Smashing Saturdays? Week 40: August 4-8, 2014

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

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This was an insane week for Smashing Saturdays, quite frankly. Not in an “OH MY GOD, NEW CHARACTERS” sort of way, but in a Bizarro-world sort of way. We got more Assist Trophies, new items and (presumably) a new 3DS stage. We even got delayed, so this is more of a Smashing Sundays sort of article. As if that wasn’t enough, we also got a new feature relating to Trophies and a great Character of the Week! Get hyped and let’s get Smashing!

Smashing Saturdays! | Frog Snake Assist

Anybody know who the heck this guy is? Even Sakurai didn’t seem sure. Probably cause he’s from an obscure Game Boy game available only in Japan. The game loosely translates to The Frog For Whom the Bell Tolls. His name is the Sable Prince, and he’s a brand new Assist Trophy!

Smashing Saturdays! | Sable Prince

As to how he performs, according to Sakurai he traps foes in a dust cloud and then transforms into a snake or frog. He then unleashes mayhem upon them. Sounds cool. I wonder if his inclusion means we in the West might get The Frog For Whom the Bell Tolls in the eShop sometime soon…

Smashing Saturdays! | Daybreak

Be afraid – the Dragoon is NOT the only combinable item in Smash anymore! This lovely is called the Daybreak, and was exclusive to Kid Icarus Uprising’s multiplayer mode. I barely remember it, but I do admit it looks cool.

Smashing Saturdays! | Daybreak Lasers

Here is what it does, according to Sakurai – “FYI, you can fire shooting items while moving backward and forward. Change direction by flicking the Control Stick or Circle Pad toward the back of the fighter.” Sounds fantastic. More hectic scrambling to get the pieces should make the Daybreak a very dynamic — and irritating — new item. Well done, Sakurai!

Smashing Saturdays! | Legendary Pokemon

MORE POKÉMON! Hurray! I think. Here’s what Sakurai had to say about them – “Victini and Xerneas are both support Pokémon. Victini’s Victory Star boosts the attack of whoever throws the Poké Ball, and also prevents flinching. Xerneas’s Geomancy increases the launch power of all fighters, but exceptionally raises it for whoever had the Poké Ball.” Victini by far sounds the most effective here, but increased launch power DOES sound fun. And dangerous, since it sounds like it affects everyone. Either way, these hard-to-find Pokémon look stunning.

Smashing Saturdays! | Dr. Wily Trophy

Oh, poor Dr. Wily. You keep trying and trying to cause havoc, and Mega Man keeps smacking you down. I love this trophy, personally. The detail is great and the humor very present. But this wasn’t the most exciting reveal for Thursday…

Smashing Saturdays! | Trophy Shop

THIS was. See the screen? It’s the brand spanking new Trophy Shop! Yes, now you can buy Trophies to help you unlock them. This should make getting those hard-to-find Trophies a little more manageable. Plus, just like Steam, they have occasional sales! Sounds great to me.

Smashing Saturdays! | Game Boy

FEEL THE RETRO

Oh. My. God! I am an admitted retro freak, and so this makes me all kinds of happy. A new Game Boy stage is JUST what the doctor ordered. Now I have to wonder–does this hint that Mr. Game & Watch is going to be back? Or is it just Sakurai toying with our emotions? Either way, it looks fun. But don’t disappear yet! We have a great Character of the Week by Tyler Lubben for you next!

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Character of the Week

Smashing Saturdays! | Character of the Week: Falco

TYLER: No character in the Smash Bros franchise has made me want to snap my controller in half on more occasions than Falco Lombardi. I don’t know if it’s his insane jumping ability, his annoyingly strong blaster or his ability to launch opponents in incredibly inconvenient ways. Maybe it’s all of these things combined, because, during the Melee era, I always had the worst time coming out on top against any opponent who used Fox’s wingman as their main. Throughout my high school and college careers, of the people against whom I regularly fought, there were three who used Falco almost exclusively. These three, specifically, were the ones I had the hardest time against. I suppose the argument could be made that maybe these guys were all just better than me, but… come on. Who are we kidding? Obviously Falco himself was broken. *sweating intensifies*

Smashing Saturdays! | Character of the Week: Falco's Landmaster

“Personally, I prefer the air.”

My… distaste toward Falco continued when Brawl rolled around. While this new entry sought to set Falco apart from Fox and make him seem like less of a clone, there were still things to get infuriated over. While I did find it easier to take on Falco in his Brawl iteration, there was one thing that angered me to no end; his Final Smash.

On the face, it looks exactly the same as Fox’s–simply calling down a Landmaster Tank to terrorize his opponents for a short time. However, there is one key difference between how Falco’s tank works compared to Fox’s. While the main gun of Falco’s Landmaster may not be as damaging as Fox’s, he makes up for it with much more powerful jet thrusters. This allows Falco to fly to the top of the screen very quickly, taking any unfortunate opponents stuck on top of the tank with him. For the 10 seconds or so that Falco’s tank is onscreen, this is one of most frustrating situations in which a player can be.

Sure, a fast combatant like Sonic or Captain Falcon could easily get off the tank before getting insta-killed, but, as I already mentioned, I mained as King Dedede in Brawl, meaning that, if I found myself on top of that death machine, I may as well just put the controller in my lap for as much good as trying to get off in time would do. Of course, this was only a fraction of what made up a match, but, even when Falco was fighting out on foot, something was always off about him.

Smashing Saturdays! | Character of the Week: Falco

Personally, I hope Falco does not find his way into Smash Bros Wii U/3DS. Big surprise, right? Well, hear me out. It’s not because I think Falco is a broken character. It’s just that, for as much effort as they put in to make him different from Fox, it hasn’t taken yet in my eyes. After the “clone” debacle in Melee, many of the characters were either removed or fixed enough to make them unique. For the most part I felt appeased, except for one problem; Falco still plays way too much like Fox for my liking. While a couple of his standard attacks were changed, and he now throws his Reflector instead of enveloping himself with it, I still get a distinct “Fox” feeling when I play as or fight him. I think, unless they can figure out a way to make him his own character (especially if they can’t even give him his own Final Smash), it’d be better if he just wasn’t in it at all.

And don’t even get me started on Wolf…

About Josh Speer

Josh Speer is addicted to two things in equal measure : Books and Videogames. He has a degree from the University of Washington in English with an emphasis on writing. He joined Operation Rainfall last year while following it on Facebook. His two giant life goals are to write his own series of fantasy / science fiction novels and to get into the creative side of the video game industry. He is beyond pleased to now have his proverbial foot in the door thanks to the opportunity provided by Oprainfall!