Pokemon – Still On The Pokeball

In 1996, Game Freak introduced the Pokemon game franchise into the gaming community, a game franchise that even today revels in high demand and levels of enjoyment spanning over a variety of age groups. The franchise possesses a simple yet addictive objective of catching various monsters known as ‘Pokemon’ in order to befriend them, train them up and battle against other Pokemon trainers.  The franchise has adapted over the evolution of Nintendo consoles, becoming more intricate, gaining better graphics and deepening the content upon each release of a new installment. Originally, there were only 151 Pokemon and today we presented with now over 700. It is apparent that even after so many years that the demand for this game refuses to slack, so the ultimate question is, why are we still relentlessly trying to ‘catch ’em all’ after so much time?

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Pokemon Is In Our Hearts 

The beauty of Game Freak is they know how to capture the hearts of a mass of age groups and they do well to maintain their interest in this beloved franchise. By expanding Pokemon further than just the main game series, Game Freak have allowed Pokemon to not only maintain fans, but also to gather more.

One of the first spin offs within the Pokemon game franchise was the Pokemon Trading Card Game (Gameboy). This targeted the fans more interested in the physical Pokemon Trading Cards, allowing them to build and alter decks and compete in game.

 

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Some spin offs became a series in themselves, taking the Pokemon Ranger series for example. It allowed players to indulge in a different perspective to the Pokemon games in which you do not catch Pokemon as such but take care of them and see they coincide with the humans in the world. The games are quite hands on in regards to battles as opposed to the turn based  style of the main series and again allows the opportunity for different types of players to indulge in the Pokemon franchise. Then there’s the Mystery Dungeon which series allows players to play as a Pokemon themselves. Again, another expansion to the franchise to cater for another different type of player.

 

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More recent spin offs have targeted specific addictions in the gaming industry. Pokemon Shuffle is a puzzle game quite clearly aimed at the mass of Candy Crush Saga addicts. So whilst remaining to be a fun game for younger generations it can also snatch up some older generations who like to play puzzle games when they get a little free time on their hands.

The greatest part is the spin offs not only engulf new fans but it is also fun for the more general Pokemon fans that love the series as a whole. The diversity within the Pokemon franchise is truly one of the reasons it is still standing strong today.

 

Everlasting

There is always a distinct feeling of despair when you finish a game as although feeling accomplished for beating the game, there is a hint of sadness in respect to the fact it’s over. Game Freak however, like to ensure that there is still plenty to do upon finishing a Pokemon game. Even after beating the Elite Four (a selection of the best Pokemon trainers in a specific region) and completing tasks only available post-game, there is always another Pokemon you can train differently or a new battle you may partake in.

In recent installments Pokemon has become more competitive. In being able to battle and trade with players worldwide, it has opened up an inlet for more strategic and focused Pokemon training. Players now train highly planned teams of Pokemon that have been bred to perfection in order to battle with players all over the world. There are also tournaments in which players may win prizes for doing so. This is a lovely addition to the Pokemon franchise as although aimed at more dedicated and competitive gamers, it doesn’t take anything away from the franchise itself. It is a fun, addictive addition that allows players to continue their journey in a more sociable and competitive manner.

 

Pokefans Speak

I asked some Pokemon fans to tell me what they thought kept the Pokefire burning, Pokemon-personalities from Tumblr wrote:

 

tumblr answer 2 why pokemon lives on

 

It is true, Game Freak are now adapting recent installments and remaking older games in order to not only expand the series further, but to also keep the fans of the older generations hooked and excited about the franchise. Game Freak understand their audience and the whole ideal that ‘it wasn’t as good as the originals’ can be overcome in some shape or form by incorporating the old into the new and engaging every part of their ever growing audience.

Also from Tumblr, Perditus-bliss writes:

 

tumblr answer why is pokemon lives on

 

This point does highlight how the uniqueness to the series appeals and is important to fans. It also draws attention to the fact Pokemon may be hitting adults in the sweet spot, the part inside of them that wants to relive their youth and it is truly heart-warming and moving that this video game franchise has the power to do that.

 

One Of A Kind 

The whole ideal behind Pokemon is extremely unique in itself, as well as being every child’s fantasy. A world in which from a young age you are given a Pokemon partner and allowed to journey the world, free of parents, no school (except Trainers School which actually sounds rather fun) being able to decide what you want to do and where you want to go. This concept is radically different to any game out there and therefore will always remain to be intriguing.

A game that started with a choice between three cute little monsters has transpired into one of the most successful and indulgent game franchises to date. Game Freak has the profound ability to snap up fans old and young and also maintain them. This is evident in their immense sales and the fact that the vast majority of Pokemon installments will hardly ever lose their value. I know the Pokemon franchise remains to be a video game I am emotionally attached to, and I’m sure that it is a common feeling among ongoing fans of the series.

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What do you think keeps the Pokeball rolling? Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion. 

The World Ends With You 2 is Still a Possibility

The World Ends With You

The World Ends With You

You know what’s awesome and underrated? The World Ends With You. This action-RPG game came out in 2008 in PAL regions and North America on the Nintendo DS and has since became a bit of cult hit. There has been very little murmurs in this potential franchise since the games release, but Square Enix continues to show interest in it.

In July of 2012 the cast of The World Ends With You appeared as characters in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. Not only did they appear, but within the context of their story in that game and the story of the original game, their time in Kingdom Hearts 3D could potentially be canonical within their own series. Fans surely thought this was a sign of interest in a sequel, but nothing seemed to come from it. Then, in August of that same year, a teaser website for what appeared to be a sequel came up. It counted down the days until an announcement on the franchise will be made with each day the music on the site getting more complex. Fans were disappointed to find out that the announcement was not for a sequel, but for a port of the game on iOS. However, from that disappointment came hope. This image appeared at the end of the mobile port, which clearly seems to be concept art for a sequel.

The World Ends With You

Sadly, nothing about that image has been elaborated upon, and it has been three years. The only things that can really be gathered from the image is that the girl is a new character, seemingly a mixture of all of the main characters from the original game (Neku’s headphones, Shiki’s Mr. Mew, her clothes are the same colors as Beat’s, Rhyme’s pose, and her hair is the same color as Joshua’s), that the term “New 7 Days” logically means a sequel, and that fans have dubbed this girl Hype-Chan.

Square Enix is clearly interested in this game, and a sequel on iOS devices or 3DS would make sense for the franchise. Possibly Square Enix has been at work on a sequel but don’t want to announce it since they already have so many games announced that are nowhere near being released, like Kingdom Hearts III, Final Fantasy XV, and the Final Fantasy VII Remake. Either way, I hope at some point this series is revisited, and quite frankly, Square Enix would be insane not to.

Super Mario Sunshine Needs a Remake

Super Mario

Super Mario

It bothers me that everyone wants an HD remake of Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2. We just had those, what’s the rush? You slide those games into either your Wii or Wii U and they still look great! They don’t even run in native 1080p but they look like they do! If there must be an HD remake of any Mario game, may I allow myself to lay down money on it being Super Mario Sunshine?

Let me explain, I have a theory that every other Nintendo console is really the fruit of the labor of the previous console. NES had a few greats, but a lot of them were so bad that no one would dare pick them up today. Then the SNES came out, and took everything from the NES and made it better. Because of that, the SNES became arguably the best console ever. After SNES, the N64 came about, and just about every game was a technology test, making a lot of games rough around the edges. Think back to the N64 and think about how much of them really hold up well. Not much, right? The only ones I can think of are Banjo-Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and Pokemon Snap. Every other game that was good at the time was remade into a better version on a different console. Honestly the N64 controller is one of the worst controllers known to man, so being updated to any current console with a modern controller already makes the games better. Starfox 64, Ocarina of Time, Mario 64, and Majora’s Mask, all of these have superior remakes on a different console. Even Conker got remade, and while I never played the updated version, it’s a safe assumption that the controls were better.

So, after the awkward era that was the N64, came the Gamecube. This is when Nintendo really knew how to properly make fantastic 3D games, but everyone seemed to hate them at the time. That’s because Nintendo dared to try something new with their franchises. Zelda got a visual overhaul that made it look like a cartoon. Star Fox became an adventure game with dinosaurs. Metroid became a third person shooter. Kirby became a racing game. And Mario? He got a water powered jet pack. These drastic changes really put off a lot of people, even though all of them are arguably great games. Even Star Fox Adventures I think people would love if it didn’t have “Star Fox” in the title.

So, what does this all have to do with an HD remake of Sunshine? Just about everything. I am fully willing to admit that Sunshine was one of my first 3D games, so I inherently have nostalgia goggles on it. However, even with those goggles, I still have fun every time I play it. Every year, I pop in Sunshine at one point or another because it’s a fun game. Recently I even played through the entirety of the game and it still holds up. It’s a beautiful game with challenging, precise, platforming. It holds up surprisingly well, way better than Mario 64 and on par with both Galaxy games. However, the reason why Sunshine deserves a remake over the other games is because not many people got the chance to play it.

Gamecube was one of the least successful Nintendo consoles that still managed to make profit. Compared to the Wii, the Gamecube was a huge flop. Because of that, not many people got to play Gamecube games. To get more people to play this wonderful game, Sunshine needs to get the Wind Waker HD treatment. A slight graphical upgrade and maybe evening out levels  so the difficulty spike isn’t as noticeable (I’m looking at you, pachinko machine level!)

With those minor tweaks and a release on either 3DS, Wii U, or even the upcoming NX, this game would almost be a guaranteed hit.

Shovel Knight is Getting a Retail Release

Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight

One of the best games of last year is coming to a store near you. After a year of Shovel Knight being available on various digital store fronts, developer Yacht Club Games has announced that the game will be getting a retail release this October. In spirit of the games it is inspired by, the physical disk will come with a manual and all of the current DLC packages for free, and the future DLC will be free as well. The DLC includes:

  • Battle Mode: A “Smash Bros” type of mode available on PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, and PC
  • Body Swap Mode: Enables the ability to swap the gender of any of the Knights in the game.
  • Plague of Shadows Campaign: A new campaign where you play as Plague Knight.
  • King Knight’s Campaign: A new campaign where you play as King Knight.
  • Specter Knight’s Campaign: A new campaign where you play as Specter Knight

The retail Shovel Knight will release on October 13th in North America and October 16th in Europe on PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, and 3DS, with a PC version available in Europe only.

Selling over 700,000 copies online and winning over 100 accolades, many of them being Game of the Year awards, this seems like a logical step for Shovel Knight to take now. Personally, even though I bought this game twice already, once on 3DS and once on PS4/Vita, I will definitely be buying this again for the box. I can’t recommend this game enough.

The Nintendo Problem

Nintendo

If you ask anyone what they thought of this years E3, most will tell you that it was one of the better shows of late. Surprise announcements made about games long-thought forgotten, old favourites being lovingly remade and a general sense that over the next 18-24 months, gamers can expect to see some great titles. And then there was Nintendo.

Nintendo started off at a bit of a disadvantage by not actually having a live presentation at E3, but rather a “Digital Event” similar to their Nintendo Direct videos. The Digital Event started off good enough, with the Nintendo Exec’s cutely portrayed by Jim Henson puppets, and the showing off of new game play from the upcoming Star Fox Zero for Wii-U.

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However, that was it for Wii-U iterations of the classic Nintendo IP’s. No Zelda. No Metroid. And definitely no Mario.

Instead, the big focus of the show was Super Mario Maker for Wii-U, an extensive level creator that lets players make and share their own Super Mario levels. Players can create any combination of environments, traps, power ups and enemies, and it looks simple enough that anyone will be able to use it.  Super Mario Maker could potentially be a very big hit for Nintendo and I’m sure there will be many fans who will relish at the chance to make and share their Mario creations.

Many of the other titles announced during the event however were, to put it lightly, met with some hostility. Metroid Prime: Federation Force/Blast Ball attracted the most hate for being a Metroid game that didn’t star Samus and was four player co-op focused. Animal Crossing: Amiibo FestivalMario Tennis: Ultra Smash and Mario & Sonic At The Rio 2016 Olympic Games have also all received lukewarm receptions.

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Nintendo completely missed the mark with E3 this year. Fans had been eagerly awaiting to see their favourite Nintendo characters in glorious HD for two and a half years, and the fact that there wasn’t a glimpse of any of them must have felt like a slap in the face. I’m not saying that the classic IP’s should be the only games that Nintendo creates; I would love to see them create a whole slew of new characters, game worlds and stories. But the simple fact is that if they make next gen versions of their most beloved franchises, people will buy both them and the Wii-U’s needed to play them. And if people buy them, Nintendo gets to keep its doors open.

I don’t want to see console gaming turn into a two horse race. I want to see Nintendo remain relevant in the gaming world, and not because I’m a fan – I haven’t owned a Nintendo product since the GameCube. It’s because Nintendo have proven themselves to make interesting, innovative and incredibly fun games. They provide an alternative to Sony and Microsoft’s offerings that are often very similar to each other and can at times be predictable.

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In recent years Nintendo has lost its way, relying on nostalgia to sell titles rather than attempting to innovate and it has reached breaking point. And the cross-pollination of different characters and properties into each game has been so overdone that it’s now meaningless. Super Mario Maker lets you put Link into a Mario level for no adequate reason while Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi are teaming up in Paper Jam. And in Mario Tennis and Mario & Sonic At The Olympics we are promised the usual cavalcade of colourful cartoon characters that are meant to distract us from the fact that these games are just another retread of the same mechanics but with updated graphics.

I hope that Nintendo gets off the nostalgia train sooner rather than later, and looks at Splatoon as reassurance that they can make fun new IP’s with solid gameplay that people will buy. Because if they don’t, then very soon Nintendo may just be another name lost to gaming history as a company that was once loved but didn’t move with the times. And that would be a real loss.

Lucas, Roy, and Ryu DLC Now Available for Super Smash Bros, New Amiibo Revealed

Super Smash

Three more characters have joined the cast of Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS.  Lucas from Mother 3, Roy from Fire Emblem, and Ryu from Street Fighter are all available for purchase now.  Lucas and Roy make their long awaited returns from Brawl and Melee respectively with all of their familiar techniques intact.  Ryu is the first entirely new character released as DLC and he is easily the most unique character to join the roster yet.  While his special moves can be performed with the simple Smash inputs, using the more complex inputs from the Street Fighter games will result in much more powerful attacks.  Performing a Shoryuken with SF inputs and hitting at just the right point can be an almost guaranteed kill.  He can also perform light, medium, and heavy variants of all of his attacks based on how long you hold the button down.  Finally, he is the first smasher to have two Final Smashes.  Performing the Final Smash directly next to an opponent will perform the incredibly powerful Shin Shoryuken.  Otherwise, he will fire of a massive Shinku Hadouken projectile.  Ryu definitely looks to be one of the most insane and powerful characters yet.

Along with the new characters, there are also three new stages added to the game.  The long-awaited Miiverse stage is available for free to all players.  The stage is essentially a reskin of the the Battlefield stage with the addition of Miiverse messages from players all around the world appearing in the background.  The brand new Suzaku Castle stage is based on Ryu’s stage from Street Fighter II and comes included with the purchase of Ryu.  The stage has two layers of large, stable platforms to the right and two smaller platforms to the left.  Finally, the Dream Land 64 stage from the original Super Smash Bros returns.  It’s not the only stage to return from the first Smash Bros as Hyrule Castle and Peach’s Castle 64 are also set to be released as DLC, but they’ll both come at a later date.

Plenty of new outfits have also been released for the Mii Fighters.  Along with the previously announced Splatoon outfits, there will be costumes based on Isabelle from Animal Crossing, Zero from Mega Man X, MegaMan.EXE from Mega Man Battle Network, Akira and Jacky from Virtua Fighter, and Heihachi from Tekken.  Ironically, the recently revealed K. K. Slider costume is nowhere to be seen.  The Mii Fighters will also be receiving their own amiibo figures.  The figures themselves are based on the default designs used on the character select screen, but their appearances in-game can be customized to your liking.  Along with the Miis, amiibo for R.O.B., Duck Hunt, Mr. Game & Watch, and Falco have also been revealed.  The Mr. Game & Watch amiibo is of particular interest as it will include multiple poses that can be swapped out.

The Tournament mode is now in its testing phase and will be released in August.  Lastly, there will be updates made to the replay function with Youtube intergration, allowing players to directly upload recordings of their matches online.  You will need a Google account in order to use this function.  Which of these announcements has you the most excited?  What are you still hoping to see adding to Super Smash Bros in the future?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Hyrule Warriors 3DS Leaked; Trailer Analysis

Hyrule Warriors

It looks like Nintendo has one less surprise for E3 as a reveal trailer for a 3DS version of Hyrule Warriors was recently spotted on Koei Tecmo’s official Youtube channel.  The trailer was marked as hidden, meaning that it could only be viewed by the owners of the channel or someone who knew the exact web address for that video.  Either someone on the inside let this slip or someone got incredibly lucky.  The video has since been marked as private and can’t be viewed even with the address, but the internet has already gotten hold of it and isn’t letting go.

The 3DS version isn’t a straight port of the Wii U version as it will include new features, such as the ability to switch between the different heroes you have on your army in the midst of a battle.  It will also include at least two new playable characters, both taken from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.  First is Tetra, the pirate alter-ego of the young Princess Zelda, who comes equipped with a dagger and a flintlock pistol.  Closer inspection shows that her attacks leave a white ‘x’ on her enemies, meaning that her attacks will have a light element to them and will be best at cleaving through swarms of opponents.  The second new character is King Daphnes, who took the form of the boat called the King of Red Lions throughout most of Wind Waker, and he will use his bizarre transformation to deal water-based damage to his foes for a poison-like effect.  It appears that the 3DS version and the Wii U version will be able to communicate and unlock those characters on console, but it’s currently unknown if the 3DS version will be necessary for these characters or if they’ll be available as DLC.

There’s also a hint of one more character joining the cast.  If you look just to the left of Tetra in the image above, you can see a crossbow sitting without a wielder.  This crossbow bares a striking resemblance to the one carried by a female Link concept that appeared in the Hyrule Warriors art book. This could be a tease that she’ll be joining the cast, or perhaps just the crossbow itself will be added as a new weapon for an existing character.  As for the confirmed cast, all of the playable characters from the vanilla version of Hyrule Warriors can be spotted in the above splash image, as well as four of the six DLC characters.  Cia, Volga, Wizzro, and Tingle can all be found on the right side, but there is currently no sign of Twilight Midna or Young Link.  Maybe they were left out of the group shot simply for being alternate versions of existing characters, maybe linking the 3DS and Wii U versions will unlock them on the 3DS as Tetra and Daphnes are unlocked on the Wii U, or maybe they were both cut entirely for this version.  Given that they’re moving such a large game to a portable system, there’s a high probability that some features will have to be cut for the 3DS version.  Are you excited for Hyrule Warriors on the go?  What Zelda characters do you think still need to join the cast of playable warriors?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

K. K. Slider Costume Revealed for Super Smash Bros

Super Smash

It looks like the next batch of downloadable content for Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS is gearing up as a new Mii Fighter costume set was revealed on the official Super Smash Bros website.

This new outfit is based on the musical canine K. K. Slider from the Animal Crossing series.  The new costume is bizarre enough with its appearance alone, but it gets stranger given the fact that it is meant for the Mii Gunner.

Apparently, you’ll be blasting your opponents by strumming your guitar at them while dressed in a dog suit.  However, only the suit is restricted to the Gunner and the mask, included in the package but a separate item from the rest of the costume, can be worn by any type of Mii Fighter.

What are your thoughts on the K. K. Slider outfit?  What other costumes do you hope to see included with this and the previously revealed Inkling costumes in the second DLC collection?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

OP Or Not OP, That Is The Question: #1- Talonflame and Gale Wings

Gale Wings

It’s the golden rule of gaming: losses are never our fault. There’s always lag or hax or some damn thing to blame. Some cause to fire grammatically-questionable rants to each other through Xbox Live. Another popular one? The cry of OP.

Which is an interesting point. Actual broken mechanics/characters/suchlike are often mere ‘noob killers’ in disguise. Smash Bros’ Little Mac for instance. Early in the game’s life, the cries, howls and gnashings of teeth about the tiny boxer were something to behold. His balancing is all kinds of wonky, there’s no denying that, but Mac is not the unstoppble insta-win button he may have appeared at first glance.

On Pokémon X and Y’s release, a similar case arose in the form of Talonflame. Upon first catching this thing as Fletchling, I laughed at it. I mocked like the mocking mockster of mock I am, because it was a Route 1 Bird. This has been a Pokémon tradition since Red and Blue’s Pidgey: one of your first catches will be a horribly craptacular bird ‘mon. It’ll get you through the story, but in any form of competitive battle it will suck. And suck hard. Forever.

Staraptor, that feathery ballistic missile fueled by fury, power and raw hatred, was the only exception to this rule. But then… Fletchling evolved.

Talonflame’s stats are suitably Route 1 Bird-ish across the board. Its speed is stellar, I’ll concede, but it has all the defenses of a one-legged kitten in a coma. Its power is average at best too. It was another instant write off… until it got its hidden ability.

Gale Wings. Gale freaking wings. It’s exclusive to this thing’s evo line, and is the one and only reason for its popularity. Gale Wings grants priority to all Flying-type moves, and coupled with Brave Bird this makes me a very sad panda. It’s pretty nifty for setting up Tailwind too, and that’s all you’ll really ever find Talonflame doing.

Talonflame 2

Priority moves in the games have always had a very low base power, because they are priority moves. Sucker Punch may not, but it has the drawback of failing entirely if the opponent isn’t readying a damaging move. So Brave Bird, the strongest physical Flying attack (the two-turn Sky Attack notwithstanding), has no business having priority.

As I’ve said, this fiery bugger’s power is pretty middling. But with a Life Orb or Choice Band, and its high speed, anything that doesn’t resist Flying is going to take a good hit before it can move. Choice Band Talonflame is a born revenge killer, a one trick pony that’s so damn good at that one trick that it makes me cry a little inside.

This simple yet powerful concept gave rise to the early X and Y strategy of ‘bird spam.’ This simply meant abusing the new-found power and coverage of Flying-type STAB attacks, and was a real player favourite.

Talonflame is certainly still a top pick for these reasons, but is it truly OP? Some Poké-players still insist that it warrants a banning, but I’d say not. The metagame adapts, and bird spam has died down considerably. As with Little Mac, a little inside knowledge goes a long way.

The blazing bird’s Achilles heels are its typing, frailty and predictability. With regards to the former two, Flying/Fire STAB leaves it unable to do much of anything to Rock types. There isn’t much else in its repertoire either, unless you’re using something odd like Natural Gift (which uses up a berry you’re holding to give you a one-shot different type attack). Tyranitar doesn’t like taking a U-Turn to the face, true enough, but that’s really Talonflame’s only option when faced with these guys: run for your life.

Then there’s that 4x weakness in return. Not to mention Stealth Rock, sapping half of its HP just for switching in. Ouch.

More generally, its half-assed defenses leave it threatened by bulky pokémon. If an opponent can survive that first hit, Talonflame isn’t likely to be able to take what comes back at it. All in all, it’s a fearsome force, but there’s so much clipping its wings. There are two sides to the argument, but I wouldn’t say it was broken.

On Mewtwo’s Return to Smash Bros.

Smash Bros

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.

Mewtwo 2

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.