By Josh Speer / August 16th, 2014
This week of Smashing Saturdays reveals was a treat for many a Smash fan. It was unexpectedly rife with new features, and it even had a surprise (sort of) returning character reveal! On that topic, it also showed how much of a delightful troll Sakurai truly is. If that weren’t enough, this week also has a screen devoted to Mega Man! Huzzah! So enough chatting!
Let’s get Smashing!
Monday’s screen shows of just how much of a troll Sakurai is. For clarity, here is the accompanying quote – ““Hello! I’m Samus, the intergalactic bounty hunter!” “And I am Meta Knight, joining the battle!!” So, obviously we all knew at this point that Meta Knight had not been announced as returning. In fact, there was much speculation that he wouldn’t return, simply because he was so overpowered and unbalanced in Brawl. So the fact that Sakurai was dressing Mii Fighters as him and Samus was suspicious, to put it lightly. On a side note, I love that helmets and costumes you unlock in Streetpass Plaza games can be worn by Mii Fighters! Gives me even more incentive to unlock ridiculous outfits this year at PAX Prime. Especially that Yarn Kirby hat…
Tuesday’s screen was probably my favorite in a long while. It’s just a hilarious moment. Plus, Pikachu looks so calm and idyllic, whereas Pac-Man looks shocked and Capt. Falcon looks…well, he looks overly eager, like always. This screen also shows off a new item. I’ll let Sakurai explain, cause its use still baffles me a bit – “If you manage to raise this Special Flag for long enough, an additional KO count will be added to your score in a time match, or you’ll get an extra stock for a stock match. When this appears on the stage, the fight for the flag becomes a fierce battle of tactics, which makes things pretty interesting.” My question is – how will you manage to hold the Special Flag long enough to get a bonus? I remember how fast things turn violent in Smash, and it’s my guess that the moment somebody grabs it, others will swarm him. Still, looks like an interesting new item.
So, remember how I said Sakurai was a troll on Monday? Here’s why. He was basically spelling out the return of Meta Knight, but in such a way that many probably thought he was just kidding. But Meta Knight’s return is no joke! The menacing little guy looks as awesome as ever, full of malice and rage. And, as expected, he has been nerfed so that he is no longer as overpowered.
Case in point – his Shuttle Loop has been altered. “Meta Knight’s Up Special Move, Shuttle Loop, changed quite a bit in this game. The glide is gone, and the attack slashes opponents twice while spinning in a large loop. This has turned into a highly technical and effective move.” No more floating forever using Shuttle Loop and his wings. Which is for the better, in my opinion. I’d rather have a more balanced character than not have him return at all. I love that Kirby, Dedede and Meta Knight are all back, least of all cause Meta Knight is probably the closest we will get to a villain in Smash, besides Bowser. That is, unless Ganondorf makes a comeback with a new moveset… A boy can dream…
Though I still love Tuesday’s screenshot, this is my second favorite. I love Mega Man, and am happy his custom moves show off even more of his storied past (though I could have done without Plant Barrier…). Signature attacks are what he’s all about, after all. I have to wonder if Beat will replace Rush as his recovery move. Just realizing these are only two out of many more custom moves gets me very excited to discover the others!
Lastly we have this screen for Friday. You might think I was less excited about this one, since it has no flashy reveals or awesome visuals. You would be wrong. I am a bit of a neat freak when it comes to organizing data in games, and thus was very happy by what Sakurai had to say about this. “Here’s the place you equip powers for Smash Run. Pack a good mix of them like a lunch box, and off you go! You can change how your powers are set up by touching their icons and dragging them. If you hit the X Button, it will randomly fill up the remaining weight allowance with powers. You can keep changing the line-up as many times as you please. The level of a power is proportional to its strength, number of uses, and weight. Organizing them might be easier if you label your favorite powers with a ★. ” I love how well organized Sakurai is. From the menus to the items to the selections you make, everything looks to be intuitive and clear. Which lets you avoid wasting time and jump straight into the Smashing!
But that’s not all! We have another great Character of the Week by Azario Lopez! So stick around!
Character of the Week
AZARIO: Pikachu has been a reoccurring character in all the Super Smash Bros. entries, but why? Let me remind you he’s definitely not the strongest or rarest Pokemon since he’s able to be acquired early on in Pokemon Blue/Red/Yellow. So what is it about this first edition Pokemon that makes us long to see him again and again in the Smash Bros. line up? My answer: He’s so freaking cute! What better character to get electrocuted by than a yellow mouse with rosy cheeks? There is no contest, Pikachu’s cuteness has enabled him to stand the test of time and become an excellent fighter in the Smash Bros. line up.
Since Pikachu has been a part of every Smash Bros. he’s seen some changes. In Super Smash Bros. on the N64 Pikachu was overpowered and I will admit that I spammed his Up Smash and Thunder combo. When he showed up again in Smash Bros. Melee I planned out his Thunder attacks a little more carefully because the height of the Thunder was shortened, but he was still a very faithful fighter for me. As sad as it is, I didn’t return to Pikachu when Brawl came out. I experienced a falling out with the Smash Bros. series when I felt that Nintendo didn’t care about what made Smash fun. They dropped support and forced fans to create their own updates to balance gameplay issues. In my mind they did not deserve my business. I did, however, continue my appreciation for the series by watching better players play in a competitive environment, which has become more and more popular.
As it stands now, in Super Smash Bros. Brawl Pikachu has been buffed. He’s not a go to character in competitive play, but he’s definitely not ignored. Pikachu has a really good air game, and while the attacks are pretty weak, the Up Air attack serves as a quick way to juggle and spike opponents. I’ve noticed that rival players become aware of Pikachu’s awesome Thunder attacks and choose characters with ways to reflect it. My favorite of Pikachu’s electric attacks is Thunder Jolt, a move where lightning hops along the base and is unable to be ducked under, giving opponents a reason to jump and allowing Pikachu to unleash an aerial combo.
Pikachu is looking like a very well structured character for Super Smash Bros. WiiU/3DS. His cuteness will be able to shine in glorious HD, and I would personally like to only see small fighting balance changes to this well-loved Smash Bros. veteran.
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