We've done it. We've built the most powerful TAY series ever. We call it... Challenger Approaching!

For those Smash fans who have been living under a rock and didn't see yesterday's E3 announcement - we have seen the new Smash Bros and it is glorious. Officially joining the Smash Bros roster for the first time are Villager (Animal Crossing), Mega Man, and Wii Fit Trainer. Sadly none of my picks thus far have been announced, though I did foresee Mega Man's reveal in my E3 prediction article. Last week I went third party and this week I'm bringing it back to first. Introducing...

Name: Ray

Notable Appearances: Custom Robo [Japan Only] (N64, 1999), Custom Robo (GC, 2004), Custom Robo Arena (DS, 2007)


Bio: North American Nintendo fans may not have played Custom Robo until it's GameCube debut in 2004, but Japanese gamers have been blowing up bots for almost 15 years. The earliest mention of the series in an American game can be found in 2001's Super Smash Bros Melee, which featured three Custom Robo trophies - Ray Mk II, Bayonette, and Annie. Rays role in the Custom Robo world is that of a robotic action figure that the games protagonist controls to fight others. So Ray isn't as much a character as he is a... thing. He is also the very first "robo" players were able to wield in the original Japanese classic. Over various titles different Ray models have appeared and become playable such as Ray 01, Ray Legend and Ray Lightning. It's been quite a long time since we've seen Ray or any robos in action, though Ray MK III did show up as an assist trophy in Brawl.

Attack Plan: Due to his "custom" nature Ray has an overwhelming amount of potential moves. In Custom Robo players could equip different battle sets to Ray to make him more advantageous in different situations. Examples include Needle Lock, Rise, Sniper Ray, and Tag N' Smash. Among these sets fall weapons such as the needle gun, the rising gun, the sniper gun and the stun gun. Ray also has a plethora of bombs to choose from depending on his set. It would be neat to have Ray transform his set with the tap of a button (perhaps Down B, like Pokemon trainer or Zelda/Sheik). With his jet powered flight, guns, bombs, and metal armor it's hard not to imagine Ray tearing other players limb from limb. In my mind he would be a powerful and somewhat slow fighter, with fantastic recovery. Just keep in mind that Ray is bacially a toy, so he might not bee too large compared to others. Like if Dedede was a small robot... and skinny... and had guns.

Odds of Being Added: 5/10

Though Ray has been included as a trophy and an assist trophy in past Smash titles I feel like he's just not popular enough to warrant a solid addition. Then again... Wii Fit Trainer made the cut. I guess his chances are better than many, but seeing as we haven't seen a new Custom Robo in a long while Ray may stay in the shadows for another round.


filled with rage or joy over this weeks pick? Make your voice heard in the comments below or by tweeting at me. The Challenger Approaching archives can be found here.