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Super Smash Bros.

Whenever a new Super Smash Bros. is hinted at, gamers and the games media gets whipped into a frenzy over which characters should be included in the next game. We all have opinions on that and who’d we like to see. For my part, Bandana Waddle-Dee and Twintelle are my top two choices, and while I’m sure one character from ARMS is making it in, I doubt it’ll be her. But even if those two do make it in, I don't see them taking the place of Peach and Toon Link/Young Link. They’ve been my go-to characters since Melee, and while Pit and Duck Hunt Dog have joined the ranks of characters I routinely play as, I’d be surprised if any new characters in the forthcoming Smash game will dethrone butt-busting Peach.

New characters are great, but after the exhaustive roster of the last game, I’m more interested in an equally important aspect of the series: the stages. Smash stages are easily the most creative fighting arenas in the entire genre and the Wii U/3DS iterations of the series went all out with more than 50 new stages between the two games. And there were some deep cuts in that collection, from Magicant to PAC-LAND. For the next Smash, I’m hoping one of my favorite series from Nintendo gets more love with a Sin & Punishment stage.

Developed by Treasure, Sin & Punishment is a rail shooter that debuted in Japan on the Nintendo 64. It didn’t make it out to the US until it hit the Wii Virtual Console in 2007. Two years later, we were treated to the best game purchased by the least amount of people with Sin & Punishment Star Successor. Was it ugly? Sure, but with the Wiimote pointer controls, it was also a fucking blast. The series has had some representation in Smash with Saki making an appearance as an assist trophy, but that’s it. I get the series isn’t as popular as most other Nintendo franchises, but with the processing power of the Switch, now is the perfect time to give players stage inspired by the series.

I’m thinking one of those static stages with the action backgrounds, like Lylat Cruise from Brawl. The platforms don’t change all that much, but the background is an ever-moving spectacle of space combat. Sin & Punishment is ripe to follow the same formula. You can take any level from either of the games and they’d make the perfect background for a stage like this. While the fighters do battle in the foreground, Saki and Airan -- or Isa and Kachi depending on which game they pull from -- shoot and slash enemies in the background. It might be super busy, but it would absolutely be awesome to watch and just get lost in. Plus, who knows, its inclusion here may convince Nintendo to give Treasure some money for a Sin & Punishment 3.

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