Four Great Characters that Certainly WON'T Be DLC for Smash Bros.

Four Great Characters that Certainly WON'T Be DLC for Smash Bros.

But I'd love to be wrong.

pocru by pocru on Jan 20, 2019 @ 01:04 AM (Staff Bios)
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Arguably, one of the best things about a new Smash Bros game is the slow but exciting reveal for the characters that will make up its roster. I have a fairly fond memory, in fact, of seeing the announcement that Pokemon Trainer would be in Brawl in a news crawl at the bottom of the MTV game awards. Even at the time, I thought that it was cool that Nintendo had a game that was so hype, with a lineup so exclusive, that the reveal of one new character was seen as braking news. You sure as hell wouldnt see that kind of thing for Street Fighter, Tekken, or friggen Killer Instinct, I can tell you that much.

Which is why Ive always been sorta glad that Nintendo has decided to really double down on the DLC of Smash Brothers: it feels like an extension of that excitement, drawing out one of the best aspects of Smash Brothers well past the games release. Plus, the DLC fighters tend to be the most exciting anyway, as Nintendo wants to offer the kind of characters youd be inclined to pay extra for. There is, for lack of a better word, hype. And the reveal that the first real DLC character for Smash Brothers would be Persona 5s Joker did even more to stoke that excitement: the other four characters must be pretty baller if Joker was the opening act.

So I figured Id use this opportunity to look at other potential, highly anticipated characters might fill in the other four spots and examine why, exactly, they probably WONT be making an appearance. Because the best antidote for false hype (Lookin at you. Fallout 76) is a nice shot of reality, straight into the eyeballs like a syringe full of dirty heroin.

So without further ado:

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Banjo-Kazoo

Why would they be great?

This is pretty self-explanatory. Back in the mid 1990s and the heyday of the N64 era, there were exactly two companies you could trust to make incredible games: Nintendo itself, and Rare. Rare had cut its teeth on the Donkey Kong series, both 2D and 3D, but Banjo-Kazoo (which they created and owned) was when they really showed off their mastery of the collect-a-thon platformer. It had crazy characters, fun worlds, a killer soundtrack, and was quintessentially a product of the Nintendo 64.

Gameplay wise, Banjo-Kazoo has a lot to offer. The different eggs would provide plenty of special movies, while Kazoo would make for a natural up-special and recovery. If you were feeling really creative, you could even let the two characters separate, sort of like a mix between the Ice Climbers and Rosalina, to coordinate attacks at the risk of leaving half your character super vulnerable. Plus, an assist trophy where you have to answer trivia questions would objectively be amazing.

Why it probably wont happen

If Nintendo had any real interest in adding Banjo-Kazoo into Smash, they would have done it in the last game, most likely, during the character polls.

See, Nintendo has never really cared about what their fans say they want. It is what makes them both one of the best and one of the worst developers in the world. So when they announced that they were allowing fans to vote on who they wanted to see in Smash Brothers, it always struck me as fairly obvious that it was little more than a marketing ploy. There wasnt a single, half-cooked chance that Nintendo actually used the polls to decide who would make it into the game (and there sure as hell was a 0% chance that Bayonetta beat Banjo-Kazoo), but they could sort of pretend that it did so that the 6 fans who voted for who Nintendo had already decided on could feel like gods, and everyone else could just shrug because Nintendo never made the results of the poll public.

Again, because they likely never even bothered keeping track.

If Nintendo didnt release Banjo-Kazoo then, they sure as hell arent doing it now. And if I had to guess why, Id say professional spite is probably the #1 reason. Rare works for Microsoft now, and while Rare has certainly expressed a willingness to let the world famous bird and bear show up in Smash, Nintendo probably isnt interested in giving them a second chance.

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Sans (fight me)

Why would they be great?

Sans showed up in Undertale, an indie hit from 2016, that every edgy 14-year-old fell in love with for his chill existential despair and for falling into the this relaxed dude can actually kick your ass trope. Which makes him sound way worse than he actually is, he is legitimately a great character, and hed have a lot to offer Smash.

His ability to affect gravity would make for a very interesting gameplay mechanic, and hed have a lot of different and varied attacks at his disposal that could be pulled directly from his fight. Hed also be one of those high-risk, high-reward fighters, because I imagine for all his strength hed have to be the lightest character in the game. Plus, a stage based off Undertale (like the combat screen, with different Undertale enemies showing up) would be dope, and lets not forget an official Nintendo remix of Megalovania would be lit.

Why it probably wont happen

Im the worlds biggest Undertale fanboy, but even I recognize that if a hit indie character should show up as a playable character in Smash, it should be Shovel Knight. Its just a way better fit. The fact that he shows up as an Assist Trophy is good and fun, but the fact that hes stuck in Assist Trophy territory basically kills any hope of an indie darling showing up in the main roster, and that includes Mr. Sans.

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Doomguy

Why would they be great?

Doom started on PCs, but considering its even playable on a calculator, you can bet your ass its been ported to a few Nintendo consoles. Doomguy doesnt have much in the way of personality, but the latest Doom game (which is available on Switch) showed he was full of character, and that theres still a lot of people who want to turn demons into mashed potatoes with a super shotgun.

Gameplay wise, though

Why it probably wont happen

In the past, Sakurai stated that he wanted to avoid having realistic guns, if possible, in Smash Brothers: obviously his stance has relaxed somewhat, but thats part of the reason why Snakes moveset relies so heavily on explosives, mines, and other not-so-subtle attacks. Nintendo has also shown time and time again than when it comes to characters, they value unique gameplay over history or fan affection: thats why the friggen Ice Climbers are still on the roster, despite being well the Ice Climbers.

And thats a problem because the Doomguy doesnt really offer much to the Smash Roster. His whole thing is guns, and while thats great for a first-person shooter, it doesnt loan itself well to Smash Brothers. Obviously his final smash would be the BFG, and I could see a mechanic similar to Robin where each special is a different gun, that has limited ammunition, and could only be recharged with a risky chainsaw attack. But unless Nintendo has any better ideas, I dont think thats really special enough, from a gameplay point of view, to warrant his inclusion.

That said, there are like 12 nearly identical Fire Emblem characters, so clearly Nintendos philosophy doesnt always apply.

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Rayman

Why would they be great?

Rayman certainly didnt get its start on Nintendo, being a one-time contender for the never really filled role as PlayStation mascot, but he certainly made a comfortable home for himself on Nintendo consoles in the years to follow. This limbless monstrosity fell out of the limelight for a time (and was even overshadowed at his first comeback tour by the Rabbids, bless) but hes made a heck of a return since then, and reminded everyone why hes still a champion at running, jumping, and savin fairies.

Gameplay wise, Raymans extendable limbs would give him some strategic options, while his recovery would obviously be his helicopter hair. We could also steal the funny face mechanic to behave similarly to Mewtwos down-special, provoking a hypnotic/sleep like effect on enemies. Theres no shortage of inspired stages or potential assist trophies, either, so in that respect Raymans got more to offer than the average newcomer.

Why it probably wont happen

A lot of reasons we discussed more at length with other characters. Rayman would have been another popular character to bring up during the character poll, and if Nintendo couldnt be bothered to bring him in then, that means they likely wont do it now. Plus, its easy to forget, but Ubisoft has a long history of being a very fair-weather friend to Nintendo, and I could see some internal amnesty leading to the decision to leave him out. I mean: there has to be a reason we barely saw any Mario + Rabbits: Kingdom Battle in Smash.

Regardless. Id be more than happy to be wrong about any of these things. Particularly Doomguy. Thatd be worth it just for the reveal trailer.

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