Super Smash Bros. makes its way to Switch sometime this year and that means one thing: roster speculation! However, instead of making a wish-list of shiny new fighters, let’s do something different. I’m going to review the characters that debuted in Smash 4 and determine if they should return in the next game or take a seat on the bench.
I should establish that I’m in no way a hardcore competitive player. Rather, I’m a Smash enthusiast who views the series more as fun party games. Thus, my decisions aren’t purely based on a fighter’s tactical merit. I’ll be taking into account the importance a character’s respective franchise, overall fun factor, and other random x-factors. As such, this list is highly subjective (and just a teeny bit silly). But if you’ve got your own, more thoughtful opinions on who should stay and who should get the boot, I’d love to read them in the comments.
Mega Man – Keep
With Mega Man 11 arriving this year, we’ll be seeing a resurgence of the classic version of the Blue Bomber. As a result, Mega Man should absolutely blast his way into the next Smash Bros.. His move-set could remain largely the same, though incorporating the powers he’ll flaunt in his new game wouldn’t be unwelcome. Also, he should remain the Mega Man of old and not X, who is already competing in another fighter.
Villager – Keep
Animal Crossing is too popular of a series to not have a playable ambassador. In fact, I was amazed it took as long as it did for Villager (or another AC resident) to appear. Villager has never been my cup of tea gameplay wise, but he’s got a humorous move-set (that damn tree) and oodles of charm.You try telling that adorable face that he can’t beat the stuffing out of fools anymore.
Rosalina & Luma – Bench
Yes, she’s good and any reminder of Super Mario Galaxy’s greatness is A-OK. However, Mario has plenty shoutouts and if ditching Rosalina allows for, say, Waluigi to FINALLY make the cut, I’d ditch her in a heartbeat. Pay no attention to the fact that I’m hot garbage with Rosalina and hate battling players who have mastered her.
P.S. please add Waluigi to the game.
Little Mac – Keep
The Steve Fox of Smash Bros. (that’s a Tekken reference, by the way) deserves to headline another card. For one, Punch-Out!! has long been synonymous with classic Nintendo and should be represented. His outstanding ground game makes pummeling opponents a blast. I would also like to see Smash 5 evolve his Power Meter as well. Get him a new Final Smash, though. Giga Mac always felt like a bizarre idea, especially when Mac’s KO-punch seemed like a far more appropriate finisher.
Cloud – Bench
As much as I love using Cloud, he feels like a one-off appearance ala Solid Snake. Like Metal Gear, Final Fantasy doesn’t need representation on a platform it has little association with anymore. Give Mr. Strife’s spot to the next improbable combatant. Perhaps, say, a certain Super Saiyan hero of Dragon Ball whose name rhymes with “Roku”?
Bayonetta – Keep
With the first two Bayonetta games on Switch and a third title in the works, keeping the sultry witch around is a no-brainer. As a fan of the games, wielding Bayo felt awesome due to how closely the controls mimicked her actual games. Bayonetta’s appearance should reflect whatever look she sports in the next game, but I’d love an alternate Jeanne skin as well.
Ryu – Bench
I can go both ways with Ryu but I’ll lean towards letting him go. Street Fighter has a rich history with Nintendo (most recently, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers on Switch) but so do other franchises who have yet to break into Smash Bros. You know, like Castlevania. Give us a Belmont and/or Dracula instead and free Ryu to climb mountains barefooted or whatever he does.
Robin – Keep
The previous Super Smash Bros. had no shortage of Fire Emblem rep and Robin’s a fun representative for Fire Emblem Awakening. The character’s spellbook strategy worked well and offered a cerebral element that many fighters lack. A Fire Emblem Echoes hero could likely take this spot, but I hope Nintendo won’t close the book on Robin just yet.
Duck Hunt – Bench
I may catch heat for this, but Duck Hunt’s dog and duck combo can go the way of the Ice Climbers. Highlighting the NES staple was a cool nod, but I found they played too bizarrely to use regularly. Additionally, I just couldn’t accept the idea of the long-sworn enemies working together. Dogs and ducks getting along? Madness, I say! If recent speculation comes to fruition, maybe we can replace these two with a more famous mammal/bird tandem.
Pac-Man – Keep
He’s Pac-Man! How can you ditch such an icon? It also helps that he’s versatile, fun to use, and boasts a move-set that stands out from the rest of the roster. My only request should he return in the new game: an optional bow to let me play as Mrs. Pac-Man.
Greninja – Bench
I like Greninja, but he clearly occupied the role of “Pokémon Flavor of the Month”. As such, he shouldn’t return now that Pokémon Sun/Moon is out in the wild. Showcase a popular pocket monster from that generation instead and send Greninja back to his Pokéball.
Lucina – Bench
Super Smash Bros. could stand to trim down on Fire Emblem a tad. Since I want Robin to stay and Ike and Marth seem too iconic to ever remove, Lucina’s out by process of elimination. Though since she’s a clone of Marth, maybe outright replacing him with Lucina isn’t too far out of the realm of possibility?
Corrin – Bench
Actually, maybe I was wrong about Lucina. If you’re going to cut any Fire Emblem alumni first, let it be this dude. Though he’s a more than capable fighter, I often forget he’s even on the roster. That could be due to the sheer glut of characters from his series but there’s something overwhelmingly “meh” about Corrin. For a person known for transforming into a dragon, that’s not a great sign.
Mii Fighter – Bench
Having customizable Mii combatants was an interesting experiment that doesn’t need revisiting. They struck me as redundant at best (why choose Swordfighter in a game with roughly 174 sword users?) and forgettable at worst. There’s also the hard truth that Mii’s aren’t nearly as prominent in Nintendo’s grand scheme as they once were. Beating up your friends’ likenesses could be funny at times, but the joke wore thin pretty quick.
Dark Pit – Bench
Pit’s ‘tude-filled doppelganger rocks as far as I’m concerned. However, I admit he’s little more than a clone. Instead of wasting a spot on the angel of Hot Topic, simply make him a skin for Pit classic. Sure, he’ll lose his Final Smash, but it wasn’t that great, to begin with. This same idea worked wonders for including the Koopalings with Bowser Jr. Speaking of whom…
Bowser Jr. – Keep
I’ve had a soft spot for Bowser’s son since his Super Mario Sunshine debut. He’s an excellent minor foil and I love griefing opponents with his gadget-based arsenal. However, scribble his name on the list of characters in dire need of a more effective Final Smash. Naturally, the Koopalings should remain alternate skins as well.
Shulk – Keep
Years later, I’m still really feeling Shulk. His advanced Monado Arts make him one of the more satisfying fighters to master. Get a hang of him, and you’re rewarded with a powerful and versatile swordsman (who also possesses a concerning preference for machines over human women). Sadly, I don’t need magic visions to foresee Xenoblade Chronicles 2′s Rex and Pyra supplanting the incredible Shulk.
Palutena – Bench
Does anyone genuinely enjoy using Palutena? That question is largely rhetorical as I’m sure the goddess has her fans. Personally, she’s the least exciting character to play in Smash 4. Using her sluggish ranged offense never feels fun and negates her uniqueness as a fighter. Kid Icarus’ current status doesn’t justify having anyone not named Pit holding down the fort–especially if they’re a snooze-fest like Palutena.
Wii Fit Trainer – Bench
Smash Bros. most physically fit fighter will have to take an extended rest period. She’s not bad –better than expected, actually–but her spot feels better suited for a fresh face. Wii Fit hasn’t been a thing in two generations anyway, so I doubt there would be much of an outcry for Wii Fit Trainer’s departure. Though I’ll always appreciate her for introducing Nintendo’s finest to the wonders of yoga.