Back when Corrin and Bayonetta were the hot news on everyone's mind, I was researching other people's thoughts to make sure I wasn't completely bonkers. It wasn't exactly confirmation bias as I knew that most people were satisfied, but I wanted to see if anyone else thought what I thought, yet was keeping a rational head. Really needed someone to balance out the chemical implosion that had just occurred in my mind, you know?
So when searching SourceGaming for information surrounding our two new characters, I found the thoughts of one member by the name of "SmashChu". Here are some key points from his point of view that I'd like to highlight as back when I first saw them, it not only validated some of my thoughts, but opened me up to new ways to think about Smash/Sakurai. So, here it is:
"I feel the downloadable content was not made for Super Smash Brothers fans, but for Sakurai. Corrin is the perfect example of this. Fire Emblem already has five characters, but a sixth was added. In 2008 Sakurai’s GDC presentation, he stated that “Distribution among the franchises is also taken into consideration.” If that is true, why was Corrin added over other characters? Xenoblade Chronicles X is in the same position Sakurai described for Fire Emblem Fates, and Xenoblade as a series has one characters: Shulk. The only reason Corrin was added is because Sakurai is a huge Fire Emblem fan. Also, consider Ryu. Sakurai has said little of his inclusion, but during an interview with Famitsu, he stated “It’s pretty difficult. If I keep making Smash, I get to work on interesting things like Ryu, but if I leave, I don’t know if the staff could do it by themselves.” In other words, if he keeps making Smash, he will get to work on a plethora of different characters. He added Ryu because he can say he worked on Ryu in a game. The same is true for Cloud. While Cloud has been a popular character, this is true of a plethora of Nintendo characters. The reason these characters are in is because Sakurai wanted to work on them, not because they would add to the game."
As you can see I clearly got inspiration from some of the points given, particularly the Xenocross point but the thing that really stuck out and opened up the doors to me was his comments on mein divine leader, Masahiro Sakurai, who is actually incapable of making any bad decisions as he made stuff I like so clearly he can never be wrong! Simple logic, duh.
Back to Bayonetta, the big point I'd like to emphasis right now is this fragment of the quote: "The reason these characters are in is because Sakurai wanted to work on them, not because they would add to the game" It really struck a cord. I still firmly believe that Smash 4 is phenomenal and had a great decisions made about it, but this ending? It really reeks of that quote. Allow me to elaborate:
Even now, it's hard to believe Bayonetta won the Smash Ballot. Not from an emotional standpoint, but from a logic standpoint. Bayonetta surely had her fans but to have overpowered some of the heavy-hitting contenders the Smash fanbase collectively had shoved down their throats over the course of seven months is so damn suspicious. I even find it hard to imagine that general audiences, the people who play Smash and give it a majority of its sales but aren't as invested in the fandom, put their vote for Bayonetta of all characters. Because the first thing I think of when talking about potential new characters for Smash is "sexy witch lady who gets butt-nekkid while torturing her many enemies from that game that reminds me of DMC but also didn't do gangbusters".
Did people really like her THAT much? I really can't believe it. This isn't even some Trump/Hillary (I know, last time they'll be mentioned) stuff where while Trump was normally below Hillary, there was normally a short enough gap that with a good amount of people he could snatch her. Put bluntly, I barely saw Bayonetta be requested and still can't believe to this day that even with a silent underlying fanbase that she could've scored popular enough to warrant her in Smash. And Sakurai's statements on her don't do her many favors.
According to Sakurai, Bayonetta was #1 in Europe and in the top 5 in America which, where do we even begin? Well, firstly, did Japan just not get a say in this? Were the results just so radically different between all the factions in the fanbase that they weren't accounted for entirely? RIP to them I suppose. So like I said before, I wasn't seeing Bayonetta be praised like she was HYDRA but even so, I don't live in Europe so I can't concretely object to her being #1 over there. Maybe European Smash fans are just more quiet about their opinions. Or maybe there aren't as MANY European fans as there are American fans, hmmm?...
"What're you saying?"
You know exactly what I'm saying and why I'm saying it. I'm saying it...
I'M SO SORRY FOR GOING BACK TO THAT
TRDUMPSTER FIRE I WASN'T GONNA LET OPPORTUNITY SLIP
Bayonetta coming even in the top 5 in America is a hardswallow. People like Bayonetta but I haven't heard people shower her in praise the way other franchises do. Because of the Smash Ballot's nature as well, I can't imagine it reaching too far outside of the circle of hardcore Smash fans, essentially cutting out this theorized secret support from more casual Smash fans.. And she made it into the top 5 /INCLUDING/ veterans? Like come on, we all know damn well that K. Rool, Snake, Shantae, Shovel Knight, Wolf, Inklings, and so many others outnumbered Bayonetta in both votes and time in general discussion. Hell, I'd wager even Banjo & Kazooie probably outvoted her. But if all of these characters supposedly beat-out Bayonetta, why was she chosen? I think it all comes back to the man with the plan: Sakurai.
The wording of Bayonetta's victory is so snake-like, like Jesus just read this.
no biblical allusion intended (that includes you bayonetta; damn angels)
"We were conducting a “Smash Ballot” where people could vote for their favorite characters. Worldwide, 1.8 million votes were counted, and of the fighters that were negotiable, as well as realizable in Smash, Bayonetta had the highest amount of votes!* Bayonetta 2 was also a Nintendo exclusive, so negotiations were very easy."
What do "negotiable" and "realizable" even mean? Hell if we'll ever know, but if it's anything similar to how Chrom (who we'll be diverting attention from Bayonetta to him for a short second) was treated and Corrin was chosen, we know it simply has to do with Sakurai not thinking
Take a look ril' quick.