The announcement of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch has created a fair bit of excitement this past week and one of the hottest topics of conversation is whether the new release will be a true sequel or a deluxe port. Whatever the case will end up being, let’s take the time to explore a few ways the series might improve with the Switch version.
1. Bring Back Ice Climbers
Right, let’s get a nice easy one out of the way first. Bring back Ice Climbers! We’ve all heard the reason the cute pair didn’t make the cut in the Wii U and 3DS release (for the few that might not know, it comes down to the 3DS not being able to handle dual characters and since both versions of the game were promised to include the same line-up, the Wii U had to suffer by excluding them too) but with the new Switch release this is no longer a restraint. You have to imagine Sakurai heard the feedback from their absence and of all past characters these two seem like a sure thing.
2. And While We’re At It, Add A Good Handful of New Faces
While it would be nice to see an old favourite return, let’s not stop there. We already know the Inklings will make their debut but what other Nintendo characters could also make the cut? Captain Toad? Dixie Kong? Dare we say… Ridley?
3. Alternative Outfits
The last Super Smash Bros. game may have dabbled in this a little with a handful of characters seeing unique skins such as Fierce Deity Link, All-American Mario and wireframe Little Mac, however, it felt almost like an afterthought with so much potential left untapped.
We’ve seen other fighting games offer players outfits both relevant to the character’s history or personality along with some rather crazy unexpected ones too (see Street Fighter V for example) and I feel this feature would be ideal for a game like Super Smash Bros.
We’ve already seen a tease of Breath of the Wild Link in the brief trailer but let’s hope Sakurai doesn’t stop there. How about some updated looks for Zelda or even Ganondorf? Or perhaps Fox’s outfit from Assault on the Gamecube or even the Light Suit from Metroid Prime 2 for Samus? Super Mario Odyssey’s Mario 64 outfit even got me thinking, what if the new Super Smash Bros. featured Nintendo 64 skins for the original twelve fighters?
4. Replays Safe from Updates
It was annoying to have the saved replay of a hilarious match unwatchable thanks to a new update in the last Super Smash Bros. game and it would suck to see the same happen with the Switch game. You shouldn’t have to fear that the next time you load up the game, your saved videos are gone.
5. Survival Mode
While Smash Tour might not have had the best reception when it made its debut in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (I’m one of the few who actually did enjoy this mode), it did include one idea that would be an ideal addition along with the usual line-up of time, stock and coin matches. Its finale. Picture a survival-esque mode where each player picks a team of four fighters and where every elimination means bringing out your next teammate until you’ve exhausted all four. It would make for some interesting situations as players will need to adjust their fighting style on the fly as new characters enter the fray. Sure, this sort of option isn’t exactly new when it comes to the fighting genre, but after getting a taste for it in the Wii U version, it’s something I would definitely love to see expanded upon in the Switch game.
6. Stronger Online
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U’s online was… fine. Sure, you were able to play with friends or battle strangers online, but at the same time, there were also a number of harsh restrictions and flaws too. For one, lag was a big problem, especially when dealing with four-player battles – to the point of being virtually unplayable at times even. Then there was the slim number of options the game offered you when facing off against randomers – timed two minute or two stock matches with or without weapons the extent of your choice.
Super Smash Bros. would be wise to take notes from other fighters out there and including things like lobbies where large groups of players can watch and participate in a winner stay on fashion or at the very least some more freedom in how you choose to play. Even Mario Kart 8 Deluxe allows you to customise its options to a degree when racing or battling.
Plus with rumours circling around the idea that this will accompany Nintendo’s new online service, Super Smash Bros. needs to nail this to prove paying the fee will be worth it.
7. Modern Stages
Again, a bit of a no-brainer this one especially since we’ve seen a healthy number of new releases from Nintendo since the 3DS and Wii U combo released back in 2014. Breath of the Wild’s expansive world and a Super Mario Odyssey inspired stage (imagine fighting on the Odyssey itself as you fly between kingdoms) would be safe bets, but there are plenty more candidates that are possible too including Tropical Freeze, Pokémon Sun and Moon, Kirby Star Allies, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and… hell, why not throw in a 1-2 Switch inspired stage for kicks?
8. One or Two Relevant Third Party Characters
The last Super Smash Bros. game did a great job of including guest characters that felt iconic and had some sort of meaningful connection with Nintendo (perhaps with the exception of Cloud) and it seems like a given that we’ll see some more names added to the mix this time around too. The key thing to remember though is that Super Smash Bros. is a celebration of all things Nintendo and that guests should be a nice bonus as opposed to the focus. We shouldn’t see the number of new Nintendo representatives outnumbered by the outsiders.
Furthermore, they need to make sense. I’m seeing a lot of requests for Crash Bandicoot or Goku on Twitter, for example, two characters that you don’t really associate with Nintendo other than the fact they happened to have a few games out on their platform (as well as the PlayStation and Xbox). Ryu made sense because of the association with the amazing Street Fighter II, Sonic because of his rivalry with Mario and even Bayonetta has her exclusive adventure on the Wii U (and now Switch) to fall back on. If we’re getting new guests then I’d like to see some sort of connection whether it’s with Bomberman, Simon Belmont, Professor Layton or even Travis Touchdown. Characters that are iconic or at the very least relevant to Nintendo.
9. A More Engaging Single Player Mode
The Subspace Emissary might not have been perfect but it at least offered the lone player a little more to sink their teeth into. Not only that but it threw all the game’s characters into a fairly silly story complete with plenty of funny and unexpected cutscenes.
While I’m not expecting to see anything of this level in the new Super Smash Bros. it would be nice if we received a new mode other than the usual Classic or All-Stars offerings. Updating Smash Run might be a good start so you can actually interact with other players online or perhaps something similar to Melee’s Adventure mode for example. Super Smash Bros. never skimps with it comes to its selection of modes, however here’s hoping the Switch version has something more to offer its solo players.
10. Limit Unlockables
I get it; some people love to unlock things in games whether it’s characters, stages or even just cosmetics. However, with each new Super Smash Bros. release, I’m starting to enjoy this less and less. I want every character unlocked from the start rather than having to play X amount of games to earn them. The custom moves are also an excellent example of unlockables done wrong.
While the idea of pimping out Mario with a different fireball or FLUDD effect was great, unlocking them at random in the Wii U game for every character was an absolute chore. To this day I still don’t have all of the plumber’s moves let alone the whole cast! If this feature does return though (and it should) then give the player the option out the gate. In fact, perhaps limit unlockables to just the stages or remove them altogether.
Super Smash Bros. (working title) will release exclusively for Nintendo Switch worldwide in 2018.