With the release of Pokémon: Sword and Shield last month, the franchise has skyrocketed back to the top. After just a few weeks, Pokémon’s latest release has allowed the world to fall back in love with the series on a grand scale, as Nintendo fans from all over have embraced one of the company’s most successful titles once again. And now, with Pokémon fever running rampant throughout the gaming community, it’s fair (and really fun) to speculate that the series could cross paths with another Nintendo franchise in the near future.
With Smash Ultimate in the midst of rolling out its first wave of DLC characters, there’s reason to believe that the fifth addition to the game could be from the Pokémon franchise. Not only are both series in the middle of a wave of massive popularity, but with an influx of characters coming to Smash from third party sources as of late, now could be the time to add another Nintendo character to the Smash roster.
So, with that being said, let’s speculate. With an incredible amount of potential Pokémon to choose from as the next Smash fighter, let’s run through some of the options that make sense and could possibly serve as a solid addition as the next character on the Ultimate roster.
First, it’s important to note that if Nintendo did decide to add a Pokémon to Smash, there’s a good chance that they’d come from Sword/Shield. In terms of recent additions from the world of Pokémon, characters like Incineroar and Greninja have been released in tandem with the franchise’s most recent game. Therefore, in keeping with recent tradition, it would make a ton of sense to see a Pokémon from Generation 8 in Smash if the game did go in that direction. Of course, there are other generations that are unrepresented like Gen III and Gen V, but it really wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense for Nintendo to turn back the clock so far (although seeing something like Blaziken, Deoxys, or even Genesect in Smash would be awesome).
And frankly, if Pokémon is the franchise of choice for DLC fighter number five, that character would most likely be a newly introduced Gen 8 Pokémon. When you narrow it down to the options that were presented in Sword/Shield, the number of appealing characters goes down immensely.
There’s potential in the starters of Sword/Shield, as fully evolved Pokémon like Cinderace, Inteleon, and Rillaboom could bring something to the table. Beyond them, there’s a couple of characters in the middle of Pokédex like Toxtricity, Grapploct, and Sirfetch’d who could fit the bill of what a Smash character could be, but they don’t necessarily bring that recognizability factor that other “mid-Pokédex” Pokémon from generations past bring to the table (think something like Pikachu, Lucario, or even Machoke).
Of course, there’s always the possibility of Zacian or Zamazenta coming to Smash, but once again, there’s a certain element of recognition that has to come with a potential new fighter. Perhaps adding the newest legendary Pokémon to Smash wouldn’t resonate entirely. With all of this in mind, it’s becoming more and more clear that adding another Pokémon to Smash Ultimate, while intriguing in theory, would definitely present itself as a bit of a pipedream.
The characters that make the most sense from the franchise to join the Smash roster come from an age gone by, and the ones that present an opportunity on a promotional level just don’t have the same presentability as other contenders. So, while it would be nice to have more Pokémon representation within Smash, it might be a longshot to hope for it.
Photo Credit: Nintendo, Pokémon Sword and Shield, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate