Smash Bros Character Checklist: The Fire Emblem Series

Standard

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!

CharacterChecklistAnna.png

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!

Advertisements

Smash Bros Character Checklist: The Earthbound Series

Standard

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!

CharacterChecklistGiygas.png

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

Standard

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!

CharacterChecklistDecidueye.png

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 Wario Series

Standard

Wario is quite the character, isn’t he? He has a surprisingly large amount of personality and character development. He’s greedy, he’s gross, he’s nasty, he’s bizarre, he’s a hero, he’s a villain…  I can’t think of a Mario series character that has as much put into them as Wario!

Wario just seems like a character that Nintendo developers can have fun with, and do whatever they want with him. And that goes for his games too: the Wario Land and Warioware series’ are filled with strangely fantastic scenarios and characters. And since there are so many characters, that makes it the perfect game franchise to pick from for a Super Smash Bros roster!

Personally, I was always more of a fan of Wario Land than of Warioware. Wario Land 4 was one of the first Game Boy Advanced games I ever owned, and it still makes me a bit sad that the series has gone quiet since the release of Wario Land: Shake It in 2008. I’d love for the game series to return, and I think including a character from the games in Smash Bros would be the perfect opportunity to renew interest in the Wario Land series.

But what character would I pick? Well, the best choice would be the recurring villain Captain Syrup!

CharacterChecklistCaptainSyrup

Coming up with a moveset for Captain Syrup may seem tricky. She doesn’t do a lot of fighting herself in the Wario Land games, after all. But what if that could tie into her gimmick as a character? She could summon in members of her pirate crew, the Black Sugar Gang, or even just use their tools and weapons for her own.

She could use the spears of a Pirate Goom, the mace of Guragura, the knives of Gaugau,  the harpoons of Goboten, and the boomerangs of DANGEROUS DUCK! Her Up-B special could summon in Bobo to help her fly and recover. And of course she could also use standard pirate gimmicks, like a cutlass and explosives, to fight as well. Having a large amount of tricks and tools at her disposal would be more than fitting for a pirate captain!

Her Final Smash is her most obvious moveset choice: summoning in the Genie from the final boss fight of the first Wario Land. It would be the perfect throwback for fans of the classic Wario games, myself included.

Now, to be fair, I realize including Captain Syrup as a playable character is a long shot. She isn’t exactly one of the classic Nintendo villains, and her relevance to the Wario series is pretty slim now-a-days. Like I said, there hasn’t been a Wario Land game since 2008. So I feel like Captain Syrup’s inclusion will have to remain a dream of mine for now… though it would be awesome to have a playable pirate character in Smash!

A character from the Warioware series is a much more likely inclusion. But what character to choose? Mona and Ashley are really popular choices, and Kat and Ana would make an awesome duo-character. But I don’t think I would go for any of them as my personal pick.

My choice for a Warioware character is the disco-dancing dude, Jimmy T.!

CharacterChecklistJimmyt

Just think about it: a Smash Bros character whose entire moveset is based around dancing! How cool would that be?! It may seem like a stretch to some, I know. But to me, the best part of any Smash Bros game is taking a character you wouldn’t expect to be in a fighting game, and then putting them in a fighting game! Captain Falcon, Mr. Game & Watch, R.O.B., Wii Fit Trainer… the list of unexpected entrants has only grown over the years. And Jimmy T. would fit right in with them!

A character who dances to fight would open up a lot of creative freedom when building a moveset for them. Not to mention Jimmy has shown off a fondness for aerobics and skiing. He’s clearly  fit enough to take place in a physical fight, but admittedly, giving the character some projectile options might be a bit tricky.

His Final Smash would be the best part, though: trapping the competition with the power of music, and forcing them all to dance with him! It could end up working similarly to Peach’s Final Smash, forcing a stage-wide dance off to break out. Or it could trigger a rhythm mini game (or should I say Micro Game?) similar to Donkey Kong’s bongos. Either way, it would be both awesome and hilarious to see, and a perfect fit for the goofyness the Wario series is known for.

And one last note for Jimmy T. is that he should definitely have a costume referencing Jimmy P.! I mean, it’s obvious, isn’t it?

Now, that should wrap up the Wario series… but we’re forgetting about someone, aren’t we? One character that absolutely needs to be in Smash, and has to be discussed. Maybe it’s Dr. Crygor? Or are you expecting me to mention Orbulon? Perhaps 9-Volt or 18-Volt? WELL

CharacterChecklistWaluigi

As I mention at the end of my first entry of the Smash Bros Character Checklist, Waluigi could count as a Smash participant for the Wario franchise. But at the same time, he would be a good fit for the main Mario series as well. The character falls into a strange gray-area of who he could represent in the Smash series. Because even though he’s always paired with Wario in the Mario series, Waluigi has NEVER actually appeared in a Wario game.

But I feel like having him partnered with Wario as usual would be the best course of action. Either way though, Waluigi NEEDS to be in Smash! And I know I’m not the only one who feels the same way. The character has been on my wishlist for years now, and I think it’s finally time Walugi gets his chance to fight, and be promoted from Assist Trophy status.

Waluigi’s lanky build wouldn’t give him a ton of power, but I imagine his long limbs would give him wildly superior melee range, speedy running, and fantastic jumping abilities. Not to mention the character has just as much athletic prowess as any other Mario series character, sporting talents in Tennis, Golf, Baseball, and Soccer, just to name a few examples. In fact, could an arsenal of tools and sports equipment fit Waluigi’s playstyle?

Waluigi comes across as a man who isn’t afraid of pulling off a dirty trick or two. He already runs around with his Tennis racket when he’s summoned in as an Assist Trophy, so having an arsenal of bats, golf clubs, and soccer balls to get some surprise hits in wouldn’t be too unusual. Waluigi also has a fondness for plants, being paired with Piranha Plants and able to use thorny vines to protect himself. And did I mention he throws eggplants at people?

Plus, he can toss bombs, form mini tornadoes around himself, swim through the air, and he’s the main antagonist of Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix! Waluigi is a character of so many bizarre talents that not having him as an equally bizarre Smash Bros fighter should be considered a crime. They could even take the opportunity to give Waluigi a unique Biker outfit in Smash so he matches Wario. WE NEED WALUIGI!

Anyway, I think that wraps things up for now. I didn’t expect to have much to say about the Wario series characters when I started this series, but I ended up picking three characters for it! It goes to show that you can find the most interesting Smash character picks in unexpected places.

But I’ve rambled on a bit long, I think. Thank you for reading! Be sure to let me know what you think of my character picks. Until next time, Sparky is signing off for now!

Smash Bros Character Checklist: The Mario Series

Standard

I. Freaking. Love. Super Smash Bros. Ever since I first saw that glorious commercial for the original game on Nintendo 64, I knew I was in for something amazing. To this day, Super Smash Bros remains my favorite video game series, and each game just keeps getting better.

To many gamer’s surprise, Nintendo announced the return of the series on the Nintendo Switch almost out of nowhere the other day. Everyone knew it was going to happen at some point, but I don’t think anyone expected an announcement for a Smash Bros game to happen before E3. The trailer was just a small teaser, and didn’t tell us much, aside from the addition of the Splatoon Inklings to the character roster. But regardless, it was enough to get the hype train rolling once more, and get everyone speculating about who’s going to make the cut in Nintendo’s next huge crossover fighting game.

Topping the character roster from Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Super Smash Bros for Wii U will be no easy task. The duo of games, collectively known as Smash 4, had a huge 58 character roster, with 8 additional fighters being represented as alternate costumes for existing characters. Smash Bros for Switch promises to be gigantic, and everyone has their own thoughts on who’s going to be joining the fray. And of course, that includes me.

So I’m starting off what I’m calling the Smash Bros Character Checklist, where I talk about characters I would like to see join the battle! I’m going to be going through the existing represented Nintendo games, series by series, and discussing who I think from that series would make a good addition to the cast. These aren’t going to be detailed analyses of what the character’s complete move-sets would be or anything; just my general thoughts on what the characters would play like, and why I think they should be included in the game. And starting us off, of course, is the Mario series.

Now, the main series Mario titles already have plenty of representation in the Smash Bros titles. There’s Mario and his Doctor counterpart, his brother Luigi, the lovely Princess Peach, and Mario Galaxy’s Rosalina. We also can’t forget the big baddie Bowser and his son, Bowser Jr. If you count the fact that the seven Koopalings also serve as Bowser Jr’s alternate costumes, that brings the total Mario characters up to fourteen. I think most agree that the Mario series has plenty of representation at this point, so adding more characters almost seems a bit silly.

But… there’s someone missing, isn’t there? A main series Mario character, often playable in games, that isn’t among the other main characters? Why, it’s Toad of course! It seems strange to have every other Mario character under the sun, and not include one of the longest running characters in the series as a Smash fighter. Though there is the small problem that Toad serves as one of Princess Peach’s special moves. So why not make the playable Toad a different Toad? Make it… Captain Toad!

CharacterChecklistCaptainToad

Starting off as a minor supporting roll in Super Mario Galaxy, Captain Toad and the Toad Brigade grew into characters of their own. The sometimes cowardly treasure hunter is now a mainstay of the series, with his own title game that’s soon going to be re-released on the Nintendo Switch. He would be a perfect fit to represent his Toad brethren in a new Smash Bros!

Like other playable Toads before him, I envision Captain Toad as a quick character with a good deal of strength behind his attacks. Though he would most likely sport the poor jumping ability of other Toads as well. Considering he doesn’t have a jump button at all in his game, maybe he should invest in a smaller backpack for his Smash Bros debut?

He would be a lot like Little Mac in a way. But in order to differentiate him from the small-stature boxer, Captain Toad would sport an arsenal of tools from his treasure hunting expeditions. He would have his pickaxe handy for Smash Attacks, and he could even borrow Princess Peach’s vegetable-picking attack for his Down-B Special (perhaps he could occasionally unearth heavy treasures, instead of vegetables, in order to deal extra damage?). The Captain could even make use of his headlamp for a Neutral-B Special, charging the light up to temporarily blind his opponents.

His alternate costumes would be easy to come up with: give him colors representing the other members of the Toad Brigade! He could even have an alternate costume that turns him into Toadette, similar to the gender-swapped costumes of Robin, Corrin, and Wii Fit Trainer. That way you could have another character added to the game, without taking up a spot in the character roster. Plus it would add to the number of female characters in the game as a whole.

Overall, I think Captain Toad would be the perfect choice to fill in what feels like a large hole in the cast of Mario characters represented in Super Smash Bros. He can be a modern AND classic Nintendo character rolled into one! Here’s hoping the development team feels the same way as I do. I’d love to see him make it in!

So what does everyone else think of my choice? Would Captain Toad make a good Mario representative, or do you have another character in mind? I hear that Paper Mario is a popular choice, and there’s always characters like Princess Daisy and Waluigi (though would Waluigi count as a Wario series character? That’s something to think about…). Either way, tell me what you think! I’d love to hear fellow Smash-Fan’s thoughts on the matter!

I’m planning to continue the Smash Bros Character Checklist in the future, so be sure to look out for posts on other characters and franchises I think would be a perfect fit for Super Smash Bros!  Until then, keep on playing! Sparky is signing off for now.