By Josh Speer / November 30th, 2013
This week had an interesting batch of Smash Bros. screenshots. Though it didn’t show anything we hadn’t already heard of, barring one highly suspicious picture on Tuesday, it had some cool shots all the same. It would seem that Sakurai-san is biding his time until he releases any crowd-pleasing new reveals. Regardless, I have a job to do, so let’s get Smashing!
Monday’s reveal was a bit of a head scratcher. On the one hand, it is obviously the Fire Emblem stage that showed up in Brawl. On the other hand, it’s somewhat… different. Notice the crowd of spectators? Those weren’t there before. Nor do I remember that particular pattern being on the floor of the level. Plus, this screen was from the 3DS version, which indicates it might be from Fire Emblem: Awakening (thanks to Charlotte Buckingham for that canny observation!). Maybe it is an upgraded version of the Brawl stage, to look and play more like Arena Ferox? Either way, I’m excited to find out why it looks this way.
Oh, Tuesday. You’re such a mysterious and naughty mistress! See, this one I almost skipped past as being unimportant. But then I saw the logo on those gun-like weapons. Look familiar? It should, as it is the same logo that appears on Smash Balls. This lead to rampant speculation on my part. Have the familiar items been replaced by projectile versions? Can you now fire Smash Balls at your opponent to damage them? Or has that whole mechanism been completely revised? To say I am excited about this reveal is a huge understatement. I just hope Sakurai-san reveals what’s going on in this picture soon!
Ouch. I’m sure Wednesday’s screenshot was painful for all you Sonic fans out there. Besides showing off how much more detailed Bowser looks in HD, this screenshot was also curious for another reason. Namely, I don’t remember Bowser being able to go into shell mode quickly enough to thwart Sonic’s Homing Dash. Very interesting. Hopefully Bowser will be more of a force to be reckoned with this time around.
*Insert obligatory train noise here* Though we’ve known about the Spirit Tracks stage being in the new Smash for a while, it is always nice to see more screenshots of it! I can only imagine how hectic of a stage this might be, perhaps akin to the F-Zero stages in previous games. Hopping from car to car, knocking your foes onto tracks and watching them get run over… Yeah, this stage is a great endorsement for picking up the 3DS version of the game once it comes out.
We’ll end this wee’k’ screenshot recap with another image that made me go “huh?”. On the surface this is a very basic, if cool, image. Toon Link vs. Fox. Nothing interesting, right? Well, except for that black energy crisscrossing the screen. For that matter, the white energy is something I don’t remember from Brawl either. Is this the new animation for what happens when a shield is broken? Or is it indicative of something even cooler? We’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, speaking of Link, take a gander at Andy Na’s Character of the Week!
Character of the Week
ANDY: I have a strong attach rate towards sword wielders, and it’s mainly because I’ve been playing as Link ever since the first Smash Bros. on the N64. But sadly, my interest in playing as Link shrunk faster than activating the Minish Cap due to playing as other fighters who were more competitive and simply looked cooler. Nevertheless, it is important that I write about Link because my playing style using these different fighters originally came from using him.
When I play Smash, I just like to rush and juggle. As Link in the original game, I sometimes used boomerangs and bombs to get myself out of trouble at a distance, but I mostly attacked head-on using running attacks followed by the spin attack. When the going was good, I would use medium upward swings, reverse aerial attacks and a forward or upward smash attack after a long fray to get the job done. When I used to play against my brother’s Samus, I would use Link’s downward sword attack to no end in order to send her off the stage. Nothing against Samus, really; I just wanted to win.
I would later adapt this attack flow using Mario, Roy, and Ike in future installments, but I would slightly adjust my control so I could get in tune with their movesets. Ike is currently my main fighter in Brawl, and I find myself using the same attacks like I did with Link in the N64 days.
I don’t know how much tweaking Link will get in the next Super Smash Bros., but I hope he and the rest of the fighters will become very comfortable to use. I still anticipate the next Fire Emblem character besides Marth, or a veteran character, to have the ideal qualities that fit my playing style, but I will find myself playing as Link again and enjoy using him as if I were seeing an old friend again. Who knows? He may even become my main fighter again after so many years.
Smashing SaturdaysWeek 5