Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U Mega Blog - WITH ILLUSTRATIONS!



Super Smash Bros. (hereafter SSB) is one of my favorite series ever. If you've ever read my blog, you know I do more than just review games... I give constructive feedback on how to make games better. That's what this is. Games I truly love tend to get the harshest feedback, since I want them to be so much better. 

Just to clarify, I consider the 3DS version to be SSB4 and Wii U to be SSB5, the hypothetical next game in the series I will call SSB6. I base the six on a job listing that was posted to NAMCO for Super Smash Bros. 6, so we know hope that they’re working on it!

As Ridley warns, this blog post is BIG and contains a million image files! I set it behind a pagebreak so it doesn't lag you out. By the way, the screenshots are all ones I took in the game, the drawings and illustrations are all hand-done by me, and the photos were ones I took. The only image in this that I didn't make was the Ice Climbers moving gif.

 Click through the to jump to the article!

---FEATURES---


ITEMS – the toy box of Smash

 I’m an unusual player of Smash in that I actually leave the items on, for the most part. I mean, I enjoy a good one-on-one fight with no items on Final Destination, but I think that many of the items add a variety and strategy to the game.

As with any Smash Bros game, there are just some items that make the game un-fun for me. For quick reference, here is a screencap of my Item Switch list:



The Smash Ball is off because I think Final Smashes are dumb. Final Smashes are auto-win buttons. I know, I know, some FSes can be dodged/avoided, but only sort of. When the Smash Ball appears, the game stops and becomes a brawl to get the win-button, and I don’t like that. Final Smashes were designed for players to use with no skill involved. The way the SB moves and breaks is so random that it’s more about luck than skill to obtain. It’s like rolling a dice to seeing if you get a free KO. That just isn’t fun. I wish that they’d remove it from the game and not waste time developing FSes anymore. Even on those rare occasions that I turn the Smash Ball on, it appears so crazily frequently that it KILLS the fun. That Smash Ball appears 10x more than any other item. It's a shame that you cannot set the frequency of individual items, because I would set it to extremely rare and leave it on all the time, if I could.

Magikarp is magic
Assist Trophies and Pokéballs are a sometimes food for me. I like them once and a while, just to change things up. By the way, HASN’T ANYONE YET TOLD SAKURAI THAT THE USELESS WATER POKÉMON THAT FLOPS AROUND AND USES SPLASH IS MAGIKARP, NOT GOLDEEN? Sorry, that was years of pent up rage. I think Magikarp should replace Goldeen, and not just because it makes more sense as the “dud” pokémon. Wouldn’t it be funny if there was a small chance that the Magikarp “dud” would evolve into Gyarados and kill everyone?

The Dragoon and Daybreaker are pretty much just Final Smashes that anyone can use. I don’t like how they distract from the actual fight, the places that they drop are random like rolling a dice, and then getting them nets you a free KO. It’s just another win-button for players without skill.

I turn off crates because they explode randomly. I don’t know why the developers believe that randomly exploding crates is a fun thing, but it isn’t. I wish there was an option to turn off random explosions from containers.

I don’t like healing items. I feel like healing is a cheap way to belittle the hard work of the player who fought to build up your damage meter. So, I turn off Food, Special Flags, Team Healers, Heart Pieces, Maximum Tomatoes, and Fairy Bottles.

Nobody likes to get the Poison Mushroom thinking that it was a Mega Mushroom. If they switched it so that the Poison Mushroom looked like the Purple Shroom with the Skull, then I’d leave them on, but since it’s too hard to distinguish between them, I leave PMs off.

Boss Galaga steals your ship
The Clock is annoying because it sometimes slows YOU down instead of everyone else. The Lightning Bolt is annoying because sometimes it shrinks YOU down instead of everyone else. OFF.

I leave the Golden Hammer off because there is already a hammer item and I don’t want/need two of them.

The new Gust Bellows item is OP (over powered). It can literally clear the screen of all your enemies, killing them without them even having a hope of recovering back to the stage. It’s just another item that works like a Final Smash, killing everyone without skill. It’s a free KO machine that isn’t fun, so off it goes.

Motion-Sensor Bombs haven’t been fun since Smash 64. They just keep getting harder and harder to see, and so there’s no skill in avoiding them other than remembering that someone threw them.

Finally I want to talk about three items that I feel are essentially the same item: Boss Galagas, Spiny Blue Shells, and the Beetle. These three items are all homing items that, if catch you, pretty much mean you’re automatically dead.

There are differences. The Beetle is horizontal moving, the other two vertical. The Boss Galaga and Beetle carry you off screen, the Blue Shell explodes. All can be avoided, but the beetle is hard to see on-screen, makes little-to-no noise, so it's the hardest to dodge. I leave the Boss and Blue Shell on, because they take talent to avoid, but I turn the Beetle off because it's more like a free KO machine.

Blue Shell or Spiny Shell?
Good item combos to try:
FIRE MATCH - Fire Bar, fire flower, spicy curry, fire crate, and hothead (try this with all Charizards)
WALKING ON EGGSHELLS – All cuccos, landminds, uniras, and bumpers
SINKING FEELING – bob-ombs, bombchus, and pitfalls
HOMERUN CONTEST – baseball bats and sandbags
MR. DRILLER – Metal boxes, drill arms, and Mr. Saturns
THE MARIO CLASSIC – Super Mushrooms, super leaf, fire flower, starman
I CAN FLY – Bunny hood, jet pack, screw attacks, springboard, super leaf, bullet bill, and wind bellows
Also, try all boomerangs or all Boss Galaga for some weird fun.

Idea: Item Playlists
You can set which items are on and off individually. You can turn them ALL on or ALL off. What I wish there was, for the purposes of creating interesting gameplay, is a way to save a certain number of sets of items so that you don’t have to go through each of the 63 items and flip them on and off every time you want to try something different. Like, wouldn’t it be cool if I could just push one button and load my saved, “FIRE MATCH” custom item set and then return to my standard selection without having to go through each item?


3DS to Wii U connectivity

Using your 3DS as a controller on the Wii U is a dumb feature. Smash requires a joystick to Smash properly. I’ve seen so many pictures of broken 3DS control nubs because of SSB3DS it’s not funny. The 3DS’s nub is NOT a great way to play Smash. It’s acceptable for playing the 3DS version, but it’s nothing compared to the other control options.

I got yelled at on a website for saying that the way they used connectivity is dumb. People responded that, “It’s nice to have an extra controller in case you need it!” However, let’s be honest, a Wii U Pro Controller is 50 bucks online (I got mine new for 20 bucks from K-mart! Also, Amazon has used ones for less). You can also buy a Gamecube (hereafter GCN) controller adapter for 20 bucks (if you can find one), if you happen to have leftover GCN controllers.

Frankly, 20-50 bucks is A LOT less than the $140+ it takes to purchase a 2DS and a copy of Smash 3DS or the 20.

Zelda Beetle
Now, what wouldn’t have been a dumb feature… is if connectivity would have allowed the use of the Wii U’s Pro or Gamecube controller to play on your 3DS. That would have been awesome (not to mention, it would have lessened the risk of breaking you 3DS’s nub!), but, alas, they got it backwards.

You can also use the 3DS to Wii U connectivity to transfer your custom fighters and Mii characters between the versions. The reason that this is a TOTAL FAIL of a feature is that a traded character cannot be edited on the version that they arrive at. I was so disappointed that I couldn’t give my Darth Vader Mii Fighter a beam-sword agility badge I found on Wii U, simply because he had been traded from 3DS.

The only reason I can imagine they did this this way is so that one couldn’t duplicate found equipment, and also to force you to unlock all the custom parts on each version separately. Honestly, I’m not OK with this. It makes me feel like all the work I put into the 3DS was for nothing, since the Wii U version is obviously the best version.
_

Here's 4 ideas for creative cross-connectivity:

1. Unlockable clothing for Villager: The 3DS reads your save file for New Leaf and unlock clothing you own, transferable to Wii U. I’m not saying EVERY piece of clothing from New Leaf should be unlockable, but it would be cool if more of it would be. This could work in two ways: You customize headgear/clothes for Villager like the Mii Fighter gets custom gear or owning a full set of clothing in your New Leaf catalog unlocks the full set costume change in Smash (so, say you own the entire Mummy costume in New Leaf, then the Mummy Villager costume is unlocked).

Kirby, don't eat your friends...
2. Pokemon X & Y: If you have a pikachu, jigglypuff, lucario, or charizard in your save file, then you can "upload" that character to Smash, which creates a custom character with whatever hold-item they have in game (as equipment which gives unique stat boosts) and also whatever show accessories you've decked them out with, transferable to Wii U (works the same as I describe with Villager)
3. You can transfer Level Creator levels to your 3DS.

4. Wii U has a new mode: Paint a character: This allows you to recolor the characters so that you can have a unique look, which can be transferred to 3DS (more on this later, see the paint-covered Villager drawing below for details)

...and etc., etc. There are so many cooler ideas they could have come up with than, "Use your 3DS as an inferior controller to the Gamecube one!!!" Anything that would have read the save files for other Nintendo games and give unlockables for Smash would have been awesome.


3DS Restrictions

While I like that Shiek and Zero Suit are separate characters now, I HATE that Pokemon Trainer's Ivysaur and Squirtle were cut (Bulbasaur is my favorite Pokemon, so playing as Ivysaur is a dream-come-true for me). The Ice Climbers were my mains and favorite character, so that was a HUGE blow to me. It nerfed Olimar to the point where he is no longer viable (6 pikmin down to 3? eh...).

Ivysaur's tears are poison
Imagine if Nintendo spent all the resources used to create the 3DS version of the game to expand the Wii U game. Would you trade the 3DS version of the game to have 5 extra characters and 5 extra stages for the Wii U? I would. Would you trade the 3DS version to get Smash Run on the Wii U instead? I would. 

I haven't even touched the 3DS version since Wii U came out. Why would I play Smash on a tiny screen when I can play it in HD? I wish that the 3DS version never existed. Having two games divides the user base. It kept people from going out and supporting the Wii U by purchasing one for Smash.



Amiibo

At the time of writing this section (this review has been a few months in the making, and I wrote this section in December), amiibo is nothing short of a craze. The three rarest ones (Marth, Wii Fit Trainer, and Villager) are being bought up and resold by scalpers on Amazon. They are impossible to find in stores.

As Smash Bros. is really one of my favorite things in the world, I, of course, bought a fair few amiibo. Let me tell you, buying one amiibo makes you want to buy more. The more amiibo you have, the cooler they all look together.

Besides cool looks, I really like the functionality within the game. Right now, as I type, my amiibo are battling each other to farm equipment/special moves. You see, every time amiibo fight, they get you a present loaded with gold and other unlockables. Setting them to a 50-stock match and letting them go against each other allows you to collect big loads of stuff without actually having to play.



From my experience, the AI of an amiibo IS far better than a Level 9 CPU. They don’t learn everything in the world, but somehow the amiibo begin to predict how to better dodge your moves. This might just be a mental trick Nintendo is playing, but it seems like they grow smarter. Also, if better AI wasn’t enough, you can make them overpowered by buffing them up with equipment.

The AI’s real drawback is when it comes to stage hazards. The AI understands the stage bosses well enough, however when it comes to the little points, such as the springs on the two ends of the Sonic Lost World stage, they just don’t know. My Samus amiibo loves to jump right into the bottom of that thing and kill itself. The Flatzone hazards, the giant crab in the Pikmin Wii U stage, the bouncing spring on 75 m, and the falling stage formations on Jungle Hijinxs all give the amiibo’s AI some big trouble.

My red Kirby, named Sunspot, has explosive shields, invincibility for 7 seconds when he hits 100% damage, and starts each match with a fire flower. The amiibo has learned how to use the explosive shield to KO me by ledge guarding and waiting for me to strike up and attack, then BOOM with the shield and I’m sent flying.

I think, the coolest part is that because you put work into these things, name them, and customize their looks, these amiibo become more than a CPU, but a rival. They become characters that you can love to hate, and you might even see yourself yelling the name you gave it to the TV when it bests you.

Ice Climber Amiibo, see more of it by clicking here!

The other real problem I have with amiibo is that none of my favorite characters have one yet. I main Bowser Jr. (as Ludwig Von Koopa) and Mr. Game & Watch. None of those characters have amiibo yet, and I don’t even know how they could do Game & Watch. (This is sadly another spot where I will cry about the lack of Ice Climbers in the game… oh, how I would have LOVED to have that amiibo). UPDATE: I actually built myself an Ice Climber amiibo, with a Mega Man base.

I think the one thing I wish amiibo did in Smash Bros. is unlock more visual custom options. I wish, for example, that having an amiibo would unlock 3 new custom recolors for costumes or something like that. Something like that would have been a simple way to expand the value of amiibo, and also it gives me an idea:

Some Smash Bros. characters have alternate costumes/character swaps that don’t quite make sense with the use of amiibo. Villager, for example, has a girl alternate, but there’s no girl amiibo. Olimar has an Alph swap. Warioware Wario has Plumber Wario. Bowser Jr. has all 8 Koopa Kids as his alternates.

What if, when they release Bowser Jr., if the amiibo unlocked recolors of Bowser Jr.? Bowser Jr. does not have any recolors at all, just costume swaps. What if they made a Ludwig or Morton or Wendy Koopa amiibo that unlocked extra recolors for that specific Koopa? Maybe I’m just wishing for this because I main as Ludwig and I want a Ludwig (not Bowser Jr.) amiibo, but it would still be cool if all of the characters with amiibo got extra colors anyway.


Challenges / Achievements / Trophies / Panel Breaking


This is a photo of something I made. It’s four pieces of paper, taped together, and what is printed on it are all of the challenge panels from the game.

I’ve marked off the ones I’ve completed in blue (the pic is old, from November, I’ve got almost all of them unlocked now!). The red are the unbreakable ones with hammers. The yellow highlights are priorities (special moves, stages), orange highlight is music, and red stars are insanely difficult ones.

The reason I’ve printed this off is because Nintendo has no unified achievements system, and therefor I cannot pause the game to view these achievements from the home screen. I find it annoying that you have to go all the way out of the game just to see what panels you want to break next. I realize that this isn’t the developers’ fault so much as it is the limitations of the Wii U, but it’s still annoying. On PS4, I can hit the home button and view my trophies within seconds. I don’t have to leave the game screen or anything. I wish Nintendo had this convenience.

I will say that I am overjoyed that Sakurai put in so many challenges, even though Nintendo as a company largely ignores modern gaming essentials like achievements. I love unlocking trophies on my Playstation systems, and I also love cracking panels open in Smash Brothers.

The 3DS challenges were easy. The only ones I have left are based on playing as every character through All Star and playing a million hours of Smash. The Wii U challenges are better. As of writing this sentence (November, still), I just completed the “KO your rival 4 or more times in Rival Smash” to get the Ice Climbers trophy. I tried forever to beat it, until finally I realized that Robin would be the best for it because she can absorb the Mii’s health and keep healing.

Some of the challenges seem so impossible that they’ll never happen. 9.0 without losing a single life (for starters). Yeah… I don’t know if I can do that. I think the one thing that’s missing from the unlockables is Miiverse stamps, but I don’t really care. The new photo/paint mode more than makes up for it.


Music

Obviously, SSB always has the best soundtrack ever created for a game, since it pulls music from the entire history of Nintendo. I'm not going to comment on all that, but what I want to say is that, specifically, the new Duck Hunt Medley is my favorite. It totally gets stuck in my head all the time.

I'm also very thankful for this:



I love My Music. I love being able to see all the songs. I understand that with the smaller selection, the 3DS did not get this feature because there are only a few songs per stage... but... 

One thing that drives me nuts about the 3DS version is the theme song. Smash is one of those games where you spend a ton of time on the menus. Hearing that same theme over and over is annoying. This feature is mostly fixed on the Wii U because of My Music... but...

I want the menus to have an option to play ANY random song in the game's files, and also to go to different songs after the first finishes. This would mean that any song I have unlocked might randomly play during the menus. While we're at it, why not give stages the option to play more than one song per battle? Why repeat the same song over and over again on Wii U?


---MODES---

Classic Mode


Overall, the new Master Core bosses are really cool. I like the Giant, the Scorpion, and fighting my shadow. The one I don’t like is the Set of Swords. I feel like half of the Sword’s moves are really cheap, and they insta-kill you at low percentages. The Swords doesn’t have any definable way of detecting what moves it is about to use, so it’s nearly impossible to dodge, unlike the other bosses.

Wii U vs. 3DS Classic


When I first played Classic on 3DS, I knew that the mode had finally been perfected. I loved the way it ran, picking paths and getting rewards was exactly how I wanted it to be. 

The Wii U’s Classic mode is hampered by the awful addition of 8-Player Smash. You have to choose giant groups of enemies, which is just not fun. Multi-man Smash is not unique anymore—Wii U Classic forces almost every match to be multi-man. I don’t mind the gameboard-like tone, but it’s just not what I wanted out of Classic, because Classic should be more often about fighting one-on-ones.

Master Fortress

is like a watered down Smash Run set in an emo dystopia. You fight Stalfos and that critter thing from Metroid and a laser shooter blob. Let me tell you, laser beams should NOT be able to go through solid floor. That makes no sense, and it’s not fair. Most video games allow the player to use cover to his advantage, but having a blob that shoots an almost unavoidable laser through walls is ridiculous.

The biggest problem with Master Core is how, for some reason, the hardest part of beating the Fortress is simply the cheap, lazily designed yellow vomit that coats the walls. Depending on your damage, simply touching the yellow vomit insta-kills you. The enemies have NEVER killed me on Master Fortress—it’s always because I stepped in the yellow vomit.

Overall, though, I feel like Master Fortress is just a good idea that wasn’t fully completed. While Smash Run was all sorts of cool landmarks and things to fight, Master Fortress is nothing but black-and-purple blobs to walk on with some added insta-kill yellow vomit. I feel like the idea could have been really cool, but it’s so basic (what? like 3 enemies and two terrain types?) that it just feels more like tedium through a bland area than a fun experience.

Generic vs. Specific AKA Bland vs. Unique

Luigi's bowling technique
Before I talk about Stage Builder, I want to first talk about the difference between generic and unique things. So, to start out, I’m going to describe two stages that I’m going to make up off the top of my head:

Stage 1 – A cave that is dark, with a few torches, rocks, stalagmites. A pool of water. – If this were a stage, it would be generic and bland.

Stage 2 – A cave inside of Mt. Moon with Zubats hanging from the ceiling, Unown hieroglyphs marked all over the walls, Moon-stone torches, and a pool of water with Lapris chilling out in the center. – If this were a stage it would be unique to Nintendo and specific to Pokémon.

If you were tasked with selecting one of those two stages to be added to the next Smash Bros., which would you pick? Duh! Stage 2!

Who would anyone choose a generic cave with nothing to highlight the uniqueness and creativity of Nintendo?

Stage Builder

The big problem with this mode is how generic it is. There are rocky walls and purple block walls. There are vine covered walls and dirt walls. The other options include a spring-jump, a canon launcher, moving platforms, and lava. That's really the extent of this mode.

But, why?

Nintendo, this is Smash. This is the ONE PLACE in ALL of video gaming where I can pit Pac-Man vs. Mario vs. Mega Man vs. Sonic and yet the stage builder only has a generic canon launcher? Why isn't the canon a DK barrel? Why isn't the spring-jump the bounce pad from Sonic? Why don't the clouds in the background have eyes like in Mario?
Stage builder lives within the most dense crossover series with the most colorful cast of characters ever made, and yet stage builder only has generic rocks to build with. How is it that stage builder doesn't include ?-Blocks, Warp Pipes, Hylian Ruins walls, bulborbs, broken Metroid tanks, Pokemon Center parts, etc., etc.? Why not include parts and wall-building styles that are uniquely Nintendo?

This is why Brawl's stage builder (which was 10000x better than Wii U's) failed. It has the potential to add items, constructions, and decorations from the universe of Nintendo games, and yet stage builder only gives you generic rock walls to work with. How boring! I built 3 stages and realized that I already did everything there was to do in that mode. I was incredibly disappointed.


Smash Run and Smash Tour

Chandelure is the coolest new Pokémon
I actually loved both of these new modes. Smash Run powers should have been rare items to add to customized characters instead of just being specific to this mode. It seems a waste to limit the best powers to this mode.

Also, the enemies in Smash Run seemed like they almost had full movesets by themselves. It makes me wonder if more playable characters could have been created instead of the monster roster. The chandelier Pokémon is one of them. I hope that they make a Pokémon Smash someday, featuring nothing but the pocket monsters.

Smash Tour suffered from "Mario Party" symptoms. For no reason at all, it seemed like I would lose all of my characters in a turn. Working hard to win in this mode barely matters as you don't get to keep the rewarded characters for very long. The game "balances" out the standings by forcing you to lose things you've worked for for no reason at all. I hate it when games punish you for having talent.



8-Player Smash

is good for amiibos. I have been grinding my amiibos with this new mode, and that’s about all I’ve done with it so far. Because the longer amiibos battle, the more gifts they give you, I often set 8 amiibos to Smash with each other while I’m taking a shower or doing other things. When I come back, I dump the gifts and set them to go again. This grind has helped me unlock the costumes, hats, and special moves for my characters.

Other than that, 8-Player Smash is awful.

too many Olimar and Pikmin
I’m sorry, really. Maybe that sounds harsh. I just really hate fighting more than 4-5 others at a time. 5-player feels alright. 6 pushes it, but 8? No. With 8 players, it’s nearly impossible to tell where your character is on the screen. It’s hard to tell what’s going on. It’s like madness without rhyme or reason.

I mean, I like the idea that nobody gets left out, but is it really better to be brought-in to something that isn’t fun? The only thing I thought might actually make 8-players work would be the new Donkey Kong stage (Jungle Hijinks) where you can play in the foreground and the background, but then I realized that 8-Player Smash doesn’t support that stage.

8-Player Smash cuts many of the stages, actually. You only get a handful of the battle arenas to use, and even then, the ones you get are nerfed from the normal-Smash counterparts. For example, the Duck Hunt stage can be used in 8-Player, but if you do, no ducks or dogs will display in the background. What’s the point of playing on a Duck Hunt stage without ducks?


Online


I'm sorry, Nintendo, Smash still has crappy online. I have written down a tally of every time I've had a smooth online battle VS. every time I've had a laggy one, and the outlook wasn't good.

90% of my online battles have had some sort of lag.

60% of my online battles had lag so bad that it was hard to play (I'm talking 2 to 3 frames per second).

I have awesome Internet. I play online games ALL the time. I play Playstation 3+4 games online all the time with absolutely NO lag. The problem isn't with me. Mario Kart 8 mostly works fine for me. The problem is that Smash doesn't work well online.

Heck, I even have had major lag issues while playing locally on my 3DS. I mean, 4 friends in the same physical room, but the 3DS battles lagged, and badly. That's a big problem. Smash just doesn't work well online, and it's a shame.

What Nintendo needs to do is run dedicated servers rather than have the multiplayer rely on the online connection of each individual player in the match. This is how modern companies do it. This is why I NEVER lag on my Playstation consoles, but I do on Nintendo ones.



---CHARACTERS---

SSB4 is the greatest character game ever made. It is.

But, how can this be a good blog post if I leave it at that? As a Nintendo fan, I always ungratefully hunger for more. I want more characters. More. More. More. Now, back before Smash 4 was even shown, I made a character prediction/desires roster. It was good, not correct, but was fueled by my desires as a Nintendo fanboy. If I wasn't such a huge fan, I would not write about Nintendo as much as I do. But, I mean to say that I'm not disappointed by what we got. I love pitting Pac-Man vs. Mega Man. It's AMAZING that we got them in our Smash.

 

Too many characters have “Counter”


Counter is a move where one fighter dodges an oncoming attack and then launches an attack. The downside is that a missed counter leaves that player open to attack.

I’ll be honest; I hate counter. I think it’s boring, and oftentimes players spam it over and over.

Substitute Doll is cute
Some characters have a move that effectively does the same thing as counter, but it’s called something else, such as Peach’s Toad move or Greninja’s Substitute, but for the record I’m talking about all of these types of moves. Melee had 3 characters with counter, Brawl had 5, but SSB4 has a whopping 11. Marth, Lucina, Ike, Greninja, Meta Knight, Shulk, Mii Fighter, Little Mac, Peach, Paluntena, and Lucario all have “Counter” type abilities.

22% of the 50 characters have counter moves. That’s too much.

In SSB Melee, counter was special. It was Marth, Roy, and Peach. It was a fun gimmick for certain characters and a fun way to do one-vs-one Marths on Final Destination. In SSB4, Counter is extremely annoying. It’s harder to play aggressively when 22% of the characters can use a spammy gimmick move, and that forces the action to slow down significantly, forcing players to spam ranged moves rather than get up close and fight.

New Smash Players tend to spam counter repeatedly, and it gets really annoying because it’s so obvious. It teaches new players to allow themselves to get attacked to attack, rather than learn to shield, dodge, and roll.

Personally, I never use Counter just because I feel like it’s cheap. I wish that Greninja had a bubble attack or that Shulk would have a ranged attack instead. Lucario doesn’t even have any Steel-based moves, but he has… counter.



Ice Climbers - The Greatest Tragedy In All Of Smash Bros. History


I was so upset that I had a dream about the Ice Climbers being cut. In that dream, they both looked like the Captain N version of Mega Man for some reason... Anyway, I'm not happy about this cut, to say the least. The Ice Climbers were my main, my favorite character to play as, and the most iconic Smash Character...

The thing that made Ice Climbers so special was that they were a Smash-exclusive character. I suppose even with the renewed relevance of the NES Remix franchise, the Ice Climbers were a character that lived on the NES and only came out to Smash. I have faith that they will be restored in the next game, but the fact that they are missing from this one is tragic.



OLIMAR – 6 is better than 3


Olimar has suffered the 3DS-disease. It’s obvious that they reduced his number of Pikmin from 6 to 3 because the 3DS’s technical limitations. What isn’t obvious is what they did to buff Olimar to replace his lost soldiers. They left in moves that are practically useless to Olimar now. Let me explain:

Rock Pikmin breaks into the battle
Olimar’s strength depends on how many Pikmin he has in tow. His smash-attacks (and other moves) require him to have Pikmin, so if they are killed off during battle, Olimar is greatly weakened. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the original Wii, he had six. For the new games, Olimar only has three. So, Olimar, in many ways, is half as strong as he was in Brawl.

Olimar’s forward-special is his Pikmin Throw (he launches a Pikmin out that will latch onto an enemy and attack), and it used to be an awesome move. With 6 Pikmin, you could risk 3 of them to attack and still have 3 Pikmin in tow to keep for Smash attacks. However, in the new games he has only three Pikmin at a time, and so using his Throw is risky because it leaves Olimar far more vulnerable. If you don’t have any Pikmin and you accidentally use a smash-attack, then you’re going to do no damage and leave yourself open.

Olimar’s down-special move is his whistle. The whistle calls all Pikmin back to him, no matter where on the map they’ve ended up during battle. It also reorders the Pikmin. The problem with the whistle is that with only 3 Pikmin on him, Olimar doesn’t lose track of his army as often as when he had 6, and it’s not as useful to reorder them with the lessened variety. So, Olimar’s down-special is practically useless now.

They removed Olimar’s best (well, my favorite) special move, the Pikmin Chain. The Chain was a move where all of Olimar’s Pikmin would link together and form a line that would shoot up diagonally in front of him. The chain could be used to attack players on platforms above Olimar and to latch onto ledges and recover from falling. The move was removed because now that Olimar only gets three Pikmin, the chain would be too short to make a proper recovery move. Also, the AI of 6 Pikmin all jumping together and linking would be too much for the 3DS to handle.

Instead of the Chain, they gave Olimar Flying Pikmin from the new game. These Pikmin carry him up like Solid Snake’s old up-special from Brawl. It’s a boring move that does no damage but has great recovery. The benefit is that Olimar doesn’t need Pikmin in tow anymore to have recovery, which, in way, makes his character less interesting.

Olimar’s down-special has always been Pluck, and I’ve always wanted it changed. Pluck pulls a new Pikmin soldier from the ground, to replace any you’ve lost. Pluck in the new games is practically useless since there are half as many Pikmin on your character at a time, and the Pikmin you have are stronger. I think that Pluck shouldn’t be a special move, rather an automatic event whenever Olimar is idle on the ground and needs a new Pikmin (Rosalina, for example, automatically resummons her lost Lumas). Pluck is a waste of a special move slot, as is his whistle. 

My suggestions to fix Olimar:

Pikmin Chain in its glory days
1. Restore Olimar to 6 Pikmin at a time. This would fix his Pikmin Throw move.

2. Well, I’ve already said remove Pluck and make it automatic, so what move would I suggest replace it? Pikmin Chain. Yes! Bring his old recovery back but instead make it his neutral-special. Leave his up-special as his Flying Pikmin. This would mean, if Olimar was restored to 6 Pikmin at a time, that he has two awesome ways to recover.

3. Move Olimar’s Whistle to a standard-down attack and give it some pushback to enemies. The Whistle is not a great special-move, so I say make it a standard one and give it some gust-of-air type pushback while also calling back Pikmin.

4. Instead of his down-special being Whistle, make it Rock Pikmin Pound. The Rock Pikmin were the one type of Pikmin absent from Smash. Why? Make it a down-special move that functions sort of like Charizard’s Rock Smash but only on both sides and with a smaller hit box like in the drawing (or, if in the air, he drops them down). Just as the Flying Pikmin leave the stage when the move is complete, Rock Pikmin could just fall off the screen. Perhaps sometimes a lonely Rock Pikmin is left for other players to pick up like a heavy Mr. Saturn!

That’s all I got for Olimar, but click here if you want to read my thoughts on Pikmin 3.


Quick Thoughts on each character:

This is a list of my favorite-to-least favorite characters to play as in SSB4 (with some quick thoughts on each). Please note that this list is about how the characters play rather than their characterizations or games they come from. That means, these are the characters I’m the best at, the characters I’m most likely to select and win matches with. For example, just because Luigi is near the bottom of this list does not mean I wish he would be cut or that I hate him as a character. It just means I have the least fun and am likely to lose while playing as Luigi.

Mr. Game & Watch – Since the Ice Climbers' cut, my new “main” remains my best character. The Oil Panic move is almost overpowered in this game, but his down-tilt (the manhole cover) is way slower than it should be.


Bowser Jr. (as Ludwig) – I hated the idea of Bowser Jr. as a character until I saw him in action. The Clown Car was a surprise that really made this character one of my new favorites for me. I love his spammy projectiles. The ability to play as my favorite koopaling, Ludwig Von Koopa, really made this the best new character addition for me.

Mr. Game & Watch is my main
Charizard – Moving Rock Smash to his down-special really made Charizard feel like he has an Oil Panic that doesn’t need to be charged. I love playing as a giant dragon, and his blue and purple recolors are excellent.

Pac-Man – I’m astounded that they got Pac-Man in the game. What a wonderful new addition, and the moveset is better than I could have imagined.

Lucario – This game around, Lucario’s damage meter matters more than ever. You can really feel how he gains strength as he takes damage, to the point where the first time I played as him I thought he was completely nerfed. I realized that I was wrong after using his smash attacks while he’s in the red.

Ike – Heavy characters got huge buffs in SSB4, and Ike really gained something special. His smash attacks are truly fun to use, especially in 4-8 player Smash.

Olimar – One of my favorites got NERFED for SSB4, but I still love him (I talked about him already, so I won't say more here)

Samus – Still way too floaty. I really feel like Samus deserves a quicker fall and less landing lag.

Villager – One of the most imaginative new characters. The use of the jump/slingshot is really a score for this character. Villager’s recovery is extremely overpowered, which was probably done this way because Animal Crossing players tend to be casuals/young children. I'm disappointed that I cannot bring the clothing and customized looks I've created in New Leaf over to Smash, though.

Bowser - Better than ever. He finally feels like a contender and not a punching bag. The new design is very good on the eyes, too. He looks less like a monster and more like Bowser.

R.O.B. - Feels slightly slower, but I like how the laser fires more often.

Mega Man - The major thing I was disappointed about was the lack of having Cut Man's rolling cutter. I was hoping that'd be one of his moves. His stage is awesome, but I wish that the Yellow Devil was out. It's annoying, and it pops up too often.

Ganondorf - Like the other heavy characters, Ganondorf is much better in this game. However, I must say, Ganondorf's moves don't have anything to do with his games. I'm still not sure why Sakurai, who normally cares that a character represents his series properly, abandons any hope of Ganondorf having a moveset that makes sense. Ganondorf is not Captain Falcon. Ganondorf should have a Phantom Horse Side-special, a energy ball spell neutral, a levitation up, and a dark magic ground pound. Just move Ganondorf's old moveset to Black Shadow or something.

King Dedede - Much better in this game. I love the addition of using nothing but Gordos. I love that the Gordos can be hit back and forth between characters.

Mii Fighter - I love using all the kick moves and then making it into a Waluigi fighter.

Wii Fit Trainer - A wonderful new fighter. The crawl is special. Best taunts. Stretch those shoulders!

Link - I'm loving the new jump at the end of a run attack.

Ness - Lacks punch, to be honest. I wish the yo-yo had more range. Also, I wish he gained back his forward-moving PK Fire since Lucas is gone.

Palutena - I hate how two of her moves are counter-type attacks, especially when she had more interesting moves as her custom options. Her smashes are great, though.

Greninja - Why can't I charge and hold the shuriken? I want a new down-special.

Robin - I'm happy that this was chosen over Chrom. Robin's magic is fun. Robin is really useful in the Multiman modes, because she can keep healing herself on the Miis.

Sonic - Has too many spin dash moves. Come on, Nintendo, be more creative! Give Sonic something else for a move. How about a Ring-toss projectile? Also, it's a shame that Tails isn't one of his custom recovery options... I do love his kicks, though.

Diddy Kong - Perfected, really. I don't want anymore changes to Diddy.

Duck Hunt Dog looks off
Duck Hunt - I think what bugs me about Duck Hunt is that the dog doesn't resemble the one I always had in my head while playing the NES game as a kid. If you look at the next drawing, you can see what I'm trying to say. The first dog looks like the one from the NES, and the second is the one from Smash. Also, can we get a new game that is a Banjo-Kazooie clone starring the Dog and Duck?

Pikachu - The up-special has needed work ever since N64. Something about it hasn't felt right since then. I wish it were... better. It used to feel like Nightcrawler's special in that old X-men arcade game. Now it just feels like a risk. There's almost as much of a chance you'll die as live with the move. This goes double for the Luigi rocket side-special. I would prefer Pika to get a new move.

Donkey Kong - I want the head-butt ground move taken out... and in its place a Barrel tossing move like from the classic game.

Shiek - I love the new Shiek, although I miss her chain.

Dr. Mario - Why is Doc back? They chose him over Ice Climbers? Bah! Also, I wish the Doc had Viruses as one of his specials. They could shoot out and latch on like Olimar's Pikmin.

Jigglypuff - very slow and lacks the same punch. I used to love her rollout move, but it just doesn't feel as powerful this time

Pit - I'm sad that Pit lost his spinning blade special from Brawl. It was his best move.

Rosalina and Luma - It's fun to try and make your rival fight Luma as long as possible before confronting Rosalina. It's very much about throwing the star and then running.

Meta Knight - I'm just glad gliding is gone. I love the character, but I've never been very good with the moves. I wish Meta Knight had the ball-and-chain move from the other knight character in Kirby.

Zero Suit Samus - Better as a separate character. Zsuit is fun enough, but I'm salty about her because there's still no Ridley.

Yoshi needs to use his tongue more
Little Mac - A hard rival to meet. It's hard to get close enought to KO him.

Falco - It's almost weird to think that Falco is the only other Starfox character in this game. 

Peach - She's good in this game.

Captain Falcon - Better than in Brawl.

Fox - all, no items, Final Destination.

Yoshi - I wish the tongue was longer. I've always felt like Yoshi deserves more range with that thing. Also, Mario should be able to ride him in doubles.

Zelda - I like that she's separate from Sheik, but her new move feels a bit too slow to be useful. Also, Naru's Love still feels useless. I would prefer her to get an "arrow of light" standard special and gain a new Final Smash.

Luigi - I like that Luigi is unique from Mario, I'm just terrible with him. His Smash attacks lack punch.

Dark Pit - Feels exactly the same as Pit. Just more emo.

Toon Link - I love the new Link Between Worlds recolor! I wish they'd add more Wind Waker-Phantom Hourglass-etc. moves. Like, why not add the Wind Leaf move, or give T. Link the Minish Cap? This clone is just a waste, where it could be reworked into something interesting.

Wario - The bike is awful. It's hard to jump off from it. I kill myself more often with the bike than by being KOed. I know the button combo, but it just doesn't work immediately. This is the sole reason I hate playing as Wario. Also, I prefer Wario Land vs. Wario Ware. I wish he had more moves from Land. Heck, it might even be worth making Wario a separate character from Wario-ware-Wario.

Shulk - One of the worst new characters. None of his moves make him unique. He's just another sword fighter. He even has the overdone Counter attack. He plays just like Marth, in my opinion.

Marth - A character that newbs pick and spam Counter specials.

Lucina - ditto to Marth, only weaker. Just another sword fighter.



Ideal Roster for SSB6






This is my ideal, not my prediction. These are the characters I desire, not the ones I would guess will come to the next game.

So, I think Animal Crossing deserves 3 character slots. I think each could be a unique, non-clone character. I think Tom Nook should have a Red skin. Shovel Knight would be an amazing 3rd party addition. Dillon needs to be upgraded from Assist Trophy. Ridley is not too big, so shut up. Skull Kid would be wicked. Impa could be a heavier Sheik. I want the giant blue pig version of Ganon to be a character, separate from Ganondorf. Petey Piranha is still one of my favorite ideas, using tornadoes and slime as attacks. Nintendo needs to purchase every aspect of Super Mario RPG, and then Geno needs to have a new game made starring him (see pun for details) and a spot on the roster. King K. Rool is more interesting than Dixie.

The newest Pokemon should be whatever grass-starter comes with the next generation. I suppose Sceptile could work, too (if the new one isn't cool enough), but I like the idea that new generations are making the cut (and it worked out well for Greninja!).  I'll be honest, I loved Ivysaur. I wish Ivysaur could return, but I also know he won't (until Pokemon Smash, anyway, which is my idea for a Pokemon-centric Smash Brothers game).

Chibi Robo and Captain Rainbow = dream team

Character Idea: Captain Rainbow and Chibi Robo
Captain Rainbow standing, with Chibi Robo on his shoulder. That's the idea. They're sort of a team that functions as one, like Duck Hunt. 

Moves: Chibi opens his helicopter for an up-special, and uses his camera's flash for a neutral-special. Captain Rainbow summons Advance Wars army men for his down-special and Birdo for his forward-special. Basically, Chibi Robo uses cleaning, photo-taking, and his blaster for moves while Captain Rainbow summons discarded Nintendo characters for his.
Character Idea: Maxwell from Scribblenauts

Maxwell could summon words from his game, such as the winged, polka-dotted bathtub. Also, it would be fun if his pencil were used to attack. His Final Smash should be Cthulu.

Wishful thinking: Nintendo needs to purchase the Banjo-Kazooie franchise.

Microsoft needs to do the right thing. Let Banjo go. They haven't used the franchise well. They've run what could have been a classic gaming icon into the ground. Banjo64 was a better game than Mario64. Banjo would have thrived on Nintendo. He needs to return, and be in the next Smash game. The end. If MS can do the right thing and let Bungie go, then they can do the same for Banjo.

Finally, I just want to say that Nintendo needs to realize that black people exist
Seriously. They need a hero, a protagonist that is black. I'm a little peeved that there's no option to create a black character for Animal Crossing...



DLC – What will be?

Mario Kart 8 got a lot of fundamental things right, and one of those was how they handled downloadable content. Smash Bros. is a much more complicated and intricate franchise, so I’m not even sure if there can even be the same sort of DLC treatment. I mean, Nintendo doesn’t even own characters like Mega Man, so how do the rights work for new characters entering the fray with DLC? I don’t know.

Maxwell deserves it
The best part about MK8’s DLC was that it came in packs. One purchase got you three playable characters, 8 stages, and several new carts. All for a VERY LOW price. I would love for a pack of content to expand the life of Smash Brothers 4.

You see, it’s not just new/returning characters I want: I want new Event Matches, new Mii Fighter costume parts, new challenge panels. I want my DLC wrapped up in a full package of things to do with the new character.

That said, I created an example of what I want from the perfect DLC pack:

A playable character, either new or veteran
Either a new stage for a new character, or a remade stage for a veteran (with more music to have/unlock)
A line of new challenge panels (to be logged under a new DLC-only panel board), which would equate to 7 on 3DS and 10 for Wii U
A new outfit for each of the Mii Fighters (Swordfighter, Brawler, and Gunner)
Three new Mii Fighter hats to match the costumes
Three new customized equipment types (and forms fit for the character). By types, I mean I want new effects such as, “Start games with a Bombchu”
Three new trophies to collect/buy from the shop
Two new Event Matches
Price Point: $12.99

So… an example could be:
---ICE CLIMBERS DLC PACK $12.99---

You get:
Ice Climbers Playable Fighter

Nana returns
Summit Stage (with new unlockable music CDs from Mario Kart 8’s Ice Ice Outpost, Tropical Freeze’s Icicle Arsenal stage, and Pokémon Omega Ruby’s Shoal Cave)
Challenge Panels
            1. Score a Perfect on Stage 3 of Target Blast with Ice Climbers (Hyper Smasher Hammer)
            2. Beat the “Melty” Event Match on Hard (Whirlwind Hammer Special Move)
            3. Play on Summit 20 times (Auto-Healer Parka)
            4. Use Pikachu and beat All Star+ (with added DLC characters) on Hard
            5. Get eaten by the giant fish on Summit (Trophy – The Fish)
            6. Use Falco and reflect 20 ice shots (Well Made Boots)
            7. K.O. Ridley using the Ice Climbers (Water Temple Music for Summit)
            8. Use Wii Fit Trainer to Footstool Jump off of Nana in Classic Mode (Freezie Yoga Pants)
            9. Use Ice Climbers to score 7 frenzies in Trophy Rush (Ice Climber Alternate Trophy)
            10. Use 20 grabs in a single match (Trophy – Summit Aurora)
New Mii Fighter Costumes:
            1. Swordfighter – Bone Body (Bone Sword)
            2. Brawler – Parka
            3. Gunner – Alien Body
New Mii Fighter Hats: (Jack-O’-Lantern Hat, Ice Climber Hood, Alien Mask)
New Equipment (Ice Climber’s Hammer, Spiked Boots, & Parka) and equipment effects (Start Games With A Freezie, Unable to Slip on Ice or Banana Peels, and Get Masterball Pokémon From Standard Pokéballs).
New Trophies: Topi, Ice Climbers NES Sprite, Eggplant
New Events:
            1. Melty: Melt 10 ice shots with fire breath (Play as Charizard vs. 2 Ice Climber teams)
            2. Frozen: Freeze Jigglypuff solid without freezing Kirby (Play as Ice Climbers vs. 3 Kirbys and a Jigglypuff)

Tom Nook caught the letter in the Villager trailer
That may sound like a lot for a DLC pack from Nintendo, but think about it: Mario Kart 8 got us 8 new tracks, 3 new characters, and several new carts. All I want is one new character and stage, and then small unlockables to go with those things. All for the price that equates to what you can buy to take home an amiibo.

Imagine getting one of these new packs every few months! That would allow SSB4 to slowly expand while keeping the game fresh and alive. We know we’re getting Mewtwo this spring, but wouldn’t it be cool if every 2-3 months after that we got a new DLC pack?

So, with that, I want to list my top 10 suggestions for downloadable characters (Please note that this list is different than the “Ideal Roster for SSB6” that I show later in this post, because this list builds off of SSB4 as it presently is):

1. Ice Climbers, obviously. See above.
2. King K. Rool from Donkey Kong Country
3. Maxwell from Scribblenauts
4. Ivysaur from Pokemon
5. Tom Nook from Animal Crossing
6. Shovel Knight from SK.
7. Wolf from Starfox
8. Geno from Super Mario RPG
9. Lucas from the Earthbound Series
10. Impa from the Legend of Zelda



---NITPICKING & RANDOM THOUGHTS---

These are the little things. Stuff I know is nitpicky but I'm going to list them here, anyway. Also, there are some added thoughts and ideas that didn't fit into any of my other paragraphs. 


1. I wish Smash Run was on Wii U. I mean, I see why Tour is there and Run is on 3DS, I just prefer Run.

2. It's ridiculous that I cannot control the menus on Wii U using touch controls on my game pad.

3. The custom unlockable special moves aren't different enough from the standard moves.

4. For some odd reason, choosing Smash on my 3DS automatically inserts two level-3 CPUs to fight against. I wish it would just let me set it up how I want it.

5. NOBODY PLAYS TIME; EVERYONE PLAYS STOCK. SAVE MY PREFERENCE. Seriously, Sakurai, I know you like time better, but nobody else does. Why do I have to switch from time to stock every time I play? Just allow the game to save my preference so that it's set to the mode I (and everyone in the world) enjoys.

6. When you fail in Orders mode, it often repeats the chant of, "FAILURE" twice: once when you lose the battle and the next during the loss of treasure scene. It's quite disheartening to hear yelled so much at you.

Villager doesn't need the Able Sisters
7. The ability to paint snapshots is wonderful, but I'm greedy. In games like LittleBIGPlanet, you can plop down stickers on your character to customize their look. What I've always wanted in Smash is the ability to paint your character and save a bunch of custom looks so that there can be new designs whenever I want them. Each character only comes with 8 recolors, but why? Recoloring characters would be such a fun extra that it seems silly to only have 8. Let up paint them using a brush tool (the Wii Remote?) and whatever colors I want.

8. Global Smash Power is boring. I want a real ranking system.

9. There is no online tournament mode. Mario Kart 8 got it right, and Nintendo failed to do the same for Smash.

10. Trophy Rush mode is not nearly as fun as the trophy shooting game that was in Brawl. I spent hours playing that old game, and I found it quite relaxing. I miss it.

11. To quit a Smash battle on Wii U requires you to press a combination of 4 buttons... This is the modern times, Nintendo, you can just give me a drop-down option to quit...

12. Too many stages have hazards that distract from the real fight. The Mega Man stage would be flawless, except that the Yellow Devil appears way too often. I wish stage hazards were rare occurances that make the battle special, rather than frequent reasons why players die. It's just not fun to rank up half your deaths from tools falling from the sky on Flat Zone.

13. The amount of stock for Gamecube Adapters and Amiibo is ridiculous. Nintendo, we want to give you money. Let us!



---THE FUTURE---

What I want is this:

SUPER SMASH BROS. DX for Wii U


Yes! I want a Director's Cut Edition of Smash. This means I want a Wii U game with Smash Run, Smash Tour, all the stages from the 3DS, and ALL the trophies, unlockables.

With that, I also want some basic adjustments such as Olimar being fixed and the return of cut characters such as Ice Climbers. Also, I want a few new characters and stages, and some returning features from Brawl, such as Boss Battle Mode.


R.O.B. can't handle it
Smash Bros. DX needs to also include 8 Player Smash for ALL stages. Also, I want Classic Classic mode like on the 3DS AND the new Classic mode from Wii U. I want all the event matches and new ones, and added Smash Panels.

Also, it needs MUCH BETTER online and a tournament mode that is comparable to what Mario Kart 8 did. I also want a real online ranking system, something that feels like a modern game should.

Basically, I want the 3DS and Wii U versions meshed together, and then an extra layer of bonus content on top. That's what I want in a Director's Cut. Oh, did I mention Ice Climbers?

OXYBORB.COM Official Review Score for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. 8.6/10 


That's it for this insanely huge post! Thank you for reading. I hope it entertained you! If you have some idea/correction/feedback or if you just want to chat about Smash, feel free to leave a comment. I would love to be friends with you on Twitter: @Oxyborb and, if you want to know more about me, check out my website at http://www.harrisonaye.com