This is the big one, folks. There’s a whole bevy of Nintendo properties, and Brawl surprised us with the revival of Kid Icarus’ Pit, the presence of both Metaknight and King Dedede, the little Captain Olimar(to which many fans proclaimed “B-B-But Olimar is too little, how can he fight!!!), and ROB(WHO IS ROB?!?!?!?!!?!?!), and swordsmen who fight for their friends and more. Those revealed in the very first Brawl trailer(Metaknight, Pit, Zero Suit Samus, Wario, Snake) were extremely well-received and kicked off the march of speculation regarding characters, especially third-party; but that’s for later in the article, so don’t blow your lid about why Travis Touchdown ‘deserves’ to be in -quite- yet. The first-party character throne is big, but as we know it can also encompass some curious surprises - like ROB.
First-party characters are the bulk of the Nintendo choices - until the presence of third-party Smashers Snake and Sonic, the SSB series had been locked entirely to Nintendo’s first-party creations, and this is exactly how it should be, will be, and will stay, for that matter. This is a Nintendo game. Made by Project Sora, natch - but still Nintendo! Because of this, I believe that first-party characters will still rule the newcomer block. But first, let’s take a little talk about what makes something first-party and what makes it third-party.
First-party - This is a developer that is part of a company that makes a video game console - and develops exclusively for it. First-party developers can either use the name of the company itself (like Nintendo), have a specific division name (like Sony’s own).
Third-party - This would be a developer that has no actual ties to the primary product that the consumer is using. Sega is pretty much almost entirely third-party(barring JP Dreamcast stuff). Even if they’ve produced games solely for one platform, unless they are tied in by contract ala Rare(who went from Third-party to First-party when they were bought by Nintendo way back when), they are considered to be Third-party.
So with that out of the way, let’s talk characters - the knitty gritty meat and bones of the article. Remember that these are my personal choices and my opinions as to why these characters should be present in Super Smash Bros. X/Kerfuffle/Universe/4: New Age of Mushrooms/Origin/Whatever. You might not agree, you might agree, you might hate me forever for some reason, but just tailor the MST3K mantra to the situation and “really just relax.”
I’ve loved Golden Sun. Sure, it was a PARTICLE PARTY, but it was a gorgeous one that pushed the capabilities of the GBA to its absolute limit, especially regarding the music, where Camelot used its savvy for high-energy pieces to craft an absolutely killer soundtrack. The Mode 7-esque world map was a bit jarring, but the actual areas were well designed and it had some of the best puzzles in an RPG anyone had seen - tack on class changing through the relocation of Djinni, which could also be used to unleash beneficial effects as well as summon powerful creatures. It seated itself in as the best RPG on the GBA bar none, and on top of that, when we got post-game save data and a cliffhanger… it made the hype for The Lost Age all the better. TLA added more Djinni, more classes, more weapons, more Psynergy, more music, more characters, more sailing, more characterization(especially Felix), more everything and it was like going from filet mignon to filet mignon and then washing it down with gold and truffle-infused ice cream.
It is of my belief that Isaac deserves a spot because he was at the forefront of the GBA RPG Revolution, precursor to Superstar Saga even by a whole two years! It hit upon the dearth of solid, solid RPGs that the GBA had at the time, and despite its text-heavy hamhandedness at times, stood at the top of the pile for years. Why am I not saying “Well, Dark Dawn came out a year or so ago and it ended on a cliffhanger so Matthew has a higher chance of making it.” you ask? Because Dark Dawn stomped the dreams of the original players utterly flat. That save data at the end of TLA? Ignored. The rebirth of Alchemy and the new presence of Lemuria? Who cares. Here, have Isaac and Jenna’s kid, Garet’s kid, Mia’s kid, Ivan’s kid - here’s a plot point about Psynergy Vortexes that will disappear soon enough and be ignored until the end of the game. Also, eight characters crammed into the entire, somewhat short game(with multiple points of no return!!!) resulted in a massive lack of cast characterization, especially with Himi - useful character, horrible plot presence. I AM A PART OF YOUR PART BECAUSE THE MCGUFFIN IN YOUR INVENTORY RESPONDED TO ME AND HEALED ME FOR SOME REASON NOW I AM CRUCIAL HIMI HAS JOINED THE PARTY!
“Well, why not Felix?” you might say, noting his characterization in TLA and still nigh-mute hero status for Isaac - this is a tough one that relies entirely on personal opinion moreso than anything else. Then again - Felix didn’t get assist trophy status, hm? Both could fit the role of a Mage Knight sort of character - a slightly more nimble Link who use various Psynergy in order to defeat their opponents. If you wanted to get really out there, you could assign them a ‘Psynergy Shift’ special that switches their class, opening up new forms of attacks and defense… or maybe Grand Gaia/Briar, Move, Float(Remember, Lucas doesn’t use Starstorm), and Earth Sphere or something could work - the number of possibilities for it are endless. Issac would make a strong, exciting addition to the game, and I’m sticking by that belief.
My suggested moveset:
Ridley was denied from Brawl for ‘being too big’, which is of course their way of saying “He was planned as a boss and modeled already, so he’s way too big to be a character in his current incarnation.” That much I can understand, but it’s time, Nintendo. It’s time to give the mighty(spandex clad, monotone, brainwashed mole-on-lip Sakamoto-approved) bounty hunter her rival on the stage, not as a boss with a big lifebar. I’m not saying that the boss fight in Brawl wasn’t enjoyable, particularly as PARALLAX BACKGROUNDS are basically one of the things I enjoy the most in this silly little world - but now that Brawl has run its course, Ridley deserves a full-on roster spot, with no more excuses. I want to battle Samus against Ridley in the Norfair stage mano e mano, plasma cannon to firebreath, spin attack to claws and tail.
Metroid, if you’re going to be -ultra- anal about it, technically has two reps as of this writing - Samus and Zero Suit Samus, who are wildly different in their playstyles despite being the same person just in and out of suit. However, that’s just lame in regards to the loveliness that is Metroid. After Nintendo’s near-brutal ignoring of Metroid’s Anniversary, it would be a step in the right direction to see Ridley in the next Super Smash Bros. game where he rightly belongs, duking it out with Samus or crushing the creampuff Kirby within his jaws. Metroid has gone through a lot, from Sakamoto hassling the Metroid Prime series to Samus’ sudden shift into nigh-plasticine model territory as well as the murdering of her light characterization as far as we’d known it, but Ridley was always there to breathe fire on us, stab us with a tail, or grind us against the wall of a tunnel in freefall at 300km/h.
Come on, Nintendo.
My suggested moveset:
Mewtwo wasn’t even a clone and he got dropped(10 to 1 if Falco wasn’t iconic via top tier in Melee he would’ve been in danger). This was due to the rapidly growing popularity of Lucario at the time, as he’d exploded onto the scene and was wildly popular because he’s some sort of furry jackal thing with special secret aura powers or something. However, Lucario’s popularity has then since dwindled and Mewtwo has actually been given a surprising amount of attention in Japan lately - plus, he was the original Smash Brothers Pokepsychic in the first place. I think everything is actually lining up for the plausible return of Mewtwo, although he will have to contend with what a lot of people believe is the next shoe in for furry bipedal Pokemon rep, Zoroark. I personally think that while Zoroark’s popularity is certainly up there, it simply didn’t have quite the impact that Lucario did and doesn’t have quite as strong a standing with which to provide leverage so he can reach the cast.
So - Mewtwo’s reinclusion into the roster doesn’t sound particularly farfetched if you at least take everything into consideration, albeit I can certainly understand why it might not be as strong a case as other characters can have. Both Mewtwo and Lucario certainly had quirks to their moveset, and Lucario had that ‘Aura’ mechanic where he would get stronger as his percentage raised, but it just felt like Mewtwo had -impact-, know what I mean? From the explosion of his downsmash to the swirling dark energy of his upsmash, the quick and simple teleport, it just seemed like a better moveset in terms of -ideas- rather than Lucario’s Extremespeed/Force Palm/Counter moveset but just received poor execution - it didn’t seem like the people making his moves actually knew what they wanted them to do..
My suggested moveset:
Well, I guess I could do one more..
Calm down, calm down. I’m of the kind that believe that Nintendo shuffled a -lot- of good ideas onto the sideline as far as Assist Trophies go, and it’s delicious, untapped potential waiting to be brought out. Unlike Pokeballs, stupid Munchlax and Bonsly in 90% of all throws. But yes, I believe that Little Mac deserves a spot, although there hasn’t been much news on Punch-Out!!! since the Wii game came out - but it was a damn good one in my opinion. It gave a little more characterization to Little Mac, fixed his look up a lot more(ew, SNES Mac), and Doc Louis had more presence than before(too many chocolate bars?), coupled with its colorful cast of Boxers to go up against, it was a clean hook for a long-sleeping IP.
My suggested moveset:
In the end, what is actually chosen is a total crapshoot - I don’t have any influence, and a lot of are of the mind that -no- Americans or non-japanese have influence on the roster due to the fact that the Japanese Smash Dojo! had a comment box you could use to submit suggestions, which was not present in any other website localization. Only one thing can be for sure - that the first party characters chosen by Nintendo will be milled over hard and long, because it’s no simple honor to be included in the Smash Bros. Hall of Fame… it’s one of the biggest Nintendo honors a character can receive. If you’d like to discuss Third-party characters, never fret - simply wait for the next iteration of this article, likely coming tomorrow, which will talk about Third-Party characters and why it’s a very careful selection.
I know I missed some sure shots, like Ghirahim, whose fanciful presentation and work in Skyward Sword all but guarantees him a spot on the roster, but this is just my personal feelings on a few characters - I could write freakin’ essays on characters and the moves they would have. As for you, dear readers - thanks for reading, and discuss which first-party characters you’d like to see in the next Suuuuuuuuuuper Smaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaash Brotheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeersssssssssssssss!