Yesterday, I published my final research on what characters are being the most talked about/ requested online in Japan. For today’s post, we at Source Gaming decided we would post our reactions to the data, and how it might impact the upcoming DLC. Please take note that all of the research was done by myself (PushDustIn). The rest of the Source Gaming team watched as the data unfolded, but for the most part they did not directly assist with the research. Anyway, let’s get started!
I honestly was not too surprised by PushDustIn’s findings. The tastes of theJapanese Smasher isn’t really all the far removed from the Western Smash fan, after all. I was glad to see that the K. Rool costume didn’t hurt his support much, but the third party information is what I found the most interesting.
Arle Nadja is not character I would think of when considering possible Sega reps… she makes a lot of sense, though. Puyo Puyo is Sega’s premiere puzzle franchise, and although it has been brought to the West multiple teams (including once as Doctor Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine) It’s never really caught on. It is a completely different story in Japan. It is one of the top selling Sega franchises of all time, selling 13.5 million units as of 2014.
Cloud (the protagonist from Final Fantasy 7) is also a compelling choice, and one that we do not see much here in the West. He is the highest ranking Square Enix character after Geno (whom is in a strange spot as both a Mario and SE rep) and is a top 20 pick. He is a character that is more closely associated with Sony than even Snake, but he is also undoubtedly a video game icon. I would argue he is actually the most iconic character in their intellectual property stable followed by Lara Croft.
Other than that, there was really nothing that I found shocking. I suppose that it’s nice to see Isaac in the top 20, even if he was on the lower end. It’s just good to see that he’s at least on the radar in Japan.
I think it’s safe to say that the list has all the usual suspects on it, at least somewhere. It’s so interesting to see the Japanese perceptions on some of the more popular requests over here, Isaac for example barely scraping it into the top 20, as opposed to the top 5 character that he’s perceived to be on this side of the world.
King K. Rool and Wolf aren’t surprising in the least. They’ve basically been trading blows between 1st and 2nd overall spot since the ballot began. Wolf’s chances are always good, though the longer he goes unrevealed, the more concerned I become for him actually making his return to Smash. K. Rool is in a tricky spot now more than ever thanks to his Mii Fighter costume. He also still maintains all of the issues that I highlighted in my K. Rool article. Though, I think if anything the ballot has increased his support, as we’ve seen Dixie’s popularity slide a little. Possibly because her fans have jumped ship and are backing the more popular K. Rool.
One of the most surprising figures from these findings for me is Geno. Whose popularity has seen a dramatic decrease within the Western fanbase. To see him rank joint 9th overall in Japan definitely caught me off guard. Though his presence as an “almost Nintendo” character surely boosts his fan support. This is afterall, a Nintendo crossover. Adding to that, seeing Cloud, another Square Enix rep rank in the top 20 is a little awkward since his main game was never released on Nintendo systems.
It’s interesting to see the Inklings rank so high, considering they were among my picks (along with Wolf and Rayman) to “win” the character ballot in SourceGaming Choice #2. It’s good to see that they have a strong foundation of support worldwide.
Magnemite is a weird choice. I mean, out of all 700 pokemon you go for the floating ball and magnets? Apart from that the rest are all very similar to what we have here in the west. We have the veterans, the big names like King. K. Rool, Geno and Ridely and then the region-’exclusives’ (over here it is Shovel Knight and Shantae, in Japan it is Jibyanyan and Arle Nadja).
It seems a bit odd to me that Takamaru does not appear on the list. His game only came out a year ago for the west but he already has a big following over here, one that is apparently bigger than in the east where his game has actually been out for quite some time. In fact, there is hardly any mention of any retro characters for dlc. That is quite surprising. I guess the majority in Japan are more focused on the now and future of Nintendo rather than its rich history.
Overall, I think these findings go to show that for the most part, us western smash fans and our fellow brothers and sisters in the east all share a similar interest in which characters we all want for Super Smash Bros. 4 dlc. There is the one big difference that i pointed out but heck, maybe my own perceptions of what western fans want is wrong and that my own bias is getting in the way. Who knows?
I was pretty shocked to see a lack of Takamaru too. In general, I feel that ATs, and characters that already have an in-game role were less likely to be “requested” or talked about…with the
clear exception of Ashley. For Ashley it might because there isn’t a strong contender from the Wario series, so her fans haven’t disappeared.
As for Magnemite, I explained it in the tentative data…but he is a “meme” vote. Much like Goku, Shrek or Spongebob. He apparently ranked pretty high on a Yahoo poll, so fans have latched onto that and decided to “vote” for him as their favorite Pokemon.
I’d like to highlight a recent comment made by vaanrose. When I was discussing the Ultimate Smash Ballot and potentially making a data set without the votes influenced by Jordan Sweeto, vaanrose made an excellent point. At the end of the day — what’s different about what Jordan Sweeto did compared to the other groups sharing the poll? The only difference is scale, and it’s something that has impacted the actual ballot results. If I were to remove the Krystal votes influenced by Jordan Sweeto, then I should removed the King K. Rool votes influenced by the Kutthroat Kremlings, and the Wolf votes by the Wolf support group, etc. Eventually — I’d be left with 0 votes.
Furthermore, vaanrose discussed that using one source as proof of popularity is not accurate. With polling only on reddit or SmashBoards, we are bound to pick up the echo-chamber effect which again might not be reflective of the general public. I’ve discussed this issue in my “Dangers of Online Polling”.
What do you guys think? Let us know in the comments!
Mains: Yoshi (64), Game and Watch (Melee), Wario (Brawl), Wario/Pac-Man (Smash for 3DS/Wii U)