What Does Japan Think of Little Mac in Smash Bros.?

A week or two ago, Little Mac was announced as a new character for the upcoming Smash Bros. games. Little Mac is from the Punch-Out series, which is pretty well-liked and popular outside of Japan… but it doesn’t enjoy quite the same level of popularity inside Japan.

So a question I’ve been getting lately is: “How have Japanese Smash Bros. fans reacted to this Little Mac announcement?”

So I’ve gone around to a number of different sites and message boards, gathered up a bunch of different comments, and translated them here. Keep in mind that this isn’t indicative of ALL Japanese gamers – I’m just posting what I’ve seen.

The Punch-Out guy?

He’s always been a highly-wanted character overseas

Too niche, should’ve been left as a trophy. They should be using other companies’ characters before ones like this

He’s extremely popular overseas and has been around since the Famicom days. I only learned about him from Captain Rainbow, though

I dunno who this is. They should’ve used the guy from Kung Fu instead

I think they should’ve left this as a secret character

Makes sense for him to be in it, I expected some retro game characters

The guy from Punch-Out? Is he really that memorable enough to be in Smash Bros?

This guy was pretty strong assist character. So he’s gonna be an actual character now?

I’m not as mad as I am dumbfounded. These character choices are such a joke

Congratulations on your promotion from being an assist character!

His dream from Captain Rainbow came true

Are they even taking these character rosters seriously?

Newer, cooler characters please

Sorry, but who is this?

I think Little Mac’s inclusion is nice. But why are they announcing this on the newest Donkey Kong’s release date?! I was hoping they’d announce Diddy and Dixie!

Punch-Out sure takes me back lol

This is the first I’ve ever heard of this guy

He looks strong and fun to use. I like.

He’s not well-known in Japan but he’s a pretty popular character overseas. There’s always been a big demand for him to be included.

Just like with the Wii Fit lady I was like “Wha?!” at first but actually seems fun to play

Whatever

YES

I had a hunch, since there was a ring stage

Who?

Awesome!

I’m sorry, who is this again?

ROFL who???

Who is this?

Looks fun to play as! ….But who is this?

He’s from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, right? Only middle-aged guys like me would know him

YES Little Mac!!!!

Who gains anything from including characters like this nobody wants?

Another character I don’t know

No one knows this guy

No thx

Punch-Out is all about the unique opponents; why would you include the bland main character?

Basically, if you wanna know who this is, you gotta buy Smash Bros.?

That was seriously like a movie! Hooray, Little Mac!

I’m honestly disappointed. I holding on to hope that you’ll actually pick some popular characters, Sakurai

All these characters are crap

I heard his name a lot – he finally got in? I’ve never played it but I liked the video so that’s good enough for me

At first I was like, “Huh? Who is this guy?” but now that I’ve seen the video I like him. Comparing his height with Samus was cute, too

I bet foreigners are delighted. His abilities seem neat, and his motions are cool

At first I was like, “Why would they go with Punch-Out now, of all times?” But then I remembered that Donkey Kong was a guest in Punch-Out for the Wii… Is that a connection? Yesterday was Donkey Kong’s release day and all

On a personal note, I’m sad that I didn’t run across any Japanese comments about SMAP!

EDIT: For reference, the comments aren’t from just one place – I basically searched for リトルマック and スマブラ and pulled a few comments from a bunch of different sites.

Also, since a few readers have asked, some of Japan’s most-wanted characters seem to be:

From an extremely quick look, I see some of the most-wanted are:

  • Paper Mario
  • Nick / Captain Rainbow
  • Monster Hunter
  • Lucina
  • Dixie
  • Daisy
  • Waluigi
  • Shulk

But that’s just from one poll I’ve found and shouldn’t be considered indicative of all Japanese fans.

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173 comments

      1. It’s no coincidence they featured Samus prominently in the trailer, after all!

        It even works well with the “western comic book” aesthetic going on in the video, since Metroid used to have a bit of that as inspiration too.

        Reply
    1. Shadowgate comes immediately to mind: http://legendsoflocalization.com/a-very-quick-look-at-japanese-shadowgate/

      And here are some other similar articles I’ve done: http://legendsoflocalization.com/articles/#other-views

      And the AVGN-related articles I’ve done might be up your alley: http://legendsoflocalization.com/avgn/

      The topic is fascinating and I’d like to do some more sometime, I’m just not sure which ones would be worth looking into or not.

      Reply
      1. But Shadowgate is not japanese is it? As far as I know Punch-Out!! is a japanese game, so it’s even weirder that we like it better. I know we also like Metroid and and Zelda more than Japan, but at least they can recognize characters and whatnot. Now that I think of it, was Punch-Out!!! (3x! means it’s the Wii game) even released in Japan?

        Reply
        1. Read the article. The game is “popular” in Japan for being a piece of crap to them and their limited English understanding of how second person works. Since referring to someone as “you” has a huge system of politeness over there and they get easily offended at that sort of thing, the text was changed to be told in first person…and the result is really stupid.

          Reply
        2. Punchout Wii, the game where this incarnation of Little Mac came from, was made by a British game company.

          Reply
    2. Advance Wars is one good example. The latest game, which has a different name depending on where you live, originally only came out in AMerica and Europe despite it being originally in Japanese. It got released as a Club Nintendo reward in Japan, like Game & Watch Collection, and nothing more. This is Days of Ruin/Dark Conflict, by the way. Interesting story, both America and Europe were given the game and told to make English versions, so the American and European versions are different (Part of why the name is different in both regions). I have yet to try to European version, but I really want to just to see what the little differences in translation might be here and there.

      Reply
      1. Yeah, the differences are weird. From what I saw, the EU translation was more straightforward, while the US one seemed to have been punched up a bit. Might make for an interesting thing to see on this blog; it’s not often there’s two simultaneous English localisations of a game.

        Reply
      2. In Japan, the first Advance Wars game was only released in 2004, as part of a compilation with Advance Wars 2. Its non-American releases were put on hold due to 9/11 – which occurred the day after its NA release. Europe got it in January of the next year, so I don’t know why it took so long to get released in Japan. kind of ironic, given how long the series lasted as Japan-only.

        Reply
          1. That would be a really interresting topic to stuudy the translation for both version.
            You can find both script on GameFAQS, I think.

            One of the main example I remember is Cattleya/Isabella. Se took her name from the Cattleya Isabella. A type of orchid. In the european she chose the name Cattleya, but in the US, Ed tells her that Cattleya is too weird/complicated, so she chose Isabella.

            Then, the Eu Version also have some minor difference between the different translations too, so the subjsct is pretty vast.

            Reply
      1. Sonic is such a weird case, it’s like this strange blending of Japanese tastes and non-Japanese tastes. I see it especially when I look at games like Sonic 06, but it’s a feeling I get from most Sonic games.

        Reply
        1. Hmm. What feeling do the new characters known as the “Deady Six” give you, Mato? To me they seem very ‘Cartoon Network’-ish for the Sonic series.

          Reply
          1. Never even heard of them until now, but from a look at a picture they feel like a weird mix of East and West again, yeah. The horns feel Japanese for some reason but the CG looks like Cartoon Network-y stuff like you say.

            Reply
            1. The Deadly Six were based upon the Oni, to the point where their Japanese name translates literally as “Band of Six Oni”.

              Anyway, from the way I understand it, Sonic the Hedgehog was deliberately designed to appeal to Western Audiences, explaining why the games are a mix between Western tastes and Japanese tastes.

              Reply
    3. It’s certainly no longer true now, but Battle Clash was popular enough in the West (and/or not popular enough in Japan) that its sequel, Metal Combat, was only released in the Western market. I’d always wanted an ST to be an assist in Smash, but given how the Japanese apparently don’t even recognize a character who starred in a Wii game just a few years ago, I have dim hopes for anything from the Battle Clash making any sort of cameo (barring the Super Scope, of course).

      Reply
      1. Battle Clash was a U.S. launch game for the Super Scope in 1992, but the peripheral itself wasn’t released in Japan until 1993. By the time they released the first Battle Clash in Japan (under the title of Space Bazooka), Intelligent System already produced Metal Combat for the west. I don’t think the Super Scope was exactly successful in Japan, considering they only released a handful of titles that supported it, hence why Metal Combat was never localized over there.

        Reply
  1. It’s odd how some characters can be wildly popular in the west, but barely known in the east. I wonder who some of their top choices are?

    Reply
    1. It goes both ways. Project X Zone was a tricky thing to release here considering some of the cast is relatively obscure on both sides of the ocean, like Rikiya Busujima from Zombie Revenge and Bruno Delinger from Deka Dynamite. I mean seriously, has anyone ever actually played either of those and remembered the characters at all? Namco x Capcom was full of obscure faces, some from old Namco arcade games that never were released beyond a couple of iterations. So you see the problem.

      Japan’s anger at Little Mac is amusing though. I bet they hate him because he looks more western style than anime style.

      Reply
            1. That’s an incredibly US comic book style.
              The rough lines actually almost look like they were lifted straight out of the original Ninja Turtles comics.

              Reply
            2. Guys, it’s an art style.

              The only objective definition of Anime or Manga is that they’re cartoons or comics that originate from Japan.

              As with the west, the art styles within that country vary greatly. In fact, there’s even some works that look suspiciously like Western Animation, yet it was made in Japan like all Anime and Manga.

              Reply
      1. Then you have games like Tatsunoko vs. Capcom where pretty much 1/2 roster is unknown in the U.S., but quite clearly nobody gave a damn and just wanted a competitive Wii fighter that was long thought would never see a U.S. release.

        On the subject of having Little Mac, I love the contrast:
        U.S.: “YEEEEEEEESSSS! A GOOD CHARACTER UNLIKE THE WII FIT CHARACTER!”
        Japan: “WTF?”
        Also like how some know he’s liked in the U.S. and can see why he’s chosen.

        Related note, Punch-Out!!’s release in Japan was all in English AFAIK. I remember seeing the game played on GameCenter CX and the host, Arino, couldn’t read the dialogue because it was all in English.

        Reply
      2. “I mean seriously, has anyone ever actually played either of those and remembered the characters at all”
        Dynamite Deka? Yeah, when it was called Die Hard Arcade and Bruno Delinger was actually John McClane. :p In all seriousness though, Dynamite Deka is a huge cult favorite in Japan, since it was designed by the lead designer of Golden Axe and Altered Beast. It even had a PS2 port a few years ago.

        Zombie Revenge was also a pretty cult NAOMI/Dreamcast game back in its day. It helps that it’s one of the few decent 3D arcade beat-’em-ups ever made.

        Reply
      1. I find it interesting how Japan has embraced Donkey Kong characters created in the UK. It certainly explains Funky Kong being playable in Mario Kart Wii, among other things.

        Reply
      2. I cannot believe the fandom would complain about Little Mac and then put up that list (although I realize this is a bit of an unfair generalization).

        They’re bang on about Shulk, though.

        Reply
        1. I really really really hope Shulk will get in there, the world of Xenoblade is so full of great Smash Bros. stage potential, and I’d love to hear some new versions of some of the kickass Xenoblade music 😛

          Add in the various Monado powers and you got a pretty easy character to add to the game without trying too hard. I guess the only downside might be it’s yet another sword guy.

          Reply
            1. Right now the only sword users are Link, Toon Link, and Marth… Even with the size of the roster right now, that’s not that bad…

              Reply
          1. Wish granted!

            Apparently, Xenoblade Chronicle’s music is so awesome that the only “remix” of that song in Smash Brothers is a rock medley of the various songs from that game. All of the others are taken verbatim from the source game (as with the songs from Sonic the Hedgehog).

            Reply
  2. TheConfuZzledDude

    Punch-Out Wii doesn’t have any gimmicks apart from using the Wii Balance Board to lean iirc, but it’s optional and probably worse to use.

    The controls are actually pretty much the same as on the NES to be honest…

    Reply
      1. Actually it’s still relatively pricey for having been out for about 4 years; on Amazon, it’s around 28 dollars before shipping at its cheapest. I will say that it’s probably what a remake/reboot should be. They didn’t add a bunch of unnecessary junk you HAD to use (Motion controls are optional, but they added the ability to duck and build up Star Punches) and Next Level breathed new life into all the iconic PO!! characters; they even improved a couple from Super Punch Out. I really recommend it, though as a Punch Out fan, I’m a little biased.

        Reply
    1. Fair warning if you plan on using the board… it’s a workout and it’s a challenge to perfect your own balance to dodge. Yes, it’s gimmicky like voice options in Ace Attorney, but it was an interesting way to fight, and I might be crazy enough to do it several years later (and now I know exactly what I’m doing today).

      Reply
  3. Would they have preferred Soda Popinski as a playable character? XD Or maybe King Hippo? Now there’s a classy boxer! (…Well they couldn’t just put Mike Tyson himself into the game. XD)

    Reply
      1. Yes! 100% agreed! Soda Popinski would be my favorite Pokémon of all time. And favorite Final Fantasy character. And Mega Man character. And Punch-Out character. …Er, wait, he may already be. XD

        Reply
            1. I love it (actually, no) when random internet strangers trip themselves over so hard just to “call out” some comments that they see even the teensiest amount of “racism” in. Quality use of time, IMO.

              Reply
  4. It’s comforting to know that fans overseas are just as entitled and bratty as the fans I see posting on the English SSB Miiverse.

    Reply
    1. My thoughts exactly. They sound so familiar! If they announced an unknown Japanese character from an obscure, unlicensed Famicon JRPG, I could imagine these exact comments around here.

      Like I say, some things are international.

      Reply
        1. Poorly. I remember a lot of “Who” from all but the most dedicated Smash researchers.

          Also I remember Yahtzee getting annoyed at his inclusion considering we’re never getting him….and there were Mother 3 spoilers that probably didn’t help.

          Reply
    2. “Fans”? Considering the amount of grief and hate they give Sakurai, showing complete ungratefulness on every post he makes, they can hardly be considered as such. But of course they’ll still end up buying the game either way, they just complain when they see something that they don’t want.

      Reply
      1. Both Japanese and U.S. Smash fans are just entitled little idiots who take the fighting scene way too seriously. Why does everyone treat Smash games with the same level of seriousness as Street Fighter anyway? That’s just mental.

        Reply
        1. Probably because it’s a very good fighting game, which is more than you can say about Street Fighter nowadays. Not trying to excuse people complaining, but hey, it’s the internet.

          Reply
        2. Why are you complaining about the Smash tourney scene to a comment about casual players being entitled about character choices for the game?

          Reply
        3. “Why do people treat this Fighting game series as seriously as another Fighting game series?”

          I don’t know what you were trying to say.

          Reply
    3. I think this is a good example of people being people regardless of race, nationality, etc. You got the thoughtful responders, the “it’s no big deal” responders, the kneejerk jerk responders, and so on. I do think it’s just a case of negative people sounding the loudest at first; I think he’ll be accepted just fine over time, similar to how Roy and Marth and Lucas and others have been here.

      Reply
  5. “Punch-Out is all about the unique opponents; why would you include the bland main character?”
    I never realized before but this guy is right.

    How popular is boxing in general in Japan? I wonder how much popularity Mike Tyson has/had over there.

    Reply
    1. Well, Hajime No Ippo is one of the longest running manga series for what it’s worth. Still going since 1989, although I’m not sure how large of a fanbase it actually has.

      Reply
      1. Oh and for clarification, that was in response to your question on how popular boxing is in Japan. Ippo is manga that revolves around boxing.

        Reply
  6. Oh, wow. I was NOT expecting the comments upon his reveal to be so harsh. I’ve always known that Little Mac was way more popular overseas, but this is just sad.

    It really makes me wonder how they’re going to react if Ridley is confirmed to be playable.

    Reply
      1. Some, but at a very, very small number. Ridley is huge in the West, one of the most crazy popular candidates for inclusion across the fanbase. In Japan, he’s considered to be, well…eh. It’s more or less correlated with Metroid’s own popularity in its native country. Most people there would go “eh, he’s cool all right but where’s ______?” if he is included.

        Reply
    1. It feels like people have been asking for Ridley forever, but I’m still not sure how that would work. Is there a good thread somewhere that lists potential Ridley moves and such? If there’s such strong support for Ridley I’m guessing there are some really cool ideas I haven’t considered.

      Reply
      1. I don’t know of any personally, but if they made Charizard work, I’m sure they could handle Ridley.

        Reply
        1. Actually, Charizard’s something like 5’7″, so they didn’t really have to do much scaling on him.

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    2. Matt Broussard

      Some of these comments are really interesting…not the ones Tomato translated, but the comments some people are leaving here in reaction to those comments:

      “Why don’t they like this?”

      “I think I died a little inside reading that”

      “I was not expecting the comments to be this harsh”

      I actually went through the comments one by one, and separated them into groups of positive, negative, and neutral (i.e. “I don’t know who this is”). There were 22 positive, 14 negative, and 9 neutral reactions to Little Mac, and at least one of the negative comments was left by an apparent fan of the series (Punch-Out is all about the unique opponents; why would you include the bland main character?).

      For a character who’s much more popular with Nintendo fans in the West, I’m pleasantly surprised that so many of them knew how popular he is here and were glad for him to make into the roster!

      Reply
  7. Ugh, I think I just died a little on the inside reading through all of that…this is almost as bad as the comments from all of the entitled, whiny brats on Sakurai’s Miiverse posts. Seeing this, I wonder how Japanese gamers reacted to hearing that Waluigi will be an assist trophy again in the new Super Smash Bros. Speaking of which, what do Japanese gamers think of Waluigi…?

    Reply
    1. It’s strange, because when I look through the comments, yeah, I see all the negative ones, and can’t help but roll my eyes. But I’m also glad to see all the thoughtful commenters and the knowledgeable commenters and the commenters who aren’t sure what to think but are gonna give him a try.

      Reply
  8. The Wii version of Punch Out did receive an official Japanese release, didn’t it? Even if the game sold minimally, I would have thought Japanese gamers would at LEAST be familiar with the character on account of the latest game in the series.

    Outside of that, it’s not surprising that western audiences would be more excited over Little Mac’s appearance. While Punch Out on NES and Super Punch Out for SNES were readily available in the US, they weren’t so commonplace in Japan, interestingly enough. For one, the NES Punch Out was only given to a select few winners of an obscure Nintendo contest. And from my understanding, Super Punch Out was only made available through the Satellaview, and never appeared in cartridge form. If anyone knows the situation better than I do, feel free to correct any mistakes.

    Reply
    1. On another note, given the amount of criticism Little Mac is receiving for being an unrecognizable character, I wonder what sort of reactions we’d see if someone like Mike Jones from Startropics were included in the next Smash Bros…

      Reply
      1. Gaah StarTropics needs at least SOME representation this time around. I mean, if the Mother games are getting such strong representation can’t StarTropics at least get a sticker ;_;

        Reply
        1. I agree entirely. As unlikely as it may be, I would love to see Mike Jones as a playable character, or at least an assist trophy. I think it’s unique when companies include some of their more obscure characters into fighting games, as it gives the roster a wider spectrum. In addition, Mike would be a good representative for one of Nintendo’s very short lived but unique series, similar to Pit in Brawl. Lastly, it would be great to hear updated versions of the dungeon themes from StarTropics 2.

          On a side note, both games in the StarTropics series were released on the Virtual Console for American and European markets, so Nintendo hasn’t abandoned the series altogether. I do find it odd that they didn’t use the Virtual Console as an opportunity to finally release the games in Japan, however.

          Reply
          1. It’s a text-heavy game in a genre where you need to understand the text to play. Not something they can just throw up there, it would need a careful translation job first, and it’s not a game that’s likely to sell very well.

            At least they put the Game Boy Kid Icarus on the Japanese 3DS VC.

            Reply
            1. They released it over there completely unmodified, in its English glory.
              Mind you, the ROM for the English 1990 release did have a partial katakana set… maybe they weren’t feeling like doing the hacking for the translation just for a 3DS VC release?

              Releasing unaltered images… It seems that’s their standard (Sin and Punishment was the exception, and even then it had a full Chinese localization, so I think they surely had a partial English localization work under their hands)

              Reply
        2. ArnoldRimmer83

          Thank you. You have no idea how much I agree with you here. I find it very aggravating the way Nintendo of Japan pretends those games don’t exist. I know they weren’t released in Japan, but they were still internally developed at Nintendo. They are a part of their history. Its not fair that they get no kind of mention at all in the Smash games.

          Does Nintendo think their fans in Japan are gonna get really angry if they see a reference to a game they didn’t get? I mean if Mike Jones were a playable character or an assist trophy I could see them getting mad, (As the Little Mac comments attest.) but would including him as a a regular trophy or even a sticker really be that big of a deal?

          Reply
          1. There have been PLENTY of characters from games that have only been released in Japan that made their way into Super Smash Bros. games (Marth, Roy, Lucas) due to fan demand from Japanese gamers. However, with the inclusion of Little Mac in this installment, whom is apparently incredibly unpopular and not very well known in Japan, Sakurai might be listening to the wishes of Western gamers more this time around, which I’m pretty excited about.

            Reply
            1. Shin Onigashima
              Famicom Detective
              Captain Rainbow

              Well, all of these are equally as obscure here as Punch-Out, R.O.B, Uniracers and Star Tropics are in Japan. Considering how much JP-exclusives exist compared to US-exclusives, the ratio isn’t really surprising.

              And didn’t Little Mac make it as an assist trophy before?

              Reply
    2. Not quite – there were two versions of Punch-Out!! on the Famicom. The Mike Tyson branded/black cartridge version was a retail release; it’s the gold cartridge version with Bald Bull on the label that was a contest prize, and remains exceedingly rare (or at least expensive).
      Having said that the game was likely not produced or sold anywhere near the numbers it was in the west, and needless to say it clearly didn’t have anything near the same level of impact.

      Indeed Super Punch-Out!! never had a retail release in Japan, and if I recall correctly it was released via the Satellaview in 1998. I vaguely recall the game also being entirely in English – not that it matters all that much in that kind of game, but all things considered it becomes pretty clear that it was a game designed for the overseas market.

      Wii Punch-Out!! did get a Japanese release, but I’m not surprised that hasn’t done much for brand recognition – it’s essentially a nostalgia-pandering sequel aimed squarely at fans of a 20 year old game. It’s a great game but I’m not sure how well it would resonate with an audience who isn’t familiar with the series in the first place.

      Reply
      1. They really pushed Wii Punch Out on both sides of the ocean, though, didn’t they? Japanese players even got an offical guide that had all sorts of comics about the opponents in it. Oddly enough, all the comics read from left to right instead of right to left even though the guide wasn’t available in the states.

        Reply
        1. Not entirely strange, it seems they’re playing up Mac’s western appeal with the English sound effects (uh… well maybe not “smap”) and western art style. They do this with F-Zero too although that seems to be more successful as the characters in that are extremely quirky and Japanese still. So they go with the right to left format to mimic western comics and it’s seen as a slightly exotic thing, like manga is here, but I guess it’s much more niche in general hence why a bunch of people haven’t heard of him.

          Though, to be honest, if you trawled the English net for reactions you’d probably still get a bunch of people going “who?” even with Little Mac. Lets face it, Smash already has almost all the big name characters in it already. Lucina would get the same reaction from half of the internet over here, for example, so those Japanese comments from random websites don’t shock me much.

          Dixie, K. Rool and Ridley are probably the only ones that wouldn’t cause a “who?” reaction from anyone, aside from adding more well known Mario characters like Daisy.

          Reply
      2. I am Christina Aguilera

        I can’t remember if Super Punch-Out!! was ever made available via the Satellaview or not, but I DO know that it was released in Japan in 1998, several years after its western release, via the Super Famicom’s Nintendo Power service (not to be confused with the magazine in the U.S.). Nintendo Power for the Super Famicom and Game Boy then was largely like the store kiosk service where you could purchase and download new Famicom Disk System games onto rewritable disks, only with Nintendo Power, it was rewritable flash storage cartridges. The Dr. Mario half of the western Tetris & Dr. Mario SNES release also got released onto SF Nintendo Power in 1998 this way, as did puzzle game Sutte Hakkun, a bunch of then-exclusive Super Picross puzzles (eight sets of them!), and some really cool up-ports of Famicom graphic adventure games Famicom Detective Club 2 and Metal Slader Glory.

        The ROM that they used for the original western release of Super Punch-Out!! had English/Japanese language selections in the options menu from the get-go, so they clearly had *some* designs on it ultimately being accessible in Japan some way, some how. Or maybe they just wanted to throw a bone to Japanese players that liked the Famicom one and imported it.

        Reply
  9. I can’t wait to see what sorts of responses come from Japanese gamers when Ridley is inevitably announced as playable… hahaha.

    Reply
      1. Yeah, Sakurai seems to know about the arguments about Ridley being too big to be a fighter in Smash. He has made a couple of posts on Miiverse on the scales of the characters. The first one on the subject highlights the fact that Kirby and Olimar are usually small, and the second one shows that the fighters are small in the 3DS’s Nintendogs stage, even going on to say, “The Smash Bros. series doesn’t always stay true to scale.”

        Reply
      1. Overall more people were hoping for Bowser Jr., Paper Mario and Waluigi by the looks of things for the new Mario character. Toad also had a bigger fan following than Rosalina for Smash prior to his deconfirmation.

        Reply
      2. Reactions were mostly positive after the initial knee-jerk reaction of “why the fuck is Rosalina in the game”

        Reply
  10. Now see, when/if Lip is confirmed, the exact opposite will be true. Many Japanese gamers (and those in the West who have heard of and like Panel de Pon characters) will flip their wigs out of excitement, while just about the entire rest of the world will wonder who the hell she is and, optionally, bitch about why Sakurai made an actual Nintendo character playable instead of Goku.

    …N- No, I didn’t just write this post to advocate Lip being in SSB4. That’s crazy. You’re crazy. >_>

    Reply
    1. I may be crazy, sure! But after seeing Lip’s Stick in previous Smash outings, I would die a happy, happy little fanboy to see Lip as a playable character in the next Smash Bros game. I am quite fond of Panel de Pon myself, so… (Or heck, any of the Panel de Pon crew. I like Selene, er, the moon-fairy-girl myself, so!)

      Reply
    2. Lip can only be in SSB4 if we get a proper Panel de Pon game with her, and the rest of the cast and all that.

      … Which should happen! With all the recent puzzle games that became popular, what better time to have back a puzzle game with cute fairies?!

      Reply
  11. Huh. Now that you mention it, can you tell me what the Japanese reaction was to Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale? I was interested in finding out how that fared overseas at the time because, even though there are characters like Toro, Raiden and Heihachi, the characters known in Japan are probably pretty thin on the ground.

    Personally, I liked the beta when I played it but the characters were clearly a marketing gimmick and there was too much focus on online play. Ton of wasted potential.

    Reply
    1. Taking a brief glimpse at some of the mk2 user reviews for PS All-Stars, reviews were not… overwhelmingly positive. Actually, a couple of them mention in the “Criticisms” section of the reviews that they don’t know who most of the characters are.

      That being said, there are also a couple of reviews that actually point out that they like the character selection, so it probably just depends on how well-versed you are in western PlayStation games. Heck, even being a Westerner myself, I still didn’t know who half of the characters were. Who’s that? Killzone Guy? I dunno.

      Reply
      1. Lol, I actually thought the same think about “Killzone Guy”. I recognised the design but wouldn’t have been able to name the character even if my life depended on it.

        I knew most of the characters but they were just badly handled. Two Coles? Raiden instead of Snake? New Dante instead of Classic Dante? No Crash, Lara, Spyro or Final Fantasy character? Such a missed opportunity.

        Reply
    2. I remember reading a lot of negative comments on it’s announcement, and while I’m not that good with Japanese, I saw mention of “gaijin game” a lot. Which isn’t surprising, it had a huge western focus and a western developer.

      The game was released late and did incredibly poorly in Japan, and it did bad enough in the west as it is. Personally I feel this was deserving. It was a half-baked attempt to cash in on Smash’s popularity, nothing more.

      Reply
  12. I tend to think one of the reasons Punch-Out never really found its audience overseas was because so much of its western popularity revolved around the Mike Tyson sponsorship.

    That having been said, holy shit the guy from Kung Fu would be AMAZING.

    Reply
    1. “The guy from Kung Fu” is the Jackie Chan character Tommy from Wheels on Meals, so… yeah, no, that’s not happening. You might as well be asking for James Bond.

      Reply
      1. Spartan X barely resembles Wheels on Meals outside the common Japanese title between the two. In fact, all IREM needed to do to make it marketable overseas was to change the title. There’s even a Famicom-exclusive sequel that doesn’t feature Jackie’s likeness on the cover.

        Reply
        1. While that’s true… you can’t just put “this guy named Tommy who’s identical to the Tommy in this licensed Jackie Chan game, but totally not the same character so don’t sue us” in the game. The Japanese know who it is. Irem knows who he is. There’s an army of lawyers who’d know who he is the instant they tried doing something like that.

          It’d be like putting a tuxedo-clad guy with a gun named James Bond in the game and defend yourself by saying it’s not THAT James Bond. Doesn’t work that way.

          Reply
  13. If anybody is interested in Japan’s most wanted characters, this thread at Smashboards offers a more complete sample from multiple forums http://smashboards.com/threads/observations-on-the-japanese-fanbases-desires-for-smash-4-by-chronobound.338160/

    Pretty sure this was written pre-E3, though, so it might not be representative of the fanbases’ current desires (though keep in mind the roster was finalized some time in 2012 so any changes in the fans’ desires don’t really matter at this point)

    Reply
    1. How do you know the roster was finalized that long ago? Brawls roster kept evolving up till the final 6 months before release when Sonic was added.

      Reply
  14. Seems some of them don’t like Rosalina either (though literally “playing god” is fun to me).

    I’m still waiting to see Simon Belmont.

    Reply
      1. You mean the Gaston-alike wearing an aviator outfit who was completely incompetent? Maybe that could be an extra costume, but I’m talking about the one I remember from the games :D.

        Reply
      2. I am Christina Aguilera

        A Smash with Pit, Mega Man, Link, Zelda, and Simon Belmont is the secret Captain N reunion that I want.

        Reply
  15. I just want Bayonetta to be in the game. Nintendo needs more cross-promotional characters to promote games on their platform and considering Nintendo is publishing Bayonetta 2 it only makes sense.

    I mean Snake was in the last game after-all.

    Reply
  16. Interesting. Didn’t expect Punch-Out to be so unknown over there. I imagine westerners reactions would be similar if someone like Takamaru were revealed.

    Reply
    1. Like someone mentioned a few comments up, Western players had similar reactions when Lucas was announced for Brawl. “Who is this?” “Ness’s brother?” “WHERE’S MEWTWO!?”
      Really, the only people excited for him was the Mother/EarthBound fanbase.

      Reply
    2. Remember when Marth and Roy were added to Melee? It caused a ton of confusion stateside since Fire Emblem wasn’t a thing yet. I know people who still think they were Smash Bros originals.

      Reply
    3. ArnoldRimmer83

      I can’t speak for other Western fans, but I would love to see Takamaru in a Smash game. I would also like to see his game actually get released in America.

      Reply
      1. We did unexpectedly see Takamaru’s Ninja Castle in Nintendoland, so maybe that’s a first step towards reviving the character in some way? Guess time will tell.

        Reply
  17. I love how japanese people think that only characters popular in japan should be in ssb4. when brawl came out i didn’t know who some of the characters were, but did i whine about it? no. was i dissaponted that my wish list characters didn’t make it? yes.

    but i also know that while there are more popular characters out there they may not nessesarily translate well into smash.

    and to be quite frank some of these suggestions for characters are just stupid, i mean goku? seriously? come on guys…

    I support sakurai in his choices because i know he is well aware of the fan pressure and will deliver a great game regardless.

    Reply
    1. Dude…there’s no reason to be offended: it’s the same situation here. There were fans whining about the inclusion of characters like Marth, Roy and Lucas in the series rather other characters. I had one friend who was watching me play Melee and he proceeded to point out to me
      who belonged and didn’t belong in a Nintendo fighting game, and apparently Ness didn’t belong because he had never heard of him. This sort of thing is more common than you might think. And as for people wanting Goku to be in the game…I’ve also seen someone unoronically suggest Batman should be in the game.

      Reply
  18. ArnoldRimmer83

    I wonder if Japanese fans reacted similarly to Pit’s inclusion in Brawl. I’ve always heard that Kid Icarus was another game that the West liked more than Japan.

    I am surprised so many of them don’t seem to remember Little Mac. Sure, the Famicom Punch Out came out years ago, but it wasn’t that long ago the Wii game got released over there. Hopefully some of these fans become more open when the game is released. Maybe it’ll spawn some new Punch Out fans over there. Melee apparently did wonders towards making Fire Emblem known in the West.

    Reply
    1. Maybe the source was bogus, but I think I remember hearing that Japanese fans reacted positively to Meta Knight, Pit and Zero Suit Samus upon seeing the first trailer for Brawl. I guess fans were not as excited about Wario’s reveal however, or at least not at the time.

      Reply
  19. This is a great charecter, Little mac is a great fighter from punch out, its a great warrior, powerful and speed, i dont know why the japanese dont like this, i love little mac, i have so fun with punch out when i was a kid

    Reply
  20. well it seems that they forget about a popular anime they have and is still running
    hajime no ippo, so I think is just some people that dont like LM but you cannot please everybody

    Reply
  21. Opinionated Vector Chimera

    ATTN Clyde Mandelin!!1

    I’m gonna complain about the comments you translated because *HOLY CRAP* I didn’t expect Japanese people to be as vocal as we are.

    Reply
      1. Opinionated Vector Chimera

        (was trying to make fun of similar comments here, got a serious reply)

        ………….

        Reply
  22. One of my favorite things about this site, Mato, is how you’ll translate even the most mundane things, like what Japanese commentors say. I love stuff like this because it gives us an insightful look into the culture over there, and even shows how we’re not all that different from each other, sometimes!

    If people over here made those same comments, I’d probably roll my eyes as well, but just seeing these as comments from overseas behind the filter, overall I’m just amused and just have a smile of amusement on my face. 😛 Keep it up, Mato, I love this site and can’t wait for the next update!

    Reply
  23. Somehow the announcement of Little Mac evaded me. Huh. Gotta admit it sounds like a weird one to me, but whatever. That’s the point of a game like this, right? Lots of different characters/playstyles? In spite of some of the negativity, it sounds like there’ll be plenty of Little Mac players on both sides of the ocean. I’m still pretty excited about the Villager, myself.

    Reply
  24. Anyone else notice he didn’t hit a single woman in the commercial????
    That’s feminism for ya, don’t want to deal with all the womyn complaining about harassment. or beating on their poor defenseless selves.
    And he acted like the idiot sitcom dad when there was a woman present.

    Reply
    1. No idea where that came from, seeing as he kidney punched Samus full force in the trailer. Seriously, no need to be so kneejerk about something that isn’t happening in the reveal.

      Reply
  25. I wonder how they felt when Sonic was announced as playable. I hear he’s not as popular in Japan either.

    Reply
    1. He’s not the most popular here(North America) either. Sure, he has a lot of fans, but a lot of hate too. I can’t judge for myself, never played Mario OR Sonic.

      Reply
  26. I don’t know about the “west”. I’m in Europe and I don’t think I’ll find anybody who knew who Little Mac was before he was announced for Smash Bros. Was he really a popular character anywhere? I find that baffling to be honest.

    Reply
    1. Yes…yes he was. Punch-Out was very popular in the NES days. Even people that didn’t play video games regularly knew about Punch-Out. Mike Tyson is constantly put on lists of hardest bosses of all time. I can imagine people born outside of the 90s wouldn’t recognize Punch-Out, but that just makes me sad…

      Reply
    2. Checking VGChartz, Punch-Out on NES sold 2.05 million in America but only sold about 400K in Europe and Japan. So it seems to be a game well known only in America.

      Reply
      1. Oh, that explains it then! To be honest we have a history with this around here – I remember playing the original Smash Bros on the N64 and wondering who the hell this secret character Ness was… Earthbound never got a release around here, which is quite tragic isn’t it. So in fact interest in Earthbound (or widespread knowledge that a game called Earthbound even existed, really) only arose around here after the original Smash Bros… yeah, I guess we’re a bit lame.

        Reply
    3. Oh sure, I’ve known who he was since the Eighties. 😀 I know people here (that is, the States) who have been wondering for years why he never showed up in SSB since it would make a lot of sense.

      Reply
  27. We have to deal with Marth being an unknown in the west, they can deal with Mac

    I’m glad that a lot of them recognized that he’s popular outside of Japan, so they can at least understand the logic behind Mac’s inclusion

    Reply
  28. Hmm…I don’t think we need another Mario character (I forget if they’ve said Wario would be in this one, but you figure there’s at least Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Bowser, as well as Rosalina), I wouldn’t want Waluigi. Shulk and Dixie though might be fun (I especially want Shulk, or at least a Reyn assist trophy so I have an excuse to yell out IT’S REYN TIME!). A third party cameo of Monster Hunter characters could be cool as well.

    Reply
    1. I know, right? Plus it’s bloody Waluigi too. A Waluigi’s Pinball stage would be lots of fun, though…

      Reply
  29. Lucina? I AGREE! (Umm, I’m playing Fire Emblem Awakening at the moment… XD) I agree, though – she’s awesome! Either her or Chrom, probably, right? I doubt they’ll drop Marth – or was he confirmed already? I haven’t been able to check…

    Reply
  30. Well apparently Japanese fans have a lot more rational ideas for Smash Bros. fighters that some of the Miiverse comments I’ve been seeing.
    Paper Mario would be boss.

    but i just bought paper jam so :/

    Reply
  31. “He’s from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, right? Only middle-aged guys like me would know him”
    Wow that’s the best comment ever.

    Reply

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