By Josh Speer / September 6th, 2014
Hi guys! I missed you last week! Did you miss me? Probably not too much, since my trusty assistant Tyler covered Smashing Saturdays remarkably well while I was at PAX. That was a whirlwind four days, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world! (even though I got sick as a result)
But this isn’t about PAX, it’s about Smash Bros! It was a very informative week, as Sakurai keeps addressing technical details that make the game feel closer than ever.
But before I get to that, I want to share something from PAX real quick. The very first day, I rushed to the Smash Bros booth and got to try both the 3DS and Wii U versions. Though my 3DS experience was marred by a faulty joystick, the Wii U played like a dream, and I instantly picked everybody’s favorite blue bomber, Mega Man! Though I fought against 3 other opponents, including DK and Marth, my true foe was Little Mac. I’m sure you’ve all seen how he played at the Invitational, and that wasn’t just dumb luck. But what bothered me about the Invitational was how players controlled Mega Man. Any fan of the plucky robot knows he’s full to bursting with projectiles, but they hardly used them at that event, and he seemed to do horribly as a result. Well, I’ll have you know I made FULL use of his many projectiles, dodging and evading like a madman. I won’t say I didn’t take any hits, since the stage was the iconic Boxing Ring, but in the end result, Mega Man was the victor, trumping all comers! I cannot wait to further master the blue bomber once the 3DS version comes out next month, and encourage the rest of you Mega Man fans to do the same!
But, the release date’s not here yet, so let’s get Smashing!
I admit, I was a little miffed I didn’t get to cover the Shulk announcement last week, but I get a consolation prize with Monday’s screen. Riki doubles as both a Final Smash buddy and Assist Trophy! As a Trophy, he uses many skills such as Happy Happy, Freezinate and Yoink! Monday’s screen also revealed how the owners of Trophies/Pokemon are indicated. Much simpler, not having to worry if it will attack you or not. Well done, Riki.
Tuesday had a twofer of screenshots. First was this one. This is all about All-Star mode, which is now challenged in chronological order of original game release date. Better yet, you can tackle it before you unlock everyone, though the number of battles you face will depend on the number you have unlocked.
The second half mainly focused on the technicalities. I’ll let Sakurai explain – “In these battles, multiple opponents appear in one stage, and you clear the battle by defeating a number of them. The rest area that appears between battles displays the next opponents and the year the characters made their first appearances, and it also holds recovery items and an occasional reward. The characters you fight against appear pretty much in chronological order. Behold, the history of Nintendo games!!” And what a glorious history it is! Thank you, Sakurai.
Wednesday was focused on the beautiful colors available as alternate color swaps. Though in previous Smash games players were limited from 4 – 6 swaps, this time EVERYONE gets 8! So, you probably know what the second picture I’m gonna show you for today is…
You know you love Samus. She’s sexy with the armor or without it. Moving on to Thursday.
It wouldn’t be a weekly update without another Smash Run pic! This one focuses on a Final Battle in the mode, simply called Run. Players race to the finish. But it wouldn’t be Smash without a few complications…
I’ll let Sakurai explain these lovely fiery menaces – “Those red things in the picture are called danger zones, and if you touch one, you’ll get penalized by respawning farther back in the stage!! The danger zones disappear after someone else touches them, so fighters following those in the lead will have an advantage. You can still find speed boosts throughout the stage, so it’ll be a heated battle ’till the end!!” Nice. Smash Run looks like will stay fresh for a very long time.
Friday had a 3 part set of pictures, so bear with me. First up was this. See that blue tab called Games & More? Click it and this comes up…
Pretty nifty, right? And if you click on Solo, you’ll come up with this!
If it wasn’t apparent before, Smash is going to eat up all my waking free time in a little less than a month. And I’m perfectly fine with that. It played really well at PAX, and I’m now convinced I will end up buying both versions.
But there’s more! Stick around to read a great Character of the Week by new writer Colin Malone!
Character of the Week
COLIN: Luigi. What character could possibly be more iconic to Nintendo’s venerable Super Smash Bros series than Luigi?
…OK, probably more than a few, but Luigi is still a pretty important part of the series. Luigi made his Smash debut in the first Smash Bros game on the Nintendo 64 as one of the four unlockable characters. In the first game. he was very similar to Mario, to the point that he was pretty much a clone with floatier jump physics. He didn’t even have his own unique voice in the first two games — his was just Mario’s voice sped up. The Brothers have tended to grow further apart as the series has drifted on, each getting their own unique moves and abilities.
While they’re both well balanced, Luigi’s moves have always tended to be a bit more erratic and unpredictable than Mario’s more straightforward attacks. Because of this, he tends to take more skill to play and be a little more tricky to fight against. This is most evident in Luigi’s Side and Up-Specials: the Green Missile and the Super Jump Punch. Both rely on expert timing to be used to their fullest extent. Luigi’s Super Jump Punch is similar to Mario’s, except that while Mario’s always works no matter how you hit someone, Luigi’s requires perfect aim. Attack just a little off center and the attack becomes worthless. Get it just perfect and the attack becomes astonishingly powerful. The Green Missile, even timed correctly is tricky because it relies as much on luck as on timing; there’s always that 12.5% chance of a “misfire,” which, while more powerful, has the tendency to send Luigi flying farther than the player intended.
I feel what really sets Luigi apart is the personality he shows in his moves. His attacks and mannerisms are infused with a degree of life and character that Mario’s more straightforward attacks tend to lack. Each one reflects Luigi’s personality in a different way. His neutral attack, for example, has him throw two punches followed by a playful hip check, rather than a punch or kick. But it’s his dash attack, which has him punching frantically as he nervously runs at his opponent, which has always stood out in my mind as one of his most characteristic attacks. It easily conveys the lack of confidence that’s a big part of Luigi’s canon personality.
From what we’ve seen so far, Luigi’s moves seem to be as full of life and character as ever, and I’ll be looking forward to trying him out when the 3DS version releases in October. One of the things I’m most looking forward to is his new Final Smash. While it wasn’t useless, his old one, Negative Zone, really had nothing to do with his character and wasn’t a good reflection of how Luigi is in the games. Thus, I’m excited to see that they put in a reference to Luigi’s Mansion by including the Poltergust 5000, which Luigi uses to suck up and spit out opponents. I think it fits him a good deal better, as it shows off the more humorous, playful side of his personality, as opposed to the bizarre “Negative Zone Dance.”
Color SwapLuigiRikiSmashing SaturdaysSuper Smash Bros.