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Fans of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU) had high hopes for the final character to join the Fighters Pass DLC. It’s only logical to think that Nintendo would start off 2020 with a bang by adding someone completely unexpected.
Well, Nintendo did add someone who we’d never expect, and I don’t mean that in a good way. Much to many fans’ dismay, Nintendo just announced the addition of Byleth.
Who Is Byleth?
That’s the question that SSBU fans have on their mind, myself included. Byleth is the main character from Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Since you can play as Byleth in Fire Emblem, you can customize the gender of this character. That means both a male and a female version of Byleth will appear in SSBU (just like Robin and Corrin).
Byleth’s specialty is a long-ranged melee attack using the whip-like Sword of the Creator. However, Byleth uses an arrow, axe, and lance found in Fire Emblem as well.
Fire Emblem: Enough Is Enough
The addition of Byleth marks the eighth Fire Emblem character in SSBU. Marth, Lucina, Roy, Chrom, Ike, Robin, and Corrin already grace us with their presence. While these are all decent fighters, SSBU really should’ve stopped adding Fire Emblem characters after Ike.
Eight characters from one series are more than enough. Fire Emblem definitely isn’t the most wildly popular series either—unless you’re a diehard Fire Emblem fan, you’ve probably never heard of some of its characters included in SSBU.
On the other hand, The Legend of Zelda is a much more well-known series, and has a total of only six fighters. Sure, SSBU includes three Links from different games, but Link is one of Nintendo’s most beloved characters. There’s a huge difference between obscure Fire Emblem characters, and characters that fans know and love.
So the question is: why do we need more Fire Emblem characters in SSBU?
I don’t think anyone knows the answer to that besides Masahiro Sakurai, SSBU‘s director. Did I forget to mention that he’s also a self-proclaimed Fire Emblem fanboy? There’s really no other reason to include more Fire Emblem characters besides the fact that Sakurai just likes the games.
A Repetitive Fighting Style
Popularity isn’t the only issue with having so many Fire Emblem characters—the issue also boils down to their repetitive fighting styles. All of the Fire Emblem characters in SSBU wield some type of sword. Although Corrin and Robin’s fighting styles deviate most from generic swordplay, they’re both still guilty of using swords.
I don’t mind using swords in SBBU, but it gets tiring when you have a total of eight sword-wielding Fire Emblem characters to choose from. Not to mention that Lucina’s fighting style is a clone of Marth’s, and Chrom’s style also echoes Roy. Has Nintendo just lost all creativity when it comes to creating unique characters and playstyles?
What About Fan-Favorite Characters?
By including Byleth, it feels as if Sakurai has just stabbed the entire Smash community in the back. I feel my own dedication to the series wavering, thanks to this disappointing decision.
Each and every Smash fan has at least one character that they’ve always dreamed of seeing in SSB. With the addition of Byleth, it seems like our voices will never get heard.
Smash fans have begged Sakurai to include amazing characters like Sora, Sephiroth, Crash Bandicoot, Dante, and even Master Chief. While some of these are a bit of a stretch, they’d still be a welcome addition for the huge amount of fans that these characters have. Plus, these characters would have a much more diverse and refreshing fighting style.
We Need More Diverse DLCs
Maybe we’re being greedy by asking for more from SSBU. After all, we already have the biggest roster of all Smash games, and we even got Banjo and Kazooie, Joker, Hero, and Terry as DLC. Still, I think Sakurai should know better than to add yet another Fire Emblem character to such a strong roster.
Fortunately, Byleth isn’t the last DLC to hit SSBU. Sakurai has already announced that a second Fighters Pass will get released later this year. All we can do now is try to pick an SSBU main, and hope for better DLCs down the road.