The Brawl To End Them All
Super Smash Bros. may have been conspicuously absent from Nintendo’s E3 2017 showing, but that certainly doesn’t mean a Switch installment isn’t coming. Nintendo has repeatedly expressed interest in bringing more Wii U games to its new console. Already the company has released an expanded version of Mario Kart 8 for the system, with a deluxe port of the Pokemon fighting game Pokken Tournament on the way in September.
There are plenty of other Wii U titles that deserve a second lease of life on Switch as well–you can see some of the ones we want most here–but Smash Bros. is undoubtedly the most obvious candidate. Nintendo effectively perfected the mascot brawler with the Wii U iteration, and the game would be a great fit for the console thanks to its ability to be taken and played anywhere.
As with Mario Kart 8 and the upcoming Pokken Tournament DX, Nintendo will likely include new content when it ultimately brings Super Smash Bros. to Switch. In this gallery, we take a look at some of the features we think the company should add to make the Switch port the definitive Smash Bros. experience.
Nintendo may have been initially hesitant to embrace downloadable content, but the company certainly shed any reservations it had about the practice last generation. Super Smash Bros. stands as the prime example, as it offers perhaps the most robust selection of DLC in a Nintendo game to date. Nintendo released a wealth of additional content for the title in the months after its release, from new stages and fighters (including surprise additions like Bayonetta and Final Fantasy VII‘s Cloud), to a huge assortment of Mii Fighter costumes, many of which were based on commonly requested characters like Geno from Super Mario RPG.
For the inevitable Switch version, Nintendo should follow the approach it took with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and include the game’s entire array of DLC right out of the box. Even if you’ve already played Super Smash Bros. on either of its previous two host platforms, you may not have purchased every piece of DLC Nintendo released for it. Having it all right from the outset would make the package more enticing to newcomers and veterans alike, and it would give fans a chance to experience some content they may have missed the first time around.
The biggest distinction between the Wii U and 3DS versions of Super Smash Bros. is the selection of stages in each game. While both titles share the same roster of fighters, each features its own unique collection of levels for players to fight on. Stages based on home console titles, like Mario Galaxy and Skyloft from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, could only be found in the Wii U version, while ones inspired by handheld games, such as Nintendogs‘ Living Room and Tortimer Island from Animal Crossing: New Leaf, were exclusive to the 3DS release.
Along with all the stages from the Wii U version, Nintendo should include the entire selection of 3DS levels in a Switch port of Super Smash Bros. as well. For players who opted to only play the game on one of its previous platforms, this would give them a chance to duke it out on a whole new assortment of levels. Not only would the 3DS stages benefit from Switch’s more powerful hardware, including the entire selection would be a fairly quick and easy way for Nintendo to nearly double the number of levels the game has to offer.
Even before Nintendo began rolling out downloadable content for Super Smash Bros. on Wii U and 3DS, the games featured the largest roster of fighters in the series to date. With a few notable exceptions, nearly every character from past installments was present and accounted for, and many of the ones who were absent, like Lucas, eventually found their way into the titles as DLC. Nintendo even resurrected older fighters like Mewtwo, Dr. Mario, and Roy–none of whom had appeared in a Smash Bros. game since Melee–as DLC characters.
That said, there are still some veteran fighters who are conspicuously missing from the roster. The most obvious are the Ice Climbers, who had been staples of the series since they debuted in Melee, but were unfortunately cut from the most recent titles due to their inability to work properly on 3DS. They aren’t the only fighters still missing in action, however. Snake may not find himself in a Smash Bros. game again due to licensing issues with Konami, but another Brawl combatant, Wolf, faces no such hurdles and most certainly should make a comeback. Pichu is another Melee-exclusive fighter who could potentially rejoin the fray, as could Charizard’s former Pokemon Trainer teammates Squirtle and Ivysaur, both of whom could be expanded into their own individual characters just as the Fire-type starter was.
Of course, as nice as it would be for Nintendo to bring the few remaining Smash Bros. stragglers back to the roster, it would be even better if the company also included new fighters in the Switch version. After all, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe featured a handful of new and returning racers when it debuted on Switch, and the same will be true of Pokken Tournament DX, which will include new fighters such as Decidueye when it arrives for the console.
With the precedent already set, it’s safe to say Nintendo will add at least a couple of new fighters to the roster if and when it decides to port Super Smash Bros. to Switch. The only question is, which characters will make the cut? The Smash Bros. series has always been a celebration of Nintendo’s history, and the company has added a few new IPs to its pantheon of franchises since the Wii U version was originally released. Perhaps the most notable is Splatoon; not only is there a new game in the series on the horizon for Switch, the Inklings were two of the new racers featured in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, so it’s fair to expect them to appear in a Switch version of Super Smash Bros. as well.
Nintendo also hasn’t been shy about using Super Smash Bros. as a vehicle to advertise its new and upcoming releases. Such was the case with Corrin, who was added to the Wii U and 3DS versions as a DLC character to promote what was at the time the latest Fire Emblem game, Fire Emblem Fates. With the release of Fire Emblem Echoes, however, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Nintendo include either of that game’s dual heroes, Alm or Celica, in the Switch release. Xenoblade is likewise becoming one of the company’s major franchises, and adding Rex from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to the Smash Bros. roster would be a great way to represent the series and promote one of Switch’s marquee titles. Any character from Arms also seems like a natural choice for a new fighter; not only would their appearance give even more exposure to the company’s burgeoning IP, their unique abilities would make them feel right at home in the mascot brawler.
Along with their unique selection of stages, the other distinguishing factor between the Wii U and 3DS versions of Super Smash Bros. is each title’s exclusive game mode. On Wii U, it’s a Mario Party-like board game called Smash Tour. Players take turns maneuvering around a board collecting power-ups and fighters, and when two or more land on the same space, they use the items and characters they collected to battle against each other.
The 3DS version, meanwhile, featured a more frantic game mode called Smash Run. In this mode, players explore a massive side-scrolling stage and fight through waves of enemies, picking up items along the way to power up their characters. After a five-minute time limit elapses, players are pitted in a “final battle” against a CPU opponent that features a randomly-imposed battle condition.
While it seems all but given that Smash Tour would make a return in a Switch port of Super Smash Bros., we’d like to see Nintendo also include 3DS’s Smash Run as an option alongside it. Not only is it one of the handheld version’s best features, it’s arguably the more entertaining of the two exclusive modes, and its short duration makes it ideally suited for Switch’s portable nature. Including both would give players more options to enjoy and truly make the Switch port the definitive version of the game.
New Alternate Costumes
Before Super Smash Bros. arrived on Wii U and 3DS, the series generally treated alternate costumes like an afterthought. While some fighters like Samus had different outfits that were inspired by actual Power Suit upgrades, for the most part, alternate costumes were simple palette swaps meant to distinguish one player from another. That changed with the Wii U and 3DS installments. Not only were there even more alternate costumes to choose from (eight as opposed to four), they were much more elaborate in their design, and many, like Mario’s American flag overalls, even referenced obscure games from Nintendo’s history.
For the Switch port of Super Smash Bros., Nintendo should include a new assortment of alternate costumes for many of its fighters. While most of the company’s mascots change very little from game to game, some like Link look dramatically different depending on the title. He and Princess Zelda could both receive new costumes based on their appearance in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Mario also dons some new outfit in his Switch adventure Super Mario Odyssey, any of which would make a fun alternate costume for the plumber. And with another woolly adventure in store for Yoshi next year, the dino could also get a new alternate design based on his yarn incarnation. Not only would these costumes help make familiar characters feel fresh, they would keep the Switch version of Smash Bros. contemporary by featuring content from Nintendo’s most recent titles.
Single Joy-Con Multiplayer
Switch’s defining feature is its ability to be taken and played anywhere thanks to its versatile hardware design, which is especially beneficial for multiplayer games. While they’re still more enjoyable to play on a television when the console is docked, you’re no longer required to gather around a TV for a quick race or match against your friends; many games for the console allow two players to play together using nothing but its screen and a single Joy-Con each, allowing for impromptu play sessions literally anywhere.
Naturally, this would be a perfect feature to include in a Switch version of Super Smash Bros. More serious players may scoff at the idea of playing the game with anything other than a GameCube or Switch Pro Controller, but ever since Brawl, the series has supported a wide variety of different controller options, including a single Wii Remote turned sideways. Giving players the option to compete against one another using a single Joy-Con would be the perfect way to capitalize on the game’s pick-up-and-play nature. Nintendo has already confirmed that a control scheme tailored around a single Joy-Con will be an option in Pokken Tournament DX, and it would be equally well-suited for Smash Bros.