With the announcement of Smash Bros for Switch, Nintendo has a chance to add new, exciting characters to the roster. The reveal trailer already showed us the newest members of the Smash roster, Splatoon’s Inklings. Assuming this is a new game and not a port of Smash 4, as Link’s design matches Breath of the Wild, here are some other new additions that Nintendo must add.
Nintendo needs to expand the roster by adding more more than just the Inklings. With the Switch library and Nintendo’s universe growing, Smash is a great opportunity to cement some new mascots.
Perhaps the most overlooked character from the Super Mario franchise, Waluigi is yet to be playable in Smash. Since his introduction in Mario Tennis (2000) he has been a fan favourite, and adding him to the roster would be a great way to celebrate the release of Mario Tennis Aces. With the inclusion of his brother, Wario, and nemeses Mario and Luigi, he seems a natural fit. Furthermore, he isn’t just a reskin like Daisy is to Peach, but rather has his own distinct personality and look. The lanky awkwardness and comical mischievous is unlike anyone else in Nintendo’s universe. Putting Waluigi in Smash is a great way to further develop a character that is often criticised for a lack of depth. As he in included in almost every other Nintendo party game, snubbing him from Smash again would be an unfair.
King K. Rool
The big bad villain of the Donkey Kong series is yet to make his Smash debut outside of trophy appearances. While there are plenty more members of the Kong family who could fit into Smash, namely some female representation in Dixie Kong, having the series antagonist absent seems strange. In Brawl, long time Kirby series antagonist King Dedede joined the roster. The two bear many similarities, both being large and evil kings, and with Bowser being a series mainstay, K. Rool would very easily convert to Smash. With Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze making its way to Switch, here’s hoping the series gets more representatives in Smash.
While not a Nintendo character, he is certainly a third party character deserving of a spot in Smash. The release of the Shovel Knight amiibo in 2016 shows that the developers are clearly on good terms with Nintendo. Shovel Knight, as the quirky hero in a 2D side scrolling action game, was designed as a throwback to classic Nintendo gaming styles. As a result, he would seamlessly fit into Smash, with his trusty shovel rivalling Link’s Master Sword and Cloud’s Buster Sword. However, more important than giving fans what they want is the statement Nintendo would be making. The inclusion of Shovel Knight amongst Nintendo royalty is a huge acknowledgement of Indie games’ importance and their ability to rival games like Mario and Zelda. It also opens the door to other Shovel Knight characters like Specter and Plague Knight.
Much like the DK series and King K. Rool, the Metroid series has lacked any villians. However, Nintendo has seriously underrepresented the Metriod series on the whole. While no characters are as iconic as Samus, Ridley has a history with Super Smash. The draconic space pirate is a constant foil to Samus in the Metroid games, but has appeared in multiple Smash games too. Ridley made cameo appearances in both the original Smash Bros and Melee, but later became a boss in Brawl and Smash 4. This growing presence in the games has made Ridley stay relevant to Nintendo fans. It’s finally time to add a playable Metroid character outside of Samus and give Ridley the recognition he deserves.
In December 2015 Nintendo added Cloud Strife as a playable character. While Final Fantasy and JRPGs have a long history with Nintendo, Cloud is mostly associated with Playstation. As great of an addition as Cloud is, Nintendo needs a JRPG hero from their game library. Chrono, from Chrono Trigger, is a great candidate, especially with the recent Steam rerelease. The Dragonball Z-like design of Akira Toriyama is visually distinct from any other character and his katana skills match any other sword wielding Smash characters. It would give Smash some much needed JRPG variety from the six Fire Emblem characters. Hopefully the time traveller can make his Smash debut soon.
While the Zelda series is taking up a lot of the roster space already, there are still so many characters left out. With the success of Breath of the Wild last year, it’s a great opportunity to expand the Zelda roster. Assuming Link’s new look in the trailers is a redesign and not a whole new Link, Zelda herself should be up for redesign. The four champions of Hyrule could all be playable characters, or all included as ghosts for a BOTW Link, who would play similar to Brawl’s Pokemon trainer. Fans have called for a Majora’s Mask styled Link in this vain, so this could be a good compromise.
This leaves the other characters in a questionable spot, namely Sheik and Toon Link. Sheik should remain her own character, unlike the joint spot with Zelda in Melee and Brawl. However, with the inclusion of Toon Link, Nintendo could remove Sheik completely, giving BOTW Zelda her own spot, and include Toon Zelda, with a similar transformation mechanic but with the pirate Tetra. If BOTW Link is his own character, and Nintendo want to include the classic Link, a complete rework of the Twilight Princess version of Link, including a Wolf form, would work well. Wolf Link could even be an independant character, or be a mount similar to Bowser Jr’s ship to an independant Midna character. The Zelda universe is coming off of its best year since the release of Ocarina of Time. Now would be the best opportunity to cement Link and The Legend of Zelda as Nintendo’s strongest property.
The first downloadable character for Smash Bros 4 was Melee veteran and fan-favourite, Mewtwo. With Roy and Lucas returning later, it is clear Nintendo listens to fans when they want a favourite to return. The strangest exclusion from Brawl to Smash 4 was the exclusion of the Ice Climbers. According to series creator Masahiro Sakurai, the Ice Climbers struggled to run well on the 3DS. As a result, Nintendo cut them from both the 3DS and the Wii U versions, despite functioning on Wii U. However, the Switch doesn’t have the limitations of a handheld. The Ice Climbers were in the very first Smash game and it was just weird that Nintendo left them out. This is Nintendo’s opportunity to put the veterans back in the game.
Nintendo remains quiet about the game since it’s reveal, but stay tuned at Gamers Classified for the latest updates. Who would you like to see in the new Smash? Let us know in the comments.