by Sherif Badr

Every once in a while Nintendo's magic hits like a gut punch. Just when you've dismissed them, they go and do something ground breaking - like today, when they announced that Cloud Strife is coming to Smash Bros.

I saw the news on Facebook first and I thought "well I'll be, scammers are getting really good at 3D animation." But the jokes didn't stop. It turns out the announcement was made on the exclusive Nintendo announcement page aka Nintendo Direct. 

Do you even get the hype? This guy gets it:

I'm pretty sure that second Cloud outfit is from Advent Children, not Zack, bro! 

Look, Cloud was an epic badass character from the Final Fantasy series. Already a rebel of sorts, Cloud's love Aerith Gainsborough gets killed early on by an arguably even cooler villain, Sephiroth. This makes him even more jaded. What's so attractive about Cloud, besides that androgynous face and plastic like hair, is his almost perfect representation of teenage angst. It was really easy to identify with him for 90s kids. He had to do the "right thing," but despised it publicly while pretending to just be this cold mercenary. He was also torn between mad womenz (Tifaaa). However, while Cloud could've escaped the rebels he was hired to help many times, his own goodnesss is revealed to himself as he continuously decides to stay. 

This news is so huge and is perfectly timed with the remake of Final Fantasy VII, which itself is myth-like. Until then, gamers can look forward to slicing up Mario and Kirby with a giant buster sword and limit breaks (ah, the good ol days!).

The Smash Bros model:

Smash Bros in itself almost has no real plot - it does have some pretty great gameplay though. It is literally the players' baggage and nostalgia about characters they can play as that reels them in to buy this game since you can play as so many familiar faces: Sonic, Kirby, Samus Aran from Metroid, and just about every Mario and Zelda character, and many many more. And now that everything is attached to online clouds, companies can just release characters like FFVII's Cloud post game release and have buyers just download them later. This increases the worth of the game, because it opens up the door for more, but is also an excuse to release partly finished/not quite as polished games since developers may feel they can just release an update later but still catch crucial buying periods like Christmas on original launch. Gaming has indeed changed.

Nintendo is also notorious for creating proprietary "extras" like the notorious and now increasingly popular Amiibo toys - the thought of a Cloud Strife figure is tempting though isn't it?! "What the hell do these even do?" you may wonder. They are more than just toys. Amiibos contain bits of transferable data in them - sometimes they just let you look at a digital version of the characters when you tap the toy to your compatible device, but other times it unlocks stuff. Where Amiibos seem to have originated out of games, it seems to me that they are now really influencing creation of games, at least for some titles like Yoshi's Woolly World. The minute I saw that title I thought that the game was made for merchandise i.e. woolly Yoshi toys! 

As usual, Nintendo proves itself to be an important player in the console game, not necessarily for the best graphics and hyper violence, but for what it does best; pulling heart strings and creating genuinely fun games for all ages.

Does Cloud Strife Make You Want Smash Bros?

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