A hype-train heading nowhere. The first five Smash Bros. DLC packages have been a roller coaster for fans. Some of the reveals have lived up to the hype and expectations, but others not so much. And with the final reveal, fans are finding it harder to keep interested.
For the past few months there was a flood of gamers and analysts constantly theorizing who the final DLC fighter would be. Theories stretched everywhere from Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden, to Arle Nadja from the Puyo Puyo franchise. With everyone expecting the final reveal to be the biggest, about every character was fair game.
And Then it Wasn’t
Many fans were outraged with the recent direct, as the final fighter was revealed to be another Fire Emblem character. Enter Bleyth, the protagonist of the newest installment of the Fire Emblem franchise, and the bane of Smash players everywhere. Fire Emblem already hosts seven different playable characters within Smash Bros, boasting the largest lineup outside of the original Mario Bros. franchise.
Adding fuel to the fire, all of the now eight Fire Emblem characters are sword fighters (and yes Robin’s dagger counts). The lack of variation among the those chosen from the franchise is now dulling the hype of future DLC.
But Why Fire Emblem?
For most hardcore fans, the addition of Bleyth is more of an annoyance than a surprise. SSBU’s creative director Masahiro Sakurai is a huge fan of Fire Emblem. Sakurai is also notorious for taking his own creative liberties with the hero decision-making process, making it extremely difficult for analysts to predict DLC fighters. And despite some fans sharing in his love for the JRPG, not all do. Some fans even argue that his favoritism is the reason Cuphead and Sans from Undertale were presented as Mii costumes instead of actual fighters.
The Female Factor
The new fighter being a Fire Emblem character is not the only reason people are finding flaw with SSBU. What many find surprising is that none of the DLC fighters are canonically women. Bleyth only has a female skin variation because they are an avatar in their respected franchise. In other words, they are a character the player can customize. Just like Corrin and Villager. This leaves SSBU with only 12 fighters out of 82 being canonically female.
As the amount of women continue to increase in the gaming world, representation is something that would play well for Nintendo. Especially since there are so many female characters in the video game world to choose from. Its disappointing to see the SSBU developers continuously overlook potential female fighters that would reignite the hype back in their DLC and base game.