Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dustin puts his knowledge of fighting games to use and puts in his thoughts on some of the new fighters in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS

Yesterday was the day of the big Smash Direct from Nintendo, and there was a lot shown, to say the least. There was definitely more than I would’ve imagined (or hoped) to have seen, and overall it’s made me the most excited I’ve been for the new Smash games since the Little Mac trailer, and at this point I’ve probably reached a point where I’m very truly excited for the new Smash game. We got a wealth of information yesterday, from items, modes, stages, rebalancing of characters, and new characters. And of course, being the fighting game lover that I am, I couldn’t help but instantly start to want to theory fight and think about the characters in a more in depth way. 

So here we are, covering a couple of characters, and how I feel they may be in the game’s release and what they could be good at doing in the game. This will probably be the first part of this, covering more of the newcomers, and assuming reception is good, we’ll do more in the future!

Little Mac: Little Mac, so far, is one of the characters I’m really excited about. In a game full of characters with absolutely jarring and bizarre playstyles, and most of them not even “traditional” fighters in any way, Little Mac stands out. I have two thoughts about how Little Mac will probably be played: Mac will probably either be best for the rushdown monsters who will love to abuse the armor and just be unrelenting, or a more patient style will probably also be really good for him.

It’s easy to see why a heavy rushdown style will be good, because Mac has a lot of armor on his moves and needs to get in close to do any damage. Alongside that, since he has so many moves that can help him move in quickly, his straight lunge and haymaker in particular. Of course, that could also benefit to a more patient, footsies style of play because he’ll probably be good at going in, getting quick strikes, and working his way in when he has to. In a way it almost feels like a parallel between Balrog and Dudley in Street Fighter 4: one has strong attacks, armor, and quick ways to cover the screen with punches, the other has a lot of quick hits and combos, as well as a counter. I’m also interested in seeing how players will take advantage of his aerial abilities, since they’re supposedly weak, but I have a feeling that as soon as a player can make good advantage of his air moves, that’ll be when Mac is really opened up, especially since a big part of Smash is how well one can edge guard from off the stage, and Mac’s on stage edgeguarding will probably be less than optimal. I also think the K.O. Uppercut is interesting, but if it isn’t easily comboable or 1-frame, I can’t see it being super useful in the long run.

As for how Mac will fair in the long run, I can see him being an absolute monster in the first two weeks to a month, and then either drop off into mid or low tiers, or remain a consistent, absolute monster throughout the game’s lifespan.

Wii Fit Trainer: Wii Fit Trainer became interesting to me with yesterday’s info because of the two new things that were shown for the character. At first, with the reveal back at E3 last year, it seemed like Wii Fit Trainer would be a really basic character, who would mostly be notable from the fact that she was such a surprising character choice.

But now, with Deep Breathing and Sun Salutation, there’s the chance for so many more possibilities. At first it sounded like Deep Breathing and Sun Salutation would make Wii Fit Trainer a stance character, but what we’re getting opens up so many potential possibilities, I think. Deep Breathing allows the Wii Fit Trainer to power up her attacks, and Sun Salutation seems like what could be one of the better projectiles. It seems like, at least, Wii Fit Trainer will have a strong up close game and at least a decent ranged game, though will probably be outclassed in both regards. While I’m not sure where Wii Fit Trainer will land in the tier game, I’m sure she’ll be at least middle of the road, and a big part of it will depend on how quickly Deep Breathing activates.

Rosalina & Luma: Rounding out this article will be Rosalina & Luma, who, as a whole, is probably the most interesting character to grace the Smash Bros. series. Rosalina & Luma function as a stand/puppet character, similar to Carl from Blazblue and Shadow Labrys from Persona 4 Arena. And with Rosalina and her Luma being able to separate and attack on their own, I feel like that opens a lot of really interesting possibilities to what she’ll be able to do in the game, especially in a 1 vs 1 setting. I think that it opens a lot of ways to lock an opponent down, such as the Luma shooting Star Bits and keeping the opponent shielded, while Rosalina chips away at the shield or goes for throws between Star Bits.

I think Gravitational Pull will probably prove to be one of the most useful projectile stopping attacks overall. As it seems quick, and doesn’t only seem to affect harmful projectiles, but stuff like the F.L.U.D.D., which makes me think that it’ll be better than a more situational move like Ness’s PSI Magnet or Fox’s Reflector. She also seems to have a really strong recovery in Launch Star, but it’ll really depend on if it does damage and if it can be stopped easily, as that could end up making a huge difference in how strong she’ll be.

The two big downsides I can see to her will be how strong her attacks will be without Luma next to her, and her movement. While the attack part isn’t known, like in just about every other game she’s featured in, she’s very slow in heavy, which will definitely make creating space to send out Luma a difficult task. I think Rosalina & Luma will probably have one of the, if not the highest learning curve to play effectively, but a great Rosalina & Luma will probably be a monster. Predicting her tier placing will be tough, but I can definitely see that we won’t know her true potential until someone really breaks her down. I think that, unlike games like Persona 4 Arena, with the more open setting of the Smash stages, Rosalina’s slower speed wont’ be *as much* a hindrance, and it’ll also allow her to make greater use of her Luma as a puppet character.

That's it for this edition of The View From The Sidelines, next time I'll be taking a look at more of the other newcomers that have been announced!


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