Now creator Masahiro Sakurai, his team and Namco Bandai return to the development table to produce not one, but two brand new titles - one for Wii U and the other for Nintendo 3DS. Brawl was practically the near-complete package, including a vast range of content on the disc, but there's still potential to expand certain areas and introduce new features for both consoles.
Cubed3's Jorge, Adam and Liam team-up to explore twenty potential ideas for the new Super Smash Bros. titles with accompanying mock-up designs.
All images are mock-up/example images and not official Super Smash Bros. screenshots.
1) Less Clones and More Unique Characters
Fox McCloud and Falco Lombardi, Mario and Dr. Mario, Marth and Roy, as well as Ganondorf and Captain Falcon, are all prime examples of this.
Now, whilst easy for developers to do this and, thus, a quick and simple way of keeping fans happy by shoving in all manner of other characters, they lose their appeal after a short time. Why not offer these 'clones' as Free DLC instead, focusing more on fresh characters with specific movesets to appeal to a wider audience?
Surely giving the option of picking up extra characters that are a little similar to others is a better choice than forcing them upon players from the start. Adam
2) Faster pace with Melee-esque Physics
Likewise the slide mechanic and certain falling/physics issued knocked Brawl off from assimilating perfection. The new Super Smash Bros. games are already said to sit firmly between Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl, to accommodate both veterans and newer players. Happy days! Jorge
3) Stage Editor with Advanced Options
To improve on the stage editor found in its predecessor, Sakurai and his team should implement a simple "drag and drop" mechanic on the Wii U GamePad's touchscreen and maybe even make it playable on the fly by controlling the character with another controller or the GamePad's dual analogue and face buttons.
Another improvement over the editor found in Brawl would be to have fewer limitations. No more "you cannot place this block there, because another object is in the way" restriction and a wider variety of different objects for the player to use. As well as having a lot more generic objects of different shapes and sizes, the team should also include objects with themes from different Nintendo games, give the player the option to make more dynamic/ever-changing stages and perhaps even the ability to place different enemies, such as Goomba and Koopas as obstacles.
On top of all this, a greater variety of themes should also be included, allowing players to freely create their own stages, without them looking generic and uninspiring. A lot of players would love to recreate various scenes from other games, so why not let them do just that? Liam
4) Improved Online Stability and Options
To improve the overall stability of the online in the upcoming Smash Bros. installments, Sakurai should take what was learnt from Kid Icarus: Uprising 3DS and apply that to the 3DS version of Smash Bros.. As for the Wii U version, Namco have had some experience with Tekken Tag Tournament 2, which has a pretty reliable online mode.
As well as improving the reliability of facing off against others online, players should also be able to fight against other people on custom landscapes when playing online. This could be possible by simply transferring the stage data to the other player(s) before the match starts. Liam
5) Online Communities and Tournaments
Nintendo can also hold their own tournaments on regular occasions, which will award players with titles/trophies when placed among the top three participants. These awards can then be assigned to the player's unique profile card, which displays information such as wins/losses, favourite character, etc. Liam
6) Live Online Spectator Mode
A Live Spectator Mode would expand on that by allowing the community to watch tournaments and casual fights as they happen, again placing bets on the winner. An API that would allow connectivity to video sites like YouTube and Twitch.tv would be an added bonus. Jorge
7) Super Smash Bros. Community Sharing
With Nintendo's introduction of the brilliant social network, Miiverse; this archaic way of sharing is a thing of the past. Players should have the ability to post stages, replays, screenshots and more to the official Super Smash Bros. Miiverse community. Other users of Miiverse will then be able to "Yeah" these posts, which will affect their rating and popularity in a separate section of the game, which could be called "Smash Database". It would be the main home of user created stages, replays and screenshots. From here, players will have the ability to search through the different categories to find exactly what they're looking for. Liam
8) Weekly Classic Challenges
Each of these challenges will have their own leaderboard with online support, so players can fight their way into the top ranks by decreasing the amount of time that challenge took to complete. When players get a score they're proud of, they can also post it to Miiverse, so they can brag about it to the whole world. Liam
9) Weekly Challenges with Leaderboards
Well, yes, they are indeed viable options, yet that generally leads to people hammering the game over a short period, unlocking every aspect and then moving onto the next title that tickles their fancy.
Enticing people back time and time again with something brand new is imperative. The Professor Layton games benefited from having new puzzles to download, thus drawing people back repeatedly, and special challenges in the Smash Bros. world would be exactly the same, especially with the added incentive of bragging rights via online score boards to show who truly is the best fighter over a long period of time!
Times and scores for challenges like the multi-man, home-run and records for the single player and "Break the Targets" games would certainly encourage replayability, especially if able to filter though individual communities and friends lists. Adam
10) Character Creator and Mii Support
Nintendo haven't been too adverse in slipping in character creation by the on-board Mii avatars, especially in Mario Kart, so this would be the logical next step in expanding the Mii universe by including these custom faces in the next game. The hardest part would likely be how to transform these big-eyed, odd looking folk into usable fighters that could stack up against the likes of Mario, Link and Samus. It would be interesting to see an option to select a pre-defined moveset, i.e. using an existing character as a template. It would mean scaling up or down the Mii in size to accommodate the hit-boxes for these characters, however.
The easiest approach perhaps would be for the Super Smash Bros. team to develop a handful of Mii movesets as classes. For example a "fighter" class that handles like Mario, with punches and kicks, or a "swordsman" option or those wanting to wield a weapon like Link.
Whatever the case, Super Smash Bros. character customisation is a must, but the balance must be there between custom and regular. Jorge
11) Five Player Co-operative and Counter-Operative Adventure
Whilst we know that the story feature will differ from the "Subspace Emissary" from Brawl, it would be fantastic to play through more themed levels from the various different franchises on offer. In Brawl, players were treated to a more storyline driven approach with levels that were fairly generic in design. In Melee, there wasn't an overarching plot, but levels that were more franchise driven and nostalgic in nature. For the upcoming Super Smash Bros. games why not blend the two into the ultimate, franchise-heavy story? There could still be cross-overs like we'd never seen before, by including more enemies and bosses from the vast Nintendo universe.
Four players on screen at one time has been seen in games like New Super Mario Bros. and Rayman Legends, so it is certainly within the realms of possibility. Having multiple routes designed for the number of current players would also spice up the variety too - for example using four players to unlock a specific corridor by standing on four switches simultaneously. What about the GamePad? Well, the controller could provide a fifth character as an assist, helping out with hordes of enemies or puzzles as in New Super Mario Bros U. How about even as a counter-operative controller? The fifth player could take control of each one of the enemies, even the boss, for something truly challenging and unique each time. Jorge
12) Tag Battle Mode
Whether or not the swap would reset the damage already taken, like in Tekken Tag Tournament or Marvel vs Capcom, could possibly be an extra option. Jorge
13) Cross-Platform Play using Nintendo 3DS as Controllers
The next logical step? Cross-play for the new Super Smash Bros., either by allowing multiplayer elements across both systems, such as special modes where seeing your own screen alone is beneficial, or simply offering the 3DS as an alternative controller.
Another possibility would be to allow for gameplay to be passed across from the Wii U version to Nintendo 3DS. This idea has been knocked somewhat on the head by Sakurai-san, but if enough people request it, perhaps by the time the games launch, players will able to transfer play from the Wii U to the 3DS and take the action on the road. Adam
14) Assist Trophies/Pokémon Controlled by GamePad Player
However how about having a fifth player stepping into the ring as something a little different, controlling assist trophies and Pokémon in a specially designated mode? It would mix up the battles somewhat, allowing for a less predictable approach to both Pokémon and assist trophies, and could provide a stepping stone for a beginner player with less risks involved. Jorge
15) Downloadable content packs
New stages to battle on? Special characters to download? Challenges, new modes, even new music for a fresh aural treat. There are many different ways of keeping players entertained, as witnessed with the Free-2-Play games that have been increasingly popular over the past few years. - Adam
16) Cross Platform Free DLC Support
How this will be achievable at this moment in time isn't exactly clear, but hopefully by the time of this game's release, Nintendo will have enabled the ability to use your Nintendo Network ID on both Wii U and 3DS, and therefore enabling the downloadable content on both versions. Liam
17) Upload Replay Videos to YouTube, Miiverse, etc.
Even if it was just a case of wanting to keep a nice memory of a battle amongst friends, the possibility to share with others would be a fantastic addition. Adam
18) Episodic story DLC updates
More bosses, or changes in some of the existing scenarios would be excellent additions or a form of "Master Quest" pack, where the on-disc levels would be remixed for the more experienced player. Jorge
19) Traditional Mode
Could you imagine a bonus mode where 2D versions of everyone's favourite characters got the chance to fight in the usual beat 'em-up fashion? Visions of the potential Capcom Vs. Nintendo idea from a few years back spring to mind. Heaven! Adam