By Josh Speer / May 17th, 2014
Things improved this week for all things Smashing. It was a surprising week of reveals, with the highlight occurring during Tuesday’s dramatic reveal. It was good enough to merit two screens and quotes, so you know it was worthwhile! And while we patiently await a release date, likely to be announced at Nintendo’s Digital Event at E3, we have lots more Character of the Week and Most Wanted Brawler articles to sate your Smash hunger until then. So, let’s get into the meat of things, shall we?
Let’s get Smashing!
While Monday’s screen wasn’t exactly new, Wire Frame Mac is still dynamic and cool looking. And just a little bit creepy. There’s just something about the retro aesthetic that is unsettling. I’m sure Link would agree, if he wasn’t fighting for his life. Those punches gotta hurt!
Tuesday, on the other hand, was completely unexpected! Charizard has swapped his Rock Smash side B, which is now his Down B, for the much more powerful Flare Blitz! It’s so powerful it does recoil damage to you if Charizard connects. Awesome. I loved using this move in the Pokemon games, and I think it will greatly increase his mobility and recovery options. Plus, it just looks awesome. As if that weren’t enough, we were graced with a second screen for Tuesday!
Dayum. Mega Charizard X looks completely bad-ass. See, this is why I wanted this form, despite buying Pokemon Y. Though the Y form might have made more sense in Pokemon — since it focused on his Special attacks — for a fighting game, X makes a lot more sense. Plus, does anything look cooler than jet black Charizard with ghost blue fire? I think not. Gonna enjoy this Final Smash.
Wednesday changed gears a bit and focused on this trophy of Brittany from Pikmin 3 (which I still haven’t played, despite it sitting on my shelf). I’ll share Sakurai’s quote real quick – “Here’s one of my personal favorites, the trophy of Brittany from Pikmin 3. She won’t be joining the battle, but her model and expression is well-designed.” While I’m sure some of you are saddened by this, there is an upside. Sakurai specifically states she won’t be joining the battle, right? Well, he neglected to say the same last week with the Wonder Red trophy. If you forgot, here’s that quote again – “Fight! The Wonderful 100!! We also made trophies of some of the other Wonderful Ones.” So for those of you Wonder Red fans, don’t lose hope just yet.
Gotta admit, when this Assist Trophy was first shown during the Direct, my first thought was “Why is Pong in the game?” Luckily, Sakurai clarified things with a lengthy quote – “The unexpected Assist Trophy, the TV-Game 15! Color TV-Game 15 is a home entertainment system that was released in 1977 in Japan before the release of Space Invaders. This is the oldest game to join the Smash Bros. series.” So there you have it. Sakurai loves retro. Moving on.
What a great (and adorable) way to cap off the week. Villager now comes in girl variants. Much more complex and cool than the simple color swaps from Melee and Brawl. While I’m sure they will all play the same, the variety is a nice touch.
But don’t leave now! We have a great Character of the Week for you by Tyler Lubben!
Character of the Week
TYLER: I don’t want to toot my own horn (lie), but I’d say I’m quite good at Super Smash Bros.; maybe not by competitive standards, but, certainly, within the group with whom I play. As such, during the Melee era, I would sometimes need to assuage frustrations and keep the peace when I was winning too much. At these times, I would switch over to Pichu, who, I would have to say, is possibly the worst character to come out of that game.
Another one of the “clone” characters prevalent in the second installment of the franchise, Pichu, the pre-evolution of Pikachu, has a moveset nearly identical to the more advanced Pokémon. The difference here is twofold. First, Pichu’s attacks are weaker than Pikachu’s. His standard attacks don’t hit as hard, the electric attacks are less shocking and his Quick Attack move is decidedly less quick. I can think of no reason why someone would want to choose Pichu over Pikachu for his damage-dealing capabilities. However, the deal gets even worse. The majority of Pichu’s attacks, on top of being “not very effective,” actually hurt the baby Pokémon when he uses them. Any attacks that generate electricity, be they any of his special attacks or most of his standard and smash attacks, do a small amount of self-damage when used. A great way to make a character horrible is to make them hurt themselves without even being attacked by an opponent.
So, given these difficulties, why would anyone want to use Pichu? Well, because he’s friggin’ adorable, obviously. A lot of people say Pikachu is pretty cute on his own, but you know what’s even cuter than a cute thing? The same cute thing as a baby. Seeing that little electric mouse scurry about the stage, shooting off little bits of lightning was just precious. Stick on a pair of goggles and a little bandana, and you’ll be “d’aww”ing all over the place. I just want a little plushie of him that I can cuddle with while I sleep. But, you know, in a totally manly way. I would say, given the fact that he didn’t make it into the roster in Brawl (allegedly), there’s no reason to believe that Pichu will be making his way into the Wii U/3DS game. While, with this absence, the game won’t suffer from a gameplay standpoint, it’ll sure suffer in the cuteness department.
PichuSmashing SaturdaysSuper Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DSVillager