Smashing Saturdays! Week 20: March 17-21, 2014

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

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This was a very interesting and at times hilarious week for Smash reveals. It continues the trend of Sakurai doing unintentionally hilarious and inappropriate things as well as introduces a new level, a new trophy and more! Unfortunately, there was no new character reveal (*cough YOSHI cough*), but by referencing one of his quotes, I’m no longer that worried by it (more on that later). We also have a new Character of the Week to keep you going.

Without further ado, let’s get Smashing!

Kirby and Luigi with a Smash Ball - Smashing Saturdays | oprainfall

Monday started with a bang with this lovely screenshot. First of all, I’m happy to see the Smash Ball getting the focus, as Kirby and Luigi frantically try and get to it. Second of all, I love the quote that corresponds to it – “That item that brings victory one step closer…the Smash Ball! Of course everyone wants it! Come to think of it, I haven’t introduced any of the Final Smashes yet… Then again, if I introduced every single one, it’d take over a month’s worth of posts.” Over a month’s worth, eh? If I take Sakurai to be talking about this month, that means we have AT LEAST 8 more brawlers to be revealed, since we currently have 24, and March has 31 days. Even if not this particular month, it still means at least 7 more. Either way, I’m happy. This gives Sakurai some leeway to mix and match some more old and new Brawlers, and I say the more the merrier. It would be fantastic if the new roster was even larger than that in Brawl.

Kirby and Mega Man in Super Mario 3D Land - Smashing Saturdays | oprainfall

Well, I promised you all a stage earlier and I wasn’t lying. Behold Super Mario 3D Land, a new scrolling stage. I’m fine with this, since I did enjoy the game it was based off of, even if it was too short and easy. Plus, moving stages are always hectic and brutal in Smash Bros. Here’s hoping Mega Man can make all those tricky plumber jumps…

Rosalina on the Animal Crossing Stage - Smashing Saturdays | oprainfall

Who knew you could emo-pout while unconscious? Yikes… This is the screen I was referring to when I talked about Sakurai’s odd tendency. The quote of the day should help clarify why I think that: “Fallen Rosalina. Strange how calm and nonchalant she looks even when she takes damage. Is it because she’s from outer space?” I’m not going into any more detail, since I try and keep things classy. Moving on.

Diddy Kong vs. Bowser - Smashing Saturdays | oprainfall

Love this screen! Just the sheer amount of detail evidenced here is amazing. How can Bowser look so menacing and so startled at the same time? This further illustrates how much care Sakurai and co put into the series, and I love them for it. The screen also discussed the improved explosive power unleashed when the popgun explodes. Looks like Diddy might be more of a force to be reckoned with this time around. Now, one last cool screen!

Assist Trophy Phosphora - Smashing Saturdays | oprainfall

Like usual, I got excited over this screen… up until I realized it wasn’t a new Brawler. Took me a minute to recognize her, but this new Trophy is Phosphora from Kid Icarus: Uprising. While I am sad that particular game isn’t getting a sequel, it’s nice to see it get more love in the new Smash. I vividly remember how much of a pain Phosphora was as a boss. That said, I think it IS a missed opportunity to just have her as a Trophy, and not an Assist Trophy.

But that’s not all! Villains need some love too, so this week we have a villainous new Character of the Week by our own Tyler Lubben! Stay tuned.


Character of the Week

Character of the Week: Ganondorf - Smashing Saturdays! | oprainfall

TYLER: As annoyed as I was with the clone characters in Melee, Ganondorf was actually one of my alternate mains in that game. Link’s perpetual adversary is one of the hardest hitters in the franchise who, though quite slow, can be extremely punishing to careless fighters. Most clone characters tend to be connected to their original counterpart by franchise (Fox/Falco, Pikachu/Pichu, Marth/Roy), but Ganondorf got his moveset from Captain Falcon, a character with whom he has never interacted outside of Smash Bros. While it’s a strange matchup, the moveset works pretty well. There’s a lot of power behind Ganondorf’s attacks, and some, like his Wizard’s Foot, are actually pretty quick, and can surprise and trip up opponents. My favorite, though, was his Warlock Punch, a decidedly more powerful and evil version of the Falcon Punch. With such a long windup, however, it’s quite hard to connect the hit, but, when it does, it’s extremely satisfying.

Like the other clones that made the jump to Brawl, Ganondorf went through a bit of a redesign to set himself apart from Capt. Falcon a little more. While he still basically played the same, his new animations at least made him look like less of a blatant rip-off. He also became a bit more of a grappler, with his Gerudo Dragon attack becoming Flame Choke, a grabbing move that, rather than launching them into the air, slammed opponents into the ground. It was a nice change, and one that I felt was appropriate for the more sadistic and deadly nature of the character.

Character of the Week: Ganondorf - Smashing Saturdays! | oprainfall

Nice sword. How about you use it?

The problem, though, is that I’ve never felt that the Ganondorf in the Smash Bros. games was really an accurate representation of the one seen in the Zelda games. The punchy-kicky Ganondorf is fine, but when has he done this is his own games? Ganondorf flies around, shooting balls of energy, and, when he’s not, he’s down on the ground, fighting Link with a sword. The strangest thing is that some of Ganondorf’s victory animations and taunts show him with a sword, but this is never reflected in the gameplay. It’s a shame, too, because simply getting a weapon would easily help set him apart. If Ganondorf makes it into the new game, I hope that he goes through a real overhaul, being more like the warlock that he’s known to be, and less of a slow, brutish Capt. Falcon.

About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.