Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Super Smash Direct: Impressions on new news

I don't think anything I could say could do the Super Smash Brothers series Justice. It is one of Nintendo's most successful franchises considering the number of games it has to date. With Smash 4 on the way for 3DS and WiiU, Masahiro Sakurai announced today, via a Nintendo Direct a lot of information so for today, I'm providing my opinions on the new news and a summary of the news, believe me, THIS IS A SUMMARY.

The first thing revealed is the release windows. The 3DS version's current release window is sometime between June 1st and August 31st where as the WiiU version currently is going to be released in the Christmas window. Its not surprising that this is the case, separating the 3DS and WiiU versions release days so that they don't have to compete with each other and moving the WiiU version to the Christmas window will hopefully help sell more consoles. I'm not going to discuss the technical tidbits as I leave that up to you.

Sakurai confirmed that there won't be version exclusive characters but that there will be unique stages, this was to be expected so nothing new to report there. The WiiU version will have a Brawl styled approach to music where as the 3DS version will use Melee's approach.

Confirmed 3DS Stages: Reset Bomb Forrest from Kid Icarus Uprising, 3D Land from Super Mario 3D Land, Spirit Train from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Gerudo Valley from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Arena Ferox from Fire Emblem (Awakening???), Tortimer Island from Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Living Room from Nintendogs/ Nintendogs+ Cats, Prism Tower from Pokémon X/Y, Rainbow Road from Mario Kart 7, Find Mii from Streetpass Quest II, Balloon Fight from Balloon Fight and Jungle Japes from Donkey Kong Country (it is also a original stage from Super Smash Bros for the Nintendo 64).

Confirmed WiiU Stages: Mario Galaxy from the Super Mario Galaxy games, Pyrosphere from Metroid Other M, Town and City from the Animal Crossing series, Boxing Ring from Punch-Out, Pilot Wings from the Pilotwings series, Skyloft from the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Windy Hill from Sonic Lost World, Garden of Hope from Pikmin 3, Wii Fit Studio from the Wii Fit series, Palutena's Temple from Kid Icarus Uprising, Wily Castle from Mega Man 2 and Battleship Halbird from Kirby (returning from Smash bros Brawl). Battlefield and Final Destination has been confirmed for both versions.

And now, the bosses in the stage, the only one that was outright confirmed was the Yellow Devil in the Wily Castle stage, when he appears, he will attack all players in the fight. You can hurt him by attacking his eye and when he is killed, a huge explosion, similar to the smart bomb, activates and hurt all players except the one that got the last hit. Ridley was also hinted to be a stage boss.

Through out the direct, Sakurai also unveiled three new collectable trophies which are Tiki from Fire Emblem, Psudo Palutena from Kid Icarus Uprising, King Kihunter from Metroid and Fi from Zelda Skyward Sword.

The Online play appears to be getting a overhall for this new title. According to Sakurai "The WiiU version with have online multiplayer as Brawl did", wether this is better (in terms of lag) then brawl was remains unknown. Like brawl, you can choose to play with friends or with strangers online. While the specifics remain unknown, the 3DS will also have some sort of online play. Based on what Sakurai said, it is likely that a stable and fast internet connection is required to get the best out of these features.

Now the new features for Online Play, "For Fun" and "For Glory" which are replacing the anonymous system used in Brawl and can only be played when you not playing with friends. For fun mode is almost self explanatory, its fun matches online, almost all stages can be played (the exception is Final Destination) and stages are picked at random, items are on, smash matches only (so no Coin or time matches) and only wins are recorded. For Glory mode on the other hand is for the tournament players. Final Destination is the only possible stage, no items are on, it can be 1v1 matches and both Wins and Losses are recorded. The last thing to note about online is that when you play with friends, you can change the rules to how you'd like them to be.

Ah Final Destination, the arena that tournament players only fight on. To provide some sort of diversity, there is a "Final Destination Mode" For all stages, turning them into versions of Final Destination using the palette of that stage. This feature specifically is one I'm excited for because of one reason, there is only so many times you can hear the Final Destination theme before you want to rip your ears out. This feature is enabled in the For Glory mode.

As a part of the Anonymous online match removal, all players will be synced to their Nintendo Network ID and use that name to fight. A code of conduct will be in place for this "to keep things pleasant". Measures are supposedly being put in place to help stop players from
  • Starting and not playing in matches
  • Relentless targeting of an individual
  • Repeated Self-destructs
  • Frequent dropping (both intentional or due to technical reasons)
  • and other cheats
According to Sakurai, these measures could include temporary bans, with the duration depending on mow much they abuse the other players. Baseless reporting can also result in bans.

A ranking system is also being implemented known as the "Global Smash Power", instead of ranking where you are in a graph, it will display how many people are behind you (in a nut shell). to inprove your score, you complete objectives in solo play (somehow). Match making for online play is affected by this ranking system.

And now the interesting aspects of the direct, first off the items. Items shown off include the Beam Sword (sporting a "katana like" design), the Bumper, The Smart Bomb from Star Fox, the Motion Sensor Bomb from Golden Eye, The POW Block from Super Mario (which acts similar to how it did in the Mario Bros stage in Brawl), the Beetle from Zelda (Which picks up the first enemy it finds and lifts them into the sky), The Fire Bar from Mario (a Beam Sword with limited use), The Back Shield from Kid Icarus (its all in the name, makes a shield behind you), the Bombchu from Zelda (travels until it finds a target, then explodes (can go up walls)), A new restoration item called the Fairy bottle from Zelda, The Ore Club from Kid Icarus (which appears to share similar traits to the star rod but can summon a tornado), The X Bomb from Kid Icarus (upon detination, creates a X/+ that stretches over the entire arena), Hocotate Bomb from Pikmin (flies into the air, fall and then explodes), the Rocket belt from Pilotwings (its a jetpack) and the Steal Diver (fires torpedos).

The Assist trophies, a more diverse version of the Pokeball, what secrets do you hold? According to the direct. I should note that i'll only write the powers of the new characters (if it is a returning character, assume its the same power) Assist trophies include: Andross from Starfox, Devil, Knuckle Joe, Saki Amamiya from Sin and Punishment, Lyn from Fire Emblem, the blasted Nintendog from Nintendogs, Waluigi from the Mario Spin off games, Dr Wright from Sim City, Skull Kid from Zelda Majora's mask (which flips the stage and the gravity upside down), Mother Brain from Metroid (which shoots a beam along with other attacks at opposing fighters), Midna from Zelda Twilight Princess (which teleports and uses her magic arm to attack opponents), "The Great Ashley" from Wario Ware (which creates a area that poisons opponents), Dark Samus from Metroid Prime 2 and 3 (which uses her Phazon cannon and other Phazon based attacks to attack opponents), a Chain Chomp from Super Mario (it behaves like a Chain Chomp on opponents) Isabelle from Animal Crossing (who restores the summoner's percentage), Elec Man from Mega Man (who uses electric based attacks to attack opponents) and a game of Pong (Colour TV-Game 15 as it is called) (this is a self explanatory trophy and if you don't know, PLAY PONG).

What new Pokémon has Sakurai caught and willing to let us use in Smash 4? Well before I tell you, I should talk about a new item: the Master Ball. This is a rare item that when used, summons a legendary Pokémon (like how I suggested on mu Super Smash Bros: Fan Disagreement blog). The Pokémon list for both Pokeball and Master Ball includes (but i'll let their powers remain a surprise until you see the direct for yourself or play the game as it is hard to describe with some of them) Arceus and thanks to Sakurai's Substitute (I kid you not, that's in the direct) Meowth, Electrode, Eevee, Staryu, Metagross, Fennekin, Meloetta, Gogoat, Entai, Deoxys, Palkia, Kyurem, Victini,  Keldeo and Xerneas

The returning fighters and changes to them. Samus's Zero Laser Final Smash now no  longer reverts her to Zero Suit Samus, she and Zelda can no longer change forms now during the fight. Zero Suit Samus and Shiek are now separate fighters. Zero Suit Samus now has Jet boots to increase her capabilities in combat, now that she no longer has the ability to change into her Power Suit. Zelda now has a new down special attack that grants her the ability to summon a Phantom from the Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks to attack or defend Zelda from another attack. But this can be used against her by characters like Mario and the Villager. As for Shiek, her moves have been polished and she now has two new moves: A new Side Special attack called Burst Grenade which blow up once you pull the pin out. Bouncing Fish (dumb name by the way) is her new Down special and it is a kick based attack. Kirby's Hammer attack can now get charged up but at max strength, can hurt Kirby while it is still being held. Kirby's final smash has also been changed from Cook Kirby to Ultra Sword from Return to Dreamland. King Dedede throws Gordos instead of Waddle Dee's (:( ). Lucario's Aura attacks have been given a buff and will do more damage the higher Lucario's Percentage is,this is negated when Mega Lucario is in play (and while Lucario is in his Mega Form, all Aura attacks are at their strongest, regardless of the percentage). Pikmin and Olimar: Olimar can now only have 3 Pikmin at a time but they always come out in a set order. Olimar now also has a better recovery, the Winged Pikmin who will carry Olimar depending on how many Pikmin he has at the time. Pit: the gliding mechanic has been nerfed but his attacks are stronger and the power of flight is more manageable. Pit's new Final Smash is the Three Sacred Treasures. Yoshi has now been confirmed to return. He now stands upright in the fight and is now stronger then previous iterations.

And of course, info on the new fighters and some of their moves include
  • Rosalina and Luma: Luma Shot (sends out Luma and brings it back), The luma can wander on its own and attack separately, they have separate moves, Side special attack: Star Bits, Up Special: Launch Star (a long range recovery move), Down Special: Gravitational pull (sucks in items and redirects ranged attacks), Final Smash: Power Star (fires star shaped projectiles around the screen)
  • Little Mac: Melee fighter, powerful on the ground, sucks in the air, can shrug off some attacks, Smash attacks "hit at megaton levels", Neutral Special attack: Straight Lunge, connecting attacks and getting hit raise the power metre and once charged, instant KO attack. Side Special attack: Jolt Haymaker, Up Special: Rising Uppercut, Down Special: Slip Counter, Final Smash: Giga Mac. Little mac's alternate costume is the Wire Frame from the original Punch out for Arcade machines
  • Villager: Neutral Special: Pocket, Side Special: Lloid Rocket, Up Special: Balloon Trip, Down Special: Timber, Final Smash: Dream Home
  • Mega Man: Strong Down: Sliding (MM3), Dash: Top Spin (MM3/Top Man), Strong Up: Mega Upper (MvC), Side Smash: Charge Shot (MM4), Up Smash: Spark Shock (MM3/ Spark Man), Down Smash: Flame Burst (MM6/ Flame Man), Front Air: Flame Sword (MM8/ Sword Man), Back Air: Slash Claw (MM7/ Slash Man),Up Air: Air Shooter (MM2/ Air Man), Down Air: Hard Knuckle (MM3/Hard Man), Grab (Super Arm (MM1/ Guts Man), Neutral Special: Metal Blade (MM2/ Metal Man), Side Special: Crash Bomber (MM2/ Crash Man), Down Special: Leaf Shield (MM2/ Wood Man), Up Special: Rush Coil (MM3), Final Smash: Unnamed attack using all forms of Mega Man
  • Wii Fit Trainer: known moves include Deep breathing (a power buff move) and Sun Salutation (a ranged attack that can be charged) which is her Neutral Special move. Male Wii Fit Trainer can be played as a alternate costume
Mysterious move pools: change stats of moves to make them stronger but slower or weaker but faster along with other traits. Known moves include Mario's Fireball, Kirby having frost breath, Pit's arrows changing direction (like it could in brawl), Donkey Kong having a head-butt that slams opponents into the ground .Not usable in online play against non friends.

Smash run was revealed as a 3DS exclusive multiplayer option. Which is a mini game like mode where you collect power ups in a set time limit and then fight your opponents. Pretty simple, looks fun.

And now, finally for the big reveal: Charizard and Greninja are playable characters in the game. Charizardl looks like he plays how he did in Brawl, but like Lucario, is sporting Mega Charizard X as a Mega Form. Greninja looks like a fast character with several Ninja like moves used in combat including his signature move, Water Shuriken.

As for my opinions on the reveal, Sakurai unveiled a lot of information that fans were wanting. A release window was revealed that gives fans confidence that this is coming soon, characters were unveiled to counter the dry month that was march, Fan favourites Charizard, Zero Suit Samus, Shiek, and Yoshi were unveiled and we got a new character in the form of Greninja.While yes, a lot of information was already posted to Miiverse, there was enough new content to make up for it. Will I be getting this game? HELL YES. Midnight Launch? Of course. Review? When I have enough material to review it. In the mean time, there are other things to review including Digimon Tamers, what I am currently collecting material for: K-On and more. Unless something comes up, expect my next impressions to be on E3 in June. Until then, enjoy.

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