Wednesday, June 26, 2013

5 Yoshi Characters Who Should Join the Brawl!

Nintendo's decision to break up the Mario franchise from its spin-offs in terms of representation has been fairly controversial, particularly for the Wario and Yoshi series of games (even more controversial [okay, it only pisses me off] is the boring ass decision to make the Wario games represented by a standard "W". Couldn't they have at least used the bucket from Mario & Wario as the series icon, or even just some garlic?). However, there's no denying the importance of these franchises. Wario actively maintains two lines of games (and has featured in several others), and Yoshi himself headlines a number of titles, with two new ones planned for release in coming months. But are there any characters lurking around Yoshi's Island worthy enough to support the dedicated dino in the Super Smash Bros. arena? Let's take a look!

5. Hookbill Koopa

If there's one thing Yoshi's Island gets right (lol, it got everything right) it's bosses. From Salvo the Slime to Sluggy the Unshaven, each boss is a defined and memorable addition to the game. While Hookbill might seem to be the least inspired of these dastardly dingle berries, it can't be said that he hasn't done a fair share of inspiring. Being the first representative in the line which would become the tubbo Koopas, Hookbill's seen a number of offshoots over the years, such as Paper Mario's blind bully, Kent C. Koopa. Hookbill here actually isn't quite himself, as his large size is the result of Kamek's magic. Regardless, he seems quite well practiced with his abilities, and will give even talented Yoshis a run for their money.

4. Raphael the Raven

Arguably the third most important character to come out of Yoshi's Island, Raphael is a brainwashed Raven who combats Yoshi on a miniature moon. Managing to survive exploding into a constellation, Raphael returns in Tetris Attack still under the control of the malevolent Magikoopa, but is finally freed by Yoshi. He then moved to Lavalava Island where he assisted an adult Mario in defeating Lava Piranha and rescuing a Star Spirit. Raphael hasn't been seen in quite a while, but his Ravens show up from time to time in other titles. He had cameos in both Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a trophy and sticker respectively. While I'm not quite sure how Raph would play in a Smash title, his natural ability to stick to surfaces could make him a pretty cool (and potentially overclassed) addition.

3. Shy Guy

While the Shy Guys first appeared as invaders of the dream land known as Subcon, and have continued to prove themselves as pesky pains in Mario's side, they've been shown to be more frequent antagonists of the Yoshis, often making use of more creative contraptions to defeat their famished foe. Shy Guys possess a large variety of skills, ranging from tribal rain dancing and talent with extending spears to more modern mechanical masterworks, such as flying packs and giant mecha. While Smash might typically be the exclusive domain of specific combatants, it isn't against allowing in representatives of significant species. The Yoshis themselves prove this point, as do the Pok√©mon. The significant impact Shy Guy, and other creative and recognizable minion characters, have had on Nintendo's history and success are undeniable. Perhaps this masked menaces are just what's needed to give the little guy a fighting chance.

2. Kamek

If Yoshi were to have a primary antagonist, it would be Kamek, the first of the Magikoopa and Bowser's personal nanny. Before the Koopa Kingdom reached all across the Dark Lands, Kamek here was their leader, and he raised the fierce king all by his lonesome. Of course, doing so required eliminating the competition, and so it was that Kamek hunted for the infant Mario Bros.. Kamek is a powerful sorcerer capable of altering world environments and granting vast power to his minions, among numerous other things. Even in more recent years the old timer has shown himself to be a more than capable opponent, confronting the adult Mario and Luigi and even Princess Peach in her lone solo outing. He's probably the most significant character to come out of the Yoshi's Island franchise, and it would be a serious shame not to at least consider him for a second egg rep.

1. Star Children

Yoshi's Island DS introduced us to the Star Children... actually, we already knew them, but it showed us just how special they are! Peach, Luigi, Mario, Donkey Kong, Wario, Bowser, and Yoshi (not shown. The Star Child Yoshi is actually the Yoshi of Yoshi Story and Super Mario World fame, while the Yoshi protagonist of Yoshi's Island, Yoshi's Island DS, and Yoshi Touch & Go could have become the village elder from Paper Mario) were all destined for greatness. Each one has a unique ability, and most of them have played roles in other Mario titles, such as sports spin-offs or RPGs. I kind of lied when I said that Kamek was the most important character to come out of the franchise, because it could easily be argued that these youths are the true stars... but we technically already knew about them. Either way, the bottle-fed brats have been working their way into the hearts of fans ever since Baby Mario made his first return alongside his adult counterpart in the Nintendo 64's Mario Tennis. From that time on, they've proven themselves as bizarrely distinct characters. I can think of a few really cool ways to utilize them as well, although all tend to involve the concept of a revolving door of play styles, a gimmick which has been utilized twice already. Still, if there's one thing Smash has taught us, it's that anything is possible.

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