Tag Archives: Smash Bros.

Feature: E3 2015 Sunday Recap

The Nintendo World Championships and Bethesda start things off strong.

E3 may not technically begin until Tuesday, with most people calling Monday “Day 0,” but Sunday seemed to start off the celebration of all things gaming for this writer with Nintendo and Bethesda bringing some interesting guns to the start of the show.

Nintendo kicked things off with a 20 minute Smash Bros. presentation that saw 2 new fighters added: Roy from Fire Emblem and Ryu from Street Fighter. There was a leak that took the wind out of those announcements, but it didn’t make Ryu’s well-executed inclusion any less important for the Smash series. Also included in the announcement were new stages like Sakura Castle from Street Fighter II, a ton of new music, some new Mii Fighter costumes, and more. Overall it was a pretty packed 20 minutes with something you would have expected to be saved for Nintendo’s proper Digital Direct coming Tuesday. It kinda makes you wonder what they still have up their sleeve.

Then came the Nintendo World Championships 2015 event where 16 competitors played through a gauntlet of Nintendo games to be crowned the first Nintendo World Champion since 1990. Overall the event could have used some work, namely on the identifying who was who during the gameplay front, but the World Premiere of Blastball was interesting. In this new game, you’re in a futuristic looking mech that shoots around a giant death-ball, trying to get it into the opposing teams goal. It’s like Soccer (sorry, football) meets Metroid Prime in some really neat ways. It doesn’t look to be the biggest game of the show, but it’s always nice seeing something debut like that. But once Super Mario Maker was revealed, all the nitpicks and other surprises went down the drain. This was easily the best way to demo the game: have some of Nintendo’s finest create specifically tailored levels and have expert speedrunners try their hand at them. It made for a thrilling show filled with twists, laughs, and a whole lot of childish glee.

My favorite E3 moment thus far from the Super Mario Maker segment.

Bethesda came out for their first ever show, and overall I don’t think it was that great. Before you take the pitchforks to me, let me explain.

Doom was doing absolutely nothing for me. The atmosphere of the game just doesn’t strike any sort of a cord that I relate too, the visual design was all around unimpressive, and the action just seemed more exhausting than exhilarating. If it wasn’t for Snapback (or as I call it, Super Doomio Maker), a whole new style of modding tool for Doom, I would have passed the whole game off as “Just not for me” and moved on. At least that last bit got me excited.

I’m sorry, but Battlecry just looks awful. The visuals were drab, despite their attempt to inject color into it. The animations were janky as hell. And overall I just got the feeling that this was going to be some Team Fortress 2 meets a MOBA as produced by an independent team of 5 people kind of project, only it was being given it’s own studio by Bethesda. It just… Nope. Don’t think so.

Elder Scrolls Online is just not working for me on a conceptual level, so nothing there was interesting.

There was an announcement for Elder Scrolls: Legends. This is a new free-to-play trading card game that runs on PC and tablets and boasts a trailer that was almost identical to Blizzard’s original Hearthstone trailer. In fact, the whole project sounds like an attempt to cash in on the Hearthstone name, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve only got the funds to dedicate to one money-sucking card game.

Speaking of trying too hard to be Blizzard, Bethesda also announced “Bethesda.net,” a new service that will be your go-to source for “all things Bethesda.” Sounds exactly like Battle.net, the client that Blizzard uses to house all of it’s games. I’m always leery about having another dedicated publisher program on my computer, especially after Ubisoft’s ill-conceived uPlay initiative.

So, my saltiness on Doom not withstanding, that was a pretty bad press conference. That was until Fallout 4 happened. If anybody manages to beat that in-depth look at the insane features planned for that game, we’ll have one of the best E3’s in a long time. Total weapon and armor customization, building your own settlement piece by piece, an insane looking story, second-screen gimmicks. This game has it all, baby. The overall presentation was a bit bloated, but I came away from it feeling that I have a most anticipated game of E3 before the show technically even begins. We’ll see what else everybody is bringing, but man. Fallout fucking 4.

What did you think of the opening round of E3 information? Are you excited to see what everyone else has to offer, or did Fallout 4 give you everything you will ever need?

Editorial: Why Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is the Most Dissapointing Smash Bros.

I don’t think it’s the worst, or even bad at all. But I can’t help feeling let down by the latest brawler from Nintendo due to a few huge missed steps.

If you’ve followed my work, you may have noticed a small obsession between me and the Smash Bros. franchise. I can’t help it. Ever since I spent countless hours playing the Nintendo 64 original with friends, I’ve been hooked on Nintendo’s mascot beat-em-up. Each new version, rare as they actually are, came with years of excitement that eventually lead up to a new batch of countless hours wasted playing the damn thing. That was until Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still wasted countless hours, but I haven’t felt the same thrill that I used to.

If I had to give this article another name, it would be “All the things wrong with Smash Bros. for Wii U.” I’m not saying Smash Bros. Brawl and Melee didn’t have their own problems, but I feel that the potential for this game was hamstrung by a number of design and developmental issues that ultimately weaken the experience.

The Characters

While I generally think the newcomer cast for Smash Bros. for Wii U is ultimately one of the strongest in the series, there are still some sore thumbs that stick out in the overall line-up that need to be addressed.

The first is the unnecessary omission of Ice Climbers. It’s been documented that the only reason the parka-clad duo was removed was due to limitations of getting them to run on the 3DS version of Smash Bros. I get that it’s a big roster, and the Ice Climbers aren’t particularly loved by the fanbase in general, but it felt like a bit of reckless character weeding and only showed how Smash Bros. for 3DS would begin to hamstring the development of it’s Wii U counterpart.

There was originally going to be a section about how Lucas was removed as well, but he’s apparently coming back as DLC so we’ll let that one slide.

What could have been.

Ganondorf continues to be a big sticking point for me, as he was in Brawl. At least then we got a new look for Ganondorf, and a general redesign that helped to separate him from being a perfect clone of Captain Falcon. However, with Smash Bros. for Wii U, we really had a chance to set up something new with Ganondorf. Maybe we could have had his pig monster form throwing a trident and flame-bats every which way. Or better yet, Toon Ganon could have entered the fray. Instead, however, we just got the same Ganondorf from Brawl, with no real respects to any other Ganondorfs that have yet to grace Smash.

Ultimately, the character roster isn’t bad. There are far more disappointing aspects of the new game.

The Stages

The 3DS incarnation of Smash rears it’s ugly head in the worst way when it comes to the development of Stages for Smash Bros. for Wii U. Where as Brawl had 31 brand new stages when it came out, Smash Bros. for Wii U. only had 28. I know. 3 stages, what a deal, right? But consider the 25 new stages that were introduced for the 3DS version. Granted, some like Guar Plains and Final Destination exist in both, so it’d be more like 20, but even still. That would be 20 more stages we could play on the console, including some of my favorite stages of this whole 4th generation of Smash, SNES Mute City and Spirit Tracks.

But honestly, it’s not just a numbers game. The quality of stages on the Wii U Smash is just low. Palutena’s Temple is a gigantic and unwieldy level that fails to impress visually, Yoshi’s Woolly World just isn’t fun and fails to capture the magic of the visual style in the upcoming platformer by the same name, and Orbital Gate Assault is just plain janky. Very few of the new stages impress on any real scale, and while I appreciate the experimental stages like Jungle Hijinxs, they ultimately don’t land as stages I want to play on. Then there’s the stages that are neat, like Wily’s Castle, Pyrosphere, and Guar Plains, but have this pesky boss that you just can’t get rid of. They take stage hazards to a new and aggravating level of unfun.

Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem, but it’s likely a costly and ultimately unworthy one: develop the 3DS stages into Wii U stages and sell them as DLC, along with brand new stages as promotional material for new games. But heck, I’m just dreaming at that point.

And while I’m ranting about the quality of the stages, fuck Pac-Land. I’m sorry if anyone has a nostalgic trip for that stage, it’s a hot, burning MSPaint nightmare and it needs to be ejected from the game in the next major patch.

Maybe I’d want to play on some of these stages a bit more if there were other reasons to come to them…

The Music

It wasn’t until Smash Bros. Brawl that the music of the Smash Bros. series really came into its own. Before that, the music was mostly bland remixes of the most obvious tunes, and there was a very strong limit to what was selected. But when Brawl happened, the music exploded into a wide range of songs, original and remixed, from countless Nintendo games. Most stages had more songs than you could shake a conductor’s wand at, and most of them were great. Smash Bros. for Wii U ultimately tried to repeat history, but it was ultimately unable to make that musical lightning strike twice.

With Brawl, we had great pieces like the Fire Emblem Theme, Corneria, Meta Knight’s Revenge, and Bramble Blast (which turned out to be one of my favorite video game tracks, having never played Donkey Kong Country 2.) There’s no real spectacle in this new soundtrack. No sweeping orchestral pieces, no hilarious vocal arrangements, AND a truncated version of The DK Rap. Next to no songs top even the middle-ground in Brawl‘s overall soundtrack. At least I’ll always have “7 PM/Main Street” track from the new game.

Probably the worst part of the music is that a large chunk of it is locked behind content you don’t want to play.

The Unlocks

I still haven’t seen half of these unlock.

It’s 2015. Why are we still unlocking content in our fighting game that is essential to playing the fighting game. How many times have you been to a tournament for a game, only to find that they don’t have your favorite character unlocked? (or worst, they’re DLC?) I know some people like the thrill of unlocking things, but in this Age of Ultron The Internet, nothing is a secret 5 minutes after the game releases, if it even makes it that far. It’s just not reasonable to lock your characters, and in the case of Smash Bros., your stages behind any sort of wall.

And the biggest offender in all of this is the Custom Moves.

They were a great idea: Give each character 2 alternates for their Special Moves to really change up how they play. Many tournament communities are taking this as a great way to add variety to the character line-up, and it really throws the Meta into the air. In fact, EVO, arguably the biggest fighting game tournament scene in the world, will be allowing custom moves later this year. How they are going to do this is a mystery to me as it will require them to unlock all of the moves on multiple machines. Have you tried unlocking custom moves yet in Smash Bros. for Wii U? There’s no sure-fire way to get any particular move, it’s all randomly distributed via the numerous modes throughout the game. That is, numerous modes save the one you’re here for, which is the core game itself. No, instead you have to go play Trophy Rush, Master Orders, or the Mario Party like Smash Tour to grind out 8 moves per character, for each of the 47 characters. (48 minus Palutena, who for comes with all of her moves unlocked for some reason.) On top of that, the unlocks are flooded with Equipment, a terrible new feature that’s banned from tournament play because it completely breaks characters in new and terrible ways. Overall, this is an insane, and ultimately boring undertaking for anyone trying to bring out this amazing new feature added to Smash Bros.

Maybe I’m just becoming more nit-picky as I get older, but I hope you can see some of the numerous issues poking me in the rib every time I boot up the new Smash Bros. I blame a large part of it on the feeling that they had to make the 3DS version simultaneously, as it seems to have detracted from their overall work. Also, their sales. I’m willing to bet Smash Bros. for Wii U would have sold more units, and consoles, if the 3DS version didn’t exist.

What do you think? Am I being too harsh on the game? Are there other things that are bothering you? Feel free to post a comment.

Feature: Top 5 Indie Characters for Smash Bros.

Who’s your favorite “Nindie?”

Recently, it was announced that Smash Bros. for Wii U and for 3DS would be getting some DLC in the form of characters Mewtwo and Lucas, as well as some costumes for the Mii Fighters. It was also announced that a new poll would go live where you could vote for a character- any character- to be dded to the Smash Bros. roster down the line.

With that new information in mind, it seems like a lot of indie developers want in on some of that sweet Smash action. I’ve decided to compile a list of five of those characters that you should vote for in the poll. You can feel free to vote for your favorite game character here, but I recommend waiting until AFTER you’ve read my article, in case it gives you a better idea.

5. Commander Video

The star of the Bit.Trip series got his start on the Wii Shop back in 2008. The series has been going strong, with Bit.Trip Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien releasing as a Wii U launch title. To show that Nintendo has some love for the Commander, he even appears as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. While he may not have a lot on the surface, if you factor in some of his other Bit.Trip games for themes, he could have some cool retro pixel powers and throw bars of gold at his opponents.

Maybe he could just replace Sonic since he’s a better runner anyway. SHOTS FIRED!

4. Shantae

Shantae has been around since the Game Boy Color. Her creators at WayForward have developed a ton of great games on the Nintendo platforms, and I considered a fair number of their characters from games like Mighty Switch Force, but it always came back to Shantae having the better move pool and being more recognizable. The half-genie would be a well-deserved addition to the Smash Bros. roster.

3. Max

Another indie developer that every Nintendo fan should know is Renegade Kid. Their games Dementium and Moon proved that the DS could do a lot with a little, and on the 3DS, some of their best work has come in the form of Xeodrifter and Mutant Mudds. From all of those, I chose Max from Mutant Mudds for his retro-goodness and variety of moves. From an Up+B rocket pack recovery to an arsenal of water canon-based moves, he’s got a lot to offer.

2. Shovel Knight

The Cyan Shoveler is almost -too- well suited for Smash Bros. He has an arsenal of abilities to borrow from his game’s unique boss line-up, a series of his own power ups, and a built in palette swap in the form of alternate armors. There’s no reason for him to not already be in the game, as far as I’m concerned.

1. Quote

It’s hard not to call Cave Story a Nintendo fan’s ideal indie game. At least it’s one of mine, so that’s why Quote got the number one spot. The adorable robot from the Cave Story series is a one-boy-army packing all sorts of weapons that could be converted into the Smash Bros. formula. My favorite idea is his recovery: make it a Down+B combination where he busts out his machine gun and fires it downwards to push up into the air! Plus, the floating island he hails from would make an excellent stage. Imagine fighting on platforms hanging over the game’s signature dark blue clouds with the full moon while the title music plays. Glorious.

But those are my five “Nindies.” What indie character would you/have you voted for to get into Smash Bros? Leave a comment to discuss!

The 5 Best Music Tracks So Far in Smash Bros. for 3DS

Smashing your eardrums with awesome.

Smash Bros. for 3DS is out of the bag. Some folks in Japan got their hands on a copy of it early and have been streaming all sorts of features and reveals, and it’s nuts. I’m doing my very best to avoid it, but it’s all over the internet right now. I just want to hang out until tomorrow during the live stream Nintendo is holding to kind of get an “official” release on any last minute things. Then I think I’ll be satisfied without needing to dive into the rest. Maybe. I don’t know. We’ll see.

In any case, I’m saving that stuff for a write-up tomorrow. Tonight, let’s bask in the glory of one more list. Let’s talk about the best music they’ve shown off so far for Smash Bros. on the 3DS.

Continue reading The 5 Best Music Tracks So Far in Smash Bros. for 3DS

Smash Bros Hype: The 5 Newcomers I’m Excited For

The first five I’ll probably check out

 

Finally, I was able to put down streams of the Japanese Smash Bros. for 3DS demo long enough to write another article. Here’s a look at the 5 new characters I’m most excited to investigate! Please note that I’m only drawing from confirmed characters, so certain leaky types are going to have to wait until later to be praised.

5. Mii Fighters (Brawler, specifically)

In any fighting game that offers it, I always go with the Create-a-Character. No matter how limited it may be, I’m much more interested in creating my own characters than using preset ones. Smash is the exception to this, but I’m still very excited to investigate customizing my Mii to be a Brawler. I also tend to pick characters with an up-close and personal fighting style, so unless he turns out to be a Captain Falcon clone, I’ll be enjoying the fisticuffs Mii Fighter has to offer.

4. Mega Man

I didn’t grow up playing Mega Man games like a lot of people. I didn’t pop in until the X series on SNES, and Legends is my favorite off-shoot. But I still appreciate the Blue Bomber in all his forms, and this one looks to be handcrafted for maximum fan service. He also appears to be a super unique fighter with a lot of tools at his disposal, so I’m interested to check him out.

3. Wii Fit Trainer

Before, she was just going to be a fun character that came out of nowhere, but when I learned she’s also a charge character I became much more interested. For those who don’t know, she uses the Deep Breathing technique to charge the power of her attacks. It goes in combination with her Sun Salutation charge-up shot, making for a dangerous combination. I enjoyed playing Lucas in Project M, who had a similar mechanic, and I’m hoping that the Wii Fit Trainer works in a similar manner. I look forward to finding out soon!

2. Robin the Tactician

Ever since I played Fire Emblem: Awakening, I’ve wanted The Tactician, or Robin, as a Smash character. It turns out that Mr. Sakurai and I were on the same wavelength with his design, too, because Robin does everything I imagined he would. He throws out spells and fights with the Levin Sword, creating a mix-up that makes him wholly unique from other sword fighters. I’m hoping he has a “Hood up” alternate appearance, but I somehow doubt it at this point. Oh well!

1. Villager

I’ve been an Animal Crossing fan for years now, and I’ve always wanted the Villager to make an appearance. In my head, he utilized his tools a bit more to do his work, like recovering with the fishing rod as a whip/grapple mechanic, but Mr. Sakurai’s realization of him is even better. The way he moves, the weapons he uses, and his Final Smash are all brilliant. I look forward to weeding out my opponents one at a time in the near future.

What Newcomers are you excited to play as? Anybody in particular catch your eye? Feel free to drop a comment and keep the discussion going!

Smash Bros. Hype: The 5 Veterans I’m Most Excited to Play

Basically, my main characters.

For me, it’s just as much fun seeing an old favorite get redesigned and refit for the upcoming Smash as it is to see a new face enter the fray. That was the thought behind creating this list. Maybe it’s just a new costume, or maybe they were my main and I’m excited to see their changes (and new custom movesets!). Either way, these are the five veterans I’m most excited to see return.

5. Toon Link

I didn’t like the way Toon Link looked in Smash Bros. Brawl. The sort of Twilight Princess art style that all the characters had didn’t fit him. He looked drab and dreary compared to his trophies that used his Wind Waker model. I’m glad to see him in this new engine where he’s much more colorful and expressive. That alone is all I need to know about him to want to keep him as one of my main characters.

4. Bowser

Bowser was always a character I wanted to love but couldn’t. He just didn’t hold up well enough for me. I normally play as big, slow characters as it is, but something about him was -too- big and slow. That, and his move set just didn’t appeal to me. However, we’ve seen Bowser get a huge moveset makeover, and now he looks primed for combat. The most recent 3DS tournament at Comic-Con came down to a Bowser on Bowser fight, so you know he’s picking up playability. I’m excited to see where that new moveset takes him.

3. Pit

Similar to Bowser, I really wanted to learn Pit in Brawl, but couldn’t find anything about him I really liked. He was annoying, he felt cheap, and he didn’t have a whole lot of fun tricks. Most of that seems to have changed for the new game, and I’m hoping that’ll bring me around on Ol’ Pitty-Pat. From his better voice actor, to his revamped moveset, it seems like they’ve done a lot to make Pit more in line with what I wanted when I first picked him up.

2. King DeDeDe

He was probably my first love in Brawl. Everything was perfect as a long time fan of the Kirby franchise. Nothing was more satisfying to me than lining up that perfect hammer blow and KOing somebody at a relatively low percentage, just because I could. In the new Smash, King DeDeDe appears to be more expressive, and, hopefully, more fine tuned like Bowser. I’m interested to see what custom moves he’s going to mix up his arsenal with.

1. Ike

Ike was a character I couldn’t figure out for the longest time. Then one day, fairly recently, he just sort of clicked, and he’s been my main since. His outrageous knockback and damage potential, combined with his hefty weight, has made him a big favorite of mine. His new redesign makes him look like somebody actually capable of wielding a bodacious broadsword like his, and I really appreciate that. Like all of the previous characters, I’m very interested to see how he’s changed in the new game.

So those are my five faves, but what about yours? Do you have any returning characters you’re excited to see? Even if they haven’t been confirmed, who would you love to see return? Please feel free to leave a comment!

Smash Bros. Hype: My 5 Most Wanted New Characters

In a perfect world, these challengers would approach.

It seems almost pointless to still talk about characters I want to see in the next iteration of Smash Bros. Between all the announcements we already have and the supposed leaks of upcoming reveals, there doesn’t seem to be much room left for speculation. But that’s not going to stop me. If nothing else, we can consider these ideas for future installments in the series.

Continue reading Smash Bros. Hype: My 5 Most Wanted New Characters

Smash Bros Hype: My 5 Most Wanted Stages

The places to be in the next iteration of Super Smash Bros.

A while back I ran a series of regular updates about the content I wanted to see in the next Smash games. With the Japanese release only 10 days away, I wanted to revisit that feature with some of the information we have now and give an update to my most wanted lists. Today, we’re starting with the 5 most wanted battlegrounds for clashing in Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS. 

5. Retro Corneria – Star Fox

There hasn’t been a new Star Fox in the 7 years since Smash Bros. Brawl came out, so there isn’t anything new to draw from. With that in mind, I suggest we go back to the original, which has never seen a stage in Smash.

The goal here is to replicate the look of the FX Chip in glorious HD. For the stage design itself, I would want something like a replica of the Lylat Cruise stage from Brawl, just refitted it was rendered in the FX Chip style. It could fly between different levels, like Lylat Cruise, but the most important thing is maintaining the SNES style of 3D graphics.

4. Skytown – Metroid Prime 3

Well before there was Bioshock Infinite, we were already sailing sky-rails in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Skytown was one of the game’s many amazing locations, and featured floating towers that were connected by rails. A stage based on a part of this city would be appropriate to Smash‘s floating stage design, and would also be a well-needed representation from the Prime series.

Man I really want an HD Metroid Prime.

3. Pushmo – Pushmo

Pushmo is easily one of this handheld generation’s best games, and certainly one of Nintendo’s best new IP’s. For those two reasons alone, it deserves an entire stage in the new Smash Bros. games. Imagine yourself having to fight on these squared surfaces that are pulled out by the game’s protagonist Malo. As the stage goes, he keeps pulling out new stacks of blocks, altering the landscape of the battlefield as the stage continues to endlessly climb upwards on a mountain of Pushmo. It would be a difficult stage to pull off, but I think it would be one of the coolest new locals in the games.

2. Fountain Gardens – Kirby’s Epic Yarn

In all honestly, I’m okay with anything at all from Kirby’s Epic Yarn, but it has to happen. The game’s gorgeous hand-stitched design needs representation on one of the Smash Bros. stages. It could take the form of Quilty Square, or a design based off the first level, or even a rotating map based on the game’s world map. I don’t care. It just needs to be a reality.

1. Sunset Shore – Donkey Kong Country Returns

Perhaps my favorite idea, and the most difficult to pull off, is a stage based on Sunset Shore from Donkey Kong Country Returns. The stage is simple: put together some platforms that are all flat colored with a gorgeous sunset background. Then, make sure all the fighters have a similar flat color with specific highlights depending on their most prominent features, just like in the picture above. It would be a painstaking task to do that to the 35+ characters we have, not to mention alternate costumes. But if it could be done well, I think it would be the most visually interesting stage in a Smash Bros. game to date.

What do you guys think of the list? Any stages you’d like to see in an upcoming Smash game? Let me know in the comments below!

Super Smash Bros. Direct informs, impresses, and delights.

Release windows! Stages! Characters! Items! Masahiro Sakurai used Substitute!

Whew! I’m still catching my breath after that last Smash Bros. Direct. Or maybe it’s time to get back to the gym. Probably both. Here I’m going to provide a breakdown of what was seen and heard, and for impressions you’ll want to wait for our upcoming, and first, podcast! But until that get’s recorded, here’s the news!

First off, and probably most importantly to most people, the release date. If you don’t want to be spoiled and just want that release window, stop after this. The Smash 3DS will be released this summer, and the Wii U version will be released this winter. No actual date’s confirmed, but if I were a betting man I’d narrow this down to late August and early to mid-December.

Technically, on the 3DS, the game will run at 60 fps even in with your 3D slider on. Things like assist trophies and Pokemon will be slowed down to 30 fps to help maintain the characters. I’m not sure how exactly this’ll look in theory, but odds are it’ll look fine.

It was confirmed once more that both games have the same roster, but the stages will be different between the 3DS and and Wii U. During this segment, it was also revealed that what was once thought to be two different Animal Crossing: City Folk stages (or two different looks) are actually one stage that sort of packs up and travels from the village to the city.

As for the music between the games, there are two songs per stage on 3DS, similar to Melee. Meanwhile, the Wii U version will see the return of “My Music.” This feature allows players to select the regularity of which they’ll see songs assigned to each stage. Shown in the screenshot were an arrangement and original version of the Ballad of the Goddess from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, as well as a number of tracks returning from Smash Bros. Brawl.

There will apparently be some sort of connectivity feature between the 3DS and Wii U, but the Direct was not the time to discuss them, apparently.

Here’s a breakdown of stages that were shown off:

For the 3DS!

  • Reset Bomb Forest – Kid Icarus Uprising
  • Super Mario 3D Land – Super Mario 3D Land
  • Spirit Train – The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks – This time they showed more platforms in the form of side-cars that link up with the train.
  • Gerudo Valley – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D – The Twinrova twins were shown icing and flaming up the stage.
  • Arena Ferox – Fire Emblem: Awakening – The stage morphs like Castle Siege in Brawl, but it looked more seamless. Many different morphs have been shown thus far.
  • Tortimer Island – Animal Crossing: New Leaf – As was shown in the Pic of the Day, the stage has many randomizing aspects to the layout each time you play it. The music playing during this segment was from Tortimer Island’s mini-games in New Leaf.
  • Living Room – Nintendogs – Appears to have some random platform arrangements, or transforms at some point.
  • Prism Tower – Pokemon X and Y – Reminds me of Halberd with it’s travelling.
  • Rainbow Road – Mario Kart 7 – F-Zero style level.
  • Find Mii – Find Mii I and II – This stage was finally seen in action. Looks very simple but with a stage hazard boss in the demon that kidnaps Mii’s. Hopefully Mii’s will be pulled from your system.
  • Balloon Fight – Balloon Fight. Finally! I always thought this game made a perfect Smash level. Notably: the sides don’t knock you out, but wrap around, like in the original Balloon Fighter. The only way out is up or down.

    Watch Peach
  • Smash Bros. Melee’s DK Jungle refuses to die with dignity and continues to torture us with rushing rapids.

Wii U Stages:

  • Mario Galaxy – Mario Galaxy – Friggen gorgeous. Falling starbits!
  • Pyrosphere – Metroid Other M – Ridley’s shadow shown as a “boss.” Does this deconfirm him from playable? I think so, but it’s up for speculation!
  • Town and City – Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Travelling stage.
  • Boxing Ring – Punch-Out!! – This stage has two designs.
  • Pilot Wings – Pilot Wings – Still looks like a new Pokéfloats to me!
  • Skyloft – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • Windy Hill – Sonic and the Lost World
  • Garden of Hope – Pikmin 3
  • Wii Fit Studio – Wii Fit – The stage morphs with different balance board platforms.
  • Palutena’s Temple – Kid Icarus: Uprising – This is the new Hyrule temple
  • Halberd is back from Brawl, and now in HD!

Also shown was the Wily’s Castle stage from Mega Man 2. The Yellow Devil that we’ve seen before is a combination Boss and goal. Defeat him by attacking his only vulnerable spot, his eye, and he blows up on your foes.

 

Up next, Smash Bros. Director, Masahiro Sakurai, discussed online play!

Both the Wii U and 3DS have online multiplayer. Sakurai warned that you should have a good connection! Use the LAN adapter for your WiiU (if you can find one!)

Playing with Friends recreates the local multiplayer, so there’s no real surprises there, but there’s a few new modes for playing with anyone. “For Fun” allows for all stages except for Final Destination and items. It’ll only record your wins. “For Glory” is Final Destination only, no items, allows for 1v1 matches, and records wins and losses.

One very interesting detail shown off was that every stage now has a Final Destination form. This mixes up the standard Final Destination by allowing for more scenery and music to be played. This’ll be great for the FD-only lovers out there.

There was also some talk of banning people, so long story short, don’t be a dick.

There’s a new rank system called “Global Smash Power.” It’s still vague on how you increase your stat, but your score is the number of people you’re better than.

Items got their own feature, so here’s a list of what was shown! (This presentation was accompanied by an arrangement of the barrel rocket music from Donkey Kong Country Returns!)

  • Beam Sword looks great
  • Bumper
  • Smart bomb
  • Motion sensor bomb
  • Pow block
  • Beetle
  • Fire Bar looks like a length-decreasing sword
  • Back Shield protects your back
  • Bombchu does what you think
  • Fairy bottle heals
  • Ore Club is another melee weapon that can make a whirlwind
  • X-bomb
  • Hocotate Bomb (Does this mean Olimar has a new final smash?)
  • Rocket belt recovery from Pilot Wings
  • Steel Diver submarine gun that shoots torpedoes.

Assist Trophies! Or: Who didn’t make the cut!

  • Samurai Goroh
  • Andross
  • Devil!
  • Knuckle Joe
  • Saki Amamiya from Sin and Punishment.
  • Lyn
  • Nintendog!!!!
  • Waluigi
  • Dr. Wright
  • Skull Kid flips the screen upside-down.
  • Mother Brain shoots with a laser.
  • Midna battles foes and throws ‘em
  • Ashley does… something with a cloud of magic smoke?
  • Dark Samus attacks with a variety of moves.
  • Chain Chomp is exactly what you think it is.
  • Isabelle feeds fruit to whoever freed her.
  • Elec Man shows up to stun your foes.
  • Color TV Game 15 – This is essentially pong.

Pokémon! In this we learned that Master Balls holds legendary Pokémon!

  • Arceus meteor smashes from a range.
  • Meowth
  • Electrode
  • Eevee is adorable
  • Staryu
  • Metagross
  • Fennekin uses PK Fire
  • Meloetta throws music orbs I guess
  • Gogoat can be ridden
  • Entei
  • Deoxys
  • Palkia flips the stage
  • Kyruem freezes on both sides
  • Victini is…adorable?
  • Kaldeo uses his horn to cut up foes.
  • Xerneas makes.. pretty colors happen? I guess.

A lot of information was given on returning characters and new characters, so here’s kind of a quick and dirty breakdown of what we saw:

Samus and Zero Suit Samus are separated – Samus’ Zero Laser no longer drops her armor. In fact, there are no more transformation characters at all.

Instead, Zero Suit Samus zeroes in! Now she’s got some sweet space-heels that turn her into the closest thing to Bayonetta we’re getting in this game (Unless we get Bayonetta! Finger’s crossed!)

Zelda’s Phantom Slash looks like more unnecessary power and defense for Zelda who can already dflect attacks.

Sheik is going solo, now with Burst Grenades seem to work like Snake’s grenades in Brawl. Sheik also has a Bouncing Fish move, which is a heel kick.

Kirby has a new hammer technique: Hammer Flip. It’s a charge to his previous hammer ability: like Roy, it can hurt him. He also has a new final smash: Ultra Sword, from Kirby’s Return to Dreamland.

DeDeDe is more expressive and throws only gordo’s instead of waddle-dees.

Lucario is back with more powerful Aura attacks that build when he’s damaged. Charge his aura too much and it can backfire on you when you try to recover. And now he has a Mega Form (unclear, but likely his Final Smash). His aura attacks are always max damaged.

Olimar, shown with a new Pikmin music track, can only have 3 Pikmin, but they are in order. Red, yellow, blue, white, purple. Reduced numbers means easier management, visually, and knowledge of number is easy. Recovery move is now winged pikmin but more pikmin means heavier. Interesting.

Pit has lost his gliding mechanic. However, his Power of Flight is a great recovery move. His new Final Smash is now the 3 sacred treasures which looks ridonkulous. It’s like Triple Finish with a PK Starstorm chaser.

Yoshi struts his stuff over the new Smash. He now stands upright, and is the most gorgeous shade of green. His video also comes with a great Yoshi’s Island arrangement.

New characters!

Roslaina and Luma, featured with an amazing carnival themed arrangement of the Cosmic Observatory theme, return with a breakdown of Luma’s separation mechanics. Still looks like it’ll be a handfull to master, but very rewarding when you do. Starbits is their side special, shooting an array of starbits. Looks to have great cancellation potential for charging enemies. Up special is the Launch Star recovery. Down special is Gravitational Pull (have ya makin’ a fool out of yourself on the dance floor), which can render shots ineffective. Power Star final smash shoots stars EVERYWHEEEERE!

Little Mac, featured with a power ballad Punch-out theme, has great ground game. But in the air he is physically weaker and is as clumsy as all get out. His Rising Uppercut is a terrible recovery with great attack power. Slip counter makes it look like he’s been hit, then counters. Giga Mac is basically Giga Bowser for his Final Smash. There’s a Wire Frame Mac costume change, calling back to the original Punch-Out!! arcade machine.

Villager, shown with an arrangement of Kapp’n’s Sea Shanty, has SO much pocketing. He can even pocket Zelda’s new Phantom Armor! His side special is Lloid rocket, which looks to have some great horizontal recovery. Up special is Balloon Trip, which appears to be a great recovery move save for it’s fragility. His Down Special is Timber, where you plant a tree and then chop it down onto your foes. And finally we see his Final Smash: Dream Home! He pays off Nook and kin to build a house on top of his foes!

All you need to know about Mega Man is his Final Smash:

Dat Mega Man Volnutt!

Wii Fit trainer has a Deep Breathing ability that chargers her powers, and Sun Salutation is a projectile that can be saved like Samus’ power canon. Combining the two is a great combo!

Custom Move Sets were also discussed. You can’t use them online with strangers, but you can customize the way abilities work to change fighters up. Changes shown include: A giant Mario fireball that persists past contact, a straight firing fireball, a circling Pit arrow, charging Marth, a flaming uppercut from Mario, Kirby’s ice breath, and DK getting invincible armor for his headbutt. It looks like it might break balance, and probably won’t be allowed for competition, but it looks pretty neat none the less to change up less-desired aspects of moves!

New Game Mode: Smash Run

Solely for the 3DS, Smash Run is like an adventure mode in a giant level that up to 4 people can partake in. It features enemies and elements from multiple games including Donkey Kong Country Returns, Pokemon, Mario, Kid Icarus, Pikmin, and Brawl’s Subspace Emissary story mode. it’s a 5 minute run through a dungeon to collect power-ups that you then take to a big fight at the end with your foes. It looks pretty nuts!

Finally, because no Smash presentation would be complete without new announcements, a new trailer showing Charizard and Greninja was shown. Charizard is now sans the Pokemon Trainer and his alternate compatriots, and Greninja is a brand new fighter. WIll we see a grass type to top it off? We’ll see…

Finally, there’s a host of new screenshots showing even more details that weren’t in the Direct, so check those out here!

Now that was a -lot- of information, and that wasn’t even really any impressions of it. As I mentioned at the start, I’m saving that for an upcoming podcast, so stay tuned!

Smash Bros. Pic of the Day: Nobody’s Favorite Pokemon

Dedenne Confirmed for Pokeball Roster

In a rather colorful picture today, the Pokemon Dedenne was confirmed to be a Pokeball character in the next Smash Bros. games.

Dedenne is an electric/fairy type Pokemon who fulfills Generation 6’s requirement of an lightning slinging rodent. A cross between a diabetic Pikachu and a rooftop antennae, this Pokemon is sure to do something that, if you squint hard enough, makes him look like somebody who could be useful.

Because I’m already tired of talking about this thing, what useful Pokemon are you hoping to see on the Pokeball line-up in the next game? Drop me a few names in the comments below!