How Would You Fix Smash Bros.?
Posted by Kris Randazzo on Oct 27th 2021
Okay, maybe "fix" isn't the right word
I certainly don't mean to imply that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is broken. Quite the opposite, really. The current iteration of Super Smash Bros. is kinda crazy when you think about it. Now that the roster is full (as far as we know) I’ve been thinking about what might have been, especially in light of how many people were disappointed every time a new DLC fighter was announced.
It’s interesting to me just how many of the “most requested” fighters aren’t the ones I'd have chosen. I’m glad Dante wasn’t in the game. I think having Doomguy as a Mii costume is kinda great. In actuality, there is no “perfect” Smash roster because that would be different for everybody.
Just for funsies, I thought I’d try and come up with what my perfect Smash game would look like. I set a few ground rules though to keep it interesting. Features were more or less free game, but any fighters I picked would have to come at the expense of an existing one. No overall increase in fighters!
Once again, this is what would make for my personal perfect Smash Bros. game. What Sakurai and his team have put together here is a masterpiece, and it is unlikely to be topped any time soon. This is purely for the fun of it. Here we go!
Add more assist trophies!
Assist trophies are a great way to get representation in Smash without having to try and figure out a way to make everyone a viable fighter. There are a ton of really historically important franchises and publishers who have little to no representation in the game, and having even assist trophies fill those roles out would be great.
Not for nothing, but I’d play the heck out of a Mega Man remake done in this visual style.
Obviously I’d want basically all the missing assist trophies back from previous games. Barbara from Jam With the Band, Elec Man from Mega Man, the Excitebikes, and Infantry and Tanks in particular would be my top picks. As for newcomers, Bill from Contra would have to be at the top of my list. Have him come out with a Spread gun and just jump around shooting stuff. Then we could have Billy and Jimmy Lee from Double Dragon. This iconic duo would make for an excellent way to get some Technos representation in there. The two could come out and double team some folks with their spinning Hurricane Kick.
Sticking with the duo set up, how about getting some Taito love in there with Bub and Bob from Bubble Bobble? These two cute little dragons could pop out and trap players in bubbles. It would be hilarious and adorable.
Speaking of Taito, where are the Space Invaders? It’s one of the most influential video games of all time, and they’d make for a sweet assist trophy. Have a full set of Space Invaders just show up and start marching back and forth across the screen.
Tetris Blocks are one I honestly can’t believe haven’t already happened. Just have it start raining Tetris blocks and watch the hilarity ensue.
This is great, but it could be so much more
Meanwhile, Nintendo has plenty of important figures they could still use. Wart may be an all but forgotten character, but having him come out and start barfing up whatever that stuff he spits around in Super Mario Bros. 2 would be so much fun. And in the realm of boss characters, Drageaux from Ring Fit Adventure would make for a heck of a great assist, or even boss character. He’s such a cool design, and having him show up and do exercise moves at you would be awesome. Finally, we have Bald Bull. He’s the only character that’s been in almost every Punch-Out! Game, and the only one to appear in the Arm Wrestling spinoff as well. He’s great, and his Bull Charge would make for a terrifying attack to avoid. And let’s not forget our good friend Mike Jones! StarTropics has been ignored for too long!
But the most important character they could throw in as an assist trophy would be Captain N himself. Globally, this guy would be a mystery, but here in America, Captain N is an icon to people of a certain age, and since this is my dream game, I get to make the rules. Have him show up, blast some dudes with his Zapper, and call it a day.
This game is already stuffed with content, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss stuff like “Break the Targets” and “Board the Platforms.” They were really fun puzzles designed around each character’s unique abilities, and I would have loved to see them return. Especially with a roster this size, making your way through all that stuff would add hours of content.
I want to board all of the platforms!
In a similar vein, let’s talk about spirits. They’re fantastic, and a much better solution than trophies in the modern day. Seeing classic characters rendered in 3D used to be a super crazy cool idea, but that’s pretty much become useless now. High resolution images of official artwork though, are outstanding. The only thing that’s missing is context. They say what games a lot of these spirits are from, but they don’t have anything describing who or what they are. I would spend an unseemly amount of time reading about every spirit if I could. These are such a great way to introduce people to games and franchises they probably have never heard of, and their absence is a huge missed opportunity.
Speaking of missed opportunities, why not give us some costumes? Street Fighter and other fighting games do a great job with this, and with the whole video game history angle Smash Bros. has going for it, the possibilities are endless.
Imagine being able to play specifically as Skyward Sword Link, or Dread suit Samus, Modern design Mega Man, or any number of other Belmonts? This would be a fantastic way to add future DLC, I’m just saying. I’d pay for it.
They just introduced this concept and then didn’t really do anything with it. Of course, many of them could just be costume changes like Olimar/Alph, but Echoes are more fun. Again, I can’t add any fighters, I can only replace.
First, I’d replace Falco with Tails. I like Falco more than I like Wolf, but I’d hate to lose any villains on the roster, and Falco would work just fine as an alternate costume for Fox. I know I don’t particularly care about the slight differences in their move sets!
Tails would then be an echo for Sonic, with the only difference being he’d be slightly slower and you could change his Up B to him flying with his tails instead of the spring jump thing. Having a second Sonic rep just makes sense.
Look at him! He totally wants to punch someone.
Next, replace Lucina with Ms. Pac-Man. Look, Lucina’s great, but Fire Emblem is grossly overrepresented in Smash Ultimate, and Ms. Pac-Man is a freaking gaming icon. Just change her projectile move to match the stuff she collects in her game and you’ve got a character that’s different enough to be an echo but wouldn’t take much in the way of work to put together.
Finally, replace Chrom with Medusa. Again, we don’t need this many Fire Emblem characters, but Smash could always use more women and villains. Medusa fits both of those categories, and she’d make an awesome, more aggressive version of Palutena.
This was tough, because the roster is pretty great as-is, but here’s what I came up with.
First, and hear me out, I’d replace Corrin with Sophia III. Dropping Corrin is a no-brainer for me. I don't think I’ve ever used that character outside of random. Meanwhile, Sunsoft has no representation in Smash, and that’s tragic to me. Blaster Master may not be on the same tier as a lot of other franchises, but it’s got more of a legacy than Ice Climber, and can you imagine how weird and cool it would be to have a character that’s an actual vehicle? SOPHIA III would be completely unique, and I’d love it.
I don’t know how it would work, and I don’t care.
Next, I’d replace Pichu with Ryu Hayabusa. Pichu is great, but he's so similar to Pikachu that I feel like they could get away with relegating him to being just another costume for Pikachu if they really needed to. Otherwise, he's just a weirder Pikachu, and I don’t need that. However, what we do need is a Tecmo rep. Tecmo and Nintendo have a great relationship, and they’re a huge part of Nintendo’s legacy. Rygar would be cool, and I’m sure folks would be happy to see someone from the Warriors franchise, but Ryu Hayabusa is where it’s at. His moveset basically creates itself, what with the fire wheel, windmill star, etc, and there aren’t any characters quite like him. Plenty of swords, no katanas. Ryu would be amazing.
Next, replace Lucario with Ganon. Lucario is more or less a Mewtwo clone, and more often than not I forget he’s even there. Zelda needs more representation. As do villains. Gannondorf is great, but I want a heavy playable pig monster Ganon. His classic blue design from Link to the Past. He would be so much fun.
Sticking with the Zelda theme, I’d replace Young Link with Impa. We don’t need this many Links, and Young Link could work just fine as an alternate costume for Toon Link. Impa has been a mainstay in the Zelda franchise since its inception, and her iterations in Skyward Sword and Hyrule Warriors would make for one killer character.
Plenty of costume choices too!
Next, Replace Isabelle with Dixie Kong. I love Animal Crossing, and I love Isabelle, but I never really got her as a fighter in Smash. She’s so similar to Villager, and I honestly thought she worked best as an assist trophy. Meanwhile, Dixie Kong deserves some love. She fits the bill of a Smash fighter way better, and her hair could make for a fun move set.
In the realm of health, I’d replace Dr. Mario with Ring Fit Adventurer. Dr. Mario should be an alternate skin for Mario and that’s it. Him being a whole other character is silly and a holdover from before the concept of echo fighters existed. Ring Fit Adventure has been a massive success for Nintendo, and the main character has a phenomenal design. There’s a lack of characters with cool air-based attacks, and Ring Fit Adventurer could fit that bill nicely.
This one’s tough, but I’d replace Lucas with Crash Bandicoot. Nothing against Mother 3, but Lucas and Ness are very similar characters, especially in terms of design. Lucas should be a costume. Meanwhile, I’m a firm believer that Crash Bandicoot is not a very good game. But he’s a gaming icon who would make for a really fun Character to have in Smash, if only to pit him, Mario, and Sonic against one another.
Finally, I'd replace Roy with Master Chief. Ditching Roy in addition to all the other changes I suggested here would bring the Fire Emblem roster from a whopping eight down to a reasonable four, which feels right to me. As for Master Chief, I don't know what it is about this guy that makes me want him as a Smash Fighter, but it just feels right, you know? Microsoft and Nintendo are chums, and seeing Chief go head to head with Samus would rule.
I bet he’d have a pretty cool stage too.
It's going to be exciting to see where Smash goes from here. Will there be another set of Echo fighters added to the mix? Will we get costumes? What can the next game possibly look like? Time will tell. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to enjoy the brilliant game we got, and hold out hope for some of my wishes in the future.
How would you “fix” Smash?