Oh man oh man oh man. Was that Nintendo Direct cool or what?! First, I want to get something off my chest, though. I'm honestly a bit annoyed that they're releasing two different Smash Bros games at once. When the two were first announced, I held some hope that they'd be, essentially, the same game, with minor graphical changes, but this has proven to not be the case. Why, Nintendo? Why are you making us buy what is, for the most part, the same game, twice? This is worse, and more despicable than any DLC campaign I've ever seen. And nobody is talking about it. Why? I'd rather pay a couple dollars here and there for new stages over the years, than having to pay over $100 to get all the stages. And to top it off, at any given time, half of the available stages will be inaccessible in any given playing session. Nintendo, please. Please don't do this.
Anyway, on to the exciting stuff. Did you even see that building? Freaking what the bananas, Namco? That is like a 60's Bond villain level secret lair. I sort of feel like I should start living in fear of assassins now that I've seen this building. But I guess if you want to be cool, you have to have a cool building. And Namco probably wants to be cool. I mean, it must get tiring re-releasing arcade classic collections. Seriously, what else does Namco even do that relates to video games at all anymore?
So, For Fun? Or For Glory? The idea sounds really cool, especially since it gives people like me, who like to have skills to pay the bills, but also like to play with Bob-ombs, a chance to do both in a structured way. But I feel like it will sorely limit the competitive scene. For those of you not in the know, Super Smash Bros is one of the few Nintendo properties that is actually played competitively, the other two being Pokemon, and to a much lesser extent, F-Zero. But look, even within the competitive scene, there are people who play on all sorts of stages, so cramping players into Final Destination just seems cruel. Oh sure, they've "fixed it up" with dressings from other stages, but it's still a single platform, with nowhere to go.
This may seem counter productive, but Super Smash Bros isn't just another fighting game. It isn't (or shouldn't be) like those other games that are stripped down, move left or right and press button combinations until something cool happens punch fests that are fun if you know what you're doing, but ultimately result in more homework for gamers. The franchise was started as something that could be picked up by anyone, bash around their favorite characters, and have some fun. Sure, Melee turned up the stakes when it proved to be an extremely solid game, but that doesn't mean you should cater to stripping everything away and making it like all of those other games. Seriously, would you play a Mario Kart mode without items? If so, why? There are so many better racing games.
"But Lazlo," You might say, "That's what For Fun mode is for." Ahh, but what about my losses? Maybe I want an honest score that shows how well I'm really doing, rather than how many wins I have. "Ahh, but that's why they brought in Global Smash Power!" Aha~! Despite what they say about it being a "new" way of giving you a score without being a traditional ranking, isn't it just reverse ordering? Instead of saying, "I'm ranked 550, so I'm worse than 549 other players," they have you say, "I'm ranked 355,868, so I'm better than 355867 other players." But it's the same situation. Sure, it might make you feel better about it, but in what way is it really different?
This image is only here because the Bumper is my favorite item.
But, all of those issues aside, I'm getting extremely excited for this release, especially the 3DS version. Not only have I been aching for a portable Smash title since the days of the Game Boy Advance, the 3DS version just looks like the all-around better game. Although the character models may be simpler, and the textures less detailed, I think the 3DS version has a nicer look, with the character outlining--which for sadly isn't carried over to the assist trophies--and could easily add some virtues, such as making the Nintendog assist trophy actually somewhat useful, instead of just harming every player equally.
And as if all that weren't enough, the 3DS version will have Smash Run, which looks absolutely fantastic. If I'm guessing correctly, it will take everything that was good about Adventure Mode in Melee, and turn it into a four player free-for-all that promises non-stop carnage. But you know what? Were it not for the exclusive stages, I wouldn't buy the Wii U version at all.
I am curious, though, about how the 3DS version and the Wii U version will link together, but I have a suspicion that it may just let you use a 3DS as a second Wii U tablet. Hopefully there will be something more, oh, I don't know, anything than that. Only time will tell, I suppose.
Half of the video seemed to be devoted to characters, which is understandable. Everyone wants to know who they get to play as, and what their favorite characters can do. I'm absolutely stoked that characters like Zelda and Sheik have been split, especially since under the Brawl system, Samus effectively lost half of her Final Smashes to regaining her suit. What a bummer that was, but the problem is fixed, and they even kept Zero Suit Samus around. And she is looking good these days. At first I thought it was a bit strange, but if Melee got away with two Marios that were exactly the same except for costuming, why can't this new one do the same? The added moves for all of the characters look fantastic, and now that they're not crippled by losing their down-special, they should be all the more powerful.
Every character mentioned in this Nintendo Direct looks great, and I can't wait to get my hands on them. Even Olimar, a character that I never really understood for Brawl, despite trying, looks much more powerful, and very useful. Little Mac's moveset is incredible, though I don't think I'll enjoy playing with him too much. I really enjoy the aerial combat in Smash Bros, and with his diminished skills in the air, I don't think I'd enjoy playing him that much. But I'm still excited to see what he can do. It looks like Mewtwo has been retired, but Crappy Mewtwo--erm, I mean Lucario is still around. I can deal with it, but only because instead of having Pokemon Trainer, they have the Ultimate Pokemon, Charizard. And, although this really has nothing to do with playing, seeing them confirm Ridley as a part of the game made me happy inside. Although he's never been playable, and barely even been someone worth fighting, seeing him just makes me happy, and since Metroid is one of my favorite Nintendo franchises, every reminder that it's not getting forgotten is good by me.
There are definitely things I hope get changed before the games are released, but overall, I'm very excited for what's to come. It will be nice to finally be able to take Smash Bros with me wherever I go, and start impromptu melees at any time, in any place. Hopefully these games meet up to all of the hype they've gotten, but even if they don't, judging by the series' track record, I don't think it can even be a bad game. Even Brawl, for all the issues it has, is a very fun and enjoyable experience, and I have no doubt the 3DS and Wii U entries will continue that streak.