N-Europe's Top Ten Smash Character Reveal Trailers
Posted 10 Nov 2021 at 19:45 by Glen O'Brien
In recent times, the build up to a new Super Smash Bros. title has become almost as exciting as playing the actual game itself. Each newcomer to the franchise brings along a new lavish trailer to go along with them. As of now, there are 44 different trailers that reveal at least one new character, and they run the gamut from comedic to epic. But which one is the best? Well, that’s what I’ve asked the various members of N-Europe to settle for me. Because I don’t want to be on the receiving end of any backlash that may occur. Plausible deniability, baby!
The only hard rule is that the trailer must involve a character reveal, so I’m afraid the “Everyone is Here” trailer isn’t going to cut it. Trust me, it’s more interesting that way. It’s also worth noting that this top 10 is based solely on the quality of the trailer itself. Your opinion on whether you like the character is not welcome here!
And if you'd like to take a look at our previous Top Ten articles then you can do so by clicking the mini banner below, which will take you to our last Top Ten article which covered our favourite Switch games of 2019. This article is where you will find links to all other console-based Top Ten articles...
This trailer is already a bit of an outlier, as it was revealing a character that had already been officially revealed beforehand, what with the 3DS version of Smash already being out, it was common knowledge at the time. Still, the Smash team went ahead and made a trailer for the 4th game’s unexpected retro character.
The trailer starts off with someone playing Duck Hunt… poorly. They completely whiff the second duck, for crying out loud! As expected, the dog laughs at the screen in that anger inducing way we all know and love, only for a bunch of other NES characters to waltz on screen and proceed to make us laugh by having Mario perform a dodgy looking “Bring it on” gesture. After a lovely little transition to modern day CGI, the dog (and duck) emerges from the grass and gets frightened half to death by their tagline whipping in.
Given the nature of the character, there’s no doubt that this is on the more comedic side of things as far as Smash trailers go. I particularly like the demonstration of how Duck Hunt Duo’s Smash attacks work, some tech wizkid has gotten their NES Zapper to work on Smash Bros. That gun must be worth a fortune!
Character speculation is always quite the heated topic when it comes to Smash Bros. There’s normally at least one killjoy going around, spewing nonsense such as “X Game isn’t important enough to get in”. And then a trailer like this one comes along and quickly silences that argument.
No matter how you look at it, Dragon Quest was a big noticeable gap in Smash Ultimate’s roster, so once that unmistakable song intro started playing up, any gaming fan worth their salt knew that this was a big deal in the making. After that initial reveal, the trailer continues as you’d expect it to, up until Hero gets unceremoniously beaten to a pulp and launched off screen.
The following CGI section leaves all of us wondering where this is going, as Hero appears to be about to meet an untimely end, only for it to get interrupted by the reveal that you can play as three other Dragon Quest protagonists! The combination of that reveal and the dramatic music really helps to make this moment feel more epic as it goes on to show some of the many magic spells they can use (and there are a lot!). It all serves to give Dragon Quest the grand entrance that it rightly deserves!
The glorious Dragon Quest music, plus the fantastic reveal of Eight and Erdrick, really make this trailer inspiring. – Jonnas
Quite frankly, I’m a sucker for a good art style shift with Smash trailers, and this one doesn’t disappoint! Looking like some sort of theoretical HD remake of Fire Emblem: Awakening, except Captain Falcon is in it for some reason, and completely styling on Lucina, only for Smash to intervene with the rare double character reveal and introduce us to Robin, our first non-sword user from the Fire Emblem series! Oh wait, he still has a sword? Well, it still counts! He’s mostly about magic anyway.
This trailer is noticeable for being unnecessarily mean to Chrom, who’s left half unconscious on the floor while the characters that are in Smash duke it out, lamenting how he’ll get his chance next time. It’s funnier in hindsight, because he did end up getting his chance once Ultimate rolled around. No-one saw that coming, despite being explicitly told so.
Awakening's animation is a delight for the eyes, and seeing the return of Captain Falcon in this glorious style was amazing. Furthermore, Robin was the first Fire Emblem rep to actually properly portray series mechanics in Smash, and we saw that. Finally, Chrom became a meme. It was all very good. – Jonnas
Speaking of art style shifts, Little Mac’s reveal opts for a distinct comic book style that looks absolutely gorgeous! Honestly, if a new Punch-Out game looked like that, I doubt there would be any complaints. The trailer begins with a training montage showing off Little Mac’s athletic talents as he gears up for Smash, only for tonal whiplash to rear its funny looking head as he’s placed next to Samus solely to emphasise just how short he is. He takes it about as well as you’d expect him to.
The actual gameplay is very well edited, with Doc Louis shouting words of encouragement, and giving pointers that all explain how Little Mac works in Smash Bros. It all flows together quite nicely and ends with an odd little stinger of Mac and Doc snacking on chocolate while Samus rolls across the screen in a morph ball. There’s no denying it, this trailer is a proper knockout!
My favourite trailer. It has it all, a special art-style, a good build-up, and humour. The sassy Samus pointing out little Mac's height still cracks me up. – Vileplume2000
Smash Ultimate really is a special game, and not just because it’s called Smash Special in Japan. It’s single handily broke multiple milestones in character representation, especially when it came to third party support. But eventually, it would have to end, and this trailer really capitalises on that. The opening CGI section is not epic, or hilarious. The tone is relatively sombre, as the flaming Smash logo that Inkling saw in the very first Ultimate trailer unceremoniously fizzles out, forcing all the fighters to revert to their trophy forms. It’s positively unnerving as the camera cuts between different trophies, still and lifeless.
But then Mario opens his eyes to one last little flame that is still going and tentatively tiptoes towards it, before shoving his hand into there to chuck something concealed inside away. That something happens to be a big key, and not just any key, a key with a Mickey Mouse logo on it. And that moment showed to us that Smash Ultimate had performed one more miracle, a character owned by Disney had gotten into Smash.
It’s a very simple trailer, and possibly quite clean, to boot. But I can’t think of any better way to round off Smash Ultimate. It’s positively magical!
It was a bittersweet send-off to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and a clever way to bring Sora into the fray. The handshake at the end should send chills down anybody's spine. I don't particularly care for Sora, but... gotta respect the trailer. – Jonnas
GAH! Sudden “Challenger Approaching” siren blaring into your ears! It certainly caught me off guard after the initial trailer for the 4th Smash Bros. game. A handful of Smash mainstays look behind in what I can only assume is non-descript cliff land (That place showed up quite a bit in Smash 4 trailers), to see a silhouette of… someone. It’s not entirely apparent who it was, at least, up until his helmet materialised on to his head and his eyes lit up. Then it was unmistakable. Capcom were throwing their gloves into the ring with a gaming icon!
This trailer is pretty damn hype! That Mega Man remix and the footage of Mega Man running around with his delightfully robotic movement really hammers in the point that he’s staying very faithful to his roots, even in Smash! And then the music transitions to even more exciting as Mega Man plays his ace in the hole, a smorgasbord of weapons inspired by the various Robot Masters he’s defeated across the Mega Man series! The trailer’s short, to the point, and heavy hitting enough to get fans really excited for the possibilities that lay ahead for this 4th Smash title!
It’s a great style, and I love Mega Man just messing everyone up – Cube
Can’t say there’s any other Smash trailer that starts with a boot-up sequence of a completely different console, but that’s what we get here with the reveal of Terry Bogard. This is a lovingly crafted trailer that aims to invoke the graphical style of the King of Fighters games of that era as various characters from the series go to extreme lengths to claim that elusive Smash Invitation. It’s funny as hell and chock full of references for those diehard Neo Geo fans out there.
But really, it could only be one character out of this lot, and our suspicions are confirmed when the invitation neatly lands next to his feet, allowing Terry to pick it up triumphantly, and perform the slickest CGI transition I’ve ever seen in a Smash trailer.
On a personal level, I really enjoyed the creativity on display for the SNK trailer. We get variants of old-school-looking characters fighting over the invite, and we get teased by other potential SNK reps (such as Geese, Nakoruru, and Iori). I definitely briefly believed any one of those guys could've had it, but it was always going to be the one and only Terry Bogard. Great transition to SSBU graphics to cap it off. – Jonnas
Not exactly the catchiest of titles here, but then again, this isn’t your usual Smash trailer. In fact, it’s not exactly obvious that it has anything to do with Smash at first! It opens with Reggie Fils-Aimé and the late Satoru Iwata standing opposite each other in an ominous dark room. Only for a ridiculously over-the-top fight sequence to break out. Seeing these two businessmen try and punch each other’s lights out with unrealistic acrobatics was a constant barrage of laughs.
It’s a great advert for the concept of the Mii Fighters. And I still crack up at Iwata doing his classic “Nintendo Direct” hand gesture before unleashing lightning-fast punches! This is peak silly Nintendo, and I would not have it any other way! It’s also the first time we saw an amiibo. But that’s not important.
Poor Luigi has it rough in this trailer, as he inexplicably finds himself in the world of Castlevania! Turns out the Poltergust is not so hot against the actual horrors found in Dracula’s Castle, I always knew that Professor E.Gadd was a hack! It goes about as well as you expect once Death himself comes along and kills everyone’s favourite green plumber!
But suddenly, Death receives a metal whip to the face as Simon Belmont himself shows up to demonstrate how a real Vampire killer does things! This trailer has it all! Comedy, epicness, awesome music, great gameplay footage, and an unexpected second character reveal when Richter Belmont comes out of nowhere! You wait ages for a Castlevania character and then two come along at once? Awesome!
Oh, and don’t worry, Luigi’s OK. Maybe…
This is THE quintessential Smash Bros trailer as far as I'm concerned. It has everything. The pacing is absolutely perfect, it has Luigi getting offed in memetastic fashion, it has THE MUSIC, and it has SO much meaning for representing one of the most important classic 3rd party franchises of the NES era. It's just perfect; and it's THE trailer that I think of when I think of Smash hype. – Dcubed
I mentioned before that Smash Ultimate broke a few milestones for the series, well how about getting a character from a direct console competitor for astonishing reveals? A lot of people had understandably written off the chance of Rare’s bear and bird duo ever getting into Smash once Microsoft bought that company from Nintendo. Some things just weren’t meant to be.
Well, Smash Bros. wasn’t going to let a little thing like being on a completely different console stop them from getting a character into Smash now, was it? I don’t think I ever shouted in shock at seeing a golden jigsaw piece so much in all of my life!
This is more than just a trailer; this was proof that what was thought to be impossible was now catapulted into the realms of possibility! It’s a landmark moment for the series, and it will be a long time before we see anything like that again.
Goddammit, it means SO much to see Banjo back and represented so perfectly! – Dcubed
I enjoy how this takes a previous one (while also celebrating Rare's input on DKC at the same time) and riffs on it, improving it because using Duck Hunt Duo as the fake fits much better. – Cube
Catching everybody with the Duck & Dog fakeout (for the second time, I might add), only to then reveal the true bear & bird combo, followed by cheering from the DKC crew, some nods to BK, and a lovely group shot. I felt emotional for all the Banjo fans that waited so long for this. - Jonnas
And that's it for N-Europe's Top Ten Smash Character Reveal Trailers, which showed off a fair few memorable moments from the history of Super Smash Bros. as a series, since guest characters first became a reality with Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Nintendo Wii. Being that the current title in the Smash series has 'Ultimate' in its title, that would suggest that this is a one-off article which likely won't be repeated, so we hope you enjoyed this nostalgia trip, and for those who might not have seen these characters being revealed originally, now you know how they made it into Smash.
If you have any suggestions for future Top Ten articles which you'd like to see covered in a similar style, then please let us know what you'd like to see, but consider that articles such as these take a considerable amount of perceived time and energy to produce, and that means that the next one may not be for a while, but we are potentially open to possibilities for the future.
N-Europe would like to thank everyone involved in the creation of this article, lots of choices, voices and cause to rejoice over the Super Smash Bros. series made it all possible.
Which character reveals would you have picked? Does your way of thinking align with ours? Or would you have chosen completely different options?
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