Super Smash Bros. is a once in a console generation event. Speculation and aspiration for community favorites runs rampant during the reveal cycles. In Super Smash Bros. For Wii U and 3DS, the team introduced the three Mii Fighter characters! The Mii Brawler, Mii Gunner, and Mii Swordfighter allowed anyone to join the fight against Nintendo’s all-stars! The Smash team also introduced costumes for Mii’s to wear. For a long time, these costumes were viewed as disappointments and slights by the community. I’m going to put it bluntly here at the start. A character getting a Mii costume is never an inherently bad thing.
When Sonic and Mario first crossed over into the Olympic games, they brought the ability to play as your Mii! The roster was incredibly limited so, in the Winter Games, Nintendo and Sega introduced Mii outfits for multiple characters. These costumes acted as a neat way to show that the team did care about fan favorites! These costumes were hailed by fans as a wonderful addition! Some were disappointed that these outfits were designed as a mii dressed up as their favorites and not their favorites themselves.
There isn’t a fanbase in the world as rabid as the Smash community. The combined voices in support of characters have even caused the developers to change their minds entirely on additions. For years, Ridley was considered impossible by Masahiro Sakurai, the series director, and fans everywhere. Over the years, the team has found other ways of representing characters than a shot on the roster. Large communities have taken up against these additions, but in the end, most appreciate the fact that they’re here at all. Some characters just don’t fit, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be represented!
With the introduction of the Mii to Smash, a brand new method of representation fell to the team on a silver platter. Even better than trophies or stickers, they were playable too! On top of the base game content, the team decided to give tons of fan favorites DLC Mii fighter costumes! Where’s the flaw? They carried over the philosophy of the Mario & Sonic titles. These outfits were designed as you in an outfit based off of Toad.
Needless to say, fans didn’t like them. A lot of Mii costumes ended up looking very ugly and off-model from their fighter. You can’t reskin every character that got a costume over the Mii’s models. It just wouldn’t work. I see no reason why Knuckles, Tails, Protoman, Akira, Toad, and Viridi couldn’t have looked exactly like themselves. If they were worried about the complete lack of a Mii’s features, they could’ve added a Mii mouth on top of the masks. It still would’ve looked a lot better than what we got.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Nintendo introduced what fans have been calling the “deluxe Mii costume”. These costumes come with a music track from the game it originates from. Most importantly, they are designed to be the characters themselves. It’s not some dude in a Sans outfit, it is Sans. The same goes for Cuphead, and hopefully the same will go for many in the future!
Sans was the first of these deluxe costumes revealed. He sent shockwaves through the community because he was separated from the standard! The most requested fighter in Smash history had just been released and all anyone could talk about was a skeleton originating from a 2015 indie hit! There’s something genuinely entertaining about the fact that Banjo had gotten completely overshadowed, on what should’ve been his big day, by a Mii costume.
Ultimate has primarily brought back the outfits from Smash 4. Most of Ultimate’s new Mii costumes come from the DLC itself. Unfortunately, most of it shares the design philosophy of Smash 4. I don’t think that “a guy in a costume” outfits are inherently a bad thing. Some of them can turn out pretty good! Erdrick’s armor and Altair from Ultimate, along with Monster Hunter from Smash 4, are perfect examples of this! There’s even a place for things like the business suit or Rabbid hat! The Mii is here to place us into the action! We should be able to dress us up in some gaming-themed gear! The primary issue comes from huge gaming all-stars getting turned into puppets that don’t even look like themselves.
If most Mii costumes looked like Sans or even Altair, people would be begging for their favorites to become outfits. The simple change Sans brought has uncovered a huge issue that everyone had, but nobody knew why. I would love for every all-star Mii outfit to look just like the original character and come with a music track. That’s impossible. I dream that one day every outfit for characters like Knuckles can look like Sans. For now, I’d be content if the ones for Fighter’s Pass 2 simply strike the balance of Altair.