Improvement in Smash 4 VI – Preparing for a Tournament

**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.

In a stroke of a luck, I actually have a tournament I’ll be attending this weekend! All of you who read this series and find it insightful can now meet me in person (if you haven’t already). Don’t worry, I’ll have a pen ready to sign autographs!

But blissful dreams aside, preparing for a tournament is a crucial part to how you’re going to play the day of. You need to be prepared if you want to maximize your chances of succeeding. With that in mind, let’s jump right in!

Research

The first thing you want to do is research. It doesn’t matter if it’s a local*/monthly/regional/national – you need to do your research. Are Miis allowed? Customs on or off? What about stage list?

*Obviously, if this is a local that you’re a regular at, you should know the rules

Next, research the players. Who’s attending? Any top names? Also try and find prominent local members of that area’s community. Are other players from different areas in the stage going? Who’s in the top 15 of the state/region/area?

What characters do all of those players use? What’s the area/state’s most popular character? Chicago, for example, is heavy on Mario and Sheik.

If you’re traveling, make sure you’ve got stuff planned. The more stress you can reduce before the tournament, the more you can focus on training and health.

Where are you going to eat? See the food options available at the venue.

Training

Here’s where you take your research and apply it to your training. When it comes to a monthly/regional/national, you need to change your regiment. Play a little more and narrow down your training. If you’re from State Y and you’re coming to a Chicago monthly, you’re going to want to practice a little more against Sheik and Mario. Obviously, don’t neglect any characters, but your focus should be more on the popular characters and top players in the region and those characters. Is someone Out of State coming that’s a top player? Prepare for them too.

When you’re watching videos, study the top players to get a feel for how they play.

For stages, make sure you practice all the stages legal for that tournament. Give special attention to stages that aren’t legal in your local scene.

Remember when I said play for 30 minutes a day? Bump that up to 45 minutes to an hour. Try and attend as many locals as you can. If you want to win, you need to put in the time and effort, and you wanna ramp up before a tournament to maximize how well you’re playing.

A Few Other Things

SLEEP – You may want to play into the night before a tournament, but believe me you want to be alert, and coffee ain’t gonna do it for you. Get proper rest. If you’re staying up hella late you’re cutting your chances of winning.

SHOWER – And let me be clear, this doesn’t just benefit everyone. Cleaning yourself gives you a better chance of warding off being sick. You play worse when you’re sick.

EAT WELL – Don’t get a goddamn McGriddle before you play. You want sustainable energy that’ll help keep you alert and not exhausted. So, seriously, try and eat better the day of. Get chicken instead of a burger. Get a salad instead of fries. Eat a meal bar or a protein bar.

WATER – Drink it. Love it. Be it. Don’t drink poison *coughsodaenergydrinksanythingnotwatercough* Stay hydrated.

At the Tournament

Play friendlies!!! I can’t stress this enough. Play as many friendlies with as many different people as possible, preferably with either your main or a very comfortable secondary. The goal here is to attain as much knowledge as possible about your prospective opponents. Even if it means throwing down a little cash, get in those games with top players and talk to them. Most top players are actually pretty nice, and should be more than happy to offer you some tips.

Also, friendlies are a very good way to learn without going through the stress of a tournament match, which helps you conserve energy. You’ll want to make sure you don’t burn out over the course of the day, so make sure you do whatever it takes to stay in tip top form all day.

Most Importantly

When you’re at a tournament, have fun. Your mood is crucial to how well you’re going to be playing that day, so make sure you’re not focused solely on winning and stressing yourself out. Enjoy yourself! Plenty of times you’ll read articles from top players where they play insanely well because they were just enjoying themselves and somehow ended up winning the biggest tournament of their life.

——

Seriously, come say hi to me if you’ll be at Mashfest this Saturday, September 5th, if you haven’t already met me in person. I’ll be there, available for questions, chatting, friendlies, etc… you’ll know it’s me because I’m super loud and I’ll be wearing a gray Fedora with a Paper Mario pin on it.

Also, one more blog post before I wrap up the improvement series!

Just Sayin’

The tournament I’m going to is called Mashfest. Check out the FB page for it! Go to it! Y’know…to get my autograph ūüôā https://www.facebook.com/events/724406491038862/

I – Fundamentals
II – A Different Way to Look at Match Ups
III – Attitude
IV – Friendlies
V – Stages
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
XIV ‚Äď Practice Methods BONUS IV
XV ‚Äď Game Flow

Improvement in Smash 4 V – Stages

**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.

Let’s talk about stages.

Stages are tricky. They change how you play, how a match-up can work. Suddenly that low ceiling makes character X more adept at KO’ing from the top, and you panic more when above them. Maybe you get drained as you fire off another Smash attack and your opponent is living to 200%+ thanks to bigger blast zones. Whatever it may be, stages are the most dynamic part of Smash Bros, and one of the most important things to consider while practicing.

When it comes to stages, you’re at the mercy of the TO. They decide to use Halberd? You can’t say no. Delfino? Castle Siege? Tough luck, buddy. They’re gonna be there, and you may have to play on it.

But because of the unique way stage banning works, there are things you can do to practice efficiently (I’m assuming that you know how the stage banning process works. If you don’t, feel free to reach out to me personally or to someone else in the Chicago community. We can all help you with that).

Look at the Counter Pick list. Then look at your MU’s – is there a stage that doesn’t benefit you in any of your MU’s that you just don’t like? You don’t need to practice on it. If you’re going to be banning this stage almost every time and never take anyone there, there is zero reason to practice on it. Don’t waste your time. Likewise, if there’s a character you know you’ll never take a certain character to and always ban a certain stage for, don’t bother practicing that MU on that stage. If you happen to not have a stage that you’ll never play on – you practice every. Single. Stage. (that’s on the legal list of your tournament’s stages, of course).

Move around the stage. Execute a couple moves and look at your positioning. Make sure you practice every MU you think you’ll be playing on the stage, too. Look for spots on the stage where you see a positional advantage and make a note of it. See where your opponent will have the best advantage of your character.

Becoming comfortable with the stages you’ll be playing on will allow you to play better: you’re more comfortable with your character’s spacing there, you know the in’s and out’s of the stage, and you just feel better while playing on it. That can be the difference between a win and a loss sometimes, and it’s something you shouldn’t brush aside.

The bottom line about stages is this: Don’t let it be¬†the stage that’s winning/losing when you’re counter picking/being counter picked.

Just Sayin’.

I – Fundamentals
II – A Different Way to Look at Match Ups
III – Attitude
IV – Friendlies
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
XIV ‚Äď Practice Methods BONUS IV
XV ‚Äď Game Flow

Improvement in Smash 4 II – A Different Way to Look at Match Ups

**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.

Repeat after me: “MUs aren’t just numbers”.

If you were to ask me, “Kappy, what prevents players from improving?”, I would say without hesitation that one of the top things are, “match ups” (or, as everyone refers to them in text format, MUs). MUs describe the likelihood of a character beating another character, strictly speaking. The way it usually goes: If two players of equal skill play, character X has a XX:YY MU with character Y. This is usually categorized in this way:

50:50 – Even
55:45 – Small Advantage
60:40 – Advantage
70:30 – Big Advantage
80:20 – Huge Advantage
90:10 – Gigantic Advantage
100:0 – Guaranteed Win

I think there’s something inherently flawed about discussing MUs like this. Let me be perfectly clear – numerically showing how character X does against character Y is fine; in fact, I agree with it. The problem is how it’s discussed and approached.

Let me craft a scenario for you. Say you go up against a player who places the same as you in your local scene. You two seem to always get the same place, but you two have never met in bracket. This time, it’s different. You’re going up against him, and he’s using a character that has a 100:0 MU against yours. You two sit down to play, two supposed evenly-matched players, and you emerge the victor.

I’ve seen this happen before.

What’s happening here? The biggest problem approaching MUs with numbers is that character takes over player. It should be flipped. Player trumps Character. It might be an uphill battle for your character, but it’s not so simple as, “Character X walls Y. It’s hard for them to get in.” No, it’s not so cut and dry. Even with an equal skill level, a player’s tendencies can change how the MU actually is in practice.

What if you spun it as, “I struggle against hyper-defense. I find it difficult to approach.” This not only spins the blame to give you something to practice, it gets rid of blaming your character or the MU for losing. A number doesn’t define who you’ll win and lose to, who you’ll struggle and not struggle against.

So what can you do to stop thinking this way? Combine Player and Character into a single unit.

Combining player and character gives way to two distinct ways to view a MU, and both are essential to improving: Play Style and Character Interactions. What are these?

Play Style refers to how a player makes decisions during a match. Do they apply pressure, grab a lot, camp, etc… This is usually categorized further for generality – aggressive, defensive, etc… I won’t get too into that, but Play Style also encompasses a player’s reactions, emotions, etc… their style changes as they play, and if they don’t – well, if you can counter play it without them adapting, then you’re going to win no matter the character.

Character Interaction refers to on paper interactions between characters. This is usually discovered through experimentation on the player’s part. Let me list what I think this consists of:

– Move Priority
– Kill %’s
– Punishment Options

Move Priority refers to the interaction between two character’s moves. A good example would be Kirby’s Dair vs Marth Up Tilt. Marth’s Up Tilt beats Kirby’s Dair, so it wins and Kirby will (most likely) get hit.

Kill %’s are just that. When does X move KO at Y percent on character Z?

Punishment Options refers to options your character has to punish character X in any given situation. Can you shield grab an Fsmash? A Ftilt? Can you punish a whiffed move with a Smash/Tilt/etc…?

When I approach a MU, I think about these things instead of the numbers. I think about what I’m going to need to do to overcome any adversity the MU presents me with. If my character struggles against projectiles, I need to find ways to counter the player’s style with those projectiles. Do I have a move that’ll just outright beat the projectile? Does the player panic when I get too close? When should I start looking for a KO? (Notice how this is basically Adaptability)

——

Obviously, some characters do beat others. It’s the way a game like this works. And in a game like this, some characters have a lot of “bad” MUs. And they will struggle, and you can clearly see how a character struggles. However, simplifying the MU to the point where you’re going in expecting it to be incredibly hard or maybe impossible is neglecting the fact that there’s a person controlling that avatar. You’re forgetting about human error, human psychology, even human physiological responses during a set. This is stuff that you need to think about when it comes to MUs, and it’s reflected in their play style.

If you wanna use numbers when sitting at home thinking about MUs, fine. Don’t let me stop you. But you best believe that you shouldn’t be oversimplifying MUs when you’re about to play someone. Treat them as complex as they should be – it’s a character controlled by a player, not the other way around. Remember that.

When you’re giving advice, don’t just use the character. That’s for tier list/character interactions/theorycrafting discussion specifically. Otherwise, think about the player, too. Don’t let players ask, “how does X do against Y?” Demand they be more specific. No two players play the same way – acknowledge that in how you ask for and give out advice.

Repeat after me: “MUs aren’t just numbers.”

Just Sayin’

Link to the Chicago Smash 4 Facebook group: Clicky

Check out my other posts on improving in Super Smash Bros. Wii U!

I – Fundamentals
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
XIV ‚Äď Practice Methods BONUS IV
XV ‚Äď Game Flow

Training Amiibos

Before I begin, a quick shout-out to this thread, which is what I used to train my amiibos.

So, when the new Super Smash Bros. was announced, Nintendo also announced Amiibo, a figurine that could interact with games on the Wii U through an NFC touch point built-in on the game pad. In Super Smash Bros. Wii U, this scanning translated to a fighter that you could then fight with/against. I saw it as an opportunity to train these fighters and pit them against other amiibos because that sounded really fun to me (as a competitive Smash player it’s at the heart of what I find the most fun about training an amiibo).

So, I quickly bought a Kirby amiibo, named him H U P BOYZ, and got to work training him. I played with my brother in amiibo + player teams until he got to 50 (the max level for an amiibo), and then I realized that H U P BOYZ used Inhale too much (Neutral B move for those who don’t know). He also used a lot of grounded Rock (Down + B special) and Up Smash, but not too many aerials. He used some, but I wanted him to play like I did with Kirby.

So I started doing some research, and found a couple articles with some training tips. A few of them were very similar. CPU mirrors 1-10, you vs them mirrors 10-20, 20-30 playstyle chars, 30-50 your main + CPU mirrors to see how they’re progressing. It sounded pretty good, so I gave it a shot. I reset H U P BOYZ and started training him.

Spoiler alert – H U P BOYZ still sucked.

He still used too much Inhale and grounded Rock. he also spammed jab a lot this time. So I went back to researching when I came upon that thread I linked in the beginning of this post. It was pretty much eye-opening for me.

Let me break this down for you:

Amiibos basically have a hit % variable stored inside of it for every move in its arsenal (probably not including pummel, which is guaranteed out of a throw). From what I’m theorizing, whenever they hit with a move, the % for that move goes up. If they use a move and it whiffs, is blocked, or is outright beaten or punished, the % goes down. No one has truly found out everything about amiibos, but this sounds the most logical to me given that thread confirmed data tables. Anyway, amiibos will use moves with a higher hit % more often. However, they won’t use it all the time, just more than a normal level 9 CPU would. And this data table updates even after they’ve hit 50.

So what does this mean? Basically, the amiibos will use moves more based on what opponents they fight. That means that if you let a Kirby amiibo get off Inhale or Rock against you, it’ll think it’s better than against a player that never lets a Kirby amiibo get away with it. Amiibo do have slightly different styles, it’s just based off of hit %, and the placebo effect takes it from there because of that subtle difference between amiibos.

So, I did my second reset on H U P BOYZ and trained him from 1 – 50 against just me, except this time I literally air camped so that H U P BOYZ would be forced to take to the air and use aerials against me. Every time he tried to use Rock, or Hammer (Side + B special), or Inhale, I would punish him. And to top it off, I would literally let him hit me with aerials and tilts so that he thought they were better moves.

And it actually worked (a little).

See, amiibos still have that core AI ingrained in them. They’re going to do some stuff no matter what, but you can influence them. H U P BOYZ does the standard Power Shield and then a grab or smash attack, but sometimes he’ll throw out three Forward Airs in a row or use Up Tilt twice in a row or even do Up Tilt to Back Air instead of Up Tilt to Forward Air (which is a level 9 Kirby combo implemented into their base AI).

So that’s how I train amiibos. I let them hit me with the moves I want them to use and try to punish them for using moves I don’t want them to use. H U P BOYZ barely uses Hammer or Rock, although now that he’s fought other amiibos and CPU’s he uses Inhale a fair amount (although not nearly as much as the first two times), but overall, training him was a success.

I think this is the best way to train them right now. Let me go over how I do it in terms of levels.

Levels 1 – 20: Beat them down. Amiibo aren’t very smart here. Sure, they’ll throw out attacks, but it’s best to just beat them down so that they don’t throw out anything bad that’ll hit you. Even if you let them hit you, they won’t be borrowing from the data table too much because their base AI at this point is, well…dumb.

Levels 20 – 30: This is where I make them start learning. At this point they should be borrowing from level 4 or 5 AI, so they’ll be throwing out attacks, but they won’t be utilizing the hit % table a lot unless you let them hit you a ton in the earlier levels. You won’t see certain attacks because the 4 or 5 base AI just doesn’t choose it. If you see them throwing out any moves you’d like them to learn, let them hit you. This can be tricky with aerials and tilts (especially if you don’t want them using smash attacks); my advice is to jump around a LOT for aerials. Tilts are much harder and I have no safe way to get hit by them without being hit by a smash attack. It takes a lot of patience.

Also, don’t forget to beat them. They level up faster losing.

Levels 30 – 40: This is where most of the learning happens. At this point, they’re borrowing from level 6 or 7 AI and so will most likely be using every move. They’ll also be borrowing from the data table so you’ll find them using certain moves less and certain moves more. Just keep letting them hit you and maintain victory over them so that they level up faster. This is probably the longest phase for me because I take a lot of time making sure they learn what moves are better than others.

Levels 40-50: This is where the amiibos’ inherent buffs (yeah, they’re stronger than normal fighters even without equipment) start to become noticeable. You’ll also see a noticeable change in how they fight compared to level 8 and 9 CPU’s. If you’ve done your training correctly, you’ll notice them using moves you let them hit you with more often. That means it’s time for some crazy positive reinforcement. Let them hit you A LOT. Sure, you still need to win or else leveling them up takes longer, but make them extra close. Let them take you down to that last stock (if you’re using time, make sure you maintain a point lead).

This is a good time to pit them against any level 50 amiibos you have, also.

Level 50: You’ve done it. Your amiibo is now max level! A couple things to note here:

– While you’ve been training them, don’t fret if they use a move you’ve been punishing a lot or never let them hit you with. They are, in theory, at Level 10 if there was a Level 10 AI in the game, and so have hard-coded scripts that they simply can’t ignore.

– They will start rolling, spot-dodging, air dodging, and perfect shielding a LOT, and usually right when you use a move. They will punish you with a smash or grab after perfect shielding a LOT, even if you trained them to think smash attacks are bad. It’s part of their script. Don’t let it bother you.

– You should notice that they’re very rarely using moves you’ve punished them for using and using moves you let them hit you with more frequently. However, there will be no drastic change in their move selection unless you let them hit you with the same move over and over from 1 to 50. Then they’ll spam a move way more than a level 9 CPU would.

– Amiibo buffs are pretty apparent here. H U P BOYZ does over 20% with one Back Air. That’s as much as a normal smash attack with an aerial!

And that’s how I train my amiibos. So far I have 3 trained amiibos (H U P BOYZ the Kirby, a Mario that likes Up B, and a Pikachu that doesn’t use Thunder a lot). They’ve all been trained using this method and they’ve all shown good results, so I think this is a really solid training method. Give it a try next time you want to train an amiibo. I’ll end this with a few more notes:

– Because amiibos learn after 50, it’s impossible to stop them from landing a certain move. If you let them fight another amiibo, a CPU, or a person, they might land that move and increase the hit % of it. The nice thing is that that hit % has to contend with the other ones you’ve trained, meaning they’re not suddenly going to start spamming that move, but you will see them try and use it more. If you see them using a move too much, just play them and punish it whenever they do. My Pikachu spammed Thunder between levels 30-40 and I literally sat there for two games and punished Thunder. After those, he never spammed Thunder again because of how low I made the hit % after that and from levels 40-50. He still uses it, but he hasn’t used it twice in a row since.

– Amiibos only update their hit % after a match is completed. This is really important. If you don’t like how a match is going, just quit out of it. I can’t tell you how many times I had to do this because H U P BOYZ landed Inhale on me.

– Amiibos level up insanely fast on a different Wii U. Not really important, just thought I’d let you know. They also level up faster fighting CPU’s and other amiibos than they do against humans.

Have fun with your amiibos! I can’t wait to enter these guys in amiibo-only tournaments!

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’