There are two cameos found Japanese manual. Manhandla is referred to as a Giant Pakkun Flower (Japanese for Piranha Plant). Digdogger is referred to as a Giant Unira, from Clu Clu Land. Notably, the latter is stunned by the Recorder, similar to the Unira in Clu Clu Land being stunned by Bubbles' sonic attack.
Nintendo also pimped out Shovel Knight quite a bit through the Indie sections of Nintendo Directs and E3 presentations, so by and large, a lot of people at least think of it as a Nintendo centric game. The asthetic doesn't hurt either.
I don't know, it's definitely rather snippy and condescending.
On topic, I wouldn't say *crowded* is the right word, but it was certainly a bit more loaded than Nintendo fans were used too. Ultimately, it's a small delay, though, so I don't think it'll hurt it too much.
The ballot isn't over for another three months. It's way to early for Nintendo do be doing playable characters based on it. Mii Costumes, though, take far less planning and effort. I think, overall, it's a good thing for this- it shows their certainly aware of the want for K. Rool.
Also, there *was* a Dr. Mario stage planned for Smash 4; maybe they finished it.
Iwata was one of, if not the best, programmer Nintendo (Well, HAL) had back in the day. He pretty much singlehandedly saved Earth Bound. He was an amazing choice for CEO and President and he will be missed greatly.
I'd imagine Roy is in as A: a stopgap while they're working on more completely original characters and 2: an attempt at completing the roster from Melee. I fully expect the Climbers and Pichu at this rate, frankly. Ditto with Wolf for Brawl, though probably not the other Pokemon Trainer Pokes.