Episode 438: The Unspoken Weakness of the New Smash Bros. Copycats


I would say I’m a fighting game fan. I know my way around a few games, mainly the Street Fighter series but I have dabbled in other fighters like Mortal Kombat, Guilty Gear, Tekken and many more. I would consider them the more “traditional” fighters. However, I just could never get into the “platformer” fighters. I don’t really know if there’s a proper term for them but all you need to know these are the fighting games which look and feel like one of Nintendo’s greatest hits, Super Smash Bros. Yeah, the ones where you have to smash your opponent off the screen several times in order to win.

I have a great respect for Super Smash Bros. and the players who really grind them as I do with every one who gets incredibly good at any fighting game, though. So it is kind of sad that it’s possible Super Smash Bros. Ultimate may be the final game in the series, at least for a long while. Honestly, I think it would be good to end in on this super high note. At the very least, let producer Masahiro Sakurai take a break to actually refresh and recharge before making another game! He deserves the rest!

With Smash Bros. potentially taking a long sabbatical, this does leave the door wide open for another “platform” fighter to swoop in and try to take its place. Sure, there are games like Brawlhalla and Rivals of Aether already. None of them, though, have the name recognition of the characters you see from Nintendo’s flagship fighter. Brawlhalla may have WWE Superstars and the characters from Kung Fu Panda but they certainly don’t have really notable characters like Mario, Samus, Donkey Kong and many more, do they?

This just means companies with deep pockets and even deeper licensed characters have the potential to create their own version of Super Smash Bros., so to speak. We already see the beginnings of companies trying to climb to the top. Nickelodeon just released Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, a “platform” fighter starring your favorite Nicktoons like Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick Starfish from Spongebob Squarepants, Aang and Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender and even Leonardo and April O’Neil from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Not to be outdone, Warner Bros. decided to fire back and develop their own version of the “platform” fighter. The game, named MultiVersus, is also going to collect a lot of their catalog of well-known characters and it’s looking to be a very diverse roster. During the announcement, Warner Bros. showed off MultiVersus with DC Comics characters such as Batman and Superman duking it out with Bugs Bunny from the Looney Tunes. The roster is also going to include Arya Stark from Game of Thrones, Finn the Human and Jake the Dog from Adventure Time and, possibly the greatest fighting game meme of all time, Shaggy from Scooby-Doo!

Both Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl and Warner Bros. MultiVersus appear to have a very limited roster right now. However, with a significant catalog of IPs under their belts, you can bet both games will be bolstering their rosters for years to come. If the games become hits, you can expect to see Nicktoons like Zuko, Rocko and the Fairly Oddparents join the fight for All-Star Brawl. Warner Bros. has more IPs so it’s possible Beast Boy from Teen Titans Go!, Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, Aragon from the Lord of the Rings movies and Hermione from the Harry Potter films can be brought in. Heck, you might even see Pennywise the Clown from IT just because they can!

While this might sound like there are so many possible characters both companies can draw from, it still oddly fails in comparison with what Nintendo did with the Smash Bros. series. Super Smash Bros. already had a lot of characters Nintendo could easily draw from because they’ve been making games for so many years. However, Nintendo went above and beyond than just relying on their already heavy roster of well known licensed characters. They also decided to do the unthinkable and talk to other gaming companies to license their video game characters to appear in Super Smash Bros!

Super Smash Bros. was already an incredible game when it just used Nintendo’s own licensed characters. However, adding the likes of Cloud Strife, Bayonetta, Solid Snake, Sonic the Hedgehog, Ryu, Kazuya, Pac-Man, Mega Man and Sora? That just put things over the top! Even if you didn’t care for the Nintendo brawler before, if your favorite character from your favorite game was all of a sudden included, I bet that bit of news caught your attention! What makes it even great is that none of them really felt out of place! These non-Nintendo licensed character kept some of the mechanics from their games but they still fit well with the Super Smash Bros. roster.

I just don’t see this happening with Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl and MultiVersus. I don’t think it’s possible Nickelodeon and Warner Bros. going out of their way to look around for “guest” characters to bolster their ranks. I know both companies can draw heavily from all of the IPs they own but that simply means they’re only going to be catering to the fans of their IPs. This does spell doom for Nickelodeon as they hold the more “kid friendly” brands so that will immediately alienate the gamers who “grew out of watching kiddie cartoons.” MultiVersus will definitely fare better when it comes to adding characters as there are already a ton of emissions in the games lineup. I still don’t see guys like Looney Tunes’s Daffy Duck, Adventure Time’s Marceline The Vampire Queen, Rick and Morty’s Rick Sanchez and Hanna Barbera’s Yogi Bear. Heck, I would half expect Mike Tyson from Mike Tyson’s Mysteries to pop up in the game! If they were smart, they’d do it!

While it would be kind of exciting to see both Nickelodeon and Warner Bros. announce new characters for All-Star Brawl and MultiVersus in the future, I don’t think it’ll be as exciting as the ones Nintendo did for Super Smash Bros. There was something incredibly magical about seeing which new video game character, Nintendo or otherwise, appear to become a new foe.

With that being said, I do see Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl fizzling out pretty quickly as the characters will only excite Nickelodeon fans. MultiVersus will have a better standing because of how many licensed characters Warner Bros. can pull in. However, those announcements will lack the hype of seeing someone totally unexpected like Sora showing up in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Nintendo managed to get everyone hype for their game because we were all hyped with who could possibly be joining. I mean, Sephiroth? Really?

I don’t think even Mike Tyson from Mike Tyson’s Mysteries can garner that level of excitement.


Do you think Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl and Warner Bros. MultiVersus has a chance of getting to the level of Super Smash Bros.? Let me know in the comments section below!


2 thoughts on “Episode 438: The Unspoken Weakness of the New Smash Bros. Copycats

  1. Hard to see there being Smash. I feel like it’s unfair because everyone is so behind that people already complain about not enough people in Smash, all these games is in their first edition and probably should limit it to a Melee sized roster and focus on game performance and mechanics, start like smash work on a fighting game first and then find the right characters to make it interesting.

    Smash is just so detail oriented that any competitor is going to feel like it is missing something, alt costume, voice acting, 80+ roster, move depth, competitive community. I think both alternatives did some right, Nick has a Melee feel to it, and is a simple enough attempt, and Multiversus at least is introducing unique things like team-combos and maybe leveling up.

    Yeah, I’m with you I would love to see Mike Tyson that’s an excellent choice and I’m glad to see someone shout out the gem of a show. Nothing is going to have the hype behind it, but Nintendo online leaves a lot to be desired so addressing complaints and concentrating on good gameplay it can certainly succeed but I don’t think anyone is putting in a fraction of the passion Sakurai puts in with a re-skin of Slap City or a beefed up mobile game. Still I hope these games do well, I would love some fun alternative fighters.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s