As most of you know, Nintendo's started up a little campaign that has been dubbed by some as simply "The Smash Ballot." You can find it here. It's a grand idea, a no holding back poll where players can offer their suggestions for who they feel should join (or in some cases, rejoin) the Super Smash Bros. fighting elite. People have been putting in their votes for all kinds of characters. Votes for characters that have been desired for years...
... to characters that don't have a chance in hell...
... and just about everything in-between.
For the most part, though, one thing remains constant. That one thing is that most people, for some reason, only put their faith in one character. Maybe two. Rarely more than five. While in this case, it's a little more understandable considering Nintendo does specifically ask for only one vote, and may well be ignoring votes beyond the first from the same IP address, as far as simple conversation goes... Why keep it at just one? Why restrict yourselves?
With our imaginations, the sky isn't even close to being the limit.
In short, while we can only vote for one character, as far as casual conversation goes, I'd like to ask the community: What if you could add whoever you wanted? What if you could add however many characters you wanted? If you had total creative freedom to add, say, as many as 10-20 characters, who would you add? Would you try to be fair in your choices? Or would you pick your single favorite game and just dump the entire cast?
Now before anyone brings them up, I ask you all set aside your misguided notions of "quality over quantity" and unfounded belief in "less is more" - those restrictions have no place when you're using your imagination!
In short: If you had total creative control over the next entry of Super Smash. Bros. or the DLC of this one, what characters would you add?
If you need some ideas, I'll start things off by answering that very question myself!
FIRST PARTY FIGHTERS
While not my number one first party pick, I do think an Inkling from Splatoon would make for a great addition to Super Smash Bros. simply because of how unique their fighting style would be. With a combination of paint-based moves, all kinds of long range hijinks, and potential shenanigans with their squid form, I don't know if there is another character like them out there.
Who knows what kind of effects could be added with their paint abilities? Imagine if they were actually able to paint the arena, and then could jump through paint like they do in their own game! That would be really wild to play as in a game like this, I think.
And just think of the amiibos! A special Super Smash Bros. version of the Inkling amiibo could be released with bonus functionality in Splatoon! It's a win-win for all five people that would be able to get it!
Yes, that's Lyn from the first Fire Emblem GBA game. I know, I know. "Another anime character with a sword!?" "Another Fire Emblem character!?" "Another girl!?" Probably not something welcome to many--- Wait, no, screw that third guy.
Anyway, yes, one of my most wanted characters is all of those things, but not without reason. In the West, while Marth and Roy may have been our first exposure to Fire Emblem through Super Smash Bros. Melee, it was Lyn's game on the GBA (where she was one of the main characters) that we were first exposed to the franchise itself. For us, or at least those of us from that era, that's more than a little significant. The fact is, Fire Emblem is one of Nintendo's oldest franchises that still regularly gets entries, and every single one usually brings at least something new to the table as far as characters goes, doesn't it? If you ask me, the fact that only three games are represented from this series is actually testament to how little representation it has and that it should have more representation, not the other way around.
So let's get back to Lyn. Not only would we get another girl on the roster, but a leading one. What's more, while she does fight with a sword, like her fellow Fire Emblem fighters as well as a few other characters, just look at how her Assist Trophy already works - she could be a quick fighter that keeps her sword sheathed when she isn't slashing.
And let's be fair here. Setting aside how Marth and Link have had their clones, just look at how distinct Ike and Shulk are from the two of them. I think there's a lot of potential in sword-using characters and other weapon-using characters, and I'd love to see it taken advantage of in future games. Jokes aside, I think in the right hands, you could even make an enjoyable Super Smash Bros. game out of sword-using characters alone. So what's one more here, eh?
That sure is more than one suggested fighter from Pokémon there. I know, similarly to the Fire Emblem situation, I bet most people see this and immediately think: "Don't we already have enough Pokémon in the game!?" To that, I have to ask in all seriousness... Do we?
My main point of contention here is that, even after Mewtwo comes out, out of the six Pokémon in the game, four of them are from the first generation. In other words, only half of the franchise has any representation in the roster, and of the representation it has, it's pretty clearly leaning in a specific direction. One can argue that this makes sense because the first generation is supposedly the most iconic, but as a Pokémon fan that, quite honestly, can't stand the favoritism the first generation gets over the other (in many areas, better) ones, I'd really like to see the playing field evened out at least a little. I'm not saying all of these choices should make it in, but surely one of them wouldn't be too much to ask for? I think they could bring some pretty unique movesets and concepts to the table as well:
Zoroark is perhaps most well known for the horrors inflicted upon it by Lucario on Deviantart. Admittedly, I don't actually know if that's really a thing, but since I'm on Destructoid, I know I lost about half my audience just now, so I'll wait for you to get back.
Hi! Now that you're back and hopefully all cleaned up after that quick trip down Gardevoir Alley, in all seriousness, the Zoroark species is known for its ability to create illusions of other Pokémon. Not in the same, more permanent (for that battle) way Ditto or Mew can, but when you throw it out, until it gets hit, it can project an illusion. So my suggestion for a Zoroark is that, in addition to a sweet moveset fitting of the Pokémon, when you throw it out at 0%, it copies one of your opponents. The first time can be random or decided by some other factor, like pushing a button a certain amount of times to match a certain player as the fight loads, but then, what if you always then imitated the character that last killed you? I think that could be a pretty neat take on the concept myself, and it's not like you would need to worry about the game loading in extra models or moves since the other character would be right there.
Torterra is probably a more unexpected choice, especially if my intent is just "Pokémon not from the first generation." Well, it finishes off the "one starter of each type" deal we have started with Charizard and Greninja, and Torterra and Sceptile are right in the middle of those two. Sceptile would arguably make more sense and would probably be an easier choice to make a fighter out of, but honestly? I like Torterra more and I'd really like to see what they could do with a heavy quadruped like this in Super Smash Bros., since we don't really have much like that right now.
Lastly, Genesect is here entirely because I just really like the thing and it's basically Pokémon's answer to Kamen Rider, so I'm obligated to mention it. It can also turn into a space ship and is a Gundam, so really, the question shouldn't be "Why should Genesect be playable in Super Smash Bros.?" at all. It should be "Why shouldn't Genesect be playable in Super Smash Bros.?"
Isaac from Golden Sun is appearing on a lot of lists, and while I never had a chance to play Golden Sun, boy did I want to. Maybe Nintendo will finally add GBA games to the 3DS Virtual Console someday, and maybe they'll add Golden Sun to the selection when they do, and then I can finally play! Until then, I only having passing knowledge and far too much time spent looking at pictures in Nintendo Power to go off of.
... which, as it turns out, is still enough for me to still want him in the game. How 'bout that?
SECOND PARTY SECURITY
Initially, I wanted to just put these guys under first party too, which is why my first party selections probably look a little awkward, but despite their exclusivity to Nintendo consoles, they are still characters from second party titles, and so without further delay...
I admit, I still haven't played The Wonderful 101. I couldn't get into the demo, but in hindsight, I suspect the controller may have been broken, since I've heard you actually can stop moving in normal gameplay, which was not a function of the demo I played.
Regardless, Wonder Red is a superhero. And you know, I do love me some superheroes, particularly Japan's breed of them, and those are a type of superhero that Wonder Red's game draws a lot of inspiration from. What's more, what little I've played and what lot I've seen and heard tells me Wonder Red would make for an incredibly unique, fun, and welcome addition to this fighter game's roster, and so he definitely is one to get my vote.
Like Lyn, Dillon here, of Dillon's Rolling Western and its sequel, is already in the game as an Assist Trophy. He might not look like he'd play that differently from Sonic either - but that's where you'd be wrong, partner. So stick 'em up while I educate you!
Dillon does do the whole ball rolling thing, but he does a lot more than that as well. In particular, his claws are a common feature of his attacks, as well as his strength in general. Coming from a tower defense-like game, elements of that could be worked either into his fighting style here or at least his Final Smash.
While he could simply end up being a clone of Sonic, at most, I think turning him into a character similar to Sonic that has more weight and power to him might instead make him an interesting alternative, rather than the lost potential of an Assist Trophy or the potential disappointment fans might feel of being a clone. Or why not go all out and make him something all his own too, huh?
Raise your hand if you know what the hell this thing is. Now put your hands down, because it's not a Pokémon.
This is Jibanyan, the mascot of Level-5's hit Yokai Watch franchise that is currently taking Japan by storm. The second game sold over 1.2 million copies in four days. That means that in less than a week, 1 game was sold for roughly every 100 people in the country. The updated version of that game (think Yokai Watch Emerald or Yokai Watch Yellow) has already sold over 2.5 million copies.
It only came out in December.
It sold two and a half million copies in four months and it's still charting, even after news of Yokai Watch 3 and a spinoff being on the way was offered by Level-5.
To put that into perspective, the highly anticipated Bloodborne didn't even manage 200,000 last week, and it beat out games on 3DS, Vita, PS3, and more and was the best selling game during that week.
You know what's worse? Not a single one of these charming games from Level-5 has as much as a real release window for overseas. I don't know why Level-5 is so terrible at getting these things out of Japan with even remotely good timing, but considering the tremendous success of this particular franchise, I think there is a lot to be gained from adding its mascot. Not only would it be great for Japan, where people already love the little guy and the games he comes from, but it could create a situation similar to that of Marth and Roy in Super Smash Bros. Melee where interest in the series is sparked by the appearance of this character that has never come overseas before.
Plus, he can bring some other Level-5 assist trophies with him! Imagine if Professor Layton and some characters from Inazuma Eleven or Danball Senki popped out of a trophy alongside the appearance of Jibanyan here. That'd be pretty great, right? Not to mention the only way we'd ever get to see something from Danball in a game localized...
THIRD PARTY TITANS
What's a list of wanted characters for Super Smash Bros. without some third party characters? Not a list at all, that's what! So here are some of my top third party picks:
I don't think I can make a case for Bomberman better than Kesskuron already did here, so you know what? I won't. Give that link a click, it deserves it. I'll just add that of every character on this list, if I could only have one of them, chances are extremely high that it would be this guy here.
After Bomberman, Dr. Eggman of Sonic the Hedgehog fame is probably my second most wanted character for either DLC in the most recent or as a new playable character in the next Super Smash Bros. game.
I realize that we already have Sonic from his titular franchise, but considering just how long the rivalry between Sega and Nintendo was, I'd like to think maybe we could add this delightful evil mastermind to the mix as well. Getting to see him and Bowser together would be a real joy, if you ask me, and considering how many Sonic the Hedgehog games have been on Nintendo consoles since Sega stopped making their own, it's not like he's a character alien to them.
There are a lot of options for how he could fight too. Would he run around on the ground and toss around gadgets? Would he bust out his little floating egg car and play similarly to Bowser Jr.? Whatever they do with him, I do think there's potential for a really fun and worthwhile character, and that's why Eggman makes my list.
And while I have talked at length about how I feel about Sonic Boom and how it doesn't matter nearly as much as people think, I will say that letting another character from the franchise into Super Smash Bros. might go a long way towards helping fans move past it.
I hate giving Capcom too much service here, but you know what, they have been fairly decent to Nintendo consoles, and a Monster Hunter from the Monster Hunter franchise would be an awesome addition to Super Smash Bros., wouldn't it?
Their different attacks could involve them breaking out different weapons, their different costumes could be different armors from the series, and just imagine what kind of things its presence could add to the game! Not only could they toss Rathalos into an Assist Trophy and have Felynes hiding in the Monster Hunter stage running around stealing items as soon as players pick them up and giving them to other players, but just think about the bigger picture here.
I rest my case.
I know, Capcom is the devil, but if we've already got two reps from them as it is, isn't Phoenix Wright, champion of the Ace Attorney franchise, basically necessary at that point? The franchise got its start on Nintendo handhelds and, for the most part, still makes its cozy little home on them. It's not Monster Hunter huge and it doesn't have Mega Man nostalgia, but it is a series that would be very appropriate for the game.
As for Wright himself? We've seen him in action in Marvel vs Capcom before, so we know he can fight if he has to, and just think about how unique a character he is in a room full of pocket monsters, elves, evil turtle kings, and plumbers!
Seriously, when you get right down to it, as a lawyer, he's got more in common with the evil turtle king than a plumber. So does Capcom for that matter...
Oh, and, here's the source on that awesome Phoenix Wright mockup, by the way.
THE ILLUSTRIOUS INDIES
Yup, these guys get their own section too. It's been said Nintendo hasn't been as welcome to the indie scene as their competition has been, and while I can't say for sure whether or not that's the case, you know what would go a long way to proving that wrong? Letting some beloved indie characters into Super Smash Bros.
... Wait, were you expecting words here? You haven't scrolled back up to vote for her yet? Okay, let me just put this into words.
Is that not enough words for you!?
Okay okay, fiiiiine. In all seriousness though, I'm saying Shantae of, you guessed it, the Shantae series of games would make a great addition to Super Smash Bros. With her various genie powers, crazy dance moves, transformations of all shapes and sizes, and all of that good stuff, she'll be able to send all the competition running for magic lamps just to wish she wasn't there kicking their butts. Even the series' developer has gotten in on the fun and offered what Shantae's costumes might look like should she make it through the voting. Fingers crossed!
But since you got me talking, since we're on the subject of Shantae in Smash Bros., well, let's talk about this one! Since another lady of gaming is often brought up for this game, then I'll set the record straight - when it comes to Super Smash Bros., I'd go as far as to say fellow video game vixen Bayonetta shouldn't even be on the poll until the likes of Shantae, a Nintendo leading lady since the GBC days, is already part of the roster.
In fact, that's a belief I hold so firmly that, despite the fact that I would really like to see Bayonetta in the game too, that is the one restriction I have placed on myself when making this list for this completely nonsensical reason that goes against everything I said in the introduction! So take that... No one in particular! Ha! Couldn't... fool me... with your... Wait, I guess the person "taking that" is "me," isn't it? Crap.
Okay, moving along! Point is, Shantae has been a Nintendo girl from the beginning, and WayForward have been with Nintendo for a long time too. She could even bring a Mighty Switch Force themed Assist Trophy along for the ride! Pretty cool, right?
Shovel Knight is a game I won't be playing until, ironically, the Vita version comes out later this month, but everything I've seen and heard points to Shovel Knight himself being an awesome addition to Super Smash Bros., and so I really just can't help but want to see him in based on that alone, and I'm sure I'll want it all the more once I actually play the game. For that reason, though, I can't really say much more than that here. Sorry!
... Too soon?
COPIED CLONES AND REDUNDANT RETURNEES
That's right, I'm even adding a section for clones and some veterans. And with (what I think is) good reason! Because clones don't "take away" roster slots as many suggest, not at all. Most of the time, they're a free roster slot we wouldn't have gotten otherwise, unless you just wanted someone else to be cloned, in which case, yeah, then you maybe have a point, but that's usually not how people use that turn of phrase.
In any case, enough preemptive defending! Let's turn on the flame shields and get this show on the road!
I'm starting with Pichu. Innocent enough, right? Maybe contradictory to my previous Pokémon choices, but I always liked the little guy more than Pikachu. That goes for Raichu too, but that's another story. Point is, I like Pichu, I'd like Pichu back, and I'm sure they could tweak Pichu enough to make the little fella worth the spot. Or just give Pikachu some Pichu and Raichu alternate costumes.
Hey, I didn't say I was picky.
Another Pokémon! Two, or three in a way, to be precise, and all returning characters. For this "character," it's been suggested that the concept of Pokémon Trainer sharing Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard can't work anymore because of how the 3DS version of the game works. Well, to that, I say that that's just Farfetch'd! There's an easy solution for this.
All we need to do is make them share a slot on the character select screen similarly to how the Mii Fighter, despite having three distinct fighting styles (sound familiar?), already does. Alternatively, you can just scroll through the character's different colors and just go through them from one Pokemon to the next like they're different costumes, except Squirtle and Ivysaur are each different characters. Again, this is already a function the 3DS version utilizes with the Mii Fighter as well as every character with different models and voices and so on, so it should in theory be possible.
Then, add a fourth selection after the three the 3DS version utilizes on the Wii U version: Allow the ability to scroll past to the fourth choice of "Pokémon Trainer," where the three Pokémon lose their down smashes, but you can switch through them at will like in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It's not technically making an exclusive character to the Wii U version, just an exclusive way to use these characters because the 3DS one just can't. Would that be so bad? Well, either way, that's just my (perhaps ignorant) way to compromise.
Now this lovely lady is actually the main reason I made this section at all, since I otherwise could have skipped mentioning Pichu and more Pokémon characters. Now I know, this isn't Ridley or another "actual" Metroid character - in fact, were this added, Metroid's Smash Bros. roster could be summed up as "Samus at work, Samus at the pool, and Samus on her day off," but hear me out.
Samus Aran's Fusion Suit, from Metroid Fusion, still mostly played like her regular armors and so on from previous games. Samus got this suit in Metroid Fusion after a series of unfortunate events that, among other things, totally changed her cellular makeup and a bunch of other fun stuff. In a word, for those who haven't played it (you really should), she wound up part-Metroid.
But how could this be moved over to Super Smash Bros.? Well, by just applying this suit's different traits, that's how. Make her weaker but faster than Vanilla Samus (or would it be Orange flavored Samus...?), alter her jumping, maybe add in something in line with the energy absorbtion ability she got from the upgrade (perhaps beating up enemies will auto-charge her other attacks for her?), and give her an Ice Missile attack she can charge. Overall, not a lot would have to change from how Orange Samus works, but not so little that the new Blueberry flavor wouldn't be distinct enough on her own.
In all honesty, making Paper Mario into a character could probably done in a way without making him a clone. But considering how many Mario characters there are (as an aside, I consider characters from Donkey Kong and "Yoshi," which I didn't even realize counted as its own franchise, as Mario characters, so I'm a little less forgiving with this big expanded universe than I am with ones like Pokémon or Fire Emblem), just having a third Mario in addition to Luigi and like half the game's roster still might warrant Paper Mario, no matter how unique they make him, getting put into this section.
Regardless, I genuinely think Paper Mario could potentially be much more than a clone, and in fact another fun 2D character in a crazy 3D world.
And... that's it! Well, I say "that's it," but that was a lot, so I may have gone a little overboard here. Like I said, imaaaaagination. Someone get that Spongebob image in here. I wanted to add a section for other stuff, like stages, Assist Trophies, and even Pokéball ideas, but that's probably stretching it. I will say that Ditto needs to be a thing somehow, at least. Master Ball that imitates Final Smashes maybe? Dunno.
In the end, these are just my picks. You might have noticed I personally tried to be marginally reasonable in my choices - no Gokus, no obscure JRPG characters that have never even been on a Nintendo platform, relatively little of that. But that doesn't mean you have to be! Despite how I just went on and on about my picks, I really would love to hear what everyone else would like to see, and so by all means, share your choices, Smash fans!
And more importantly, remind me of who I forgot to add to my own dream wishlist!
Now if you excuse me, I need to go shopping. I'm out of fruit and I'm feeling... very, very hungry for oranges and blueberries all of a sudden.