Today brought a fairly low-impact image of a Nintendog watching TV. This comes from the Nintendogs stage, which you can see more of here. This doesn’t actually show the stage itself, it appears to be all background. What’s interesting is that you can study the image in the background, but I personally believe it’s just generic images of flowers or some nonsense. I doubt it’s a link to Ness, not that it matters one way or another.
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!
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?
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.
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…
The Item Capsule is nothing new, although the squat design is quite adorbs. It is, however, in need of a bit of repackaging, I think.
In the last Smash Bros, we saw crates and barrels of goodies turn into presents and steel containers to better fit the mood of stages they appear on. I’d love to see more of that kind of customization in those items, as well as in the capsules themselves. Furthermore, a little bit of player customization in terms of gameplay. Perhaps it’s more fun to have an “All Capsule Surprise” match where every item has to be busted out of capsules, rather than just dropping in by themselves. Perhaps explosions could be turned off for those so-inclined to do so. It’s not much, but the more customization, the better off we can be!
Do you have any idea how hard it is to come up with track ideas for a staged based around a series of rhythm games? I mean, let’s just go ahead and assume that medley’s are going to be used right now, alright? The best I can do at this point is pick the songs I think are the best for whatever barely excusable reason I can drum up. So let’s do this after the jump!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 fromBlack 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…)
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!
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!
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.
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.
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…
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.