Thing is. No matter which route they take, there’s no way they’ll be able to get ALL of the characters back. When you reach the absolute pinnacle in terms of roster size and the insane cast of characters, the other edge of that sword is that for the next game, there’s nowhere to go but down.
Last edited by PAOerfulone - on 21 July 2020
Obviously, Nintendo can get all their 1st party characters back if they want to, and some 3rd party characters that should be easy for them like Sonic, Bayonetta, Mega Man, and Pac-Man. I have a difficult time seeing how they’ll be able to get guys like Cloud, Snake, Joker, Terry Bogard, and Simon Belmont again.
I think the best route to take would be to do a Smash 6. And then cap the roster size to a certain limit. Say, 50-60. And then you could still do the fighter passes for DLC to bring it up to 60-70.
The problem with this is that some characters are obviously going to get cut, which, no matter which way you slice it, is going to piss off a lot of people. But honestly, I think it’d be for the best.
The problem with having a roster that is getting as massive as Ultimate is, proper balancing and fine-tuning is damn near impossible and you have characters that all just blend in together (Looking at YOU Fire Emblem!) Or characters that are insanely broken or absolutely worthless.
So they should cap the roster size to a certain amount and be more picky with their characters based on what games could be promoted, what will lead to the best marketing opportunities, and what will drive insane hype among fans.
For example: In this scenario, characters like Ice Climbers, R.O.B., Duck Hunt, Wii Fit Trainer, and Mr. Game and Watch, gotta go. These people haven’t had a game and haven’t been relevant in years, decades even, and no fans, save for a very small minority are pining for them. So, they gotta get the axe.
I think the original roster from Smash 64 should stay, no matter what. The “Core 12” I like to call them.
Some franchises with a large number of representatives can afford to be cut down a bit, ESPECIALLY Fire Emblem and Pokémon. Marth and Pikachu can stay because they’re the faces of their respective franchises, and Pikachu is one of the original fighters, along with Jigglypuff. But characters like Chrom, Roy, Ike, Corrin, Robin, Byleth, Pichu, Lucario, and Greninja? Gotta go. The reps from those franchises should basically be the franchise cornerstones (Marth for FE; Pikachu and Jigglypuff for Pokémon) and reps from the latest games in their franchises (Fire Emblem for Switch 2 and Pokémon Gen 10/11.)
Same for Mario and Zelda. Obviously, Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Peach, Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf should stick around. But we can do without Bowser Jr., Rosalina and Luma, Dr. Mario, Piranha Plant, Sheik, Toon Link, and Young Link. Instead, give some of those slots to characters from the new Mario and Zelda games for Switch 2.
And when negotiating with 3rd parties, that’s where discussing characters popular with fans should be taken more into account. The chances of getting Cloud back are about slim to none. But how about Geno this time? Or someone from Chrono Trigger? And then maybe the new protagonist/Hero for Dragon Quest XII or Bravely Default 3, or Octopath 2, or whatever new game Nintendo and Square Enix collaborate on.
It’s good to be hopeful, but we also gotta be realistic. What Sakurai has been able to do with Smash Ultimate will NEVER be topped. Ever. From this point on, I think the series will focus more on the specific era or generation it was released, which characters are popular within that gen, and making use of new modes and mechanics, in addition to the different cast of characters, to make each game stand out from the rest.