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!