So with less than a month left before the US release of Super Smash Bros for the 3DS (and that it was already released in Japan), it would appear that the character roster is set. In all there looks to be 51 fighters from various video game properties, including 3 Mii fighters that I assume you can import your likeness into, for both the 3DS version and the Wii U version (which apparently has the same roster and a November release date). While there are over a dozen new characters added to the game, there are some omissions from previous games. So let's take a look at the new and the lost characters.
The new Smash Bros fighters are Mega Man, Pac Man, Bowser Jr., Dark Pitt and Palutena (from Kid Icarus), the Duck Hunt Dog, Greninja, Little Mac (Punch Out), Lucina and Robin (from Fire Emblem), Rosalina & Luma (Super Mario Galaxy), Wii Fit Trainer, Villager (from Animal Crossing), and Shulk (from Xeno). We also have the return of Dr. Mario, last seen in the Game Cube version of Smash Bros.
Of these newbies, the ones I am most looking forward to... okay, I am totally psyched for Mega Man, above all others. Beyond him, Pac Man is very cool and I am very curious about how Duck Hunt Dog will play. (Finally we will all have our chance to shoot that damn dog! Laugh at this you furry bastard!) As for the rest, I will have to wait and see. I am worried that Villager will be a lot like the Pikmin guy, one that I never really got into from Brawl. Wii Fit Trainer also seems really odd.
I do want to point out that I think this version will have too many characters fighting with swords. Seriously, they already had two from Fire Emblem, and now there's two more. In all, there appears to be 10 characters that fight with swords! Maybe there will be some unique variations between them (for instance, Pit played a lot differently than Marth in Brawl), but that also worries me. Especially when I see who was cut.
The new Smash Bros Games do not appear to include Ivysaur, Squirtle, Solid Snake, Lucas (from Earthbound), Wolf (from Star Fox) and the Ice Climbers. Ivysaur and Squirtle were both in Brawl as two of the three Pokemon that could be summoned by the Pokemon Trainer. That was a neat idea, but was a little awkward in execution. So in the new game they just went with the third Pokemon, Charizard, as a regular player option. I'm not that torn up over losing Ivysaur and Squirtle. I'm also not that sad over losing Solid Snake, though I imagine others will be. Snake always felt out of place in Brawl. In a game with cartoonish characters having near ridiculous battles, you have this realistic looking soldier fighting with handguns and grenades. (For note, I will miss Snake's hiding under a cardboard box... that was hilarious.) Lucas was really just a crappier version of Ness, so he's no big loss either.
I am disappointed to lose Wolf and the Ice Climbers. Wolf is not a huge loss as he was really a finesse character of a finesse character of a finesse character. Fox was already tricky to master, Falco was even harder, but Wolf was for the advanced students. He has that weird angled charge attack that was great... if you could get it to work. He was stronger than Fox and Falco, but slower. I guess I just liked Wolf as the bad guy option. I would have been sadder to see Falco get the axe.
The Ice Climbers really bug me, though. They've been around since Melee and were very unique. No other character in Smash Bros. operated like them, with their tandem movements and attacks. I know a lot of people hated using them, but I actually enjoyed using the Ice Climbers. I kind of feel like a unique option was replaced by a random sword fighter.
I also want to add that although MewTwo was replaced back in Brawl with Lucario, I still miss him. He had neat attacks and that evil laugh. I get why Lucario replaced him, but I still miss the evil MewTwo.
I do have to say that 51 playable characters is a weird number. Not 50, or 52, or even 55. This makes me think there could be other unlockable characters or possibly future downloadable packages for both the 3DS and Wii U that give new characters, skins, locations, etc. Then a lot of my complaints may be rendered moot. I hope that's the case. I also want to add that the addition of Mega Man trumps every cut character combined. I am really excited for these new Super Smash Bros. released (the expectation of a new installment was my biggest reason to get a Wii U!) and will buy both versions as I am a tool like that.