By Josh Speer / February 15th, 2014
This was indeed a good week to be a Smash Bros. fan. Things started out really slow, and then slowly built up to a very surprising reveal, on the heels of the previous Rosalina, Dedede and Lucario surprises. While it was a bit of an abrupt week, as there was no new screen for Friday, they more than made up for it with Thursday’s screen. In lieu of a picture for Friday, I will post staff reactions to Thursday’s reveal to fill things out and help you all get your Smash fix.
I have to include the quote from Monday’s screen here. “A bored-looking dog staring at the TV… Occasionally, the Super Smash Bros. series really makes me confused about what I’m creating.” Does it not sound like poor Sakurai is having a bit of an existential crisis here? Either that, or he’s being a goofball. Regardless, the Nintendog looks adorable.
Tuesday was much more epic! Lucario looks so cool and, dare I say it, bad-ass in this pic. Double Team might not have been the easiest move to use in Brawl, but hopefully Sakurai tweaked it to make the timing a bit less problematic. Plus, again, I always love watching Marth get trolled.
Alas, Poor Donkey Kong. I knew him well. Gotta love the bugged out eyes, though. I also am a big fan of the new redesign for the Home-run Bat! While I appreciated the spare and basic wooden version, this one looks like it’s ready for business. Note the bullseye emblazoned on the tip. Now, in case you aren’t up to date, prepare to be wowed by the final screen for this week! You ready? Here goes!
Nope, you’re not seeing things. Little Mac of Punch-out!! fame has indeed made the transition from Assist Trophy to Brawler. To say this was unprecedented would be an understatement. What’s funny is, we all should have guessed this a while ago. Why, you ask? Well, this isn’t the first time the new boxing ring stage has been shown. The reason I didn’t guess is twofold. First, I thought it might have been the ring from the Kirby games. Second, I figured if it belonged to a new Brawler, they would have been announced a while ago. Turns out I was wrong, and I’m happy about it. While Little Mac may not have been the announcement I have been waiting for, he looks like a very unique and fun character. Even better, his introduction video shows off his Final Smash, where it looks like he loses the moniker of “Little”.
So what do you all think? Excited by Little Mac? Disappointed? Our staff had a few opinions of their own:
Jeff Neuenschwander – I’m looking forward to trying out this character. But there is something I’m wondering about. What’s the deal with the power meter? Is that part of his Final Smash or is that something else? If that’s something else, do all the other characters have something like that? If not, and Mac has another Final Smash, he could end up being rather overpowered.
Eric Chetkauskas – My only thought is: Why is this not something that happened years ago? It makes too much sense to have a boxer in a fighting game.
Justin Guillou – I wonder if Doc Louis will be an assist trophy and then he can comment on the match. Or maybe, It can be a special taunt kinda like with Fox/Falco/Wolf. As for that power meter, I have a feeling its going to work similar to that one move Wario has.
Brodie Dayton-Mills – I’ve never been the biggest Punch Out!! fan, but the Little Mac reveal might have been the most exciting piece of Smash news since E3. Not only was the trailer hilarious, it also showed us that Sakurai and the gang are shaking things up.
On a slightly less realistic note: what are the chances it’ll be possible to pull off two Final Smashes at once? I only ask because Giga Mac vs Giga Bowser sounds too good to be true.
Josh Speer – Do they actually call him Giga Mac? I was thinking it would be called Big Mac.
Jeff Neuenschwander – Damn it, Josh. Now I’m hungry.
But that’s not all we have for you this weekend! What better way to celebrate the inclusion of a classic character than with another classic character? Keep reading for a great Character of the Week by Tyler Lubben!
Character of the Week
TYLER: The face of Nintendo and, I would venture to say, the face of video gaming, everyone’s favorite plumber has been, and will forever be, a staple in the Super Smash Bros. roster. While Mario’s move set has only experienced the most minor of changes throughout the franchise’s cycle, he’s still a solid character, enjoying a long tenure as my main in Melee. He may not be the fastest or strongest character, but there were things about him that I’ve always enjoyed.
While Mario’s fireballs aren’t going to be blasting anyone out of the ring, they’re great for dealing light damage from a distance, as well as tripping up oncoming opponents. I also owe at least a few victories to raining fire down on competitors who were trying to get back to a ledge from down below. However, it wasn’t until the release of Melee that we saw changes in Mario’s attacks that really drew me to him. Key among these was his forward attack in the air, which saw Mario delivering a massive punch that would knock opponents straight down. Some of my most satisfying moments from the second game in the series came from jumping out at returning opponents, and sending them spiraling downward with that attack. However, my favorite, by far, was Mario’s Cape.
Requiring a bit more finesse than Fox’s Reflector, Mario’s side B attack was great for sending back projectiles, as well as turning around opponents. While it was always fun to turn back a fully charged Super Scope shot, or flip an opponent around before he could land a Smash attack, my favorite was using it on Fox or Falco during their Fire Fox attack. With proper timing, this could be used to send these characters shooting away from the arena, and to certain death rather than safety. It was the bane of my friends who played as these characters (of whom there were many).
I’ve never been a big fan of Mario’s down B move, be it his spinning attack from earlier games, or the FLUDD in Brawl. I’m sure they have their uses, but I never could figure out how to pull them off effectively without leaving myself wide open, or completely missing my mark. I don’t know if things will change for Mario in the upcoming game, but, if not, I certainly hope they can at least find a way to make them easier to use. However it turns out, I’m sure Mario will still see a lot of use on my part, even if it isn’t as my main.
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