The rumours for the next Smash Bros. game are heading in to full throttle. With one of the more pertinent rumours indicating a limited number of new characters, as low as two, being included in the heavily rumoured port for the Switch.
Baring these rumours in mind, the team lays out there predictions should this rumour come to fruition.
Ice Climbers and Inkling.
Ice Climbers have already been stated by Sakurai as to have existed. This, I feel, puts them in a much better place than most. They were cut due to 3DS limitations. Smash Bros. on Switch should be able to capitalize where the 3DS couldn’t which would mean Ice Climbers. We don’t know how far into development Icies got, but we can assume it was pretty far since Sakurai more or less felt comfortable mentioning them in a column, pre-release. Maybe meaning he thought he would have been able to make them work, thus implying there’s likely a lot of work on these characters done. Inkling is a newcomer pick for me as I feel 2 veterans alone cannot sell to the casual Smash fan. Inkling makes the most sense for any newcomer due to being Nintendo’s most popular new IP in years and having a new game releasing on the Switch as well.
Ice Climbers and Rhythm Heaven Characters
Before looking at the characters, we should ask ourselves: why only two? The point of a port of Super Smash Bros is not to be a killer app. Ports tend to do worse than the original game. Re-releases of Super Mario 64, Starfox 64, The Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time, and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker have all performed worse than the original game. Super Smash Bros for Wii U has sold 4.99 million. We can expect that the port will sell less than that.
So if the port is not going to be a hit title, so why make a port in the first place? Its intended to act as a substitute to backward compatibility. Backwards compatibility is expensive as the system has to have old hardware within the new hardware. The PS4 showed you don’t need backwards compatibility if you can do the same “good enough.” That’s where ports come in. A port of Super Smash Bros is simply having the game on the new console. And, of course, the game should be easy to port. Since this game won’t have huge sales, you also don’t want to spend a lot of time on it.
So that’s where we get to these characters. They were already planned for Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS. Ice Climbers were originally cut due to limitations with the Nintendo 3DS. Data Mining also revealed that that a Rhythm Heaven character was planned for the game at an early stage in development. With these characters already being designed and perhaps even partially implemented into the game, they make the most sense for a game that is not a significant leap from the Wii U version.
Dixie Kong & Chorus Kids
So while I think we will get more than two new characters overall if I only had to pick two I would rather have two new characters rather than veterans. A lot of people think the Ice Climbers are obvious but there are also people who think Wolf is obvious. That would be two veterans and honestly I think newcomers would be better (unless they are bringing back all the veterans, then I would not mind). So which newcomers? Well it really depends if Sakurai is back or not. As we don’t know at this point in time I decided to assume Sakurai would not be back and so any new content would have to be something he had worked on and just didn’t make it. The two characters that are the most likely for this position are Dixie Kong and Chorus Kids.
We know Dixie Kong was worked on in Brawl and even has a moveset made up for her that they can use. As for Chorus Kids, while we don’t know for sure that they were worked on, they appeared in the Gematsu rumour alongside every other character we know was planned and there is evidence of a Rhythm Heaven series logo in the character data of the game. So if it’s not Chorus Kids at the least Tibiri, Karate Joe or another main character from the Rhythm Heaven series.
Inklings & Ice Climbers
If we’re only getting two characters in a Smash Switch, Inklings are the only newcomer that I’m entirely willing to give a space to in a prediction, biases aside, given how high profile Splatoon is right now and the amount of excitement they would bring relative to other newcomers. And the second character goes to Ice Climbers for reasons Connor already stated, so it’s not worth repeating.
Inklings & Popular 3rd Party.
While I agree wholeheartedly with the Ice Climbers theory I don’t think it quite stands if we have such a limited number of new characters. I also think that their status as veterans would hurt their chances. If you’re going to add new content to push a port, then rehashing the past isn’t the best way to do it. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a pretty good example of this, as of the 12 new characters added, only 1 was a cut veteran.
Inklings have been covered extensively by the other team members, so I’ll just focus on explaining my 3rd Party pick. 3rd Parties have been given an increasingly large showcase as Smash has progressed. And it’s not just Smash. Fighting games in general have been increasing their focus on guest characters because of the interest they accumulate. Freddy Krueger was the best selling Mortal Kombat 9 DLC character, and Scorpion was the best selling Injustice DLC character. Looking at the latest Smash; 3 out of the 7 DLC characters were 3rd Parties. This is no coincidence. 3rd Party characters drum up a huge amount of buzz, good or bad. They have the potential to bring in new sets of fans who would otherwise be uninterested. For lack of a more obvious, or plausible candidate my vote goes to Rayman.
Inklings and Ice Climbers
I agree with the guys about this two options as the most viable ones, with Wolf as a wildcard for the second spot if Smash for Switch ended up as compatible with Smash for WiiU/3DS. I would preffer more than 2 characters for the port, but the DLC door has been open since Mewtwo, so we could get the Inklings and the Ice Climbers on the Disc among the rest of the cast, with the option of adding more characters later, even new 3rd party ones.
Who do you think will be in the next Smash game? Let us know in the comments section!