Super Smash Bros. Roster Revisited
I’m not usually one to dabble into controversy, but sometimes, the subject is too important to ignore. There’s only one thing in gaming news worth fussing about these days and it’s the Super Smash Bros. roster. NOTHING ELSE! Indeed, I think Nintendo fans all around the world can agree that nothing can even dream of reaching the impact of a Super Smash Bros. announcement, leak and/or joke related to said leak.
Unfortunately, although very tempting, I will not spend the next article arguing with people on the Miiverse. This is a retro gaming website, which allows the original Super Smash Bros. to be the only viable subject. Except for Super Smash Bros. Melee on the Gamecube. However, since Melee remains an actual topic due to it being considered the most balanced Smash game, I will not tackle it. Yeah… that’ll work. It’s not like it just didn’t fit my subject or something…
I couldn’t resist. Had to include at least one Miiverse post.
Where was I? Ah, yes, the Super Smash Bros. 64 roster. Kind of lame wasn’t it? Can you imagine if we knew it could have been extended to 20-30 characters? The first Super Smash Bros. game got lucky. We didn’t know it was coming and, therefore could not showcase our generally flawless judgement for the choice of roster. We were denied the possibility of debating gracefully over franchise favorites and more obscure exclusions, carefully considering other people’s feelings when respectfully dismissing their well supported theories.
Think back when the first Super Smash was released, 1999. I remember those days, 12 years old, in my case, confidently standing atop of the elementary school population, almost as tall as the girls whose puberty hit faster. Undisturbed by the alien thought of taking interest in such frivolous things such as intercourse and relationships, probably aided by the fact that my libido was running on a 28 kbps modem. I surely had more judgement than I have now. I bet I could’ve come up with a roster as good or better than the one below.
This is what my libido was like: Blurry and censored on channel 86… I think
It shouldn’t be too hard to adjust this lackluster roster. A kid from a game that nobody played, a Pokémon more popular in the anime than the games (and everybody knows how little credibility anime has), another unevolved Pokémon, a pilot and a driver. There’s a serious lack of power in this roster, and I hope my suggestions would have retroactively solved that undeclared problem. However, the biggest flaw with the N64 Smash Bros is the size of the roster. By having such a low amount of characters to choose from, it makes the game accessible to all instead of a convoluted mess where only people who own the game will have fun. What a shame.
Yes, nobody represents the 90’s quite like Duke Nukem. Fresh off a couple of spin-off releases, a port to the N64 and on his way to DC to kick some ass, it’s clear that Duke didn’t have any gum to chew in 1999. Why not include him and manly up that roster? You could even include the strip club as a stage. What does a manly armed to the teeth humanesque realistic character have to do with Smash? Who cares? After all, games of that era needed more representation from straight whi…MOVING ON.
I just like Geno, okay? That freakin’ doll was the best character in Super Mario RPG by far and that game might be the best RPG partially released by Nintendo in these years. So many powers to choose from, so many stages becoming a possibility. This pick is the most personal in the list, but it would’ve been the biggest of surprises! You know, if a character from a beloved jRPG joined the fight and if a sequel or remake was announced…
The NES had such a large library of games so good their protagonists remained associated with the company ever since. The Castlevania series was certainly a great example of these. People have been demanding Simon Belmont in Smash since the beginning of the franchise, therefore justifying that he should’ve been included, right? I wouldn’t mind seeing the vampire killing whip waving protagonist in the Smash Bros universe. Not to mention the publicity it would’ve given the sub-par N64 games.
Oh, I love myself classic arcade characters. I hope there were more of them in these kinds of crossover games. Frogger’s comeback in 1997 almost managed to get the attention he deserved, but a collaboration on Smash would’ve brought him back for good. I mean, he’s a frog that crosses streets and rivers! What more do you want? At least HE lives in the real world, fighting a real battle. He’s not moving around in a maze eating invisible and untouchable beings…
I don’t really want to eradicate casual gamers from Smash Bros, but let’s at least give them an out of context character they can use. If you remember the late 90’s, all the cool kids in elementary school had their Tamagotchi. Everybody knew about them, so why not give them a spot on the roster? I can see them eating items to grow stronger during the battle, having poo attacks, etc. It’s a stretch, but it could work. Just have to keep digging at it. I’m sure he’d eventually be part of the game and watch the other battlers suffer.
Listen, I like the idea of Toon Link, but his moves aren’t exactly original, are they? However, THIS version of a cartoonish Link would have different moves. Horribly clumsy moves with bad acting, throwing wands of Gamelon around, generally harassing Zelda for a kiss. (Speaking of which, maybe CDI Zelda should be in there too). Look, I don’t know much about CDi Link, but that would all allow us to, right?
I know what you’re thinking. What are the chances a mascot of an old console that doesn’t have a successor making the move to a Nintendo game? It’s a perfect marketing plan to continue releasing games from this character on Nintendo systems, of course! (Wait… that sounds familiar.) I didn’t have the luxury of owning a TurboGrafx, but I had fun with Bonk’s adventure when I tried it. Plus, he’d fit right in, wouldn’t he? He’d probably hang out with T. Yoshisaur Munchakoopas. You would just have to take your time while including him in the Nintendo universe. Wouldn’t want to look like an underachieving sellout bringing constant deception, would you?
Even back in 1999 there were Nintendo franchises trying to make a comeback. Smash Bros was a possible publicity for them. Excitebike is somewhat of a nostalgic pick, but with Excitebike 64 around the corner, bringing back the racers could have been a great idea. Sure, racing characters don’t translate well into Smash Bros. battles, but I’m sure they’d would’ve figured it out. It’s not like we’re trying to shove a light gun game in there, right?
What do you mean you don’t know who Yan Deruta is? He’s a Commanding Officer in the Super Famicom Wars series! You know? The strategy games of the Nintendo Wars franchise that didn’t see the day before the Game Boy Advance (Advance Wars)? The guy in the picture above! I think… Anyway, I’m disappointed. Next you’re going to tell me you didn’t know about Marth when he arrived in Smash Bros. Melee. Anyhow, with infantry, tanks and whatnot, he’d sure have at least a better moveset than Captain Falcon. More importantly, I feel if Famicom Wars characters were introduced in the N64 version, we could’ve had 4 or 5 of them down the road, easily.
“Virtual Boy? That’s not even a character! It’s just a tool you use for certain obscure video games nobody really remembers anymore!” Exactly. A machine-like object everyone remembers, but forgets what games it was related to. However, let’s be honest, the Virtual Boy, when you ignore the fact that it is supposed to be portable, looks pretty cool. Just give it some lasers and stuff and, boom, you have a viable character.
So there you have it. A roster that could be made up from the imagination of a 12 year old boy or any group of irrational fanboys with the same collective judgement. I admit, some of these choices are a bit “left-field” for some people’s taste, but remember the idea here: “Please everyone until you don’t know what’s going on anymore.” Maybe that’s why the new Smash Bros. will not have a single player story mode. Not because people will spoil it on the YouTube, but because its roster doesn’t make sense anymore and a coherent attempt at a plot would be as realistic as a Kingdom Hearts fanfiction written by an 8-year-old. Yeah…
See you in two weeks!