OPINION: Nobody is Playing Mega Man Properly in Smash Bros

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

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Opinion - Mega Man | oprainfall

I have to get something off my chest. I love that Mega Man is playable in the new Smash Bros, but I’m beyond irritated by a recurring pattern I keep hearing, which goes as follows: “Mega Man is too hard to play well in Smash!” Now, as many of you likely haven’t had the chance to play Smash Bros extensively yet, you’re probably thinking I’m talking crap, but let me clarify. I have now played the new Smash Bros not once, but on four separate occasions. Once on the 3DS demo at PAX Prime, once on the Wii U demo at PAX Prime, once on a friend’s copy of the Platinum Club Nintendo early demo and a few times on the public demo. So, I’m not just talking out of my ass, or being a complete fanboy. Let’s go into why I feel this way.

Opinion - Mega Man | oprainfall

The first kernel for this opinion blossomed as I watched the Smash Bros Invitational at E3 earlier this year. I noticed Mega Man was constantly playing defense and solely using his close quarters attacks – his Top Spin, his Flame Sword, his Super Arm throws – but not his long distance attacks. And that wouldn’t be a problem if not for the fact that Mega Man is kind of known for his projectiles as much as his diversity. Take it from me, Mega Man has a LOT of projectile attacks at his disposal in Smash. Like, enough projectiles to make Samus’s arsenal look meager by comparison. The question for me then became – why aren’t people using those projectiles? Hell, why weren’t they even using his Buster to pew-pew opponents? The answer that came to me was they A) weren’t familiar enough with the Blue Bomber or B) feared his projectiles would just be avoided or deflected. The latter is a reasonable, if faulty, conclusion. Having played as lots of previous projectile enthusiasts in Smash, such as Ness, Peach and Yoshi, I learned one very valuable lesson: hit foes with enough crap, and they can’t block everything. Even hitting them with less crap, but with irregular timing, often does the trick.

Opinion - Mega Man | oprainfall

Having said that, I do have one clarification. Though I found the majority of Mega Man’s projectiles to be intuitive and easy to use, such was not the case with his Metal Blades. Everything else came out fast and hard, but the timing for the Metal Blades require some practice. Which really isn’t a problem, since I think they are primarily used to disrupt a foe’s momentum. But the rest of his vast arsenal was super easy to use. The up tilt Air Shooter was especially fun to surprise foes with, as were the adhesive Crash Bombs, the Leaf Shield and even the basic pew-pew (not the charged version, just the basic stuff). Having established that Mega Man has a great and effective projectile arsenal, let’s move on to the other stuff.

Opinion - Mega Man | oprainfall Opinion - Mega Man | oprainfall
Opinion - Mega Man | oprainfall Opinion - Mega Man | oprainfall

Mega Man’s recovery is faster and easier to use than Sonic’s, albeit with less vertical lift. And his Up Smash (Spark Shock) is utterly devastating and easy to connect with. Though I complain about his close quarters attacks, they are useful just so long as you mix and match them with his projectiles. His Flame Sword is great for edge guarding, as is his Slash Claw. Even better, besides having his Top Spin to rush foes with, Mega Man also has his trusty Slide attack at his disposal! So, he’s versatile, fast, powerful and fun to play. Was there anything else that makes me excited to main Mega Man in a couple of weeks?

Opinion - Mega Man | oprainfall

Ah yes, silly me. His Custom Moves also look incredible! Plus, they are great touchstones to classic Mega Man games. Though we have only had Beat and Plant Barrier confirmed for now, I eagerly anticipate seeing the Blue Bomber’s other cool Custom Moves. Might he have access to the sinister Skull Barrier? Or perhaps Clown Man’s Thunder Claw? How about Quick Boomerangs? There are literally dozens upon dozens of options at his potential disposal, so it will be fun to see which ones make the cut.

So, there you have it. I am beyond excited that Mega Man is in Smash Bros, and look forward to truly mastering the plucky blue robot in the months to come. I hope my opinion is taken as just that, and not the final word on the matter. I’m sure I will learn many more things about Mega Man very soon. However, don’t forget – Mega Man is a jack of all trades, and should be used as such. Don’t shelve his many unique moves and just focus on the easy ones. Mega Man is sure to be a contender once Smash Bros releases in just a few more weeks!

Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U are available for pre-order on Amazon:

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!




  • Tyrannikos

    The entire first paragraph reeks with the scent of elitism.

    • Tyler Lubben

      Maybe, but would you rather someone who hasn’t played the game at all give their opinion on the matter?

    • Tyrannikos

      That’s not even close to what I pointed out.

      Yes, it’s nice having someone experienced offering his thoughts. That doesn’t mean it’s fun reading a “Look, guys – I’m obviously better at this than you” wankfest.
      My initial comment was more of a general statement for the author to keep in mind. I wasn’t criticizing his actual commentary on Mega Man, which is quite good.

    • Josh S.

      I wasn’t trying to say I was better than anyone. My intent was to defend my favorite gaming icon, Mega Man, against those who have repeatedly said he was too hard to play, not good enough, etc. I’m sure there are many who play him better than me, and that’s fine. My intent is just to encourage folks to give him a fair chance, more than anything 🙂

    • Tyrannikos

      You have your intentions, which is great, but you didn’t represent those intentions all that well. I’m not trying to insult. This is simply me giving some constructive criticism. A few people clearly agree with me.
      As an author, try to take your reader’s criticisms to heart. You don’t have to change, but reflect on what they said and move on. Don’t be one of those authors who get defensive over any criticism, big or small and then try to explain things away.

      I’m just attempting to offer insight in to how your readers could potentially view this piece.

    • Christopher Derpaderp Wright

      I know this is Necroing, but could your butt be anymore hurt? First of all, he was certainly not waving an E-Peen around, he was simply stating that he has experience to back his claims, instead of spouting some speculative BS.

      Second, even if he was, who gives a fuck? A little bit of elitism is good, it sparks conversation, better playing, and if someone worked hard, why not brag a bit about their accomplishments?
      People like you are what’s wrong with this generation, too busy wanting to make sure that they know that your sad little feelings got hurt.

      Man/Woman up.

    • Tyrannikos

      Couldn’t just let a year old conversation go? Just had to get your precious two cents in? Honestly, who’s the one more mad here in this situation? Get over it, dude. hahaha

  • Axle_Magnum

    He’s a very technical character, and a lot of people might not be used to that sort of thing in Smash.

  • Sheldon Williams

    I’ve had no issues with Megaman you just got to get used to his jab, tilt, and neutral air all being the same. I like him as a character he takes a bit of getting used to but once you’ve got a good feel for his moves, he’s fun.

    • So far the only character in the Demo that I have been losing to regularly is Pikachu. Which irritates me because my Fiance’s main (and only) is Pikachu.

    • dubaloseven

      Pikachu is definitely alot better than he was in Melee and Brawl.

  • I’ve been almost exclusively using Mega Man in the demo and am really starting to get the hang of him.

  • Michael M

    Mega Man is my best character so far. He’s been really fun to use.

  • Siveon

    Yeah, I realize how technical he is (and a pretty “well duh” moment there). My biggest problem is with the demo so far.

    Fucking 2 minute timed games. Forced items is one thing, but forced modes too?! Christ.

    • Geebun

      It’s not forced items, you can switch the stage to it’s final destination version and play without items.

    • Siveon

      In the public demo? How?

    • Platypus

      Press X on the stage select screen.

    • Siveon

      Thanks man.

    • Geebun

      It might just be in the early demo, which would be weird, but try pressing X on the stage select screen before selecting the stage.

    • dubaloseven

      I’ll take forced mode over forced items anyday, items are a shining example of terrible execution of a good concept.

    • Siveon

      In this case, I have to agree. Insta-deaths, like 100+ summons that can kick your ass, all on one stage. Yeah the randomness is fun in a drunken-like stupor with friends, but when you’re against CPU for training well…ugh.

      Fuck. That.

      Timed still sucks though, what’s the point of playing a defensive guy like Mega Man if you have to rush all the time? Lock on two minutes too?! C’mon just let me set it to 10.

      (Totally going after Smash on black friday though)

    • Guest

      you can press X before you choose the stage to make the cursor have an Omega sign on it and it will be the flat version with no items. still 2 minutes though.

  • Legopancake .

    I’ve been playing the demo since yesterday morning, I average 5 kills and no deaths when playing as Mega Man, he’s really great!

  • Pedro Rosas

    Mega Man is hard to play yes, but once you learn how technical he is, plus his strengths and weaknesses he is a total beast, specially in the air. His Mega Buster is really good when used properly, and so is his hard knuckle and tornado, who if landed correctly you can KO an opponent with less than 20%

    • Siveon

      Definitely, his air game is top notch.

  • Joseph

    The only problem with megaman is his leaf shield; simply because if you are pushed off the ledge while having the leaf shield equipped, you can’t use your recovery until u throw the damn thing.

  • Thomas Johnson

    I remember reading one person’s opinion that Mega Man was particularly weak against people who can catch projectiles and pocket them for later, like Villager.

    • Josh S.

      I’ve actually been destroying Villager in the demo haha. It’s a matter of faking him out, using his melee attacks and being unpredictable. That, and using his up and down smashes extensively.