The Nintendo Switch Super Smash Bros. will need strong 3rd party characters to compete with its predecessors - here are six that would do the trick

How does Sakurai up the ante from announcing Snake, Mega Man, Pac-Man, and Ryu from previous E3s?

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • March 12, 2018 at 6:35 a.m. PDT

It's very difficult to contain one's hype whenever a new Smash Bros. title is announced. This is a series that pits up a number of all-stars against one another.

The best part about Smash Bros. is undoubtedly its roster. Who would fathom a guess years ago that Mario would be duking it out with Sonic the Hedgehog, or Cloud Strife would be doing battle from Ryu of the Street Fighter series?

Every E3, we see an announcement for a character that hypes and shocks fans in crazy ways. When Super Smash Bros. Brawl was announced at E3 2006, nobody saw the inclusion of Solid Snake coming.

Sakurai managed to surprise fans once again when Mega Man was revealed at E3 2013. Pac-Man would be announced at E3 2014. While Ryu was leaked ahead of time, it was still amazing to see Ryu on screen with the likes of Mario in a Smash game as the game's first 3rd party DLC character at E3 2015.

So how will the Smash team up the ante this year? As more and more gaming icons join the series, surprising fans is going to get even more difficult.

Let's go down the list of characters that would be awesome and shocking to see at E3 this year. We won't bother to mention someone like Kratos as he is a PlayStation exclusive fighter. While he would be surprising, he's also very implausible.

Crash Bandicoot

Crash Bandicoot is like Sonic the Hedgehog in a lot of ways. Created by Naughty Dog originally, Crash initially served as PlayStation's mascot character that rivaled Nintendo's Mario.

Similar to Sonic, it was hard to believe that Crash would appear on a Nintendo console someday. This was exactly what happened when Crash Bandicoot became a multiplatform series.

It's undeniable that this genetically enhanced creature is a gaming icon on sorts. This potential fighter's legacy is just as important as Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man, Solid Snake, Mega Man, ad Ryu.

Even the marsupial's first three games can be played on consoles other than the PlayStation despite the fact that they were previously console exclusives. Wasn't it a little suspicious that the N Sane was announced to be coming to the Switch during the last Nintendo Direct?


The Banjo-Kazooie series was originally exclusive to Nintendo consoles. After Rare was purchased by Microsoft, they became a first party developer for the Xbox systems.

Since then, we haven't really seen this duo appear in another Nintendo game that wasn't a handheld title -- Microsoft never created their own handheld after all. In fact, we haven't seen these characters in any new title after November 2008 when Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts was released.

With all this in mind, the odds appear to be against Banjo-Kazooie's inclusion in the Smash Bros. series. All hope is not lost, however.

During the time of Nintendo's character poll that Bayonetta would ultimately win, Phil Spencer of Microsoft revealed that there'd be "no issues" with allowing Banjo being present in a Smash Bros. game over Twitter.

Click image for tweet

Shovel Knight

The Smash Bros. series has yet to implement Indie characters. With that said, Shovel Knight has become easily recognizable throughout his short existence.

This Shovel Knight game takes obvious inspirations from Super Mario 3 and the Mega Man series. There's a very "classic feeling" when playing this particular title.

Interestingly enough, Shovel Knight already has an Amiibo. Inevitably, nothing came of this development during the DLC lifespan of Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U.

At one point, Velasco of Yacht Club Games told Gamerant in an interview that Shovel Knight had a .01% chance of entering the fray. That's notably more than a 0% chance...

Has Shovel Knight's chances improved since then? We'll likely know for sure at E3.


Seems like a bit of a mismatch, doesn't it? Scorpion comes from the Mortal Kombat series. This fighting game franchise is particularly well known for its violent nature and mature themes.

With that said, we've see Solid Snake and Bayonetta as third party characters before. Both of these hail from games that were rated "M" for mature.

What this shows us is that fighters like these can be toned down for an experience that is more friendly to younger ages. Scorpion is a combatant that is defined by his spear, teleport, and fiery attacks more so than the grotesque nature of his fighting style.

If this were to happen, it could be the first long awaited battle between Ryu from the Street Fighter series and Netherrealm specter. We've never had a Street Fighter X Mortal Kombat crossover...

Why would Scorpion be chosen over other Mortal Kombat combatants? At this point, he's iconic and is Ed Boon's favorite of the series. We even see him front and center as Netherrealm's logo and mascot.

Heihachi Mishima

When Ryu was revealed as a 3rd party DLC character, it was also shown that the Mii Brawler would be receiving a special costume. This essentially allowed the customizable character to dress up like Heihachi of the Tekken series.

This wasn't quite as awesome as seeing the iconic Mishima appearing himself. We were getting Ryu from the Street Fighter series so we really didn't mind that much.

We don't yet know if Ryu will be returning in this upcoming Smash Bros. title for the Nintendo Switch. If he does, it would be cool to see some sort of fighting game rival join as well.

A real rival this time. Not that Mii costume.


The topic of Rayman of Ubisoft being in Smash was a very interesting one. For whatever reason, there was a trophy of this character despite the fact that he wasn't playable. This was the only 3rd party trophy in the game that didn't feature them as a playable fighter.

A "leaked video" that depicted Rayman had the internet explode in excitement of his inclusion. The originator of the leak would eventually reveal that the video was actually faked, much to the disappointment of many.

This definitely shows there's a lot of interest in seeing Rayman joining Smash's roster. Nintendo does have a good working relationship with Ubisoft, so this is certainly a possibility.

Who do you think we'll see that will shock fans around the world at E3 this year? Let us know in the comments section.

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