WARNING: This is an opinion article. You are allowed to disagree.
I’m attempting to explain why certain characters might not make it in. Before you accuse me of bias, you can see who I want here, and who I expect here. Do not take it as these characters are 100% deconfirmed, as I do not represent Sakurai or the Smash team. A character on this list could very well make it in. The following is my opinion, and I could be wrong.
King K. Rool:
King K. Rool is one of the most popularly requested newcomes online. His name constantly comes up as being one of the front runners, and a lot of people see him as a “shoo-in”. The one issue I believe that King K. Rool has is relevancy. He hasn’t been used all that recently, and while he’s popular with hardcore fans the “silent majority” may be unaware of the King’s greatness. I do believe pre-ballot is over, and costume DLC could signal a death sentence. TheAnvil has already written a great piece on his chances, pre-costume reveal. Some people worry that King K. Rool might be considered ‘too OP’. I don’t think this is the case, as he has the same amount of power and size as Bowser. With Ridley, being difficult to represent in Smash has to do partly with his size, and how his boss fights were handled in the Metroid series. I do not think King K. Rool has this issue as his size has somewhat varied in the Donkey Kong series.
Shantae/ Shovel Knight:
DLC characters need to appeal and sell not only to both hardcore and light users, but worldwide. SmashChu has explained the economics behind DLC choices in DLC Econ 102: Opportunity Cost and Character Selection. Shantae and Shovel Knight both fail something I called the “multi-lingual Japanese versions of their main Wikipedia article. Even if you don’t accept my preliminary data on Japanese requests, you cannot deny that both of these characters lack Japanese sources. Both games have yet to be localized, and their fans are limited in Japan.
Of course, I’d say the same thing about Magolor or Arle Nadja. However, because it’s a game made in Japan by a Japanese company, I expect the ‘barrier’ for characters that are wanted in Japan to be less of a barrier, and more of an obstacle than it is for characters requested exclusively in the West. Spazzy_D has also written a “Case for Shantae” which does discuss this issue.
(King K. Rool, Shantae and Shovel Knight renders were created by the Smashified Team!)
Please note: I originally wrote the following on the Daisy support thread, when asked about my opinions. However, a lot of it can be applied to Waluigi so I’m adding his name:
Sakurai hasn’t included that many references to spinoff games. Mario Party has no representation at all…and Mario Tennis has Waluigi. Wario might have a move from Mario Strikers. Mario Kart has the best representation out of the Mario spinoffs, and it’s probably because it’s made by Nintendo themselves and not outsourced. Of course there’s trophies here and there but nothing like a stage, or even an item.
When Sakurai was asked about Daisy in Smash 64 he noted that she hadn’t been in any games lately. Of course, that’s Smash 64, and since then she’s made a comeback through the spinoff games and Sakurai did include a Daisy inspired palette for her fans. I think Daisy is recognizable among general Nintendo fans –which is a plus. However, her lack of canon appearances severely hurts her. I think she might be in the same situation as Waluigi to be honest. Recognizable, relevant but lacks proper source material. But Sakurai has surprised us before, so we never know.
As for the “Too many Mario characters” I don’t think that’s an issue. If Mario is a popular series, it deserves more representation. Plain and simple. Smash has never been a tit-for-tat series, it’s about appeasing the most amount of fans. Of course you need other series here and there, but the majority of the cast are SUPER popular characters.
Sorry, not in this game. I don’t think Sakurai is going to compromise his vision of how they fight, and they simply can’t work on the 3DS (and possibly 8 player Smash). Both games requiring the same roster is the final nail in the Ice Climber coffin (for Smash for 3DS/Wii U). I do think they will be back in the next game.
I think he had a design clash with one of the other characters, the game in general, or possibly something else. Since he wasn’t in the base game, I don’t see him coming in as DLC. It’s known that Sakurai supposedly didn’t ask Kojima if Snake could come back (as Kojima stated, “if Mr. Sakurai is watching this, please use Snake”). That makes little sense as Sakurai knows that Snake is well beloved by fans, and still talks about his reveal in high regard. It could be because the game took a step away from realism and Snake would be harder to “incorporate”. Or perhaps one of the newcomer character creators did not want their character to be choked by Snake. The following quote from Snake joining Brawl Famitsu Column is highly relevant.
Since this also affected the other characters, even though I decided on Snake myself, I needed to receive permission from their original creators.
We already know that his choke animation and land
mines were changed in Brawl’s development (Shout out to GoldenYuiitusin for pointing that out to me!). It does seem that getting a lower rating was a big priority for this Smash (toy guns, removing Tharja’s trophy), and Snake might not have been able to fit in an E 10+ rating.
Of course, I could be wrong and these characters could come in. I just see these reasons as possible barriers to entries, and we need to keep in mind. Let me know if I missed something.
If you would like me to weigh a different characters chances, leave a comment below. Or let me know through the magical service that is Twitter.
PushDustIn has a very very busy week ahead of him. Sorry if there’s a delay in posting. He’ll probably be at the mall or something. Yes, he’s still working on the Japanese ballot DLC.