E3 2016 – My Top 6 Game Trailers

My Top 6 Games of E3 2016 – in Trailer Form!

This year’s E3 was surprisingly more engaging than I expected it to be. For the most part, it did feel like most companies were still playing catch-up with their half-baked announcements from last E3, but almost everybody pulled out at least one surprise on me. And that’s far more than I expected moving in.

Below are my 6 best favorite trailers and games from the show… and a few that were curiously absent from the list, and why they were.

Severed


Before the show on Tuesday, Nintendo put out a few indie game trailers, and this one caught my eye especially. Apparently it’s already out on the Playstation Vita, but it’s not a Persona game, so I didn’t notice it then.

What I notice now is a game with an absurdly eye-catching art-style, a chilling tale, and some interesting twists on typical RPG mechanics. It didn’t hurt that it’s from the people who brought me the astounding Guacamelee, now available on most platforms.

Ever Oasis


Midway through Tuesday, people started getting word that Nintendo had something new to show us on their Wednesday stream. I waited with high hopes, and unlike a lot of people in the comments, I was not disappointed. It seems that Nintendo finally gave the studio Grezzo a chance at their own title. If you don’t recognize that name, I don’t blame you, but they’ve caught my eye with their 3DS remakes of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, as well as a number of Street Pass games. It’s also apparently headed up by the guy responsible for Final Fantasy III‘s job system, and a number of famous titles like the original Final Fantasy games, and the Secret of Mana series.

What we’re getting from this esteemed pedigree is a game that looks one part Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, one part Kingdom Hearts, another part Harvest Moon, and maybe even a little bit of Minecraft, to make for an awesome looking RPG. The art style seems to be putting some people off, which I can’t argue. You don’t like what you don’t like, I suppose, but I very much like this.

Titanfall 2


What astounds me the most here is that the developers of Respawn have taken the predictable approach to a Single Player story in their sequel, and thrown it out the door in favor of something a lot more interesting. The Titans are now a character in Titanfall 2, and they couldn’t be more intriguing.

Not to mention you’ll be fighting more than other dudes and robots, but crazy life forms as well. It looks like a perfect mix of Metroid PrimeCall of Duty, and The Iron Giant.

Death Stranding


I don’t know where to begin with this one. I normally despise gameplay-less trailers. A teaser at E3 is nothing more than a proof of story concept, and that can only excite me so far when a game’s play is the majority of the reason to come to it. But then comes Hideo Kojima (who should have ended Sony’s E3, not some shitty zombie game) with this mind-fuck of a trip to tell me how it’s done. I don’t know what this game is, hell I barely even understand what it’s about, but I”m on board 100%. As long as it doesn’t turn out to be some dead sea-life match-3 puzzler, creepy sky-shadow auto-runner, or a point-and-click-on-Norman-Reedus’-naked-body simulator.

I take that last one back. I’d play that.

Resident Evil VII


So what this trailer I’ve linked you doesn’t do, is what Sony did during their press conference, and that’s surprise the fuck out of me.

What they started out with is some gameplay of a dude crawling through a dark house, with no context of why or what was there. Me and my friend who was watching with me were quick to chide this game for being a PT wannabe, and some wishful developer’s Nth Scary House VR Simulator.

Admittedly, the trailer did look nice, so my chiding wasn’t entirely accurate, but I shut my damn mouth when the title of this game was revealed to be Resident Evil VII.

At this point, it was one of those “You had to be there” moments, so I decided to link you the official trailer instead of the one that was at Sony’s press conference, but rest assured, it still looks like a step in the right direction for the bloated corpse of the Resident Evil franchise.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

It’s not just that this game looks gorgeous with it’s Wind-Waker inspired grapics. It’s not even that this trailer shows off the game’s impressive combat. What really inspired me with this trailer was the sheer breadth of activities covered, and the knowledge that this was only a look at the surface of the iceberg. If this didn’t excite me, spending all day watching other people play the game with extreme jealousy did. The opening minutes of the new Legend of Zelda are intriguing to me in a way that almost no other Zelda has ever been. I’m ready for this adventure, and if you see this trailer and are somehow immune to it’s awe, I don’t know that we can still be friends.

Now, The Curiously Absent

Persona 5


So here’s the thing: this isn’t a bad trailer. It’s an incredibly awesome trailer for my most hyped game. So why is it down here? Because it’s just the same trailer we got from Atlus of Japan 2 months ago, with an official set of subtitles. No English voice actors, no context to what’s actually happening in the game’s text. Just nothing I hadn’t already watched two dozen times.

That said, I’ll probably watch it many more on the game’s trip to my console, early next year. So it’s not all bad.

Paper Mario: Color Splash


Speaking of things that are not all bad, the new Paper Mario looks pretty. Unfortunately that’s where my adoration for this game ends because I am -not- going to play Sticker Star 2. The combat looks like the same we got on the DS Paper Mario game, and that was pretty awful. Complete with stupid trial-and-error boss puzzles, a lackluster setting, and no colorful sidekicks to pal around with, and there’s just nothing here I’m interested in. Paper Mario used to be one of my favorite franchises, but lately it’s just so much crumpled up refuse.

Mass Effect: Andromeda


So maybe it’s not the trailer I’m mad at, but EA in general. We have to sit through 20+ minutes of FIFA, and 2 minutes of Mass Effect. I get that FIFA makes -way- more money, but I don’t care. I wanted more aliens and guns, and I didn’t get them. So now I have little to no more information than I had going into E3, and therefore have nothing to be excited about. That’s a real damn shame, especially for a franchise that needs to prove itself to thousands of people who (wrongfully, I believe) feel burned by the end of the previous trilogy.

So that’s my overall opinion of this year’s E3. Any games catch your interest? Feel free to comment and discuss what worked and didn’t work for you.

E3 2016: Reaction to EA’s Press Conference

It’s another summer, which means it’s time again for E3. This year has been shaping up to be a rough one, with the majority of everything being revealed before the conference itself, but as we head into the show, it’s important to remember that these are just video games. And the people making them are usually doing their best to make them as good as they can. Although my reactions may not always be rosy, at the end of the day, they’re about entertainment and the people who bring us that entertainment. With all the terrible things going on the world, it seems almost frivolous to even be talking about this. But it’s what I do, so here we go.

This year’s EA press conference was a show about FIFA, and a reminder of some other things you’ve already heard about.

Granted, we didn’t know what form Titanfall 2‘s single-player campaign would take, but now we have a taste. I have to admit, the trailer was quite interesting. Considering that Titanfall was one of the best new shooters of the past few years, I was really intrigued to see how they would step it up. And as you can see from the trailer below, they’ve found a few ways.

 

Then there was Madden. They focused a lot of time on the competitive scene, which shows how little they play to implement into the new title. But that’s fine, I couldn’t care less about it, so I’m not their target audience.

I am, however, the target audience for Mass Effect Andromeda, and for the 3rd year in a row I was disappointed that they didn’t delve as deep into that as they do their regular sports franchises. I get that FIFA makes more money than Mass Effect, but at the same time, if they can make a mountain out of the molehill that is increased crowd polygons, the least they could do is show me a clear picture of a new alien race.

But oh well. This is all we got. I suppose it will have to do for now.

Beyond that, they’re pushing some original Story Mode into the next FIFA game, which seems neat. What wasn’t neat was having the actor who played the main character do a one-man show on stage. That was just awkward and weird.

Next they talked about a new initiative called EA Originals, wherein EA is partnering with indie game companies to help them bring their games to light. I think it’s telling that they called this “EA Originals,” because it implies that EA is done doing it’s own original ideas. And no where was that more true than this E3 press conference.

Jade Raymond took the stage and talked about how they’re still making Star Wars games. There’s apparently some more Star Wars in the future, so don’t worry about that. Star Wars will never leave us.

Finally was Battlefield 1 coverage, but by this point I hadn’t the energy to continue. That FIFA coverage really drained me.

And that was the show. Overall, a major disappointment from EA. No real new IP’s except a game that isn’t even technically theirs, and no real game announcements. It sets an unsettling picture that I think will befall the entire landscape of this E3: nothing new. No new game announcements, no new IP’s, and hardly a lick of new coverage. It’s a frightening reality, but all those ‘IS THIS THE DEATH OF E3″ videos on YouTube might actually be right if game companies don’t take it seriously anymore.

We’ll see what Bethesda has up it’s sleeve next.

Review – Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer

Only Happy for So Long…

by Randy Marr

The most recent game in the Animal Crossing comes to us in the form of a spin off titled Happy Home Designer. You play a villager who joins up with the Happy Home Academy in order to help townsfolk build their dream home. Using a new set of furniture organization tools on the bottom screen, and armed with a slowly growing catalog of furniture to choose from, you must fulfill each villager’s request in decorating their pad. Or not. It’s your game, do what you want.

And there in lies the first problem with Happy Home Designer: the lack of structure. On one hand, it’s nice to be given a series of blank canvases to work your interior decorating magic on, but after the 10th, 15th, or 20th time, you’ll start to crave some rules. A challenge. A point structure. Anything that can give you purpose to cramming furniture into some chicken’s new house.

Build your own school, if you want.

The new way you organize furniture in the houses of your clients is effective, and is hopefully a glimpse into the future of organizing your personal house in future Animal Crossing titles. In fact, this whole game feels like somebody came up with a great new system for organizing furniture, and rather than making a new Animal Crossing game on the WiiU or for whatever the “NX” is going to be, they instead made a game based solely around that function.

That in and of itself wouldn’t be terrible. In fact, the idea of freely creating a house now and again is pretty fun for a little while. Given that the game does nothing more than expand upon a couple of elements from Animal Crossing: New Leaf, while completely removing most of them, a full price is hard to swallow. Not only that, but the supplementary Amiibo Cards lead to inflating the price even further.

Only a few of the many cards.

The Amiibo Cards are ultimately useless in this title. For the most part, every character that’s on an Amiibo Card can be found in game, so there’s no need to have a card for them once you’ve found them. Alternatively, the cards do make a great way to hunt down your favorite villagers (*cough*Tangy*cough*) and have direct access to them, but that only diminishes the card’s overall value. And at a dollar a card, there’s not a lot of room for Nintendo to be bringing down the value. Some special characters, such as K.K. Slider and Saharah, are (as far as I’ve found) the only characters that can’t be found through regular gameplay and must be scanned in with an Amiibo Card.

What feels like a neat R&D experiment appears to have turned into a full fledged game without a lot of actual substance to justify the price. Add on the 100 Amiibo Cards in randomized packs (for just the first wave) and you’ve got an insane amount of money spent with no real reason to do so. It’s a bad value, through and through.

Review – Persona 4: Dancing All Night

Aesthetically pleasing, mechanically adequate.

by Randy Marr

It starts with a rumor. Then people go missing. Now it’s up to Yu Narukami and his friends to take the center stage and solve the mysterious incidents happening just before Rise Kujikawa’s big come-back tour. Who is Kanami Mashita? Where are the rest of her dance troupe? Just what is The Midnight Stage?

Persona 4: Dancing All Night seeks to answer these questions through one of the oldest forms of expression: dance. It might sound a little corny, and in the end, maybe it is. But this game brings the heart, the darkness, and the style that fans of the Persona series have come to expect and love. (Hey, if Buffy and her investigation team can do it, so can Yu.)

Dozens of your favorite tracks from Persona 4 and it’s various spin-off games have been brought together, many have been remixed, and all have been plugged into a very Dance-Dance Revolution-like formula. Notes scroll from the center of the screen outward towards one of 6 buttons, and you just have to press them in sequence. There’s also a little scratch circle that demands you flick the thumb-sticks to build up your Fever Meter for an extra special visual treat during the song. It’s not going to go out and impress fans of rhythm games as it’s fairly simplistic and straightforward, but it’s perfectly serviceable and wholly approachable. This serves to ensure that fans of Persona who have never picked up a rhythm game will be able to get enjoyment out of the title’s story without being barricaded by impossible tasks.

The story mode of the game feels like an improved take on Persona 4: Arena‘s storytelling style, while telling it’s own tale. Yes, there are branching paths, and yes, it’s mostly told in a visual novel style. But the visuals are crisp, the faces animate cleanly, and there’s far less exposition and more fully-animated cutscenes. You’ll be done somewhere around 8-10 hours with the story, but it’s perfectly laid out. By the climactic sequence of the game, every song selected is exactly the right song it needs to be leading to an all-out rush of a finale.

When Persona 4 originally came out, I thought it was a great title that felt maybe a bit rushed to capitalize on the success of Persona 3. Then I realized the dark charm hidden within it, and was instantly in love. I’ve since spent 7 years falling head over heals for The Investigation Team over and over. But Persona 5 has finally shown it’s head. It’s coming next year, so Yu and his crew are finally going to have to pass the torch. Persona 4: Dancing All Night feels like the absolute best way that Atlus could have sent off one of my favorite video game casts.

Feature: E3 2015 Sunday Recap

The Nintendo World Championships and Bethesda start things off strong.

E3 may not technically begin until Tuesday, with most people calling Monday “Day 0,” but Sunday seemed to start off the celebration of all things gaming for this writer with Nintendo and Bethesda bringing some interesting guns to the start of the show.

Nintendo kicked things off with a 20 minute Smash Bros. presentation that saw 2 new fighters added: Roy from Fire Emblem and Ryu from Street Fighter. There was a leak that took the wind out of those announcements, but it didn’t make Ryu’s well-executed inclusion any less important for the Smash series. Also included in the announcement were new stages like Sakura Castle from Street Fighter II, a ton of new music, some new Mii Fighter costumes, and more. Overall it was a pretty packed 20 minutes with something you would have expected to be saved for Nintendo’s proper Digital Direct coming Tuesday. It kinda makes you wonder what they still have up their sleeve.

Then came the Nintendo World Championships 2015 event where 16 competitors played through a gauntlet of Nintendo games to be crowned the first Nintendo World Champion since 1990. Overall the event could have used some work, namely on the identifying who was who during the gameplay front, but the World Premiere of Blastball was interesting. In this new game, you’re in a futuristic looking mech that shoots around a giant death-ball, trying to get it into the opposing teams goal. It’s like Soccer (sorry, football) meets Metroid Prime in some really neat ways. It doesn’t look to be the biggest game of the show, but it’s always nice seeing something debut like that. But once Super Mario Maker was revealed, all the nitpicks and other surprises went down the drain. This was easily the best way to demo the game: have some of Nintendo’s finest create specifically tailored levels and have expert speedrunners try their hand at them. It made for a thrilling show filled with twists, laughs, and a whole lot of childish glee.

My favorite E3 moment thus far from the Super Mario Maker segment.

Bethesda came out for their first ever show, and overall I don’t think it was that great. Before you take the pitchforks to me, let me explain.

Doom was doing absolutely nothing for me. The atmosphere of the game just doesn’t strike any sort of a cord that I relate too, the visual design was all around unimpressive, and the action just seemed more exhausting than exhilarating. If it wasn’t for Snapback (or as I call it, Super Doomio Maker), a whole new style of modding tool for Doom, I would have passed the whole game off as “Just not for me” and moved on. At least that last bit got me excited.

I’m sorry, but Battlecry just looks awful. The visuals were drab, despite their attempt to inject color into it. The animations were janky as hell. And overall I just got the feeling that this was going to be some Team Fortress 2 meets a MOBA as produced by an independent team of 5 people kind of project, only it was being given it’s own studio by Bethesda. It just… Nope. Don’t think so.

Elder Scrolls Online is just not working for me on a conceptual level, so nothing there was interesting.

There was an announcement for Elder Scrolls: Legends. This is a new free-to-play trading card game that runs on PC and tablets and boasts a trailer that was almost identical to Blizzard’s original Hearthstone trailer. In fact, the whole project sounds like an attempt to cash in on the Hearthstone name, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve only got the funds to dedicate to one money-sucking card game.

Speaking of trying too hard to be Blizzard, Bethesda also announced “Bethesda.net,” a new service that will be your go-to source for “all things Bethesda.” Sounds exactly like Battle.net, the client that Blizzard uses to house all of it’s games. I’m always leery about having another dedicated publisher program on my computer, especially after Ubisoft’s ill-conceived uPlay initiative.

So, my saltiness on Doom not withstanding, that was a pretty bad press conference. That was until Fallout 4 happened. If anybody manages to beat that in-depth look at the insane features planned for that game, we’ll have one of the best E3’s in a long time. Total weapon and armor customization, building your own settlement piece by piece, an insane looking story, second-screen gimmicks. This game has it all, baby. The overall presentation was a bit bloated, but I came away from it feeling that I have a most anticipated game of E3 before the show technically even begins. We’ll see what else everybody is bringing, but man. Fallout fucking 4.

What did you think of the opening round of E3 information? Are you excited to see what everyone else has to offer, or did Fallout 4 give you everything you will ever need?

News: Nintendo Direct Micro: 6.1.2015 Summary

In case it went by unseen. You know. ‘Cause it’s small.

by Randy Marr

Nintendo of America put out another one of their famous digital directs today, focusing on a few surprise announcements for all sorts of fans. Here’s a breakdown of the content for those who don’t feel like listening to Micro-Bill Trinen’s voice:

  • Chibi-Robo ZipLash – If you’re not familiar with the Chibi-Robo franchise, it’s not surprising. It’s not exactly a storied franchise. And this new game plays nothing like the originals. Where the first few Chibi-Robo titles had you running around a house as a micro-sized robot fixing and cleaning, this new title has you whipping your little plug tail around and defeating other robots. It honestly looks like a little Castlevania meets Kirby mixture starring the most adorable little robot overlord.
  • Dr. Mario Miracle Cure – It’s really just more Dr. Mario, with Dr. Luigi thrown in, but there’s online and local multiplayer with some new items thrown in. It’s nothing terribly new, but I’m always a sucker for the series.
  • Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon – It looks exactly like the previous Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games. If that’s your thing, great, if not, I don’t see how this’ll convince you otherwise.
  • Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Games – More and more, I think about picking up one of these Mario and Sonic titles. This game may hit the tipping point where I finally pick one up. Especially if the series holds true to the same awesome soundtracks that they have in the past.
  • Art Academy: Home Studio – This appears to be another title where folks can mimic real world art tools to create custom drawings on their Wii U gamepad. What’s unique about this version is it features the ability to record time-lapse videos and upload them to YouTube.
  • Project Treasure – This game was announced at an earlier Nintendo Direct, but we got our first look at it in during the Direct. You can watch the full trailer here and laugh along.
  • LBX: Little Battlers Experience – They made a lot of assumptions about my familiarity with the brand during the Direct, but this apparent kids cartoon tie-in features the ability to customize tiny robots and fight them out. It looks like it could be a new entry in the Custom-Robo series, and I would never know the difference.
  • Bravely Second: End Layer – Another terrible name for the second entry in the Bravely Default franchise. It looks like more of the same in all the right ways. If the first game tickled your fancy, you’ll probably be happy to see more of the deep and engaging combat coming your way.
  • Finally, there were some details revolving around updated content for Splatoon and Puzzle and Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition x Puzzle and Dragons ZSplatoon received a new weapon called the N-Zap ’85 that resembles an NES Zapper. There’s also a new map that was added to the rotation of regular play, and Ranked Battle was finally opened for everybody over level 10 in-game. For Puzzle and Dragons, there’s a bunch of new content including weekly challenges available in-game.

What excited you the most, if anything? It was a light show, but let’s hope it’s just a sample of what we’re going to get at E3.

Editorial: Why Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is the Most Dissapointing Smash Bros.

I don’t think it’s the worst, or even bad at all. But I can’t help feeling let down by the latest brawler from Nintendo due to a few huge missed steps.

If you’ve followed my work, you may have noticed a small obsession between me and the Smash Bros. franchise. I can’t help it. Ever since I spent countless hours playing the Nintendo 64 original with friends, I’ve been hooked on Nintendo’s mascot beat-em-up. Each new version, rare as they actually are, came with years of excitement that eventually lead up to a new batch of countless hours wasted playing the damn thing. That was until Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still wasted countless hours, but I haven’t felt the same thrill that I used to.

If I had to give this article another name, it would be “All the things wrong with Smash Bros. for Wii U.” I’m not saying Smash Bros. Brawl and Melee didn’t have their own problems, but I feel that the potential for this game was hamstrung by a number of design and developmental issues that ultimately weaken the experience.

The Characters

While I generally think the newcomer cast for Smash Bros. for Wii U is ultimately one of the strongest in the series, there are still some sore thumbs that stick out in the overall line-up that need to be addressed.

The first is the unnecessary omission of Ice Climbers. It’s been documented that the only reason the parka-clad duo was removed was due to limitations of getting them to run on the 3DS version of Smash Bros. I get that it’s a big roster, and the Ice Climbers aren’t particularly loved by the fanbase in general, but it felt like a bit of reckless character weeding and only showed how Smash Bros. for 3DS would begin to hamstring the development of it’s Wii U counterpart.

There was originally going to be a section about how Lucas was removed as well, but he’s apparently coming back as DLC so we’ll let that one slide.

What could have been.

Ganondorf continues to be a big sticking point for me, as he was in Brawl. At least then we got a new look for Ganondorf, and a general redesign that helped to separate him from being a perfect clone of Captain Falcon. However, with Smash Bros. for Wii U, we really had a chance to set up something new with Ganondorf. Maybe we could have had his pig monster form throwing a trident and flame-bats every which way. Or better yet, Toon Ganon could have entered the fray. Instead, however, we just got the same Ganondorf from Brawl, with no real respects to any other Ganondorfs that have yet to grace Smash.

Ultimately, the character roster isn’t bad. There are far more disappointing aspects of the new game.

The Stages

The 3DS incarnation of Smash rears it’s ugly head in the worst way when it comes to the development of Stages for Smash Bros. for Wii U. Where as Brawl had 31 brand new stages when it came out, Smash Bros. for Wii U. only had 28. I know. 3 stages, what a deal, right? But consider the 25 new stages that were introduced for the 3DS version. Granted, some like Guar Plains and Final Destination exist in both, so it’d be more like 20, but even still. That would be 20 more stages we could play on the console, including some of my favorite stages of this whole 4th generation of Smash, SNES Mute City and Spirit Tracks.

But honestly, it’s not just a numbers game. The quality of stages on the Wii U Smash is just low. Palutena’s Temple is a gigantic and unwieldy level that fails to impress visually, Yoshi’s Woolly World just isn’t fun and fails to capture the magic of the visual style in the upcoming platformer by the same name, and Orbital Gate Assault is just plain janky. Very few of the new stages impress on any real scale, and while I appreciate the experimental stages like Jungle Hijinxs, they ultimately don’t land as stages I want to play on. Then there’s the stages that are neat, like Wily’s Castle, Pyrosphere, and Guar Plains, but have this pesky boss that you just can’t get rid of. They take stage hazards to a new and aggravating level of unfun.

Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem, but it’s likely a costly and ultimately unworthy one: develop the 3DS stages into Wii U stages and sell them as DLC, along with brand new stages as promotional material for new games. But heck, I’m just dreaming at that point.

And while I’m ranting about the quality of the stages, fuck Pac-Land. I’m sorry if anyone has a nostalgic trip for that stage, it’s a hot, burning MSPaint nightmare and it needs to be ejected from the game in the next major patch.

Maybe I’d want to play on some of these stages a bit more if there were other reasons to come to them…

The Music

It wasn’t until Smash Bros. Brawl that the music of the Smash Bros. series really came into its own. Before that, the music was mostly bland remixes of the most obvious tunes, and there was a very strong limit to what was selected. But when Brawl happened, the music exploded into a wide range of songs, original and remixed, from countless Nintendo games. Most stages had more songs than you could shake a conductor’s wand at, and most of them were great. Smash Bros. for Wii U ultimately tried to repeat history, but it was ultimately unable to make that musical lightning strike twice.

With Brawl, we had great pieces like the Fire Emblem Theme, Corneria, Meta Knight’s Revenge, and Bramble Blast (which turned out to be one of my favorite video game tracks, having never played Donkey Kong Country 2.) There’s no real spectacle in this new soundtrack. No sweeping orchestral pieces, no hilarious vocal arrangements, AND a truncated version of The DK Rap. Next to no songs top even the middle-ground in Brawl‘s overall soundtrack. At least I’ll always have “7 PM/Main Street” track from the new game.

Probably the worst part of the music is that a large chunk of it is locked behind content you don’t want to play.

The Unlocks

I still haven’t seen half of these unlock.

It’s 2015. Why are we still unlocking content in our fighting game that is essential to playing the fighting game. How many times have you been to a tournament for a game, only to find that they don’t have your favorite character unlocked? (or worst, they’re DLC?) I know some people like the thrill of unlocking things, but in this Age of Ultron The Internet, nothing is a secret 5 minutes after the game releases, if it even makes it that far. It’s just not reasonable to lock your characters, and in the case of Smash Bros., your stages behind any sort of wall.

And the biggest offender in all of this is the Custom Moves.

They were a great idea: Give each character 2 alternates for their Special Moves to really change up how they play. Many tournament communities are taking this as a great way to add variety to the character line-up, and it really throws the Meta into the air. In fact, EVO, arguably the biggest fighting game tournament scene in the world, will be allowing custom moves later this year. How they are going to do this is a mystery to me as it will require them to unlock all of the moves on multiple machines. Have you tried unlocking custom moves yet in Smash Bros. for Wii U? There’s no sure-fire way to get any particular move, it’s all randomly distributed via the numerous modes throughout the game. That is, numerous modes save the one you’re here for, which is the core game itself. No, instead you have to go play Trophy Rush, Master Orders, or the Mario Party like Smash Tour to grind out 8 moves per character, for each of the 47 characters. (48 minus Palutena, who for comes with all of her moves unlocked for some reason.) On top of that, the unlocks are flooded with Equipment, a terrible new feature that’s banned from tournament play because it completely breaks characters in new and terrible ways. Overall, this is an insane, and ultimately boring undertaking for anyone trying to bring out this amazing new feature added to Smash Bros.

Maybe I’m just becoming more nit-picky as I get older, but I hope you can see some of the numerous issues poking me in the rib every time I boot up the new Smash Bros. I blame a large part of it on the feeling that they had to make the 3DS version simultaneously, as it seems to have detracted from their overall work. Also, their sales. I’m willing to bet Smash Bros. for Wii U would have sold more units, and consoles, if the 3DS version didn’t exist.

What do you think? Am I being too harsh on the game? Are there other things that are bothering you? Feel free to post a comment.