Sunday, January 13, 2013
Mewth24's Smash Bros. 4 wishlist - part one
With the next entry into the Super Smash Bros. series currently in development, I decided it was time to make my own wishlist regarding what changes I would like to see in the fourth game. The game is being developed by Namco, with Nintendo still being heavily involved in the process. At this time, Namco has said that they are hesitant to include characters from any of their own games (Tekken, Pac-Man, etc.). This likely stems from the fact that the Tekken games are much different fighting games that the Smash Bros. titles, and there is no doubt a challenge in trying to sell new, non-Nintendo characters in a game that is all about the Nintendo brand. However, Smash Bros. Brawl opened the door to newcomers Sonic and Snake, characters owned by SEGA and Konami, respectively, and I think it is certainly possible that other non-Nintendo combatants could enter the ring in Smash Bros. 4.
One thing that was made clear by Namco shortly after they announced their involvement with Smash Bros. 4 was that the roster size would likely not be changing from Smash Bros. Brawl's thirty-five playable characters. So we can assume is that there will be at least a few characters that will not be returning for the next game, in order to make room for new fighters. I think the first fighters to be cut would be the clone characters, which have been a point of contest among fans since the release of Smash Bros. Melee. Clone characters are defined as characters whose move set is strikingly similar to another fighter, though their weight, speed, and offensive/defensive capabilities may differ. For example, Falco is a lighter and faster clone character of Fox, while Ganondorf is a slower and heavier clone character of Captain Falcon. Frankly, I was rather surprised that Falco made the cut for Smash Bros. Brawl - despite how much I enjoy playing as him, he didn't seem all that different in the third game, and the inclusion of Wolf made me question just how necessary it was to keep Falco around. I don't know that I am convinced that Falco will be cut from Smash Bros. 4, due to his popularity in the fanbase, but I can't imagine that Wolf will return. If Falco does make a comeback, I think his moveset will likely be reworked to some degree, and hopefully (assuming Namco chooses to keep the Final Smash moves in the fourth game) his Final Smash will be different from Fox's (I'll get into my thoughts on Final Smash moves in greater detail later on).
Though Falco's return is a matter I am still on the fence about, there are a few characters I highly doubt will return: Wolf, Ganondorf, Toon Link, Lucas, Wario, and Diddy Kong. The first four characters are clone characters. Wolf, Toon Link, and Lucas are easily the least necessary fighters in Smash Bros. Brawl, and perhaps even in all of Smash Bros. history. Their movesets are too similar to the characters they are cloned from - even Young Link from Melee had fire arrows to set him apart from Adult Link. Meanwhile, Toon Link is simply there to cater to fans of the Wind Waker aesthetic. Lucas' moves are almost identical to Ness', with one or two slight discrepancies. The same could be said for Luigi in relation to Mario. However, I can't imagine Nintendo approving the removal of such an iconic mascot of their flagship series. While Wario and Diddy Kong both presented something new and unorthodox to the experience, they seem like characters who would be difficult to build upon in future releases, and I feel they will be one-hit wonders in the same fashion as Dr. Mario was in Melee. With Pikmin 3 just around the corner and Kid Icarus: Uprising still fresh in people's memories, it's only smart for Nintendo to keep Olimar and Pit in the mix. That said, I think Pit is easily the most unbalanced character in Smash Bros. history, due to his insane knack for recovering from falls and ridiculously overpowered Final Smash, and needs to be reworked significantly before the fourth game releases.
The Zelda characters tend to represent whichever Zelda game is most recent. With any Zelda WiiU news currently far off, it seems likely that the next Smash Bros. would include a Skyward Sword Link, as the original Smash Bros. and Melee both featured Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask Link(s), and Brawl featured Twilight Princess Link. Zelda's presentation would be drastically different if she were to adopt a Skyward Sword look, so it may also be possible that the Skyward Sword, Ocarina of Time, and Twilight Princess looks may simply come in the form of alternate colors/costumes, while the movesets remain largely unchanged. However, Ganondorf is not in Skyward Sword - instead, the role of primary villain falls on the shoulders of Ghirahim, who would make for a very different and interesting fighter, due to his reliance on projectiles, his sword, and his highly durable arms.
Two characters that I think have a slim chance of returning are Lucario and R.O.B. Lucario will probably be swapped in the same manner that Mewtwo was (though I don't understand why Mewtwo was dropped in the first place; I thought he was a great Pokémon to add to the roster). The question is, with the Pokémon Trainer being introduced in Brawl, will Lucario be replaced by another Pokémon or someone entirely different? I feel that R.O.B. will likely follow the same path as Wario and Diddy Kong, but I never expected Mr. Game & Watch to return after Melee, so I can't be too sure on this one. Meanwhile, I expect only one of the newcomers from Dreamland to return, not both. Dedede is more or less a heavy-hitter version of Kirby, while Meta Knight is a light defensive close-quarters variant. Meta Knight's unusual flight patterns and style of attack make him a more likely candidate for dismissal, but Dedede is a more direct clone of Kirby.
In the next part of this series, I will present my own personal wishlist of characters. I doubt that all of these characters will match up with those most-requested by fans, but I have arguments prepared as to why each character would make a solid entry among long-lasting fighters like Mario and Pikachu.