Wednesday, October 10, 2012

SSB roster: critical mass reached?

There has been much talk lately about the possibility of the next installment of the Super Smash Bros. series axing some characters to make some room for new blood, considering the developers themselves estimate that the 35 characters Brawl had already formed a very sizable roster. So clearly, if we are to see anything else than Brawl all over again, something has to give. But who? While no one was lost between the original and Melee, Brawl saw Dr. Mario, Pichu and Roy fail to return (not counting Young Link since it was basically a re-skin). And to be quite honest with you, these are the three characters any good axing list should've had. In that order. So clearly they did it right that time.

I've read a top 10 list about it a few weeks ago, but I cannot for the life of me find it again. Nonetheless, one flaw about that list is that it blatantly ignores the enormous popularity of certain characters, most notably Jigglypuff, in Japan. "No one likes Jigglypuff", they say. Maybe take a look outside of America for a change?

Anyway, who should go? My first pick would have to be Toon Link. Sure, it's the only Zelda character that's not calamitously bad in Brawl, but that's nothing a few buffs to regular Link couldn't fix. Two Links are one too many, period. Wolf is much the same. I mean, Fox and Falco are already similar enough, did we need another clone? Can this guy and never look back.

Mr. Game & Watch and ROB should also be considered. Joke characters are nice, but when your roster reaches critical mass they should be the first to go. Major props to the game designers for managing to make them major factors in Subspace Emissary without making everyone go "WTF were they smoking?", but that's all the more reason to make them go out with a bang.

I know I've already mentioned Jigglypuff, but I think it should go too. As I said before, the "nobody likes it" reason is BS. My reasoning is, it brings nothing to the table. It's like it's a joke character in its own right. Yes, I know it was top tier in Melee, but theoretically anything can be top tier if the numbers the programmers punch in are high enough. Besides, yes, it's popular in Japan, but the big difference between it and the rest of the roster is that it isn't elsewhere. By that logic Tingle should be a playable character too next time.

And finally, either Ness or Lucas. Shouldn't need to explain why (and no, it's not because of my personal disdain for Mother). Which one? Your pick. Ness' game actually had an international release, but by now just about everyone with any interest in the Mother series already played the Mother 3 fan translation. Lucas is also fresher in everyone's minds, is generally speaking a more interesting character, and stars in a slightly better game. Okay, that probably doesn't matter, but the point is, one of the two has to go.

Finally, I should mention one thing: I've seen many people suggest that the Ice Climbers and Olimar should be axed. I have to disagree with that, purely for gameplay reasons. These two are arguably the most unorthodox characters in the game, and killing off all the variety in that particular aspect of the game just doesn't sound very appealing to me. As for Lucario, it might get ditched based on the fact that it was one of gen 4's mandatory overmarketed Pokémon and this isn't gen 4 anymore, but I kind of want it to stay on board, because other than that I can't make a strong case against it.

So that's six characters in total that I wouldn't mind seeing dropped. That's a fair amount of space to introduce new characters, especially if they decided to increase the roster size slightly, to say, 40.

Now, what about you? Who would you like to get rid of if it comes down to that?


  1. You left out the ultimate joke character, Wario. But I'll also take out Toon Link, R.O.B., King Dedede, Wolf, Lucario (although he'd probably get replaced by Zoroark, like Lucario did for Mewtwo), Ness or Lucas, Pokemon Trainer, and Jigglypuff.

  2. Adult Link will definitely be in, probably in the SS incarnation. Young Link may or may not return as Toon Link or otherwise, but I agree that two Links are too much. I think that all clone characters should be dropped or changed significantly, though. Brawl advertised that they eliminated clones, but that's just not the case. Falco is still a clone of Fox. Wolf is almost different enough, and could be fixed with a different final smash and more focus on his claws. I say axe Falco, keep Wolf. Other than that, I agree with your list. I'd say Ness should be the one to go, though. Lucas is just more interesting at this point, and Ness has had all three games to appear in.

    I just want Ridley this time. Please, please give us Ridley.

  3. I mostly agree with you about the characters that they should get rid of. As far as possible new additions goes, however, I'm terribly biased, just like everybody else.

    I would absolutely love to see Isaac from Golden Sun becoming a full-fledged playable character. Seriously, with all the Psynergy (which are essentially Elemental Spells, just in case you're not familiar with the game) he has at his disposal, they could easily make him an original moveset. Heck, they could give him some sort of gimmicky element change by having a particular button input making him change his active Djinn. (Which are the sources of all elemental powers, again, in case you didn't know.)
    And if the idea of a quite old character making it in the roster bugs them in any way, then they can just put one from the DS Golden Sun game then, I'd still be happy with it.

    1. By the way, I said I "mostly" agree with you but I think that some of your arguments are somewhat lacking, and that's quite unusual coming out from you. Canning ROB and Mr. Game & Watch is the only thing I entirely disagree about. They might not bring much to the table for you, but they are pretty fun to play as, and that's something.

      I'm truly sorry if my previous comment was used to let out that long rant about Isaac that I have been suppressing inside for so long. :(

  4. Honestly, since I actually like the Mother series, and EarthBound is my favorite game of all time, I would have to say I want Ness to stay. Lucas...he is okay, but I understand that he may have to go. Jigglypuff would be another one because it really does not add much. Honestly, if they can change it, I would not mind having Mewtwo back. As for the child Link...make them different or do not add them. Gimmick characters, if implemented WELL (gimmick in fighting strategy, like Olimar and Ice Climbers, as you mentioned), should be added. That is my two cents on the matter. Oh, and add Tails, giving him a unique playstyle. In the Sonic games, he is fun as "Sonic who can fly", but he needs to be unique for Smash Bros. 4...

  5. Mr G&W and ROB aren't joke characters. It's just that no one expected them. Jigglypuff and Pichu are joke characters. The former two weren't included as jokes. They were included because they're actually important to Nintendo's history.
    Wolf, Falco, and Fox aren't clones. Semi-clones at best. Saying that ticks me off almost as much as the people who say that Lucario replaced Mewtwo (Which, by the way, he didn't). All of their A-attacks are different. Sure, their Specials and Final Smashes could use some work, but saying they're clones is just wrong. Might as well say that Mario and Luigi are clones and Luigi should be cut. I'm sorry, but you really need to work out your definition of a clone. Young Link and Link are clones. Dr. Mario and Mario are clones. How can you even compare those characters, who have the same exact animations in most if not all of there moves, to Wolf, Falco and Fox who share very little of the same animations? Essentially only their Specials share any animations whatsoever(in Brawl. Fox and Falco were clones in Melee).
    The "it bring nothing to the table" argument is just poor. You could say that about many characters. It just depends on what you define as what was originally "on the table." Hate to brake it to everyone, but Jigglypuff was part of that table, and actually felt like an original character. IE wasn't a clone, unlike Luigi way back when. But we don't see anyone saying Luigi "doesn't bring anything new to the table" (which he arguably still doesn't, if we're going to be saying that Jigglypuff doesn't that is).
    To actually answer the question, I personally don't support the cut of any characters (which is hard for me to say since there are characters that I really don't like). Instead, any similarities between characters should be worked on to make them feel as unique as possible. I think I'm alone in that department though.
    Just out of curiosity, on the opposite side of things, what characters do you want to become playable Slowflake?

    1. Didn't expect people to jump on me for my poor word choice, but hey, it happens. At least the idea of a clone as implemented in Melee is pretty much gone. That was just stupid. I mean, how many Brawl newbies should've gotten in before Dr. Mario or Pichu? Also, I absolutely despise Jigglypuff's implementation. I honestly wouldn't see the difference if it was gone.

      As for your question, pretty much everything I care about is already playable. I'd like to see Tails or Knuckles sometime, but that's probably not happening ever. Even harder would be to somehow make Ridley work. Once again, not holding my breath.

    2. From what I read they had the completed roster all done, but then someone on the development team thought that there were too few characters, so they added "model-swap" characters to give the roster extra bulk.
      All of the Brawl newcomers should've gotten in before Pichu and Dr. Mario. I would've been perfectly fine with just an alternate costume for Dr. Mario, but no, that would make far too much sense. -__-

  6. I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one, R.O.B's my ace in Brawl, I just love his fighting style since it feels like a more rounded version of a character that does more then just punch and fire guns (which seems to be a majority).

    I'd get rid of Ness, Luigi (because let's face it, he is a clone), Toon Link, Sonic (for obvious reasons), Diddy kong and probably Yoshi if we were really getting cutthroat.

    What might be a more relevant question is how to change characters into something new: You can exchange Lucario for a new gen 5 pokemon, you can change the Pokemon Trainer team, WIGGLYTUFF (I'VE SAID IT FOR THE PAST TWO GAMES, JUST EVOLVE THE DAMN THING) and other changes to movesets on other characters would also help.

    1. Fear the shitstorm that would happen if they replaced Red with Hilbert (complete with the gen 5 starters that displease both hardcore fans and Genwunners). Be very, VERY afraid.

  7. Glad I'm not the only one that wants to see Luigi go. Wolf, Fox, and Falco is redundant, true. Falco is my main in Melee AND Brawl, but what needs to be done needs to be done. I don't see Toon Link sticking around either. Olimar will almost definitely stay, same with Bowser and Wario (probably), Pit, Mario, Link, Zelda (idk about Shiek though), Kirby, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong. Ness is nowadays more associated with SSB than Mother, so it would be a very poor move to get rid of him. Lucas just doesn't have the history that Ness does. Pikachu is staying, obviously. I don't really see Jigglypuff going anywhere either; she really does have that support, and is at least unique. However replacing Jiggly with another cute Pokémon (maybe an event legendary?) would be acceptable in my eyes. In fact, I don't see them considering getting rid of that many characters from SSB 64. I wouldn't be sad if some of them (*cough*Luigi*cough*) were booted, but they all have their fair share of fans. Please keep Captain Falcon!

    A bit of a tangent, but either completely remake Ganondorf, or take him out. I don't feel that the Home Run Contest is really THAT vital to our enjoyment. Game and Watch was cool at first, but he's grown rather stale for me and possibly many others. Snake and Sonic are on very shaky ground because they are not strictly Nintendo characters, but they have their fans. I'll hold my judgment for the time being. Rob is interesting but...they might need some incentive for players to keep their copy of Brawl around. Similar case with Lucario and Red. Pokémon needs some fresh faces, and some characters just won't make the cut. (Cue raging Charizard fans.)

    I honestly have no idea how they will handle the Fire Emblem cast, but their spots are very far from guaranteed. If they got rid of Roy and Mewtwo in Brawl, anything is possible. Pichu can suck a dick. I am also not willing to predict some of the main series' supporting cast, namely Meta Knight and Dedede, Peach, and Diddy Kong. They are unique and I like them. Then again, they're not necessary, per se. Like I said, they have to have an incentive for people to pick up Brawl as well! :P

  8. I'd get rid of the characters with ripoff movesets first, like Wolf and Ike.

    While I'd also be fine with the removal of ROB, I don't really see what makes him a joke character. Isn't his moveset pretty average?

    Keeping Ness and Lucas around seems nice to me, but I realize that to people who aren't Mother fans, they aren't really interesting. And there really aren't too many Mother fans, compared to the other series. What I'd think would be cool is if they took out one of them, and put in another Mother character with a different playing style. Flint would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Less Pokemon, less Mario. Sure they're the top sellers, but they're kind of dominating the cast.
    On the Mario side, I'd ditch Diddy Kong. Nobody likes Peach, but I know there are a lot of fans of her playing style, so I geuss she'll have to stay. Like someone else said, Yoshi could also be expendable if we got something better.
    I agree with getting rid of Jigglypuff. I'd like Lucario to stay, and Pokemon Trainer too, though with different pokemon. Pikachu is never going away, but the question is who would I get rid of, not who do I think would go.

    Personally, I hate Sonic. A video game character shouldn't make you want to hop into the game and strangle him to death because he's so dang annnoying and arrogant.

    I like Toon Link, but I could understand perfectly fine if he went. One thing I think would be really cool is if they expanded palette swaps and kinda made them into costumes. Like Mario having Dr. Mario as a palette swap, or having Olimar in the President's clothes with a moustache. Don't see it happening, but I think that would be a cool way to "add characters" without making the roster huge.

  9. I can easily see them replacing Lucario with Zoroark. If and how they'd implement Illusion, on the other hand, is anyone's guess if that's the case. It could be like Kirby's copy ability, but I'd prefer something less redundant. Invisibility? Damage redirection? Who knows...

    I could even see them shoving Victini in there, since it's kind of the mascot of Gen V. If Victini does make it in, I don't see them getting rid of Pikachu, but could they please get rid of Jigglypuff?

    I doubt they'll change Red, though. Gotta keep the Genwunners pleased (besides, wouldn't they have used the 4th gen starters in Brawl instead if the pokemon trainer's only point was to highlight the current gen's starters?).

    I hope to god that in the story mode, if Ridley shows up, Samus doesn't have another panic attack. I want to see at least some sort of acknowledgement that Other M was BS!

    As for new characters, one could go the obvious route and say "MegaMan! MegaMan!", but let's face it. Even if that DID happen, we'd probably just get bad box-art MegaMan again... I DO like the Castlevania argument, though, seeing as Konami's apparently up for grabs. If they don't drop Snake in Smash 4, then at least make Konami's ground firmer by throwing in a Belmont! As for Sonic, same deal--either drop him or add more characters so it doesn't feel as weird (PLEASE add Eggman! That would be SO awesome!)

    I agree with The Seeker of All Equations--Isaac, or even Matthew, would make a great new addition, given the vast array of abilities they have in the Golden Sun games! They put Pit in Brawl, and that got us Kid Icarus Uprising! Golden Sun: Dark Dawn's ending DEMANDS a sequel, so they could add Isaac/Matthew to Smash 4 to draw hype for the next Golden Sun game, which would please me to no end!

  10. You know what they should do? They should ax jigglypuff and put in Wigglytuff from mystery dungeon 2. That would be amazing!

  11. I don't want to lose any characters. I want it to be like pokemon, where all the 'old' characters are still accessible.