would probably be the best place for it to happen. Smash has seen the return of obscure characters in the past, like Pit for example, whose appearance in Super Smash Bros Brawl not only re-introduced him to gamers, but also paved the way for a new installment in his long dead series, Kid Icarus Uprising.

1. Goku, Dragonball Z
Just kidding. This is a stupid idea and anyone who honestly wants it is also stupid.

The ACTUAL Number 1. Ridley, Metroid
Detractors are quick to point out that Ridley is too big for Smash Bros. I'll admit I used to say the same thing myself, but when you really think about it that's kind of a stupid thing to say. Size doesn't matter in this series. Kirby is officially listed as being 20 centimeters tall (just under 8 inches) which should put him up to Mario's shins, and Bowser is usually portrayed as being anywhere between two to three times Mario's size. That didn't stop anyone from including either of them

The point is, no one really cares how big Ridley is. Just as Kirby and Bowser were both altered in scale, they could easily scale down Ridley to make him the right size, like they did in the opening cinematic from Super Smash Bros Melee, where he's only a little larger than Samus. Ridley deserves to be a fighter. If you can get past the minor size problem he's a perfect candidate from one of the most underrepresented franchises in the series.

In fact, word of the developers states that he was originally going to be a fighter in Super Smash Bros Brawl before it was decided that he would be cooler as a boss fight in Subspace Emissary. Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U could definitely see him become playable.

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