You could say that there was something for everyone in the most recent Nintendo Direct. Whether if it was Undertale‘s Sans getting into Smash as a Mii Gunner, or Fatal Fury‘s Terry Bogard getting in as the 4th fighter’s pass character, it is incredible to think the range of variety we are looking at. To top it all off, we’re going to continue getting DLC fighters, bringing Smash Ultimate even closer to “Video Games: The Video Game” status.
As we await Terry’s arrival in November, we have time to speculate about who we’ll see next. There are a wide range of video games that we could see characters from, and yet, it is fascinating to think of how few fighting game characters there are in Smash Ultimate. Is there a possibility that we could see even more from Punch-Out!, Street Fighter, and The King of Fighters (KoF)?
Smash Ultimate Characters That Know How to Throw a Punch
At the time that Ryu found his place in the roster, he certainly had one of the most unique playstyles out of everyone else in the cast. When all attacks revolve around a single button, what do you do? In Ryu’s case, you can either tap the button to perform weak attacks or hold it down to execute a stronger, more powerful attack. And while you can perform specials with the special attacks button, you can also input commands with the control stick before pressing the attack button to do an even more powerful version of the special attack.
Ryu (and later Ken) showcased how you could make a fighting game character work in the world of Smash, and eyes suddenly shifted over to Terry Bogard. As our second fighting game character, it will be interesting to see if he will get the same treatment with various attack input and if they’ll sport similar playstyles. If so, we could have a new template of fighting game characters that may join Smash in the future. Of course, Terry and the rest of the KoF characters have their own special abilities too, but until we get to November, all we can do is speculate.
For now, let’s suppose that Sakurai chose to get in contact with other companies who are well known for fighting games and chose to make the same deal they did with SNK. Which companies would be most likely to accept a fancy Smash invitation and let one of their own get to brawl it out with everyone else? Which fighting games have the greatest chance of having representation in Smash? That’s what we’re here to discuss, so let’s get to it.
Possibility 1 — Namco
It baffles the mind how at this point, all third-party companies have had their chance to introduce one of their characters to Smash Ultimate. Whether it’s Capcom‘s Ken, Sega‘s Joker, Square‘s Hero, or even Konami‘s Simon (and Trevor), each one got the chance to have additional representation. And yet for some bizarre reason, Bandai-Namco (especially since they are still assisting Sakurai and his team with the development of Smash Ultimate) only have Pac-Man. Speculators have felt that the addition of a Namco fighter was long overdue for some time now, but who exactly would it be?
Right now, Namco is best known for two fighting games: Tekken and Soul Calibur. Either game would have a fair reason why they should get their chance to be the feature-title for Namco, as both were revolutionary games. In the end, it would all come down to which game stands out more, the range of their cast (to make spirit fights or Mii outfits out of them) and what they would bring to the table. It is with this in mind that it would be a safe assumption that Tekken would probably take it. However, who would you choose to be Tekken‘s rep?
Up until now, the series revolved around three men: Kazuya Mishima, Heihachi Mishima, and Jin Kazama. You could make a case for any of these three men as each one shares a role in being the protagonist and antagonist of each of the various Tekken titles. It is difficult to say which of the three deserves it the most, but since PS All-Stars saw Heihachi be that person, they may decide to give someone else the chance to shine as the lead in Smash Ultimate.
Possibility 2 — Arc System Works
If we were to consider which fighting game saw a huge rise during this generation of fighting games, we’d need look no further than Arc System Works. However, while their games were tremendously huge in Japan, you could argue that their success in the west was less noticeable. Still, with games like Blazblue, Guilty Gear Xrd, and even anime fighters like DragonBall FighterZ, Fist of the North Star, and the upcoming Granblue Fantasy Versus, there’s plenty to enjoy.
Iit would likely be a safe bet that Guilty Gear would be the game to get a fighter into Smash. In fairness, Blazblue does have its audience for the several titles that came out over the past seven years, but Guilty Gear continues to establish itself as the de facto “Anime Fighter” — so much so that many would argue that in this generation of fighting games, there was no better-looking game than Guilty Gear Xrd. Can you imagine if a representative from that game were to be in Smash and to control as they did in Xrd? It could be a way to tap into the nostalgia of the fans but to also showcase just how different the representative would be in comparison to Ryu and Terry.
Now, if I had to make a guess, I’d put my money on Sol Badguy. Ky is a cool character too, but if we are playing by the rules of “The Main Face” of the series, Sol is definitely fulfilling that role. With the wide range of fire attacks he has to the soundtrack of pure rock, Guilty Gear would certainly be a treat to have Arc System Works gets the chance to get into Smash Ultimate.
Possibility 3 — NetherRealm
So while the previous possibility could be a slight stretch to see happen, this one would be a “Hail Mary.”
Tekken has a worldwide fanbase and Guilty Gear has its audience primarily in Japan, but NetherRealm Studios has a purely American audience. Nothing wrong with that either, considering the recent trend of “US”-based characters like Little Mac, K. Rool, and Banjo finding their way into Smash, giving Japanese players some variety to enjoy. But would a game from NetherRealm actually find their way into Smash Ultimate? You might think that would be an absurd question to ask, but do keep in mind that you can play Mortal Kombat 11 on the Switch right now. Also, it isn’t like you’re taking away how brutal a Mortal Kombat character can be if you leave out all the gore.
Now comes the tricky part: if NetherRealm happens to find an envelope on their doorstep with the Smash logo on it, who do they give the invitation to? It would be easy to point towards Scorpion, but many could argue that Sub-Zero, Raiden, or Liu Kang should be the representative. No matter which character it would be (although everyone would put their money on Scorpion), there’s no denying that Mortal Kombat does have a rather unique history in the world of video games. Could it get in before Tekken or Guilty Gear? Probably not, but there’s no telling where exactly the train will stop next with the wide range of games that will continue to show up in Smash Ultimate.
Any other Fighter Character You’d like to See In Smash Ultimate?
It’s funny to think how we thought the train was coming to a full stop in February 2020. Who knows what the release window will be during that time, but if Smash Ultimate is going to be the definitive Smash title, Nintendo will keep it going for as long as possible. We’ll likely see more Nintendo characters that didn’t make the initial cut and see more unique genres get their time to show what they can do.
Characters like Terry are meant for a specific type of player, and hopefully, it won’t end with him. Even if the internet got their fair share of jokes in on the guy with zingers like “He’s Ken with a cap!” or “The Pokémon Trainer joins Smash!”, there’s a very good possibility that Terry will win them over when he comes to Smash Ultimate in November 2019. Until then, it never hurts to dream of possible characters that could come to the game next.
Do you think we will see another fighting game character after Terry? Is there someone you’d like to see come to Smash that we did not mention in the article? Leave your thoughts down below and be sure to follow us here at Culture of Gaming for more speculation articles on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and all things in the gaming world.