Also, I’d like to host a Source Gaming tournament this weekend. I purchased a capture card, and will be live streaming it. Please follow the Source Gaming Twitter account for more details (Let us know if Saturday or Sunday works better, and what timezone).
As soon as I saw the members of the Hoshido clan on the screen, my heart dropped. I knew that somehow another Fire Emblem character had made their way into battle. It was revealed that Corrin, the protagonist from Fire Emblem: Fates, was chosen as one of the final three characters in Smash. I would like to talk about the salt from their inclusion, my personal feelings, and lessons learned from this experience. Before we begin, I’m not trying to “rain on anyone’s parade.” I don’t think Corrin is a bad choice. I just don’t know if they’re the best. So if you are happy about Corrin’s inclusion, I’m happy for you.
Corrin’s inclusion is controversial (as evidenced by this title!). There is a huge divide between how they have been received within the Smash speculation community. The only other character that has been THIS dividing was Dark Pit in the base roster of Smash for Wii U/3DS. In Corrin’s case, the controversy exists because of three main reasons. First, people feel they took another “ballot slot” even when Corrin wasn’t that heavily requested. Second, it’s another Fire Emblem character. Third, people are upset their ballot choice wasn’t chosen. In my mind these are all perfectly valid reasons to be upset — and a part of the reason why I’m personally not particularly excited for Corrin’s inclusion.
So, Corrin was not heavily requested. While I have long argued online polling was never going to be accurate, Sakurai not mentioning Corrin’s popularity implies they weren’t a heavily requested character. Sakurai confirmed Corrin was decided in order to represent an upcoming game (the Japanese translation can be found at the bottom*), and selected for their unique abilities. So Corrin’s decision did not rest upon any explicit popularity, and it’s possible Corrin was decided as early as April (before Fates was released in Japan). Smash characters take a long time to develop. The proof is the fact that we have only three new characters since the Smash Ballot officially began, as Roy, Ryu and Lucas were in development beforehand.
Corrin is an example of Sakurai “boxing himself when it comes to character choices,” and it’s the same exact reason why Wolf was not a shoo-in, as Lucas was very clearly chosen as “the cut Brawl veteran.” This is purely based on how Sakurai has introduced every fighter, and may not be the way Sakurai has chosen these characters. Since DLC was limited, it makes sense to try to optimize it by selecting the overall fan favorite, the best cut Brawl fighter, the best cut Melee fighter, the best third-party rep, the best Final Fantasy rep, the best upcoming game rep—and lastly, the most realizable character from the Smash Ballot. However, by deciding the DLC one by one, in my opinion, Sakurai trapped himself and neglected the overall picture. I do feel in a lot of ways the choices individually make total sense.
If you are not a fan of RPGs, like I am, then a lot of characters on the DLC list probably didn’t appeal to you—or at the very least the potential for disappointment is there. This is only including characters. I do feel Sakurai tried to balance it with additional representation to other series via stages and costumes. However, characters definitely have the most weight behind them and generate the most buzz. I do feel the series balance for Fire Emblem has finally tipped the scales. Sakurai himself was concerned about this, but felt Corrin’s unique attributes were extremely favorable to their inclusion. Sakurai has stated in the GDC 2008 presentation that series balance was an important part of consideration, so I’m sure the decision was not made lightly.
The last reason most people are upset is because “their choice” wasn’t chosen. I’ve long predicted that “There will be salt,” so this kind of reaction is not surprising. This was bound to happen because people hyped up what the Smash Ballot meant, and what would happen from it. I do wish I had spread more awareness about the previous ballots. I see some people still in denial about their character not getting in. The final batch of DLC has been fully announced; it’s over. Hope for the best for the next Smash as the ballot data can be used for future installments.
I don’t feel that Corrin “took” any ballot slots. As I stated above, based on Sakurai’s statements in the Direct, the idea behind representing an upcoming game is what led to Corrin’s inclusion. I hope Sakurai discusses this more in a Famitsu column in the future, as this is the part that I’m not entirely sold on. The first question is: Did Sakurai really have to represent an upcoming game with DLC? The second question is: Was Fire Emblem: Fates a game that really needed promotional DLC? Quite frankly, I don’t feel Sakurai needed to represent an upcoming game—especially as a DLC character. If the team was bigger, or if they had more time, then I might not have cared. Right now, Fire Emblem characters represent nearly 30% of the DLC characters, which in my mind isn’t fair.
Corrin’s inclusion is the second example of a character being included for promotional purposes (even though Roy was supposed to debut in his game before Melee) and both of those characters are Fire Emblem. If this was the rationale behind their inclusion, then Sakurai should embrace the concept and include characters from new series that might need the promotion. Code Name S.T.E.A.M. did terribly in Japan, and having a character from that series could have helped. Splatoon was an unproven IP and a rep might have made the series “safer.” Or even a Paper Jam character, or a Federation Force character? Why not go obscure and promote an eShop title by HAL Laboratories, like Box Boy!, or other e-Shop only titles? Either Fire Emblem is a series that isn’t popular and needs assistance with promotion, or it’s popular enough that it doesn’t need extra promotion. In my opinion, it can’t be both—and yet you have fans claiming both at the same time.
In the end, I do feel Corrin is unique and they’re not a terrible choice. When considering the big picture of DLC, though, it’s one that I’m not personally thrilled with. It’s the end of Smash for Wii U/ 3DS, and overall I’m happy with the entire game. I just wish the DLC offered a bit more to me, personally.
*Corrin’s Quote Comparison
Japanese: “We decided that, if we’re going to create more downloadable fighters, it made sense to add a character from a new release. After some discussion, Corrin was selected from the group of candidates, and we set to work.”
American:“As we developed new fighters, we thought to include someone from this upcoming game. That’s how we decided to begin production on Corrin”
The reason the mistranslation may exist is because Sakurai states, 最新作, or “newest release.” It could refer to Fire Emblem: Fates in particular, or one of Nintendo’s newest releases in general. Based on Sakurai’s statement, it makes more sense that the correct translation is “newest releases,” as he was concerned with Fire Emblem overrepresentation—but because of Corrin’s unique moveset, they were chosen.
If you are interested in hearing additional opinions on Corrin (more positive!), check out Delzethin’s video, embedded below:
Please keep it civil in the discussion. At the end of the day, it’s nothing to cry about, and there’s no justification in being mean to another user. We are all a part of the Smash family.