The long-awaited final presentation for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U has come and gone, leaving many players with mixed feelings. While not entirely disappointed, I was personally left with what I’d best describe as a bittersweet taste in my mouth, especially considering the ultimate selection of downloadable characters with which we as fans have been left.
It’s no secret that the game’s final send-off had an unmistakable amount of hype surrounding it. Since the possibility of additional characters became real over a year ago with the announcement of Mewtwo, and with the introduction of the DLC character ballot, fans have been speculating and promoting their hopefuls for months on end.
The ballot gave players something they didn’t think possible: a means through which they could communicate who they’d like to see in the game. While no one was quite sure how exactly the ballot would function (was it to be a simple popularity contest, or merely a suggestion box?), it created the opportunity to tell Masahiro Sakurai and the rest of the Smash team who we wanted to play as.
Since Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64, I’ve viewed the franchise as a Nintendo all-star battle royale (not to be confused with Sony’s laughably unsuccessful take on the genre), pitting Nintendo’s most famous and historic characters against each other. Clearly, the focus of the series evolved, with Roy’s inclusion in Melee motivated solely by a desire to fuel sales of the then-forthcoming Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade. This expansion of focus continued with Brawl, in which third-party characters like Sonic and Snake were introduced — although their history with Nintendo managed to make their involvement appropriate enough. In the franchise’s fourth iteration, characters have truly been scraped from the absolute bottom of the barrel, with fighters like Palutena and Dark Pit joining the fray.
Downloadable content for Smash 4 has seen the idea of a Nintendo clash of titans muddied even further, with Cloud– who had never appeared on a Nintendo platform prior– and Corrin– another character from an unreleased Fire Emblem title– added to the mix.
Since my (arguably late) playthrough of Awakening, Fire Emblem has become one of my favorite Nintendo franchises. Consequently, this, coupled with my aforementioned philosophy, has left me
conflicted about Corrin’s existence: while he is certainly set to be one of the more unique characters in the game, he was only chosen due to his ability to market the upcoming Fire Emblem Fates.
Additionally, in the wake of Corrin’s release, we’ll have access to six different Fire Emblem representatives– one more than The Legend of Zelda, a series plainly more important to Nintendo’s history. Although I appreciate the effort that went into designing Corrin’s moveset, I’m still left with the feeling that not enough respect was given to series that have served the company better.
In my perfect world in which Super Smash Bros. is a true celebration of Nintendo’s past and present, we’d have franchises represented based on their importance to the company and its
history. For instance, Kid Icarus, which has had a mere three games in its almost-30-year history, wouldn’t have more playable characters than Donkey Kong, a series that has sold far more copies for far more games than the former.
Taken together, the final cast of DLC characters only includes one first-party Nintendo newcomer, which, of course, is Corrin. The DLC, to me, was the chance to remedy the horribly unbalanced series representation that was found in the base game. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen, and some of Smash’s most ignored universes will remain so for another generation.
Finally, the other fueler of my mild discontent: Bayonetta. I am by no means upset by her inclusion, as her moveset, like Corrin’s, looks both extremely fun and extremely different. However, I am a bit let down that only one “realizable” fighter was selected from the character ballot.
We as fans are not owed anything– Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U was a full and complete package all on its own, with downloadable content being the cherry on top of an already delicious sundae. That being said, I would, like many others, have liked to see more characters pulled from the DLC fighter ballot– and not just because my hopeful, King K. Rool, wasn’t picked. Several other seemingly popular choices– Inklings, Isaac, and the Brawl cuts– would have made fine additions to the game.
All things considered, I’m still very much excited for next year when the last batch of Smash DLC rolls out. While, yes, I would have liked to see more downloadable content announced, it’s hard to complain when we’ve received such great post-launch support.
I’ll see you all come February, desperately navigating what will undoubtedly be the smoldering remains of the Nintendo eShop. What better way for Smash 4 to go out with a bang, am I right?
It looks like part of the Smash community was pretty happy with all the news released in the Direct. Ricky shares some of his thoughts about why he thought it was a successful presentation in our other article. I might not agree, but it’s an interesting contrasting viewpoint to my own.Leave a Comment