Tag Archives: Inclusion

Smash 4 DLC: The Case for Bomberman

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Bomberman NES: A better design than Bomberman: Act Zero

Character Background: Somewhere in the Bomber Nebula, on Planet Bomber, lives Bomberman. A staunch defender of his planet, he has the ability to generate bombs from his hands, but beware, as Bomberman is not immune to his own armaments.

The Bomberman series, also known as Dynablaster in Europe, originated on the MSX in 1983. The game found its biggest audience on the Famicom/NES, selling over a million units on the platform globally. The ‘White Bomber’ has starred in over 70 games since his creation, making him one of the most prolific video game characters of all time. While the series is best known for its strategic top down action titles, the franchise itself has branched out over time to include a wide variety of genres and game types.

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Just in case anyone was doubting he was an industry icon, here is Bomberman’s own Kart Racer. (Just like Sonic, Megaman, and Pac-Man)

Reasons for inclusion: Bomberman is the defacto mascot for the now defunct Hudson Soft. Not only was he front and center on a majority of the companies’ promotional materials, he was also the signature character that was chosen for kart racers, puzzle games, and other assorted spinoffs. For all intents and purposes, he was the companies’ Mario. This alone makes him the best possible candidate to represent Hudson Soft in Nintendo’s premiere party brawler. While it may not seem necessary to feature a company that is no longer developing games in Smash Bros., Hudson Soft is important enough to Nintendo history to warrant consideration. They created dozens of software titles on Nintendo consoles beginning with the NES and concluding with the Wii. If you are curious of the level of trust between the two companies, all you have to do is realize that Hudson Soft developed the first eight Mario Party games.

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Yes, Bomberman has a Kangaroo friend that he rides. His name is Louies. That’s also the name of his species. Hudson Soft unfortunately never made “Louies’ Story” or “Louies’ Island,” though.

Bomberman himself holds the distinction of being the only third party character to appear on every Nintendo handheld and home console prior to the launch of the Wii U and 3DS. The ‘White Bomber’ even had an official crossover with current Smasher and Nintendo icon Wario in 1994’s Wario Blast. In that game Bomberman had to stop the greedy Wario, who was on a search for treasure, from carelessly destroying Planet Bomber. He also traded blows with veteran Smash Bros. guest character Solid Snake in DreamMix TV World Fighters.

The Bomberman design is cartoony but distinct, an attribute he shares with many characters currently in Smash Bros. Something else he shares with much of the Smash cast, including all of Smash for Wii U’s current guest stars, is that his appeal extends beyond video games. Bomberman has appeared in several mangas over the years and is even the star of his own anime!

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FACT: Anime Bomberman is super cute

Reasons for exclusion: In March of 2012, Hudson Soft ceased to exist. The company merged with Konami and all of its intellectual property become part of the Konami brand. The reality of the situation is that Nintendo and Konami aren’t exactly the best of friends at the moment, and that Bomberman is a Konami property. Being a Konami character would also mean that he has to contend with Snake and his veteran status.

Another point of contention is that the IP has been largely dormant outside of the mobile games market for some time now. The last Bomberman to release on a dedicated gaming device was Bomberman Live: Battlefest for Xbox Live in 2010. A new 3DS Bomberman was planned before the Hudson Soft – Konami merger, but the game was unfortunately cancelled.

Music
That is Smash Bros. without music? Here are a few tracks you can look forward to if Bomberman makes it in.

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Smash 4 DLC: The Case for Simon Belmont

Simon Belmont

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Simon, as he looked in the 2013 3DS game Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate. Look at that manly ginger beard!

Character Background: A member of the Belmont clan of vampire hunters, Simon Belmont is a holy warrior with unmatched resolve. It is his duty, as the inheritor of the legendary Vampire Killer whip, to strike down Dracula and his demonic minions whenever they might arise from their slumber. The forces of evil are a powerful lot, but luckily for us Simon has been trained from birth for this fight and is armed to the teeth with an arsenal of divine weaponry, ranging from explosive holy water to cross shaped boomerangs.

Castlevania is a franchise with multiple playable heroes, but Simon is the original and one of the most iconic. He is the hero of the very first title in the series, the Famicom Disk System title Castlevania, as well as the reworked NES/Famicom version of the game and it’s direct sequel, Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. The franchise has had over 30 entries since its 1986 debut, many of them going on to sell millions of copies and be critical darlings (I’m looking at you, Symphony of the Night.) The latest game in the series to appear on Nintendo hardware, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate for the 3DS, featured a reimagined Simon Belmont as a protagonist.

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The many looks of Simon Belmont. The guy goes through a lot of hair dye.

Reasons for inclusion: Castlevania is one of the most iconic NES and SNES franchises. The series has appeared on four Nintendo home consoles and on everyone of the companies hand held systems. The first four titles in the series are often found on “best of” or “top ten” lists for the systems they were made for.

Just look at this list Nintendo Power published in 2008 of the top 20 NES game of all time:

1. The Legend of Zelda
2. Super Mario Bros. 3
3. Mega Man 2
4. Super Mario Bros.
5. Metroid
6. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out
7. Contra
8. Super Mario Bros. 2
9. Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
10. Ninja Gaiden
11. Mega Man 3
12. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
13. DuckTales
14. Castlevania
15. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest

16. Maniac Mansion
17. Bionic Commando
18. Dragon Warrior IV
19. Final Fantasy
20. Kid Icarus

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Castlevania NES cover (Hey look, it’s Conan with a whip!)

Simon himself is the most reoccurring lead character in the series, and has a look that would help him stand apart from the rest of the Smash Bros. fighters. “Barbarian in a leather skirt with a whip” is a pretty unique combination of attributes, after all. His fighting style is also a perfect fit for Smash Bros, since his skills with a whip and the series sub weapon system (which features items such as knives, flames, axes, and boomerangs) could easily translate to a fighting game move list, and has in fact done so twice: first in 2003’s Japan only party fighter DreamMix TV World Fighters, and then in 2008’s Castlevania Judgement.

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He is also the only remaining non-playable cast member of Captain N that originated in a video game. Can you guess which three characters are supposed to be Simon, Pit, and Megaman?

Reasons for exclusion: Konami and Nintendo aren’t exactly the best business partners at the present time. The last games that Konami produced for the 3DS were released in 2013. They have yet to publish a title for the Wii U that is not a virtual console release of an old NES or SNES game. Worse yet, there are currently no known Konami software titles in development for the Wii U. Huh, that seemed really familiar.

Castlevania is also not the premier franchise it once was. Recent titles in the series are lucky to reach a million in sales, while Metal Gear Solid titles routinely break that threshold with ease. Snake himself stands in the way of any other Konami vet as well. He has seniority as a “veteran character” so it is likely we will never see another Konami character if Snake hasn’t made it back in first.

Music

What is Smash Bros. without music? Here are a few tracks you can look forward to if Simon makes it in:

If you enjoyed this piece, check out the case for Snake here!