I’m all for the Super Smash Bros. roster continuing to branch out and include characters from all different game companies.But as excited as I am for the likes of Cloud, Ryu, and Bayonetta to join the ranks, there are a number of actual Nintendo characters that continue to be unfairly overlooked, some of which have never been playable five games in. Here are the five that I feel should be next on the list to enter the battle from the Nintendo camp.
5. Ice Hockey Player
Anyone hearing the words “Nintendo sports game” in the last 15 years or so has likely either conjured up images of Mario and company playing tennis, golf, et al, or watching their grandparents awkwardly “play” Wii Sports tennis. However, Nintendo once actually developed sports games a little more grounded in their real-life counterparts, and with actual humanoid characters. Probably the most beloved of these early sports games is Ice Hockey for the NES. So what better way to pay tribute to that classic era of Nintendo sports than by letting a player from that game enter the Smash Bros. fray (as they’ve already done with Little Mac)? His hockey stick would obviously make a fantastic weapon, and he could call upon hockey pucks to smack at his opponents as a projectile. A skating-type motion would make for a unique – and speedy – movement style, and of course, his level would have to feature periodic passes by a crazed Zamboni driver as a stage hazard. Oh, and as far as which of the three “sizes” of player to go with, the all-around midsize player would probably be the most democratic choice.
Nintendo Power magazine is as big a part of Nintendo’s history as just about any of their game franchises, and it only seems right to honor that by letting the magazine’s longtime mascot, Nester, be a playable character in Smash Bros. Other than cameos, mostly in name only, his sole big video game role was in Nester’s Funky Bowling for the Virtual Boy. The kid deserves better than for that to be his primary in-game legacy. In the magazine, Nester would visit the world’s of various video games, taking on the look and characteristics of that world. Maybe he could be another Kirby-style character, and somehow take on the looks and abilities of other fighters. Either that, or just have a variety of generic character types he turns into, like a medieval knight, a pirate, things like that. Nintendo could even borrow a literal page from Sega’s book and have his stage be akin to the Genesis beat-em-up Comix Zone, taking place inside a giant comic book, knocking players from panel to panel with each one being a completely different type of arena. Nester has been the subject of fake character reveal leaks before, so obviously I’m not the only one who this solid idea has ever occurred to.
Ask people if they ever played Pro Wrestling or NES, and they aren’t exactly sure. Tell them it’s that game with Starman in it, and their eyes light up: “Oh hell yeah, I love Starman!” Bringing a character with a full-on wrestling style into the Smash Bros. roster seems like a no-brainer. He’ll be body-slamming, pile driving, and clothes-lining the rest of the cast with reckless abandon. Actually, recklessness probably wouldn’t be the approach to take with Starman – as most of his moveset would be close range attacks, he’d actually be rather difficult to use properly as he’d need to constantly be right in peoples’ grills to pull moves off. But not unlike Zangief, if people can master him, and pull off his hard to do but extremely powerful moves, they will definitely be tough to beat. Although, picking up the chairs, tables, and ladders scattered around his giant wrestling ring arena will level the playing field for him a bit. A winner is you!
For a franchise that is one of Nintendo’s “big” franchises, Metroid has always been criminally underrepresented in the Smash Bros. series. Samus is all we get. Well, technically we have a second version of her that’s a separate character, but Zero Suit Samus’ gradually increasing bust and booty size (in tandem with her shrinking waist) seems to make it obvious that she was added to fill out the roster in more ways than one. Granted, the Metroid series has never had a huge cast of characters, but when they can have up to six damn Fire Emblem characters I think we can at least get a second non-Samus Metroid character. And what better choice than Samus’ longest-running antagonist, the dragon/dinosaur/alien being known as Ridley? Ridley’s flying ability would make him a great character, and he should be in a permanent hover and never really stand or walk. His talons and pointed tail would create some deadly slash attacks, and add in some fire breath and he’d be a formidable foe indeed. Let’s start giving Metroid more Smash Bros. love beyond just playing dress-up (well, dress-down) with Samus, eh Nintendo?
[Ridley image used in teaser picture courtesy of DeviantArt user R-One-92]
Poor Wart. He was the final boss of a core Mario title, a Mario title that is the personal favorite of many a Nintendo fan, and he was never seen or heard from again (save for a sort-of role in Link’s Awakening for Game Boy). Okay fine, so he only existed in Mario’s dreams. Really? So we’re taking Nintendo canon that seriously all of a sudden, in a franchise that has Donkey Kong duking it out with Solid Snake? Wart has languished in obscurity long enough – he deserves his rightful place alongside the other classic Mario villains in the Smash Bros. lineup. He’d be a bigger power character like Bowser, and have the ability to spew bubbles at his foes. Alright, so that doesn’t sound that intimidating on paper. To be fair, he never really got a chance to do all that much other than pace back and forth, spit up a bunch of deadly bubbles, and wait for someone to throw vegetables down his throat. But that can be a blessing, as it makes his character a clean slate. The developers would have this character with an already cool design that they can mold however they want, with very little legacy baggage to hold them back and fan service they have to feed. It would just be so awesome to see Wart make his triumphant return after 25 years of total reclusiveness.