Previously in the series, I examined characters whom I considered to be the Konami frontrunners for Smash DLC. Here are my articles on Snake, Simon Belmont, and Bomberman for those that may be interested. While I do believe that Konami is a prime candidate for DLC in Smash, I also know that they are far from being the only major contenders. With that in mind, I bring to you my analysis of characters from Ubisoft, starting with company mascot Rayman.
You can’t have a Rayman for Smash article without referencing the Artsy Omni leak
Character Background: Rayman may not have any arm or legs, but he does have plenty of heart. A being of light hailing from the Glade of Dreams, Rayman uses a wide variety of powers in order to confront the evils of his world. He is good natured, carefree, and 100% dedicated to his goals.
Rayman made his debut in 1995’s Rayman on the Atari Jaguar. The game design and philosophy of the original Rayman seems to be a callback to the 16 bit era of gaming. This is likely because the game was originally planned to be released on the Super Nintendo. Despite these origins, the limbless wonder did not make his official debut on Nintendo hardware until the Nintendo 64 version of Rayman 2: the Great Escape in 1999.
Rayman has since become the face of Ubisoft, starring in dozens of games across a wide variety of platforms and in many different genres. Equally beloved for both his 2D and 3D platforming titles, Rayman’s games have sold over 25 million units worldwide.
Rayman for the Super Nintendo. The game that could have been.
Reasons for inclusion: Ubisoft and Nintendo have a long and interesting history, with Ubisoft being one of Nintendo’s closest Western third party developers since the Gamecube era. They supported the Wii U since launch with titles from franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, Rayman, and more. While their support for the Wii U has gone dry, the company is still one of the leading third party publishers on the platform, having released over 20 games since the Wii U’s launch.
Interestingly enough, Rayman: Legends on the Wii U was published by Nintendo in Japan. This may be why Rayman already has a trophy in Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3Ds. The Rayman series of trophies actually makes him one of the (very few) third party characters to already have content in the newest iteration of Smash Bros.
Well, that sure is a good looking model there, Rayman
Rayman has found a good bit of notoriety and success outside of the gaming world. He was the star of his own short lived animated series in the late 90’s, and Raving Rabbids, a Rayman spinoff series, is the subject of a currently running cartoon.
Can you say ‘Up B?’
Reasons for exclusion:
Ubisoft and Nintendo’s relationship isn’t as strong as it once was. Many fans will point to the delay of and loss of exclusivity of Rayman: Legends as evidence of this. Despite this, the relationship between the two companies is still amicable, with Ubisoft having released software on Nintendo hardware as recently as November of last year.
Rayman is also the property of a European developer. While this should not be a reason for exclusion, it is worth noting that the only non-Japanese created character in the current game roster is Diddy Kong. Sakurai himself has described the game as a celebration of Japanese gaming in the past.
Rayman has quite a bit of longevity (as he debuted in 1995, just four years after Sonic,) and many would consider the character iconic. Despite this, he does not really exemplify the period of gaming he is from in the same way the other guest characters do. Megaman is synonymous with 8-bit platformers. Sonic is arguably the most important character created in the 16-bit era. Pacman is king of arcade gaming. Rayman starred in a 2D platformer in a time when everyone was thinking about 3D. His first 3D outing was excellent, yet people will still likely think of Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, and Banjo Kazooie before they think of Rayman.
What is Smash Bros. without music? Here are a few tracks you can look forward to if Rayman makes it in.