Part of this direct's crushing impact came from the fact that Corrin, another Fire Emblem character was added on top of a franchise that had gotten a significant boost in representation. Fire Emblem clearly had enough love given to it this round: 3 fighters, 1 semi-clone, and 1 full clone all characters people wanted to see added/brought back. Even if we were to say people wanted more Fire Emblem, I swear more people wanted Azura than Corrin. I mean granted, she isn't the main character but hey, my rules have already been proven to be full of shit so why not go big. Let me provide to you some direct quotes translated from Sakurai translated by SourceGaming.
“We decided that, if we’re going to create more downloadable fighters, it made sense to add a character from a new release. After some discussion, Corrin was selected from the group of candidates, and we set to work.”
"After internal analysis, we decided that if we’re going to make DLC, we would choose a character from a soon-to-be-released new game. After consulting many times with Nintendo and looking at the upcoming release schedule, Fire Emblem Fates was in just the right spot. It’s already been released in Japan, but is yet to be released overseas, making it a prime candidate in terms of timing. I personally felt that having too many Fire Emblem characters was a problem, but after talking it over with the development staff and discussing logistics, I felt certain that I could make them a fun character."
The fact that Corrin was selected is so irritating and feels like such a large oversight. Not only has Fire Emblem gotten a large boost in attention this round but:
- Nintendo didn't have many big releases at the time that could've yielded popular results so they severely limited their options.
- Had this arbitrary rule not been thrown into play, we could've gotten a character people were actually interested in, as was promised a little bit after Ryu/Roy. They promised that from then on, every character included would be fanservice, which Corrin quite clearly isn't. Corrin is..
- Advertisent. They were unadulterated, unmasked, shameless advertisement,
Smash was and is viewed at as ABOVE PlayStation All-Stars. It included characters not only because they related to upcoming releases, but because they were requested and important to Nintendo and its history. Corrin made me feel like Smash stooped to such a low: adding characters in solely to promote a game, made even more painful by the fact that they emphasized so much that Smash characters were hard to develop. This was the equivalent of Santa Monica adding Kat/Zeus to PSAS (though to be fair kat is awesome but still) over actual classic Sony characters.
This is only worsened further by a statement released months later stating that "Fire Emblem Is Now Considered A “Major IP” For Nintendo". Why would a major IP need advertisement? Fates was going to do well after Awakening and they knew it. Back during my more whiteknightish days I would argue that no character was a "wasted slot" and that every character had purpose and thought put into them. While I still believe aspects of that since you know, slots don't exist, Corrin quite clearly didn't need to be here and was honestly a waste of development time.
Put simply in a tl;dr Corrin was advertising, plain as day. Nobody wanted him that bad and he felt like a very shallow inclusion on top of an all-star roster. Do I even need to say the people that could've been put in the game instead of him?
I liked the Inklings and while I was no big advocate for them, lots of other people were.
Sure this could have ALSO been considered advertising but it had been months since Splatoon launched (the game had launched half a month prior to if/Fates in fact) and it was no secret that everyone loved Splatoon and it was Nintendo's biggest new IP since Pikmin. On top of that, Elma or Cross from Xenocross would've been a much better inclusion as Xenoblade could use more of a push and only had one representative! The argument could be made that Corrin was in development when Splatoon had just launched but that brings up a pretty soul-piercing aspect of all of this I'll mention in Bayonetta's section.
Last but not least, the biggest stinger that still gets me to this day is people defending Corrin and coming after Mario/Pokémon. Nobody seemed to give a shit about an additional Fire Emblem character (will get to that later for the 50th time sorry), but God forbid had it been Mario/Pokémon people would've lost there shit saying that these franchise don't deserve anymore characters. Like, guys, come on. I get that Fire Emblem is one of your fav Nintendo I.P.s, but it really doesn't hold a candle to those two franchises in importance/relevance. Mario and Pokémon are the two most successful gaming franchises of all time, inspired generations, and help push gaming and Nintendo to new heights all the time. They're easily deserving of a bit more attention in a Nintendo crossover game over the franchise that would've died had it not succumb to the power of anime.
(Disclaimer: I like Awakening a lot please don't roast. Also I didn't even really want more Mario/Pokémon, people just need to cut that dumb shit out.)