Okay, there has been a lot of discussion over the past two weeks regarding the surprise – but inevitable – announcement of Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo Switch. Many have wondered if this new installment is just that, a new game or a Wii U/3DS enhanced port. Read on as to why this is most certainly a new game, what I’d like for game modes, and who WILL (and will NEVER) be a part of the newest roster of Super Smash Bros. Switch.
Pre-order Super Smash Bros. (2018) now!
This is a NEW Game
I, not unlike myriad others, fervently study each announcement trailer and any breadcrumbs that “Daddy” Masahiro Sakurai (creator of the Smash Series), gifts upon the internet like a homeless man scouring through the trash for his next bite. (Sorry, I just saw a homeless man on the way to write this.) Naturally, this causes me to speculate ad nauseam and post my thoughts via any form of the written word I wield at that moment in time. Now, you have likely heard some of these arguments, but I’m here to tell you now, that Super Smash Bros. (2018) is an original game.
Let’s begin with that title. Super Smash Bros. has been officially listed as a tentative title. That means that its final name has not been decided. Normally, in the case of ports, the game announcement always comes with a final title, like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, for example.
Just take a look at the debut trailer for that game:
Next, the title at the bottom of the Super Smash Bros. (2018) reveal trailer gave another clue. No, I’m not talking about “Original Game: © Nintendo / HAL Laboratory, Inc.”
I’m talking about this:
If this new Smash was a port, the copyright would read like this:
Note the copyright spans the original year of release up until the year of re-release. Yes, again, not a new piece of information for some of you. That’s fine, here’s my final argument: Sakurai wouldn’t let a Smash Port happen if he was attached, and as of a few days after the March 8th Direct, we found out that he was indeed working on the game.
Sakurai had stated before when Nintendo revealed that there would be a new iteration on the Wii (then known as The Revolution) during E3 2005, that he had yet been asked to work on the game at that moment. Satoru Iwata, then President of Nintendo (and Sakurai’s long-time friend), then approached him to query if he would be interested in directing the new game. Nintendo was going to make a game either way and if Sakurai refused, they would have simply made a Melee port.  Sakurai wouldn’t let that happen, and so, he signed on to direct.
He makes every game as if it’s the last Smash Bros. ever to be released, and subsequently crams every character, stage, reference, and little detail realistically possible within the development timeframe. And since he’s been working on this iteration secretly for years, he will do the same, and not let this game feel like a half-step.
Clearly, Sakurai has a lot of pull regarding creative control over the Super Smash Bros. game series (thankfully, Nintendo doesn’t interfere too often), and this is evident in his decision to nix a Subspace Emissary-type mode for Smash for Wii U and 3DS.
But which modes should make an appearance in the brand new installment of Smash for Switch? Let’s start with the aforementioned story mode.
I was maybe one of the only people who thoroughly enjoyed the Subspace Emissary from the get-go. Sure, it was dumb at times, and a pain in the ass at others, but the mode gave my years of love for crossovers the bliss it had yearned for since the Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue Anti-Drug PSA from the early 90s.
I was overjoyed by the Emissary cutscenes that incorporated the characters’ personalities into their dialogue-less interactions. It was akin to the stories I would craft as I explained crossovers with my action figures as a kid. What, how did Superman infiltrate the Marvel Universe?!
When it comes to the overall mindset of the Subspace Emissary, the rose-colored glasses are thick for many of those fans who detested the campaign. Nevertheless, I expect a similar mode in Super Smash Bros. (2018), albeit one not as robust. My guess is one that sits comfortably in the middle of Subspace and Melee’s Adventure Mode regarding features and length. But again, Sakurai will push himself to a painful level to deliver an exceptional game, and this fact worries me that our 2018 release window will disappear.
My hope for new gaming modes may have been mentioned elsewhere online before, and at any rate, I hope they can come to fruition. Andre from Gamexplain mentioned this first one:
–Multi-character stock matches. Much like the millions who confusedly tried Smash Tour, I, for one, couldn’t stand to play it for more than a few sets. I had hoped it would get better over time but to no avail.
What did stand out, was the final battle, where you would fight with whatever fighters you had collected during the set amount of turns. This idea would be a fantastic mode to allow players the opportunity to change up their strategy, and choose multiple characters from the selection screen and have a “team” of fighters rather than a lone combatant. I would love to play a three-stock match with Mr. Game & Watch, Lucas, and Robin against some unexpecting challenger. Sign me up!
–Boss Battles Mode was an interesting concept, to fight all of the bosses in the Subspace Emissary in a row, but I had discovered a way to make it much more effective. What if, and hear me out, you could choose to play as that boss against one to seven other people? Imagine, this could give us a chance to finally play as Ridley in a match or Giga Bowser & Beast Ganon for more than a few seconds. I, personally, would love the challenge of taking on a boss that was controlled by my closest friends. The sense of accomplishment would be addicting.
–I made dozens of stages in Brawl’s create-a-stage mode, and then, Wii U had a stage creator that somehow made the basic process worse. Neither version was of quality, but man did Wii U’s stage creator drop the ball! We need a comprehensive and advanced stage creator so we can recreate the stages we’ll bitch about not returning (*AHEM* Saffron City*).
–And while this may not be a mode per se, I would like it if we could toggle stage hazard characters like the infuriating Yellow Devil or Metalface so we could enjoy the stages for what they are, and not ignore them for who they contain.
Speaking of who Smash contains…
Goku Will NOT be in this (or any) Smash Game
There is one key element to the Super Smash Bros. series that holds true to this very day: it is a celebration of all things video games. From the characters, the items, the stages, the music, all the way to the trophies; Smash is about nostalgia and devotion to video games. Period. This is why the newest game (or any future installment for that matter) will NEVER feature Goku.
During the development of Brawl, Sakurai discussed the potential roster and the characters that millions of fans requested, he made a caveat that each additional fighter had to be video game-centric.  Therefore, any animated character would be exempt from inclusion as they originated outside of the video game medium.
At least with the Cartoon All-Stars, they were all featured in zeitgeist children’s programming and adapted their look to make the characters visually similar.
See, I told you that the Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue was foreshadowing!
Another issue that would emerge if Goku was somehow allowed to fight is that his addition would rip open Pandora’s Box and people would clamor for other non-video game characters like Shrek, Spongebob, Home Depot, and Corey Baxter. And I don’t want to live in a world where ANY of those characters exist in Smash.
But who WILL be in Super Smash Bros. (2018)?
The Super Smash Bros. (2018) Roster
No discussion of Super Smash Bros. would be complete without a prediction of the final roster. So without further adieu, here is my list of all of the roster (not including DLC).
The Mario Universe== Mario, Odyssey Mario, Luigi, Peach, Rosalina & Luma, Bowser, Yoshi, Bowser Jr., Captain Toad== 
The Donkey Kong Universe== Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, King K. Rool== 
The Single-Character Representatives== Captain Falcon, Little Mac, Wario, Mr. Game & Watch, R.O.B., Duck Hunt, Ice Climbers, Wii Fit Trainer, Villager, Olimar (with alternate skins of Alph)==  (Sadly, no 9-Volt… again)
The Legend of Zelda Universe== Link, BotW Link, Zelda, Sheik, Ganondorf== 
The Kid Icarus Universe == Pit, Palutena== 
The Kirby Universe== Kirby, King Dedede, Metaknight== 
The Fire Emblem Universe== Marth, Robin, Ike, New Character for New Game, Corrin== 
The Starfox Universe== Fox, Falco== [2 Yup, that’s it]
The Pokemon Universe== Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Charizard, Mewtwo, Greninja, Lucario, New Pokemon from the new game(s)== 
The EarthBound Universe== Ness, Lucas== 
The Metroid Universe== Samus, Zero Suit Samus== 
The Xenoblade Chronicles Universe== Shulk, Rex== 
The Splatoon Universe== Inkling Boy/Girl (One slot, split like Villager: four male costumes, four female)== 
The ARMS Universe== Eight characters from ARMS (One slot with eight skins a lá Bowser Jr.)== 
The 3rd Party Characters== Sonic, Pac-Man, Mega Man, Crash, Shovel Knight, Rabbids, Bayonetta, Banjo-Kazooie== 
CUT– Dr. Mario, Lucina, Roy, Toon Link, Dark Pit. (They can all be skins if need be), Miis, Cloud.
So there you have it. A total of 64 characters. That’s all, but I hope for more! Do you agree with my list? Of course, you don’t! Tell me what I got incorrect in the comments below!
Happy Smashing! Here’s hoping for a 2018 release!
 Sakurai on Brawl’s Announcement, Source Gaming, May 2nd, 2015. Translated from Sakurai’s book, Think About the Video Games, 2005.
 Sakurai on 3rd Party Characters, Source Gaming, October 5th, 2015. Translated by Source Gaming Lead Designer, Nirbion.