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Smash Files 4 - Character Costumes

Posted by Lucina , in Smash Files, Video Games Jun 16 2013 · 1,379 views

Turning this series of Super Smash Bros. 4 related entries into a bona fide series, expect this to be as regularly updated as I can possibly be with perhaps the busiest summer of my life coming right up. This series will detail my response to news that we receive with regards to the game, and profiles of the characters announced (expect the first character profile soon), but also mostly my thoughts on the series in general so far and what I believe should be added or changed in this entry.
This entry is with regards to the characters of the game – or, more specifically, the alternate decorations for them. Since the first game in the series, you have been able to change the colour of your character. You can have Mario dressed up like Wario, or you can have Samus in the colour schemes of a variety of her different suits. In Brawl, some of these alternate colour schemes included the dark versions of a character, such as Link and Pit (or, in the case of Metaknight, darker). While this feature is very cool, and allows for several players to use the same character with minimal drawbacks and confusion, it is beginning to dry up.
We are in the year 2013 now. We are coming up on the fourth entry in this series. At this stage, anything that can be changed while still holding onto the core experience that the series provides must be changed in order to keep the series fresh and relevant. These alternate colour schemes are included in this.
Removing them is not ideal – and would be a step backwards. But I just feel unsatisfied with where they are right now. In fact, I wasn’t even fully satisfied back when Brawl was first released, and as stupid as I am today, I was far worse five years ago (I hope). What these alternate selections need is a revamping. The developers need to move forward, and give us more advanced options for each character.
Take Mario, for instance. Back in Melee, there was a character called “Dr. Mario”. A carbon copy of Mario with minor differences in attack powers, and an electrical theme over the fire theme prevalent with regular Mario, Dr. Mario wasn’t exactly worth being a character in his own right. I loved using him (he remains my favourite character in the game today), but that just doesn’t change the fact that there is a far more elegant solution available – make Dr. Mario an alternate colour scheme. Why must we accept having only different colours of Mario’s overall, hat, and shirt? While some of these are cool to use and are extremely useful for Machinima (Fire Mario, Wario Mario), others are not quite so cool (Inverted Mario, Blue Hat Mario). Do these other ones need to be removed? Not necessarily. But why not give us some more original costumes for the character? Dr. Mario, Hammer Mario, and Cloud Mario are all variations of Mario that add some extra stuff to the character that we don’t see right now, and could make for even more unique battles.
With Link, the Zora armour could retain its unique look alongside its typical colour. With Donkey Kong, we could get a Cranky Kong inspired costume. With Samus, her power suit variants could hold onto any armour add-ons they might include. Fox and Falco could both have variant suits from their different games, as not all of those suits match each other perfectly. Kirby could have some of the accessories from the forms in his series.
Admittedly, this would not work with some characters – Jigglypuff and Pikachu, for instance, don’t have much to work with, and Olimar hasn’t ever been seen outside of his space suit to base a costume off of. However, I believe that it would be beneficial overall, and I certainly don’t see any reason why the developers can’t implement it in this next instalment.
That’s it for this time; next up is a character profile of one of our confirmed new fighters.

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Well, in Olimar and the Star Fox characters' cases, you could actually have the other Pikmin characters as skins and merge the Star Fox clones into one character with alternate skins. Theoretically.

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So basically change the alternate costumes so they have slightly different abilities from the main character? That could work quite well.
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Not necessarily having different abilities, as that might make balancing the game even harder than it already is. Although in the case of something like Dr. Mario, I could see pills being some sort of an alternate texture for the fireballs.

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Question. Are you familiar with jigglebones and character modelling?

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From a third person perspective, yes. I have not actually gone through the process of designing a game, so no, I do not know what it is like, but it can't be harder than giving us almost an entire movie of CG cutscenes for adventure mode. 

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I absolutely do NOT want similar characters simply turned into skins of another "core" character. Distinct characters deserve to be just that.

That said, I definitely agree with you that skins need to be reconsidered. There really is so much more they could be doing. The Dr. Mario example is a perfect one. Heck, give different versions of Link (to satisfy all those crazy fan boys...) as skins! It's a minor detail, but is one that has become dull and needs invigorated.

And for the love of god, give the Pokémon characters their shiny colors!
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