Super Smash Bros. All-Time Merit Ranking (Mii Fighters & Ganondorf covered in Issue 186!)

SonicMario

Star Spirit
YOSHI

Fighter Number:
5
Fighter Group: Original 12
Franchise: Yoshi
Game of Origin: Super Mario World (SNES, 1990 (JP), 1991 (US), 1992 (EU)​

Dinosaurs are always a fascinating subject, by terms of length of time as the dominant group of animals they’re indisputably the most successful group of animals that have ever lived. And it’s quite possible not even us mammals will last as long as they did. The fact that our earth once had the many diverse types of dinosaurs from the large and ferocious T. Rex, the even larger but far more peaceful sauropods, and smaller dinosaurs that you wouldn’t want to estimate when together in a pack like any type of Raptor. I myself was very much a dinosaur kid (And in some ways still very much a dinosaur person), the first thing I’d usually do in the library is head straight to the section where all the dinosaur books were. I’m also a fan of the Jurassic Park series, when it came time for Animal Crossing New Horizons. I themed the island after said franchise, putting extras of the fossils displayed on the outside of the island.

As we change subject to Mario’s faithful dino companion, the late 80s and early 90s were when the Dinosaur’s place in popular culture really started to rise. The first Jurassic Park wouldn’t arrive until 1993, though the novel certainly existed around the same time Yoshi made his debut in the series. Hell the infamous Super Mario Bros. live action movie was very weirdly centered on dinosaurs, where most of the human characters aside from Mario and Luigi are supposedly descendants of the dinosaurs, and Yoshi even appears in it. Granted, he looked more like the Jurassic Park raptors then the cute dinosaur he was in the games. Though given Yoshi is a Mario character, I must once again point to the wiki’s article.

Yoshi like DK and Wario did manage to get a subseries of his very own starting with Yoshi’s Island where you play as Yoshi throughout pretty much the whole adventure. And there were a fair share of sequels to that game along with a few other Yoshi games like Yoshi’s Story or Yoshi’s Wooly World. Heck, Sonic Lost World had an entire Yoshi-themed level exclusive to the Wii U version of the game. So Yoshi has carved out his own slice of the Mario spin-offs. The original Yoshi’s Island is however the only one I’ve ever played fully in some way. I’ve rented and/or tried some of the others, which is more then I can say about the Donkey Kong series but less then the WarioWare series for certain.

As for my thoughts on Yoshi as a character, he’s not one I pick often as I still tend to trend towards Luigi or Waluigi in most Mario spin-offs. Though I know there are plenty of people who have dedicated themselves enough to Yoshi to play as him in any game they can. In Smash, Yoshi’s moveset has always been a little awkward with his lack of a recovery move since it’s replaced with an egg throw. While I understand of course that Yoshi makes up for it with a more higher and floatier double jump. I wouldn’t call myself a big Yoshi fan, but I would prefer to finish a Mario level riding him then not as if you can get him through he can be an extra hit that you can gain back along you’re not near a pit. That said, there are times like many other players face where they either make a mistake or in the case of some Mario Maker levels, force you to jump off Yoshi to try to save yourself. I imagine most players become numb to that on a close level to Mario pushing any goomba or koopa off a cliff, but it’ll never stop the memes of Mario killing Yoshis just to selfishly save his skin.

It’s just one of those things you don’t want to think about too hard in the Mario series heh heh

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As for Yoshi’s ranking. He certainly has a good pedigree, being a Mario-related character and even their own sub-series. That’s certainly enough to get in the Top 10 of our current list. I think Yoshi having a sub-series should be enough to put him above Bowser and Peach. However, I am putting Yoshi below Wario. My thinking on this that Wario has both the Wario Land and the Wario Ware series. And while Yoshi does technically have a Yoshi’s Island series, it always felt like the first one was the only one to really click where other games weren’t nearly as well received. Other Yoshi games also generally either mixed, or not entirely notable (Or re-skins of games like Panel De Pon). While Wario Land is arguably even more dormant then Yoshi’s Island is, WarioWare just not too long ago got a new installment and is probably sure to show up again. It just doesn’t feel like Yoshi games are really too much of a priority. The last Yoshi game was in 2019 with Crafted World. Which while I imagine it is a decent game, but it seems to be just a follow-up to Wooly World which itself seems to have been a strange way to sort of follow up on Kirby’s Epic Yarn that put Nintendo characters in an arts and crafts styled game. Still, Yoshi’s a dependable companion and has definitely earned his keep in Nintendo history.

1. Mario
2. Link
3. Pikachu
4. Donkey Kong
5. Kirby
6. Luigi
7. Wario
8. Yoshi
9. Bowser
10. Peach
11. Mega Man
12. Pac-Man
13. Diddy Kong
14. Banjo & Kazooie
15. King Dedede
16. Mewtwo
17. Ridley
18. King K. Rool
19. Mr. Game & Watch
20. Sonic the Hedgehog
21. Sora
22. Bowser Jr.
23. Olimar
24. Rosalina & Luma
25. Zero Suit Samus
26. Toon Link
27. Inkling
28. Snake
29. Shulk
30. Pit
31. Ness
32. Captain Falcon
33. Jigglypuff
34. Duck Hunt
35. Steve
36. Lucas
37. Mythra
38. ROB
39. Min Min
40. Byleth
41. Ice Climbers
42. Wii Fit Trainer
43. Chrom
44. Dr. Mario
45. Dark Pit
46. Piranha Plant
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
Oh, I forgot to put up the half-week warning yesterday. But here's the vote tally before I put up Greninja. Simon will be locked in on Sunday should nothing change by then

Robin 24
Sheik 22
Marth 20
Simon Belmont 16

Zelda 12
Isabelle 10
Meta Knight 10
Bayonetta 8
Wolf 8
Cloud 8
Little Mac 6
Villager 6
Joker 6
Pyra 6
Lucario 6
Ike 4
Daisy 4

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GRENINJA

Fighter Number: 50
Fighter Group: Smash 4 Veterans
Franchise: Pokemon
Game of Origin: Pokemon X/Y (Nintendo 3DS, 2013 (US/JP/EU)​

During the previous batch of characters voted I got to cover Pikachu and Mewtwo, thus I was able to sort of gush on some of my childhood when Gen 1 was the big thing. Though as time wore on, I definitely fell out of the Pokemon picture for a while. I was still into Pokemon when Gen 2 came about, but it was the middle of Gen 3 I just started to drift away from the series. I’m not even exactly sure why I did, but if I were to go to a trivia game with plenty of Pokemon question. I could probably answer a majority of Gen 1 and Gen 2 questions. Maybe some of Gen 3, but otherwise Gen 4-8 I may hot much clue other then some basics like some of the starters. The Pokemon we’re covering today is from the 6th generation. A whole 3 gens after I dropped out of the Pokemon know-how. So pardon if there just isn’t as much personal attachment.

Greninja is of course the fully-evolved version of Froakie, the water type starter of Generation 6. Your other options were Chespin and Fennekin in Pokemon X and Y. Now, it should be considered that for every Smash discussion about Greninja and/or Incineroar’s inclusion. The two of them got into Smash in a very different fashion then the other Pokemon. Pikachu got in as the mascot, Jigglypuff was one of the most popular Pokemon in Japan (…And conveniently had Kirby to easily edit a model of to make), Mewtwo was heavily promoted through the franchise’s first featured film, the Pokemon Trainer capitalized on the actual gameplay of Pokemon by including Multiple pokemon and not to mention a way to include all 3 of the Starters from the generation where Pokemon was at it’s biggest exposure. and lastly Lucario also had a feature film in the Mystery of Mew before Brawl came out.

However, Greninja was literally only concept art by the time it was decided a Pokemon rep from Generation 6 was getting into Smash 4. Gamefreak literally only submitted concept art and/or artwork for Sakurai to choose between which three of the starters he’d like to make into the next Pokemon newcomer. And it seems that it was Greninja’s design that interested him more then either of them. In a few ways, this is a rather concerning way to include a character. For a game starring Nintendo All-Stars, you want to make sure the character is already a hit with fans before you ever decide that they’re in the game. For those who see a Smash roster as partly a Nintendo hall-of-fame, it can raise eyebrows that Pokemon literally has a reserved space whether or not that Pokemon becomes popular. I suppose luckily for Gamefreak/Nintendo, Greninja ended up becoming popular anyway helping it’s merit by the time Ultimate rolled around. But imagine if Greninja had not become popular with the fanbase. Greninja wasn’t even promoted all that heavily in the Pokemon anime until a decent time after it’s debut in Smash. Where that definitely was not a problem with any previous Pokemon inclusion.

Things like that actually concerned me for a time that back when I was doing merit rankings for Smash 4 when the roster was new, I put Greninja lower then even Lucina. Now rest assured, that won’t be the case this time. Greninja has proven to have staying power since then, and Lucina’s stayed as she is with echo fighter status. But when Smash 3DS released it had not even been a year since Pokemon X and Y released. So it came off as a somewhat greedy move to just guarantee a Pokemon spot like that rather then have things play out naturally, it’s not as egregious as say a certain Fire Emblem inclusion (And no, I don’t mean Byleth). Perhaps part of it was me being a more subtle “Old man that yells at cloud” since as I mentioned before I fell out of Pokemon long before Gen 6 and was not too enthused with Greninja, and even now I’m sort of eh on this Pokemon. Now they’d do the same exact thing with Incineroar for Smash Ultimate, who probably has much more salt towards it then Greninja ever got. But I’ll get to that whenever Incineroar gets voted up.

I will still say I’m not exactly a fan of this method of including Pokemon. I feel the Pokemon in Smash either should be characters fans actually have wanted for years, even if that means even more Gen 1 bias like say… Meowth (Especially if they portray it as Team Rocket’s Meowth) or they should have been heavily featured either in the Anime or a movie for more exposure.. Though I understand why Gamefreak goes with this reserved spot since in most cases by the time they can gauge who is the more popular Pokemon it may be a bit late to include a character in the Smash roster. Still, it always feel pretty cynical for when roster guesses essentially have to have “Obligatory current generation Pokemon*. There was a reason people were so concerned about it happening again but in either of the two Fighter’s Pass for Generation 8. And while Greninja worked out for the best, it’s inclusion was the beginning of that feeling of “Ugh, we’re getting another shillmon aren’t we?”

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As for where Greninja falls on our ranking, it’s definitely grew from it’s Smash 4 days as I implied earlier. Enough to be just outside of our current Bottom 10. Perhaps in some days if Greninja continues to grow he could even outdo Jigglypuff one day. Though Pokemon do tend to move on eventually past older generations (Unless of course you’re Gen 1). For now I struggle to put Greninja over even a character that hasn’t actually had a real game but nonetheless has the cultural part of Nintendo’s past that I feel puts it above the starter of the 6th generation of Pokemon.

1. Mario
2. Link
3. Pikachu
4. Donkey Kong
5. Kirby
6. Luigi
7. Wario
8. Yoshi
9. Bowser
10. Peach
11. Mega Man
12. Pac-Man
13. Diddy Kong
14. Banjo & Kazooie
15. King Dedede
16. Mewtwo
17. Ridley
18. King K. Rool
19. Mr. Game & Watch
20. Sonic the Hedgehog
21. Sora
22. Bowser Jr.
23. Olimar
24. Rosalina & Luma
25. Zero Suit Samus
26. Toon Link
27. Inkling
28. Snake
29. Shulk
30. Pit
31. Ness
32. Captain Falcon
33. Jigglypuff
34. Duck Hunt
35. Greninja
36. Steve
37. Lucas
38. Mythra
39. ROB
40. Min Min
41. Byleth
42. Ice Climbers
43. Wii Fit Trainer
44. Chrom
45. Dr. Mario
46. Dark Pit
47. Piranha Plant
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
Oh pretty late with this, apologies. but...

SIMON BELMONT IS LOCKED IN

Now next week decides the October issue characters. And will also be the beginning of voting for the November Issue at the same time once October's characters have been clinched.

Robin 24
Sheik 22
Marth 20
Simon Belmont 16
Zelda 12
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
HALF-WEEK WARNING

No change has happened. We're still set currently for Robin and Sheik for the October issue, and Marth as a non-shroom section

Robin 24
Sheik 22
Marth 20
Simon Belmont 16
Zelda 12

Isabelle 10
Meta Knight 10
Bayonetta 8
Wolf 8
Cloud 8
Little Mac 6
Villager 6
Joker 6
Pyra 6
Lucario 6
Ike 4
Daisy 4
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
FOX

Fighter Number:
7
Fighter Group: Original 12
Franchise: Star Fox
Game of Origin: Star Fox (SNES, 1993 (US/JP/EU)​

“No items! Fox Only! Final Destination!”

Fox definitely has a famous or even infamous reputation depending who you ask for being the definitive Top Tier of the Melee competitive scene. While there are other characters in Melee that were threats in the right hands. Fox (And Falco too to an extent) for the longest time reigned as the one character you need to master or at least understand how to fight if you ever hoped to be a professional at the game. Though I may have stated before, I’m no compeitive scene buff so I’m not one to know the ins and outs of it all. So that’s why I’m going to barrel roll onto a subject about the Star Fox series as a whole.

Out of the franchises represented in the original Smash, the series might arguably be the black sheep out of the 10 universes represented in the game. Though don’t get me wrong, the Star Fox games are there for a reason. It was a creation of Shigeru Minamoto himself. But putting Star Fox among Minamoto’s other franchises, it feels like it’s very well the black sheep of those too. While of course it’s unfair to compare the Star Fox series to say Mario or Legend of Zelda. It feels like the Star Fox series doesn’t quite get the recognition of say F-Zero, despite the fact that Star Fox actually got a relatively recent game. And it also feels like Pikmin has definitely surpassed the series.

And I think a huge part of it, is while Star Fox 64 was a great game. It was a peak for the series that they still haven’t managed to recapture. Granted, not for any lack of trying. As much as what came after Star Fox 64 were brief attempts to shake things up for the franchise before the series would gradually start consulate relying on Star Fox 64 nostalgia downright doing a remake on the 3DS, and Star Fox Zero itself being a sort of retelling/reboot that harkens back to Star Fox 64. Before Star Fox 64, the series started off as a test run of the Super FX chip that helped the SNES process 3D objects that normal cartridges couldn’t. There were really only 3 well-known games (Any other have fallen to obscurity for one reason or another) that ran on this chip. Star Fox, the SNES port of Doom, and Yoshi’s Island funnily enough. (Man, imagine if Doomguy had gotten in Smash, and he was in this batch. Between him, Fox, and Yoshi. It could have been basically the Super FX representatives set). There was also a Sequel that for a while never got officially released until many years later in 2017 where a fully playable version of the game released on the SNES Classic. The game also widely available on Nintendo Switch Online. Both games were interesting uses of the new technology of the time.

But as I mentioned, it was Star Fox 64 where the franchise really earned a name for itself. The dialogue was corny, but nonetheless unforgettable. And the multiple paths you could take to get to the Planet Venom offered the ability for different paths for players to play in and discover different bosses, environmental hazards, and/or enemy encounters. Though there’s sure to be at least one thing that remains the same… saving Slippy constantly heh heh.

But now to get back to what I said earlier. There hasn’t been a game since Star Fox 64 that anyone agrees is a successful successor to that game. The next game in the series was Star Fox Adventures. Which was definitely very far from the normal direction, where the game was outright more like a Zelda game then the arcade shooting style of the games before. It did introduce a character that’s both popular, but also somewhat controversial depending on your views on the furry fandom in Krystal. Believe it or not, Star Fox Adventures started off as a game called Dinosaur Planet where Krystal would have been the protagonist. Perhaps in a universe where that happened, maybe Krystal gets in Smash all as her own franchise rather then having to compete with other Star Fox characters.

After Adventures, was Star Fox Assault. Now personally, Assault is actually my personal favorite Star Fox games. However, I completely understand why it’s not exactly seen as a proper successor to Star Fox 64 either. While it does go back to the arcade shooting, it feels like a majority of the game you’re actually on the ground for a 3rd person shooter. And the on-foot controls can… take some time to get used to. I do wish Assault had been followed up on though, I felt the story as well as the music direction (Which sometimes felt like as if John Williams had remixed the Star Fox soundtrack. Honestly, it’s just about a sin that the game didn’t get more music tracks in the Smash series. Not even when Smash 4 made a dedicated stage based on a particular level from Assault ) was top tier for the franchise. Actually going in a different direction then Andross showing up again and actually going somewhere after Star Fox 64 (And to a lesser extent Adventures too, since the planet Sauria returns for at least one level). If the story was longer, the controls improved, and if it had online multiplayer that made the mode even more robust (Star Fox Battle Royale anyone?) I could actually see Assault succeeding in a more modern revival. Not that I think that’ll ever happen, but I do love Star Fox Assault very much and I recommend anyone who still has a gamecube to give the game a shot.

But it’s after Assault where the franchise really went into a strange period. Just a year after Assault, came Star Fox Command on the DS. A game that… while the game itself is decently solidly reviewed. The story went in an odd direction and even included multiple endings. And I think to this day we still don’t know what’s intended to be the canonical ending. It did unfortunately seem to retcon Assault out (Details of which I’ll get to when we get to a different playable Star Fox character in Smash). And included endings such as Fox quitting the team to marry Krystal, Fox staying with the group and Krystal joining Star Wolf, Krystal becomes a Bounty Hunter, Falco leaving to start his own team, and perhaps the most amusing one of them all… Fox and Falco both quit to join the F-Zero… I mean… G-Zero Grand Prix and became racers for the rest of their days. And it’s probably likely we will never know what will be the true ending to the game. Though it would be amusing if the last one I mentioned did. And suddenly Fox and Falco were actually playable racers in an F-Zero game or something.

After Command, we didn’t get a real brand new game until Star Fox Zero… and let’s just say that game definitely failed to live up to expectations. If the controls in Assault threw you for a loop, Zero managed to make the flying parts of the game take some time to get used to the controls. What was once easy to pick up and play became needlessly complicated as you’re forced to use the Wii U gamepad. If Zero was an attempt to bring back some life into the franchise after a decently long absence it seemed to backfire pretty badly. Who knows if Nintendo will even try to revive Star Fox again. And even if they do, you wonder if it will be yet another attempt to try to harken back to the franchise’s golden goose of Star Fox 64. It’s arguably that out of all the franchises with characters in the original Smash, the Star Fox franchise is in the most turmoil even compared to F-Zero. Which despite F-Zero not having a new game since the GBA days, the franchise generally has a fond reception for it all. While Star Fox has become a much more mixed response.

It’s starting to get shades of the typical Sonic hot takes where the franchise is being referred to as only one or a few good games but have not found a real footing past the early-to-mid 2000’s amongst video game media and/or outsiders of the Star Fox fandom. While perhaps for both franchises there’s a kernel of truth to that, it’s definitely an exaggeration that Star Fox and Sonic did not have some good gameplay in the aftermath of Star Fox 64/the Classic Sonic trilogy. It admittedly isn’t helped with Nintendo/Sega’s insistence on pandering to Star Fox 64 nostalgia along with classic Sonic levels constantly reappearing in some fashion. Though even as we’re comparing Star Fox with Sonic, the latter is definitely in the better spot as Sonic Frontiers will be coming in less then 2 months and in the media scene Sonic’s movies have been bigger hits then people could have ever imagined. There isn’t exactly any sort of optimism on that level currently for the Star Fox series.

I think we’re still at a point where the franchise keeps calling out for help like Slippy, but Nintendo still fails to help.

_____________________________________________________________________________

As to the rankings, I think I’ve implied that Fox may very well be the one Original 8 member that is not practically guaranteed a Top 10 spot on our current list. In fact, he’s not even in the Top 20. I feel the franchise has fallen enough that while it’ll still be above say… Rosalina. But Fox is below fellow Miyamoto-created space traveler Olimar despite the little guy being much younger then the Star Fox series. Heck we just GOT news about Pikmin 4 even if we didn’t get much other then that it’s coming next year. But just knowing Pikmin 4 is imminent is enough to give some promise of a quality title. Where as that isn’t promised any more with the Star Fox series after Star Fox Zero.

1. Mario
2. Link
3. Pikachu
4. Donkey Kong
5. Kirby
6. Luigi
7. Wario
8. Yoshi
9. Bowser
10. Peach
11. Mega Man
12. Pac-Man
13. Diddy Kong
14. Banjo & Kazooie
15. King Dedede
16. Mewtwo
17. Ridley
18. King K. Rool
19. Mr. Game & Watch
20. Sonic the Hedgehog
21. Sora
22. Bowser Jr.
23. Olimar
24. Fox
25. Rosalina & Luma
26. Zero Suit Samus
27. Toon Link
28. Inkling
29. Snake
30. Shulk
31. Pit
32. Ness
33. Captain Falcon
34. Jigglypuff
35. Duck Hunt
36. Steve
37. Greninja
38. Lucas
39. Mythra
40. ROB
41. Min Min
42. Byleth
43. Ice Climbers
44. Wii Fit Trainer
45. Chrom
46. Dr. Mario
47. Dark Pit
48. Piranha Plant
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
Mii Fighters and Ganondorf are in the new issue!

And also...

LAST CALL

Tomorrow decides the October issue! It currently will be Robin and Sheik. With Marth joining Simon and Zelda as Non-Shroom characters

Robin 24
Sheik 22
Marth 20
Simon Belmont 16
Zelda 12

Isabelle 10
Meta Knight 10
Bayonetta 8
Wolf 8
Cloud 8
Little Mac 6
Villager 6
Joker 6
Pyra 6
Lucario 6
Ike 4
Daisy 4
 
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SonicMario

Star Spirit
ALL CHARACTERS LOCKED IN!

Robin 24
Sheik 22
Marth 20
Simon Belmont 16
Zelda 12


That'll do it for the October issue. But now it's time to start voting for the November issue too! Also I think the list is starting to get short enough that I feel I can put the characters up that have 0 points up. Currently the 5th spot for November belongs to Cloud Strife

Isabelle 10
Meta Knight 10
Bayonetta 8
Wolf 8
Cloud 8

Little Mac 6
Villager 6
Joker 6
Pyra 6
Lucario 6
Ike 4
Daisy 4
Samus 0
Dark Samus 0
Pichu 0
Falco 0
Lucina 0
Young Link 0
Roy 0
Pokemon Trainer 0
Palutena 0
Ryu 0
Ken 0
Corrin 0
Richter 0
Incineroar 0
Hero 0
Terry 0
Sephiroth 0
Kazuya 0
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
HALF-WEEK WARNING

Into the half-week. Cloud and Pyra are on top. With Joker in the 5th slot

Cloud 16
Pyra 12
Meta Knight 10
Isabelle 10
Joker 10

Bayonetta 8
Wolf 8
Little Mac 6
Villager 6
Samus 6
Falco 6
Lucario 4
Ike 4
Ryu 4
Pichu 4
Daisy 2
Dark Samus 0
Lucina 0
Young Link 0
Roy 0
Pokemon Trainer 0
Palutena 0
Ken 0
Corrin 0
Richter 0
Incineroar 0
Hero 0
Terry 0
Sephiroth 0
Kazuya 0
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
HALF-WEEK WARNING

Into the half-week Isabelle is still in position to be locked up next. Though we now have Samus with Cloud for the Top 2 now.

Samus 16
Cloud 16
Pyra 12
Isabelle 10
Joker 10

Meta Knight 8
Bayonetta 8
Wolf 8
Little Mac 6
Falco 6
Sephiroth 6
Lucario 4
Ike 4
Ryu 4
Pichu 4
Villager 2
Daisy 2
Dark Samus 0
Lucina 0
Young Link 0
Roy 0
Pokemon Trainer 0
Palutena 0
Ken 0
Corrin 0
Richter 0
Incineroar 0
Hero 0
Terry 0
Kazuya 0
 
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