My Fantasy Smash List

So, I have this conspiracy that Nintendo is stacking the Smash Ultimate roster with past characters because it knows that the “fans” will be impossible to please, so it might as well go for safe nostalgic bets. (Besides, this is the best Metal Gear game in a while).

So, what are my unlikely choices for Smash Ultimate? First, and foremost, more than any character.

DOOMGUY (Doom). Rip and tear those huge guts! Not only has Doom been ported to the Switch, it’s a huge part of gaming history, and Doomguy can be a strong character in his own right. Yes, a gory M-rated game doesn’t quite gel with the cartoony Smash-but you could say the same about Snake. In-game, he would be a Bowser-style tank.

From there, a big drop.

_ _ _ _ _  _

FRISK (Undertale). Yes, on the exact opposite end of Doomguy is someone whose gimmick is that they don’t fight. Still, with the Earthbound/Mother characters in Smash, I figure you could do worse than make a character in a mega-homage. Frisk would use the stick and be fast but “heavy” with great recovery (to symbolize their determination).

HECTOR (Fire Emblem 7). Hector would be another tank-brawler with his mammoth axe and “Hector-copter“-based recover. What can I say, I liked the game and Smash could use more axe characters.

LILINA (Fire Emblem 6). Ok, this is getting out of hand. Oh well. Lilina, Hector’s daughter, can work as a light projectile-spammer.

DALLAS/JOY (Payday). Now for the true limiter. Dallas (with Switch-debuter Joy as an echo), can take to Smash based only on appearing in a Switch port that was, from what I’ve heard even more of an afterthought than the other console ports. Ironically, I’m imagining them being loaded with the oddball weapons and playing more like Link than Fox or Snake. Their recovery would feature them using the skyhook balloon from Green Bridge.

There’s my oddball Smash characters for you.

The latest Nintendo Direct

So, I saw the latest Nintendo Direct. A lot of it was basic announcements, with the kicker being a new Animal Crossing game and Isabelle being a playable character in Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Still no focus on Fire Emblem Three Houses. Might just be IntSys wanting to be tightlipped or the game being tough to describe in a two-minute video without being either too spoiler-y or too redundant (ie, it’s a strategy game like the other fifteen games in the series before it). Oh well.

The Spanish Moroccan War in hindsight

About a decade ago, young me read a tale that would spark an interest in alternate history. That story was A Spanish-Moroccan War in 2002. With a decade of hindsight, with a decade of me both more interested in and more disillusioned by alternate history (long story), what do I think of it?

Well, my first thought is “time to sim some of it in Command”, because boy is something like that meant for Command. In fact, it was the appeal of simulating such slightly unconventional (to an American) conflicts that drove me into that sim in the first place (My very first editor experiment was a Spanish-Nigerian clash over Equatorial Guinea in the 1960s-certainly as far from the GIUK Gap in 198X as it gets.)

But as for the story on its own terms…

  • In some cases, it’s like an AH.com style TL, for better or worse. What makes it “better” is that it’s detailed and scope limited. It’s an hour-by-hour recap of a war lasting a few days, and apart from an epilogue, that’s it. I think what’s made me sour on such a writing model is that it’s increasingly not done well-big events are brushed past in a few paragraphs (or less!) while history divergences monstrously in a way that’s clearly “because the author thought it”, and there’s often a lack-of-effort streak visible. This is not the case here.
  • It’s also novel, and a conflict that isn’t some mega-dystopia or other clear trend-follower. This combined with the limited scope means it manages to avoid both the “Nazi Confederates Take Over The World” and “Reads Like The Minutes of A Finger Lakes Historical Society Conference” extremes that plague the genre.
  • That being said, this kind of story is meant to be experienced an installment at a time as a kind of serial, and having access to the whole thing at once takes a lot of the drama away.

It’s interesting to look back on, at least.