What 3rd party franchises would we like to see join Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? EventHubs staff share our picks

Although Super Smash Bros. Brawl opened the doors, the 3DS and Wii U games really opened the floodgates — Who would we like to see join the fray next?

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • October 1, 2018 at 8 p.m. PDT

Obviously, Super Smash Bros. games are about Nintendo all-stars duking it out with eachother, and the Nintendo characters are, and will hopefully always be, the main focus. But it's hard to ignore the huge impact 3rd party franchises have had on the series, and it's a huge honor for any developer to have their characters join the fray, and today, it seems like everyone wants a piece of that cake.

What seemed like a pure pipe dream back in the day of Super Smash Bros. Melee has become everyday reality now, with the Super Smash Bros. series bringing in all kinds of iconic gaming franchises, some that barely even have ties to Nintendo.

It all started with the surprise reveal of Solid Snake in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which later led to the earth-shattering announcement and trailer of Sonic the Hedgehog joining the fray, finally letting fans across the world pit two console gaming icons against eachother in battle.

When the flood gates really broke, though, was in Super Smash Bros. 4 on the 3DS and Wii U. At first, it was relatively calm with Mega Man from Capcom and Pac-Man from Bandai Namco being added to the roster, both of which were fairly expected, with Mega Man being the most prominent request after the game's unveiling, and Pac-Man being something of a lock since Bandai Namco were assisting with the development of the title.

The post-launch DLC was where it got brought into high gear, with Street Fighter's Ryu, Final Fantasy's Cloud and Bayonetta's... well, Bayonetta, all becoming part of the Super Smash Bros. roster.

We've already seen the addition of one beloved franchise to the Super Smash Bros. family for Ultimate, namely the Castlevania franchise, with a ton of content coming along with it. So what else are we hoping to see added to the Nintendo brawler this time around? Myself, Steven "DreamKing" Chavez and Justin "AdaptiveTrigger" Gordon share our picks — so continue below to find out all about them.

Justin's Pick: Crash Bandicoot

Like Cloud Strife of the Final Fantasy series and Solid Snake of the Metal Gear series, Crash Bandicoot was a gaming icon that was most commonly associated with Sony and the PlayStation. Despite this, the former two are already present in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

It feels like this particular character is back in a big way thanks to the success of the N. Sane Trilogy — which was released on the Nintendo Switch on June 29, 2018. Before this remaster, my only experience with this anthropomorphic marsupial was only Crash Bandicoot 2, but I always remembered my experience during that rental period.

While PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale had a myriad of problems, it is often said that the game was lacking its share of... well, PlayStation "all-stars." Crash Bandicoot was one of the most commonly cited icons that was missing from this particular title. With Snake and Cloud already in Smash, it'd be incredibly ironic if they were able to snag Crash too.

Very clearly, Crash Bandicoot just fits in with the rest of the Super Smash Bros. roster. A moveset that takes references from his games would easily see representation in a game like this. A spin attack, a Wumpa Fruit bazooka, a sliding attack, a belly flop, and so on.

Like the Mario vs. Sonic rivalry of old, the rivalry between Mario and Crash Bandicoot needs to be settled. Heck, I'm sure even Sonic has a bone to pick with Crash considering his first game's code name during development was actually called "Sonic's Ass game" due to the nature of the camera also being positioned behind the playable character.

Steven's Pick: Banjo-Kazooie

This pick is a super easy one. There are a lot of people who want to see Banjo and Kazooie make into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and I'm sure both Nick and Justin would like to seem them join as well.

For me, though, Banjo Kazooie has always held a special place in my heart. Having revisited Banjo Kazooie (and completed it 100%) recently and currently working on the same for Banjo Tooie, the thought of the bear and bird being playable in Smash Bros. has never made more sense to me.

Not only is the duo iconic and beloved by Nintendo fans — due to the fact that the first two games (and most important ones in the franchise) debuted on Nintendo 64 — but they are literally packed with a seemingly endless arsenal of attacks and power ups that could be translated over to Smash.

Banjo and Kazooie's basic move set is already equipped with moves for the Smash Bros. battle, as we see a rolling attack, a running series of punches, pecks, a shoulder / beak charge, and even an option to run faster with the help of Kazooie. On top of that, you have the ability to shoot eggs — either forward as a fast projectile or backward as more of a grenade drop — and there are variations of these eggs such as the standard type, fire eggs, and explosive grenade eggs.

If that wasn't enough, you also have to consider the Mumbo / Wumba transformations that could manifest in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Throughout both games, Banjo and Kazooie are changed into a variety of different animals and objects by way of magic, and though turning into a pumpkin or a TNT plunger might not be very effective in battle, becoming a T-Rex might be.

Banjo and Kazooie are immensely popular, have a myriad of awesome moves to choose from, and would fit perfectly into the Super Smash Bros. world as it's filled with colorful characters and video game icons from all walks of life. And if Sakurai adds Banjo and Kazooie on top of the insane roster we've already seen... Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is going to rocket even further into godly status.

Nick's Pick: Tales

While Super Smash Bros. is definitely about celebrating Nintendo franchises, eventually you're going to want to see your other favorites join the fray, and one of my absolute favorites that isn't already in is the Tales series.

Before delving in to the tehcnical aspects and how good the chances of the series joining the fray, let's have a quick overview of the series itself. The Tales series is a Japanese-developed RPG series which has always focused on real-time battle as opposed to the turn-based battle that was common at the time of its inception.

Other key aspects to it include multiplayer in battles, so that you and your friends can experience the adventure together while controlling separate characters, and anime-styled visuals, with animated cutscenes and openings used in the series as far back as the second title in the series, Tales of Destiny, released in 1997 for the PlayStation.

Filled with vibrant colors and often with a fantasy-esque landscape, the Tales series is generally focused on maintaining optimism in the face of adversity, the value of a heroic spirit and not letting the tragedy you've experienced define you. In many ways, they are reminiscent of old legends, which makes the game all the more intriguing.

It's not like this franchise is unfamiliar to Nintendo either — the original game, Tales of Phantasia, was on the SNES. Also, one of the most commercially successful games in the series, which also introduced many players outside of Japan to the Tales franchise, namely Tales of Symphonia, was originally released for the Nintendo Gamecube as a big exclusive at the time.

In short, Tales definitely has strong ties to Nintendo, and we also know that Bandai Namco (the creators and rights holders for it) have assisted Nintendo both on Super Smash Bros. 4 as well as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which likely increases its chances of joining the battle ever so slightly.

The drawback, though, for a series like this is that like many Japanese RPG franchises, it has a new cast and even a new world for most games, meaning that it's difficult to have a proper face for the series. Probably the most popular character based on polling is Yuri Lowell, the main protagonist of Tales of Vesperia, a game which was one of the faces for RPG goodness on the Xbox 360 about 10 years ago.

Although the Definitive Edition set for release next year is coming for the Nintendo Switch as well, it'd be hard to argue that Yuri holds much significance for Nintendo. While this can be disputed by pointing to Cloud being the Final Fantasy representative, it's also reality that Tales is nowhere near the stature of Final Fantasy in the grand scheme of things, so Cloud is probably not an entirely valid comparison.

If Tales were to be added to Super Smash Bros. the most likely picks seem like either Cress Albane, the main protagonist of the original game which started it all back on the SNES, or Lloyd Irving, the main protagonist of Tales of Symphonia who was something of an icon for the Nintendo Gamecube as far as RPG gaming went.

As for the a stage, the Yggrassil from Tales of Phantasia — known as the Great Kharlan Tree in Tales of Symphonia — seems like a foregone conclusion as the perfect stage, regardless of if it were Cress or Lloyd who joined the fray. It's an iconic location which actually does appear in both titles, since they have vague timeline ties to eachother, contrary to most other titles in the series.

Any RPG fan should have tried out the Tales series at least once, and it's a popular franchise worldwide, though most notably in Japan, where you'll find countless amounts of merchandise for both older and newer titles. As one of Bandai Namco's flagship series, it definitely has a decent shot, and it'd be great to get some Tales content in Smash. It meshes amazingly well with Nintendo's own franchises, after all.

Justin's Pick: Ninja Gaiden

There's a serious lack of ninjas in the playable roster. In fact, Sheik is the only one! Isn't this supposed to be a staple of fighting games?

This is where Ryu Hayabusa of Tecmo's Ninja Gaiden series can come in. While I've never actually played any of the Ninja Gaiden titles, I've always heard stories about their difficulty similar to the Mega Man and Castlevania franchises.

While it's true that Hayabusa would be yet another sword user, he also has access to a windmill shuriken, fire wheels, shadow clones, kunai, and more. Needless to say, he would actually have a fairly unique kit of tools to work with.

The only question is, would his default appearance depict him as wearing black or blue? Whichever one isn't the main appearance would obviously become an alternate color.

Nick's Pick: Dragon Quest

Before even looking at the picks my colleagues did, I could say with certainty that this will be the biggest franchise present on the list, though it's possible that readers of this article haven't experienced it entirely.

Dragon Quest is a decently sized franchise in most of the world, but in Japan, it basically is gaming, with the only franchises that manage to outsell it consistently being Mario and Pokémon — not exactly pushovers.

Basically the formative RPG series in Japan, Dragon Quest created many of the norms that the genre follows, though they've obviously branched out more in later years, and practically every piece of Japanese media is filled to the brim with references and homages to the franchise.

On top of that, the character designs for the series is none other than the famed Akira Toriyama — yes, that one, the guy who created Dragon Ball — meaning that the game series holds a distinctive art style that makes it almost impossible to mistake for another game series.

From the very first title in 1986, to Dragon Quest XI which released last year in Japan and this year worldwide, he's stuck with it and made the designs.

In short, it's a cultural phenomenon in Japan, and it's decently popular elsewhere as well. It's to the point where it's almost strange that it isn't already in the game, ever since the door opened for 3rd parties to begin with.

There's a reason for that, however. Even though Square-Enix is the publisher and developer for Dragon Quest, they actually have the rights for the series tied up in different avenues beyond themselves.

The general game design and story has its right held by Armor Project, led by Dragon Quest series' creator Yuji Horii, while the character designs are owned by Bird Studio, Akira Toriyama's company.

Although these two are often quite co-operative, another hurdle appears because of the prestigious composer attached to the series — Koichi Sugiyama. This man had a prestigious career as a composer long before the Dragon Quest series ever began, and the iconic tunes from the series are owned by him, and he is notoriously stingy with allowing the music to be used.

Despite the iconic stature of the series, it's hard to imagine Nintendo putting Dragon Quest in to Super Smash Bros. without any music to accompany it, so they'd have to negotiate and come to deals with Square-Enix, Armor Project and Bird Studio first — which all seem doable — and then with Koichi Sugiyama, which sounds like a much bigger challenge.

The thing about it, though, is that Dragon Quest is such a monumental franchise that it just might be worth all this effort for Nintendo to try and get it in to Super Smash Bros. Do you remember how the internet completely exploded when Sonic was announced for Super Smash Bros. Brawl? Yeah, that's what would happen in all of Japan if Dragon Quest made it in. That seems like a pretty good goal to put in painstaking effort for.

As for the characters, my ideal hope has always been to have a combatant simply called Hero with skins for each of the heroes from Dragon Quest 1 through 8 (9 and 10's protagonists are customizable avatars and don't have set designs), similar to how the Koopalings work on Bowser Jr.

An equally good addition, though, would be to either pick the main character from Dragon Quest VIII, since it's the biggest one worldwide and brought the series to a beautiful 3D landscape for the first time, or the main protagonist from Dragon Quest XI since it's the newest one, and has received a glowing reception worldwide.

After you pick one of these two, have the legendary hero from Dragon Quest III, Erdrick, who the first trilogy is built around in a sense, be an echo in a similar fashion to how Castlevania got both Simon and Richter Belmont.

That way, you make both old and new Dragon Quest fans happy, and the main protagonists would have a fitting moveset since they possess the same general abilities as well.

For a stage, I'd like the floating castle of Zenithia, which is an iconic location from the Dragon Quest IV, V and VI trilogy. As such, it wouldn't quite fit with the characters, but a majestic castle housing dragons, floating above the great contintent below is just too cool to pass up.

Of course, this can only happen if Nintendo manage to overcome the final boss that is Koichi Sugiyama... So let's hope they don't back down from the challenge.

How do you like our picks? Have any of your own? Let us know in the comments.

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