The development of Super Smash Bros. Brawl apparently took its toll on series creator Masahiro Sakurai, though you'd have never of guessed from his perpetually fresh-faced appearance and calm demeanour. Since Brawl's release, Kirby's creator has been rather outspoken on the stressful amount of work and time a game as vast and intricately detailed as Super Smash Bros. demands. After hearing about long hours, debates reaching the "brink of death" concerning the roster and bouts of RSI, it is both astounding and admirable that Sakurai-san remains as enthusiastic about the series as he does.
With each new Smash Bros., fan expectations increase sevenfold. There's no doubt that Sakurai-san is once again under an enormous amount of pressure to deliver, but thankfully the burden of creating the next title (well, technically the next two titles) — Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U — does not lie solely with him and his team. In a pleasantly unexpected turn, Nintendo enlisted the help of Bandai Namco to aid in development and, hopefully, provide a fresh perspective on a tried and tested formula.
Since the development partnership was made known, Smash Bros. fans the world over have been wondering if a face from the Bandai Namco vaults will be joining Mario, Sonic and Mega Man on the battlefield. Sakurai-san has made it clear that the chances of such a thing occurring are rather slim, but reassuringly did not outright deny it. As a result we've picked out a number of Bandai Namco characters we'd love to see in the next Super Smash Bros. and mused on just how likely it is that they'll have a shot at rubbing shoulders (or connecting fists) with Nintendo's finest.
Loathed by garish ghosts but loved by the living, Bandai Namco's mascot is the most obvious candidate for the coveted spot on the Smash Bros. roster. Would there be anything more satisfying than seeing Mario, Sonic, Mega Man and Pac-Man together on the Battlefield stage? The iconic representatives of four video game company powerhouses, officially united for the first time in history for the sole purpose of beating each other to a pulp. It's so darn poetic it hurts.
But what merit does Pac-Man have as a fighter? Even in his updated appearance which grants him limbs and an unnerving facial expression, he doesn't have much at his disposal to make him interesting to play as. Such a predicament was faced by the developers of Street Fighter x Tekken a couple of years ago. Their solution? The only logical answer — A Mokujin Mech.
Pac-Man didn't fight directly, rather, he strapped himself up to a bulky mech which resembled veteran Tekken fighter Mokujin. Frankly, the idea was genius and hilarious to behold, but can we realistically expect it to be replicated in the new Super Smash Bros.? We're not so sure. Though Nintendo has proved in the past that it can be extremely creative with movesets, without a reappearance of something akin to the Mokujin Mech, we just can't see Pac-Man shaping up to be an effective combatant.
Tired of pesky subterranean dragons ruining your Pogonias? Fed up with goggle-wearing monsters inexplicably blessed with the power of intangibility creating sinkholes in your garden? Fear not, for Dig Dug is on the case. Armed with his trusty spear...pump...thing and enlisting the help of those aforementioned classic monsters (King Dedede style), Dig Dug could be a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.
Perhaps he could even tag-team with his son, Mr Driller (pictured above?) After all, Smash Bros. is no stranger to double trouble. The Ice Climbers, Pop and Nana, have been causing a ruckus together since Melee and Super Mario Galaxy's Rosalina will have a trusty Luma by her side during battle in the new game. It would be interesting to see father and son together in battle, combining features of the gameplay of the Dig Dug and Mr Driller games to create a truly unique and bizarre moveset. Though, are the duo relevant enough to gain favour over Pac-Man?
Introduced in the lesser-known SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny for PSP and only appearing as DLC in SoulCalibur V, Dampierre is by no means an iconic Soul series character, but he's is genuinely one of the most creative and entertaining fighters to grace the series. His amusing battle cries and wacky fighting style would be more than at home in a Super Smash Bros. game, and we'd love the chance to see that absolutely magnificent moustache back in action.
After Link appeared as a guest character in the Nintendo Gamecube version of SoulCalibur II, the chance of a potential Namco representative being from the Soul series is probably more likely than you think. As much as we'd love it to be Dampierre, it's safe to say a more famous face will have a better chance at making the cut.
Customisation is apparently going to play a role in the new Super Smash Bros. Though Sakurai-san has been rather tight-lipped on the specific details so far, we do know that it may have something to do with character's moves. Forgive us for letting our imaginations run a little wild, but what if this means we will see the introduction of customisable movesets? When it comes to something like that, there's only one Bandai Namco character that comes to mind...
Enter Combot — specifically Tekken Tag Tournament 2's version of the character. Instead of being a Mokujin-style "mimic character" as it was before, in TTT2 players were able to purchase and teach Combot a combination of different character's moves. Combot was essentially a D.I.Y fighter and you could mould him to compliment your own fighting style.
It goes without saying that there's huge potential for this to work well in the next Super Smash Bros. You could build your own Combot with Captain Falcon's Falcon Kick, Little Mac's brutal jabs and heck, even Mario's fireballs if you wanted. If customisable movesets is indeed featured in the next Smash Bros., then a lack of Combot would be a wasted opportunity.
Sporting a flamboyant outfit and a not so subtle...bulge...the King of All Cosmos is easily one of Bandai Namco's more 'out there' characters. What else do you expect from a series about rolling a sticky ball around, collecting up living and non-living things, in order to rebuild the universe?
The King's potential as a fighter is a little marred from his gigantic size, but we're certain Nintendo could use a bit of artistic license and downsize him for a brawl if it really wanted. His moves? Well we're sure we'd see some Katamaris or black hole-creating tennis serves in there somewhere. He's a great choice for a Bandai Namco rep but the Katamari series' lack of presence on Nintendo consoles means everyone's favourite cosmic King would be very low on the priority list.
Klonoa and his spirit pal, Huepow, made their début in the fantastic *Klonoa: Door to Phantomile *on the original Playstation. His ability to float by flapping his floppy ears and use "Wind Bullets" to attack and inflate enemies set him up to be a potentially versatile combatant.
In a surprise move, Door to Phantomile was remade for the Nintendo Wii. It saw a fairly low key release in western waters, but had its fair share of controversy when Bandai Namco attempted to drastically redesign the title character to appear more modern and 'edgy'. Fortunately, fan reaction was so negative that the character's original design was only subtly altered.
Klonoa's strong presence on Nintendo platforms (there's a number of GBA spin-offs out there too), coupled with the fact he and Huepow would fit in beautifully on the Smash Bros. roster — both in terms of gameplay and aesthetics — make him a very strong candidate.
The sword-wielding protagonist of Tales of Symphonia often takes a high spot on fan's lists of 3rd party characters that should appear in Super Smash Bros. It's not hard to see why; Lloyd Irving exudes coolness and would be a worthy adversary to the likes of Link and Marth. It's not just the fans who are hopeful for his appearance either; in an interview with Tales series fansite Kingdom of Tales, Tales of Symphonia director and producer Yoshito Higuchi expressed his desire to see the character in Smash Bros. If it worked for Hideo Kojima, could it work for him? Like Klonoa, Lloyd has a strong presence on Nintendo consoles, also appearing as a playable character in the Wii-only SoulCalibur Legends, and he also has a lot of potential in terms of his moveset.
That's our list of Bandai Namco characters we'd like to see in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Do you agree with these choices? Which characters would you like to see? Let us know in the poll and comments below.
Which of these Bandai Namco characters which you most love to see in Super Smash Bros.? (502 votes)
Dig Dug and Mr Driller
The King of All Cosmos
Klonoa and Huepow
Ooh, I can't decide
None of them!
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