Category Archives: Smash Bros – TNG

Smash Bros. – The Next Generation: Pikmin and Olimar

The Explorer in a Strange Land

Marching towards duty!
Marching towards duty!

Returning from his debut in Smash Bros. Brawl, this happenin’ captain is bringing back his army of slaves companions to take on all comers in Nintendo’s all-star smackdown!

Olimar’s sporting a much more detailed look this time around, updated for his appearance in Pikmin 3 with more colorful suit buttons and a built-in helmet whistle. Curiously, he’s lacking two of his new companionsT The winged and rock Pikmin are nowhere to be found… yet. Rumor has it that’s because somebody else from the Pikmin series might be joining, like Charlie or (fate’s willing) Brittany. But those can be discussed in more depth at another time!

Olimarrrr!
Olimarrrr!

Olimar was a surprisingly useful character, once you got to know him in Brawl. His requirement to yank up certain Pikmin and keep them in a rotation could easily be disrupted by your opponents, making life a little difficult. In return, his quick, almost unpunishable attacks made him quite a force to be reckoned with. Me? I just loved whipping Pikmin at people from a distance, laughing, and then running away.

I believe I've Pik'd your Poison for you, Mario!
I believe I’ve Pik’d your poison for you, Mario!

I don’t honestly see a lot changing with the ol’ cap, not unless we’re mixing in his new companions. Maaaybe we’ll see an update to his specials to reorganize them a bit? I dunno. I would like to see something more effective than the Pik-whip for recovery… That thing’s painful.

Oo, hey, girrrl!
Oo, hey, girrrl!

If alternate costumes become a thing, I think a Louie costume is a surefire bet. Another neat look might feature Olimar sans his glass helmet, or even in a giant patchwork Pikmin costume! He could have different colors for each of the different types of buggers!

"We sincerely hope that it's eyesight is based on motion..."
“We sincerely hope that its eyesight is based on motion…”

The most exciting thing about today’s announcement is that we may continue to see periodic announcements! It’s been roughly a month since Smash Bros for WiiU and 3DS were announced, so it’s not going to be the daily updates we were used to with Brawl, at least not yet. But even if it’s just confirmed characters returning, I’ll take whatever I can get! Any news is good news!

What think you of Olimar’s return? Excitement? Ambivalence? Frothing hatred? Electrify my brain with your glorious thoughts below!

Oh, and here’s a gallery:

Smash Bros. TNG Wishlist – Pushmo

The Big Push

Pushing Onwards
Pushing Onwards

The eShop has been kind of the bastion for newer ideas from Nintendo as of late. Chief among them is the critically acclaimed Pushmo. As its name implies, the game is about moving blocks forward and backward to create platforms to climb your way to the top. It’s really a clever little game and charming as hell. It would also make a great place to set a stage for Super Smash Bros. for 3DS.

When I originally started thinking about a Pushmo stage, it just involved the little red sumo guy, Mallo, moving parts of the stage around and forcing the battle to ebb and flow along it. But that didn’t feel big enough. I had a much more grand idea: turn Pushmo into the new scrolling stage, akin to Rumble Falls.

crashmo1
Are you telling me you -wouldn’t- want to fight on a giant blocky hamburger? I don’t even wanna live in your world.

The idea is that the little sumo dude is pushing and moving blocks and climbing along at the bottom of the stage, while redirecting the platforms that the combatants have to thrash upon. There could be cute little NES sprites formed in the blocks along the way, and as the stage gets higher, it just goes into space until finally reaching a pinnacle that shifts around a bunch until it all comes Crashmo-ing down to start over.

Balloon Fighter could be one of many references hidden in the stage as the fight takes upwards.
Balloon Fighter could be one of many references hidden in the stage as the fight takes upwards.

A lot of people on the internet have suggested Mallo himself become a playable character for the next Smash Bros. games. While I think it’s cute, I definitely don’t see that needing to happen. He has no moves, there’s not a lot to reference, and even among recent eShop characters, I can think of better candidates. *Cough*Dillon*cough*. That said, Pushmo and Mallo definitely deserve a home SOMEWHERE in Smash, and I think this stage is the perfect fit.

But what about my readers? Surely both of you have an opinion? Perhaps you’d care to share it? That would be so lovely!

Smash Bros. – TNG Wishlist: N

The One Who Protects Pokémon

We’ve yet to have a ‘summoner’ style fighter.

It’s easy to see why N might not be a favored character with some people… But there’s a unique idea here. Rather than just being a Pokémon Trainer clone, N’s mechanic revolves around him calling in Pokémon to help him. He has an aversion to keeping pocket pets locked in their little spherical prisons, so they’ll either hang around him or be quickly summoned in with his special attacks. For example, his Up+B could summon an Archeops to carry him up a short distance. His Forward-B could Klinklang to do a beam attack, and his +Down+B could could summon Carracosta to protect him with his shell.

N, not to be confused with n+, an amazing masochism platformer.

His Final Smash could be summoning Reshiram and/or Zekrom to drop some Fusion attacks on the stage. As for an alternate costume for this Sudowoodo-hugging hippy, I’m thinking maybe something of a more proper Team Plasma outfit. Preferably from Black and White 2.

We don’t have any character who uses summoning as a method of combat, and outside of pulling 3rd party characters, I think this is the best chance for a fighter like that we can get. Plus, he’s a great way to cram five or seven Pokémon from the fifth generation into the new Smash games. As it is we already don’t have character representation from the second or third generations. But we have to remain current, and aside from moving on to the 6th generation Pokémon X and Y games coming out here soon, this is where the focus should be.

And for my finale… Lot’s of burning things!

I’ve pitched this idea to people in the past and some people see the merit in it, others think I’m crazy. Where do you fall on this wishlist? Either way, stay tuned because I’ve got plenty more crazy ideas coming!

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Smash Bros. – The Next Generation: Villager

The Mayor Takes to Arms

"I am number one!"
“I am number one!”

It can be argued that Animal Crossing shouldn’t have a fighter. The closest thing to combat in that game is the inner conflict that occurs when you stand there with your bug-catching net behind Tangy and wonder if she deserves a good thunking. But that didn’t stop me from wanting the Villager in Smash Bros. Brawl, and It doesn’t stop me from being overly joyous at his presence in the upcoming Smash duology. And they got him more ‘right’ than I could have ever hoped.

The Tree is a metaphor for your soul.
The Tree is a metaphor for your soul.

In a video at E3, Smash Bros. creator, Masahiro Sakurai, outlined his design philosophy for the way VIllager plays. He says that Animal Crossing is a game about collecting, and for that reason Villager needs to use a lot of crap at his disposal. From dropping bowling balls on people, to chopping trees upon them, the Villager looks to be a very item-oriented character, but not necessarily one focused on zoning or traps, like one might expect. He seems like a weird indirect-attacker, and I’m interesting to see how it plays out. Especially the bit about being able to collect projectiles and then launch them back at your foes.

“Vwip!”

It really is hard to get a complete sense of what Animal Crossing‘s resident can do, and how exactly he does it. There’s not been a lot of solid footage about him in any way that demonstrates the different aspects of combat and how he takes them. For example, he can grow a tree and chop it down… but it’s a segmented move. Is it just spamming down+B? Is it a taunt that damages? And how does he grab items? Is it like a special thing he can do on a timed dodge? There’s a lot of interesting potential here, but it’s hard to see what exactly we’re looking at without some sort of demonstration video or real hands-on experience.

All we know is how little Villager cares for your competition. There’s fruit to be harvested!

If there’s one thing I really want to see come out of Villager’s appearance, it’s a proper use of alternate color variations, and even alternate ‘costumes,’ to be an excuse to put Villager in different shirts. Animal Crossing is about collecting things, and that includes awesome shirts like the Fish Bone shirt, the BB shirt, and the Aloha shirt. If they don’t pick these for color variations, there has been a bigger ball dropped than this bowling ball on Mario’s head.

And a great alt costume would be the female version of the villager.
And a great alt costume would be the female version of the villager.

Finally, I wanna talk about some of the small aesthetics we can employ to give Villager the kind of experience fans of AC can get crazy over. I think a great intro animation would have Kapp’n’s taxi cab pull up and the Villager hop out. I’d love to see a taunt animation that shows him pull out a random fish from his pocket and show it off to the camera, but really the best thing to put there would be different e-motes like the Cold Wind and Laughter. Sadly there’s so many good animations and so few spaces for taunts… I just hope they up the number to all 4 directions on the D-Pad! They could probably save a couple more for victory poses, but I want to make sure we at least get the “Paid off my loans” dance in there, somewhere. That’d even be a sweet li’l victory music for him. Although I think the best choice there would be the default Town Tune, complete with randomly changing note at the end.

A little nod to Balloon Fight! Probably his recovery up+B, if I had to guess.
A little nod to Balloon Fight! Probably his recovery up+B, if I had to guess.

Alright, I realize I’m nerding out -way- to much on the Villager. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see him, though, so I hope you’ll forgive my overblown enthusiasm. What do you think, though? Are we scraping the barrel for characters? Is he the perfect fit? What shirt do you want to see him wear the most? “Leaf” your comments below! (My god, am I really going to leave it like that? Yeah… Yeah I am…)

Gallery!

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Smash Bros. – The Next Generation: Skyloft

 The Land of The Goddess

Way up high in the sky so blue.
Way up high in the sky so blue.

Honestly, it was a pretty damn good assumption that Skyloft was going to be featured as a Zelda: Skyward Sword stage in some way. The question was more of a “how” than an “if.” And that “how” came out a little cooler than I thought! Warning! A might bit of spoilers for Skyward Sword‘s events lie within the article, so read on carefully!

Concept art of Skyloft.
Concept art of Skyloft.

If you’re into the whole mod scene, you may have seen Project M‘s stab at Skyloft, and honestly I rather liked it. It appears they took a chunk off of the western portion of Hyrule Temple, another sky-bound island stage first used in Melee. Then they dressed it up in Skyward colors, and had it slowly rotate around the Island of Skyloft. A fairly “Smash” stage, if I’ve ever seen one, and impressive as hell from a group of independent modders. I found the ability to put the entire Skyloft asset in the background, with birds flying around, and not dropping a frame to be quite impressive! But what the team over at Smash Bros. had in mind is a bit different, although equally impressive!

More Skyloft concept art!
More Skyloft concept art!

It appears, from videos, and the odd screenshot, that Skyloft is taking on the same ‘roll’ that Delfino Plaza took in the Smash Bros. Brawl, in that it’s about random platforms cruising around the town and stopping off at various locations. I’d call it a “Tourism” style stage, if I had to give it any kind of designation.

Smash Bros Brawl's Delfino Island.
Smash Bros Brawl’s Delfino Island. Imagine Skyloft as being something like this!

Were I to make this stage, and arguably, it’s a good thing that I’m not, I would have centered it around the statue of the Goddess Hylia. I find that to be the sort of central zone of the suspended city. And after a certain time benchmark, I would have it recreate scenes from the endpoint of Skyward Sword and plummet to the world below. This would give a segment of time where the level is low-grav, similar to the falling iceberg in Glacier Summit from Brawl, and ultimately end with a bit of a scenery change. Maybe even a visit from a certain somebody, who comes up along the side and eats people, a’la Bulbin from Distant Planet.

Versus the terrible dragon!
Bowser and Link dance atop Skyloft!

You can get your first look at the stage in action in the original trailer for Smash Bros. Wii U. Keep in mind that Sakurai has confirmed that the 3DS and WiiU will both sport the same roster of characters, but entirely unique levels. As somebody who oddly cares more about the levels than the characters, I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. With that in mind, remember that this stage applies only for the Wii U version, and that the 3DS version will play host to levels from portable Zelda titles, such as Spirit Tracks. But more on those to come…

Hat's off, Mario! Enjoy the breeze~
Mario overlooking Skyloft

What do you think? Are you excited to see Skyloft represented? DO you appreciate the Tourism style, or does any particular area call out to you as the strongest? I’d love to hear your comments below!

Art of the Sacred Realm from A Link to the Past. Looks an awful lot like Skyloft, doesn't it?
Art of the Sacred Realm from A Link to the Past. Looks an awful lot like Skyloft, doesn’t it?

The Symphony of The Goddess

For this installment, I’ll be talking about some choice cuts for the Skyloft stage from Zelda: Skyward Sword. I should note upfront that I used the implementation of console-based game stages on Wii U, and portable-based stages on 3DS to help me make some decisions in my playlists. With that in mind, let’s start with the low fruit on the tree:

Skyward Sword – Ballad of the Goddess


Kind of the central theme of Skyward Sword, this particular version of Ballad of the Goddess actually didn’t show up a whole lot in the game. In fact I don’t think it did at all, which is weird. Regardless, I can already tell you this song works for Smash, because it was in the Project M. stage for Skyloft.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – The Sky


It might start off a tad understated, but this song really picks up into a powerful movement that would wonderfully accompany a stage with as much movement and exploration as Skyloft appears to have. Of all the other songs in Skyward Sword to use for Skyloft, this would be the biggest crime to ignore.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Demon Lord Ghirahim


Admittedly, a tad too dark and chaotic on its own, Ghirahim’s theme makes a tremendous Smash song nonetheless. I would certainly appreciate if there was like a stormy alternative to Skyloft that this could play during.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask – Clocktown


This particular version was taken from www.terriblefate.com, a site designed to advertise a remix album of music from Majora’s Mask. The album’s quite brilliant, and it highlights just why I want to see Clocktown used for Skyloft. I would say, even more than Skyloft, Clocktown is -the- most bustling, realistic town in a Zelda game.5 You can watch people live 3 full days of their life in this little world, and it’s crazy. The overall upbeat nature of it truly does work for a stage set in Skyloft. You could even have a “one minute remaining” version that uses the Third Day version of the song.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – Howling Melody


One of my favorite songs in Smash Bros. Brawl was the Ocarina Medley from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. In that same vain, there’s musical gold to mine in a remix of the howling themes from Twilight Princess.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – Title Theme (MOKA mix)


Even if we see the title sequence music to Ocarina find it’s way into the next Smash, I’m sure it won’t be this version. However, I rather love this mix a great deal, so I thought it worth mentioning. It has enough tempo and nostalgic overtones to fit flying around the dreamy city of Skyloft.

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker – Outset Island


Like Wind Waker before it, Skyward Sword featured a much more care-free hero enjoying life in their own little paradise before danger strikes. It is in that same vein that Outset Island’s theme should come forward to the Skyloft stage. It’s fun, it’s casual, and it’s reminiscent of our youth. It’s the perfect kind of song for an island shared with family and friends. While on the subject, there’s also a really great OC Remix track out there that combines Outset Island’s theme with a lamentful love song.

And you, my gorgeous, and very tasteful reader? What are your thoughts on great Skyloft music? Drop links to your favorite songs below!

Smash Bros. – TNG: Link

A Link to the Smash

A valiant battlecry!
A valiant battlecry!

Link is interesting because, if we wanna get nerdy about it, no two Link’s are the same. At least not often. That means there is a wealth of abilities, designs, weapons, and worlds to pull from when bringing him to Smash Bros. It appears, right now, that the Smash team is taking the safe route. They’re keeping him roughly how he was in Brawl, although they’ve lightened up his palette to more resemble that of Skyward Sword. I’m fairly happy with his visual design overall, especially when you look at how much detail is in things like his chain mail shirt and the stitching on his clothes.

Never much cared for that pose. It seems... unwieldy?
Never much cared for that pose. It seems… unwieldy?

Moveset wise, I haven’t captured anything terribly new, but hopefully he’ll have some cute new tricks like bomb rolling or the gust jar from Skyward Sword. Otherwise there’s not a terrible many things I can think to do with him.

The 3DS highlights do him well, I think.
The 3DS highlights do him well, I think.

I’m predicting that we won’t see Toon Link return. The reason for this is due to Sakurai’s recent comments about keeping the roster as sleek as possible, meaning potential (and likely) cuts to the Smash line-up we have currently. The best place to start is with the clones.With that in mind, I hope they lighten Link up some; I found him way to heavy and much preferred Toon Link’s air-combat. But hey, that’s just me. I’ll admit he felt ‘right’ given he’s supposed to be a guy full of random armor and equipment, so I can’t really argue the point of his weight.

Pretty sure Toon Link's out, now....
I know that -technically- this is a different incarnation of Toon Link, but I see it as the signature on Toon Link’s pink slip from the roster.

Let’s talk alternate costumes. Right now we’re hanging between a Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess link, so that kind of covers all of our “adult Link” bases. We could go with an outfit from the start of Skyward Sword or Twilight Princess; something more casual-ware. Maybe even replace his weapons with the preliminary wooden sword shield, just for looks. Really, I’m just in it for the mad-adorable bed head. I would also except a Fierce Deity Link costume.

Dat bedhead.

When I was originally writing about this last year, before there were any details, I was kind of hoping they’d go a more bold route and sack regular Link entirely, in favor of something like Wolf Link, and thus allowing Toon Link to stay in for the more default play. But that was unlikely to happen then, and now we’ve confirmed regular link is staying in. And Toon Link is very much likely out, at this point. That still leaves my Wolf Link in play… but that’s for another post…

Annnnd DDDGE!
Annnnd DDDGE!

So Link’s back, and nobody thought differently. I like his look, and he looks to be everything we’d expect him to be. What do you think, though? Were you hoping for something a little more unique? Are you glad they’re keeping him relatively safely? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Also, here’s a gallery full of Linky goodness!

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Smash Bros. – The Next Generation: Mario

The Undisputed King of Jump

Mess with the Mario, and you're going to get burned.
Mess with the Mario, and you’re going to get burned.

The most malleable character in video games, Mario’s done it all. He’s been a doctor, an astronaut, been an environmentalist, been a sports icon, and this one time he was a plumber. In the most recent Smash they tried mixing him up by granting him the F.L.U.D.D. as a power, and like it or not it’s coming back. Hopefully they at least spice it up a bit more. It had it’s wonderful tricks and uses, but overall felt kind of lackluster. Or maybe I just suck with it, but whatever. What do you think?

Looks like Mario’s gotten himself into another crazy caper!

There’s not a lot to really study in screenshots released thus far. The Man in Red appears to be bringing what he always does to the game: A nice well-rounded, easy-to-use character. And that’s fine! I don’t need a whole lot of flash from Mario. He’s a safe bet, and I’m okay with that.

I guess we can establish his taunt is back?

Aesthetically, I like that we’re toning back the “Seriously Detailed” look of Smash, in general, and I think Mario is one of those prime examples of why. He was getting to close to Photorealistic Mario, and nobody wants that. Nobody. Did you just say “Well I do!”? Because you lied to yourself.

These… uh… titans? Clash? Where’d Villager get boxing gloves, anyway?

Sakurai has commented that he’s not keen on alternate costumes because they take away from the iconic look, but I have to respectfully disagree with this assessment on two grounds. One, some characters have multiple “Iconic Looks.” Sakurai himself recognized this by adding Doctor Mario as a clone in Melee, and by giving Wario an alternate costume in Brawl. While I understand it’s low on priorities, I think it’s a great place for DLC down the road. That’s right, I said it. It’s not a need, it’s a want, and I’m okay with ponying up a little more for a want. With that in mind, I’m going to be talking Alternate Costumes for any and all of my characters moving forward.

And I may have spilled the beans a bit early defending my position, but hey, let’s spell it out. Mario’s alternate costume needs to be a return to his Dr. Mario clone from Smash Bros. Melee. You just reskin his fireballs with pills and update the sound, and otherwise you’re just about done. The FLUDD can still be the FLUDD, though if I may point out, it’d be a lot better if it power-sprayed vitamins. Instead of splashy water noises, it would make clicky glass-bottle-of-pills noises.

He's heating up in this game!
He’s heating up in this game!

Those are my thoughts on the obvious return of Mario to the new series. Below are some additional screenshots of our favorite costume-swapping hero for you to enjoy.

As always, your fine self is more than welcome to post your thoughts in the comments section below! In the future, if you ever want to reference back to this specific article, I’ll have it permalinked under my Smash Bros. section on the navigation bar up top.

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