The magic of fighting games is that we can settle arguments and disputes with friends by beating the hell out of each other in a virtual playground, and in turn, it saves money on hospital bills, unless you have one of those friends who is a sore loser and will try to kill you when you win. The downside of most fighting games is that they are only one-on-one and that can get boring, and I mean sure you can school your friends at these games but you have to do it one at a time and that can get tedious. It’s mostly for this reason that I love melee fighting games. This genre of fighting game has no official name, and there are many people who don’t even call them fighters (even Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai himself said so at one point), so finding the right term can get confusing since people use terms like melee fighting game or brawler (which is also used for the side-scrolling, beat-’em-up genre).
For those of you who don’t know, melee fighting games are those which usually pit up to four people against each other with the goal of destroying them by punching, kicking, throwing or blasting them off the stage and sending them into a vortex of pain and torment. Those of you who have played the Smash Bros. Series or the newer PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale know exactly what I’m talking about. These games are insanely fun because they take different characters from different games and throw them into a coliseum-like setting, pitting them against each other. It’s the fighting equivalent of a kart-racing game. No matter which game you play, each one has a large and diverse cast of characters, but even with all the choices, players are never satiated and will always wish that another character were available. If by some miracle, that character is included in a sequel, then players will complain that a different character never got included. This desire for an ever-expanding roster is why I have compiled a list of characters I wish were included in some of the different brawler games out there. Why would I do this? Well it could be for many reasons, but for me it’s because I believe it would be fun to use these certain characters and I also believe that it would introduce people to some of those games you never heard of, which in turn could increase their fan base.
Super Smash Bros. Series
The Super Smash Bros. series is considered the epitome of all melee games. It may not have been the first of its kind, but it was the game that put this genre on the map. We had Mario Kart, but we needed a new way to claim dominance in video games using our favorite Nintendo characters, and thus Super Smash Bros. was born. Starting from the N64 and continuing through the Gamecube, the Wii and soon the Wii U and 3DS, each new game has taken characters from all over the Nintendoverse, plus affiliated companies like Sega, and included them in their games. You have your stars like Mario, Link and Donkey Kong along with some more obscure characters like Mr. Game and Watch and Olimar, that dude from Pikmin. Even Snake from Metal Gear Solid and Sonic the Hedgehog have made an appearance. There are a great many more characters they could include from past Nintendo titles; these are just a few of the characters I want to see in a future Smash.
The Black Mage — Final Fantasy
No not Vivi from IX, I’m talking about the Black Mage from the original Final Fantasy where you had to name the character yourself. If you know your Final Fantasy history, you’d remember that the original game came out for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The Black Mage would be the best choice I believe to be used because it is a recognizable figure already. Sure we can remember the Monk or the Warrior, but the one that has seemed to transcend all others is the Black Mage. If included the attacks would be easy to transcribe, as you could use the basic spells of Fire, Ice, Quake and for the last one maybe a status effect one like Sleep. To separate the Black Mage from other magic wielding fighters, it’s short range attacks could be used by way of his little knife that he always carried around. Of course, Black Mage would also need it’s Smash Attack, and what would be cooler than a fully rendered version of the Nuke spell destroying everything and everyone in sight?
Conker — Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Nothing like a foul-mouthed squirrel to bring a little adult humor to a children’s game, right? Okay, I know this one could probably never happen because of the content in Conker’s Bad Fur Day, but a guy can dream. Conker’s Bad Fur Day is a cult classic game from the N64 about an alcoholic squirrel whose only goal is to get home to see his girlfriend, but on the way, he is impeded by things such as an operatically gifted pile of poo, Nazi teddy bears, and an evil Panther King who wants to make Conker a replacement leg to his table. Of course, if he was ever included they would probably use the PG version they created in another game of his that we don’t talk about. Ok, fine, I’m talking about Conker’s Pocket Tales, his first game for the GBA, which had him as a proper, kid-friendly squirrel.. The attacks would be pretty simple punches and kicks, since that’s how he fights most of the time, but he also used a frying pan (which we’re sure he stole from Peach), a sling shot, a chainsaw, a katana and other dangerous and crude weapons. His smash attack could be him putting on a Jason mask and getting a powered up chainsaw to attack with, which would still be in the spirit of Conker because his game had so many movie references thrown into it.
Katia — Lost Kingdoms
This is one of those obscure games that you may never have heard of, or if you have it was very brief. It’s been a very long time since I have played this game, but it had an interesting concept. The game, simply put, is Pokémon except the pokéballs are magic cards. You summon the creatures from the cards to fight for you. Katia is the main character of the first game, and if included into Smash Bros. she herself would be the fighter (unlike the Pokémon Trainer), but her special attacks would come form the monsters she summoned from the cards. She could have an attack for each of the elements from the game which were fire, water, earth, wood and neutral (non-elemental). The only problem I could foresee is that there were really no “signature” creatures in the game that would be instantly recognizable like Pikachu is to Pokémon, so choosing which creatures she used could be tough. As for Katia’s smash attack, an all out attack from each of her monsters could be the best bet, like something out of Marvel vs. Capcom when you have all your characters attack at once.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
When Sony created Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale (released in 2012), they admitted that some people could see their game as a direct clone of Super Smash Bros., but they did what they could to make people see that it wasn’t just a clone. Rather it was its own game entirely with some aspects of Super Smash Bros. thrown in there. The biggest difference, besides all the Sony characters, is that the only reliable way to knock a person off the stage is by using the character’s special moves, which become increasingly dangerous as you use your normal attacks. These basic kicks and punches fill up the three special meters, and after you fill one up you can use a special move then or wait and fill up all three for a devastating attack. There are items that can be used in the game to damage an opponent or power up your character, but they are downplayed, and there aren’t as many items to use as compared to Smash. Included in the game were characters such as Jak and Daxter, Kratos from God of War, and Parappa the Rappa among other well known Playstation characters. And while they have a good cast, there are a few names that they should have included in the first game.
Spyro the Dragon/Crash Bandicoot — Spyro Series/Crash Series
I roped these two in together because they both should have been in the game because they are to Playstation as Mario is to Nintendo, but a little problem got in the way — licensing. Insomniac and Naughty Dog were the original owners of Spyro and Crash respectively, and both gave us three original outstanding games. Spyro went on to continue his adventures fighting evil and eventually was joined by a large cast of other beings known as SkyLanders, but was quickly forgotten by his newer and shinier counterparts. Crash dabbled in kart racing and found a way to control the minds of other mutated creatures so he could continue his own quest of defeating Dr. Cortex. Spyro has been overshadowed in recent years, and we haven’t seen any sign of Crash in a long while, but because these series aren’t Sony exclusives anymore, we weren’t given a nice reunion. It wouldn’t be hard to throw them into the game; Spyro has his many breath powers and power-ups which give him the ability to shoot fire balls or charge at you at Mach 4, while Crash has his dizzying spin attack and all the gadgets he’s used and picked up throughout his adventures.
Blasto — Blasto
Here’s another one you can through into your collection of obscure games. Blasto was a space faring, womanizing, strong man whose goal was to kill aliens and rescue space babes, kind of like Duke Nukem but more cartoony. The main reason you’ve probably never heard of this game is because most people who tried to pick it up could never get far due to the sheer difficulty of the game. Controls on games can be glitchy to begin with, but when you added the sheer terror that this game’s difficulty offered, you have a match made in Hell. Blasto has no super powers himself, but he uses a wide array of guns to mow down floating eye balls and aliens of every kind. Plus his unwitty one liners, such as “Would you like a piece of this, bug eyes?” or “I love the smell of burning ectoplasm in the morning,” would make him a perfectly annoying character to kill your friends with.
Ty — Ty the Tasmanian Tiger
He’s a tiger, he throws boomerangs, and he’s Australian. He is Ty the Tasmanian Tiger. Based off the now-extinct Tasmanian Tiger species, he may not be one of the most well known animal video game mascots but he is one of the most versatile. Being a tiger he can run, jump and climb better than most any character, and he knows how to fight. Using nothing but his, well, tigerness and some souped-up boomerangs, he has taken down mutated wild boars, giants bats and even destroyed a few giant robots in his day. With no major feline heroes, Ty became the biggest cat in town. His power attacks could be covered by his different boomerangs, like the one that electrifies you or the boomerang that will make you go up in flames. Croikey.
While tons of characters could be used in these melee-style fighting games, it’s not always easy to make a the transition. Then again, I could be wrong because Nintendo somehow made Peach a fighting vixen. With all the characters out there, there has to be a few that you want to see fighting along side some of gamings greatest, too. Tell us which ones you want in the comments below.