Release windows! Stages! Characters! Items! Masahiro Sakurai used Substitute!
Whew! I’m still catching my breath after that last Smash Bros. Direct. Or maybe it’s time to get back to the gym. Probably both. Here I’m going to provide a breakdown of what was seen and heard, and for impressions you’ll want to wait for our upcoming, and first, podcast! But until that get’s recorded, here’s the news!
First off, and probably most importantly to most people, the release date. If you don’t want to be spoiled and just want that release window, stop after this. The Smash 3DS will be released this summer, and the Wii U version will be released this winter. No actual date’s confirmed, but if I were a betting man I’d narrow this down to late August and early to mid-December.
Technically, on the 3DS, the game will run at 60 fps even in with your 3D slider on. Things like assist trophies and Pokemon will be slowed down to 30 fps to help maintain the characters. I’m not sure how exactly this’ll look in theory, but odds are it’ll look fine.
It was confirmed once more that both games have the same roster, but the stages will be different between the 3DS and and Wii U. During this segment, it was also revealed that what was once thought to be two different Animal Crossing: City Folk stages (or two different looks) are actually one stage that sort of packs up and travels from the village to the city.
As for the music between the games, there are two songs per stage on 3DS, similar to Melee. Meanwhile, the Wii U version will see the return of “My Music.” This feature allows players to select the regularity of which they’ll see songs assigned to each stage. Shown in the screenshot were an arrangement and original version of the Ballad of the Goddess from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, as well as a number of tracks returning from Smash Bros. Brawl.
There will apparently be some sort of connectivity feature between the 3DS and Wii U, but the Direct was not the time to discuss them, apparently.
Here’s a breakdown of stages that were shown off:
For the 3DS!
- Reset Bomb Forest – Kid Icarus Uprising
- Super Mario 3D Land – Super Mario 3D Land
- Spirit Train – The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks – This time they showed more platforms in the form of side-cars that link up with the train.
- Gerudo Valley – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D – The Twinrova twins were shown icing and flaming up the stage.
- Arena Ferox – Fire Emblem: Awakening – The stage morphs like Castle Siege in Brawl, but it looked more seamless. Many different morphs have been shown thus far.
- Tortimer Island – Animal Crossing: New Leaf – As was shown in the Pic of the Day, the stage has many randomizing aspects to the layout each time you play it. The music playing during this segment was from Tortimer Island’s mini-games in New Leaf.
- Living Room – Nintendogs – Appears to have some random platform arrangements, or transforms at some point.
- Prism Tower – Pokemon X and Y – Reminds me of Halberd with it’s travelling.
- Rainbow Road – Mario Kart 7 – F-Zero style level.
- Find Mii – Find Mii I and II – This stage was finally seen in action. Looks very simple but with a stage hazard boss in the demon that kidnaps Mii’s. Hopefully Mii’s will be pulled from your system.
- Balloon Fight – Balloon Fight. Finally! I always thought this game made a perfect Smash level. Notably: the sides don’t knock you out, but wrap around, like in the original Balloon Fighter. The only way out is up or down.
- Smash Bros. Melee’s DK Jungle refuses to die with dignity and continues to torture us with rushing rapids.
Wii U Stages:
- Mario Galaxy – Mario Galaxy – Friggen gorgeous. Falling starbits!
- Pyrosphere – Metroid Other M – Ridley’s shadow shown as a “boss.” Does this deconfirm him from playable? I think so, but it’s up for speculation!
- Town and City – Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Travelling stage.
- Boxing Ring – Punch-Out!! – This stage has two designs.
- Pilot Wings – Pilot Wings – Still looks like a new Pokéfloats to me!
- Skyloft – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
- Windy Hill – Sonic and the Lost World
- Garden of Hope – Pikmin 3
- Wii Fit Studio – Wii Fit – The stage morphs with different balance board platforms.
- Palutena’s Temple – Kid Icarus: Uprising – This is the new Hyrule temple
- Halberd is back from Brawl, and now in HD!
Also shown was the Wily’s Castle stage from Mega Man 2. The Yellow Devil that we’ve seen before is a combination Boss and goal. Defeat him by attacking his only vulnerable spot, his eye, and he blows up on your foes.
Up next, Smash Bros. Director, Masahiro Sakurai, discussed online play!
Both the Wii U and 3DS have online multiplayer. Sakurai warned that you should have a good connection! Use the LAN adapter for your WiiU (if you can find one!)
Playing with Friends recreates the local multiplayer, so there’s no real surprises there, but there’s a few new modes for playing with anyone. “For Fun” allows for all stages except for Final Destination and items. It’ll only record your wins. “For Glory” is Final Destination only, no items, allows for 1v1 matches, and records wins and losses.
One very interesting detail shown off was that every stage now has a Final Destination form. This mixes up the standard Final Destination by allowing for more scenery and music to be played. This’ll be great for the FD-only lovers out there.
There was also some talk of banning people, so long story short, don’t be a dick.
There’s a new rank system called “Global Smash Power.” It’s still vague on how you increase your stat, but your score is the number of people you’re better than.
Items got their own feature, so here’s a list of what was shown! (This presentation was accompanied by an arrangement of the barrel rocket music from Donkey Kong Country Returns!)
- Beam Sword looks great
- Smart bomb
- Motion sensor bomb
- Pow block
- Fire Bar looks like a length-decreasing sword
- Back Shield protects your back
- Bombchu does what you think
- Fairy bottle heals
- Ore Club is another melee weapon that can make a whirlwind
- Hocotate Bomb (Does this mean Olimar has a new final smash?)
- Rocket belt recovery from Pilot Wings
- Steel Diver submarine gun that shoots torpedoes.
Assist Trophies! Or: Who didn’t make the cut!
- Samurai Goroh
- Knuckle Joe
- Saki Amamiya from Sin and Punishment.
- Dr. Wright
- Skull Kid flips the screen upside-down.
- Mother Brain shoots with a laser.
- Midna battles foes and throws ‘em
- Ashley does… something with a cloud of magic smoke?
- Dark Samus attacks with a variety of moves.
- Chain Chomp is exactly what you think it is.
- Isabelle feeds fruit to whoever freed her.
- Elec Man shows up to stun your foes.
- Color TV Game 15 – This is essentially pong.
Pokémon! In this we learned that Master Balls holds legendary Pokémon!
- Arceus meteor smashes from a range.
- Eevee is adorable
- Fennekin uses PK Fire
- Meloetta throws music orbs I guess
- Gogoat can be ridden
- Palkia flips the stage
- Kyruem freezes on both sides
- Victini is…adorable?
- Kaldeo uses his horn to cut up foes.
- Xerneas makes.. pretty colors happen? I guess.
A lot of information was given on returning characters and new characters, so here’s kind of a quick and dirty breakdown of what we saw:
Samus and Zero Suit Samus are separated – Samus’ Zero Laser no longer drops her armor. In fact, there are no more transformation characters at all.
Instead, Zero Suit Samus zeroes in! Now she’s got some sweet space-heels that turn her into the closest thing to Bayonetta we’re getting in this game (Unless we get Bayonetta! Finger’s crossed!)
Zelda’s Phantom Slash looks like more unnecessary power and defense for Zelda who can already dflect attacks.
Sheik is going solo, now with Burst Grenades seem to work like Snake’s grenades in Brawl. Sheik also has a Bouncing Fish move, which is a heel kick.
Kirby has a new hammer technique: Hammer Flip. It’s a charge to his previous hammer ability: like Roy, it can hurt him. He also has a new final smash: Ultra Sword, from Kirby’s Return to Dreamland.
DeDeDe is more expressive and throws only gordo’s instead of waddle-dees.
Lucario is back with more powerful Aura attacks that build when he’s damaged. Charge his aura too much and it can backfire on you when you try to recover. And now he has a Mega Form (unclear, but likely his Final Smash). His aura attacks are always max damaged.
Olimar, shown with a new Pikmin music track, can only have 3 Pikmin, but they are in order. Red, yellow, blue, white, purple. Reduced numbers means easier management, visually, and knowledge of number is easy. Recovery move is now winged pikmin but more pikmin means heavier. Interesting.
Pit has lost his gliding mechanic. However, his Power of Flight is a great recovery move. His new Final Smash is now the 3 sacred treasures which looks ridonkulous. It’s like Triple Finish with a PK Starstorm chaser.
Yoshi struts his stuff over the new Smash. He now stands upright, and is the most gorgeous shade of green. His video also comes with a great Yoshi’s Island arrangement.
Roslaina and Luma, featured with an amazing carnival themed arrangement of the Cosmic Observatory theme, return with a breakdown of Luma’s separation mechanics. Still looks like it’ll be a handfull to master, but very rewarding when you do. Starbits is their side special, shooting an array of starbits. Looks to have great cancellation potential for charging enemies. Up special is the Launch Star recovery. Down special is Gravitational Pull (have ya makin’ a fool out of yourself on the dance floor), which can render shots ineffective. Power Star final smash shoots stars EVERYWHEEEERE!
Little Mac, featured with a power ballad Punch-out theme, has great ground game. But in the air he is physically weaker and is as clumsy as all get out. His Rising Uppercut is a terrible recovery with great attack power. Slip counter makes it look like he’s been hit, then counters. Giga Mac is basically Giga Bowser for his Final Smash. There’s a Wire Frame Mac costume change, calling back to the original Punch-Out!! arcade machine.
Villager, shown with an arrangement of Kapp’n’s Sea Shanty, has SO much pocketing. He can even pocket Zelda’s new Phantom Armor! His side special is Lloid rocket, which looks to have some great horizontal recovery. Up special is Balloon Trip, which appears to be a great recovery move save for it’s fragility. His Down Special is Timber, where you plant a tree and then chop it down onto your foes. And finally we see his Final Smash: Dream Home! He pays off Nook and kin to build a house on top of his foes!
All you need to know about Mega Man is his Final Smash:
Wii Fit trainer has a Deep Breathing ability that chargers her powers, and Sun Salutation is a projectile that can be saved like Samus’ power canon. Combining the two is a great combo!
Custom Move Sets were also discussed. You can’t use them online with strangers, but you can customize the way abilities work to change fighters up. Changes shown include: A giant Mario fireball that persists past contact, a straight firing fireball, a circling Pit arrow, charging Marth, a flaming uppercut from Mario, Kirby’s ice breath, and DK getting invincible armor for his headbutt. It looks like it might break balance, and probably won’t be allowed for competition, but it looks pretty neat none the less to change up less-desired aspects of moves!
New Game Mode: Smash Run
Solely for the 3DS, Smash Run is like an adventure mode in a giant level that up to 4 people can partake in. It features enemies and elements from multiple games including Donkey Kong Country Returns, Pokemon, Mario, Kid Icarus, Pikmin, and Brawl’s Subspace Emissary story mode. it’s a 5 minute run through a dungeon to collect power-ups that you then take to a big fight at the end with your foes. It looks pretty nuts!
Finally, because no Smash presentation would be complete without new announcements, a new trailer showing Charizard and Greninja was shown. Charizard is now sans the Pokemon Trainer and his alternate compatriots, and Greninja is a brand new fighter. WIll we see a grass type to top it off? We’ll see…
Finally, there’s a host of new screenshots showing even more details that weren’t in the Direct, so check those out here!
Now that was a -lot- of information, and that wasn’t even really any impressions of it. As I mentioned at the start, I’m saving that for an upcoming podcast, so stay tuned!