As we close in on the release of the newest Smash Bros. game, I thought it might be prudent to reflect on the current cast of characters as we know them. The list isn’t final, but it’s grown considerably since Nintendo officially announced the game some 35 years ago. There have been a few roundly praised additions along with a couple head-scratchers. Maybe you’re still waiting on one of your mains to make their entrance. Let’s talk it out. Also, just because a character is in the bad section doesn’t necessarily mean I think they’re bad characters or that they shouldn’t be in the game. This is an opinion piece. Remember that, and we can all play nice.

The Good



Making his first appearance in Brawl, Ike seemed to be the go-to for people who preferred spamming B attacks over genuine strategy. However, he can be effective if his range and power are utilized properly. All in all, I’d say Ike was easy to pick up and difficult to master. It also looks like he’s been working out, as he’s back with thicker armor and a more threatening stature.



Here’s an interesting choice. We now have a lone Charizard in lieu of the old team. I’m glad for this, because I hated playing against Squirtle. What a pest. One of the most maligned aspects of the Pokemon Trainer from Brawl was the action of changing Pokemon mid-battle. It was a challenging character to main because your attacks got weaker as time went on if you tried to play the same Pokemon for too long during the match. You didn’t always have an opportune time to change Pokemon, only hope your opponent didn’t get a chance to punish you. Playing as the Pokemon Trainer in Brawl often ended with your opponent smashing you off the stage following the transition due to the lack of any trailing invincibility frames.



They’ve been split up, as have most of the other characters that had alter-egos in the past. Sheik was dominant in Melee and nerfed entirely in Brawl. I’ve only occasionally used Zelda in any case, and it was usually when I felt like being annoying and sending that guidable energy bomb attack thingamajig at everyone repeatedly.

Zero Suit Samus


She was handled poorly in Brawl. You had to know the button to hold down at the start of the game or employ Samus’ Smash ball attack to use her. Her high-heeled shoes caused some controversy among feminists and internet white knights, but her return is welcome. Who fights in shoes like that? I don’t know. I don’t know of a woman who can levitate at will and pull vegetables the size of a human head out of the ground either, but Peach does just fine.

King Dedede


There are few more terrifying moments that stand out from Brawl then realizing that Dedede is approaching with a fully charged hammer attack. A hell hammer. Satan’s gavel. Seriously. It gets even worse when fellow Multitoad founder Luke VanTrieste lands one of these attacks and cackles so loudly that he wakes the dead. Dedede was another above average performer, albeit hard to master.



Marth was dominant in both Melee and Brawl. He’s my most commonly played main, and he’s the best. You’ll find me  playing online as Marth most often when the new game drops. Playing with the edge of your sword was important as Marth. He’s another character that is very difficult to face in the hands of someone who knows how to take advantage of that. Marth’s annoying counter move saying, “Saseru mono ka” translates to “Like I would let you.” In the words of Ignignokt from Aqua Teen Hunger Force: “Time for a pride obliterating bitch slap.”






Oh boy, there’s nothing better than the one-two punch of the charged shot/homing missile combo when I’m in a trolling mood. You may dodge the missile, but the charged shot is coming in hot behind it. Samus was previously hampered by her lack of high-knockback move options. Aside from the always satisfying down-tilt A attack, she didn’t have a wide variety of ways to finish an opponent.



Bowser was always a favorite of mine because of his entertaining moveset. If I’m able to grab my opponent and initiate his awkward belly splash, chances are I’m going to pause the game to take a screen grab to immortalize the moment. Also the side-B special attack that usually ends in mutual death is perfect.



Kirby was a member of the original twelve, and he (she? I don’t know what the hell its gender is) has always had a very distinctive moveset. Kirby was originally one of the most effective characters, but he sucked in Melee and was so-so in Brawl. Kirby seems to be a favorite of newbies and casual players due to the effectiveness of his special moves and his recoverability.



Deadly in the original game and in Melee, but only slightly above average in Brawl, Fox is one of Nintendo’s most iconic and notorious characters.  If his clone character Falco doesn’t also return, mark my words, I WILL stamp my feet like a damn angry child.

Mega Man


There are a lot of people who criticize Capcom for fumbling the Mega Man IP, or rather, doing absolutely nothing of merit with it in the last several years. Everyone that I know of, including myself, is excited about this addition. This one was definitely a no-brainer and much welcomed.

Little Mac


Some are already concerned that Little Mac will throw off the balance of power in the new game. Sakurai has talked about the unique aspects of this character and essentially he’s really hard to beat hand-to-hand on the ground, but he’s got terrible recovering abilities and he’s a joke in the air.  Still, much like Mega Man, it seems like another no-brainer to add him to the cast.


The Bad



Yoshi’s standing tall this time. Literally (and it’s kind of weird). However, it could make for a more effective fighting style, and that’s much needed at this point. Yoshi has always been a lower tier kind of character. You may have thought you wanted to play as Yoshi in the past. Then you would give it a shot, and you’d hate it because Yoshi sucks in these games.

Diddy Kong


Random tripping may be gone, but if Diddy Kong has anything to say about it you’ll still be occasionally falling on your butt. That little prick is back to shoot peanuts in your eye and jet pack his stupid ass all over the map. Monkeys are terrifying.

Donkey Kong


This knuckle dragging oaf returns to haunt your dreams and act like a super cool dude in the process. Those taunts… And what is up with that charged punch special attack he’s brought with him in every game? Look, you don’t punch harder after you’ve spun your arm around a bunch of times. I know because I’ve tried. Monkeys are terrifying.



Mewtwo’s replacement in Brawl (although he’s got a new character that appears to be responsible for his latest snub in this game), Lucario was of above-average, although I never found him particularly fun to play. His small twist was that his attacks became more effective at higher damage percentages. Well, he’s back, and I don’t really care to be honest.



Another common weapon of choice among N00BS alike, Sonic made his first appearance in Brawl and returns this year. Hopefully his move set is much less… infuriating.

Toon Link/Link


Now I know that I’m lumping the two of them together and they’ve always been entirely separate playable characters. However, normal Link was neutered and boring in Melee and Brawl, and Toon Link is essentially a clone with some annoying dissimilarities. All of us are holding out hope that the latest Smash is much more balanced than it was in the past. That would mean both Links are due for an overhaul because they’re weak as of right now.



“Ohhh did I win?” Shut it, Peach.



In a surprising turn of events, Nintendo decided to bring Mario back for this one (Insert laugh here). Mario has always been fairly easy to pick up and play as, but he’s unremarkable. He’s got poor finishing moves and a glaring reach disadvantage. Of particular concern, in my opinion, is that he’s just never been all that fun to play as, and that’s a shame.



If Pikachu is your main, I don’t want to be your friend.



WHY? WHY is this fool back? Pit took the prize for most annoying character of all time last year when he joined us in Brawl. The all-consuming rage I feel when he deflects a projectile with his stupid shield while shouting “NICE TRY!”… it puts even the most irritating superhero quip to shame. In the hands of a skilled opponent, his guidable arrow shots are enough to make the most level-headed player want to put their controller through the TV. Go screw, Pit.

Rosalina & Luma


Here’s the part where I admit to you that I don’t know who this is. Yeah, sorry, I never played through Super Mario Galaxy. It came out while I was in college, and I didn’t feel like making time for it. To wit, I don’t know enough to have an opinion.



PAC-MAN EATS YOUR BERRIES! Is that what his intro video said? No? Well, it should have. This is another safe addition. Pac-Man has been irrelevant for decades, though, so it doesn’t seem like there’s overwhelming excitement here.



This is the extent of my knowledge of Palutena: she’s Pit’s friend. Go screw, Palutena.


The Weird

Pikmin & Olimar


Big weirdo Olimar is here again to throw his big weirdo creatures at you. I haven’t played Pikmin since the first one was released for the Gamecube and theres a reason for that: he creeps me out. Look at that guy. Freaks.

Wii Fit Trainer


Here’s one of the head scratchers I mentioned back in my lede. Nintendo’s announcement that the Wii Fit Trainer would be a playable fighter came off as more of a joke than anything, and not many of us found it all that funny. It’s tough to justify the omission of a beloved Smash character like Mewtwo when the faceless (literally) Wii Fit trainer gets a spot. You can choose to be a male or a female trainer, to which I reply: cut it out, Nintendo.

Animal Crossing Villager


I’m fine with this addition. My problem is that they used this generic villager. Hello? Tom Nook, anybody? I can assure you that Tom Nook would have easily become one of my mains if he had been included in this game because Tom Nook is a badass.



When Nintendo announced this one in their video, they teased us about Mewtwo coming back before the reveal. Alas, it was just Greninja, the resourceful Pokemon that uses its own tongue as a fashionable scarf.

Mii Fighters


Although the prospect of being able to make any character I want with the Mii maker interests me, I have mixed feelings about this. The decision to allow them as playable characters cheapens the game to me, and Super Smash Bros. has always struggled to maintain a status as a respectable fighting game at international tournaments. This isn’t going to help. However, I know I’m going to spend a lot of time creating downright abominations to play as, so for that I thank you, Nintendo.



The list isn’t final, so there’s still plenty of time for other characters to be added. We’ll update accordingly.


About The Author


John is a full-time web developer who writes and streams for He started Multitoad with Luke "Yogzula" VanTrieste. John loves multiplayer gaming, his wife (known around the site as Queenie), his dog (Marble), horror movies, and sitting down with a nice craft beer. If you want to contact the author of this post, feel free to do so on the community forums.

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