At last, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is as ultimate as it can be, with the final new character having been announced.
It turns out Kingdom Hearts' Sora, the keyblade-wielding hero, was the missing ingredient, but is there a character who would have been even more fun?
We decided to come up with our own suggestions. Leave yours in the comments below.
Joanna Dark (Perfect Dark) | Liam Andrews
Joanna Dark might be an Xbox associate these days, but she started out life on the N64, so I think it would have been only fitting to see her return to a Nintendo platform via Smash Bros. Ultimate.
As a secret agent, she’s (presumably) well trained in hand-to-hand combat, so she wouldn’t look out of place battling against the game’s vast roster of rival characters. She’s also very proficient with weapons (that, we do know) and could have utilised a pair of Falcon 2 pistols for her ranged attack, or maybe even a SuperDragon assault rifle.
She would have a range of character skins to choose from as well, as there’s plenty of customisation options available. There’s the classic blue/grey Carrington Institute agent uniform, the Area 51 lab tech outfit, and you could even throw in the Perfect Dark Zero look for an alternative option.
As for a final smash, it would have to have featured Elvis, Joanna’s alien sidekick from the original game, perhaps abducting enemy players in a ship then launching them off the screen.
With a new Perfect Dark game currently in development for Xbox, Joanna Dark’s inclusion in Smash would have been a nice way to mark the series’ return to the fore.
Leon Scott Kennedy (Resident Evil) | SaM Sant
Part of deciding who makes the Super Smash Bros. roster no doubt revolves around which characters have the biggest icon status within gaming. With that in mind, it’s a travesty that the Resident Evil franchise isn’t getting any proper representation. Specifically, everybody’s favourite floppy-haired cop: Leon S. Kennedy.
Leon is the star of several Resident Evil stories, both in and outside of games, but is most notably the playable protagonist of both RE2 and RE4. Most will agree that these are two all-time classics, more than punching his ticket to the Smash Bros. invitational.
In an even bigger injustice than Dante appearing as a Mii skin, Nintendo actually put Mr. Kennedy in Smash as part of a limited-time Resident Evil spirit event. Basically, it’s a throwaway inclusion - Leon isn’t actually playable or even available to battle against.
While Chris Redfield appears in Marvel vs. Capcom, Leon could make a more impactful fighting game debut. He’d sport his signature roundhouse kick and a variety of suplexes up close, then, in keeping with his survival horror roots, draw from a limited ammo pool to shoot opponents at range. By summoning The Merchant, Leon could replenish his ammunition and either switch out or upgrade his current weapon.
With the recent release of Kena: Bridge of Spirits marking the gaming debut for animation studio Ember Lab, we started to think about other crossovers from the world of animation we'd like to see.
There are plenty of transferable skills, in terms of both designing and creating the cinematics, but also the movement and emotion which bring characters to life in-game. There are plenty of game developers who already do a great job of this in their own right – Insomniac in particular spring to mind – but which film and TV animation studios might have something to offer?
Rough Draft | Liam
Like James, one of the studios I’d be tempted to pick, Studio Ghibli, have already dabbled in the world of video games with the excellent Ni No Kuni, so I’ve instead opted for Rough Draft Studios, best known for The Simpsons and Futurama.
It’s the latter I’m interested in today, however, as I think a game set within New New York and beyond would be an absolute blast. Yes, I’m aware a Futurama game already came out in 2003, but the 3D shooter/platformer wasn’t anything to do with Rough Draft, as far as I know.
What I’d like to see is something like the two most recent South Park titles, The Stick of Truth and The Fractured but Whole, which leant into the style of the original material instead of pairing them with an ill-fitting game genre.
A Rough Draft Futurama game would also stay true to the source material, that is to say it’d be a 2D affair very much in keeping with the established cartoon style, with perhaps the odd 3D ship battle thrown in. While this would limit gameplay mechanics (I think a point and click title would work best) it would basically be a playable episode of Futurama, which sounds great to me.
Sony Pictures Imageworks | Sam
Having literally just beaten Kena: Bridge of Spirits before writing this, it’s safe to say that more animation studios should try their hands at game development; if Kena sets any kind of precedent, everyone could be in for a treat.
Sony Pictures Imageworks has a long filmography, the highlight of which is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. That film’s visual style is second to none, oozing style (though not without substance) from every single frame. Into the Spider-Verse is the top animated feature on Rotten Tomatoes, but could the studio produce a classic game too?
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales features a skin that mimics the art and animations of the film. Equipping it makes for a unique and somewhat hypnotic gameplay experience - unfortunately, however, it only affects the title character. Seeing these rules applied across an entire game would no doubt make for something special.
It wouldn’t necessarily need to be a Spider-Man game, either. As part of PlayStation manufacturer Sony, Sony Pictures Imageworks could receive access to a variety of recognisable brands. While the art style might not suit the likes of The Last of Us, it could vibe with numerous other projects. Anyone for a Jak and Daxter or Sly Cooper revival on PS5?
Which animation studio would you like to see make a game? Let us know below.