Smash for Switch: A Source Gaming Prediction (Characters)

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This article is based entirely on a hypothetical scenario.

I’m sure it crossed the mind of every Smash Bros. fan when they first saw the trailer upon the Nintendo Switch was unveiled. We saw what can only be ascertained as an enhanced port of the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8. Coming to the Switch! But what does it mean for the future of Smash Bros.? Potentially nothing, but potentially everything.

While it’s far from confirmed, only rumoured. We feel that it’s a plausible enough possibility to throw out our official prediction. This vision of Smash Bros. for the Nintendo Switch is one that essentially adds more of everything to the existing Wii U version. Today we will be focusing solely on characters.

A total of 11 Source Gaming team members participated, banding together. We voted on 7 characters in total each as we felt that using the DLC timeline as a guide was the best we had to go by. Though there is an exception, which I’ll get to shortly.

When voting, we each ranked our votes from 1 to 7, where 1 indicated most likely, and 7 indicated less likely. This meant that some characters ranked lower on our list even with more votes if our team had less faith in that character. We took into consideration a wide number of factors, including such things as the Smash Ballot, as well as upcoming and recent game releases. In a surprising twist of fate, everybody’s lists shared striking similarities, with generally one or two deviations per person.

This is what we came up with.

1st place. Inklings (Splatoon) (11 votes)
The Inklings were the sole character that every team member agreed to. Each person also deemed them as either the first or second most likely character. It’s certainly easy to understand why the Inklings are prime for a playable role in Smash. Splatoon was a runaway hit on the Wii U, and is already confirmed to be making a splash on the Nintendo Switch. Splatoon is well on its way to being one of Nintendo’s staple franchises. Since surpassing 4.5 million total sales, it is the most successful new IP Nintendo has launched since The Legend of Zelda in 1986. The Inklings lock in a huge amount of fan demand, modern relevance out the wazoo and most importantly a potentially very diverse arsenal.

2nd place. Ice Climbers (9 votes)
The Ice Climbers were unceremoniously axed from the latest Smash outing due to the technical limitations imposed by the 3DS. They were even the only cut character(s) that Sakurai gave a reason for their absence, and furthermore their exit resulted in the first and only time an entire first party IP left Smash Bros. With those limitations lifted by the Switch we collectively saw the Ice Climbers as safe bets for a return. Source Gaming recently talked to Artsi Omni of Smashified fame about this topic, be sure to check it out!

3rd place. Decidueye (10 votes)
Each Smash game to this date has featured a playable Pokémon newcomer from the latest Pokémon games. Greninja was selected while the 6th Generation was only in its infant stages of development. We saw the possibility of this trend continuing to be very high, and the candidate that makes sense is Rowlet’s final evolution: Decidueye. Decidueye’s current situation is quite comparable to Greninja’s heading into the previous Smash game. His popularity has already skyrocketed, and his niche as a flying, grass-based archer is one that has only marginally been touched upon in Smash thus-far.

4th place. Wolf O’Donnel (8 votes)
Wolf
was one of few characters cut in the transition from Brawl to Smash 4. He is neither a character linked to other characters through transformations, nor is he a third party that faces potential licensing issues. This puts him in a league of his own. Wolf’s absence could be linked to Star Fox’s significant drought in new games being produced. This year however saw the long-stagnant Star Fox resurface in the form of Star Fox Zero, a game in which Wolf features prominently.

5th place (joint). Paper Mario (5 votes)
At 5 games and 1 cross-over the Paper Mario series is one of the longest-running that Nintendo has under its belt that has yet to enter the Smash Bros. fray. Paper Mario has seen the light of day on every home console since its debut on the Nintendo 64, and twice on the 3DS. While it would technically leave us with 3 Marios on the roster his unique abilities and aesthetic difference would be more than enough to differentiate himself from… himself.

5th place (joint). King K. Rool (5 votes)
It’s no secret that K. Rool has an extremely large and vocal fan base. It’s also a fair assumption to make that he was the most requested first party newcomer following Ridley’s official deconfirmation prior to the launch of the Wii U version. He’s a character who is popular in both Japan and the Western world. K. Rool’s Mii Fighter costume marked his first appearance in a new video game since 2008’s Mario Super Sluggers. It’s without a doubt that this Mii costume was a result of fan outcry.

7th place. Geno (3 votes)
We unanimously agreed that there would be at least 1 third party addition in a Smash Switch enhanced port, but we were left with 3 candidates of roughly equal measure. Geno just pipped both Shovel Knight and Solid Snake as our choice.

Sakurai has previously expressed a desire to include Geno as a playable character. With Square Enix finally on the Smash train, and the added fact that Geno got a Mii Fighter costume; we are well on our way to Geno being a reality.

Bonus: Alph (solo).

I talked earlier about the technical limitations the 3DS version imposed on the Wii U version of Smash. The Ice Climbers were not the only characters adversely affected. Alph was also considered as a full-blown character. One along the lines of Lucina, Dr. Mario and Dark Pit. With Pikmin 4 around the corner, it’s very possible that Alph could get his Rock Pikmin!

What do you think? Which characters do you see as likely for a Smash. Bros Switch? Let us know in the comments!


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21 comments

  1. Drop Roy and Lucina from the roster, we don’t need 6 FE characters let alone 3 Marths. Also not a fan of Decidueye being playable. I’d rather we just brought back the Pokémon Trainer and have him switch between Charizard, Greninja and Sceptile and have Lycanroc as the playable 7th Gen rep.

    I could go on listing characters I’d add and subtract from that list but I think this is enough for now.

  2. I think if there is an enhanced Smash port with additional characters, Ice Climbers, Wolf, and Inklings are probably the most likely. When it comes to third party characters, Nintendo seems to be getting along really well with Square Enix with the Dragon Quest games, and Capcom with all the Nintendo costumes in Monster Hunter. So if they decided to add third party characters my guess would be Dragon Quest, Monster Hunter, or possibly another Capcom rep, like Resident Evil. Just speculation though, can’t wait to see what they do.

    1. I would like to see someone from Monster Hunter (it was becoming almost an exclusive to the 3DS), if not the Hunter/Huntress themselves maybe even the Feline could be fun characters.
      and for SquareEnix, yeah, Dragon Quest is huge on Japan and it could be the right time to give them a spot alongside the other big stars presents in smash

    1. If we had one more slot I would’ve certainly argued for Tibby’s favour. But with only 7 characters i think he loses out 🙁

  3. The Ice Climbers and the Inklings and extremely likely (in fact, I’m sure they are shoo-in)… The other characters depends a lot of the Smash Development and release date.

    If this is a enhanced Smash Wii U/3DS with updated characters and patch, Dedicueye would also be a important character too consider.

    Outside of these three is really difficult to predict which characters would be selected (only Inkling and a 7th Pokémon have the “popular and recent” stigma in their side)….

    With, The Smash Ballot will have a bigger role this time…

    What do you think Source Gaming Staff?

    1. IMO, the Ballot will be one of the best tools for the development team to figure out which characters would make the game more appealing, even more if the port will mean that some of us will buy “the same game, for the 3rd time”. So, another top Ballot character could be the reason to give the port a chance “from day 1”, as I’m sure that at least I’ll buy the game on the short run anyways =P

    2. It probably should’ve been mentioned but we unanimously believe that the ballot will at least add 1 more character, either third or first party. That is how King K. Rool got onto this list. He is the ballot choice.

  4. For me, i could see Inkling, Ice Climbers, and Wolf be in the enhanced port, the other characters like Elma, k.rool, decidueye, geno, or any third party characters are possible, but it depends on how many characters could be in this “enhanced port”, and which ones are chosen.

  5. If the Ice Climbers have 9 votes and Decidueye has 10, why is Decidueye 3rd and the Ice Climbers 2nd? Anyway I think that the Ice Climbers and Wolf are highly likely, since it would be less development time over a full character and both have been highly requested. The Inklings probably also have a big chance of making it in, considering how important they are to Nintendo now. A gen 7 Pokemon is also pretty likely, and as much as I’d like Decidueye, I’m keeping my options open. Both K. Rool and Paper Mario, I’m a bit more shaky on. I feel like if it were a port, they’d focus on the more relevant names to add. I’m not trying to take support away from either of these characters since I do think both of them have a realizable shot (I think K. Rool is more likely than Paper Mario though), but I’m not going to hold my breath on either of them. Geno, on the other hand, has the slight edge of being a retro character who hasn’t appeared in ages and being a character Sakurai had considered for Brawl. Sakurai does have a track record of adding retro characters, but at the same time, there are several other retro characters that he probably also has his mind on, like Takamaru (who has the advantage of being a Nintendo character too). Alph being separated from Olimar is something that I don’t see much argument for. I don’t think just having Rock Pikmin instead of Purples is enough to separate them, since both work very similarly. I wouldn’t be against it if it happened, I’m just not seeing a compelling argument for it.

    1. That’s because we voted with “ranked votes” (1 most likely – 5 less likely), so if everyone voted for a character but with a low ranking,it won’t become our number 1… interestingly we agree in our votes, so that’s the only example of this ranking working. we voted more times for Decidueye, but as a less likely option than the Ice Climbers because as you said, it’s more a vote for a gen 7 pokemon than for the owl itself.
      Also, I agree, Alph won’t bring nothing to the table becoming a clone character besides more salt, he could be a great character on his own without being a clone like the other 3 we have now.

    2. The argument for Alph was more that he was planned to be in Smash For as a clone but for whatever reason he ended up being scrapped. It was either time or restraints that likely did it so we believe if they have time again then they could finally upgrade him to his own spot. He didn’t take away from anyone else. It was 7 characters + Alph if they have time

  6. I’ve said this before, but with Switch promoting Zelda: Breath of the Wild like no tomorrow. I would be surprised to not see a new Zelda rep (if Smash Switch is released year after Breath of the Wild). When it comes to who though, I have no idea.

      1. I would like to see Impa, she has been on more games, maybe not in the center like midna, but she is part of the lore of almost every important game,

  7. Ice Climbers is a definite. Sakurai had made their model during the Wii U’s testing, so he should still have the data. Inklings are the definite too since they’re the most popular new Nintendo IP, and I wouldn’t think Sakurai would ignore them at all. I could expect the Octling being their palette swap too if possible since they’re popular as well. I think Wolf is a maybe, but I think I could accept K.Rool’s entry since he’s popular since then, and if Sakurai’s gonna focus on bringing new characters from the Smash Ballot, then K.Rool might be chosen as if his name is in the list.

    I doubt there would be more Mario, Pokemon, and FE characters added in this port, but Decidueye’s entry may be plausible. Rowlet have been the most popular Alola Starter since its first appearance in the Sun/Moon trailers, which its final evolution form through that leak made it more popular as well. Even Smash doesn’t have a Grass and Ghost type Pokemon, it’ll fit in perfectly in the Pokemon roster. Plus since Ash have captured Rowlet in the new Pokemon anime, then it may make sense as Decidueye might become the next Greninja.

    However, its surprising nobody brought any other characters from other games like Zelda and Kirby. These franchises do need new characters, which I choose Waddle Dee for Kirby’s side, and although it’s impossible but still supporting Impa’s entry. Kid Icarus may be impossible too, but I’d rather choose Medusa than Hades because Medusa’s more on the veteran side of the series.

    So far, my personal choices are Ice Climbers, Inklings, Waddle Dee, Impa, Medusa, Decidueye, K.Rool, and Wolf. However, probably one of them would be chosen, and I wouldn’t think there would be any palette swaps, Assist Trophies, Pokeball Pokemon, and stage bosses to become playable either. So this is my prediction so far, although I shouldn’t expect anything at this moment.

  8. We didn’t pick any Zelda or Kirby characters due to other characters and games being more prominent currently. If we had more spaces then Bandanna Dee could have been a very likely one. Zelda is weird. Because we have not seen any new characters in BotW except the Old Man it is hard to see who they would add at this point. If Impa plays a prominent role in the game as the Sheikah seem to be then I would certainly argue for her. But for now we have to wait and see.

  9. Seems pretty reasonable to me. I’m not sure about Alph though. Only because there was a sizable amount of backlash for the other clones, Lucina and Dark Pit most notably. Now it’s possible that Sakurai might address these complaints by adjusting said characters slightly to differentiate them more from their counterparts, and then also add in a more unique Alph. But it’s also possible he’ll have been scared off the idea by the backlash from the other clones, and drop the idea of Alph’s inclusion.

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