Sunday, January 27, 2013
Mewth24's Smash Bros. 4 wishlist - part two
Let's assume that all of the characters I mentioned in the last post end up getting removed: Wolf, Ganondorf, Toon Link, Lucas, Wario, Diddy Kong, Lucario, R.O.B., and one of the Kirby characters. This would open nine spots on the roster. Mind you, what follows here is my own personal wishlist, and is not necessarily a representation of what the greater Smash Bros. fanbase might want. However, I do have reasons as to why each of these characters would make for a good fit on a Smash Bros. roster.
As I mentioned last time, there seems to be a trend with the Smash Bros. games altering their presentations of certain characters with their most recent releases - more specifically, I made mention of the Legend of Zelda games, and how Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf's appearances have changed from one game to the next. If the next Smash Bros. game were to adopt a Skyward Sword aesthetic, there's a good possibility that Ghirahim would make an appearance in place of Ganondorf. In Skyward Sword, Ghirahim's tactics relied heavily on swordplay and firing small projectiles. In one of the game's most important cutscenes, he was shown to be capable of erecting a barrier for a brief period of time, and he is also capable of teleporting short distances (which could be integrated as either a jump move or an over+B move). Finally, Ghirahim alters his physical form over the course of the game, making his arms more durable, which could be included as a time-limited move to grant him greater defensive and offensive prowess. Assuming Nintendo wants to keep Final Smash moves in Smash Bros. 4, Ghirahim could either be granted temporary invincibility via his final form seen at the end of Skyward Sword, or (going the more overpowered route) be able to summon the imprisoned for a brief period, allowing the beast to stomp about the stage.
Though Earthbound is probably the game most fans of Smash Bros. are least intimately familiar with due to how difficult it is to come by nowadays, I applaud Nintendo for attempting to better represent the Earthbound/Mother series in Brawl. As I mentioned in the previous part, I felt Lucas' inclusion was entirely unnecessary, but I would love to see another character worked into Smash Bros. 4 - preferably one who has a strikingly different moveset from Ness. Jeff appeared in Brawl as an assist trophy and shot off fireworks, and I think his reliance on weapons could make for a very interesting contrast to Ness' PSI abilities. Admittedly, I'm not nearly as familiar with Earthbound as I am with most other Nintendo franchises, but I think including at least one other character from the game that offers something different from what Ness is capable of would make for a more interesting and diverse roster.
Though I think the Pokémon series is well represented through the presence of Pikachu, Jigglypuff, and the Pokémon Trainer, I would not be surprised if Lucario's spot on the roster is opened up in order to make room for yet another Pokémon. Though Mewtwo and Lucario represent psychic and fighting types respectively, their body types and size are similar, and they even share a few similar moves. A Generation V Pokémon who would fit well with this trend is Zoroark, a dark type famous for his ability to create illusions and mask himself as other Pokémon (and even people, as seen in Pokémon Black 2/White 2). N's Zorua/Zoroark was relatively important to the plot of Black 2/White 2, and he was the first Generation V Pokémon to be officially revealed. Granting him the ability to temporarily disguise himself as opponents (which would either wear off after a short period of time or after he were to take enough damage) as well as a few dark type attacks would allow him to follow the trend established by Mewtwo and Lucario as a mostly close-quarters fighter with a few ranged attacks. At the same time, the sixth generation of Pokémon games will be released by October of this year, so it is entirely possible (perhaps even more likely) that this spot would be filled by a Pokémon representing the new games.
Nintendo has a history of including one or two characters per Smash Bros. game that have not been in any major retail release in quite a few years. In the original Smash Bros., this was Samus Aran, whose only appearance on the N64 was in said beat-'em-up game. Melee saw the return of Mr. Game & Watch and the Ice Climbers, while Brawl revamped Pit. Keeping with the trend of incorporating NES-era characters into Smash Bros. (whether as a teaser for upcoming revival projects or simply for nostalgic purposes) Balloon Fighter trophies, stickers, and music have all previously appeared in Smash Bros. titles, and the incorporating of the game's main character would prove interesting, to say the least. Some of these NES classic characters have a tendency to control unusually, like the Ice Climbers operating as two characters under the control of a single player, and designing the Balloon Fighter as a highly agile fighter with little in the way of defense would add an extra degree of challenge for those seeking it. Sometimes the strategies used by more competitive Smash Bros. players are largely dependent on the unorthodox characters in the roster.
While I did say that I do not expect Wario to make a return, I do feel that the WarioWare games are sort of unsung heroes among Nintendo franchises and ought to be represented in Smash Bros. 4. Kat and Ana are two ninjas who could effectively operate in a similar fashion as the Ice Climbers, with one player controlling two characters, though they would be angled toward quick strikes and offense more than defense. On the other hand, 9-Volt would fit in better with the standard weight class and could dish out a variety of moves inspired by retro Nintendo games, as is his calling card in the WarioWare titles.
Capcom is well-known for making tons of crossover fighting games, as well as notorious in the video game community for their habit of making a buck off of everything possible, earning them the moniker "Cashcom". Regardless, Megaman is a hero familiar to many an owner of Nintendo consoles, and carries a similar aesthetic appeal as many of the fun and colorful Nintendo mascots. He's already seen plenty of skirmishes across other fighting games, so adding him to a Smash Bros. roster would not require much work. Throw in one of his more powerful abilities gained from a Robot Master as his Final Smash and the blue bomber would fit right in.
Travis Touchdown, on the other hand, would be a bit more bold an inclusion. His crude nature and explicit language would have to be toned down for any appearance in Smash Bros., which is just as well since few of the characters spend much time speaking anyways. However, there are still plenty of clever ways his comedic nature could be retained for a story-driven mode like Subspace Emissary: his habit of picking his nose, his sometimes cynical nature, and his general goofy behavior as an outwardly awkward otaku. His collection of beam katanas would provide him with a variety of attacks - Blood Berry providing decent range and acting as his standard means of attack, the Rose Nasty slicing up, down, and all around in a series of consecutive swings, and the Tsubaki Mk-II carrying out a slow but powerful up+B/down+B smash move as Travis leaps up and forward to slam its multiple beam blades into a foe below him. His grabbing a foe could be followed up with one of his many wrestling moves to inflict further damage, though at the cost of leaving him open to attack from others for a few seconds. As for his Final Smash, the most logical answer would be to allow him temporary transformation into Tiger form to inflict significant damage on the other fighters. Though the No More Heroes games do not have as strong a following as many of the other series currently incorporated into the Smash Bros. series, it does have a highly devoted fanbase, and there are plenty of people who would love to see Travis Touchdown make an appearance, even if only for one game.
In order to present a rounded experience, the characters I have presented thus far would have to be offset with the inclusion of a couple of slower characters. In the past, the tradition has been to couple heavy characters with slower motions, but I think having at least one character break from that play style would not be a bad thing. I know some other Smash Bros. fans would like to see Bowser Jr. included, and while I can honestly say that I'm not opposed to the idea of having a small and slow-moving character, I feel that the Mario series is well-represented as is, and I think Namco and Nintendo could do even better by including a strange combination: a standard weight character who moves around the stage at a rather slow jog/run, has an even balance of ranged and close-quarters moves, and whose jump moves are quite limited. Specifically, I am talking about Saki and Airan from Sin and Punishment, a title that was, until its Virtual Console release, a Japanese-exclusive. I suggest the developers include either Saki or Airan, but not both (again, for the sake of avoiding clone characters). It would not be the first time the Smash Bros. series has catered to fans of a series that has seen limited release in the U.S. - Melee included Marth and Roy before the Fire Emblem games really caught on stateside, while Lucas is from Mother 3, which never saw a U.S. release.
There would also need to be at least one more slow and heavy character to balance the experience. I don't have one specific character in mind, but I do feel there are certain franchises that are underrepresented. For Donkey Kong, this character could be K. Rool, a character that many other fans have asked for in the past. His variety of combat methods across the Donkey Kong games would open up plenty of options with regards to his moveset. Samurai Goroh of F-Zero has had cameos in both Melee and Brawl via trophies, stickers, and even an assist trophy. Meanwhile, Fire Emblem's Hector could focus almost entirely on heavy close-range swings of his axe, while the weight of both this weapon and his armor would limit his jumping and speed.
The third installment of this series will focus on the gameplay at large. There are a few alterations I would like to see with regards to how the different game modes are handled and the difficulty factor that accompanies them. I also have a few ideas on how to handle stages in the future - no drastic changes, but a few complaints that I have about a handful of stage designs. And of course, I couldn't properly cover Smash Bros. without giving my own input on the topic of the Final Smash moves.