Improvement in Smash 4 BONUS XIV – Practice Methods BONUS IV

**If you’re unfamiliar with Smash, this probably isn’t the post for you unless you’re curious. In order to get a full understanding of this, you should be familiar with Smash’s game mechanics and lingo (EX: Forward Air = Fair), specifically the mechanics for Super Smash Bros. Wii U.

Last week I read an article from Freakonomicks website. It was a podcast they had put up titled: “How to Become Great at Just About Anything.” I highly suggest you give it a read.

So, how does this apply to Super Smash Bros.? And why is it so important that I had to add a BONUS section to the Practice Methods mini-series? Well, that article talks about a concept called “deliberate” practice, a concept that explains how practicing specific parts of a skill until you’ve mastered it will not only help you improve faster, but would enable someone who maybe doesn’t have a lot of natural talent in Smash to become great at it.

What I want to go over is how to utilize this.

So how do we do that? Let’s break it down.

In a lot of the posts I make on here, the one thing I bring up as much as possible are the fundamentals of Super Smash Bros. (check my first post if you want a refresher on how I define them, as I will be referencing them here). And in my post about creating a Training Regimen and my mini series on Practice Methods I went over how to train those up, sometimes at the same time.

Now, don’t get me wrong – training multiple fundamental aspects at once is completely fine and sometimes natural to the game. Fundamental aspects of the game, I think, should bleed into each other. So, when you’re playing Super Smash Bros., you’re constantly making decisions and executing on them, either as a preemptive action or a reaction, and making those decisions and performing those actions requires small bits of certain fundamentals, and will generally lean towards one overall. A quick example – you throw out a back air to cover the neutral getup or jump option from ledge. Your opponent rolls, and you react to that with a grab since your Bair missed. Or, on a deeper level, your opponent is expecting a quick punish/cover option like a grab and spot dodges, giving you a free punish if you made the right guess or reacted fast enough. This can go different ways depending on character and player style – it gets a little complicated after that and this isn’t about the fundamentals themselves – this is about training them up.

Anyway, I wanted to write that little paragraph so I could follow up with this: if you do not have a solid grasp of the fundamentals of Smash, practice one. At. A. Time. You heard me right: while practicing, only focus on one fundamental aspect until you’ve become proficient in it. Do NOT move on until you’ve become proficient.

When you sit down to play a friendly, you’re exercising the Neutral fundamental aspect according to my definition of the fundamentals. Neutral, to me, is a combination of the rest of the fundamental aspects. So you play a ton of friendlies but find out that you, well, don’t really go anywhere because you’re just playing. This is one of the easiest ways to hit The Plateau. Focusing in on one fundamental aspect allows you to see things differently, and like just playing friendlies, progress will be slow. But as you start mastering each fundamental aspect, you’ll find yourself hitting big breakthrough moments – those moments while playing friendlies or in bracket where you suddenly find yourself being able to think on the fly much more fluidly and with more clarity than before. You start reacting better and choose better options. Really, the difference is incredible.

Once you master the rest, then you can focus on the Neutral fundamental aspect.

So how do you do that? Which one should you start with?

Well, it can be difficult because, as I said before, a lot of these aspects bleed together in some way, even if it’s a very small amount. You need to make sure you don’t drop your focus while practicing and really push to practice that one fundamental aspect. Play some games, review them, then go at it again. As I said in previous posts, 30 minutes is enough time to get meaningful practice.

What should you start with? Well, that’s also tricky. Ultimately, I think it’s up to you, and here’s why:

I’ve said this before on a couple streams while commentating, but I think even the worst players have an innate understanding of the fundamentals in Super Smash Bros. It’s very unconscious, but it’s there. The difference between those players and good players is that good players understand these concepts and are working to refine them. They are consciously aware of the fundamentals. Great players like ZeRo have refined their fundamentals to a point where you could call it “mastery”.

So, you, the reader, are probably aware of these fundamentals, even if unconsciously. Go back and watch a few sets of yours or talk to other players – what do they think you’re strong and weak in right now? Whatever you’re weak in, pick one and that’s what you’ll start with.

If you’re still unsure, I suggest Reactions and Punishes or Positional Awareness to start with.

Seriously, if you haven’t, read that article. It’s really great, and my translation to Smash Bros here doesn’t do it justice. If you take this concept and apply it to your own training regimen (which you should have by this point if you’ve been reading my improvement series!!), you’ll find yourself excelling soon enough. Honestly, the slow start is worth it in the long run.

Just Sayin’

I – Fundamentals
II – A Different Way to Look at Match Ups
III – Attitude
IV – Friendlies
V – Stages
VI – Preparing for a Tournament
VII – Training Regimens
VIII – Character Loyalty

Check out the BONUS series!

IX – The Plateau
X – Practice Methods I
XI – Practice Methods II
XII – Practice Methods III
XIII – At a Tournament
XV – Game Flow

Advertisements

REVIEW: Steins;Gate

*SPOILERS: Don’t read this if you don’t like being spoiled.*

For the past…Oh, I don’t know – 3 years, maybe – I’ve been hearing that Steins;Gate is a masterpiece. Finally, I have sat down and watched the series (including the OVA). Is the hype real? Did it live up to its crazy expectations for me? You bet it did! And it all boils down to one simple thing: execution of character.

Plot Direction:

The plot revolves around Okabe Rintarou and his sudden discovery that his microwave (dubbed the ‘Phone Microwave’) is a time machine that can send text messages to the past following a strange occurrence when he sent a text message to his friend, Hashida Itaru (Daru), that young genius girl Makise Kurisu had been stabbed that results in no one remembering him attending a conference that day, and Makise Kurisu alive. From there, he allows various characters to send “DeLorean Mail” (D-Mail) to themselves to change a facet of their past. Some of the changes are small, and others completely change the city. The more drastic changes cause people’s memories to change, reflecting the change in the past. Okabe, however, retains all of his memories, allowing him to remember what happened before the past was changed, but it prevents him from forming the new memories. At some point, Kurisu develops a way to transmit human memories into the past 48 hours (called ‘time leaping’). These inventions catch the attention of a super science organization, SERN, and it winds up with Mayuri killed by Kiryuu Moeka. This causes Okabe to time leap back to try and save her many, many times, until he finds out that the only way to save Mayuri is to reverse all the D-Mails sent, including one he sent to Daru about Kurisu being stabbed. This leads to a bunch of episodic parts where Okabe tries to convince those who have sent a D-Mail to undo them, including himself.

Okay, with that not brief summary out of the way, this plot is fantastic, and executed perfectly. The way the show explores themes such as what-if scenarios, personal conflicts about someone’s past, how the future can’t be changed sometimes, and the lengths someone will go for a person they love, is indescribable. How they craft each conflict that arises and is resolved was really a sight to behold, how they hook you with the mystery of time and the conflicts that revolve around it – it’s really something. And unfortunately, it’s not something that words can do justice.

The pacing is slow in the beginning, and then ramps up dramatically as the series progresses. I’ve heard criticisms of the anime’s slow start, but I have to disagree with those criticisms; I found the early episodes to be slow, but very gripping. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. What were the characters going to find out? I had to know.

Character:

Speaking of the characters, I could write an entire blog post on some of these characters (which, really, is probably why I enjoyed Steins;Gate so much). I’d go into crazy amounts of detail about each character, but that’d take too long and it’d be a chore to read. Instead, I want to talk about how this entire show is character-driven.

There’s nothing more enticing and satisfying than a show where the characters are the reason the show happens in the first place. While the very beginning where Okabe shifts world lines is kind of an accident, it’s not by some looming power that shifts him to another world line. Rarely does something just happen like in other shows where suddenly something happens and the plot/world changes. And when it does, Okabe investigates with the other characters. They try to figure out the how and the why.

Every D-Mail sent by a character is because they desired things to be different – to change their past, and when Okabe has to undo them, the conflict that arises is surprisingly relatable; who would want to unfix something they’ve been wanting their entire life? It clashes directly with Okabe’s burning desire to save Mayuri, who can only be saved by undoing them. It’s really powerful stuff when an entire plot is driven by a character’s motivation, emotions, and curiosity, especially when most of the conflict arises not with the characters and some greater power, but with the other characters themselves. To see characters so vulnerable and selfish and to resolve things through not so clean conflict all the time – it’s just fantastic. I love it.

Honestly, it doesn’t feel like any character is dead weight. They all bring something to the table, especially since most of them have a history that is explored in at least an episode that helps bring some understanding to who they are and why they act the way they do. Kurisu’s burning desire to seek approval and love from her father again, Okabe’s really annoying “Houhouin Kyouma” persona crafted to ease Mayuri’s pain over the loss of her grandmother and his own loneliness – there’s just so much depth to these characters, and it’s all put on display brilliantly in how they interact. Even a seemingly minor character like Yuugo Tennoji has a very powerful scene near the end of the show.

Animation/Art:

The character designs are great, and the animation is consistent throughout the show. Really, there’s nothing to complain about. I was very impressed with the angles and shots used during some of the more emotional scenes. It was very well-done.

Music:

Usually I enjoy the music, but nothing really grips me. As I’m writing this I’m listening to the Opening theme. I loved both it and the Ending theme, and the music in the show was great. It’s almost on-par with Clannad’s music for me.

——

Steins;Gate is touted as a masterpiece. I’ve read online reviews and a lot of word of mouth from friends telling me that it’s simply one of the best anime they’ve ever seen. Well, I’m here to add to that ever-growing list of fans.

Steins;Gate is a masterpiece.

Animation/Art: 10/10
Music: 10/10
Plot Direction: 10/10
Character: 10/10
Final Score: 10/10

Just sayin’

REVIEW: Ouran High School Host Club

*SPOILERS: Don’t read this if you don’t like being spoiled.*

It’s rare for me to watch two shows in a row that I really enjoy. Luckily, Ouran High School Host Club delivered that second consecutive show experience for me!

Background:

Ouran High School Host Club is a reverse harem (one girl, many guys, for those that don’t know) about a girl named Haruhi who dresses androgynous due to her attitudes on gender that stumbles into the host club at Ouran High School, a club about entertaining girls who have nothing better to do because the boys there have nothing better to do. They mistake Haruhi for a boy, and she’s coerced into being a host to repay the debt she incurs from breaking a very expensive lamp. And then they find out Haruhi’s a girl.

It’s a great premise for a reverse-harem because it explores a lot of different topics that a typical harem (reverse or not) explores. Funny how two comedies in a row are deeper than most dramatic anime I’ve seen thus far.

Plot Direction:

Ouran High School Host Club acts like a typical harem-style show, but completely turns it on its head every episode. There’s the episode for every character, the beach episode, the summer vacation episode, the school festival episode, etc… but it does keep a small overarching plot line.

The plot is not the main focus here, however. The show thrives on poking fun at the typical, and besides the characters, this is probably the best part of the show. It’s one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in a while, and that’s because it’s unabashed in how blunt it is in making fun of everything it comes into contact with. I really enjoy how it deals with stereotypes, especially when it comes to gender and social/economic status. That’s where the comedy really hits its mark.

The show itself ramps up in drama and character near the end. It’s very slapstick and lighthearted in the beginning. It’s pretty impressive to see that pulled off well, but what I think is most impressive is how they play with Protagonist and Main Character.

Character:

Again, the characters are the pinnacle of this show, and the reason why their comedy succeeds so well. I could go on about every character, but I think Haruhi deserves a special mention here. In most harems I’ve seen, the protagonist (generally the guy in a harem, girl in a reverse-harem) are the protagonist and the main character. Sure, the other characters go through some change, but it’s really the guy/girl that go through the biggest arc. Haruhi doesn’t. Her arc goes from being forced to work as a host to enjoying working as a host, but it’s incredibly subtle and not really touched upon until the end; to be honest, it’s not that important. So what’s so great about her?

She’s only a main character. And to be honest, I found it really refreshing.

She’s the one that drives the entire host club into changing, but has no real internal conflict to get through. She’s just a catalyst for everyone to change, and that leads me to my next point – most of the host club members are protagonists. Most of them have some conflict that they need to resolve that Haruhi brings out – the twins have to deal with the fact that they can really open up to someone else besides each other, Tamaki has to deal with his feelings of love for Haruhi and his feelings of keeping the Host Club like a family because he was stripped of his own, Kyoya has to deal with being the third son in his family. Honey and Mori have their own episodes, but they’re pretty set in how they are during the show. Honey changes during flash backs when Tamaki convinces him to join the Host Club, but Mori is very much a main character alongside Haruhi, although I’d put him more as a secondary main character.

This combination of protagonist/main characters and have multiples of each usually falls flat because there’s too much going on and the drama usually kills the comedy, but the show does an amazing job of tying everything together and weaving together the dramatic moments with the comedy. The execution is simply superb.

——

Ouran High School Host Club is a comedy first, but like The Devil is a Part-Timer!, where I think it shines best is its characters. This is the second comedy in a row I’ve watched, and both have been fantastic because there’s a deeper level there than just comedy, but it’s not so dramatic that the lightheartedness is taken away. I think having excellent character execution is why these two comedies were so great. I think this direction for comedy – where there’s some real character growth and well-defined character roles, is amazing, and it lets the funny moments be even funnier while not letting the inevitable dramatic moments get in the way because they’re so craftily executed.

Ouran High School Host Club does this in dazzling form, and I didn’t even talk about its dazzling animation and music. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Animation/Art: 8/10
Music: 9/10
Plot Direction: 8/10
Character: 10/10
Final Score: 8/10

Just sayin’

REVIEW: The Devil is a Part-Timer

*SPOILERS: Don’t read this if you don’t like being spoiled.*

One night, I was in the mood to watch some anime. I started browsing through Netflix and came across The Devil is a Part-Timer, which said it was a comedy about Satan working part-time at a fast food restaurant. I was intrigued and up for some light-hearted comedy, and it was only 13 episodes, so I gave it a shot.

Man, do I wish it had been longer than 13 episodes!

Background

After being defeated by the Hero in Ente Isla, Satan retreats to Earth, where he winds up in modern-day Tokyo with his most trusted general, Alciel. After realizing that magic doesn’t work, they decide to find a place to live, change their names (to Maou and Ashiya), and bide their time until they can return to Ente Isla and conquer it. Little do they know that the Hero, Emilia (Earth name Emi) has cahsed them down to slay them once and for all and save Ente Isla. It’s a really good premise; simple, to-the-point, and best of all, has amazing potential. But does it deliver?

Plot Direction

Oh yes. Yes it does!

So, this show is a comedy. And it’s a comedy about Satan, an almost omnipotent being, working at a MgRonald’s (yes that is a blatant reference to McDonald’s!). Just thinking about it is pretty chuckle-worthy, and really, the comedy is pulled off great, but what I really want to touch on in this review is where this anime goes in (sadly) only 13 episodes.

There’s a lot of development in character and story in this show, and it does that really nicely, even though almost every single episode feels like a filler episode. What this show is really about, to me, is what if the roles of the Devil and the Hero were (somewhat) reversed? Sure, there’s a lot of stories where the enemy is misunderstood and trying to do something for the greater good, but there’s always something that leaves you wanting them defeated. In this show, Satan is the protagonist, and he’s the protagonist not because this show is about being evil – no, it’s about role reversal.

Emi, the Hero, is actually an anti-hero, as you find out. She has that perfect tragic Hero backstory – she was taken away from her family to be trained as the Hero, she finds out her father dies from a general of Maou’s army, and then swears vengeance on him. This is flipped into being an anti-hero when it’s revealed that there is no “destiny” to slay the Devil King. The church in Ente Isla fooled her as part of an elaborate plot to take over. Unfortunately, this whole backstabbing isn’t explored nearly as much as I would have liked, but that’s because there’s only 13 episodes. If there’s a second season I really hope they go into more detail about this, because it’s something I’d love to see more of.

So the show basically puts you in this weird spot where Emi continues to try and stick to “being the Hero”, even though there was no grand destiny, in order to justify her wanting to kill Maou because his army killed her father, while Maou continues to bewilder her and others who come into the show trying to stop him (because he’s the Devil King) when he does nothing but good, even when he momentarily regains his demonic power due to the negative emotions elicited by people.

Frankly, this is one of the best role reversal plots I’ve experienced. It’s all pretty subtle save for a few episodes, and it’s garnished with a hefty helping of comedic frosting. While I’m sure others can, I can’t find anything I disliked about where the show went or its plot as a whole, and that’s in part due to how well these characters develop.

Character:

This is, hands-down, the best part of this show. In particular, Emi stands out as the pinnacle of a developing character.

Maou develops, but it’s more that he opens up to you like a friend becoming closer to you than him really changing. You find out that he only attacked humans in Ente Isla due to misunderstanding them, and that he actually prefers living on Earth because the people there have been kind to him. It’s this living in modern-day Tokyo that Maou comes to understand, appreciate, and respect humans. It’s weird to see someone who’s supposed to be evil be so kind, especially when it involves Emi.

This isn’t in the anime explicitly, but while looking the show up I came across the light novel (which it started out as), and there’s a scene where Maou tells Emi that she has to keep an eye on him and stop him because he’s going to take over Ente Isla someday, even though both of them know that’s not going to happen. It’s an incredible scene for both of them, with Maou selflessly lying just to appease the distraught Emi. Again, it’s somewhere waaaay down the line in the light novel, but I think it’s worth mentioning because that kind of perfect role-reversal is very subtle throughout the anime, whereas it’s a little more clean-cut in that scene.

Speaking of Emi, she’s probably the most developed character. She goes from the Hero, hell-bent on taking out Maou, to a girl who doesn’t exactly know what she should be doing concerning Maou because her only desire is to exact revenge on him for her father. She bluffs that she needs to take him out because she’s “the Hero”, but she values him as an unlikely friend. She even goes out of her way to talk someone of the church of Ente Isla into holding off on slaying Maou despite all the horrible things he did in Ente Isla, claiming that it was her duty as the Hero.

The rest of the characters all undergo some sort of development, and really, I’d like to write about all of them, but in this review I really wanted to touch on the dramatic role-reversal that’s subtly masked under an anime labeled as a comedy, and how brilliantly it’s executed. Trust me when I say that pretty much every character is enjoyable and undergoes some form of character development. It’s fantastic.

——

The Devil is a Part-Timer was a show I randomly decided to watch on Netflix, and it rocketed into the top 5 for me. This show has it all for me – action, great comedy, character, and plot, and to top it all off, the animation is really good. The only really glaring flaw is that it’s only 13 episodes. Still, If you’re looking for something to marathon through and get way more than you expected out of it, check this anime out!

Animation/Art: 9/10
Music: 7/10
Plot Direction: 10/10
Character: 10/10
Final Score: 9/10

Just sayin’

REVIEW: Super Smash Bros. Wii U

I apologize for having not put up any posts in the past month. I’ve been working hard to prepare for interviews and so much of the time I’d spend writing these posts was dedicated to such preparations. Now that Christmas is around the corner I do find myself with a little bit of time to write, so let’s jump right in to my review of the recently released Super Smash Bros. Wii U!

Now, this version is incredibly similar to Super Smash Bros. 3DS, which I also reviewed, so my opinion of the game is very similar, but there are a few subtle and not-so-subtle differences that the game has with its hand held counterpart, so that’s what I’ll be addressing with this review.
Graphics
 
I think this is an obvious improvement, but Super Smash Bros. Wii U looks great! From the stage designs to the characters and animations, everything looks great in HD. The game is very pretty.
 
Smash Tour
 
Replacing Super Smash Bros. 3DS‘ Smash Run is Smash Tour, a Mario Party-esque mode where players collect fighters by traveling across a game board and then competing in mini games. A good addition, but I really wish they had put in an updated Smash Run where all 4 players could interact with each other.
 
8-Player Smash
 
This is by far the best addition. 8 players is chaotic and incredible. I could play this for hours.  My personal favorite is how you can really mix up the teams: 2v2v2v2, 3v5, 4v4, 3v3 – there’s a lot of combinations, and it’s really fun. If you were on the fence about getting Super Smash Bros Wii U, this alone is a reason to purchase it, grab 7 friends, and go at it.
Amiibos
 
Amiibos are a figurine that you can use to interact with certain games. Super Smash Bros Wii U is the first one to utilize it, and what it does is create a CPU character (that you get to name) of the figurine that can play with you. What’s unique about an Amiibo CPU is that it learns and grows based on what it plays. It starts at Level 1, and levels up as you play with it (max level is 50). The cool thing is that it responds to the way you play and has the capacity to become more intelligent than a stock level 9 CPU. It’s a really cool feature that I’m definitely going to be making use of.
 
Stages
The stages in the Wii U version are better than the 3DS version (except for the Paper Mario stage in the 3DS version – that stage is my favorite stage of all time); The giant 8-player stages are great (especially The Great Cave Offensive – what a great stage!), the version exclusives like the Star Fox Assault stage, the new Legend of Zelda stage, the new Super Mario Bros. Wii U stage – they’re all really welcome additions and they’re all great-looking. I think the only really bad part about the new stages is that a lot of them are in the same vein as Delfino was in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. A lot of them have a “hub” stage that transitions to various parts of the level. They look cool, but having multiple stages like that is kind of stale.
Event Matches
 
I don’t have a lot to say about this – I’m just happy that they’re included. Speaking of, the Master Order and Crazy Order modes are also really cool.
——
All in all, Super Smash Bros. Wii U takes what made its 3DS counterpart so great, added some new modes, and made it look prettier. Oh, and you can use Game Cube controllers, so that’s a plus. If you were on the fence about buying either the Wii U or 3DS version, get the Wii U version, if only for 8 player Smash.
Rating: 8/10
 
Just Sayin’

REVIEW: Super Smash Bros. 3DS

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted! I’ve been meaning to write this review but I was having so much fun with the game that I forgot to write it!

So, the new Super Smash Bros. game is out. While most of my friends in the competitive area of Smash aren’t exactly enjoying it, I am enjoying it a lot. Now that I have the full game let’s go into what I’m excited about and what I’m looking forward to with the Wii U version.
The Good:
 
Smash Run
 
I have to start here. Smash Run is probably my favorite mode of Super Smash Bros. I’ve ever played. Collecting power ups and duking it out in quite a few different varieties of mini games (including racing, climbing, and various versions of Smash) is awesome. I loved Kirby Air Ride’s City Trial (which is basically what Smash Run is), and so I instantly took a shine to this mode. I think the only problem is you can’t interact with the other players besides a bomb you can throw into their screen.
All-Star Mode
 
The new All-Star mode is really cool. Instead of grouping characters together by game, they’re grouped by time period. This makes some really interesting variety of characters and stages while fighting. The mode is a little on the easy side for me, but I really enjoy it nonetheless.
Music + Graphics
 
Super Smash Bros. 3DS (and the Wii U version) has the best music in a Smash game to-date. Really digging the remixes, and the game looks fantastic. I think the only problem here is you can’t change the music like you could in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but that’s a minor detail I can look over.
Teams
 
So you can now be whatever color you want in team battles. That’s the best. Now you have team outlines, which is way cooler and way better. Seriously, forced colors was never something I enjoyed about teams. I’m glad they changed that.
Stages + Items
 
These are, hands down, my favorite stages in the franchise. The Paper Mario stage is definitely my favorite. All the new stages offer something really cool, and I LOVE the new old-school Mute City stage! To add to the craziness of the stages, the new items are a blast. The Galalga Boss that sucks you up, Cuckoos, and the new Pokemon and assist trophies really make for a hectic item experience. It’s fun!
Characters
 
The new characters rock. I love them all. In fact, Villager is my main! I actually don’t mind Dr. Mario, Lucina, and Dark Pit, either. While I will never play Dark Pit, I really enjoy Lucina and would rather pick her over Marth, so I’m glad she’s in the game. Also Dr. Mario is a boss and actually has different moves so I wouldn’t consider him a straight-up clone.
Custom Moves
 
Are probably the best part of this game. I am loving some of the custom moves the characters have! They give the characters some much-needed flavor or just help their kit in general. For example, Luigi has an ice ball – how cool is that?!
The Bad:
 
Controls
 
I’m actually very used to the controls, but as a competitive player (who doesn’t really play Super Smash Bros.), I really miss the c-stick. Being able to do a falling Up Air is something I have taken for granted, and while I can still do it, it takes a lot of precise manipulation of the joystick, and to be frank, the 3DS’s joystick isn’t incredible. I wouldn’t say the controls are awful, but there’s definitely something left to be desired here.
Classic Mode
 
Is still kind of boring.
Online + For Glory
 
Okay, so every For Glory mode stage is basically Final Destination with the stages usual blast zones. Some of the have walls that go down to the blast zone. This is fine, but I really wish some of the stages (I’m looking at you, Paper Mario stage and Rainbow Road) had their original design in For Glory mode, just minus the hazards. It’d make some of the levels way more varied and interesting without it just being flat. This ties into online.
You see, Final Destination is a horribly balanced stage. It gives characters with projectiles a clear-cut advantage (unless you’re Little Mac), and that’s hardly fair to slow characters. I think Battlefield is the most balanced stage, but I’m digressing. It seems that the cast is balanced around Final Destination, and that’s…not great. Granted, I think the game is incredibly varied right now and a lot of characters have untapped potential, but it sucks that online every stage is basically Final Destination,  giving some characters inherent advantages. That’s not too bad if you’re really good, but I think a lot of players who want to become competitive aren’t going to enjoy their character suffering as they try to practice their character.
Also the lag can be dreadful sometimes. At least the game has decided to dish out “No Contest” where neither player receives a detriment or plus to their record if the game lags for too long. It can detect intentional DC’s though, which is awesome. Other than those few complaints, though, online is incredibly fun. I’ve played just about 100 1v1 games and a few 2v2 (both For Glory) and they’ve been really fun. I have yet to play the “For Fun” mode or 4 player For Glory, and I probably won’t for a long time. I enjoy 1v1 the most.
Equipment
 
I’m not really a big fan of equipment, and that’s because they only give out stat boosts. I’m okay with the changing stats of characters. It’s a cool concept and it’ll make your Amiibo CPU’s way more fun to watch. However, it’d be nice if there were some pieces of equipment that only gave effects, no stats. I’m a big supporter of custom moves for official tournaments with this game, and I would’ve loved to include equipment in there, but alas. Equipment will be no more than a side tournament option.
And that’s about it. I could rate this game on my usual criteria but there’s so much content in the game I won’t do that. With that said, my rating for this game is a solid 8/10. If you’re a fan of the Super Smash Bros. franchise, you will love this game, even if it’s on the 3DS. I wouldn’t wait for the Wii U. Having Smash on the go is incredible.
Just Sayin’