Smash 4 thoughts

So, last week was E3, and with it came a lot of really awesome stuff (my favorite of which was probably Sony sniping Microsoft about everything people were complaining about the Xbox One), including a trailer and a Nintendo Direct with Sakurai about the next installment of the Super Smash Bros. series. As a long-time fan and past competitor in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I was excited. My thoughts:

– Villager is INSANELY hype. This was, by far, my favorite addition to the game. This man alone has spawned a ton of hype around the Internet at large depicting him as some sort of demonic figure, which I think is hilarious. I will definitely be using him as my main character or a secondary after Kirby.


MegaMan was also a big surprise, and I think it’s cool they secured him He looks really cool, and I think he’ll be shaking up the metagame competitively. Of course, he won’t be able to do anything against Villager.


– In what is probably the most ridiculous thing Sakurai has done (in a good way), the trainer from Wii Fit is now a character. While a lot of people have been complaining, I LOVE that Sakurai decided to put in such a well-known but obscure character. She looks really fun.


Before I head into the more mechanical side of the game, let me say what I want to be in this game. I like every Smash game. Brawl is my favorite, but it has some very noticeable flaws (as does Melee). This game, I’m hoping, will aim to correct some of those mistakes.


The three big things I want out of this game:


     – Brawl ledges with Melee ledge-grab mechanics.


Let me explain. In Brawl, there’s something know as “auto sweet spot”, which means a character doesn’t need to be perfect about recovery, and will instantly snap to the ledge and grab it. In Melee, this isn’t the case. You have to sweet spot the ledge yourself. However, in Melee, if you roll off the ledge and are CLEARLY off the ledge, your opponent cannot grab it until your roll animation has ended. That’s dumb. Combining the good parts about both games’ ledge mechanics will make for a better ledge-game.


     – Bring back hitstun


In Brawl, you can cancel your hitstun with an air dodge or move. This makes DI less important and combos nigh-impossible. Basically make it what Melee does, and give the characters real hitstun.


     – No grab armor


I don’t know if this is true in Melee, but in Brawl you can grab through a move so that you take the damage but get the grab. This is ridiculously overpowered and can ruin competitive play when it happens by chance since no one attempts to grab armor moves. Take it out so that grabs aren’t overpowered.


Luckily, I got to see a video of an actual match at the Nintendo show floor at E3, and luckily, it looks like at least one of my three has been met. There’s hitstun.


What I also noticed:


– No auto sweet spot


– Brawl’s air dodge


– No tripping


It’s been confirmed that there’s no tripping, which is good (although it never bothered me to begin with) for those who hated it. I’m very happy they kept Brawl’s air dodge. I think it’s way better than Melee’s. Overall, the game looks faster, too.


The art looks amazing. Even on the 3DS the game looks crisp, but on the Wii U it looks fantastic. The move particle effects are really nice, too, as Smash games have never really had particles come out with their moves. You can definitely see Namco’s influence, there.


The new Smash is really looking good to me. Hopefully my other two big criteria are met. Even if they aren’t, the game’s looking good enough for me to jump back into the competitive scene, so I’m very excited for its release. If you’re a Smash fan, I’d go check out smashbros.com for more info about the characters and some videos. It’s lookin’ hype!!


Just sayin’
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Was E3 2012 as horrible as it was made out to be?

E3, one of the big gaming events of the year, was last week, and although I had finals, I did take some time to explore E3 and what it had to offer. As I perused, I noticed that almost everyone held the same opinion about the event as a whole – that it sucked. And I found myself disagreeing. Ultimately, I think it’s because too many gamers aren’t critically thinking about what decisions each company has to make and because they were expecting big surprises, but I digress; let’s dive into the big three conferences, first:

Microsoft:

This was the worst conference according to popular opinion, and I do agree that Microsoft’s was under the bar. There was a lot of ‘apps’ being shown and not a lot of games – of course, there was Halo 4, Gears of War, and the like, but this is a problem that every company had – a lot of their games shown were of franchises that have been out for years. In short, they’re safe bets, but I’ll talk about why I don’t think this is that bad later. Besides that, Smart Glass looks cool – if they can pull something off with it next year I’ll be impressed.

It seems to me that Microsoft is trying its arrest to be that one system that every family wants to have – a true entertainment hub. Honestly, I think it’ll do fine – great, even – if it gets there. I think anyone can see why they’re trying to go for the ‘entertainment hub’ angle. If they beat Sony to the punch, they’ll pull out ahead.

Sony:

Sony’s was definitely better – a new God of War, Tomb Raider, Beyond, and The Last of Us all looked solid, and as you can see, a mix of some newer games. There was a lot about the Vita and ‘apps’, though, which disappointed a lot of people, but like Microsoft, Sony is trying to be a hub of entertainment for people. Sony’s style usually is, “take something and make it better,” so when you look at how Sony has developed, it’s easy to see why they’re trying to bring out new material to show that they can make better ‘apps’ than Microsoft and Nintendo. And they still had some great-looking games thrown in. The Wonderbook is a huge source of anger for gamers, but I found this to be fascinating. I realize that many hardcore gamers think this is trash, but look at the possibilities! Now, Sony has a way to compete with Nintendo for younger ages. In a market where Nintendo generally dominates the younger market thanks to kid-friendly characters like Mario and Kirby, parents may now decide to purchase a Playstation and Wonderbook instead.

It has to be good, so I’m not really sold, but it has a lot of potential.

Nintendo:

Because Nintendo is more of a first-party developer than a third-party one like Microsoft and Sony, it had a lot more on the line when it came to their franchises. What’s more, it had 3 conferences to cover everything it wanted to. I only saw the press conference and 3DS Showcase, so that’s what I’ll be talking about here.

The press conference, I thought, was just as good as Sony’s. The Wii U looks awesome, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one. What really jumped at me was Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Pikmin 3, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, and ZombiU. All of them look awesome, and because I am a huge fan of Nintendo, I do intend to purchase all of those games. The Super Mario’s looked good, and Nintendo Land looked interesting and fun. One of my problems with the conference was how long they took to explain one mini-game in Nintendo Land. It was really stupid. Besides that, Nintendo’s press conference, I thought, was good.

Their 3DS showcase was, for me, AWESOME. I got to finally see some real Paper Mario: Sticker Star gameplay, which I’ve been wanting for a long time, and hearing the New Super Mario Bros. 2 is co-op was a pleasant surprise. The new Castlevania game coming to 3DS looked nice, and they showed Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance with better trailers than ones I had seen before. The new Epic Mickey I did not care for, and it didn’t look very good to me.

——

All in all, I enjoyed all three conferences, which many people I talked to were surprised to hear. Many wanted something new and big. They wanted a huge surprise like Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs (which does look sick!) but instead got games that were, as I said before, safe bets. But that isn’t bad. Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony all laid their new cards (Wii U, Smart Glass, Wonderbook) on the table, and to complement that they laid out games that will, more or less, sell well. This allows them to work on new games and hopefully have some big surprises next year.

The 3DS showcase garnered a lot of disappointment because it only showed games we had already heard of and games releasing this year, and this is not just Nintendo – all three companies were getting complaints about this. To that, I ask – why would they show you something that’s going to be released next year? Wouldn’t that be something for another event like the Tokyo Game Show? Maybe next year’s E3? It just didn’t make sense to me.

While I was watching the 3DS showcase, all the comments were, “Where’s the new Animal Crossing/Zelda/Fire Emblem?!” Hey, guys, ever thought about them coming out next year? Why get gameplay for something that’s not going to come out for another year or two? That’s a stupid thing to do, in my opinion.

Just wait until next year’s E3 – that’s when I think all the surprises are coming. For now, I’ll be content with my Super Mario’s and Paper Mario‘s and ZombiU.

Just Sayin’.

P.S.: I would comment on the booths, but I wasn’t there. I heard all of them had way more games than showcased during the presentations, so that’s good to hear!