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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

NEW CHALLENGER! Or, let's talk about Super Smash Brothers... (Part 3: Who's next?)

So now that we've talked about why Smash Bros. is so great and how each game is epic, it's time to start with the speculation. As we all know, there's going to be both a Smash Bros. For 3DS and for WiiU, which is an extremely exciting prospect on both fronts- personally, I think that Brawl's fighting system is better than Melee's and that they should change as little as possible in that regard- character models aren't really in need of much alteration, although the prospect of playing in HD is very exciting. What we're here to do, though, is discuss who could be on the roster for the next installment.

I understand the skepticism- it's early on, they haven't even begun working on the project, but the sooner we start generating interest about who we would like, the sooner we can get a word into the developers. This is my personal list, which has two factors added into it- the popularity of the character and my personal wishful thinking, which are averaged into the likelihood of their inclusion. So, let's get this train wreck a' rollin'!

1: Assist Trophy Characters
Let's face it, Assist Trophies were a tease. Some of them were characters that certainly could have been included in the roster but just didn't have enough thought put into them- or, didn't have enough time to be turned into a real character. Let's list the few that should be included in the next game, eh?

1a) Saki, from Sin and Punishment
Saki has plenty of ability to be turned into a full-fledged character. Great weapons that are versatile and allow for a varied moveset, plus the added popularity of Star Successor and the fantastic reviews it saw? He should be a no brainer.
Popularity- 3, Wishful Thinking- 4= Likelihood- 3.5 out of 5. Saki doesn't really have the attributes of a Nintendo All-Star, but his previous inclusion in the Smash Bros. series and the recent success of Star Successor give me hope.

1b) Isaac, from Golden Sun
Personally, I've never played Golden Sun, but Isaac is a character that has been on my radar for a while. He has extremely unique abilities that would make for an interesting moveset, and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn was just released, boasting the recent interest in the franchise.
Popularity- 2, Wishful Thinking- 3= Likelihood- 2.5 out of 5. Isaac isn't really varied enough to make for a strong character, and while Dark Dawn was successful, it was a DS game, and an RPG at that, which is hard to work with.

1c) Shadow, from Sonic the Hedgehog (WARNING: THIRD PARTY CHARACTER)
Being a huge Sonic fanboy, I'd love to see more Sonic characters in the roster. While Shadow is similar to Sonic in body type, he has plenty of his own quirks, which include Chaos Control and weaponry- he could be a more brutal version of the blue blur. Plus, he's a badass.
Popularity- 3.5, Wishful Thinking- 4= Likelihood- 3.75 out of 5. Shadow has received a lot of flak for is hyper-violent portrayal in his personal title, and he hasn't been seen in a Sonic game as of late, but there's hope for him... maybe. Knuckles would be better.

1d) Samurai Goroh, from F-Zero
We need more representation from this series. We need someone that can match the skill of Captain Falcon. However, when was the last time you played an F-Zero game...?
Popularity- 1, Wishful Thinking- 2= Likelihood- 1.5 out of 5. Yeah. It would just be interesting to see, honestly.
Who else? Lyn? Gray Fox? Waluigi? Who knows? There's a lot of untapped potential from the assist trophies, and I hope we see some more from these potential fighters.

2: Bowser Junior, from Super Mario Sunshine (and beyond)
Now, we have quite a few characters from the Mario series, but this is one who has really stepped into the spotlight over the past few games. Not only a big-bad in Super Mario Sunshine, he has made appearances in the New Super Mario Bros. (and Wii) as well as Super Mario Galaxy, causing trouble and wreaking havoc. Bowser Junior has made his mark on the Mario universe, acting as a second-in-command to his father and generally having a good time with all sorts of gadgets and gizmos.
Personally, I would love to see Bowser Junior fit into the same weight class as Wario, and sporting his Super Mario Sunshine paintbrush, his most memorable tool of destruction. As a character, he definitely has a viable moveset, and is certainly popular enough to be featured.
Popularity- 4, Wishful Thinking- 3= Likelihood- 3.5 out of 5. I can seriously consider this guy being in the next Smash Bros. title. He would be an interesting addition, and he really could have a style much more different from his father.

3: Zoroark, from Pokemon Black and White
if Lucario is going to be replaced as Mewtwo was, then this Pokemon would definitely be a good choice. However, his lack of a psychic power means that Zoroark could work well as his own individual character. Being the first new Pokemon we heard about in Black and White, he could be considered the representative of this new generations. Fast, monstrous, and possessing an interesting ability like Illusion (which could be exploited as a fighting style similar to Kirby's) make him a cool challenger.
Popularity- 4, Wishful Thinking- 4= Likelihood- 4 out of 5. Let's face it, there will be another Pokemon in the next Smash Bros., and whether it's a new twist like Pokemon Trainer or an individual fighter, this Pokemon has to be considered.

4: Magnus/Dark Lord Gaol, From Kid Icarus: Uprising
I'm just gonna say this- Sakurai loves putting his own characters in Smash Bros. He added THREE in the last game. If Kid Icarus: Uprising gets good reviews, there's no doubt these characters will be considered. Magnus has a huge sword- bigger than Ike's. He could definitely be considered. Then again, the Dark Lord Gaol has a pretty interesting character design, and judging by how important he is in the game, could warrant a spot of the roster- certainly moreso than Medusa, who would be a little strange (then again, another female character wouldn't be a bad thing).
Popularity- To be determined, Wishful Thinking- 2= Likelihood- Uncertain. Maybe this is too far out there, but it could definitely happen.

5: Rallen, from Spectrobes (WARNING: THIRD PARTY CHARACTER)
Jupiter, Genki, and Disney collaborated to create Spectrobes, and damn, was it a cool idea. Excavation mixed with monster battling? It was like Pokemon archaeology! However, the battle mechanics were a bit too unsteady for the first game, and though it was slightly remedied in the second, there was less of a bond between Rallen, the main character, and his Spectrobe pals. Spectrobes: Origins proved to be a successful romp into the home console world, though, despite its corny story, and featured some well-designed battle mechanics with a fun collectible theme. However, while Spectrobes is indeed cool, it never really picked up quite like Pokemon did, and is floating in obscurity. However, it is a gaming franchise exclusively for the Ds/Wii, which give me hope that Nintendo will consider adding Rallen to the ranks. He's got a sword, he's got a gun, and he's got angry dueling monsters... what's wrong with this picture?
Popularity- 1, Wishful Thinking- 5= Likelihood- 2.5 out of 5. Is it any surprise that I consider myself a Spectrobes fan? Again, popularity is what hinders this addition- I believe that a third party character sure as hell better stand the test of time and be iconic, which Spectrobes certainly is not. A little too much wishful thinking on my part.

 6: Ridley, from Metroid (and beyond)
Forget the scale problems. Bowser was HUGE. He got scaled down. This is the ONLY OTHER METROID CHARACTER you could possibly put into this game. Samus and skanky Samus won't cut it!
Popularity- 5, Wishful Thinking- 5= Likelihood- 0 out of 5. Sakurai has stated, time and again, that Ridley wouldn't work in the game. I really wish this wasn't so, but he's the boss.

7: The Black Knight, From Fire Emblem, Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn
Want more heavy characters in Smash Bros.? Look no further than the Black Knight from Fire Emblem. He could probably go toe to toe with the Dark Lord Gaol for awesome villain designs, and could probably fit into the same weight class. However, The Black Knight is one of the best characters from this pair of Fire Emblem games, and his story is one of the most memorable parts. He's cool, he's a villain, and he could have an interesting moveset. Plus, he has a sword- we need more characters with swords.
Popularity- 3.5, Wishful Thinking- 2= Likelihood- 2.75 out of 5. While awesome, basing the entire Fire Emblem lineup on Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn isn't really the best idea. There's plenty more characters from the series that are memorable, it's just... he's pretty awesome.

8: Megaman, From Megaman (and beyond- WARNING: THIRD PARTY CHARACTER)
Honestly, I don't understand why the Blue Bomber hasn't been included in Smash Bros. yet- oh, wait. He's pretty much exactly like Samus. Megaman does seem to be iconic enough, and his moveset could be very different from our favorite bountry hunter. Give him ability-swapping for his special moves and he'd already be way different. However, since Megaman has had so many incarnations, I'm not quite sure which one would be best for the Brawl Universe. NT Warrior has a sword and a gun, which could make him very different character with a varied play-style- Megaman X is way more INTENSE, though. Really, there's a number of iterations that could be used, but the original is the most iconic...
Popularity- 5, Wishful Thinking- 4= Likelihood- 4.5 out of 5. If there's going to be a third party addition, it should be this guy.

9: Layle, from Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers (WARNING: THIRD PARTY CHARACTER)
So Nintendo really needs to throw CRYSTAL BEARER Square a bone. It's no doubt that Square has produced some iconic CRYSTAL BEARER characters in their time, and the fact that there's a CRYSTAL BEARER Nintendo exclusive Final Fantasy title means that there's a few characters that CRYSTAL BEARER they could choose from. While most would argue Cloud needs to make his appearance in CRYSTAL BEARER the game, I would argue that Crystal Chronicles would be a better choice, if only because it is Nintendo's Final Fantasy game.
But who would be the main choice, you ask? Well, the original Crystal Chronicles didn't really have much of a main character, and while the DS games did, it falls on the Crystal Bearers to give us our character.
Now, I understand if some of you don't know who Layle is, but then again, who knew Marth and Roy when Melee first came out? I think it would be a great opportunity to get this underrated Final Fantasy game out there. Layle has the power of gravity, which he uses in many different ways- essentially, he would play as a less floaty, heavier hitting Mewtwo. His moveset is ripe with in-game actions one can perform, and there's plenty of cool potential in the character. Whipping around a gravity-held machine gun would rock! Of course, any of the Crystal Bearer designs would be cool to have in Brawl, the antagonist Jegran with his Ganondorf-like tendencies and scary face-hand, or the brilliant Yuke redesign of Amidatelion.
I also really like this game.
Popularity- 2, Wishful Thinking- 5= Likelihood- 3.5 out of 5. We've had weirder choices for a character, but Final Fantasy needs to be represented in the next Smash Bros. Plus, I loved Crystal Bearers. It's unlikely that my dreams will come true.

 10: Professor Layton, from Professor Layton and etc.
Sweet Jesus. Yes.
Popularity- 5, Wishful Thinking- 5= Likelihood- 5 out of 5. I have no idea what his moveset would be, but they've come up with weirder stuff.

11: Shulk, from Xenoblade Chronicles
HEY NINTENDO. YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD BE A REALLY FUNNY JOKE? IF YOU TOOK A CHARACTER FROM THE GAME THAT EVERYBODY BUT AMERICA GOT (WHICH RECEIVED GREAT REVIEWS, MIND YOU) AND PUT HIM INTO THE NEXT SMASH BROS.
But, in all seriousness, Shulk is really cool. His character design is very neat, and the Xenoblade itself is quite iconic. It would just be one more slap in the face to us American fans, but a slap worthy of our attention.
Popularity- 4, Wishful Thinking- 5= Likelihood- 4.5 out of 5. This guy would be awesome to have on the roster, though I'm unsure if Nintendo would be too keen on adding him in with the controversy that this game has started (read up on Operation Rainfall, ya noob!)

12: Vaati, from The Legend of Zelda- Four Swords (Adventure, and Minish Cap), also, Ghiraham, from The Legend of Zelda- Skyward Sword
Call me crazy, but the Zelda roster is a little thin- two characters with virtually the same moveset, an old, fat guy clone of Captian Falcon, and then Zelda's awesomeness? Let's start pulling our weight, Zelda- your franchise is one of the best. Vaati may have only appeared in a few games, but his appearance is iconic, almost like a reverse Link, and he left his mark on Zelda players when he kicked major ass throughout the three games he was in. He's a cool design, and could have a cool, demonized moveset, what with his numerous transformations.
Likewise, Ghiraham seems to be a nasty new addition to the roster, and his appearance is certainly iconic. It could be assumed that he is one of the main antagonists of the game, and certainly has a reputation. If Skyward Sword proves to be as epic as it seems, this character could obtain the ranking of Shiek in  Ocarina of Time, which would be very cool.
(Equation Compounded) Popularity- 2, Wishful Thinking- 4= Likelihood- 3 out of 5. It's doubtful the Zelda roster will be added to, as the characters represented pretty much encompass the entire series and are the all-stars. However, there's hope for these characters, if only because they may be well received.

13: Krystal, from Star Fox Adventures (and beyond)
Um. Yeah. So how about a little variation, Star Fox characters? Krystal could work well as a break from the tradition of each Star Fox character DOING THE SAME THING. However, it didn't happen in the last game, and I doubt that it will in this one.
Popularity- 2, Wishful Thinking- 2= Likelihood- 2 out of 5. I mean, they have added a new Fox character with each game, but... I just doubt Krystal will be making a big splash, considering she's not even a well-liked character in the first place.

14: Balloon Fighter, from Balloon Fighter
Obligatory retro character! We've had ROB, we've had Game and Watch... why not give this guy a chance? Sure, I have NO idea what his moveset would be (probably including flapping), but that's half the fun, right there! His play style could focus on aerial attacks, and perhaps adding balloons to increase his jump-count...? One can only dream...
Popularity- 4, Wishful Thinking- 3= Likelihood- 3.5 out of 5. Hey, it's possible. We've had weirder.

Now, keep in mind, this list is comprised of characters I feel would work well in the Smash Bros. environment. Some of them are silly, others only seem that way, but when you consider that the roster currently includes ROB, Game and Watch, the Ice Climbers, and Lucas (who has never been seen in America prior), some of my ideas don't seem too far off. At the same time, some of these choices are pretty silly, and a lot of them are heavily based on personal opinion- I like certain characters, and I think they would fit in Smash Bros. Does that mean a lot of these will? Nope. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if all of them didn't. But speculation is speculation, and it's all in good fun.

Until the next Smash Bros. hits us, we won't be ready for what it will do to an already impressive fighting game and roster- but for now, trust Sakurai- this game is in good hands. Until that day comes, pick up those Gamecube controllers, pop in your copy of Brawl, and keep fighting the good fight. I hope you enjoyed this series!

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