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I don't actually believe nostalgia glasses are actually a big factor in judgement. If anything, assuming that someone is blinded by nostalgia prevents any healthy discussion of a subject matter. The fact is, many old games were amazing, and still hold up because they were well designed to begin with. No one would contest that Super Mario Bros. 3 was fun back then and still is today.
Melee was once enjoyed by everyone. The rift was only created when a loud minority of more casual-oriented players decided to attack competitive players, largely unprovoked because they did not like the idea of losing to highly-skilled players. They played differently, and thus treated like degenerates. Brawl's release took that rift in the fanbase and expanded it greatly, turning my once-beloved community into a hellish landscape that made me hate Smash and go on an extended hiatus. Later, Project M was released and got me out of retirement. The community was nice, and tended to gather a lot of open-minded people. Honestly, if Sakurai had kept strong and left these techniques in the later games, legitimizing them to the less-informed community, the rift would have eventually closed and the community would not be in such a sad state.
While adding a character to a game does change the metagame, changing an entire cast of characters at once by making engine-wide changes screws over the balance even more, requiring a lot more tweaking.
In fact, using Melee's long and storied metagame would actually help quite a bit in achieving balance. After all, it has around than 15 years of hard knowledge.