Strange as it sounds, the greatest part of any new Super Smash Bros game is the waiting. With the first short teaser for Super Smash Bros for the Nintendo Switch the hype train pulled out of the station – and the tradition of roster speculation officially began once more. What sets this Smash Bros game apart is the big question mark over quite how much this is a ‘new’ game, how much of the last game will be re-used, and how many new characters can reasonably be expected. By the time the Wii U and 3DS entries had been enhanced with DLC it features 58 characters, including the likes of Cloud, Bayonetta, Pac-man and Mega Man. That’s an impressive assortment of video game royalty by anyone’s standards.
Waluigi is one of the first characters on people’s minds. With all his ‘friends’ having made the cut, even Rosalina, and Mario still being Nintendo’s most prominent brand, could the Switch be where Waluigi makes his Smash debut? He’s already paid his dues as an assist trophy, and there’s little denying his memetic quality. With Mario Tennis Aces coming out soon the timing seems right to make him a fully-fledged fighter complete with all his tennis-related flair.
There was a lot of speculation about Travis for the last Smash game, with Suda51 still behind his inclusion the timing also seems right for him to join the roster. Not only is Travis about to grace the Switch with Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, he’d serve as nice relic of the Wii era itself. Travis is a character that’s overflowing with personality, yet seems just goofy enough to fit in alongside everyone else. While No More Heroes has a reasonably small following, a stint in Smash Bros would be a great way to raise awareness for Travis Strikes Again and future sequels.
Indie and e-shop games are looking like a bigger and bigger part of Nintendo’s strategy, promoting several key titles and even enjoying timed exclusivity. While there’s a handful of popular indie characters that are closely associated with Nintendo platforms, none does so better (or has proved more popular) than Yacht Club game’s Shovel Knight. Shovel Knight would look at home in a Smash Bros line-up, and considering he has his own amiibo figure he seems likely to remain a favourite for joining the fray.
Spring-man and Ribbon-Girl
With only a short amount of time since the last Smash Bros and its comprehensive line-up there haven’t really been many breakout new Nintendo characters. With characters from Splatoon already confirmed in the teaser, it doesn’t seem a stretch (get it?) that we would get characters from Nintendo’s other new competitive franchise in Smash Bros Switch. Any of the ARMS line-up has move-set potential, but the two most prominent characters seem like a smart choice.
Retro characters have been a recurring feature of Smash Bros since Melee – but with rise of micro consoles like the NES and SNES Mini ‘retro’ has become a much more prominent aspect of Nintendo’s business. Looking through the catalogues of both of those systems the Castlevania series stands as out as very well represented, and definitely much loved. Hoping for a Castlevania character when there’s so many first-party franchises certainly requires a dash of optimism, but stranger things have happened!
Tails and Knuckles
Nintendo consoles still seem to be a naturally fit for Sonic’s releases, with the much-loved Sonic Mania enjoying much success on the platform (with a physical release coming later in the year) and the less-loved Sonic Forces also present it seems likely Sonic will be be returning for another Smash outing. With the announcement of the ‘Sega Ages’ series of classic retro Sega releases for the Switch celebrating the Sega-Nintendo relationship with an additional Sega character seems appropriate, but before we see any other Sega characters it’d be nice if at least Tails joined his friend for Smash Bros Switch.
Toad is another character that has long been requested for Smash, despite being part of Princess Peach’s move set. While he’s certainly a popular character, and has shown up for everything from kart races to golf matches, he hardly seems set to set the world of competitive fighting ablaze. Captain Toad, however, certainly has more potential – from wielding that adorable pick axe to his huge jump-impairing backpack (not to mention receiving his very own game on the Wii U and the Switch).
A new Pokemon addition to the roster is something that can be counted on for each Smash game – and its been a few years for Pokemon. With Pokemon Go‘s ongoing success, the Switch port of Pokken Tournament, Ultra Sun, Ultra Moon and Detective Pikachu there’s a host of possibilities. Decidueye would fit the bill nicely – representating Sun and Moon’s starters, and completing the Fire < Water < Grass loop started by Charizard and Greninja.
Dillon was a long-shot even back before Smash Bros Wii U. The star of two 3DS e-shop only titles, Dillon’s Rolling Western and its sequel The Last Ranger, Dillon is a cowboy-styled Armadillo who gained something of a cult-following. Dillon made it to the last Smash Bros as an assist trophy, which was still quite an achievement. Continuing with the theme of ‘not many franchises left untapped’, and given Dillon is due to receive a third outing
The Ice Climbers and Wolf O’Donnell
With a big question marking remaining over just how many new characters we can expect from Smash on Switch seeing a return of some of the only characters to disappear from the roster seems a very reasonable hope.
Yes, he’s certainly very large – and seems far more at representing the Metroid franchise as a stage hazard. But if Smash Bros Switch does end up being more of an enhanced port there aren’t many characters more talked about, or more likely to make Wii U and 3DS veterans double dip, than Ridley.