Is this really the end of Super Smash Bros?

So Sora really did get added to Super Smash Bros. didn’t he? Even as someone who didn’t particularly want him in the game, the Kingdom Hearts fan inside of me did manage to come through and get excited as the realisation that Sora would be playable hit me.

“Wait? You played Kingdom Hearts and yet you didn’t want Sora in the game?!” I hear you say. Yep — we exist. What can I say? Kingdom Hearts 3 did things to me and that massively changed my opinion? 

Either way, Sora is in the game and his inclusion officially marks the “end” of Super Smash Bros Ultimate — Sakurai and his team may finally rest… Or can they?

Is This Really the End of Smash Bros?

Is this really the end?

Don’t get me wrong here, I want Sakurai to rest just as much as the next guy. Lord knows the man went above and beyond as far as I’m concerned — the game has Cloud, Joker, Hero, Sephiroth, Pyra and Mythra, and more. I was so satisfied with everything that Ultimate gave us, I didn’t really care who got added to the game after the Xenoblade waifus — I just wanted other people to be as happy as I was. 

I doubt I’m alone in thinking that this might not be the complete end for Smash — at the very least, I can definitely see a version upgrade coming in the future that includes all of the DLC fighters in some kind of “Super Smash Bros Ultimate Definitive Edition” or what have you.

Including all of the DLC fighters and Echo Fighters, the roster of Smash Ultimate is currently sitting at 89. Being so close to 100 also gets me thinking that this might not be the end — and that Sakurai may just want to hit that insane milestone. 

Lastly, there is Sakurai himself and his whole mentality when it comes to the Smash Bros franchise — can anyone else do what he has done? There was an interview between Sakurai and the face of Tekken, Katsuhiro Harada where the two talked about numerous different topics, including Smash. Sakurai mentions that as long as there is a demand for the product he makes and that he can still work, he will continue — let’s hope he is making sure to take his health into consideration when he mentions he can “still work”!

Sora opened the door…

What do I mean by this? Well, Sora was considered by many, myself included, as being one of those impossible characters to get in the game mainly because of the complicated situation regarding who owns the characters. Tetsuya Nomura of Final Fantasy fame is the one who created the character, but Kingdom Hearts is a game developed in partnership with Disney — so it’s muddy and unclear as to exactly who gets the final say in a character like Sora being added. 

However, his inclusion proved a lot of us wrong, and at the same time opened up an entirely new possibility for the character being included in a later version of Smash Ultimate or a hypothetical next game in the series, should that ever be a thing. Could you imagine a future in which characters you thought were completely impossible to have included in Smash are being added? Maybe you Goku fans may truly see that happen one day, who knows. (Gimme my Atelier rep and I’ll be happy – Ed.) 

The rise of Smash-style games

All blissfully optimistic stuff aside, this is what I feel will be the biggest player in keeping the Smash Bros series going moving forward — competition. There are quite a few relatively small-scale rivals around at the moment, including Rivals of Aether, Brawlhalla and Slap City. 

However, the advent of higher-profile games like Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl and the rumoured Warner Brothers Smash-style game that is supposedly in the works could set a fire underneath the Sakurai and his team — to prove he and his team are the best at making these games. (Judging by the tepid reception Nickelodeon got, I don’t think he’s got much to worry about – Ed.) As good as games such as Rivals of Aether are, they don’t have the appeal of Smash, the recognisable characters of our youths, or the stars of our current favorite games — and this is Smash’s biggest strength. 

If Nick All-Stars and Warner Brothers Smash are just the beginning of a potential onslaught of Smash-style fighting games, then who knows what could happen. I can already imagine just how popular and well a game like Shonen Jump Smash would sell. Even more so how incredibly well a game like a Marvel Universe Smash-style game would do. 

Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros has completely dominated its specific genre for decades, and I think that some of the new competition that may well be coming will be of great benefit to us as players — competition is a good thing. A large part of me is writing this in the hope that Smash never truly ends — to me, that game is something completely unreal and magical, and a world without Smash games just seems a bit rubbish.

On the other hand, if Smash really is over and Sakurai is well and truly done with the series, I will happily swallow that bitter pill — but I can still hope for now.

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Conor Evans
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