Following the surprising reveal of Final Fantasy 7’s Cloud as DLC, I’ve realized that Nintendo can and will put any character it wants in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS.
As any longtime Nintendo fan will attest, Super Smash Bros. has been an incredibly unpredictable source of couch-centric multiplayer sessions. While it’s true that fans are in store for the familiar side scrolling, beat ’em up that the series is known for, several major aspects change with every new iteration. One of the most important in the eyes of fans is undoubtedly the roster, and it has grown substantially with every new installment.
Much to the immediate joy of dedicated fans, Nintendo has continuously been adding combatants to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS through DLC. Thus far players have seen Mewtwo, Lucas, Roy, and even Street Fighter‘s Ryu added to the game as post-launch content, which all made sense for various reasons. Now, however, Nintendo has revealed that Final Fantasy 7‘s Cloud Strife will be joining the fray – and the news is equal parts exciting and puzzling for aficionados of the Big N.
To immediately clear the air, it should be noted that Cloud is unquestionably the most iconic Final Fantasy character of all time, and his appearance in Smash is an exciting one. The only issue is that it really doesn’t make an ounce of sense. Sure, there have been a handful of Nintendo-exclusive games that the character has appeared in, but the likes of Theaterhythm Final Fantasy doesn’t exactly demand such representation in Nintendo’s all-star fighting game. No, Cloud’s debut title has never been associated with the house of Mario in any fashion.
Despite all of this, the broader community has always hyped Cloud as a viable character (including him in fan-developed, sprite-based Smash games), while those dedicated to crafting mock rosters and trying to rationalize the character selection process have ignored him for obvious reasons. No one saw this coming, and it’s possible that the next few characters added to the game will follow suit – because it’s almost impossible to determine who will make the cut next without any legitimate leaks.
It’s now apparent that the Super Smash Bros. Ballot wasn’t used as a voting system (although the most popular characters are likely to have gained more notice), but rather it was intended to inspire the developers currently working on the project. Seeing it in that sense, it’s possible that almost any gaming character could make the cut, and there likely wouldn’t be a third-party foolish enough to turn down the opportunity to have its mascot included in Smash – nor would it deny itself the opportunity to profit off of the combatant’s inevitable amiibo.
Heck, even Xbox head Phil Spencer said he had “no issues” chatting with Nintendo over the possibility of having Banjo and Kazooie appear in its rival’s blockbuster fighting game. Meanwhile, the creator of Minecraft thinks it would be neat to see Steve show up in Smash Bros. as a playable fighter, and there’s no question that would get the attention of an entirely new demographic of game players in the process. With fans at the helm of character suggestions for the next wave of downloadable fighters, nothing seems out of reach and it’s evident that some of the major firms in the industry are more than willing to play ball.
With the final Super Smash-focussed Nintendo Direct happening this December, it’s impossible to tell who will make the final cut – or even if Nintendo has more DLC planned afterwards. With the imminent arrival of its NX console, however, it’s inevitable that the company will have to shift assets and focus on to its newest platform. Of course, that could mean that the wait for the next iteration of Smash is just beginning, and that players can expect the same speculation and copious amount of hype all over again.
Which characters are you hoping to see join the fray? Get at us in the comments.