There are few games that can rival the anticipation of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, and every weekday brings fans more and more information about the release. Everything from ledge guarding to balancing issues have allegedly been addressed in the forthcoming installments, but while gameplay modifications are incredibly important for players, the biggest draw of an impending iteration is speculating on which new fighters will be joining the fray.
Newcomers and veteran brawlers alike have been revealed thus far, but the one confirmation came as somewhat of a surprise. After more or less usurping Mewtwo in the transition from Melee to Brawl, Pokemon character Lucario has been confirmed to reprise his role as a playable fighter in the new games. This is great news for players who enjoyed pummeling iconic characters with the bipedal dog, and there's nothing wrong with adding more characters to the roster. That said, I can't help but feel that his return isn't warranted when demand for Mewtwo is currently at, and has remained at for quite some time, an all-time high.
So what does Lucario's return really mean for Mewtwo? Largely nothing, considering that the roster for Super Smash Bros. 4 was likely predetermined and finalized months ago. But at this point in time, from a fan's perspective, Mewtwo's chances of returning have been effectively cut in a significant manner. With that in mind, it's time for fans hoping to bring the Legendary Pokemon back into the spotlight to realize why the character is such a necessary combatant for the next Smash entries.
One thing that was heavily lacking in Super Smash Bros. Brawl were villains, and that was noticeable upon booting up the game. The entire roster, which consists of 35 different character slots, only featured three main bad guys from Nintendo: Ganondorf, King Dedede, and Bowser. This is excluding anti-heroes that walk a fine line between good and evil (i.e. Metaknight, Wario, and Wolf), but that fact that there's no villainous representation from the Pokemon franchise is a rather shocking revelation. Given Mewtwo's tortured past and fondness of ending human lives (as seen in Pokemon the First Movie), the character more than fills the role of an additional baddie.
If you don't believe that, then just take a look at the creature's Pokedex entry from Pokemon Y.
"A PokÃ©mon created by recombining Mew's genes. It's said to have the most savage heart among PokÃ©mon."
Other entries from past Pocket Monster titles imply that Mewtwo is compassionless, extremely aggressive, and incredibly powerful. While that's certainly no knock against other Pokemon like Pikachu or Lucario, it's hard to imagine a better representative from the franchise to go toe-to-toe with icons such as Mario, Mega Man, Samus, or Link. No, there is no monster from the world of Pokemon that can hold a candle to the sheer evil and raw power that's manifested within Mewtwo.
Despite catering to gamers looking to take control of another baddie in Smash Bros., the character has once again jumped into the limelight thanks to the two latest entries in the core Pokemon franchise. Both Pokemon X and Y introduced players to Mega Evolution, and the poster-boy for this new feature was none other than Mewtwo. The genetically altered Pokemon is held in such high regard at Game Freak that the developers opted to give the monster not one, but two Mega Evolutions. Know what other creature was popular enough to receive two Mega Evolution in X and Y? Charizard; one of the playable combatants in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Putting aside the impact Mewtwo has had in the latest games, there's been no shortage of the Psychic-type in the Pokemon anime either. Starring in the recently aired PokÃ©mon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened and well-received Pokemon Origins series, it has become increasingly obvious that the popularity of the monster is far from dwindling. According to Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai, the popularity of Pokemon starring in the animated movies, as well as talks between himself and The Pokemon Company, has a huge impact on which characters from the Pokemon series are added to the roster..
In the same interview, Sakurai stated that the ability for Pokemon to "fit in" also plays a large role, and there's little question that Mewtwo more than fits that bill.
“Well first of all, we talk with The PokÃ©mon Company. What’s the hot PokÃ©mon? What PokÃ©mon are in the movies right now? And really do a lot of research on that front."
“But it’s not just that — going back to just what we talked about, what’s unique about them? Where do they fit in with the rest of everything else? What do they have? It’s a combination of those things.”
The anime appearances for the beast aside, the monster's newfound ability to Mega Evolve could mean big things for a potential move set if Mewtwo is chosen to be reinstated as a playable fighter. Whether or not that means that Mewtwo can transition to another form in a similar fashion as Zelda does to Shiek or the transformation is reserved for a Final Smash, the ability to make the Pocket Monster a top-tier combatant is there.
So where does Mewtwo stand when it comes down to deciding which characters will make the final Smash Bros. roster? Masahiro Sakurai, when asked about Mewtwo's possible return during a roundtable for Pokemon X and Y at E3 2013, jumped out of the audience and stated that the team working on the next Smash games is “thinking about it." It's been several months since this comment, but there's still no word on whether or not those thoughts ever metamorphosed into an actual character slot.
If I were to fathom a guess, I'd say that there's more than enough room for Mewtwo to return in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. In fact, it'd be surprising not to see a character that's currently so involved with a series as popular as Pokemon fail to make the cut. Regardless, trying to predict the actions of Sakurai and his team tends to be a frivolous affair — no one saw Wii Fit Trainer coming — because there's no telling where the mindset of the developers are when finalizing the roster. Hopefully fans will get a chance to return to the Legendary status that Mewtwo bestows upon the franchise, because there's no question that few characters are more deserving.
Follow Riley on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.