Monday, March 25, 2013

On the Topic of Clones in Super Smash Bros.

I'm going to go against the grain here, as I do on most things, by coming right out and saying it: I like clone characters. Now, I don't really have a fondness for perfect clones, and Brawl did a really great job of taking the Melee clones and making them more unique characters. To be totally honest, though, I really don't mind clones who utilize the same moves as other characters with changes in gameplay and effects that make them feel unique enough. Gannondorf, for example, originally ripped off Captain Falcon completely, but the weight and timing of the character and his attacks made playing as him a totally different experience. I don't particularly mind that. In fact, I encourage gameplay-tweaked clones if their inclusion will bolster the roster and longevity of the game without taking too much time away from the development of newer characters. If Raichu showed up as a heavier, stronger Pikachu, I'd be okay with it. Sure, more could be done with the character, but we'd have freakin' Raichu.

Eluding desperate fans since 1999.
However, I'm not entirely against Perfect Clones either. I would prefer it if they did not take up any spaces on the select screen, and Nintendo has largely been good about giving us winks and nudges with the costumes for some characters, as I talked about here. I'd encourage this kind of easter egg character, although with some additional changes. I think the Tekken franchise has handled perfect clones really well, and I'd like to Super Smash Bros. take a similar approach. Go all the way with the character models, record some new voices and announcer quotes, and change the display name. Maybe also give them a set of trophies for completing the Classic and Adventure Modes, and I think we'd be good. I would definitely love to see more Perfect Clones show up in that nature, being characters hidden within the costume set for more prominent characters.

Ultimately what I'm getting at are a few simple changes to things which could really expand a game a lot more and make it feel like a much more expansive experience. Even if Daisy plays exactly like Peach, just having her name and voice replacing the typical fare would break it up enough for me. And that's something I'd really like to see in the next Super Smash Bros. entry.

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