By Josh Speer / July 26th, 2014
This week of Smashing Saturdays, despite coming after a very hectic week of reveals previously, was surprisingly compelling! Lots of new pics, level hype and more. Plus Sakurai finally unveils the main menu for the 3DS version. Are you excited? You should be, cause we even have a new Character of the Week by a relatively new author! So without delay, let’s get Smashing!
Monday began with this utterly brutal screen depicting Robin’s Nosferatu magic attack. Just like in Fire Emblem: Awakening, it actually heals the user as it damages the foe! Utterly nasty. Plus, according to Sakruai’s quote, it does more damage when you hit foes with it from behind. Sneakier and sneakier, Sakurai. Robin is shaping up to my favorite newcomer quite nicely.
Tuesday had this curious screen to share. I’ll show you Sakurai’s quote to clarify better – “Here’s the Great Fox from Star Fox: Assault. I wonder what missions it will conduct. It’ll probably have fighters running around on top of it without the pilot’s consent.” Couple of interesting things. First of all, he mentions it is the Great Fox from Star Fox: Assault. I’m pretty sure that game hasn’t been referenced in previous Smash games. Secondly, the way he describes fighters running around sounds like previous Star Fox stages, but I suspect this might represent a new level. Which is fine with me, since Corneria and Lylat Cruise were some of my favorite stages (though Venom doesn’t need to return). We will just have to wait and see.
Wednesday’s pic might have done a disservice to the game as far as I’m concerned. It revealed that certain stages, namely the Wily’s Castle and Boxing Ring stages, will show up in BOTH versions of Smash. See, I was personally going to get the Wii U version JUST for the Mega Man stage, but now that it’s on both? I might have to think again. I’m sure I’m not the only rabid Mega Man fan who feels the same. Here’s hoping the Wii U version has other unique features that make it worth the purchase.
Thursday, unlike Tuesday, definitively revealed this new level – Tomodachi Life! While I may not be a giant fan of sim games, it is indisputable that the game is currently pretty popular, so I suppose its inclusion makes sense. As to how it plays, here is the quote – “This is the Tomodachi Life stage that’s exclusive to the 3DS version! The front walls of the apartments disappear so you can see the area within when a fighter overlaps with the room. The rooms are randomly placed and selected from among several types. Planting an X Bomb behind a wall might be an effective tactic.” But that’s not all, as Thursday had this supporting image.
Apparently Miis on your 3DS will randomly show up in the stage! I thought this was a nice touch, and look forward to running into my random celebrity Miis as I pummel my foes. Wonder if they will serve as stage hazards…?
Friday was another double header. First up, Sakurai showed off main menu screen for the 3DS version! Neat, right? This is even neater – “For the first time ever, I present to you…the main menu for the 3DS version!! The icons are even animated. The design concept may look similar if you’ve played other games I’ve worked on. But we had a hard time making this one because…”
“The bottom screen displays pictures matching each mode! This was quite a task for the UI (User Interface) designers, but they made it happen. Kudos to them! You can tap the screen to look up additional info like how to play–complete with diagrams.” VERY nice. Not only does it play well, it looks good while doing so. Kudos, Sakurai and Co. Cannot wait till October. Meanwhile, we have a great Character of the Week by talented newcomer, Azario Lopez!
Character of the Week
AZARIO: When I was a kid in the early 90’s, there was only one console that existed and it was my Nintendo Entertainment System. Spending countless hours playing my Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt cartridge was all I ever seemed to have time for. At school I heard some kids talking about a character that was better and faster than Mario and he was called Sonic. I had to figure out what this was all about! I went to KBtoys (yea, I’m really showing my age right now) and demanded that I see this game. I was shocked when they handed me a black Sonic cartridge with the words “Sega Master System” on the case. What my young mind didn’t understand at the time was that there was a war going on that I was not privy to. A war between two video game systems that held nothing back to dominate the other. Eventually, I played Sonic and almost every other release up to Sonic Adventures 2, but my support for the character wasn’t enough. Nintendo had emerged victorious after Sega announced it wouldn’t be making home consoles anymore in 2001.
I opened with this story of my past to get everyone in the right mindset for how truly amazing it is to see Sonic in a Nintendo-filled character roster fighting game. Sonic’s play style is exactly what you would think of when you hear the name Sonic and that is FAST. Though, him having the fastest ground speed in the game also makes him pretty hard to master. You see, I love watching competitive Smash Bros. tournaments and it’s sad that Sonic isn’t used more often because of his small hitboxes and unreliable finishers. Sonic’s attacks rack up damage pretty fast in my opinion, but the hardest thing about him is landing a KO. I used Sonic’s speed to fake-out my opponent, dashing towards them and then pulling back in hopes I can catch them with their guard down. He’s definitely a character you have to practice with to win against the more experienced players, but once you have his running game and spin dashes on point he can be a very fun and useful fighter.
I haven’t played Brawl in a while and I don’t actually plan on going back to that game (due to mutual differences), but seeing him in Super Smash Bros. WiiU/3DS has renewed my love for this character and seeing him surrounded by his old rivals once again giving him a new chance to win the war that I grew up with. So be sure to stock up on chili dogs because Sonic will not be looked over as I have faith in his competitive play this time around.
Smashing SaturdaysStar FoxTomodachi LifeWeek 38