Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Thoughts on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

   Been a while since I made an article related to Smash Bros but today is the the day I give my thoughts on the latest entry in this great series. After hyping Smash 4 (Which is the name I give the new entry) with four ''Top Ten'' lists back in 2012, I think it is only natural that I give you my thoughts on this game. We will be focusing on the Wii U versions has it clearly is the bigger and better one. I also feel like it's necessary to say that this isn't a review. With all these things out of the way, let's get to it.

  To be up front with you, there are things I like in this new game and things that I really, REALLY do not like in this game. I'd say I've changed in these couple of years in the sense that now, I don't look to see which character gets in but rather I look at the game mechanics and see if they work. To put it bluntly, I think I prefer playing by the competitive rules than I do the casual rules. I've got nothing but that documentary on Melee to blame: The Smash Brothers. I don't want you to think that I don't like the game (Because I like it very much) but I will spend most of my article addressing things that I have an issue with in this new Smash game. There are good things, yes. But when there are bad things, the bad things need to be addressed. So hold on to your butt, there's one bumpy road ahead of us.

...But first, let's talk about the good things. For one, the game looks gorgeous. To look this good, at 1080p, 60 frames per second, good lord. It's a beauty. Second, this game has the biggest and most unique roster in the franchise with 52 characters AND COUNTING which leads us to... Third, DLC, updates, patches. This is the first Smash game to feature DLC, so we can even more characters, stages and god, even modes even though the game is still out. Fourth, for better of for worse, this game has the best online a Smash game has ever gotten. Then you have 8 player smash, you have special smash, you have all these unlockables and finally, we get custom movesets. There are more good things to this game but really, these are the standout points. Let's get to the ugly part now and mind you, some of things are opinionated while others are things I legitimately think are bad.

Defense OP, pls nerf: The title says it all. This is just something I can't get over with. The overpowered defensive options in this game are, well, overpowered! The shield takes too long to destroy (Except for certain characters with a move MEANT to destroy shield) and it regenerates way too fast. Air dodging is, again, too safe. Dodge rolling is so easy to spam. It's infuriating when you want to go offensive on people who abuse of these defensive option. They are just too good. And defensive play is much less exciting then offensive play, both in terms of playing and in terms of watching. Yes, all these things are opinions, but their opinions that MANY people agree with, ever since Brawl. Does that mean that defensive options should be taken away because they have no place in the game? No! They are just too good in this game and they need a nerf.

Where the combos at, Sakurai?: I'm pretty sure everyone agrees with me that pulling of a combo in Smash, especially in 64, Melee or Project M, is very satisfying. This is because of the hitstun in these games. Hitstun is basically the period where you can't do anything outside of teching and DI'ing when you get hit by an attack. That's putting it briefly. However, the non-existent hitstun in Brawl and now Smash 4 has made it nearly impossible to combo  properly which is a huge disappointment considering the fact that Smash has combo system of its own not present in any other games. Basically, it's all about making your own combo and predicting your opponent's trajectory and seeing this very unique way of comboing not being capitalized upon is absolutely disappointing to say the least. If you have PM, Melee or 64 and you play Smash 4 back to back, it's something that becomes painfully obvious.

Over abundance of over powered items: If you ever played Smash 4 with items chances are that you came across some ridiculously powerful items. That is a big problem that affects more than just regular Smash matches. The way I see it, items should only help you in racking up damage, not do the freaking job for you. I would scream this till my lungs explode but Smash is a FIGHTING game. You need to fight, not just let the items do the freaking job for you. With the abundance of one hit kill items and once again having to face the issue of having explosive items spawn right next to you, it's almost impossible for me to feel like this was fair or fun. You have the Dragoon, the Daybreak, several assist trophies and Pokemon, both hammers, that stupid Drill gun whatever, Laser guns and more. All items that have the potential of killing at very early percents. ''But you can turn items off''. Can you turn them off in Classic mode tho?

Classic mode is.... terrible: Oh boy, Classic mode. Has there ever been a mode that made me rage so much and that is utterly displeasing to play. Classic mode. Where do I begin? First, the items. As I stated in my previous point, there are a lot of OP items and with item set to high, there is a lot of frustration to be had. Why do these modes not have an item switch yet? Second, the eight player battles. I like eight player Smash however, they have no freaking place in this mode. Why? Well, because they are too chaotic. It's hard to know where you are. With the characters, items and stage trying to kill you, you WILL rage when going for the achievements for this mode. Third, Random Team battles. Team battles are FUN! Except when you're paired with a bunch of idiots and you end up going 1 or 2 vs 4. Forth, you have the utterly unbalanced Fighting Mii Team portion before you fight the final boss. While some characters like Ike have easy to spam attacks, other don't. Not to mention that, for some strange reason, a of character's smash attacks don't kill the Miis in one shot. And of course, the game is kind enough to spam explosives on next of you on top of having 5 characters actively trying to kill you. And then finally, where are the minigames to break the tension? Breaking the Targets? Race to the Finish? Where are they? Look, when you have achievement, trophies, soundtracks, customs that are unlocked by, say, not losing a single stock at higher difficulty, I don't want to feel like I'm fighting against the odds and just wish that this playthrough is the lucky one. I like challenge but the things I've named aren't what makes the game challenging. They're just bullshit. This guy explains why classic is so bullshit better than me.

All-Star Mode and 1 v 2+: This is a point I don't see many people complaining about but it still is pretty goddamn annoying. The amount of times you have to go up against 2 or more characters on either All-Star Mode or Event Matches is overwhelming to say the least. I do enjoy a good 1 v 2 but if I have to this every freaking time when playing these modes, it gets annoying real fast. Especially when you are usually at a disadvantage because it really isn't fair. Getting ganked and pummeled can only be fun for so long.

Patching out any kind of advanced technique and pointless nerfs: To put it bluntly, Project M is currently my favorite Smash Bros. game. It combines the content of Brawl with the mechanics of Melee and it is glorious. You wanna know what else is amazing? The game is regularly updated. Smash 4 is also a game that gets regularly updated, which is a great thing but not so great and when Sakurai and his team are so dead set on eliminating any semblance of ATs and nerfing beloved characters to oblivion. While patching and releasing updates can be certainly used for good things, like for instance making a low tier character better, removing glitches, nerfing certain overpowered characters (Slight nerfs nothing too big), removing ATs just makes the game far more shallow. There is this meme which is big in the Smash community: Better nerf Greninja. What this meme symbolizes is the trigger happy nature of Sakurai's team in nerfing characters that aren't even top tier whatsoever and making them even worse then before, like Greninja. Greninja could use Shadow Sneak, arguably one of his best moves, after a Dive Kick. Wasn't even a glitch or anything, just a technique unique to Greninja. I will always say this to anyone against them but Advanced Techniques add a new layer of strategy, depth and introduces new ways to approach your opponents. Removing them because others can't adapt to people using them or because others can't pull them off just makes the game more shallow. Really, I just don't want to fear my favorite characters (Which are Fox and Captain Falcon right now) having to get nerfed just because he's good.

So there it is, the things that I do not like in the Smash game. Does it make it a bad game? No. But it certainly makes a lot less enjoyable than something like Project M where I truly feel satisfied playing the game. Most if not all these things can be fixed with an update. It's up to Sakurai and his team to decide whether than want to do it or not.


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