Back in May we launched our very own “fighter ballot” to hopefully gain some excitement for the possible E3 announcement of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch. Unless you completely missed all-things E3 2017, you'll know that this sadly never happened.
Nevertheless, you all voted by the thousands – 13,824 to be exact - but before we begin, thank you to all those that voted. We had a fair share of odd choices, from Thomas the Tank Engine, a Pokémon TCG card, and a Tetris block, to even Friends' Chandler (Matthew Perry)! As expected, some of you even took it to the 'Other' field to voice your opinion, with the likes of "less characters", "nobody", and "uhhhhhh everyone" as entered answers. Anyway, with that out of the way and without delaying any further, here are the top ten results, kicking-off with 10-6:
#10) King K. Rool (Donkey Kong) - 330 votes
#9) Simon Belmont (Castlevania) – 332 votes
#8) Shantae (Shantae) – 349 votes
#7) Skull Kid (The Legend of Zelda) – 376 votes
#6) Waluigi (Super Mario) – 457 votes
And now for the top five most-voted characters:
#5) An ARMS fighter (ARMS) – 469 votes
Punching in at the number five spot is a candidate that this writer would consider an interesting choice to include into the Smash Bros. roster. With the very recent launch of ARMS, and many getting to play Nintendo’s new fighting IP via Global Testpunches and/or review events, the spike of interest in these springy stars comes as no surprise.
The immediate and unique trait that the whacky cast of ARMS possess – that being their extendable arms – could prove to be an excellent mechanic for the Smash dev team to play around with, truly making them a distinctive character (much like how Street Fighter’s Ryu brought the mechanics of his respective fighting game into the fray). As for the ARMS folks' patented rush special, that could either be the character’s Final Smash, or maybe even an extra special move that requires a gauge to fill (akin to the game), such as that of Little Mac and Cloud Strife.
Though unlikely, if the big N really wanted to go all-out, perhaps it could make each skin palette as a different ARMS fighter, each owning a unique mechanic – such as Min Min being able to spin-kick while air-dodging, or Master Mummy needing to take several hits before flinching/being knocked down. The likelier option, of course, would be only choosing one fighter from the new series, and the probable pick seems to lean towards the unofficial mascot, Spring Man – although maybe they could tinker with someone like Ribbon Girl as an alternative costume (with the same mechanics) as the two are of similar size and stature.
Whether this proves to be a smart move by Nintendo due to raising further awareness of ARMS, or backfiring due to potentially cannibalising this new first-party fighting IP by including a character from this game in Smash Bros. - the crème de la crème of Nintendo fighting games - remains to be seen. The latter is unlikely, since we now know that Smash for Switch, port or sequel, won't be coming anytime soon.
#4) Bomberman (Bomberman) – 475 votes
Blasting through in fourth place is Konami's Bomberman, a legendary video game character and franchise that arguably belongs in the same breath as Smash 4's other third-party stars such as Pac-Man, Mega Man, and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Right from the bat, it's easy to scope the mechanic of what Mr Bomb's moveset would revolve around, that being his ability to plant a bomb followed by a kick or a throw of the explosive. The devs could think of a clever way to implement the power-ups within the series into Bomberman's specials, such as being able to plant multiple bombs in quick succession or increase their explosive range. Maybe this is done with a chargeable gauge, or something akin to Shulk's Monado Arts that allows the player to choose the buff they receive to their bombs.
Alternative outfits could be the different bombers as presented in Super Bomberman R, with their voices changing respective of the type of bomber chosen. If not, the differently-coloured Bombermen in past Bomberman games would suffice at the very least!
#3) Sora (Kingdom Hearts) – 501 votes
Soaring-in (sorry) at number three is Disney’s Sora, the main protagonist of Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts series. The immediate thought of such a fighter would be the use of magic from his Keyblade, allowing a mixture of physical, special, and projectile attacks. However, as Sora has such a diverse pool of abilities across his illustrious franchise, it could prove to be difficult to pin down a moveset that captures his essence entirely. Perhaps one or more of the supporting cast – such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, or Goofy – could play a part in his moveset, or maybe even his Final Smash (Trinity Limit)?
Like Cloud, Sora could rock the different outfits and/or forms encountered throughout the Kingdom Hearts games, such as his default in-game attires, to his Valor, Wisdom, Limit, Master, Final, and Anti forms.
#2) Shovel Knight (Shovel Knight) – 874 votes
Digging his way through to second is Shovel Knight. Smash Bros. accommodating a character such as this would be something quite revolutionary, for the idea of an indie-game character joining the battle in one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises is something never seen before.
With the use of his Shovel Blade, Shovel Knight could use a combination of swings, spins, scoops, pokes, and bounces to form the majority of his normal, aerial, and smash attacks. Then you have his Relics (Flare Wand, Phase Locket, Dust Knuckles, Throwing Anchor, Alchemy Coin, Mobile Gear, War Horn, Propeller Dagger, Fishing Rod, Chaos Sphere, and Troupple Chalice) to possibly fulfill his specials, with any leftover perhaps forming a part of the aforementioned normal, aerial, and smash attacks.
It’s certainly a plausible choice, but whether the big N decides to use an indie-creation or not is an interesting thought that could motivate and delight the thousands of indie-developers out there. Never has the possible Smash caption of “Shovel Knight paves the way!” applied so much here.
SUPPOSED #1) Krystal (Star Fox) – 4,380 'votes'
Before finalising this article, Krystal actually secured first place by a great margin. However, after a bit of digging around, we found out that some cunning voters (mostly those not signed into the site!) were so passionate about the character that they tried to pull a fast one and "rig" their votes - cheeky! Nevertheless, as this writer already wrote-up Krystal's analysis (and made her graphic), we thought we'd keep it in here before revealing the poll's true number one! As follows:
Woah. Just woah. Krystal?! This writer doesn’t know about you all, but Krystal is definitely an unexpected first-place candidate. In fact, it was one of the last choices this writer included as an option in the poll, not that he has anything against her. There was even a vote reading "Everyone except Krystal"...
To be fair, Krystal is the probable next-in-line character from the Star Fox franchise, despite her being the most recently recruited member of the Star Fox team. She’s appeared in several titles since her 2002 debut in Star Fox Adventures, one of which being 2005’s Star Fox: Assault – a game that was co-developed by Nintendo and Namco. Does that pairing ring a bell? Well it should, as Super Smash Bros. 4 was developed by the duo too. In addition, Star Fox: Assault had some representation in Wii U’s version of Smash 4 in the form of the Orbital Gate Assault stage. Furthermore, Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai has seemingly expressed interest in her via the form of a trophy and several secret Star Fox taunt entries in Super Smash Bros. Brawl (one even stating that out of her, Peppy, and Slippy, she’d be “the only one who can come through in a fight like this”).
As for her moves and attacks, they’d likely revolve around her staff from Star Fox Adventures, consisting of physical, special, and projectile attacks, as well as her grenades and dual-wielding blasters from Star Fox: Assault. Her Final Smash could be similar to that of Fox and Falco’s in terms of summoning her signature starfighter, the Cloud Runner – or perhaps even riding on the back of what this spacecraft was inspired by: the pterodactyl-like specie known as the CloudRunner (yes it's called exactly the same thing as her vehicle, except with no space between the two words).
Anyway, as mentioned, she's not the real winner. As a matter of fact, Krystal actually ranked in around #20 - #25 when we checked into the voting, but the passion from some of you for her to win can't be denied. So now, cue Smash Bros. 4 announcer Xander Mobus' voice, THE WINNER IS...
#1) Inkling (Splatoon) – 1,007 votes
Splatting in at number one comes another fairly new Nintendo IP, that being the Inklings from 2015’s Splatoon. This writer predicted that the squid beings would make the top three spot, and there’s plenty that justifies their immense popularity.
The Inklings have a large range of weapons at their disposal, from paint guns, to paint rollers, to paint grenades, and couple this with their ability to transform into a squid and traverse through terrain covered with their own ink, there’s so much fun that could be had with this mechanic in the realms of Smash Bros. What also makes them so different is their non-physical approach – we never see the Inklings punch or kick, so unless Nintendo decides to turn them into maulers (it hasn't stopped them before - *ahem* Villager), they’d likely purely serve as a weapon-based fighter. Speaking of getting physical, perhaps their only physical/melee-esque move would be their Final Smash, which could be the almighty Kraken.
In terms of costumes, this one’s an easy one; adopt a similar approach with Robin, Corrin, Wii Fit Trainer etc. and include male and female options, with different skin colours and clothing styles. And just like what was said earlier about ARMS, it’s another great way to promote the Splatoon brand to those who have yet to discover Nintendo’s revolutionary shooter – especially with its sequel, Splatoon 2, on Nintendo Switch. Of course, Nintendo already did this by including them as playable racers in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but there’s no reason to stop them from entering the almighty brawling experience that Smash Bros. has to offer.
And there you have it! What’s your take on these revealed results? Did your favourite make the top ten? What movesets would you give to these characters? As always, comment with all your thoughts in the usual spot!