Talking Point: Spyro deserves a spot in Smash Ultimate - here's why
We've heard it all - from Crash Bandicoot, to Geno, to Isaac from Golden Sun, there are quite literally hundreds, if not thousands of character requests for the upcoming Super Smash Bros Ultimate Fighters Pass 2. Everyone has their reasons for wanting their favorite characters in the game, but I'm here to make the case for a single one. Spyro the Dragon.
At time of writing, Crash Bandicoot is one of the most highly sought after characters for Smash Ultimate, with one of the biggest reasons being stated that he is, in many peoples opinions, the mascot of Playstation - something that's severely lacking in Super Smash Bros right now.
My big question is, "What about Spyro?"
Crash came first, sure, but in my humble opinion Spyro is the bigger character. I have to admit, I didn't have a Playstation growing up so I didn't have an attachment to either of these characters for most of my life. In fact, the first time I played Crash Bandicoot was on a shiny new PS2 at my fathers house when we went for our court ordered visitation. For however limited my time with the character was, I did love the whacky characters and gameplay that Crash Bandicoot brought with it.
But then something weird happened. Spyro, after being rebooted in the more adult "legend" trilogy, got rebooted once again into something that changed the dynamic of gaming forever.
Skylanders launched in 2011 to frenzied kids, teens and everything in-betweens. The first game of its kind to combine video games with physical toys, it launched the aptly named "toys-to-life" category and quite literally changed the landscape of gaming forever.
But why is this relevant to Spyro? Well, the first game of the series was spearheaded by the friendly purple dragon. Entitled "Spyro's Adventure", the iconic gaming legend leant his name and likeness to a brand new, ambitious endeavor that made Spyro THE hero of an entirely new generation.
For nearly 20 years, regardless of what he looked like, Spyro was a household name. The same cant be said for very many other characters, and certainly not Crash Bandicoot. Crash's last "new" game was in 2008, 8 years prior to Spyro's last appearance in Skylanders Imaginators. In fact, Crash owes some of his current relevancy to our favorite purple dragon.
Crash Bandicoot and his nemesis Neo Cortex most recently made an appearance in Skylanders Imaginators, even getting an entire content pack level dedicated to them. Crash literally only got new content because of Spyro.
But like all icons, Spyro is not simply a video game character. The success of the Skylanders franchise led to spin-off comics and even Netflix TV show, that once again Crash Bandicoot guest starred on.
At least for me, it's pretty clear that Spyro is the more notable Playstation all-star here.
More than that though, I feel Nintendo owes Spyro for much of their late success. While Nintendo is always the pioneer in fun, unique technology, its undeniable that amiibo exist solely based on the success of the Skylanders franchise. From Disney Infinity to LEGO Dimensions, to of course Nintendo, everyone was trying to grab a stake in the toys-to-life marketplace. Nintendo's amiibo have outlasted them all, but we have to be wary of the fact they likely would never have existed without the help from Skylanders and Spyro.
So how amazing would it be for things to come full circle, and for Nintendo to repay Spyro by including him as a living legend in the worlds best fighting game? Nintendo did something unprecedented in 2015 when they allowed Bowser and Donkey Kong to guest star in Skylanders: Superchargers - it's time Activision returns the favor by lending Spyro for a few fights.
With Fighters Pass 2 likely being the conclusion to Smash Ultimate, and potentially the end of the amiibo and the larger toys-to-life market as a whole, how fitting of a send off to the toys-to-life genre would it be to go out the same way it all started, with a brand new figure of an iconic purple dragon.