Cuphead should be one of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's DLC characters and here's why

Yesterday's announcement of the game on Nintendo Switch might make it possible

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • March 21, 2019 at 12:20 p.m. PDT

During Nintendo's "Nindies" Direct presentation yesterday, the company announced that beloved indie title, Cuphead, will be joining the Nintendo Switch library in April. Obviously, the first place our minds jump to is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

There are several reasons why the beverage-filled hero (and potentially his blue counterpart Mug Man) should be added to the Smash Bros. Ultimate roster — other than the fact that he's totally awesome. Allow me to make you a believer.

The big news of Cuphead's arrival on a Nintendo console comes at a time where Super Smash Bros. Ultimate still has four DLC characters yet to be revealed. These added combatants will be launching throughout the rest of 2019 and into early 2020, according to Nintendo.

The Super Mario Bros. series' own Piranha Plant made it into the game first as a free (for a limited time) bonus character, and the first true DLC character, Persona 5's Joker, is slated for launch in late April. This leaves four new characters unidentified right now, and the possibilities are seemingly endless.

There's a chance that Smash Ultimate's DLC fighters will include more third-party characters — for this initial five, at least. When Joker was announced at The Video Game Awards last year, former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime had this to say about the upcoming content:

"These are going to be characters that are new to the [Super Smash Bros.] series, just like Joker from Persona 5, characters you would not expect to be in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate."

With implications from Reggie's statement that we might be seeing more non-Nintendo characters (like Joker) enter the fray, hopes for Cuphead's potential inclusion begin to rise.

Cuphead is a widely popular IP that has been making waves since its initial reveal trailer back at E3 2015. Its striking visuals — meant to pay homage to the colorful and wacky Fleischer Studios cartoons from the 1930s (famous for such characters as Betty Boop) — and its challenging run-and-gun gameplay quickly made it stand out as a unique title that generated much anticipation from fans in the two years before launch.

Two weeks after Cuphead finally arrived in September 2017, the game went platinum selling over 1 million copies — despite console exclusivity on Xbox One and PC — followed by triple platinum status in mid 2018. The Cuphead franchise has gone on to see the production of a long line of merchandise from an extensive collection of Funko Pop figures to shirts and accessories you'd easily stumble upon at common retailers like Hot Topic and GameStop, and the game is looking at its first large DLC installment release sometime this year adding a whole new island and bosses for players to face off against.

But popularity is only one piece of the puzzle. A character probably shouldn't make it onto the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster if they aren't a good fit, gameplay-wise, right? Fortunately, Cuphead's combat includes numerous attacks and techniques that would transfer perfectly into Smash Bros.

"Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's "everyone is here" move is a tough act to follow when it comes to adding content, but Nintendo is continuing to surprise and impress fans with popular, out-of-left-field DLC character choices like Persona's Joker. Cuphead in Smash Ultimate would be a great way to strike a similar effect..."

Cuphead's run-and-gun tool set includes several different projectile options, including his standard Peashooter that fires straight and rapidly, a charge shot that deals big damage, a gun with bullets that boomerang back, and more. If you're familiar with the Smash Bros. series, you can probably think of an existing projectile that fits any of the weapon descriptions you just read here right now.

In addition to a collection of firearms, Cuphead comes equipped with a parry that he can perform in the air (on most things that appear pink in-game) and helps him generate cards used for accessing EX moves and his supers. I can already picture attacks like his EX Mega Blast and EX Eight Way — a large fireball and an attack that sends sharp projectiles out around Cuphead, respectively — mapped to moves like forward smash and up smash.

Cuphead also has an alternate fight mode that sees him take flight in an airplane that would probably work great as an up B recovery, and a Final Smash that features all of the bosses you encounter on the Inkwell Islands would be perfection.

The biggest gameplay hurdle I could see the development team running into is the fact that Cuphead doesn't really use any physical attacks, like punches or kicks, but the Super Smash Bros. series has brought in characters such as Pikmin's Olimar, Captain Falcon of F-Zero fame, and Animal Crossing's Isabelle that also fit that bill before they joined the fight and it worked out well.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's "everyone is here" move is a tough act to follow when it comes to adding content, but Nintendo is continuing to surprise and impress fans with popular, out-of-left-field DLC character choices like Persona's Joker. Cuphead in Smash Ultimate would be a great way to strike a similar effect, and with fans having wanted the game to release on the Nintendo Switch for years now (with a lot of positive reception having come from yesterday's big announcement), I can't imagine he wouldn't make for an immensely popular DLC fighter.

" An announcement for Cuphead as a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC character coming close or alongside the release of Cuphead's "The Delicious Last Course" DLC could be a very good look for both franchises."

It's clear that Nintendo and Microsoft are in a healthy partnership together right now, with things like Xbox Live support coming to the Switch, and Cuphead now on a Nintendo console potentially opens the door up to a Smash Bros. crossover.

There's a possibility that Cuphead's development on Switch and plans for Smash Ultimate's DLC were taking place around the same time frame, and with both games seeing new content releases later this year, perhaps the stars might align here. An announcement for Cuphead as a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC character coming close or alongside the release of Cuphead's "The Delicious Last Course" DLC could be a very good look for both franchises.

Oh! And we can't forget what Mug Man's potential inclusion in Smash Ultimate could be. He could easily come in the form of an alternate costume / color, like we see with Olimar and Alph or Ridley and Meta Ridley.

Would you want to see Cuphead as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? Let us know in the comments below!

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