Super Smash Bros

Pneuma getting new official art so that she can be a part of Pyra/Mythra’s spirit board makes the fact that some fighters only have their Ultimate render all the more annoying.

As Pneuma's role in the plot of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a spoiler, it makes sense why she has never received any official artwork. However, as Sakurai himself pointed out during the Pyra/Mythra presentation, some was made especially for this occasion. After all, it makes sense why people would want her to be acknowledged in Smash. Now, although this situation is ultimately a good thing, I find it frustrating to see that some fighters still don't have a spirit of their own besides their Ultimate render. There are many examples, but the two most egregious ones I can think of are Pokémon Trainer and Robin. The justification as to why these two only have their Ultimate renders differ slightly, but the main issue is that they were both thought to lack the 'right type' official artwork needed to make a spirit. In other the words, they're guilty of the same thing Pneuma is/was. What I find frustrating is how easily this situation could be solved.

Both versions of Pokémon Trainer actually DO have official artwork, but every Pokémon spirit in the base game was taken from Pokémon Global Link, so I assume that's why they Red/Leaf weren't included during Ultimate's development. That explanation used to be fine as it looked like the development team were trying to be consistent…except there have been multiple Pokémon spirit events during Ultimate's lifetime, all of which have used the official artwork of the game they are celebrating. That consistency was lost a long time ago. I can't imagine it would be particularly difficult to get permission to use Ken Sugimori's artwork of Pokémon Trainer, especially as Mr Sugimori's work for Sword and Shield is already in Ultimate. Oh, and let's not forget that Mr Sugimori has created official artwork for Smash in the past.

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Robin is the one that confuses me the most. It's true that no official Awakening artwork for Robin was ever made, most likely due to his nature as a customisable avatar, but the in-game dialogue portraits still exist. In fact, Tharja's in-game dialogue portrait was included in the base version of Ultimate, as was King Garon's, so this type of artwork is clearly seen as acceptable by the development team. Also, even though Robin was designed to be a character with a customisable appearance, it's an undeniable fact that the default appearance has been heavily pushed over the years thanks to games such as Smash, Heroes and Warriors. When people think of Robin from Awakening, most people think of white hair.

There are more examples that could be mentioned, but I don't want this post to be too long. I just hope that Pnuema won't be the only character to bypass the 'no applicable official artwork' limitation.


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