Written by Twisted Ideas
Where I live, we have had a Super Smash Bros Universe previews in a few of our Best Buys. Unfortunately I missed out on them. Fortunately for me Club Nintendo has sent me early access codes for being a Platinum member (which they failed to mention on their website) and I’ve been playing that for a few days. I’ve been avoiding news on the games so what I might says my be old news already but here’s what I felt.
The demo consists of a free for all with local multiplayer or solo against 1-3 CPUs on a 2 minute timed match. Battlefield is the only stage. You can play the normal stage with items or the alternate version which removes the items and platforms. There are only five playable characters in the demo: Mario, Link, Pikachu, Megaman and Villager.
In brawl, throws were fairly useless unless you had a chain throw. Throws have become more effective similar allowing for more combo potential as with the original and Melee. At low % you can get some devastating combos and setups. It’s claimed that chain throws have been removed. If so, that helps balance out the cast, whom some could get easy OKs off of chain throws at low %.
Faster recovery from air moves
In Smash Bros the air game is very important. In previous version if you landed before your air move ended you would have a lot of landing lag leaving you open. This doesn’t be the case with most air moves. Certain moves like Links d-air sword stab still has lag but most other air moves allows you to move and jump shortly after even if your attack didn’t finish. This does make it harder to capitalize on a player’s mistake but when you get to higher levels of play it usually wasn’t too much of an issue.
No more edge hogging
Edge hogging is a tactic in previous versions where players would hang on a ledge while the opponent was recovery so they couldn’t grab it themselves. Now if a player tries to grab a ledge while someone is on it they will be thrown off. This makes edge guarding more honest and reduces the number of people who might get KOed at low %.
Harder to KO
It appears that the stages are smaller but it’s also harder to KO. Even against Pikachu, it requires him to be at high % to KO and that usually requires a smash attack. I don’t know if the general knock-back has been reduced or the dead zone off screen is too big but it can be ridiculous. I’ve heard people say one of the reasons Bowser is much more effective because how much hard it is to KO him normally.
Tripping is gone
Tripping is gone!!!
Mario doesn’t seem as heavy as before. He seems to have a higher jump good for following up in air combos with N-Air and B-Air. His down throw is a low bounce that can setup big damage. His Up Tilt is incredibly effective at comboing at a low %. I’m not a Mario expert but other than his jumps and combo abilities, little about his moves seemed to have changed.
I’m the most impressed with Link because he seems to had the most beneficial changes. For some reason they never changed him to adapt to how has been evolving. Link seems to have gained better jumps, regained his old KO moves plus getting a sweet spot on his sword.
Link’s new dash attack short hops and hits very hard. That hop can get over projectiles when timed right. His projectiles haven’t changed but his hookshot has a much larger tether range for stage recovery. His u-air and d-air feels useless with d-air losing it’s spike potential. His F-Air and B-Air are still ok but his N-Air is a great poke. N-Air is active for a long time and has a lot more knock back power. With the faster recovery from air moves and the ability to dash down during the attack N-Air is a great pressure tool.
Link has a lot of improvements but he’ll still suffer from strong edge guarding by characters like Meta-Knight and Kirby. He looks like someone who’ll do alright in team battles.
Pikachu seems have been nerfed heavily. I’m not too familiar with Pikachu from Brawl but one thing is he’s lost a lot of power. Pikachu has great air dominance and combo potential but his air moves have lost a lot of knock back power. Thunder has been changed so it doesn’t start off-screen anymore. Thunder creates a storm cloud that can spike opponents but unless you’re hit by the cloud or by Pikachu there’s little knock back. His only kill move is side smash. Up smash needs a decent charge and down smash has also lost a lot of knock back and power.
The quick attack range has improved so he can make it back onto the stage easier. That’s something. It seems like Pikachu will have to work on racking up damage with air combos then bring the fight on the ground to finish you off. I’m not saying it’s not doable but you’ll have to put in a lot of work to get the job done.
Mega Man is an interesting character but hard to use. He has several abilities from the NES series in his arsenal, so there’s lot of projectiles His A and N-Air are regular buster shots that have decent stun at high %. The Metal Blade can be aimed and can be used as an item if stuck on the ground or wall but it lacks power and knock back either way. The Crash Bomb is a timed sticky explosive that can disrupt the opponents flow even if they block it. The Leaf Shield blocks some projectiles but locks out other moves for the weak and slow leaf shot. His U-Air and D-Air are decent attacks that hit from a distance for safe damage and pressure. His best projectile is the side smash Charge Shot because of it’s range and power.
Up close Mega Man has decent moves. With good shot hopping F-Air and B-Air are good attacks for pressure. Dash A is strong but unsafe the same with his down tilt. Up tilt is a basic uppercut but it a surprisingly strong. If you miss then you’re stuck in the air for a while. His up and down smashes are strong but quite slow.
Mega Man is hard to use but he has the pressure capabilities and the KO potential to make things happen. One of the most annoying things is that his projectiles lack cohesiveness and some feel worthless. Also I would have preferred the Cut Blade over the Metal Blade.
Villager is a tough nut to crack but he was described to me as a different version of Lucas. He’s surprisingly strong up close raHe has a lot of KO moves and more with good knock back and he’s a bit unpredictable.
His Forward B is great for stage recovery and covering you approach. He can store items and enemy projectiles for later use, even the Charged Shot for Mega Man. His down B plants a tree. It starts as a seedling changing his down B into a watering can which has slight push back. Water the seedling and it grows into a full tree which block projectiles and changes down B into a powerful axe. You can chop down the tree for a powerful hitting object.
His F-Air and D-Air are slingshot bullets with decent knock back. and his U-Air and D-Air are powerful turnips with KO potential. His up and down tilt have a lot of knock back and KO potential and his side A and dash A are weaker but allows for quick ground pressure. His side smash drops a powerful but slow bowling ball close range. His Up Smash is fireworks with a big hitbox and down smash buries opponents for free hits at higher %.
I feel that he’ll have problems against faster characters with a good air game. He’s got a few tricks up his sleeve that can shift the balance in a match though.
I’m pretty excited for Smash on the 3DS. It’s a lot of fun and the gameplay changes makes life easier for the lower tier characters. Expect to see Super Smash Bros 3DS version October 3rd.