Incineroar should never have been added to Smash

Without a doubt, Incineroar was the biggest mistake of all Super Smash Bros.. I know there are some Incineroar fans out there, so if you love this overly sexy cat man, I don’t mean to offend you. But Incineroar shows the recent trend of Smash Ultimate and makes the game feel really outdated. Not that Incineroar is a bad Pokemon, but it certainly isn’t even in the same class as the rest of the pocket monsters on the list.

There are ten Pokemon in Smash Ultimate if you count Pokemon Trainer as three. Pikachu, Pichu, Jigglypuff, Mewtwo, Lucario, Greninja, Charizard, Ivysaur, Squirtle and Incineroar. If you can’t see how one of these things is unlike the other, I don’t know what to tell you. Nine of those Pokemon are top tier characters, while Incineroar is merely a flavor of the week when Ultimate happens to be out. When Smash came out in December 2018, Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon had been out for a year, and the beginning of Sword & Shield had yet to be revealed. It’s entirely possible that either game changed its schedule in just a few months, we could have had Cinderace in Smash instead.

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This isn’t the only character in Smash Ultimate to receive an invite just because they were relevant at the time. There was a collective groan that was heard around the world when Byleth was revealed to be a DLC warrior. Byleth is the protagonist of 2019’s Fire Emblem: Three Houses, so while their inclusion in Smash feels like an advertisement for another game in the same way that Incineroar did, you can at least tell Byleth is the character. main game in which they participate.

If you need proof that Incineroar was a mistake, just look at its legacy, or lack thereof. Incineroar has practically no merchandise, and it hasn’t appeared in any of the Pokemon spin-offs, including New Pokemon Snap, Pokemon Unite, or Pokken Tournament. That’s right: Heel Pokemon, a Wrestlemania denier, isn’t in the Pokemon fighting game. Decidueye is though. It’s also in Unite, so obviously there are some Gen 7 Pokemon with legs. Incineroar is not one of them. Even with a strong push from Smash Bros., Pokemon has become opaque.

The Pokemon Company has a history of trying to create specific Pokemon – sometimes with success and sometimes with less. After Lucario became a fan favorite character thanks to the movie Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, TPC attempted to propel Zoroark as the breakout Generation 5 Pokemon by having it launch on the big screen and in-game event – the only non-Mythical Pokemon to ever get one. Of course, Zoroark was never successful, but there have been some successes. Through harsh contact and unyielding will, Eevee has become the mascot that has accompanied Pikachu for the past 5 years. While it’s still relatively new, Scorbunny/Cinderace has certainly established itself as a breakout star on par with Greninja.

Incineroar isn’t a star Pokemon, and its inclusion in Smash would certainly make the game – which is rife with timeless characters – feel outdated. There are five generations of Pokemon represented in Smash, but it’s immediately clear what year it was born thanks to Incineroar. Sakurai has suggested that a future Smash game will need to cut down the list. I guarantee that if that happens, Incineroar will be one of the first fighters in the ring. We can have Gengar. God, we can have Gengar…

Next: Why is Pokemon Kart not a thing?

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