Skirmish Games

So, I’ve been fascinated by small scale skirmish wargames lately. Stuff like the ones in this excellent post. Why them?

Partly because a down-and-dirty infantry firefight is what I like in a story, having also read many small-unit action stories recently. Partly because it reminds me of XCOM, Fire Emblem, and other low-unit strategy games. And partly just because I can think of the figures more as individual characters than generic units.

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.

Fire Emblem Outfits

In a game series with hundreds of characters, some similar outfits are bound to emerge. So while I don’t know, and while it’s probably impossible to know just how much of a coincidence it is, I saw that Olwen and Limstella, the latter one of my favorite FE character designs, have pretty similar outfits.

(Olwen was made for a game released around five years earlier, and there was some high-profile turnover in IntSys between them, for what it’s worth).

Nintendo E3

So, I saw Nintendo’s E3 presentation. Two things of note.

-We finally have something for Fire Emblem Switch/Three Houses, which is better than nothing, even if all I’ve seen is A: The characters are surrounded by NPC soldiers, and B: The game is unsurprisingly keeping Awakening/Fates’ art style mostly the same. (I could do a whole big post on how after Awakening, FE is a victim of its own success, but that’s for another time, and I don’t want to jump the gun when the game isn’t out yet).

-The reason everyone was here. SMASH BROS! Now I’m biased for two reasons. Melee and Brawl were my childhood multiplayer games of choice, and Smash Bros. fans have a reputation for being —picky— even by the standards of other gamers. So while a part of me wanted something fundamentally different from the “focus more on past characters than new ones” they’re going for (at least at launch), I can understand it. Still. New. Smash. Bros. It looked very good.

Happy Anniversary Fire Emblem

This time in April marks a lot of Fire Emblem anniversaries. On April 20, 1990, the very first Fire Emblem game was released (in Japan). On April 25, 2003, the first FE game to cross the Pacific after the series got worldwide attention in Smash Bros was released (in Japan, again, it would not get wider releases until later that year).

And of course, in-universe, no doubt as an homage, the FE: Awakening heroine Lucina has April 20th as her birthday.