Welcome to another Dream Roster article. If you missed out on our previous entries, be sure to check out the articles looking at Nintendo Kart, as well as MvC4, Kellogg’s vs. Capcom, Fire Emblem Warriors, Disney X Mario Kart, Nintendo vs. Capcom and Konami-Smash.
Ever since Sony released their arguably dubious attempt at a Smash Bros. styled arena fighter, gamers have often wondered what Microsoft’s interpretation of such a game would look like. The idea has been kicked around by Phil Spencer himself, though it’s unlikely to ever happen, we can still dream about it!
Baring the character selection process in mind found in both Smash Bros. and PSABR, we selected a total of 24 characters from a range of Microsoft owned IPs and Xbox exclusives, as well as several relevant third party choices.
If you’d like to see the reasoning behind some of the character choices, be sure to read below!
[su_spoiler title=”The Xbox Original Wing:” style=”fancy”]
If you’re especially vigilant you’ll have noticed that the roster was divided into ‘wings’. The upper left being dedicated to characters pertinent to Xbox’s original system.
Blinx The Cat, who first debuted in Blinx: The Time Sweeper in 2002, was conceived as the original mascot for the Xbox. One who could compete with the likes of Mario and Sonic. Though he fell flat of that goal and fizzled out of existence after his 2004 sequel, he’s comparable to the likes of SEGA’s Alex Kidd and Capcom’s Captain Commando. Historically significant. Blinx’s TS-1000 vacuum also affords him some pretty rad time-related abilities.
Voodoo Vince is a rather unorthodox character. He faded from memory after his 2003 game, but is set to make a roaring come back this year when his game is remastered and rereleased for the Xbox One. As a Voodoo doll, Vince has the ability to hurt himself in order to defeat his enemies.
Ninja Fu Hiya is probably a character few people remember, but the one on this list who has the most experience in party fighting games. Ninja Fu Hiya, who is shockingly a ninja appeared in Kung Fu Chaos, a criminally under rated Xbox exclusive.
[su_spoiler title=”The Rare Wings:” style=”fancy”]
Yes, there are a lot of Rare characters in this roster. Could you really expect anything but?
Banjo-Kazooie are the (somewhat) unofficial Rare mascots. While there has only been a single new Banjo–Kazooie game produced for Microsoft since Rare was bought out in 2002, they have remained prominent through HD rereleases, backwards compatibility and the compilation game: Rare Replay. Gruntilda was also included due to her status as an iconic villain, of which there are few under the Microsoft umbrella.
Conker The Squirrel has been far more prominent than his Diddy Kong Racing rival, Banjo in recent years. After a near-10 year absence he resurfaced with Project Spark and is set to star in the HoloLens game (excuse me while I vomit) ‘Young Conker’.
Kameo was an action-adventure game released at launch with the Xbox 360. It was essentially the Zelda: Breath of The Wild of the system. While Joanna Dark shares this trait in common it was Kameo: Elements of Power that really let the user know what the Xbox 360 was set to offer. Kameo’s ability to transform into a plethora of different beasts affords her a huge array of abilities for use in a fighting game. Kameo’s sequel may have been cancelled, but thankfully she lives on through Rare Replay and the Xbox One backwards compatibility program!
Horsetachio, of Viva Piñata fame starred in a total of three games for the Xbox 360, a handheld game made for the Nintendo DS as well as the Viva Piñata kids television series. He’s a horse made out of candy, what’s not to love?
While Rash’s home series Battletoads hasn’t seen a new game produced since the 90s, it’s still very much on the radar. Regardless, Battletoads has seen something of a resurgence recently. Even if it’s not a new game. Rash distinguished himself as Killer Instinct’s first guest character ah
ead its ‘Season 3’ content launch. Having previously duked it out with Shovel Knight as an Xbox One bonus exclusive boss battle.
Killer Instinct is a ‘Rare’ example of Microsoft reviving a franchise to success. As a launch game for the Xbox One, it initially released with minimal content and under a ‘free to play’ model. It’s working out well, and fans are currently awaiting the fourth Season of content. Jago is very much the face of Killer Instinct, and considering his fighting background, he’s right at home on this roster.
[su_spoiler title=”The Post-Xbox Wing:” style=”fancy”]
The upper right wing features characters who gained notoriety around the start of this decade.
Minecraft is the most successful IP Microsoft has to its name. Currently amassing over 120 million software sales across every platform under the sun, Minecraft nearly doubles the sales figures of the juggernaut that is; Halo. It’s showing no signs of slowing down. Steve was a no brainer!
‘Splosion Man represents Microsoft’s affiliation with Twisted Pixel Games, and to a larger extent the success of the Xbox Live Arcade. Twisted Pixel who made numerous quality titles exclusively for the XBLA, included the likes of The Maw, Gunstringer and Comic Jumper. No one personifies the Xbox Live Arcade more than ‘Splosion Man!
Joule Adams from ReCore is one of the most recent characters to make the roster. Joule, the brainchild of Megaman creator Keiji Inafune perfectly represents the tone of the new ideas explored on the Xbox One.
[su_spoiler title=”Centre-Focus:” style=”fancy”]
The centre-focus goes to Microsoft’s most strongly affiliated 1st Party games. Halo, Crackdown, Fable and Gears of War.
Master Chief, being the actual mascot of the Xbox (take that, Blinx) is basically Mario to Smash Bros. It’s unthinkable to have an Xbox cross-over without him. The Didact, the big bad of Halo 4, and The Arbiter, who like Rash has appeared as a guest in Killer Instinct join the Master Chief as playable characters due to their large roles in more recent Halo games.
Marcus Fenix, complete with his trademark lancer is another one of those characters who had to be included. Gears of War, now completely owned and developed by a first party Microsoft studio has risen to prominence, now more than ever thanks to the hit: Gears of War 4. General Raam, who is perhaps the most notable locust and main villain of the first Gears of War Game helps flesh out the evil characters. Marcus’ son, and Gears of War 4 protagonist J.D. Fenix rounds out the Gears of War characters.
The Prince is from Microsoft’s resident RPG series Fable, specifically Fable 3, the most recent and likely final Fable game. He’s distinctly more of a character than previous Fable heroes, as he is the only one who has a voice. He can use a variety of swords, guns, bows and magic attacks.
The Agent from Crackdown, thanks in no small part to the upcoming Crackdown 3 rounds out the centre-focus characters.
[su_spoiler title=”Third-Parties:” style=”fancy”]
When thinking about what Third Party characters would best suit the game, we looked explicitly at franchises with strong ties to the Xbox brand either previously, or currently.
We settled on Lara Croft of Tomb Raider. A huge name in the gaming world. Who although has strong ties to Playstation, saw her most recent game as a timed exclusive to the Xbox One. Our other pick is Ryu Hayabusa. Not only has Ryu’s Ninja Gaiden series seen exclusive entries onto the Xbox, but so does the fighting game series: Dead Or Alive. In which he prominently features.
What characters would you like to see in a Microsoft Smash-Up? Let us know in the comments!