Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Top Five Announcements from Today's Super Smash Bros. Direct
5) Release periods revealed
To kick things off, Sakurai mentioned something that was confirmed to be touched upon before the Direct even started, the release periods. Thankfully, both games are not releasing on the same day, or even the same season. No, the 3DS version will be releasing first, this Summer, with the Wii U game releasing in Winter 2014.
Almost immediately when this information was revealed, the typical Nintendo Chicken Littles ran around as if their heads had been chopped off, decrying how the Wii U was even more doomed than it already was. Comments such as Nintendo basically admitting and finding solace with the Wii U being a failure, how the 3DS version makes the Wii U version undesirable and pointless, and how Nintendo just shot themselves in the foot run rampant.
However, if one takes a logical approach, which is very difficult to do in this knee-jerk reaction obsessed industry of ours, they can find that this makes sense. For one, the 3DS version most likely has taken the least amount of time to develop. Now, this is just an assumption, but go with us here (even if we're mistaken, we have other reasons why it makes sense anyway). Why delay a game that is finished just to release after a Wii U version that isn't quite ready yet? Shouldn't we be pleased that we're getting one of the versions this summer?
Also, both games are considered Super Smash Bros. 4 and 5, their own entries. While they share the same roster of all-stars, the content in the games are completely different. We're talking about different trophies to collect, different music in the game, different graphical styles, and probably the most important, different stages! Even the one stage the two games share, Battlefield, has a different background for both the Wii U and 3DS games. Outside of characters, stages are the most interesting part of Smash, so us getting totally unique stages for each game is absolutely awesome to us.
We also believe the development team will be looking closely at how the 3DS installment is received by players, thus resulting in some gameplay changes and refinements for the Wii U version. It's win-win to us, yet so many gamers and so-called Nintendo fans can't help but always see the bad side in any Nintendo-related situation.
4) Nintendo 3DS-exclusive mode Smash Run
It was made clear last year that both Smash Bros. titles would not be receiving anything similar to Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Subspace Emissary story mode, which admittedly was pretty "meh" of a mode. It was confirmed in this evening's Direct that the Nintendo 3DS version would be receiving an exclusive mode, entitled Smash Run.
3) Better online focus
Both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS Smash Bros. releases will come with online multiplayer. If you've encountered the disappointment that was Super Smash Bros. Brawl's online netcode, you are probably justified in having some trepidation towards getting hyped for playing these new Smash titles online. That said, the bare bones lineup of features that Brawl possessed greatly pale in comparison to what Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. for 3DS contain online feature-wise.
There's two modes players can enter matches into against randoms, For Fun and For Glory. More on those later. What it amounts to, though, is an experience that gives each type of player exactly what they want, and now that Nintendo Network IDs are linked to profiles, you can most likely meet better competition more easily.
2) New and returning characters
More characters were revealed as well, though not as many as our greedy selves wanted. Two returning favorites were unveiled for their Smash for Wii U and 3DS debuts, Yoshi and Pokemon's Charizard. Like Bowser, Yoshi stands more upright this time rather than his Jurassic Park raptor-like stance in past games. Charizard breaks free from the shackles of just being one of three creatures summoned by Brawl's Pokemon Trainer. He's also become more agile, and even has a Final Smash that brings his Mega Evolution from Pokemon X and Y into the Smash Bros. battlefield.
1) Made for relaxed and competitive play
Final Destination, no items, Fox only. If you're heard of Super Smash Bros. before and have visited a message board related to those games in some manner, you're probably familiar with that running joke. It's a gag that uses highly competitive players of Smash Bros. as the butt of the joke.
The Super Smash Bros. series is sort of notoriously known for not being very hospitable to tournament players, due to unbalanced characters as well as dynamic stages (i.e. stages with gimmicks in them like moving platforms and otherwise unpredictable features). This is a main reason why Super Smash Bros. Brawl is not fit for competitive play while Super Smash Bros. Melee is, albeit with a limited amount of characters and stages that can be used.
Sakurai and the rest of the development team considered this when creating For Fun and For Glory modes online. The first allows players into traditional-style Smash Bros. bouts with items, dynamic stages, and typical rules. Meanwhile, For Glory is merely the Final Destination stage with no items and strictly one-on-one confrontations. When this was announced by Sakurai, we legitimately started cracking up at the irony of it all.