(Long rant incoming - but it's me, so you expected that).
Cloud is in Smash Bros. Cloud. Strife. Is. In. Smash. Bros. It's been a week and I still have trouble processing it. Am I excited? Hell yes. Of of the greatest Final Fantasy protagonists of all time (not THE greatest - Butz, Cecil, and Zidane for life bro!) has become a part of arguably gaming's greatest celebration of not just Nintendo, but video games in general. His moves looks awesome, using his limit breaks as B moves is genius, and Omnislash as a final smash - hell yeah.
That being said, this does create quite the issue, one that can be taken in both a good way and a bad way: the fact that Cloud has appeared in a grand total of four Nintendo titles (Chain of Memories on GBA, Theatrhythm and Theathrhythm Curtain Call on 3DS, and the upcoming Final Fantasy Explorers). Perhaps more than any other Smash character thus far, Cloud is the one synonymous with another company. He's not a Square-Enix character...he's a PlayStation character. And before you reply with "Well, Snake is synonymous with PlayStation!", yes, he did get his start on the MSX in Japan, but most American gamers know him from the NES port, and he returned to Nintendo with Twin Snakes, so yeah, not as much of a stretch. Even less of a stretch are Pac-Man, whose game appeared on the NES soon after release, Sonic, who has been practically a Nintendo character since the death of the Dreamcast, Mega Man, who got his start on Nintendo and is one of the icons of the platform, and Ryu, whose titles frequently appeared on Nintendo platforms until Street Fighter III. Cloud is even more of an odd choice given Smash's over-abundance of anime swordsmen - Link, Shulk, Pit/Dark Pit, and THE ENTIRE FIRE EMBLEM CAST. I would have loved to see a Magic user like Terra, or hell, the Black Mage, who is probably second to Cloud in the realm of recognizable Final Fantasy characters (or more likely second to anyone created by Tetsuya Nomura). But no, Cloud is more mainstream, so he gets the nod, and I'm still excited to play as him.
The good thing that comes of this, I suppose, is that the previously thought rule of entry for Smash characters, which is that they had to have at least been playable in a game on a Nintendo console, is now out the window. The floodgates are open, and now ANYONE, whether they be owned by Nintendo's competition or have never appeared on a Nintendo console at all, is fair game. Banjo-Kazooie? Sure, why not. Scorpion? Get over here! Nathan Drake? Kratos? Marcus Fenix? Master Chief? BRING 'EM ON! In short, this may not be a character people want to be in Smash, but it may lead to more involvement down the road that gets people really excited. Cloud in Smash may or may not be a good thing, but it's important. Sakurai, you wonderful, magical bastard.
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I still want Wolf back tho.
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Also lol PS All-Stars Battle Royale.