Tag Archives: Discussion

Smash Bros. TNG – Zelda!

Hyrule’s Princess Returns!

I realized that I had skipped Zelda with everything going on in December, so I’m here to right that wrong with a piece on her and her JoJo-tastic  poses!

That dazzling attack cuts through the air!

Interestingly, the announcement of Zelda had now accompaniment of Sheik. I’m pretty sure it went down like that with Brawl too, and I get that they’re treated as different characters for a lot of reasons, but it’s still just kind of weird to me, you know?

“ZA WARUDO! TOKI WA TOMARE!”

So far her moves, while more dazzling, appear to be mostly unchanged. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of balance tweaks she gets, especially in the speed department. She’s always been a powerhouse to be reckoned with so I’m intrigued.

In other news, you can springboard off the ropes!

You’ll note she’s in her Twilight Princess/Ocarina of Time style get-up. While she looks great, I am just a skosh disappointed she’s not looking like her Skyward self. Hopefully that’ll be some alternate costume potential.

The Nintendo Princess roster has just about reached it’s cap. One can only hope for Midna but… more on that later…

Smash Bros. – The Next Generation: King DeDeDe

Return of the King

King DeDeDe is one of those characters that I just loved, even though I was apparently playing him wrong. Apparently you’re supposed to just chain-grab with him a lot. Me? I had fun throwing his hammer around and posing for the camera. Silly me, I guess?

Anyhow, The King in Red is back with better visual fidelity, animations, and an improved rocket hammer! Hopefully we’ll see him get a few gameplay changes like Bowser, who is now faster on his feet and able to throw out sweet drop-kicks. I’m not saying DeDeDe needs too much balance change, but it would be odd for him to remain the heaviest character when other big guys get so much more spring in their step.

Not much is known about this expressive combatant from the Kirby series in terms of changes. At present we’ll just assume he’s a better looking version of himself from Brawl.

What do you think, though? Are you glad to hear DeDeDe’s right back at ya? Anybody else you’re looking forward to? Leave a note in the comments below!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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: The Boxing Ring

The Squared Circle

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To me, the most interesting thing about this stage right now is that we don’t know what it’s supposed to be from. The giant logo in the middle would suggest that, perhaps, it’s just kind of a generic Super Smash Bros. themed stage. Which is possible. It could even be this game’s take on Final Destination, with a desire to mix up the usual floating platform and turn it into a spectator’s event.

The telltale signs of this stage are the giant logo on the bottom, the gigantic screen in the back, and a crazy laser light show. You can catch some quick glimpses of it in action in the trailers, but nothing too prolonged, unfortunately. It’s a wonder if the ropes do anything on the side, like bounce characters or at least provide some sort of wall. It’s hard to imagine they do -nothing-. There’s no sign of a stage hazard yet, so this really does seem to be a vanilla-flavored stage with a neon-flashing lid. However, there are a few hints that might lead us into what else this stage could be.

First, let me show you the ropes!

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Look at the totally unnecessary level of detail in Samus’ blaster as she lays into Link. So awesome!

When you’re done admiring the game’s insane attention to detail, look at the coloring of those ropes in the background: Blue, white, white, red. It’s a fairly standard coloration, I admit, but it does bear an identical resemblence to these ropes:

Blue, white, white, red.

What’s more… if you look at the part of the initial Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS trailer, you might catch that the ropes are different!

Sorry ’bout the blur.

Red, white, blue white. Another fairly standard look for boxing rings, sure. But that means at -some- point in development, this was the color scheme, and were changed for the level from the cinematic. The importance here is that the ropes now directly correlate with the ropes in Super Punch-Out!!

That’s how your mind feels right now.

Finally there’s the Smash Bros. emblem, which, while not exact, does seem to be gussied up to be fairly similar to the WVBA emblems in Punch-Out!!

Smash Circuit?

At this point I’d be like 99% ready to call this stage a technically unannounced Punch-Out!! stage, but let’s think about this from the other angle. Three flaws come to mind. Number one: Why not just use the WVBA or Punch-Out!! logos? And number two: why is it suddenly so flashy? It seems more like a wrestling arena than a typically darkened boxing match. Heck, at first, I thought it might be a King stage. But that brings me to reason three: Masahiro Sakurai is developing Smash Bros., and he’s famous for one other series: Kirby. He himself is the creator and voice of King DeDeDe, whose castle famously features…. wait for it…

Another wrestling ring.
Another wrestling ring.

I’m less likely to consider this for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the lack of Kirby characters in the background of the smash trailer and a King DeDeDe face on the mat, but Sakurai himself has been surprisingly restrained in the Kirby love in Smash. But poor DeDeDe didn’t even get a stage to himself in the previous Smash, so it’s not out of reach that he’s just dressing it up a bit for the announcement.

My last theory is my personal favorite. You see, The Ice Climbers were born into Smash Bros. Melee not to represent just the game Ice Climber, but to sort of be the flagship for all of the old school NES titles. Early development of Melee shows Sakurai experimenting with Balloon Fight Guy as well. But after two Ice Climber stages, and the potential of the Climbers not even returning in the next game, where else in the old NES one-off’s do you root around for a stage?

How about Pro Wrestling on the NES.

The best cover, IMO.

The Famicon Wrestling Alliance needs some love, and this might very well be the stage to do it. Who knows, maybe favorites like Starman and The Amazon might show up and be a stage hazard… or PLAYABLE CHARACTERS! *pause for dramatic effects*

I’m not even remotely anticipating that, but I still like saying stupid stuff now and again.

In the end we don’t know much about the stage. It looks neat, might be “tourney legal,” and it’s a wrestling ring. Hopefully some more updates in the form of screenshots will illuminate the subject a little more for us!

Action!
Action!

 What think you, dear readers? Have I struck the chord of likelihood? Have I percolated the perception of your mind coffee? Am I just crazy, or am I just crazy enough? Drop off your comments below.

All angles on the arena thus far:

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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New Super Luigi U is the real deal.

Downloadable… Expansion? Expansionloadable Content? Whatever it is, it’s legit.

by Randy Marr

Nintendo has a history of being genre-defining, especially in the realm of platformers. It’s hard to argue that Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 64 didn’t set the bar for quality adventures about jumping on things. Every title in the series thereafter seems to push that bar a little more. Every game, that is, except for those with the words “New Super Mario Bros.” in it. Sure, the first one on DS was a breath of fresh air, but it’s been pretty stale since. They’re by no means bad games; they just doesn’t quite leave you a quivering mass begging for more. The poorly named New Super Luigi U, however, seeks to bring the series back to where it began: setting the bar for quality.

I know this makes me look bad, but I almost wanted to buy a boxed copy just for this awesome box. That’s the perfect shade of green.

At first glance, it’s hard not to roll your eyes. In less than a year we’ve had New Super Mario Bros. 2 (Actually the 3rd game in the series), and New Super Mario Bros Wii U. So maybe you’re at your wits end with red-hatted jumpers; and there’s not a court in the world that would convict you. But New Super Luigi U is different, if nothing else than from a business angle. It makes gold coins and sense.

New Super Luigi U gives you double your game, for a third of your price. Here’s how it goes: you’ve already bought New Super Mario Bros. U for $60 and you had your fun. The challenge mode was a neat addition, it flashes back to a Super Mario World style overworld map, and there were even a few pleasant surprises in the story. Then along comes New Super Luigi U. For just $20 bucks, you get a brand new adventure. Sure, whatever thinly veiled scraps of story that even existed are still there, sans the red hatted plumber. The overworld map is the same for those who memorized every cranny. But each one of those 80+ dots on the map have become an entirely new level to explore. These aren’t just remixes; these are brand new ideas and designs. Thus, you get the the same amount of gameplay from New Super Mario Bros. Wii U, for only an additional $20.

For most games, DLC implies a new character, horse armor, or maybe even a cute piece of story content. For some games (Mass Effect), that content can be better than 90% of the original game. Usually, you fill fairly satisfied. You probably have some neat new weapons to take back to your main game, or a few new achievements. When was the last time you bought content like that that lasted more than 5 hours? And how much more? And was it doubling the amount of game content you owned previously? Nintendo has done what Nintendo used to do and set the bar, this time on what it means to be downloadable content.

Here we see the immortal Nabbit mocking lesser beings for their inferiority.

I’d almost want to call this an expansion pack, judging by the $20 price tag and extensive amount of content… but even those only ended up being a fragment of the same content of the original game, and usually were more about continuing the story in a small way. New Super Luigi U isn’t satisfied with that. It wants you to have twice as much fun. It doesn’t hurt that, from a gameplay perspective, it is twice as much fun.

The genius in the design is where the developers created a mad-cap game with tighter, more challenging levels designed to be defeated in less than 99 Mario Seconds (Because I don’t know what else to call that obscure measurement of time). It’s about being fast, but careful, and it’s exactly what the series needs to bring back. It feels like some of the best Super Mario Bros. 3 ideas, put into a world with crazy physics and penguin suits. And where games like Ms. ‘Splosion Man have decided that dragging your level out to be 15 to 20 minutes is the best way to design your game, Nintendo’s EAD team knows that it’s short, sweet bursts of levels that truly keep you hungry for more.

The inclusion of Nabbit as a replacement for Mario was actually rather clever. In my case, my future-husband, Mike, isn’t the best at platformers. He often stops playing with me because he feels like he’s getting in my way. (Also because I’m an asshole to play any game with at all.) This changes that formula, because Nabbit, you see, is immortal. He cannot be harmed by anything other than falling down a pit. The trade off is that he doesn’t get to collect power-ups. It’s a little give and take that allows lesser-skilled players to stay apart of the action without having to be upsetting to the control-freak who’s running Luigi.

As a side note, the game is being sold independently of the DLC platform in about a month. You can go into a store and buy it on a disc for $30. Anyway, the reason I bring it up, is that if you haven’t picked up New Super Mario Bros. Wii U because you’re feeling Mario Fatigue, feel free to skip it. Pay a third of the price for the better half of the content.

Pictures make everything better!

New Super Luigi U is where the tightest gameplay from a Mario Game in years is coming from. The price isn’t out to destroy your wallet. I still don’t know that I want to call it DLC or an Expansion Pack. I guess, in the literal sense of the words, it is. But this content is showing that there’s so much more you can do with your game. In a world where publishers are so worried about used games and pirating, the best argument is right here. It’s not with customer-harming DRM or Online Passes; it’s coming out with amazing content and value like this that will give people the trust and the satisfaction that your product will only continue to grow in value down the road.

That’s my thought on the DLC content. What does my gorgeous readership think? Is this a good trend? Do we not like this? Isn’t Luigi just the best? Chatter away down in the boxes below!