Stages can make or break an entry in the Super Smash Bros series. While Smash for Wii U had a great variety of characters, a large portion of the stages were somewhat lacking. What good are all those awesome characters if the arenas are subpar? Here are some of our top picks for stages we’d like to see come back in Super Smash Bros for the Nintendo Switch, and a few we’d like to see for the first time.
Our Picks for Top 3 New Stages
Pat: No Smash Bros. game would be complete without a deluge of new stages. While my picks here aren’t necessarily indicative of stages that I would normally want to play on, part of the charm to Smash Bros. is just how crazy it can get. Here are some stages that I would love to see get represented in the newest entry.
If you’ve never played Picross, first off, go play it because I’m not going to describe it here and my idea is going to sound crazy. But if you have played it, then hopefully I can paint a good enough picture. I would imagine a blank grid that randomly gets a number of boxes filled in. The stage would be viewed just as you see here, zoomed out from this perspective. As the battle progresses, more and more boxes get filled in and a sprite featuring something from Nintendo’s storied history starts to take shape. Maybe you can influence the stage and the structure based on hitting the correct boxes with your attacks, or maybe they just slowly get filled in and swapped around like in the Mario Maker stage. However it works, I just want to see this franchise show up in some form in Smash.
Really you could just take any Snipperclips stage and add your fighters and you’re good to go. I’d imagine that the puzzles would be playing out in the background as you’re beating the stuffing out of each other. The two Snipperclips characters would be snipping each other up randomly and if you get caught in the teal cross section when it gets cut you’ll take a fair amount of damage.
1. Pokémon GO
Pokémon GO’s success is something that cannot be ignored. It was a cultural zeitgeist and I’d love to see Smash start referencing Nintendo’s mobile offerings now that they officially support the platform. What I would envision is a an overhead map similar to how the maps look in-game, maybe based on your neighborhood if you choose to enable location services. This would be the background of the stage as the fighting takes place on floating platforms. The next phase of the stage consists of the Pokémon capture screen from the game in which you fighting on the Pokémon, similar to the Pokefloats stage from Melee, complete with AR background from real user submitted photos. Finally find a way to incorporate the Pokéstops and Gyms. Stops could be hit by your character to spew items all over the stage (only if you’re one of those weirdos who play with items on). Gyms could transition into a normal stage and the Pokémon currently inside the gym (again if locations services were turned on) would show up as stage hazards (think Yellow Devil from Mega Man’s Wii U stage). Could be a really cool and unique way to represent that franchise.
3. Breath of the Wild
Chandler: No question, a Breath of the Wild stage is what I’m most excited about in the new Smash Bros. I’m probably in the minority when I say I enjoyed the Skyloft stage from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword but I’m really hoping they won’t simply do a carbon copy for BOTW. It should be more interactive than just platforms rotating around a visually appealing background. There’s an opportunity here to transition between the four champion provinces somehow and even include the Divine Beasts. I like simple stages but I wouldn’t mind to have the Divine Beasts interfere as a stage hazard to keep things interesting. Not every stage has to be simple like Battlefield and there’s a time and place for little variety.
2. New Donk City
Mario Odyssey was a huge success so it seems obvious there would be stage or even two included in the new Smash. There’s many different locales to choose from but my vote would be the metropolis New Donk City. The possibilities for New Donk City are endless but I see this stage resembling something close to the Earthbound stage, Onett. It could have different sorts of flag poles, buildings and platforms to jump on when a stage hazard appears. Namely whenever a car swoops in or something transforms. Who knows, maybe a few New Donkers will be walking around too.
You don’t just introduce the Inklings in the new Smash trailer and totally avoid having a stage for them. It has to happen. There’s 21 stages in Splatoon 2 alone so the simple choice would be to pick and choose some iconic spots that players should be familiar with in the game. However, I feel the backdrop of Inkopolis provides more opportunities where you can possibly include some Splatoon characters and unique features. You could make this a day/night stage where in the day the shop doors are open and the shopkeepers throw out items. Then at night the lights come out and it’s a music fest featuring some of our favorite Splatoon headbangers. The variety would be cool and it would showcase how stylistically creative the Splatoon environment can be.
Our Picks for Top 5 Returning Stages
Pat: I like simple stages, but I’m not the biggest fan of overly simple stages. Final Destination is just too bland for me. You’ll find that most of my picks are some sort of middle ground between Final Destination’s straightforwardness and Gamer’s insanity.
5. Coliseum (Wii U)
Coliseum has the perfect amount of kinetic stage movement and changes to keep you on your toes, while testing how well you can adapt to situations, without overwhelming you with cheap stage hazards or crazy flying platforms. A great blend of flat battlegrounds and platforms with just enough movement to keep you from feeling too comfortable.
4. Kongo Jungle (Melee)
We haven’t seen this one in a while, but I really, really, enjoyed this stage back in the Melee era. A good amount of smaller vertical platforms to encourage aerial combat with a main larger horizontal platform with slight curves to bring the battle in focus. This underrated stage contains just the right amount of simplicity without becoming boring. The rock off the the side adds another small platform used to egg your opponent on, and the Klaptrap stage hazard makes sure you’re always paying attention. Just in case you find yourself not paying attention however, you can always hope you’ll drop into the barrel in order to save yourself and earn another chance to jump back into the fray.
3. Great Bay (Melee)
Once again, another fantastic stage with just the right amount of static and kinetic elements. I spent SO much of my youth fighting on this stage and I would love to see it return in beautiful, HD splendor. I relish in the chaos that the occasional save from death that the resurfacing turtle can bring. Sure, you can snag a quick easy kill if you throw your opponent in the opposite direction on the platform by the owl, but in my mind, if you’re opponent is dumb enough to fall for that old trick then they aren’t much of an opponent.
2. Pokémon Stadium (Melee, Brawl)
Pokémon Stadium is close to being the perfect stage. Wonderful symmetry with platforms on each side of the stage lending itself for some skillful and calculated battles. However, it’s during the stage’s landscape altering transformation where the best battles are fought. A rotation between grass, fire, water, and rock, each with their own unique layouts and landscapes in which you can wage war. Stadium has a wonderful way of keeping the battles fresh without introducing any cheap stage hazards that can 1-shot you.
1. Corneria (N64, Melee, Brawl, 3DS)
Corneria is quite possibly my favorite stage of all time. It consists of a delightfully long upper platform in which you can engage in a million variants of “chicken” against your opponent and a small lower platform for when you’re feeling cowardly. The Arwings flying in as extra temporary platforms are a nice touch and the shots they fire are mostly dodge-able if you’re skilled enough and rarely unfair. There is a reason this stage has been in every Smash game except Wii U, and it deserves to be in any Smash game moving forward.
Chandler: Truthfully I’m a purist when it comes to stages and I’m largely against anything that interferes with the core match play. But from time to time I can appreciate a stage that visually looks cool like Skyloft (Wii U, 3DS) or Delfino Plaza (Wii U).
5. Battlefield (Wii U, 3DS)
Picking the right character for the stage is almost as equally important as picking the right character for who you’ll be competing against. Ganondorf is one of my characters and it’s why I happen to feel Battlefield is his best stage. The platforms provide good cover from projectiles and attacks above leaving room to punish characters trying to capitalize on a down smash. But Ganondorf aside, Battlefield is visual delight. The background shifts between the time of day, to show a dawn, day, evening and night appearance. At it’s core the stage is very similar to Fountain of Dreams so it’s no surprise both of them made my list.
4. Coliseum (Wii U)
I will always appreciate a flat stage without the fear of falling off a ledge or getting owned in the air when my character’s best moves are on the ground. Coliseum is one of the few Wii U stages I can trust where the environment doesn’t negatively impact the game play when the stage changes scenery to keep things fresh.
3. Fountain of Dreams
Kirby’s Fountain of Dreams is remarkably stunning. The dark background and vibrant colors create an aesthetic ideal for battle. The stage is beautiful and the little details like the reflections off of the ground are nice touches without becoming distracting. All this combined is a big reason why this stage is so popular in competitive play. But the best part has to be the music! It starts slow but swells at all the right moments to provide a truly epic experience.
2. Corneria (N64, Melee, Brawl, 3DS)
Tired of random stage hazards getting in your way? Corneria was often the “go-to” stage to hash a true winner in 1v1 or 2v2 without the worry of something out of your control causing your crushing defeat. The ships main platform offers plenty of room to move around for ultra fast or slow characters to find equal footing. If things go south fast, there’s no shame in jumping down to the lower platform where a strategic up-smash can turn the tide of battle. Get too confident and you can find yourself in the unfortunate spot of getting KO’d by the ships laser canons. All this combined makes Corneria an elite map and it must be a mainstay in every smash moving forward.
1. Hyrule Castle (N64, Wii U)
Hyrule Castle is a classic stage from the first Super Smash Bros that never disappoints. It’s filled with nostalgia for all sorts of painful and hilarious moments, whether it’s getting sucked into the tornado or camping out in the little greenhouse. What I love most about this stage is the variety of ledges and straightaways where you can really deliver some of your best aerial and ground attacks. Ledge guarding is certainly an issue and it’s easy to use the greenhouse as a bumper in case you’re taking serious damage. Those who have the high ground tend to be victorious in most of these situations.
Our first post in the series looked at what we could expect from Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo Switch. Our next post will look back at some of the best modes throughout the series that we’re keeping our fingers crossed to see return. Then, we’ll each share what new modes we’d like to see added or expanded upon.