Smash Bros Character Checklist: The Kid Icarus Series

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Kid Icarus is a franchise that has its origins in the early days of Nintendo’s game consoles. It was released along side legendary names like Zelda and Metroid. The original NES title is one of the most classic games for the system, with one of the strangest reverse difficulty curves of any game I’ve ever played. The game begins wildly difficult, but then gets much easier as it goes on. It’s amazing what one or two power ups can help out with!

The game was popular enough to score a sequel on the Gameboy. But unlike Zelda and Metroid, the series faded into obscurity after that, barely receiving any form of mention from Nintendo for years to come. That is until series protagonist Pit became one of the first new fighters announced for Super Smash Bros Brawl.

While the character most likely came off as obscure for some, Pit’s place in Brawl seemed to help revitalize interest in the series. Eventually, the third Kid Icarus game came into existence over 20 years after the second. That third game was Kid Icarus: Uprising, interestingly developed by the Smash Bros creator himself, Masahiro Sakurai.

Uprising happens to be one of my favorite games on the 3DS. It added a whole new level of action and personality to the world and characters that the previous games were incapable of portraying. It’s an utterly fantastic experience, and I highly recommend it for anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to play it! Though I guess me gushing over how much I love Uprising isn’t what you’re here for, right? We’re here to talk about Smash!

Sakurai’s next major outing after Uprising was Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U, and the Kid Icarus characters followed him to the new games. Goddess of Light Palutena became a playable fighter, and Pit received an Echo Fighter in the form of Dark Pit. But as far as Smash Bros Ultimate goes, there’s no new Kid Icarus fighters in the base game.

As far as who could be added to Smash, a lot of people are behind the inclusion of Medusa. She is, after all, the original villain of the original game, and could become either an original fighter or an Echo of Palutena. Personally, I was a big supporter of adding Magnus to the roster in Smash 4, even though he ended up as an assist trophy in that game. He is noticeably absent from his assist duties in Smash Ultimate, however. Perhaps this means he could be heading our way in the form of DLC? It’s something to be considered.

But I’m not going to be talking about either of these potential fighters. While they would both be great choices, and I would be excited to see either of them enter the fray, I thought of a Kid Icarus character that would make an even better addition!

It’s the God of Death himself, the villainous (and incredibly goofy) THANATOS!

CharacterChecklistThanatos

In the original Kid Icarus, Thanatos was nothing more than a throw-away enemy, portrayed as a big snake that took part in the final battle with Medusa. But in Uprising, he was re-imagined into the shape-shifting, genie-like form you see in the picture above (even though he was still a minor villain, in the grand scheme of things).

And yup, you read that correctly: He’s a shape-shifter. As in he can turn into whatever he wants. In the Kid Icarus games, he’s taken the form of the above mentioned snake, a bat, a sword, and a… foot? Yeah, a giant foot. And that’s just a few examples of Thanatos’ strength. Considering he can take the form of anything he desires, that can lead to limitless potential for a Smash Bros moveset!

He could take the form of other Kid Icarus villains and monsters in order to use their attacks, or change his limbs and body into any number of different weapons and objects. There’s really no end to how creative they could be when coming up with a fighting style for him. He’s a character that you could basically do whatever you want with, and no matter how goofy you make his attacks, it would fit his eccentric personality perfectly. Thanatos truly provides a chance to make a unique fighter like no other!

For his Final Smash, why not have him change into his original incarnation: a giant serpent that takes a bite out of the opposition! And seeing that he is the God of Death, it would make sense for this to potentially lead to a instant KO.

True, trying to find a satisfying way to make a character that can become ANYTHING might be trickier than it sounds. There’s so many directions you could take the character, it could be challenging to find the perfect balance of making him creative, fun to play as, and not overpowered. But all the same, I think he would be a perfect, unexpected entrant in the Smash series! Thanatos may not be a major threat in the Kid Icarus games themselves, but he certainly has the potential to become a fantastic Smash Bros combatant!

So whaddya think of my choice? Is Thanatos the perfect Kid Icarus entrant, or would you rather have a more notable character make an appearance? Be sure to let me know through a comment or two! I’d love to hear what you think.

But for now, that’s all from me. Sparky is signing off for now! I’ll catch you later.

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The 64 Showcase: Hey You, Pikachu! and Super Smash Bros.

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It just occurred to me that I never made a post here for the last 64 Showcase I did, and I’ve posted another one since! So here’s a double feature: one for the new Pokemon, and one for the new Smash Bros!

Hope you enjoy! Sparky is signing off for now!

Smash Bros Character Checklist: The Fire Emblem Series

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By this point, all of the characters in Super Smash Bros Ultimate have been revealed. With a staggering 76 playable characters from across multiple game franchises, game genres, and game companies, this latest entry in the Smash Bros series is shaping up to be one of the best games ever. Not just one of the best games in the series, not just one of the best games on the Switch, and not just one of the best games from Nintendo. But one of the best games PERIOD.

Of course, the roller coaster ride of guessing who’s going to be in the game had to stop somewhere. And unfortunately I still have a few character wishes that have been left in the dust. But even though every character in the base game has been revealed, there is a silver lining: six DLC characters are currently in development, and only one of them has been revealed. That means there are still five mystery characters on the way, and the Character Checklist must continue!

And as we continue, we’re going to discuss the Fire Emblem franchise. The tactical RPG series has humble roots, remaining unknown to most gamers until Super Smash Bros Melee on the Gamecube. The games were exclusive to Japan for the longest time. But Melee brought protagonists Marth and Roy around the world and introduced Nintendo fans everywhere to the series.

From that point onward, Fire Emblem games began to see worldwide release (partly thanks to Melee, and partly thanks to the then recent success of the similar Wars series). The games continued to see representation in Smash Bros as well, with Ike being added to the third game, Super Smash Bros Brawl.

But while the series retained some popularity, it wasn’t nearly as successful as the likes of Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon. In fact, sales were poor enough that Fire Emblem as a whole was on the verge of being permanently retired at one point. The future was very uncertain for the franchise.

But then Fire Emblem Awakening happened.

Awakening was massively successful, and what was once meant to potentially be the final game in the series ended up reviving it. It’s the only Fire Emblem game to have more the one character representing it in Smash: echo fighters Lucina and Chrom hail from Awakening, as does the master tactician Robin.

Add in Fire Emblem Fates protagonist Corrin, and the series went from having a measly two characters representing it to SEVEN by Smash Ultimate. To put that into perspective, Nintendo giants Mario and Pokemon have nine and ten representatives respectively. And with the Zelda series only having six playable characters, Fire Emblem takes third place in number of characters on the Ultimate roster. Talk about a massive popularity boost!

It’s to the point that some Smash fans are getting sick of the number of Fire Emblem characters being included in Smash. And it’s understandable, to some degree: all of them are sword wielding fighters, a majority of them have a counter attack Down-B Special, and four of the seven share a base play style. They could be seen as unoriginal, throw-away character choices, with Robin and Corrin being the most unique out of the bunch.

So I wanted to think of a character that could be a another unique addition: a fighter with a lot of variety, that could make both Fire Emblem fans and Smash Bros fans happy. And honestly, it wasn’t easy. I only have three finished Fire Emblem games under my belt, so my experience with the series is slim. But I think I’ve come up with a good one!

It’s the Fire Emblem series’ one true recurring character, ANNA!

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Most Fire Emblem games have a unique cast of characters, with the exception of direct sequels and remakes. There really isn’t a consistent line up of heroes and villains like with Mario or Metroid. But Anna is a special case: she’s appeared in nearly every Fire Emblem title. Or at least, one of them has. Because as it turns out, there’s more than one! A whole crew of nearly identical sisters all with the same name. Having so many version of her to choose from makes a great opportunity for multiple costume choices!

While she was a non-playable character for a very long time, starting with Fire Emblem Awakening she became a recruitable unit for battle. She’s even since become one of the main characters in the story of Fire Emblem Heroes, commanding the Order of Heroes. Needless to say, she’s an important character in modern Fire Emblem, and also significant to the history of the series. She would make a perfect addition to the Smash Roster, and would no doubt please Fire Emblem fans with her inclusion.

But what would make her a good fighter? What would set her apart from the other Fire Emblem characters in Smash? For me, it all comes down to her weapons. Sure Anna has fought with a sword like so many other Fire Emblem representatives. But having multiple incarnations of the character means she’s used a multitude of tools as well. Anna has been shown to use a staves, bows, and an axes too. If you were to combine all of these weapons together, it would give you a jack-of-all-trades sort of fighter that would be completely unique to every other Fire Emblem character in Smash.

I imagine she would end up being an energetic fighter of many different talents, and I would love to see what the Smash team could come up with for that style of combat. And the best part would be her Final Smash: summoning in all her sisters from across the Fire Emblem series to deliver a massive beat down! That would be awesome to see.

So what do you think of my suggestion? Would Anna make a good addition to Smash, or would you rather see someone else take to the battlefield? Or maybe you would like Fire Emblem to make some room for other franchises? Let me know in a comment!

Till next time, Sparky is signing off! Here’s looking forward to finally playing Smash Ultimate soon!

Smash Bros Character Checklist: The F-Zero Series

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Unfortunately, we must once again talk about what could have been, rather than what could be. Because much like my Star Fox character pick, my F-Zero pick was de-confirmed almost immediately upon Smash Ultimate’s official reveal at E3. It’s almost appropriate, considering the poor unfortunate soul that is the F-Zero series.

While I’m not the hugest fan of the high-speed futuristic racing titles, I would be crazy not to admit how much fun F-Zero is. My favorite is F-Zero X, and it’s one of the most impressive racing games of its era. The amount of speed and action that they made the Nintendo 64 produce from that little game cartridge is an amazing feat. But regardless of how impressive its games might be, it hasn’t prevented the series from falling on very hard times.

The most recent full release in the series is F-Zero Climax, and Japan-only title for the Game Boy Advance. The game was released in 2004, and the series has been on a fourteen year hiatus since then. Fans are always eager to hear from Nintendo about a new F-Zero game, but aside from appearances in Nintendo Land and Mario Kart 8, there is only silence coming from the Big N on the status of the series.

As if to reflect this, to this day Captain Falcon remains the only representative of his home series in Smash Bros, despite being one of the original twelve characters in the first Smash game. And its odd too, considering the absolutely HUGE cast of characters F-Zero has to pick from. F-Zero X alone had a roster of 30 racers and vehicles, and the number only grew from there.

But this leads to the question of who to pick for Smash Bros. Much like the Captain himself, there’s very little reference material to go off of when it would come to building a Smash moveset for an F-Zero racer. After all, most of the action they experience takes place behind the wheel of a vehicle. They would more or less have to be an original character to Smash, and it would take a lot of work to build a play style for them. But honestly, I thought of the perfect one!

One of the original F-Zero pilots from the SNES, it’s the one and only Samurai Goroh!

CharacterChecklistGoroh

But like I said, this is a discussion of what could have been. Goroh has been an Assist Trophy in every Smash game since the concept was introduced. And unfortunately, Smash Ultimate is no different. It’s really a shame too, because I think he could make for a unique character.

Of course, sword-wielding fighters are no strangers to the Smash series. Some even argue that there are too many of them, and adding Goroh to the mix would only make people angry. But you could easily add a twist to the character that would make him vastly different from every other sword user.

When summoned as an Assist in Smash, Samurai Goroh will run and jump around, haphazardly swinging his sword at anyone and anything. And THAT is what would make him a great playable fighter. While most sword users in Smash sport elements of skill, technique, and grace with their movesets, making Goroh completely wild and angry, or even a little silly and clumsy, would be a perfect way to make him his own character.

Just imagine something like King Dedede, a character that sports both brute strength and several goofy elements to his play style and animations. Now take away his hammer and give him a katana, and you’re all set! You’ve got a fantastic concept for a sword-wielding fighter that doesn’t blend into a cast filled with Links and Fire Emblem characters with Down-B Counters.

Sadly though, the day that we might see Goroh get promoted from an Assist Trophy to a playable character will have to be some other time in the future, continuing the trend of abusing F-Zero. And you know what the worst part of all this? I meant to post this BEFORE I posted the Earthbound Character Checklist, and I forgot. Even I’M being mean to F-Zero! It was completely unintentional, I swear!

Well, before any die-hard F-Zero lovers come at with torches and pitchforks, I’m gonna skedaddle. Be sure to let me know what you think of my idea! Sparky is signing off for now!

Smash Bros Character Checklist: The Earthbound Series

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Like most fans of the series, I’m always eagerly hopeful to hear more about the Earthbound series, also known as the Mother series, from Nintendo. Earthbound on the Super Nintendo is a fantastic, quirky, strange, and even emotional game. Some may call it overrated, but it’s by far one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played.

While the series only has three games under its belt and fans outside of Japan had been left wanting for more Earthbound content for a long time, the past few years have been good to the series. Earthbound finally got a digital re-release on the Wii U and New 3DS, as well as a spot in the SNES Classic Edition’s lineup of titles. And for the first time ever, the original Mother game, going under the new name Earthbound Beginnings, was given a official release overseas. It was 25 years late in its arrival, but a game series that great is worth waiting for!

And speaking of waiting, fans are STILL waiting for an official translation of Mother 3 to be given to us. Nintendo knows we want it, and they’ve known it for years. But we wait, and wait, and wait, and no official announcement seems to be coming. But I for one am willing to wait patiently, as I can get my Earthbound fix with the other two games, as well as regular content from the series in the Super Smash Bros titles.

Of course, Earthbound hero Ness was one of those characters in the original Smash Bros where I had no clue who he was at first. It wasn’t until many years later that I gained a true appreciation for the series. Once Lucas joined the Smash line up in Brawl, my knowledge of the series had grown, and it peaked my interest in playing as the Mother duo. Because of this, Lucas is now my secondary main fighter (right after Yoshi) in every Smash game he’s shown up in.

But then comes the subject of adding more Earthbound characters to the Smash Roster. The most obvious choice would be the Earthbound Beginnings protagonist Ninten. But making him an individual fighter from Ness and Lucas would be an issue, considering Lucas IS already a partial clone of Ness. Creating a third character that has the same kind of play style would be almost redundant, but making Ninten an Echo fighter of either of the existing Earthbound reps is always an option.

But what about picking a DIFFERENT character from Earthbound Beginnings? The game does have several other protagonists. There’s Lloyd, Ana, Teddy, and even Pippi. And while I’m sure any of them could make for an interesting inclusion in the Smash roster, I feel like none of them really have enough support and popularity behind them to include them as playable fighters. So if not any of the heroes, then who could be brought in to represent the first Mother game? Well… how about the main villain?

Coming from beyond the stars to take over the planet, its the cosmic destroyer Giygas!

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Okay, I’ll be completely honest. I have no idea how Giygas would play in Smash. I really have no conceivable idea of what his moveset could be. I don’t even really know what you would make him LOOK like. The guy doesn’t even have any official art of any kind, the sprite above being the only existing visual reference I know of. All I know is that I want this to happen so very badly.

Including Giygas in Smash would be a case of essentially having to build a character from the ground up, seeing that there’s very little to work off of from his source games. Much like Captain Falcon, the Ice Climbers, or the Duck Hunt Duo, what Giygas could end up doing in Smash would be almost completely original to the character.

Of course, you could pull some reference from the different PSI powers used in Earthbound, since Giygas is known to use them as well. But there is one other point of  interest for a moveset that could be drawn from: the Legendary Pokemon Mewtwo. It’s thought that Mewtwo was inspired by Giygas, specifically his form from Earthbound Beginnings. They do share some physical similarities, and they both have psychic powers of course. While I wouldn’t want Giygas to be an Echo Fighter of Mewtwo, it could be possible to draw some inspiration from how Mewtwo operates in Smash in order to create a playable Giygas.

But even if deciding a moveset for the character would prove to be difficult, there is one part of it that I absolutely know how it should work: his Final Smash.

Picture this: Giygas traps you with his PSI, and the screen starts to warp, morphing into the familiar black and red nightmare from the end of Earthbound. Then, a text box pops up on screen saying “You Cannot Grasp the True Form of Giygas’ Attack!”, and your fighter is then promptly erased from existence (or at least they would be at high damage).

That idea for a Final Smash is almost the sole reason that made me think of Giygas being a playable fighter. And it’s just so perfect, that I DESPERATELY want it to be a reality.

What do you think? Do you like my idea? Do you think I’ll get my wish? Or do you think my idea is about as likely as Mario being cut from Smash Bros all together? Let me know! But for now, Sparky is signing off. See you next time!

Smash Bros Character Checklist: The Pokemon Series

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If there is any one thing that you know is going to happen in a Smash Bros, it’s that we’re going to see at least one new character from the Pokemon franchise. With a game series that can add literally hundreds of new potential Smash combatants with every installment, it would be a huge shock if we DIDN’T see a brand new Pokemon on the roster.

After all, each installment of the Smash series has added at least one Pokemon to the fighting lineup. The original Smash Bros on Nintendo 64 gave us Pikachu and Jigglypuff. Melee brought Pichu and Mewtwo to the fray. Brawl introduced the Pokemon Trainer trio and Lucario. And Finally, the Smash 4 series had Greninja join in. So naturally, since a new generation of Pokemon was given to the world between the release of Smash 4 and the announcement of Smash Bros Ultimate, it only makes sense that a Pokemon from those games will drop in on the Smash Bros scene.

But with the release of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, there are 85 Pokemon from the Alola region to choose from. Picking just one to go into Smash Bros is no easy task! But there are two important factors that go into choosing a Pokemon character: how popular they are, and how unique they are compared to other Pokemon.

Charizard was always an immensely popular in the Pokemon fandom, so it felt natural that eventually he became playable alongside his fellow Generation 1 starters. Likewise, Lucario was also a really popular Pokemon, and was a head-lining mascot of sorts for Generation 4, with his own title movie and the unique attribute of using Aura. And while Greninja was actually brought to Smash while Generation 6 was being developed, he also turned out to be a popular pick with a cool gimmick of combining ninja abilities with water that was built on for his Smash Bros appearance.

So what would be the Generation 7 equivalent to those three? A popular Pokemon with a unique gimmick that could be expanded on for a Smash Bros moveset? Well, look further then the Grass and Ghost Type archer owl, Decidueye!

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Remember how I said in my Zelda Character Checklist that I had my reasons for not picking Revali as the Zelda Champion to be in Smash? Well, this is why. There’s only room for one arrow slinging archer avian in Smash Bros, and if I had to choose between the two, I would pick Decidueye in a heartbeat.

With it’s signature move Spirit Shackle (a perfect candidate for a Neutral-B Special), Decidueye uses its own wing and feathers as a bow and arrow, a technique that makes it an individual among all 807 Pokemon. Using its feathers as weapons opens up a ton of potential for an awesome Smash Bros moveset, and I would absolutely love to see what kind of insanity could be brought to the battlefield alongside Decidueye.

And of course, since he’s a Pokemon, Decidueye has a good number of special moves that can be brought to Smash as well. The move Leaf Blade could make for an excellent addition to any part of Decideye’s set of attacks, perhaps turning its feathers into grassy swords for Smash Attacks. His Up-B could be Brave Bird, letting him take to the air with astonishing speed. His Side-B could be Leaf Storm, tossing a flurry of leaves into the air that then become rapid-fire projectiles. And his Down-B could be Feather Dance, causing feathers to swirl around him, dealing minor damage and providing a temporary attack boost.

And his Final Smash would be his Z-Move, Sinister Arrow Raid. Unleashing a volley of  super powered feather-arrows across the battlefield would be the most fitting choice, after all.

Of course, this is only one potential set up for the character. Given how many different moves there are in Pokemon, Decidueye could theoretically have any number of different moveset combinations. These are just the moves I think would suit the character best in Smash.

Of all the characters I’ve suggested for a Smash spotlight so far, I’m most confident in Decidueye’s inclusion. He’s the perfect candidate: a current, well liked Pokemon with a specialized fighting style suitable for Smash Bros. And I know I’m not the only one who wants him to be included. Plus, his inclusion would complete the trio of fully-evolved starter Pokemon on the Smash roster: Charizard for Fire, Greninja for Water, and Decidueye for Grass.

Honestly, this one is too good of a choice for it NOT to happen. I’ll be buying Smash Ultimate regardless of his inclusion, but this is one character I know I’d be pretty disappointed without.

But what do you think of my pick? Is there a different Generation 7 Pokemon you would want to see included in Smash Bros Ultimate? Drop a comment somewhere and let me know! I do know that another suggestion I’ve seen floating around in Lycanroc in one of his various forms, and I do admit that would be a pretty awesome choice as well.

For right now though, that’s all from me. This is Sparky, signing off!

Smash Bros Character Checklist: The Star Fox Series

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So the Smash Bros Switch announcements at E3 2018 have come and gone, and the new game has a title: Super Smash Bros Ultimate! And the game looks absolutely fantastic! With every character from past Smash Bros games making a comeback, and a few new faces introduced as well (Ridley Confirmed! Called it!), this is going to be the best Smash game ever.

But after everything was said and done, I was left with a problem: My Star Fox character pick was de-confirmed during the presentation!

Granted, the return of Wolf is something to be celebrated. But how to proceed when the character you wanted to show up in Smash is definitely not gonna be in Smash? Well… let’s talk a little about what could have been! There’s no harm in that!

(Plus, I already made the little image to go with the blog post. Might as well use it, right?)

What character was I going to pick? None other than the galactic menace himself, Andross!

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For the past few Smash Bros games, Andross has appeared as an Assist Trophy, taking the form of the giant head seen in the original Star Fox on SNES. And from a brief look in the newest Smash Bros footage, this looks to be the case again. Now imagine a world where he ISN’T a giant floating head, and instead a monkey-man on the battlefield himself..

Andross is of course a man of science, commanding an army from the shadows while preparing the most devious of weapons to destroy his foes. So using all sorts of gadgets to fight would be his forte, of course. I can imagine him summoning an orbital laser or two to attack the ground, and doing things like calling in flying drones and robots to do his fighting. Having a character that indirectly commands OTHER characters would be impressive. Sort of like the Rosalina and Luma team, only much more devious!

And his Final Smash of course would be… well, turning into a giant monkey head! But More like the one from Star Fox 64, rather than the original version seen in Smash now.

And well, that’s really all I have to say on the subject. It feels a bit silly to go into a ton of detail with a character that’s not going to happen. But my picks for the Character Checklist can still hold true for the future: whatever other Smash games may happen way down the line, maybe Andross can show up there instead!

I suppose I could have SOME hope of his inclusion, still. The big Andross head in smash right now is pretty different from the more modern incarnations of the character. If there can be three whole Links playable on the Smash Roster, why not have giant head Andross AND ape Andross in the game together as well?

But as it stands, It’s most likely not going to happen. Oh well, maybe next time! I still have a ton of fun speculating and suggesting what might happen in my favorite game series. So even if a character I pick gets de-confirmed or not (poor, poor Waluigi…), the Character Checklist will continue onward!

For right now though, that’s all from me. Sparky is signing off!