Rayman in Super Smash Bros! A Missed Opportunity?
Rayman Not Being a Playable Character A Missed Opportunity?
Quick Thoughts On Rayman in Smash Bros.
Sakurai dropped a small grenade last week, revealing that Rayman will make an appearance in Super Smash Bros. as a trophy. In his Miiverse post – Sakurai says he asked Ubisoft for a model of Rayman to draw inspiration, but thankfully Ubisoft sent in data for a 3DS model which the director gladly used for the trophy design.
“In order to make Rayman’s trophy, we asked Ubisoft to share their references. We were expecting to receive 2D drawing references for Rayman, but to our surprise, they sent us data of a brand new 3D model that they rendered for this game!! And that was how this trophy was created. It takes a lot of work creating each model, so it’s wonderful that the creators contributed their own efforts!!”
I do appreciate that Nintendo has included a western 3rd party character in Super Smash Bros, even if it is in the form a trivial trophy. However, I cannot help, but think that excluding Rayman from the playable character roster is a miss opportunity by Sakurai and Nintendo.
I would put forth two arguments why not including Rayman as a playable character was a miss opportunity:
1. A first step to rebuild the relationships between Nintendo and Western 3rd party publishers.
2. Rayman is a perfect fit in the Smash Bros universe.
Fostering and growing strong relationships with 3rd party publishers can only be beneficial for Nintendo. Right now western 3rd party support for the 3DS and Wii U has almost stopped completely. Understandably so, western handheld games don’t perform quite as well as their Japanese counterparts, and the Wii U woes have been well documented in the past year and a half. In the short term, the sad reality is that their systems will be receiving the scraps from the plates of Microsoft and Sony.
I believe pandering to the every need of 3rd party publishers isn’t the way to go for Nintendo. Needlessly throwing money and going out of your way to meet the will of external companies is an ill investing, especially for fickle companies like EA and Bethesda. I’d say, support those who support you back.
Regardless of Ubisoft’s shenanigans with Rayman Legends of yesteryear – the European publisher has made an effort to support the Wii U. At launch, ZombiU was a premium exclusive that used the GamePad well, despite lacking polish. Multiplats like Assassins Creed 3, Assassins Creed IV, Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Rayman Legends are all quality port’s (with minor issues). Ubisoft has made an effort to support the Wii U! You can’t blame them from taking a step back with support, taking a wait and see approach before reinvesting into the console.
Coming back to my point – Nintendo should start rebuilding the bridges of good western 3rd party support, and that should start with Ubisoft. Ubisoft, during the last generation has emerged as one of the most powerful western publishers. If you look at the impressive list of successful new IP’s of the last and new Gen such as Assassins Creed, Just Dance and now Watch_Dogs – Nintendo would be foolish to not have a powerful ally in Ubisoft.
At the moment, Wii U support has been predominately been from Japanese companies like Tecmo, Sega and on occasion from Square Enix and Capcom. Part of the reason is that Japanese developers have developed strong relationships with Nintendo through the handheld market. One needs only look at the marketing support of Monster Hunter 4, Bravely Default and Yo-Kai Watch 2 to see the extent that Nintendo is willing to support their partners.
In Smash Bros – all the 3rd party characters are from Japanese publishers! Sonic, Mega Man and Pac-Man are natives of the Land of the rising sun. Unfortunately, Western Icons have been delegated to trophy only status. At the moment Super Smash Bros. For Wii U and Super Smash Bros. For 3DS is a microcosm of Nintendo’s business relationships. 90% of it is all about Nintendo, 9.8% Japanese devs and 0.2 dedicated to Western companies (I just threw some random numbers that help to get the point across). It does not paint Nintendo is good light in the eyes of western developers. Does it?
Had Rayman been included as a playable character in Super Smash Bros For Wii U and 3Ds, or other 3rd western gaming icon for that matter – it would have been an important statement that could change the perceptions of Nintendo in the eyes of Western companies, and the naysayers that consider Nintendo a miser. It would have been a symbol and gesture of good faith of the relationship between their partners – and that they are not simply a closed off Japanese companies.
Some might argue that I am putting too much on the importance of Super Smash Bros. However, having representation in Smash Bros could have a positive effect on popularity – think of the series as a massive commercial, just look at the re-emergence of the Kid Icarus franchise and the growth of the Fire Emblem series in the west. Both can be attributed to the inclusion of Marth and Pit in Smash Bros. Anyone who is anyone in the gaming community would be honored to be included in Smash Bros, and not in cheap rip-offs, Besidesm Ubisoft would greatly appreciate the inclusion of Rayman in Super Smash Bros, and perhaps return the favor with more support in the form of games.
As for the second reason, Rayman is a mascot that would fit naturally and easily in the Super Smash Bros Universe. It would not be hard for Sakurai to draw inspiration for moves and physics from the Origins and Legends games. In fact, Sakurai has no need to look elsewhere, much of the work has already been done by Ubisoft. Rayman has ground and aerial attack animations in Origins/Legends for Sakurai to create a move set and play style from. In all honesty, I am quite upset that he is not playable, which is not surprising considering my selfish nature. I suppose we can’t always have our way.
Would you have liked to have Rayman be included as a playable? What are your thoughts on my opinions? Can you wait for the next iteration for Rayman to be playable? Let me know!
Just a remind Super Smash Bros for 3DS launches in the west on October 3. Super Smash Bros For Wii U is slated during the holiday season. Stay tuned at Mii-gamer for the most comprehensive coverage of the two titles!