With all the hype that the Nintendo Switch is generating, it's only natural to speculate on what titles the system will offer upon its launch. If Nintendo's upcoming console could learn anything from the launch of the Wii U, it's that launch titles do indeed matter. This can also mean ensuring popular titles that consumers are still playing today are made available as immediately as possible; it's important to keep fans of these core titles on-board by upselling them to the big N's next venture.
With that said, the latest iterations of Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. on the Wii U are arguably the strongest in both respective franchises to date. We've already touched upon the debate of these potential titles for the Switch being ports or sequels, and assuming the likelier outcome of ports (or expanded 'director's cuts') we'll explore what Nintendo could do (or what we'd certainly like to see it do) to really upsell Smashaholics of all kinds to the Nintendo Switch - instead of simply relying on the sole reason that purchasing the port will be the only way to play Smash 4 on the latest console.
Before we get into the meat of this, it should be noted that Masahiro Sakurai, creator of the Super Smash Bros. series, stated in the final Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Direct that he and his team will cease all production on any further development on these two games specifically; as mentioned previously, that doesn't entirely rule out a third-party producing the port with some oversight from Sakurai-san. Anyway, let's get to it…
New fighters and stages
Here's an obvious one that immediately strikes the minds of many. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U already has an impressive roster of fighters (58 to be precise), but the thought of even more gaming icons stepping in to grace the Nintendo slugfest can't be helped. There are still plenty of characters out there that players long for, both returning and new, and a port of Smash 4 would be the perfect opportunity to capture these forgotten favourites. Veterans like Ice Climbers didn't make the cut due to the 3DS' limited capabilities (apparently), and Sakurai-san wanted to keep both games consistent from a fighter standpoint. That rule no longer applies here, so perhaps we'll see legends such as these as well as a few newcomers such as Knuckles, Bomberman, Ken Masters *cough*. Alright, so that's this writer's list, anyway.
And of course, the above should also mean more amiibo.
If Nintendo doesn't currently possess the resource to create a slew of brand-new fighters in time for a port's release, perhaps it could add more skins to the current roster at the very minimum, in the way modders do. It would be a great way to freshen up the roster, both via new colour palettes and costumes, and perhaps even go one step further by incorporating whole new characters akin to how it handled the Koopalings with Bowser Jr. and Alph with Olimar. For example, it could incorporate different eras of Link (Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword styled getups), as well as perhaps adding Pichu (yes, you heard me) as a complete clone of Pikachu available as an alternate costume. These ideas aren't obviously as exciting as the thought of whole new fighters, but they'd certainly contribute to making the port seem a little more evolved. As mentioned, we've seen countless modders within the Smash community do this - both in Brawl and currently on SSB4 - and the skins alone definitely add a new dimension of fun to the madness.
Additionally, new stages should certainly be considered, especially to reflect newer games since SSB4's release as well as any upcoming ones - the thought of playing on areas from Pokémon Sun and Moon and Breath of the Wild excites us, among others. This was actually done back when SSB4 launched, with stages such as Woolly World from the then upcoming Yoshi game, as well as the Super Mario Maker stage that eventually followed to promote the new game. At the same time, it would be nice to have all of the exclusive Nintendo 3DS stages incorporated as well, emphasising the port as some form of "ultimate" edition. Finally, maybe Nintendo could go one step further and incorporate more stages from 64, Melee, and Brawl. Saffron City, anyone?
While some feel that the latest iteration of Super Smash Bros. is the finest to date (sorry, Melee crew), it certainly neglected one thing. The lack of a 1P adventure mode was missed – it was a clever formula that combined all the franchises' history, universe, and lore with the madness of Smash Bros.' mechanics. Whether it's some sort of mode similar to Melee's Adventure Mode or Brawl's Subspace Emissary, we'd be happy. It was a refreshing break from the madness of Smash and gave the game a greater single-player experience.
Additionally, we'd like to see both Smash Tour and Smash Run included in the port. A Switch port should ideally incorporate everything both the Wii U and 3DS versions have to offer at the very minimum, and therefore act as the definitive edition of Smash 4.
Another mode we'd love to see, albeit very unlikely to happen, would be the option of being able to play under certain mechanics both in local multiplayer and online. What we mean by this is being able to switch-up the mechanics of the game to that of Smash 64, Melee, or Brawl, allowing those fond of each game to relive their glory days. Of course, mixing mechanics shouldn't be on the cards and perhaps only the characters exclusive to each game would be playable, but if all combatants agreed under a certain style for certain matchups, then why not? Once again, it's got just as much chance of happening as an Ice Climbers' chance in hell, but it's just a thought! No more carrying GameCubes or Wiis to tournaments - Smash Switch would cover all bouts of the Nintendo brawler!
This one won't particularly excite many, but there are those completionists who may salivate at the opportunity to 100% the game once more, with even more tasks and events added to the mix. Perhaps challenges could even be applied online in "For Glory" mode, encouraging players to experiment with more characters and techniques in a competitive environment (though perhaps portraying this mode as "competitive" in its entirety is a bit of an overstatement).
So there you have it, some thoughts on what we'd like to see in a port of Super Smash Bros. 4 for the Nintendo Switch. Yes, we did elude to Mario Kart earlier, but as you've probably gathered by now this writer's a bit of a Smash enthusiast, so that was the focus here. If you want to see some fun Smash Bros. replay edits, check out @SM4SHshorts on Instagram, too.
What do you think - do you have any ideas or theories of your own? Sound off below as usual!