Ten Fighters You Should Vote Into Smash Bros.

Every time a Smash Bros. game is announced, part of the fun is guessing who will be in it. There are safe bets like Mario, Link, Kirby, and Samus, but there are also internet hopefuls. Well, now – for the first time ever – Nintendo is letting us pick. Yes. Yes. Yes!

Now loyal customers or perhaps just those rare few people with the internet (Nintendo still doesn’t know the internet is a thing apparently, just ask Mario Party 10) can vote for the next fighter. Simply go to this official ballot site and cast your vote. All you need to know is your gender (cause girl votes only count for .8 of man votes), the character you want, which game they came from, and why you want them. In terms of knowing your gender… I can’t really help you beyond providing this guide. Figure it out?

Okay, well if that’s as far as you got before getting lost, here are some ideas for Smash Bros. Some are safe, some are reaching, all are possible. Maybe. Power to the people! Yay!

1. Goku (Dragonball Z: The Legacy of Goku for Gameboy Advance)

I’ll start off with the Kotaku push. For those out there who don’t know – how do you not know? Goku has been around for ages. He is so popular that, even if you don’t watch anime, you’ve likely still seen him around. The Saiyan fighter seems to be a natural fit in a fighting game.

People want Goku so much that they've already added him to Smash Bros.
People want Goku so much that they’ve already added him to Smash Bros.

2. Paper Mario (Paper Mario for Nintendo 64)

Okay, the argument against this guy is that we shouldn’t have to vote for him. Why isn’t he already in the game? Like seriously, we got Dr. Mario as far back as Melee but Paper Mario gets no love. That’s too bad because, unlike his P.H.D. bragging counterpart, this Mario could actually warrant an original move set.

Paper Mario waiting his turn to appear in Smash Bros.

3. Bayonetta (Bayonetta 2 for Wii U)

If the Nintendo universe were not so devoid of sexuality, Bayonetta would probably already be in the game. Still, it comes across as kind of a dick move by Nintendo. Newcomer Platinum Games loves working with Nintendo after all. They made Bayonetta 2 a Wii U exclusive. Monolith Soft made Xenoblade Chronicles an exclusive and Shulk got to be in the game. Sounds kinda sexist there, Big N.

Bayonetta: the character who could single-handedly raise the age requirement.
Bayonetta: the character who could single handedly raise the age requirement.

4. Shovel Knight (Shovel Knight for 3DS/Wii U)

Why would not want to play as a knight wielding a shovel? Also the fact that this game has been one of the biggest indie hits for Nintendo should count for something. Let’s get Shovel Knight to dig in (haha get it?).

And he fits with Nintendo's anti-violence message!
And he fits with Nintendo’s anti-violence message!

5. Leon Kennedy (Resident Evil 4 for Gamecube/Everything)

Speaking of cashing in a favor, remember the Gamecube? Remember Resident Evil 4: that sick once-exclusive for the Gamecube that got everyone excited for Resident Evil again? Yeah, let’s give Leon his due. His move set would be unique, and maybe we could also get a cool cultist village level to fight in.

Leon's already enjoyed a crossover with Lord of the Rings, why not Nintendo?
Leon’s already enjoyed a crossover with Lord of the Rings, why not Nintendo?

6. Batman (Batman for NES)

Because what isn’t better with Batman in it?

Pretty much the only reason you need to vote for him.
Pretty much the only reason you need to vote for him.

7. Aang (Avatar: the Last Airbender for Wii)

Yeah, of course I’m going to promote more Avatar: the Last Airbender. Apart from that though, just think about it. Think about how much Aang would fit into Smash Bros. and how cool his move list would be. Did you think about it? All right, now make it happen.

With your help, Aang can finally be rendered with a mouth.
With your help, Aang can finally be rendered with a mouth.

8. Bomberman (Bomberman 64 for Nintendo 64)

We already got Mario, Sonic, Mr. Game & Watch, Pac-Man, and Mega Man. Poor Bomberman is feeling left out. Besides, it would be fun to have someone with continuous access to high-powered explosives.

Bomberman needs more love.
Bomberman needs more love.

9. Rayman (Rayman Legends for Wii U)

Seriously, this guy has a trophy in the game. How is he not already in the game? HOW?! Nintendo and Ubisoft need to fix their stupid argument and make this a reality.

He's already a trophy! This is the hugest tease ever!
He’s already a trophy! This is the hugest tease ever!

10. Godzilla (Godzilla Unleashed for Wii)

Because Godzilla needs to fight everybody. It is his destiny. This was my vote.


Bonus: Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th for NES)

Cause f*ck Mortal Kombat X. Nintendo should get him too.

Be sure to specify that you want the purple Jason.
Be sure to specify that you want the purple Jason.

Dear NetherRealm: Please Make a Slasher Fighting Game!

Some things just go together. There are plenty of essential combos like peanut butter and jelly, cake and ice cream, and NetherRealm Studios and video game violence. For those out there who don’t know, NetherRealm Studios is essentially the old Midway Games: the makers of Mortal Kombat. Mortal Kombat is a fighting game series famous for three things – gore, fatalities, and this incredible 90’s theme song:

Seriously guys, please include an updated version of that song in Mortal Kombat X.

Yet fighting games have struggled recently. The genre appeal grows more narrow. Really of the last five entries in the serious, only 2011’s Mortal Kombat was a serious hit and a critical success. The game featured a return to the series’ roots. Gone were the gimmicks, back were the classic fighters and tight fighting mechanics. It was a really fun game to play, and one of the downloadable characters was a tantalizing tease.

freddy-krueger-in-mortal-kombatThe nightmare master himself, Freddy Krueger. Even the fact that they used the design from the crappy remake did not do much to reduce the awesomeness of this appearance. It just made sense, like the appearance of Kratos in the PlayStation 3 version of the game. Where else did slashers like Freddy belong if not in the most gory video game series out there. And if NetherRealm was thinking Freddy for Mortal Kombat, could they not be thinking more slashers… like say a game’s worth?

But it did not materialize. Instead, NetherRealm moved onto the DC heroes and brought gamers Injustice: Gods Among Us. For the record, this was also a pretty enjoyable fighter. That said, the marriage was not perfect. NetherRealm had to drastically tone down the level of hyper-violence it is known for, and things like  interactive environments played a much larger role. It was good but, well – slashers would be cooler.

Think of it: classic characters like Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Leatherface, Chucky, Ashley Williams, and Pinhead face off against newcomers like Victor Crowley, Sam, and Jigsaw. The roster practically creates itself. Heck even the first two downloadable content bundles are easy to think of. First, the sci-fi slasher bundle including the Alien, the Thing, and the Predator. Then, the Universal Monster Classic pack. Jason Voorhees vs. the Creature from the Black Lagoon? Yes, please.

And the wonderful thing about slashers is that they each have their own unique location. This makes coming up with stages a breeze. NetherRealm could even bring back their interactive environments to help add variety to each level.

But the best part is: no need to turn down the gore. Every slasher would have a complete list of fatalities. They would simply be a best-of combo from all their movies. Just look at this:

It practically codes itself.

How perfect an idea is this? Indie developers have already created Terrordrome (free download guys, get it) while waiting for NetherRealm to get on board.

Now, the only obstacle would be in obtaining the rights. Not all of these characters are owned by the same company. That said, quite a few of them are – Freddy vs. Jason is proof of that. Also, who is Hollywood kidding, slashers are not as popular as they once were. NetherRealm could probably acquire most of these characters for cheap on the basis of brand promotion.

Would it have the immediate wide appeal of a game like Injustice: Gods Among Us: no. That said, it would actually likely sell better. As mentioned before, fighting games are an increasing niche market. With the exception of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros., no fighting game will top this year’s list of bestsellers. The trick is to appeal to the fighting game fans out there.

Frankly NetherRealm, a new Mortal Kombat with new characters made fresh on the heels of 2011… may not be what fans really want.

Just look at all the favorite characters added from recent entries... all two of them.
Just look at all the favorite characters added from recent entries… all two of them.

Release a slasher fighting game in time for October and see what happens.

Picture this... but a lot more so.
Picture this… but a lot more so.

Injustice on the Wii U? Nah, There's a Better Word for It

Like many fans of both fighting games and the DC Comics universe, I was very happy this week to welcome the release of Injustice: Gods Among Us for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii U. Developer NetherRealm Studios is the best in the business when it comes to fighters, at least as far as I’m concerned (granted I place a lot of importance on a strong single player campaign). It is refreshing to see a developer consistently increase in quality as their games develop (Mortal Kombat was considerably better than Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe) and judging by the reviews we have (I’ll get back to this in a moment) it looks like Injustice: Gods Among Us is another hit. So my question as a gamer becomes – which system do I get it for?

I purchased Mortal Kombat for the Xbox 360 and enjoyed it, but I would be lying if I said that the controls were the best for that system. See when it comes to fighting games: the D-pad is important. For those of you who don’t know, the D-pad is a collection of arrow keys (up, down, left, right) that is usually located near the joystick (if you don’t know what a joystick is, please look it up). While joysticks have generally replaced the D-pad in most games (it is far easier to move around a 3D environment using a joystick), the D-pad remains supreme when it comes to fighting games. Plain fact is that it is easier to move and execute special moves. Also, sad fact is: the D-pad on the standard North American Xbox 360 controller kinda sucks. Now I don’t own a PlayStation 3 or this would be the easy choice so I must ask myself: how is Injustice: Gods Among Us for the Wii U? I’m still asking this question.

This is embarrassing and a problem that has been with Nintendo since the Wii days. No one is reviewing their product. Go on Metacritic or Gamerankings , there is absolutely nothing. Both services are stuffed full of independent reviews for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions (although how many of those are copy-and-paste is another question) but still, nothing for the Wii U. I’m still undecided on whether or not this is better than how most critics handled the Wii. For those of you who don’t know what I mean by this, the Wii enjoyed many unique versions of games that arrived on its console (Thor: God of Thunder, Ghostbusters: the Game, Prince of Persia: the Forgotten Sands). These games all bared little-to-no resemblance to their 360 and PS3 counterparts. Problem was that, in most cases, when the review came in for the 360 or PS3 version, it was simply cut and pasted onto the Wii, despite the fact that they were different games. There’s a word for this behavior: laziness. It describes what is happening now.

MIA: reviews for this game.
MIA: reviews for this game.

This isn’t on Nintendo. True they deserve a lot of blame for the marketing of the Wii U (which I have already outlined here: http://redringsofredemption.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/a-rose-by-any-other-name-can-be-confusing-the-wii-u/) but Nintendo is not responsible for reviewing the games. Obviously not, how could we trust critics if they dropped all illusions that they weren’t being directly paid by the video game companies? No, there are many professional sites out there with one job: to review video games. IGN, Giant Bomb, Gametrailers? You guys had one job.

Really, it is the fanboys’ job to be prejudiced, not the critics. By not reviewing the Wii U version of Injustice: Gods Among Us, it sends the message that this version of the game isn’t as important as the other two. That’s crap and disrespectful to both Nintendo and NetherRealm Studios, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of people out there who own a Wii U. They made it and critics are paid to play it, PAID. Seriously if someone wants to send me a copy of this game for the Wii U, I will give it a full review. I’m not a professional so I don’t have sixty dollars to throw around on a version. I only plan on purchasing one copy of Injustice: Gods Among Us, I would simply like to make an informed decision.

Sad to say but reviews aren’t the only thing lacking for this Wii U version. Right now word on whether or not Nintendo will receive the DLC characters who have been promised to the 360 and PS3 is limited. There are conflicting reports. We know that is not receiving the season pass (the whole logic of the season pass will have to be discussed at another time) but apparently the Wii U box does advertise the downloaded content on the back.

So is Nintendo getting them or what?
So is Nintendo getting them or what?

If this is to be the start of a trend for third party games on the Wii U, then it is very sad. Regardless of how you feel about Nintendo’s newest product – they have created a unique experience. While Nintendo struggles to remain relevant in the video game world, it seems like no one is willing to offer them a hand. It is a system, it does exist and critics should be ashamed for their lack of response. One job guys, you had one job.

Also where is this? Is this coming for the Wii U? Note: the Wii U d-pad is actually pretty good and should do fine on its own.
Also where is this? Is this coming for the Wii U? Note: the Wii U D-pad is actually pretty good and should do fine on its own.

Thoughts? Comments? Am I full of shit or onto something? Let me know now in the feedback section of this article.