Before Super Smash Bros. arrived on 3DS and Wii U, a certain someone on the Shacknews staff felt opinionated about some of the notable omissions from the game's finalized roster. So back in September, I put together a list of characters that I felt belonged on the Smash Bros. roster. In the back of my mind, I never expected Nintendo to even see the list, much less take it seriously, though Mewtwo did coincidentally end up making the cut as the game's first DLC character.
Then came yesterday's Nintendo Direct, where Satoru Iwata pointed out that Masahiro Sakurai and the Super Smash Bros. team would officially be opening up the suggestion box for future DLC characters. The power is now in the hands of the fanbase, so I feel it is time to revisit this omissions list and offer a handful of suggestions from this very website (though mainly from me). So who should have their names thrown onto the ballot?
The folks at Yacht Club Games made a very interesting case for their heroic mascot to join the battle. Their fanbase has pretty much covered all of the X's and O's of why Shovel Knight would make a practical addition to the cast. One fan offered a potential set of moves, alternate colors, and even a new stage. Artist Omni Jacala drew a detailed illustration of the character in the Smash Bros. art style. All of it certainly checks out and passes the smell test.
Beyond that, Shovel Knight deserves recognition for being one of the best games of 2014. It's certainly one of the best games to hit the struggling Wii U and more than holds its own against the powerful 3DS library. And on top of that, this homage to classic 8-bit era games fits in perfectly with Smash Bros. as a celebration of Nintendo's heritage.
Here's a carryover from the last list and everything that was said back then still stands now. While there's still an affinity for the Castlevania series today, it was arguably at its highest back in the 8-bit era. Simon Belmont stood alongside Mario, Link, Mega Man, and Pac-Man as the NES' greatest heroes. If Super Smash Bros. is a celebration of Nintendo's past, there is no reason to exclude Simon.
Simon can more than hold his own in battle, to boot. His trusty whip is as iconic a weapon as they come, having slain demons across some of the most classic 8-bit games, mostly to a classic song that can be heard below. He also carries around an arsenal that includes axes, holy water, daggers and other powerful items that can carry him to victory in any tight match. And on a personal note, it'd be great to unite the old N-team from Captain N: The Game Master and have Simon, Pit, and Mega Man all fighting side-by-side one last time.
The original list from last year had Amy Rose on this list and she's still a strong choice. However, in spite of its utter horrendousness, Sonic Boom did accomplish one thing. It made Knuckles different enough to stand out from Sonic so that including him wouldn't just mean a simple palette swap.
Knuckles has come into his own, both in the game and in the better-than-expected Sonic Boom animated series (a clip is available below, because why not?). His new size and focus on power moves means he can be designed to be distinctly different from the blue hedgehog. While keeping some of Sonic's moves, Knuckles can move at a slower speed and also utilize a couple of power moves. Knuckles' inclusion could also honor his 20-year history, in which he's remained a pivotal part of Sonic's supporting cast.
Nintendo appears to be very serious about Splatoon as one of its next big franchises. A slew of games modes have been revealed and the game is even getting its own set of Amiibo figures. So it would only make sense for Nintendo to officially usher the game into its series dedicated to celebrating all things Nintendo.
The Inklings would come with their own paint-based move sets, with attacks inspired by Mario's F.L.U.D.D. pack or simple ink blasts that wear down opponents. Inklings can also craft other weapons with their ink abilities, while summoning a few friends to help attack other combatants. For the newest kids on the block, the Inklings could prove to be tough opposition for the most seasoned Smash Bros. fighter and would certainly be among the most colorful fighters to join the Smash Bros. roster in some time.
Here's another carryover from the previous list and all of the points from that time still stand today. Wolf is a capable fighter that deserves a place on this list by mere virtue of being Fox's long-time nemesis and occasional frenemy. As long as he gets enough of a change from Fox and Falco's moves, Wolf would be a fun addition to the cast and a worthy returnee from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. As mentioned last time, maybe give him a new Final Smash that summons the Wolfen fighters to come to his aid.
If Wolf is too much of a similar fighter to Fox and Falco, there's also the option of going with Krystal as a combatant. Given her history as a powerful princess of Saurian, she could actually bring an entirely different set of moves to the table. She could fight mainly with her staff from Star Fox Adventures, while utilizing her Mewtwo-like telepathy and any other tools from her Star Fox arsenal. Her Saurian heritage could even serve as a powerful Final Smash, where she could summon dinosaurs to rampage over her opponents.
Regardless of who jumps into the fray, however, given that Nintendo is planning to continue the Star Fox franchise on Wii U later this year, the series deserves another representative.
Here's an idea I've warmed up to over the past six months. Given how much fun it's been to play as her in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, I wouldn't be opposed to giving Dixie Kong a chance to shine on the Smash Bros. roster. Her speed could be somewhere in-between Donkey and Diddy, but her attacks would be something entirely new and focus on her greatest asset: her long locks of hair.
Dixie's hair whips could lead to some intriguing combos, while also giving players some powerful throws at their disposal. While her special moves would likely end up being a copy of Diddy's, her hair makes her a wild card and one that could frustrate opponents with endless juggling possibilities.
It should also be noted that Dixie is celebrating her 20th birthday this year and a spot on the Smash Bros. roster would be a great way to honor her Kong family legacy.
Any other names we missed? Be sure to submit them on the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot and also let us know in the comments.