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    • Top Ten Characters to Include in the Next Super Smash Bros.

      6 years ago


      Over the course of the last couple of weeks, in between E3 and the announcement that Namco Bandai would help work on the next Super Smash Bros., interest and speculation on the fourth game in Nintendo's acclaimed fighting has flourished. However, what makes this series so special, as everyone knows, is the characters and as each new installment has come and gone, it has gotten harder and harder to find cool new characters to represent Nintendo in each new game, and a lot of lists have tried to fill in this space with third party characters. However, for this list, I will only be including characters from Nintendo franchises. Furthermore, I'm only including one character per franchise and already represented Nintendo franchises I'm going to stay away from. Now lets get into it.

       10.  Chibi-Robo from Chibi-Robo!


      Chibi-Robo was a small game on the Gamecube that managed to eek out a couple of sequels. The fact that Shigeru Miyamoto saw enough in it to produce the first game makes me think that it would be a good fit in the Nintendo universe amongst his other creations. Plus, the source material would provide an endless amount of original ways for Chibi-Robo to attack from using his plug to a toothbrush and more.

      9. Tom Nook from Animal Crossing


      As far as franchises go, Animal Crossing is arguably Nintendo's biggest to not have a character in the Smash Bros. series yet, although it did have a fairly meh stage in Brawl. If a character was going to come from this series, it would have to be Tom Nook. Besides being the character with the most personality in the series (I shudder to think of what would happen if Mr Resetti was a playable character), his history over the course of the series could inspire his battle tactics, like fighting with home renovation tools or a final smash that made his opponents faint due to debt.

      8. Miis from Wii Series


      I don't want it to happen either, but judging from the Miiverse and Nintendo Land, it appears the time is upon us.

      7. Lil Mac from Punch Out!!


      Lil Mac's inclusion in the next Super Smash Bros. seems like a natural inclusion. In fact, the renewed interest in his franchise mainly stems from his inclusion in Brawl as an Assist Trophy. With a new game out on the market, Lil Mac seems primed for an upgrade to character status and could play similar to Captain Falcon but with more boxing influence to his moves.

      6. Ray MK III from Custom Robo


      Custom Robo is, in my opinion, one of Nintendo's most underrated franchises. Ray MK III was, like Lil Mac, and Assist Trophy in Brawl but the reason he's up higher is because of the potential the character has. For those who haven't played Custom Robo, all robos are equipped standard with one gun, bomb, and pod, as well as one melee attack, all of which could be easily mapped to the B button in Smash's control scheme. I truly believe that the believe Nintendo could make a very good character out of the Ray MK III.

      5. & 4. Lead Characters from New IP's.

      Shigeru Miyamoto has already confirmed that he's working on a new IP for the Wii U, I'm inclined to believe that Retro is working on one as well which is why they've been so secretive about it. Hell, Monolith Soft is supposed to be working on one too. I predict that these new IP's will likely come out in between the Wii U's launch window and the new Smash's eventual release, which would not only expand Nintendo's vast list of Intellectual Properties, but would also serve as great cross promotion as well.

      3. Balloon Fighter from Balloon Fight 


      I predict Balloon Fight to be like the new Smash Bros.'s version of the Ice Climbers or Pit. Balloon Fight is a game that is very frequently shown off in montages of old school video games and, as judged by how people have reacted to Pit and the Ice Climbers' returns, people love a good revamp.

      2. Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles 


      Xenoblade Chronicles has been one of Nintendo's major talking points for some time, although not exactly for the right reasons. Believe it or not, Monolith Soft, the studio that made Xenoblade, is actually one of Nintendo's newest first party studios, having been acquired in 2007. It has established itself as a great studio, assisting in development for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword AND Super Smash Bros. Brawl. If anything, including Shulk would be a good thank you for working so well or a good apology on for making Xenoblade such a debacle. And also inclusing a character that was made by people who had also developed a Smash game would be a smart move as well.

      1. Mike Jones from StarTropics


      Who? Well, StarTropics and its sequel, Zoda's Revenge, have the distinction of being two of the most obscure games in the NES's library. Developed in the United States by Japanese developers, it holds the distinction of being two of the only first party Nintendo games never to be released in Japan. Becasue of this, StarTropics has been largely ignored amongst Nintendo's franchises. Why include it then? Well, there are a lot of reasons. First, as much as it is a game Smash celebrates Nintendo's history, and StarTropics hasn't been in the series at all, not even as a trophy. Second, it was released on the Virtual Console about four years ago and Jones' inclusion in Smash could spark interest about this obscure gem altogether, especially in Japan. Third, since StarTropics was mainly built around the same Gameplay concepts as The Legend of Zelda, Mike Jones has a diverse set of equipment at his disposal which would make him an excellent character. and fourth, his inclusion could very well lead to a reboot of the StarTropics series, almost like what happened with the Fire Emblem series but instead of Japanese games coming to America, an American game being rebooted and shown to Japan.

      Again, this is only my opinion and I'm always open to hear what you guys think so leave a comment if you like

    • Album Review - Minibosses: Brass 2

      6 years ago


       Let me just start out by saying that if you like rock music and video games and you aren't listening to the Minibosses, you should really start. The Minibosses are a very well respected band in the video game/Nintendocore music genre. However, unlike many bands that are essentially chiptune bands, the Minibosses are a traditional four piece rock band doing NES video game covers. They've released a good amount of self-released EP's and what not but their magnum opus hit when they recorded Brass in 2005. This album was their first album where all of the tracks were covers, and it played out like a collection of the NES's greatest hits. At the tail end of 2011, they released Brass 2, which is supposed to be more of the same, but does it hit the same notes or does it miss the mark?

      Before I talk about the music, let me first talk about the other things about Brass 2. It's cover art, unfortunately, is not up to par with the original Brass. The original Brass showed a picture of Samus Aran smashing a TV with an NES controller in a comic book like style. It was colorful, it was interesting, and it told the listener with one picture exactly what the Minibosses were about. On Brass 2, however, what we have is a bunch of Samus Arans fighting off Metroids in front of a green backdrop. The art style is less over the top and while everything is drawn well, the green backdrop makes everything blend together and makes for a more boring and bland cover. The name, on the other hand, is deviously clever. While it may seem to be a creative throwaway it actually embraces the number systems that franchises  in their NES days often used  like Castlevania , Mario, and Final Fantasy

      Now to the music. Brass 2 is video game rock pure and simple. It's all performed very well and the effects are used to a degree to make a guitar sound that embraces both of its parent genres, with an appreciated fuzz that reminds you that this isn't  a cover band trying to sound exactly like the original. Something that was on Brass 2 that wasn't on Brass is that in between most songs there will often be Excitebike themed segues into the next song, usually at different styles and tempos.  This actually reminds me a lot of the segues used on Failure's Fantastic Planet, which were the perfect transitions for it (great album, highly recommend it). While it doesn't smooth the transition as nicely as Fantastic Planet does they are short, don't overstay their welcome, and shows that the band had a lot of fun putting this record together.

      However, a lot of the other main tracks on Brass 2 are less than stellar. There are eighteen tracks on Brass 2. Taking out the Excitebike segments there are nine. Of those nine, the average retro gamer will recognize around five, maybe six. Brass was loaded with studs like Contra, Castlevania, Metroid, the list goes on. Brass 2 has the Goonies 2. The problem with this is while these tracks could've had a Tatsunoko vs. Capcom in that it makes the listener want to learn more about the various video games, but I put some of these tracks (specifically Vantam and the Legend of Hallowbike) into Google and got nothing, which is incredibley frustrating. If they're originals they're decent, but I was expecting a follow up to Brass to be all covers and that lack of clarity hurts the album overall.

      There's also some wierd running times on some of their songs based on bigger games. Some of the biggest covers on the album, namely Ghosts'n Goblins, Tecmo Bowl, and The Legend of Zelda (which even takes some music from Zelda II). The problem is that while these games are all classics, their running times are extremely short, with the first two barely being over a minute while the third one clocks in at 3:45. Compare this with Brass (and I assure you, people will), where most of the songs clock in at about six minutes, and I start to wonder about their inclusions at all. I take main offense towards Zelda though as there was so much more they could have done with the fantastic music in even the NES days of the series but they just didn't.

      The opposite is truth with the fourth of their big covers being of Kid Icarus. While Kid Icarus has a good soundtrack, it runs over twelve minutes, including a painful reaper section that goes for a minute and a half. While the longest track on Brass was Mega Man 2 at ten minutes, Mega Man 2 has a much better soundtrack than Kid Icarus and in Mega Man 2 they actually had to cut some stuff out, while in Kid Icarus it seems as though the Minibosses are trying to stuff as much as they can in their. Contrasting this with the rest of the incredibley short songs can give the album a very choppy feeling at times.

      The best track on the album, however, is Super Mario Bros. 3., which would have felt right at home on Brass. It features a perfect length at around six minutes, each part of the song transitions perfectly into the next, and it's Super Mario Bros 3., what else do you need? 

      While it may sound like I hate the album, I do like it. It just bothers me that with the weird lengthes of the songs and the song choice altogether has given me the feeling that the Minibosses aren't making bad decisions, they just aren't making decisions at all. I feel like they're just going "screw it" and putting out whatever. Even worse, I think the NES's library is starting to restrict them artistically. I can see them doing maybe one or two more albums on NES songs they haven't tried yet like Battletoads, or River City Ransom. However, in the long run, I think my best career advice for the Minibosses is to make like the NES and go Super (Nintendo, that is). Overall I give this album a 6.8/10

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