By Josh Speer / March 8th, 2014
I’ll be honest. I love pretty much any new Smash week, regardless of whether or not it has a big reveal. I’m a fan boy, and I proudly admit it. That said, there were some very entertaining shots this week, as well as some new info revealed about Little Mac, plus a new level reveal! If that’s not Smashing enough for you, then stick around for a new Character of the Week by talented new staff writer Nathan Stiles! It’s a good one.
Okay, that’s enough blabber – let’s get Smashing!
Monday was off to a fantastic start with this bewitching photo! (see what I did there?) Kotake and Koume are in the new Smash as level hazards in Gerudo Valley. While I would have preferred them as Assist Trophies, I can live with them causing havoc in a specific stage. After all, some of the most memorable moments from Brawl came from the cameos in the Bridge of Eldin stage, in my opinion. Here’s hoping the grannies unite to attack as Twinrova like in Ocarina of Time!
Tuesday had two of my favorite things – Mega Man and Bumpers! While many were not fans of the Bumper in previous games, I happened to love the havoc it could (and generally did) cause. Plus, the redesign is pretty sweet, and almost looks like the Smash logo lights up when it activates. Gotta love those intricate small touches the series is known for. Plus, Mega Man is always awesome!
Similarly, I almost always appreciate any love the penguin monarch, King Dedede, gets in screenshots. Though I’m far from amazing with him, King Dedede has incredible charm and charisma. Plus, look at how happy Pikachu looks! Not sure if he got knocked down by the manliness of Dedede’s Jet Hammer pose, or if he’s just drunk, but either way it is a fantastic photo.
I think it apt to preface this screenshot with Sakurai’s informative post – “Little Mac’s side smash attack is his straight right punch…but it can transform into an uppercut if you tilt diagonally upward, or a body hook if you tilt diagonally downward. The body hook is the most devastating of these moves and it doesn’t blast the opponents away.” I’m torn by this. On the one hand, I love knowing more about how Little Mac plays. On the other – this sounds WAY too similar to Marth’s Dancing Blade attack. Granted, this is a Smash attack as opposed to a Special move, but I still wonder if Little Mac is going to be the bane of my preferred Brawlers existence. Only time will tell.
I’ll be honest. As much as I am becoming a fan of Villager, I am NOT a fan of Animal Crossing. That said, new content is almost always a good thing in Smash. Thus, I am cautiously optimistic about the new Tortimer Island stage. Not sure how it will play out, as this screen is almost 2.5D rather than 2D platformer, but it will hopefully offer something fun and unexpected.
That’s all we have for this week’s screenshots. But don’t despair! A fantastic new Character of the Week awaits you about a Brawler many are still pining for in the new Smash…
Character of the Week
Admittedly, Solid Snake seems a bit out of his element when it comes to Brawl, since there’s very little ‘Tactical Espionage,’ and a whole lot of ‘Action.’ Even so, I feel he makes for a very interesting and exciting addition to the roster. To me, he feels rather unique as a fighter because most of his abilities tend to have a delay, or are meant to be set as a trap for the enemy to hit later. In fact, aside from his classic punch/kick combo, most of his abilities seem rather indirect (at least the way I play him). For example, my favorite attack of Snake’s consists of him kneeling down and using a remote controlled rocket to hit an enemy. The whole time the attack is in progress you have manual control over the rocket movement, but it leaves Snake completely defenseless, so skillful and careful planning is required. There is something extremely entertaining about trying to put tactics and strategy into what is generally a fast-paced, button mashing sort of fighting game, and it feels highly rewarding when you are able to pull off a combination of attacks and traps that work out successfully.
That’s what it all really comes down to – I just like how it feels to play as Snake in Brawl. The developers did an amazing job of keeping the character true to his roots, despite the rather drastic change in gameplay style between a 2D fighter and a 3D/top-down stealth game. Despite the cartoon aesthetic the game presents, they manage to keep Snake from falling into the same category, leaving him feeling fairly ‘realistic’ (or at least as realistic as possible, considering some of the absurdities the Metal Gear series contains itself). His strength always comes from the intelligent use of his weapons, and relying on his melee attacks alone won’t get you very far, especially against skilled players. Playing as Snake really feels different to me than most of the other characters, and, because of that, he stands out as one of my favorites. Even if you don’t agree with that, at the very least, you have to admit that seeing Snake put any number of cute and cuddly Nintendo characters in his classic headlock is a pleasure that can very rarely be surpassed.
I’ve got to admit, it makes me pretty sad that Snake may not be in the next Smash Bro. game. He may not technically be a Nintendo character, but he added an interesting moveset to the franchise that can’t easily be replicated. I’m highly excited about the inclusion of the Blue Bomber, but, even though he is sure to have an interesting moveset of his own (so many robot master abilities to work with!), I’m worried it will feel a lot more conventional than that of Solid Snake’s. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of creativity to be had with Mega Man, and he’s the sole reason I will be buying the next Smash title, but I guess my point is this; as a franchise mascot, he is far more important to Smash Bros. than Snake could ever be, but, as a unique gameplay experience, I doubt he could even come close.
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