Sakurai Addresses Missing Ice Climbers in Smash Bros

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

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Super Smash Bros - Ice Climbers | oprainfall

With the whirlwind news of the Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U roster becoming more and more prevalent, especially now that the 3DS version has hit store shelves in Japan, people are beginning to notice that some characters from previous games are absent from the new roster. Most specifically, it seems that Popo and Nana, better known as the Ice Climbers, who were present in both Super Smash Bros Melee and Brawl, did not make the cut for the newest game.

Super Smash Bros - Ice Climbers | oprainfallIn the latest issue of Famitsu magazine, Smash Bros director, Masahiro Sakurai, discussed the reasoning behind this cut. According to Sakurai, the pair originally appeared in the Wii U version of the upcoming fighting game, but “due to the required hardware power,” they were not able to work in the 3DS version, and were ultimately dropped altogether. Sakurai went on to say that franchises that didn’t have much hope of getting new installments were given a lower priority than more popular ones.

Personally, I’m not sure Sakurai’s reasoning washes. Hardware limitations are one thing, but if the Ice Climbers were cut because they don’t have any new games on the horizon, they aren’t the only ones who should have been destined for the chopping block. Ness, who is also a veteran of the series, hasn’t had a new game since 1994. Captain Falcon hasn’t seen a new entry in the F-Zero franchise since 2004. Even Samus doesn’t seem to have much going on after Metroid: Other M in 2010. Heck, the new Smash is seeing the inclusion of Little Mac, a character who saw a major gap between Super Punch-Out!! in 1994 and the remake of Punch-Out!! in 2009.

Granted, I’m not losing any sleep due to this cut — Ice Climbers were on the lower end of the spectrum of my preferred characters — but I get the feeling that players who did main as the lovable duo are not going to be satisfied with this official response. What about you? Are you going to miss the unique mechanics that Popo and Nana brought to the series? Does the reasoning make sense to you? Sound off in the comments.

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About Tyler Lubben

Tyler is a lifelong gamer, getting his start on the Intellivision when he was three years old. After receiving his English degree, he discovered all those jokes about getting a job in his field were true. As Head Editor with oprainfall, Tyler is able to bridge his two passions; playing and talking about video games at any given opportunity, and being a total grammar nazi the rest of the time.