Super Smash Bros. All-Time Merit Ranking (Pyra & Samus covered in Issue 188!)

SonicMario

Star Spirit
HALF-WEEK WARNING

Heading into the half-week. Ryu is currently in place to be locked in next (Wolf has two voters making up the 8 points, Ryu has only one)

Meta Knight 24
Ike 14
Bayonetta 10
Wolf 8
Ryu 8

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

SonicMario

Star Spirit
RYU IS LOCKED IN!

Next up is Wolf for next week's Sunday

Meta Knight 24
Ike 14
Bayonetta 10
Wolf 8
Ryu 8
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
HALF-WEEK WARNING

Going into the half-week, Bayonetta is currently in place to be locked in next

Meta Knight 30
Falco 22
Sephiroth 16
Bayonetta 14

Ryu 8
Pichu 10
Ike 8
Wolf 8
Little Mac 6
Villager 6
Daisy 2
Palutena 2
Lucina 2
Roy 0
Lucario 0
Dark Samus 0
Young Link 0
Pokemon Trainer 0
Ken 0
Corrin 0
Richter 0
Incineroar 0
Hero 0
Terry 0
Kazuya 0
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
BAYONETTA IS LOCKED IN!

Now to decide the December issue characters. As of currently, it's looking to be Meta Knight and Falco

Meta Knight 30
Falco 22
Sephiroth 16
Bayonetta 14
Ryu 8
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
HALF-WEEK WARNING

No change since the last one. But just know we're closer to deciding the December issue. It is still Meta Knight and Falco on top, while Sephiroth could be the final non-shroom section for then.

Meta Knight 30
Falco 22
Sephiroth 16
Bayonetta 14

Ryu 8
Pichu 10
Ike 8
Wolf 8
Little Mac 6
Villager 6
Daisy 2
Palutena 2
Lucina 2
Roy 0
Lucario 0
Dark Samus 0
Young Link 0
Pokemon Trainer 0
Ken 0
Corrin 0
Richter 0
Incineroar 0
Hero 0
Terry 0
Kazuya 0
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
LAST CALL

Tomorrow decides the December issue! Which will be Meta Knight and Falco if nothing changes with Sephiroth as a non-shroom section
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
ALL CHARACTERS LOCKED IN!

Meta Knight and Falco will be covered in December's issue! Sephiroth, Bayonetta, and Ryu being non-shroom sections then

Meta Knight 30
Falco 22
Sephiroth 16
Bayonetta 14
Ryu 8



It is also time to begin deciding January's characters. Little Mac currently in place to be locked in on this coming Sunday.

Pichu 10
Ike 8
Wolf 8
Villager 6
Little Mac 6


Daisy 2
Palutena 2
Lucina 2
Roy 0
Lucario 0
Dark Samus 0
Young Link 0
Pokemon Trainer 0
Ken 0
Corrin 0
Richter 0
Incineroar 0
Hero 0
Terry 0
Kazuya 0
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
HALF-WEEK WARNING

Into the half-week, it is now Villager who could be next to be locked in

Pichu 16
Ike 16
Little Mac 12
Wolf 8
Villager 6

Lucina 4
Daisy 2
Palutena 2
Hero 2
Roy 0
Lucario 0
Dark Samus 0
Young Link 0
Pokemon Trainer 0
Ken 0
Corrin 0
Richter 0
Incineroar 0
Terry 0
Kazuya 0
_____________________________________________________________________________

JOKER

Fighter Number:
71
Fighter Group: Ultimate Newcomers/Fighter’s Pass 1
Franchise: Persona
Game of Origin: Persona 5 (PS3 & 4, 2016 (JP), 2017 (US/EU)​

Geoff Keighley has certainly put in a lot of effort to try to make the Game Awards like the E3 of the winter months in a year. Your mileage may vary on if he’s been successful on that, though it can’t be denied he’s managed to have some major companies save big announcements for his show. Yeah, the Game Awards are and still are generally a little cringe-worthy. But it certainly replaces what used to be just generally the nothing before the lead-up to Christmas. Even if the show usually is a guilty pleasure at best, it’s something to do in the early months of the year if you’re interested in what major video game companies are doing.

Perhaps the most significant thing the Game Awards ever got though, was the chance to reveal Smash DLC characters. So much so, that many people considered the year where while they didn’t explicitly promise a Smash reveal… The fact that it didn’t have one while Ultimate DLC was still rampant ruined the whole show for them. The time they revealed a character rose expectations for that year’s show so much that they expected it. They did manage to at least get another character reveal the year after, but it definitely bummed people hoping to get some satisfaction from the Dorito Pope’s main attraction.

And well, what was that character? Let’s just say that we Smash fans…. never saw him coming heh heh.

Though there is some logical reasons for that. The Persona franchise is probably one of the farthest from being Nintendo staples (At least, at the time of Joker’s reveal. It’s certainly changed at least a little bit as of recently). And although Persona is actually spun-off from a franchise that does have some history on Nintendo systems (The Shin Megami Tensei series) there’s a real disconnect between those who are fans of Persona and those of mainly SMT. The Persona series is more focused on story and fully-fleshed out characters where SMT generally is more heavy on the gameplay. I will say I hardly know much of anything about either series, so I’m afraid I’m not one to ask about the series. Most of what I’m aware of is just osmosis of other friends who have played the series, what we see in Smash, and maybe a fair share of Memes. I’ll at least try to say what I know about Joker.

Apparently in Persona 5 at least, there’s something where there’s a real world where Joker is just a regular high-school teenager who goes to school and can go on dates. But in another world where most of the RPG mechanics are found, he’s a key member of the Phantom Thieves. A sort of Robin-hood like gang that “Steals the hearts” of evildoers. The heroes of Persona have things called… well… persona’s that are essentially the SMT monster part of the gameplay. They serve as something similar to say the Stands in JoJo’s bizarre adventure and fight alongside their summoner. Oh, also there’s a talking cat. And that’s a norm for the Persona series. With Persona 4 having a talking bear famous (Or infamous depending on who you ask) for spitting out more bear puns that we can bear-ly handle.

But aside from knowing the franchise is pretty popular and that the music is well-renowned. I must repeat, I’m not very familiar with the series and Joker is probably the one Fighter’s Pass character I’m the most lukewarm to. And perhaps that’s saying something when Byleth is among those characters. I wasn’t against Joker in Smash exactly just it definitely seemed like one of the odder choices to me. For a good amount of years after Joker’s reveal we were unsure if Persona 5 was ever going to get on the Switch. And while the same could be said for say Metal Gear Solid games past the 2nd one, or mainline Street Fighter games… both those franchises still have well-known debuts on Nintendo systems. And while yes, technically SMT is that same kind of link. It’s still very different as outside of a 3DS game and a Musou game (Which is a Dynasty Warriors/Hyrule Warriors style game) it’s far from a 3rd party known for being linked to Nintendo. That has certainly changed relatively recently, and Joker’s merit may increase still in the coming years should Persona remain a presence. It just was definitely on the lower-scale at the time of the inclusion. Though we do know Sakurai himself seems to have liked Persona 5, praising in particular it’s menu style.

I can’t say Joker, nor the Persona series as a whole will ever feel like Nintendo-linked franchises like many of the others. But I imagine it still made plenty of people happy to see a surprise at the Game Awards. Though another thing Smash fans remember is how awfully long the time between the trailer and Joker’s launch date. We even had a direct where they literally only showed Joker’s model, very much blue balling everyone waiting for his release. Though Geoff Keighley probably felt like his heart was stolen from the response from Smash fans the very next year.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Now that we get to rank Joker. I mean no offense to fans of Persona. But it feels like he’s definitely on the lower end of things. I think the Persona 5 port that just released not too long ago does bump him up a little. But the general feeling of Persona’s history with Nintendo prior to this is not enough to really rank him highly. I’ll at least put him above the likes of Sheik and ROB who generally have limited impacts on their own. But I’m not sure I can put him above the Xenoblade ladies at this point of time.

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

SonicMario

Star Spirit
ISABELLE

Fighter Number:
68
Fighter Group: Ultimate Newcomers
Franchise: Animal Crossing
Game of Origin: Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo 3DS, 2012 (JP), 2013 (US/EU)​

I’ll get to my more general thoughts on the Animal Crossing series once I get to cover the Villager. But when it comes to Isabelle, there is still things we can talk about from New Leaf and onward.

I would very much consider Isabelle as one of the rising stars of the 2010’s alongside the Inklings for Nintendo. The cute little secretary pup that greets you with a smile every time you open New Leaf and for most of New Horizons (Tom Nook covers announcements for a good while at the beginning of the game. But once Isabelle’s there, she’s there for good). Throughout the games she’s determined to help you as they mayor run your town and/or your island in New Horizons. Her cute design, mannerisms, and personality quickly became a hit with Animal Crossing fans. And it definitely seems Smash took notice.

As when you get into thinking who should be a 2nd Animal Crossing character aside from the Villager (Although some would say a recurring character might have been more preferable to an avatar). When the discussion came about before Isabelle debuted. I think most of the discussion centered around Tom Nook. I do feel he would certainly make a great deal of sense, as for the most part he does play a good role in almost every game. He even appears in Isabelle’s trailer, (Making some people briefly wonder if he was about to be announced as either Villager’s or Isabelle’s echo fighter. Although I’m sure at the time the announcement of a new Animal Crossing in development wasn’t too much to complain about). Although it’s probably fair to say that Tom Nook probably overall deserves a spot before Isabelle and would have higher merit then her. I think it’s also fair to say that by the time of her inclusion in Ultimate, Isabelle had risen the ranks up to the most popular Animal Crossing characters. She is very much a more recent Nintendo icon, and it could be said that Villager has moves that Tom Nook could have had if they had decided he’d be the main rep of Animal Crossing.

Though I suppose another factor to Isabelle… is she’s a deign so cute there were surely fans who had mixed feelings of her being a fighter. While Smash isn’t a bloody, violent game. There may be some who don’t want to hurt Isabelle. (Though I imagine for some, the way Isabelle’s play style can annoy folks may get over such conflicted feelings like this scene from Avatar: The Last Airbender).

As for me, while I got into the series through New Leaf and I do play New Horizons almost every day still. I find Isabelle cute, though I’m, not like a hardcore Animal Crossing fan. Though if I had my choice for another Animal Crossing character I feel I’d like to see what they’d give Mr. Resetti. Hehe, imagine if he rants if you do a No Contest while he’s in the match.
____________________________________________________________________

As for Isabelle’s ranking, I mentioned before that she’s up there with Inklings for the newest stars. So naturally she’s around where they land. She in fact gets to be the spot above them since Animal Crossing is the older more established franchise. I will however put her less then Toon Link. Animal Crossing as a whole outdates Wind Waker by about a year, but naturally Isabelle’s time in the spotlight isn’t as big as our lil’ Cel-Shaded Link

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

SonicMario

Star Spirit
LAST CALL

Daisy is currently set to be locked in tomorrow if nothing else happens (Wolf has more voters making up his 12 points, and Little Mac's votes are generally older then the Daisy votes so they have higher priority)

Pichu 22
Ike 16
Wolf 12
Little Mac 12
Daisy 12

Villager 6
Pokemon Trainer 6
Lucina 4
Palutena 2
Hero 2
Roy 0
Lucario 0
Dark Samus 0
Young Link 0
Ken 0
Corrin 0
Richter 0
Incineroar 0
Terry 0
Kazuya 0
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
Oh sorry if I'm a bit later than usual with this but...

WOLF IS LOCKED IN!

Next up could potentially be the Pokemon Trainer

Pichu 22
Daisy 22
Ike 16
Pokemon Trainer 14
Wolf 12
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
CLOUD

Fighter Number:
61
Fighter Group: Smash 4 Veterans/Smash 4 DLC
Franchise: Final Fantasy
Game of Origin: Final Fantasy VII (PS1, 1997 (US/JP/EU)​

Final. Fantasy. Seven.

Three words that certainly mean something in the general gaming sphere. Whether you think it deserves it’s moniker as one of the greatest video games of all time, or if you think it’s one of the most overrated games ever made. There’s no denying that the game has impacted nearly every person who’s picked up a video game just from the general exposure.

The fact that FF7 was a huge part of the divorce between Squaresoft and Nintendo for a good while despite the first 6 games being great hits on the Nintendo system only added a bit of interesting drama that may have only elevated the game’s fame. It could only be found on the Sony Playstation, a system that dared to take on Sega and Nintendo and quite honestly probably very much won. Especially if you count the Playstation 2 era. Where the PS2 was death knell of the Dreamcast and thus contributed to the end of Sega as a console make, and it absolutely crushed the Gamecube in sales. The funny thing of course is that aside from FF7 not getting on Nintendo systems until the Switch era, the Playstation itself could have very well been in Nintendo’s hands at one point. But the company remained stubborn when they were asked to start using CDs as opposed to the cartridges that the NES, SNES, and the N64 used. Imagine a hypothetical timeline where Nintendo green lighted the support needed for an FF7 as well as the CDs they were asked to use before. There’s a good chance the video game industry is just practically monopolized by Nintendo in that scenario. As if Nintendo had what the Playstation did too, it’s a wonder if Microsoft would even try to compete if we are to assume of course that Sega’s trajectory remains the same of eventually going 3rd party. Nintendo having reigned supreme over Sega’s competition, and assured that serious competition was instead owned by them too properly. Would video game industry as a whole be better then it is now? Or maybe it’d be worse? I’d probably wager a bit on the latter, because without competition you have no reason to up the quality of your product if there’s nothing competing with it. But we’ll never know for sure. And that mistake of letting both Square and Sony off the hook might have started the trend where while Nintendo is still making consoles. They’re seen as being a generation late to what Sony and Microsoft already provided in the previous generation. So the mid-90s was a real turning point for the video game industry.

But as we switch conversation to Final Fantasy 7 on itself. This was obviously a landmark title not just for the Playstation and Square Enix. But it probably shaped the future of many JRPGs that came afterward. While the graphics of the original certainly has it’s rather laughable look that doesn’t exactly age well. Where while the battles have the character look closer to how the creators envision them. The more chibi-fied lego-esque polygons may be hard to take seriously nowadays. Though you could say FF7 while it certainly has it’s dark themes isn’t supposed to always be serious. Given you have moments like Cloud snowboarding and saying “Let’s Mosey”. Even if said silly looking graphics are found even shortly after a certain character’s death (Which I think I will get more into when we get to a certain… other FF7 character)

Cloud Strife himself in the original game certainly has shades of the emo-ness that he had in Advent Children or other material depicting him. But he also had a fun side to him that’s comparable to the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog’s appeal. Sonic the Hedgehog and Cloud could be seen as essentially the examples of a 90s protagonist with attitude. Sometimes that can be not to everyone’s tastes. As other attributes related to the 90s often is some obnoxious features and/or personality. But what matters to people who like them is that they’re cool characters who will use their badass powers to save their friends. Sonic his super speed, Cloud his sword that’s almost as tall as he is.

Along the way in FF7 we meet a colorful cast of characters like the gung-ho but loving father Barret, Cloud’s childhood friend Tifa who you do NOT want to underestimate in a fight, Aerith the adorable flower girl with an interesting past, Red XIII a talking big cat with a fair share of family issues, Cait Sith a rather shady member of a casino represented by a talking cat on top of a large moogle, Cid who’s a grumpy but well-meaning older man who just had his dreams crushed years ago when it meant that it would kill someone he loves. And even two optional party members in Yuffie who’s a hyper thief out for any and all material. And Vincent who feels like he’d fit right into a Castlevania game. Each world in every FF7 numbered game is of course it’s own universe and there’s no denying that FF7 has mass appeal from the characters, lore, magic, etc.

I will say I have never played FF7 itself, but I have watched playthroughs and/or all cutscene videos to familiarize me with the world and characters of the game. I’m not and probably never will be an RPG guy, but there are times where one’s story intrigues me. And FF7 was no exception (I’d also very much say Xenoblade Chronicles 1 was also that for me). I get why FF7 in particular is still to this day perhaps the most popular Final Fantasy. And why despite all odds, Cloud was probably the most requested fighter from the franchise for Smash despite FF7 not being on a Nintendo System until the Switch. Sure, it’s probably fair to say something like a Black mage, or Terra from Final Fantasy 6 would deserve it more for actually being on Nintendo systems in their heyday. But it’s just a fact that the one Final Fantasy that managed to hit the mainstream more than any other was the 7th one. And Squaresoft knew that, as since the release of the original we’ve had a number of games within the same universe, a full-on movie, and in recent years. A remake of the game that’s being done in parts (Although remake is a bit misleading at this point. As the story goes in directions that seems to presume you already knew the original’s story. Which can be a bit troublesome who were hoping to get into FF7 through a more updated title rather then having to know how the original turned out before playing)

And at this point, FF7 and thus Cloud’s absence from Nintendo platforms (Outside of a fair share of cameos prior to Smash 4) is starting to become a little moot. Cloud Strife is Final Fantasy most iconic and popular Final Fantasy character. And when you take into account that 3rd party choices don’t necessarily have to be a character’s legacy on Nintendo systems but gaming as a whole. There’s no doubt Cloud deserves to be here. I’d even say he was definitely my favorite DLC character of Smash 4.

Though one more thing about Cloud, is how oddly stingy Square is about him. We know now that there was a legit danger of Everyone is Here getting ruined by the exclusion of Cloud. And then there’s of course the fact that Cloud only came with two songs and a stage. A laughably bad amount of content that made people wonder if Nintendo couldn’t shell out the money for more than that. If Cloud was ever going to even be an easy return to Smash, especially when we get to a point where Sakurai is no longer director. I do think that at this point that with Square having shared not just Cloud, but the Dragon Quest heroes, Sephiroth, and Sora it’s probably more safer now then it was years ago. Though there is certainly the possibility they hold characters hostage to become DLC again in future Smash games
___________________________________________________________________

I think the perfect spot to rank Cloud currently is right behind fellow 90s protagonist Sonic the Hedgehog, and above Sora. Heck, Cloud even appears in the latter’s games sometimes. You get a feeling Sora’s existence owes itself a little to Cloud. As does many other modern RPGs

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

SonicMario

Star Spirit
Pardon for the lateness (Been playing Sonic Frontiers haha)

HALF-WEEK WARNING

The Pokemon Trainer is currently set to be up next if no votes change things by Sunday (Villager has 3 people, Trainer has 2)

Daisy 30
Pichu 30
Villager 14
Pokemon Trainer 14

Wolf 12
Ike 12
Little Mac 12
Lucina 4
Palutena 4
Hero 4
Terry 4
Richter 2
Roy 0
Lucario 0
Dark Samus 0
Young Link 0
Ken 0
Corrin 0
Incineroar 0
Kazuya 0
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
Pyra and Samus are now covered in the Shroom!

LAST CALL

And tomorrow January's 4th place character is locked in. That is still currently the Pokemon Trainer

Daisy 30
Pichu 30
Villager 14
Pokemon Trainer 14
Wolf 12

Ike 12
Little Mac 12
Lucina 4
Palutena 4
Hero 4
Terry 4
Richter 2
Roy 0
Lucario 0
Dark Samus 0
Young Link 0
Ken 0
Corrin 0
Incineroar 0
Kazuya 0
 

SonicMario

Star Spirit
POKEMON TRAINER IS LOCKED IN!

Now to decide the January issue characters. That's currently Daisy and Pichu, with the Animal Crossing Villager being the 3rd non-shroom section.

Daisy 30
Pichu 30
Villager 14
Pokemon Trainer 14
Wolf 12
 
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