I’ve fallen for the new Smash Bros. Hard. This has happened before. The original, Melee, Brawl, I’ve got hundreds of hours in all of them. I ended up kind of meh about Smash Bros. 4, for whatever reason, so I wasn’t expecting too much about Ultimate. Just picked it up on a lark, really.
And yet. And yet. I can feel it. I’m falling off the wagon. I am so into this game. It’s just clicking for me, when I had assuming either the magic was lost with the last game or I had just moved past it. It’s good. I’m loving it.
So, in case you haven’t been on the internet for a while, one of the fun things to do with Smash is speculate about which characters are going to get into it. Used to be that this sort of hobby would dry up after the game came out and cut through the knot. Now, though, thanks to the magic of moneygrubbing, we have DLC to keep the questioning alive post-release.
We know there’s going to be at least six DLC characters for the game. Two of them are already out, Piranha Plant from Mario and Joker from Persona 5. So four to go. And I am excited for it. I reaaaaaaally don’t get excited for DLC; usually if it’s not in the base game, I have a hard time trusting the quality of it in advance. But here, I find myself already getting the season pass. I can’t understate it, that is quite a shift for me.
So let’s join in on some of that same fun speculating. There’s going to be four more characters. Who are they going to be? Here’s my predictions. I’ll say I’m probably wrong on all of these, but you know what, that’s not the point. The guessing is fun. I’ll also say that I’ve not yet exhausted all the spirits, unlockables, and probably assist trophies in the game yet and I’ve been avoiding looking these up for spoiler’s sake, so there may already be information I’m missing. But based on what I know now, here are my best guesses as to which Amiibo’s will soon be adorning LightningEllen‘s shelf.
Ryu Hayabusa-Ninja Gaiden
Yeah, yeah, I know. Even through just a cursory search online, this one’s a really popular guess. Not leading with something unique here. It seems strong to me, though.
Koei Tecmo and Nintendo have seemed to have a strong relationship of late. They co-own Fatal Frame, Koei Tecmo has contributed a lot of games towards the NES classics available with a Switch Online subscription, Hyrule Warriors was a big success that was supported and updated longer than any other game on the Wii U, they followed that up with Fire Emblem Warriors, there’s a lot going on across the two companies. But as yet, the only representations Koei Tecmo seems to have in Smash Bros. Ultimate are a Fatal Frame-based assist trophy and a few assist trophies from the same series.
I’m pretty confident that Koei Tecmo is going to get one character in on the upcoming DLCs, just based off of how strong their relationship seems to be with Nintendo. And of every character Koei Tecmo has, Ryu Hayabusa seems most likely. Even with Bayonetta and Snake in the mix, Nintendo’s still keeping things mostly family friendly in Smash Bros, and I don’t think they’re going to go any stronger on a horror game series like Fatal Frame than they already are. Ryu’s probably the most prominent character Koei Tecmo has, and would represent both the Dead or Alive and his own Ninja Gaiden series here. He’s the biggest part of gaming history of any of Koei Tecmo’s characters, as well as having the biggest presence on Nintendo systems, which isn’t a perfect indicator of Smash inclusion anymore, but it still does seem to be something of a factor. And he’d have plenty of content to be drawing from. If Koei Tecmo is getting one of these DLC characters, as I believe they are, Ryu Hayabusa seems the strongest option.
Yo-Kai Watch is a property published and marketed outside of Japan by Nintendo, with Nintendo of America making key release announcements about the system. Nintendo seems to be innately involved in this game. It’s a multi-media property that seems to have developed a very dedicated following. And yet it seems to have absolutely no presence in Smash. I find that rather suspicious. It seems to me the only way there wouldn’t be a spirit or an assist trophy or something from Yo-Kai Watch would be if they had other plans for the property in Smash.
Hence, the DLC character. I know next to nothing about Yo-Kai Watch. Seriously, this is a series that has almost entirely escaped my notice. I know the people who like it really like it. Just hasn’t come across my desk. I picked Jibanyan because he seems to be the most visible… thing. Yo-kai? Mon? Of the game. The one that always pops up on all the art and posters and stuff. He’s the Pikachu of the Yo-Kai. I can’t speak with any nuance as to why it’d be him specifically outside of that, or what he would play like, but just you watch.
Yeah, I’m not super happy about them. I really loved Rayman’s Raving Rabbids on the Wii. But really, one game of these guys was enough for me, and I can’t imagine they’d make the most fun character to play. Their loud slapstick really doesn’t seem in line with the Smash environment either. But here we are. I’m guessing that they’re an upcoming Smash DLC character.
With Smash 4, Ubisoft got the world excited with the news that Rayman was going to be in Smash, then immediately let them down by following that announcement up with the words “as a trophy”. Seemed rather pointless then, didn’t it? And it was. But what’s happened since then? I’ll tell you what happened. Mario + Rabbids happened, that’s what. It got attention in player spheres because of the sheer amount of emotions the developers demonstrated at seeing their game presented by Miyamoto at E3, but it’s since proven to be an actually pretty good game. And one that Ubisoft has supported and updated for a good long while, now.
I’m operating on the assumption that if they’re already a spirit, they’re not getting into the game as a DLC character. So that cuts out Rayman himself, as well as several of the specific Rabbids from Mario+Rabbids. The garden variety version of them, though? I haven’t come across one of those yet in spirit form. And they’ve been a series that were born, grown, and thrived on Nintendo consoles from the Wii up. So, it seems natural that they’d soon be BWAAAAHing up in Smash, too.
On the plus side, if I’m right about this, then that means that both Pokemon and the Ninja Turtles share a universe. If we can get the Rabbids crossing over with Batman, too, that would be all of my childhood action figure storylines come to life.
Lloyd Irving-Tales of Symphonia
Bandai Namco, under the direction of the eternal Smash headman Masahiro Sakurai, provided the staff to make this game. Yes, it’s a Nintendo game through and through, but it was Sakurai and Bandai Namco that actually put it together. Yet the only character Bandai Namco got into Smash is Pac-Man. I would be absolutely shocked if they didn’t have at least one character in the DLC lineup.
And Lloyd Irving seems like the most likely option to me. Not that they don’t have a huge list of other properties to choose from. It could be Dig-Dug, but I feel he’s lost to the annals of time. Same with Mr. Driller. Someone from Soul Calibur wouldn’t be too out of place, but I feel that series doesn’t have a really strong stand-out character. Heihachi from Tekken also seems a really likely option, but I struggle to come up with ground for that character that’s not already covered. Lloyd Irving, however…
Tales of Symphonia was one of the best and most prominent games on the Gamecube, and filled a really solid space in the RPG library that was kind of lacking on that console. They even followed it up with a sequel on the Wii, although that one wasn’t quite so exciting. And in Smash 4, you could get his costume and hair for your Mii Fighters. And you noticeably cannot with this game. You could do the same with Heihachi, as well, sure. And again, he also does seem a really likely option, but I’m tipping the scales over to Lloyd just thinking of atmospheric fitness. But what do I know, maybe they’ll both get in.
So, that’s me. That’s my guess. Along with all the hundreds of thousands of others out there. Am I going to look super cool once these characters actually come out and I’m totally right as always? Is time going to prove me a wistful idiot? We’ll see.