Category Archives: 3DS

Smash Bros. The Next Generation – The Wish Seed and the Reset Bomb Forest

The Seeds of Conflict, Reaped

SmashBrosTNGResetForest

One of the more sinister chapters of Kid Icarus: Uprising featured every clan of humans fighting a bloody war over the Wish Seed, a lie devised by the devilishly handsome Hades. It appears as though that very battlefield has been chosen as the backdrop for a Kid Icarus: Uprising stage on the 3DS version of Smash Bros.

From just that one screenshot there’s a few interesting details to look over. First, the background reminds me of another angle of the Fire Emblem flavored Castle Siege stage in Smash Bros. Brawl. There’s a large scale conflict in the background and you’re fighting your own battle in this crumbling construct. The tone and mood are a bit grim, and while I think something brighter may better suit Kid Icarus: Uprising‘s representation, I myself was looking for the Grim Reaper Fortress, so I really can’t complain.

The most interesting aspect of this stage, to me, is the shape we get of it. From just this segment we see two main platforms, and what appear to be 3 ascending pass-through platforms with a strange layout, considering the general lay out of Smash Bros. stages. If you took the left edge of each platform and drew a line to connect them, the line would move in the pattern of an exponential growth. The further right you go, the more narrow it is from the previous platform!

Part of me wonders if this is a vertical-scrolling stage that takes us above the conflict as (Spoiler alert!) Viridii drops the Reset Bomb, marking one of the darkest moments in a Nintendo game not called Mother. Even without the scrolling, I have to imagine that plays a part at -some- point, right? Even if the foreground is safe from the blast radius, or perhaps not being in front of a wall gets you blown out of the stage as a hazard. Who knows!

Can we at least hear from this guy?
I just wanna hear from this guy.

One of Kid Icarus: Uprising‘s greatest assets was the writing and voice acting, and I really hope that makes it into this stage, if not an Assist Trophy. But a conversation between Palutena, Hades, Viridi, and maybe even Pit just -has- to happen. It’s too good to let up! It could trigger like an Snake or Fox/Falco/Wolf’s Easter Eggs where you hit down on the taunt pad just quick enough to trigger a special conversation during the fight.

Concept Art for the Reset Bomb Forest, the level this Smash stage comes from.
Concept Art for the Reset Bomb Forest, the level this Smash stage comes from.

Symphony of the Goddess Palutena

Kid Icarus may not have been a perfect game, and honestly it wasn’t, but in terms of production value and cohesive vision, it’s hard to argue that any game on the 3DS, and in many cases, on console, has done better. From a brilliantly written and read script (thanks to the localization department, of course!) to system-pushing graphics, and all the way up the pleasure center of your brain with a fully-orchestrated, out-of-this-world soundtrack. It’s with that gushing praise in mind that I say choosing a setlist for one Kid Icarus: Uprising themed stage was a nightmare. I imagine the Wii U version of the game will have it’s own stage representing Pit’s homeworld, but without any foreknowledge I just wanted to go ahead and get all my Kid Icarus music loving done now. So here it goes!

Kid Icarus: Uprising: Opening


The song that sort of kicks off the whole thing. This song reminds you that you’re playing Kid Icarus, but let’s you know that it’s not the same game by adding the new Uprising theme into the mix. Admittedly not the perfect song for the dark and gloomy stage it’s set to, but a great piece none the less.

Kid Icarus: Uprising: The Return of Palutena


“It’s been too long, Lady Palutena!”

Another Kid Icarus classic rendition. Again, a bit too peppy, but too good of a piece to leave out.

Kid Icarus: Uprising: First Boss Fight


Something a little more suited for the battleground taking place in the back, this boss theme almost sounds like it came from Brawl. Sakurai is creative, I think, but he does have a bit of a recurring set of trends. Nothing bad, mind you! More like a signature!

Kid Icarus: Uprising: Magnus and The Dark Lord


I think this might be my favorite track in all of Kid Icarus: Uprising. I just love that openning minute or so, followed by the chaotic whirlwind. It’s a gorgeous orchestral piece that just screams of high-daring adventure.

Kid Icarus: Uprising: The Reaper’s Line of Sight


There’s a subtle beauty to the fact that the Reaper fortress is guarded by straight-firing laser beams. The Reapers in the original Kid Icarus were only berserk as long as you were in their line of sight. Who would have thought that their biggest weakness would be object permanence? Them having that kind of direct line-of-sight just suits them so gorgeously. As does this dark dirge featuring their chaotic theme!

Kid Icarus: Uprising: Dark Pit’s Theme


Where’d the Spanish guitar come from? Who cares, it sounds great! Dark Pit as a character would probably be a tad too… redundant, to say the least. I think we can all agree that a palette-swap Pit is all we need to cover that base. But that still doesn’t seem entirely fair to the nebulously aligned reflection, so let’s give his theme song a home, shall we?

Kid Icarus: Uprising: Medusa’s Final Battle


I’m not going to go into any story bits, let’s just focus on how dramatic this number is. It’s like a fine pageant of power and vocals. Understated, at first, but building into a brilliant crescendo, partially thanks to the snippet of Dark Pit’s theme, and then Pit’s triumphant overture.

Kid Icarus: Uprising: Underworld Gatekeeper


One of the things that started to happen more in the latter half of the Kid was a mixture of orchestral and synthetic music. Much like Mass Effect, this created a unique, and engaging soundtrack. This piece is heavier on the synth than any other, but that’s why I chose it. It’s a great little combat piece with some up-tempo synth and a strong, consistent beat.

Kid Icarus: Uprising: Viridi, Goddess of Nature


The setting this Smash Bros. stage pulls from prooobably should use it’s own theme, don’t you think? And that’s okay because it is an intense, high octane, synth-laced beauty of a track.

Kid Icarus: Uprising: The Three Trials


This song does a fine job of visiting the retro-side of things, and I think is the kind of throw-back track you really need in there. I’d be fine letting “Opening” or “Return of Palutena” take it, but I personally still vote for this track.

My word that is a lot of music! But that was hard to cut from the list of over 70 gorgeous tracks. What think you, my less-than-70 gorgeous readers? Did I miss your favorite track? Do you prefer the classic music in there? Is this your first time hearing the music? And if so, which is your favorite? Or whatever you wanna talk about, I’m lonely cool to talk about!

Smash Bros. – The Next Generation: Samus

The Original Bounty Huntress

Y can't metroid crawl?
The Samus has Landed

One of the original members of the Smash Bros. team, Samus is back and sporting a much edgier look. No, I mean it. Her suit has a lot more edges on it. A lot more convex edges, to be specific, giving her a very sleek, very sharp appearance. Frankly I think she’s never looked better, but I’ve got a thing for power armor.

WiiU_SmashBros_scrnC03_02_E3
Dat sizzle.

Sadly we’ve had only one Metroid title since our Brawl; it’s the one she draws her redesigned appearance from: Metroid: Other M. There’s not a whole lot we can really pull from that, at least nothing new. I can only hope for some grapples of some sort to reflect her new brutal take-downs from Other M. But aside from that… I dunno. I’ve got a couple of stage ideas, sure, but that’s another discussion.

3DS_SmashBros_scrnC03_04_E3
What’s in there?

The real question here is whether or not Zero Suit Samus is still involved. Is she still even a character? Is that Final Smash swap mechanic gone? Has she gone independent? Seeing as how we have a screenshot of her busting out the Hyper Beam, I think it’s fair to assume that she sheds that slick new armor at some point or another, but I don’t say anything’s certain until I see it for myself. ZS Samus may have become her very own character, if nothing else than to be less system intensive for the 3DS version of the game.

3DS_SmashBros_scrnC03_02_E3
I’m sorry, what? I got distracted by that sweet kick.

I’m still gunning for a Fusion Suit costume swap, but the gal’s got a whole slew of amazing armors from the Metroid Prime as well. It’s asking to much, I recognize, to get a different suit for each color swap… but man. Wouldn’t that be nice? I did appreciate the color swap in Brawl at least being evocative of those other armors, if nothing else.

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Now that’s just cold, girl.

That that about wraps up out conversation about our armored heroine for now. What sayeth you? Do we want to see her Zero Suit mechanic split? Do we like her new armor? It’s okay if you don’t, you can be wrong sometimes! I still love you ~<3

And here’s the usual gallery:

 

Smash Bros. – The Next Generation: Pit

An Angel Descends Once More

WiiU_SmashBros_scrnC06_05_E3

 

The hero of Kid Icarus: Uprising is in an interesting position. For starters, his most recent title was made by Smash creator Mashahiro Sakurai, putting him in a position to already be on the creator’s mind. This is a character that was resurrected from a 20-something year old grave and, for all intents and purposes, given a brand new life. Next to his Kirby stable, Sakurai knows none of the characters in Smash better than he knows Pit. That has some promising aspects.

If you’re unfamiliar with Kid Icarus: Uprising, the player has the ability to customize Pit with a series of “perks,” as well as a bevy of weapons of varying qualities and stats ranging over 7 types. Claws, cannons, bows, and Orbitars make up just a few of the weapons he can bring, and we’ve seen some of them already. So the  question is: what else?

It looks like we killed off the spinning blades forward+B special, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about that. I’ve always thought that move to be extraordinarily cheap, especially since it can deflect- defeating the purpose of his Down+B Mirror Shield). Instead it’s been replaced with a new weapon, the Upperdash Arm.

The Upperdash Arm.
The Upperdash Arm.

His Mirror Shield, one of the ancient treasures found in the original, ball-busting Kid Icarus on the NES, was a deflective special in the previous Smash, but appears to have been upgraded to the Orbitars.

Or is this just a cutesy visual for his guard?
Or is this just a cutesy visual for his guard?

The door is entirely open for even more of Pit’s toys, but honestly I don’t think we’re going to see a whole lot more. It’d be cool to see him become just a hammer-space of weapons for smash attacks and mid-air weapons, but honestly I think that dual-sword-bow is going to continue being his main offense. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that arsenal show up elsewhere. I expect that we’ll see at least a couple of Pit’s weapons, like the Tiger Claw or Eyetrack Orbitars as pick-up weapons that fall to the ground for everyone to use. Pit himself might even go berserk and whip out a large cannon attack as a Final Smash, where he unleashes a barrage of fire on the stage.

Oh it's on.
Oh it’s on.

If I could use Pit’s post here to divert a little bit. I have a sort of broader idea for the new Smash Bros. games: perks and weapons. This means customizing your characters with a bevy of passive abilities like better jumping, or stat boosting items. Similar to the sticker system in Brawl’s single player, but designed for the full multi-player experience. Now, as Capcom X Tekken has shown us, that kind of deal can get game-breaky fast, so I don’t know how much we can look into it. But the idea of at least starting off with different items or boosts that can be triggered mid-fights is at least worth exploring. It was in the multi-player and single-player for Kid Icarus: Uprising, so it’s a system Sakurai has some history with. The legendary developer even mentioned that the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game will have some form of profile connectivity and customization, and this sounds like it could be exactly that.

Majestic.
Majestic.

My knee-jerk reaction is to say an alternate costume should be Dark Pit, but that’s just a palette swap (and was in Smash Bros. Brawl) from white to black. Instead I move to postulate that a better costume would put Pit in his armor of the Legendary Treasures, as seen most impressively in Kid Icarus: Uprising, but originally from the NES Kid Icarus title. Alternatively, we could dress him up like one of the guardians from Uprising‘s multiplayer, or even just give him something original like a festive little kimono.

A wild clash!
A wild clash!

Pit’s back, with a lot more possibility than most returning characters. I hope this spirit of rebirth and open-mindedness comes up with some interesting new ideas for the Smash Bros. series to tread. Honestly, I’ll buy it day one, no questions asked, but I’d really like this to be more than just another Smash Bros. game.

Taking aim at the stars.
Taking aim at the stars.

But that’s me, now it’s you. Your thoughts on Pit? Favorite weapons? Palutena (who I learned recently shared the voice actress of Liara in Mass Effect, and more recently, the sultry voice of Burroughs, your AI guide in Shin Megami Tensei IV.) Drop your comments in the boxes below.

Just below this sexy gallery, that is!

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. – 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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Nintendo adds wireless multiplayer into a 3DS Virtual Console games.

Why now? And why only SEGA Game Gear Games?

by Randy Marr

The virtual console on 3DS has played host to some pretty spectacular games. Not only can you relive amazing titles from “them there good ol’ days,” you can find missed opportunities, give them state saves, and put them in a sleep mode for playing on-the-go. But one of the most bummer features is that there’s no way to play multi-player games that once used a Link Cable (or Link Cable Advance, if you’re one of those lucky Ambassadors). Sure you can get by on single-player experiences like Zelda: Link’s Awakening and Donkey Kong ’94, but what’s going to happen if and (who are we kidding?) when they release Pokémon‘s Red and Blue. With no way to connect via cords, the only way to do so is with some sort of emulation program. And for a while it seemed like that just wasn’t in the cards; after all, we’re two-plus years into the 3DS’s life cycle. But then came Columns, originally for the Game Gear.

Interestingly, the Game Gear games also have “Screen Settings” that allow for things like this game-gear shell around your screen.

I hadn’t noticed it before because I have a terrible problem of buying games that catch my interest and then ignoring them entirely, but Sonic: Triple Trouble has an entirely different Virtual Console interface than any other games. It has screen settings and button settings on top of it’s create/load restore point and reset buttons. But just last week, lost amidst all the crazy E3 news, another Game Gear classic, Columns, was released and came with a curious little button at the top that says “Local Play.”

When pressed, as you could imagine, it sets up the ability for two players who own a copy of Columns on their 3DS to play head-to-head in this match-3 puzzle game. Suddenly, we have the potential to trade Pokémon, to have a co-op run of Life Force from the NES, and to play the Game Boy Advance versions of Mario Kart and F-Zero on our modern-day piece of equipment. So… where’s the update?

Is this the alpha and omega of wireless Virtual Console gameplay?

Why do Game Gear games in general have a different interface? And why are only they able to hook up wireless gameplay? Is it SEGA who ports them and Nintendo just sends them out? Does SEGA have a specific requirement for their games? Now that we see at least the capability, can we expect the more important titles, like Pokémon, to have some sort of emulated Link Cable functionality? I don’t have any answers to these questions, but they’re certainly on my mind. It seems to me if you’re going to do something like the Virtual Console service, you either do it right or stop doing it entirely.

Welcome, by the way, to my first post on the brand new home for my ramblings and scrawlings. I hope you’ll stay with me; I have a lot of dumb things to say. But for now, what do you have to say? Have you ever played the game that we got before Bejewled stole our hearts and turned them into crystalline pieces for matching? How do you feel about this service being implemented? Hopeful? Hurt? Gassy? Feel free to drop a line below.