Yep, Mewtwo. Back in Pokémon Red and Blue, this guy was something to be feared. The ultimate pokémon, a creature born from horrific experimentation and the splicing of Mew’s DNA. It was a being of unparalleled power, ability and rip-your-scalp-off-and-wear-it-as-a-daring-fashion-accessory fury.
This formidable feline foe was the last challenge for any trainer, accessible only after defeating the Elite 4 and becoming Pokémon Champion. It was, back in 1998, an unholy pain in the ass to catch. The Psychic type, you might remember, was pretty well untouchable back then as it was, and Mewtwo was the best of the best.
With all of this in mind, you’d probably have to pity any opponent meeting it in Smash Bros combat. You’d expect them all to be trampled hideously, send home in a blood-leaking matchbox like the victims of a Mortal Kombat fatality.
You’d think this unless you’d actually played as Mewtwo in Super Smash Bros. Melee, that is. Because he sucked.
You can see where they were going with making the character, I’ll concede. The Genetic Pokémon is a being of intense mental power; physical strength isn’t its forté. This is usually the case with Psychic types, but it didn’t seem to translate into Smash Bros. very well. As a Smasher, Mewtwo is unfortunately floaty, light and tall. This is a really awkward combination of traits, allowing it to be comboed and such easily.
The character was all-round underwhelming. His special attacks, while completely unique among the cast, were a little questionable too. Mewtwo’s selling points were his powerful throws and great recovery, and not much seems to have changed in its transition to Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS.
Naturally, we can’t tell much from the scant days the character has been available. How it’ll match up with the rest of the Smashers, viability and such are going to take time to explore. We do know, though, that Mewtwo’s specials remain unchanged.
Shadow Ball is a simple, very powerful charged projectile, a la Samus’s Charge Shot. Teleport deals no damage, but adds to the character’s long-ranged and unpredictable recovery and movement. Disable has little range, but its ‘stunning’ effect is brilliant for follow ups, a property it didn’t quite have last time around. Finally, there’s Confusion, which will put opponents to sleep like a safer version of Jigglypuff’s sing. It’s perfect for delivering the coup de grace.
Mewtwo’s repertoire of smash and aerial attacks have been tweaked a little, offering both stronger and slower moves and faster ones. Up smash and forward air are particularly interesting new tools.
This guy is a real fan favorite, being offered two separate mega evolutions alongside Charizard in Pokémon X and Y. There was a lot of hype around its return to Smash, and players around the world are getting to grips with its new incarnation as we speak. As I say, it’s much too early to know anything about how it’ll compete, but I’ve always seen it as among the most unique characters in the series and it’s great to see it back.