We've seen the rumors pop up over the last several months. Then leaks came pouring out last week, followed by official confirmation from Nintendo during their Nintendo Treehouse stream on Friday. That's it. The latest Super Smash Bros roster is now final, featuring a whopping 49 characters.
Even with such a huge number, though, there's the inevitable sense that Nintendo forgot to include some characters. It's easy to feel like a favorite character has been snubbed, given that Nintendo's rich history leaves room for hundreds of characters to get in on the fighting fun. But there are a few particular character cuts that Shacknews would like to break down, before explaining our sense of disappointment.
We make this examination with the full knowledge that these characters still have a chance of being included as DLC later down the line. In the meantime, here are some of the character omissions that disappointed us most.
Ice Climbers (from the Ice Climbers series)
We begin with the obvious polar bear in the room. The Ice Climbers have been beloved members of the Smash Bros. roster for the past two games, with Popo and Nana capably working as a unique tandem to bash their opponents around with their wooden mallets. They were considered an oddity of an addition when Melee first released back in 2001, but the abilities they brought to the table quickly made them a Smash Bros staple.
That's why it's incredibly sad to see the Ice Climbers left off the new roster. They had quickly become favorites of both casual and tournament-level players alike. In fact, pro players Wobbles had even rode Popo and Nana all the way to a second place finish at Evo 2013's Super Smash Bros Melee tournament. There's no one quite like them, either, as new tandem fighters like Rosalina & Luma don't quite fill that same void.
Mewtwo (from the Pokemon series)
As long as we're talking about heavy hitters from Melee, many of those fans had hoped to see Mewtwo make his triumphant return in this new edition of Smash Bros. His psychic attacks are still a favorite of that community and they would have fit in well alongside magic users like Zelda and Robin. Unfortunately, Mewtwo is once again on the outside looking in.
The omission is all the more baffling considering Mewtwo's return to prominence in last year's Pokemon X & Y, which is more than you can say for the returning Jigglypuff. With new audiences discovering just how much of a bad hombre the genetic freak is, it's strange that the developers wouldn't bring him back with some new attacks. In fact, with Charizard and Lucario both tapping into their Mega Evolutions, it would have been great to tap into Mewtwo's own Mega boost as well.
Wonder Red (from The Wonderful 101)
It's no secret that the Wii U has struggled, and that includes its software exclusives like The Wonderful 101. Platinum's Wii U effort languished due to the poor Wii U install base, and its unfortunate release date that put it head-to-head with Grand Theft Auto 5. However, the seeds for a franchise are still there (should Nintendo ever decide to pursue that course), and those seeds lay primarily with its frontman, Wonder Red.
Even without his friends to help him, Wonder Red is still a formidable fighter in his own right, who can fall back on his own hand-to-hand prowess and superheroic abilities. Miniaturized versions of the Wonderful 101 powers can be used for his specials, while his Final Smash could unite the entire team for a Unite Hand strike that would send opponents flying. The Smash Bros series is a great place to celebrate smaller franchises, with this installment honoring Xenoblade and Duck Hunt, among others. This would have been a grand opportunity for Nintendo to push one of its more underrated efforts, one that Shacknews enjoyed quite a bit.
Wolf (from the Star Fox series)
While Super Smash Bros Brawl isn't remembered too fondly by hardcore fans of the series, those players won't deny that Wolf was one of its strongest roster additions. So it's unfortunate to see that Fox McCloud's nemesis was left marooned in space.
Wolf was quick as a hiccup, with high jumps and some of the best air speed in all of Brawl. Not only were his attacks quick, but they also had a long reach. He could parlay his quickness into one of the best boost smashes in the game. While he shared many special moves with Fox and Falco, Wolf had enough of a twist on the moves to make them his own. The only true redundancy was his Landmaster Final Smash, which could just as easily been changed to have him call in his brethren in the Wolfen fleet, instead. Wolf didn't need to be cut, but rather… adjusted.
Amy Rose (from the Sonic series)
There's been a lot of female representation in Smash Bros, with some of Nintendo's most prominent leading ladies stepping out of their "damsel" roles to deliver the hurt just as capably as any male. So why couldn't Peach and Zelda be joined by one more? The Sonic franchise would be well-served with one more playable character, so why not feature his would-be love interest, Amy?
It certainly wouldn't be the first time Amy's been a part of the action, having taken part in games like Sonic Adventure and Sonic Heroes. Given her ability with a mallet, crafting a move set for Amy would hardly be any trouble. Amy is far from a helpless character she's better equipped to transition to a fighter role better than some of the other fighters on the roster. Sonic's band of heroes deserves some more representation and Amy would have made for a positive addition.
Simon Belmont (from the Castlevania series)
Super Smash Bros. is becoming more than a celebration of Nintendo's greatest franchises. This latest incarnation of the series is celebrating Nintendo's legacy as a whole, which is why we're seeing Mega Man and Pac-Man. If the idea is to celebrate the NES era of gaming, then there's more than enough justification to borrow a certain vampire hunter from Konami. Childhoods that were defined by Mario and Mega Man were likely also defined by Castlevania's Simon Belmont, who starred in much of the original NES trilogy. He also co-starred in the campy Captain N: The Game Master cartoon series, alongside Mega Man and Pit, meaning this game could have served as the scene for an unlikely reunion.
Simon's whip attacks would have fit in perfectly with the Smash Bros aesthetic, while he could have also tapped into his holy water, boomerang, and axe items for special attacks. He could have received a similar 8-bit restoration like Mega Man, giving his NES sprite a fresh coat of paint. Simon's exclusion is a sad one, especially since it wouldn't have been the first time Smash Bros had borrowed from Konami. They had done so for Brawl back in 2008 with Solid Snake, who incidentally, is not included on this roster, either.
Proto Man (from the Mega Man series)
Mega Man stands as one of the most prominent new characters of the latest Super Smash Bros, standing as a symbol of the bygone NES era. As the series went on, another mysterious character arrived on the scene to become a major staple. That was Mega Man's "brother," Proto Man, who made his debut in Mega Man 3 and has been a pivotal part of the series ever since.
Proto Man could utilize an entirely different set of robot master moves, while also using some of his abilities. What separates him from Mega Man is his Proto Buster and his Proto Shield, both of which would fit the Smash Bros setting just fine. Like Mega Man 10, Smash Bros could have seen Mega Man and Proto Man fighting alongside each other in a playable capacity once more. Unfortunately, Proto Man will remain in the shadows, as he so frequently does.
Of course, this is all scratching the surface. If there's anyone you feel missed the Smash Bros cut, feel free to let us know in the comments below. Super Smash Bros arrives on Nintendo 3DS on October 3, with the Wii U version expected to hit later this year.