It feels good to update this once again with some good news
Unfortunately the addition of the DQ Hero is nothing short of a death sentence to Crono, sharing a very similar idea in playstyle and the same character designer, but I can’t say I didn’t expect it given one is from a far more popular series with significant historic importance to the industry while the other…comes from a series with 2 games that hasn’t had anything outside of ports for nearly 20 years. But hey, Banjo overcame the hurdle of being owned by a rival company, and getting 2 out of my DLC wishlist is far more than I could have ever expected.
I’ve already made a post going into more detail about what I want and what I expected over the whole thing, but I felt it’d be appropiate to make a small update in regards to todays news.
My only real hope on what’s left of the pack is to see a new Capcom character between Amaterasu, Phoenix Wright or Dante respectively. Outside of the latter I wouldn’t say any of them have particularly high chances, but they’re also not impossible and they could all bring their own fun gimmicks to the table to stand out from the rest of the crowd besides all belonging to fairly iconic franchises in their own right (I wouldn’t go as far to say Okami and Ace Attorney are extremely popular but they’re also no small fries among Capcoms repertoire). I already called the Crono dream dead, but I knew from the get go Estelle from the Legend of Heroes series had absolutely no chance whatsoever, so I think not crossing her out of the deal would be being delusional.
But onto what I expect, I think it’s safe to believe the whole challenger pass will be nothing but 3rd parties, so there’s
4 5 possibilities that I believe could happen among our last 2 packs.
- New Capcom Rep: Capcom has a lot of memorable franchises, I’d say another of their bigger fries could easily fill the spot, particularly the already mentioned Dante from Devil May Cry, Leon/Jill from Resident Evil or a Monster Hunter due to World becoming their best selling game ever and finally obtaining worldwide popularity after many releases (besides you know, already having a boss and 2 music tracks in Ultimate). As I mentioned in an older blog, the missing Mii costumes also give some weight to this possibility.
- New Namco Rep: it’s weird that the one studio helping develop the game hasn’t gotten another rep, but admitedly, I can’t say their franchises are quite as iconic as the other 3rd parties that compose Smash (in my experience anyhow). Heihachi still feels like the safest choice given Tekken is pretty big and I believe he was even considered for the previous Smash game, but a Dark Souls rep could also stand a chance given how iconic the series has become to modern gaming. Soulcalibur is another possibility, but I don’t see it being quite as cherished as its other fighting cousin, although it’d make sense after Link’s guest appearance in the 2nd game. There’s some Tales buzz every now and then being brought up during speculation, but I honestly don’t see it. Once again, Mii costumes.
- Crash Bandicoot: while I still think western IPs will have a harder time getting into this series despite Banjos addition, Crash is unusual in that he was actually pretty popular in the easte as well during his prime time, besides being a significant icon of the late 90s. Years ago I’d have brushed aside the possibility, but with the series resurgence after the trilogy remake outside of finally having the games he’s remembered for debut on a Nintendo system, I’d say this isn’t that far fetched.
- Geno: admitedly I find this to be the least likely of my candidates as I’m more alongside the party that believes spirits disconfirm fighters than the other way around, and while we haven’t gotten any details on the matter, I wouldn’t be surprised if their Mii costume returns once the DQ hero drops (alongside all old and new Square costumes), further damaging their cause, and while this is probably the biggest stretch of the fan rules us Smash fans made on who can or can’t get in, having a Square character already take a DLC spot makes the idea of yet another one of their owned characters take one of the last highly coveted 2 feels unlikely to say the least, or if you consider Geno to be 1st party, well, I already said I don’t believe those have a chance in this pack. Yet it’s probably the last highly requested character I can think of people have been asking for a long time after all the popular additions Ultimate made (barring some unfortunate assist trophies like Bomberman, Isaac and Shovel Knight among others, which I believe to be a bigger cause against than anything Geno currently has), so despite normally having everything against them, a part of me believes Geno might be the closing chapter for Ultimate DLC (given that there’s no more passes, which I believe is the likeliest scenario), as I don’t think many other characters could surpass the deal that was seeing Banjo return after so long or DQ finally getting a representative.
- The Astral Chain cops?: as a last minute edit after a night of sleep, I thought these characters could end in as some sort of shameless promotion for Platinums next Nintendo exclusive. I don’t know the details whether this would fall as a 1st party franchise or not, but after Bayonetta’s addition in the last game, I’d say the possibility is certainly up in the air, although I’ll say they sound like the least likely out of the bunch by far, moreso than when I said Geno when I originally wrote this.
I considered the likes of Ryu Hayabusa and Doom Slayer after a few rumors throwing in those names every now and then, but I’m not quite feeling them to be all that likely.
Thanks for bearing once again with my mindless Smash blabber, hope it’s been a fun read.
2 thoughts on “Banjo in Smash!”
I actually think Geno is one of the more likely candidates at this point. I don’t buy that spirits reconfirm anyone. Sakurai and company would have to be pretty lazy for their reasoning to be “a stock image of past promotional art is already in the game.” And they obviously aren’t the lazy type. Also, I think DQ Hero being in the game actually, in a weird way, makes Geno more likely, since Square is getting easier to deal with apparently. And seeing as they gave Nintendo permission to use the likeness of the character in the past, it seems like Sakurai would have to pull very few strings to make it happen. And as you said, who else could follow up Banjo?
I actually think Crash is the least likely of your selections. Although I’m a Crash Bandicoot fan, and I get that he’s popular in Japan, I don’t think the fan demand is really there, and that’s where these DLC characters seem to be stemming from. I mean, they brought in Banjo-Kazooie, that right there was something born out of fan demand. I don’t imagine we’ll be getting another western character this time around.
My best is on: 4 character is either Capcom (likely Resident Evil) or Namoco (Dark Souls probably), and the 5th one is Geno. But again, pure speculation. But who else is there at this point?
Of course the idea of spirits and to an extent Assist Trophies is nothing but rules imposed by fans one choses to believe or not, they have technically never commented on the matter of these getting in the way outside of maybe that old Sm4sh post saying Waluigi can try hard but that won’t make him playable. I just choose to believe it, partially because it does help reduce the spectrum on speculation, but also because they bothered giving some pretty likely candidates this role while keeping away something like piranha plant out of it despite being a mook, even if a playable one. Still, at the end of the day these are the equivalent to trophies in this game, and both Mewtwo and Lucas returned as DLC in the previous game despite being relegated to trophies originally, so what do I know on the matter? It’s not like reusing a PNG would be the biggest deal for a fighter.
I don’t think Crash has had the biggest demand online in comparison to other characters (small as this sample might be as I don’t think the majority of millions that get these games care to participate in online discussions), but I do think he’s a significant enough name to consider him a big announcement in contrast to what we had so far, especially if you’d like to take it as the “playstation mascot” in contrast to Banjo now being present as some sort of rare Microsoft one. That said, it’s just there as I believe he’s one of the few non Capcom/Namco characters that could fit the deal at this point, should they choose not to add anything further from those companies, and in contrast to other popular platforming mascots, he stands out the most now that Banjo is in.
I’d still probably put Tekken before Souls for a potential 2nd Namco rep, but it’s not like they have much else in iconic franchises after they added Pac-Man. Capcom certainly feels like they’d go for either a RE character or MH with how…big that series turned out to be with the passage of time, I’d unfortunately have to say I don’t see DMC having a chance despite what I wrote here after seeing the series sales in contrast to these 2 besides having much lesser ties to Nintendo.
As for whose left, everyone is just speculating at this point and there’s no real believable rumors from what I’ve gathered so far (for good reason, why would anyone know the next fighters when neither Hero or Banjo dropped?), but I don’t really see anyone else I haven’t mentioned having significant demand outside of the whole “lets add an indie rep!” schtick some seem to have (which I find silly after Shovel Knight was relegated to AT and it kinda feels like a consolation prize mentality given how lesser known these usually are compared to most of the franchises that compose Smash Bros). Some might bring up the idea of promoting a character from their AT role (usually Waluigi because people can’t let go their memes) or advertizing the new FE/Pokemon games (I feel for FE they’d already have exposed us to that horror given the game is dropping next month), but really, anything that involves a 1st party character at this stage feels like a hoax, certainly not something I’d count on happening in this fighters pass at the very least given the emphasis on “Smash Bros x this 3rd party game/franchise!”