5 Missing Smash Bros Elements

It’s been a smashing time. Sadly, all great things must come to a close. Pulling in characters from Nintendo, Capcom, Sega, Namco and Square Enix we have a roster like no other. Combining this with the most balanced gameplay to date, Masahiro Sakurai and his team have not only created the essential Smash Bros, but they have managed to make one of the greatest fighting games of all time.

Like the greedy children we are, there is always more content we would love to have included. Even at 58 characters, everyone still has a favorite that has yet to join. That list, however, is for another day. Instead I have brought together the 5 missing elements from Super Smash Bros 3DS/Wii U that would truly complete this entry. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am so grateful for the work already done. I just think there are a few minor cracks that could be filled in to turn the game from incredible to perfect. Anyway, let’s get this started:

 

Offline Tourneys

Tournaments may have returned in the form of online, they’re now subsequently absent from offline. For myself and friends, we have found this to be one of the most disappointing factors. We loved having random tourneys to experience characters you would never normally pick. All this with some competition thrown in was magnificent. We can still hope they may be resurrected one day.

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More Stages

While new characters are fantastic, there is more vocal demand for stages to actually fight on. This is something I was surprised at with the Smash Bros December Direct. An easy choice would be to transfer all the 3DS stages to the Wii U and vice versa. I realize that’s easier said than done, but still would have thought it was the obvious step. If not this, then how about bringing back some classic stages from Brawl? Pirate Ship made the cut, so why should it be singled out? An upgrade to HD is a quick win to please all fans.

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Break the Targets

Mini-games this time round received an overall, such as changing the much loved “Break the Targets” into a bad Angry Birds rip-off. The simple game of destroying all the targets was changed into a disappointing mobile game. I understand changes are necessary, but sometimes a fresh coat of paint will suffice. Bring back the classic version. Whilst you’re at it, a “Board the Platforms” return would be great.

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Alternative Costumes

Now this may shock some; I don’t like clones. Whether it’s Wolf, Pichu or Attack of the Clones, it’s not for me. In my mind they need their own move-set to justify a position on the roster. Alternative costumes always seem an oversight as Lucina, Dr Mario and Dark Pit to name a few could all fit into this category. There is also room to include more like Shadow with Sonic, Kranky Kong with Donkey Kong or even Cat Mario with Mario. Anything is possible.

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Adventure Mode 

Not since the days of Melee has there been an adventure mode worthy of the series. The Subspace Emissary was cool, especially the cut scenes. Still the gameplay itself was never that grabbing. Next time round, give us something new, unexpected and simply smash. If anyone can do this, it’s Mr Sakurai.

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So there you have the five missing Smash Bros elements that I would love to have implemented. What content would you like to see added to the already packed series? Leave us a comment below to tell us why. Finally, I would like to take this moment to personally say thanks to Mr Sakurai for his continued outstanding work on a masterpiece of a series. Thank you Mr Sakurai.

Corrin and Bayonetta are the Final Newcomers for Super Smash Bros

Nintendo has released its final video presentation for Super Smash Bros for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, detailing the last of the DLC content that will be released for the games.  Tonight, the previously announced Final Fantasy VII DLC will release and include Cloud as a playable character, a Midgar stage, a Chocobo hat for Mii Fighters, and a new Mii costume based on Geno from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.  Geno has been a popular pick for the roster for some time, but the character is owned by Square Enix and hasn’t been able to make any sort of return since his initial appearance.  A Mii costume isn’t exactly what fans were hoping for, but it’s certainly more exposure than what the character has seen in years past.

The rest of the DLC is set to release in February of next year and will add two brand new characters to the roster.  First, there will be Corrin, the main character from Fire Emblem: Fates.  Like Robin and Wii Fit Trainer, Corrin will come in male and female versions to match the character’s player avatar roots.  Having manakete blood, Corrin is part-dragon and will be able to perform monstrous transformations.  Corrin’s moveset includes an extremely lengthy side-smash, a back-air that propels him/her forward, a chargeable projectile, a counter, and a spear that can pin opponents to the ground.  Her/his final smash is Torrential Roar, a close-range assassination attack that deals massive damage and knockback to anyone caught in its range.  There won’t be a Fire Emblem: Fates stage added to the game, but there will be two  tracks from the game added to the coliseum stage.

The final character joining the roster, and the winner of the Smash Ballot, is Bayonetta from the series of action games of the same name developed by Platinum Games.  She was the single highest voted character in Europe, in the top five for North America, and was the single highest voted character overall out of the eligible characters.  The Umbra Witch is a combo fiend to rival even the highly technical Ryu, even capable of performing lengthy combos in the air.  Her down special is Witch Time, which acts like a counter, but, instead of directly returning damage, it slows the opponent based on the amount of damage the opponent currently has and the frequency of Witch Time being used.  Even if the timing on Witch Time is off, it will at least reduce the damage Bayonetta receives rather than fully negating it.  Her final smash is Infernal Climax, which sets a Witch Time slow-down for the entire screen and begins a Climax Gauge.  Fill the gauge by damaging opponents and you’ll summon the demon Gomorrah to devour any enemies you damaged while the gauge was onscreen.  If an opponent caught by Gomorrah has 100% damage or more, they will be instantly KO’ed.  There will also be a new stage to accompany Bayonetta called Umbra Clock Tower, based on one of the most memorable scenes from her original game.  There will also be amiibo figures released for every DLC character in Super Smash Bros.

One final addition in the February update will be a final set of Mii Fighter costumes.  Along with bionic armor for the brawler, it will include costumes based on Tails and Knuckles from the Sonic series, Takamaru from The Mysterious Murasame Castle, Gilgamesh from The Tower of Druaga, and Ashley from the Wario Ware series.  You can check out the full broadcast for Smash’s final update here.  What are your thoughts on the final newcomers?  Who did you vote for in the ballot?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Smash Bros: 5 Likely DLC Characters

The Smash Bros Fighter Ballot has closed. All votes are in, but who will be added to the roster? There’s no doubt that Super Smash Bros 3DS/Wii U has one of the greatest line-ups of video game characters to ever grace a screen together. From Sega’s Sonic to Capcom’s Megaman, there is such unique representation that it’s hard to believe more can fit in. Yet, back in April, Nintendo asked us all who we would want to see join the already stellar cast. Now 6 months on, it’s time to look at which likely contenders could be added over the upcoming months.

Just for reference, this list is comprised of likely candidates to join the brawler going off of popularity and statistics gathered from the community’s votes in the Smash Ballot. So as much as we would all love to see Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and Simon Belmont, you won’t find them here.

 

King K. Rool 

Wanted by thousands of Smash fans for years, the king of Kremlins seems like an ideal fit. There is a lacking presence of heavyweights and villains currently, so you have both boxes ticked with King K. His moveset already seems set up with inspiration taken from his appearances in the Donkey Kong Country series, you could use anything from his Pirate or Mad Scientist designs. Created by Rare but surprisingly still owned by Nintendo, this is an easy pick that would make fans happy.  Another Character into the Donkey Kong franchise is also welcome.  Image 6

 

Wolf

If I had to put my money on anyone from this list, I would choose Wolf without a shadow of a doubt. The antagonist of the Star Fox series has already made a debut back in Super Smash Bros Brawl, however, unlike characters like Lucas, Mewtwo and Roy, has still not made a return. It just seems like a matter of time before his announcement is made. When you think about it, Wolf makes the most sense out of the remainder of characters. On top of this, you have Star Fox Zero due to release next year and what better way is there to promote the game then by adding the nemesis of Fox McCloud?  Image 2

 

Shovel Knight

Yacht Club Games’ prized possession has  sky-rocketed since his release. Even though he’s a third-party character, Shovel Knight is becoming more probable with his very own amiibo on the way. Yacht Club Games have also got their own campaign going to get the knight into the franchise. Then there was the leak on the official Nintendo website saying that the amiibo will support Super Smash Bros. This was denied shortly after by the creators, however, more and more pieces are falling into place and making it seem as if the indie mascot is destined to be picked.

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Inkling

It’s Ink-redible how well Splatoon has done both in terms of sales and critical acclaim. Now seen as a big hit for Nintendo, their turn to appear in Smash Bros is one that will certainly happen. The question is when. Many think they will be saved for Smash 5 or will just be given a stage like Super Mario Maker was. Others believe its time to cash in on the squids while they are popular and dominating a high percentage of votes. Either way, they would be a superb edition, but I too am inclined to wait until the next entry.

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Banjo Kazooie

Another creation by Rare, however, unlike King K, the duo are still owned by the company. The least likely from the list, but one of the most requested, every N64 fan would relish in the return of Banjo-Kazooie back on Nintendo hardware even if it’s brief. The bird and bear’s reputation has never diminished due to the success of their first two games; Banjo Kazooie and Banjo Tooie. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has even tweeted his willingness to get the much loved icons into the fighter by saying “I think it would be cool if Banjo was in the next SSB DLC” before going on to add that “We’ve worked with Nintendo on Rare IP before, no issues”. As positive as these statements are, this still seems like a pipe dream. We will have to wait and see how this one pans out before we find out if we will be getting “Jiggy” once again.

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Honorable Mentions: Shantae, Rayman & Issac 

So that concludes our list of 5 likely characters to join Super Smash Bros. Do you agree with the list? Who would you like to see join the fight? Leave us a comment below to tell us why.

7 Video Game Spoilers that are Now Unavoidable

The worst part about a great plot twist is that spoilers for it are bound to precede the story it appears in for anyone that was late to the party.  Even if you’ve never seen a second of the films Psycho, Planet of the Apes, or The Sixth Sense, you probably already know all of their most famous surprises due to how ingrained they’ve become in the popular culture.  With video games often growing into franchises, spoilers are even harder to avoid as major twists of previous games can be played up in promotions for the newest one.  The following spoilers are almost unavoidable now due to how much they’ve been brought up since in their respective franchises.  If you follow games media even lightly, you already know all of these inside and out.  However, for the sake of those that have managed to avoid learning these twists early, I’ll just be listing the titles of the specific games being spoiled so you can skip any entries that you’re worried about.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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7. Final Fantasy VII

This one doesn’t exactly fit the theme of the article given that the Final Fantasy franchise tends to reboot its lore with each numbered entry, but its hard not to call it one of the most famous and unavoidable plot twists in gaming history.  Part way through the game, one of your party members, the kind-hearted Aerith, is fatally wounded by the villainous Sephiroth.  Despite countless rumors of a way to revive her, her death is irreversible without hacking the game.  While Final Fantasy VII has had plenty of spin-offs, the only one I can think of that made a point of Aerith’s death is the Advent Children film.  However, it still belongs on the list just for being the one thing that is always the first to come up in any discussion of the game.  It’s gotten to the point where most people don’t even recognize it as a spoiler and just assume it to be common knowledge.  How many news outlets do you think mused about the possibility of resurrecting Aerith while reporting on the recently announced remake?  Even the quirky competitive FPS Screencheat uses her name as one of its many analogies for killing an opponent.  That’s the thing with big surprises; everyone starts to either analyze or satirize it endlessly.

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6. Metal Gear Solid 2

The first thing that comes up with any conversation on Metal Gear Solid 2 is its infamous bait-and-switch that had regular protagonist Solid Snake built up as the lead in all demonstrations and marketing for the game, only to replace him with an entirely new character named Raiden.  Where the big twist of Final Fantasy VII is one of the most discussed topics of the game, the bait-and-switch of Raiden is the only thing that ever receives any attention when discussing MGS2 or even just the character of Raiden.  When Metal Gear Rising, a spin-0ff centered entirely around Raiden, was released years later, many were still so jaded by his appearance in MGS2 that they refused to give the spin-off a chance.  It’s actually pretty ironic given that Raiden was actually built from the ground up as a parody of the very fanboys that hate him, spending most of the game whining right alongside the bitter players for the ‘real’ Snake to get involved in the mission.  Typical Kojima.

Arthas

5. Warcraft III

Prince Arthas Menethil, the main hero of Warcraft III, is pretty much your typical Prince Charming when the game starts out.  That’s what makes it such a shock when he turns to the dark side and ultimately changes from being one of Azeroth’s most celebrated champions to one of its most repulsive monsters.  His descent begins when an undead curse begins to spread across the land, turning people into mindless ghouls.  Desperate to contain the curse, Arthas resorts to slaughtering an entire village that has been infected but has yet to fully turn.  It’s a brutal choice that immediately turns both his mentor and his beloved against him.  Eventually, his struggle against the forces of darkness leads him to not only embrace the undead curse himself, but to even become its leader as the infamous Lich King.  From there, Arthas quickly became Warcraft‘s most iconic villain with an entire expansion in World of Warcraft centering around his final downfall and being made a playable character in Heroes of the Storm.  If you haven’t been following Warcraft lore from the start, it’s likely too late to check out Warcraft III without already knowing who goes full Darth Vader in it.

MaskedLucina

4. Fire Emblem: Awakening

Here’s a tip: If you don’t want games spoiled for you, don’t even look at the Super Smash Bros games as you can find massive spoilers for other games just by looking at the character roster.  For example, there’s the identity of the masked swordsman going by the name Marth from Fire Emblem: Awakening.  This was built up as the big mystery for Awakening right from the game’s reveal and remained the focal point of its marketing all the way up to its release.  How could the legendary hero king from the very first Fire Emblem game, whose reign was generations ago, be appearing in this era?  Well, you could play the game yourself to discover the truth, or you could just take a glance at Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS.  As it turns out, it’s not King Marth traveling from the past, but Prince Chrom’s daughter Lucina traveling from the future.  While having Lucina appearing on the roster may not immediately give away that she’s the Marth impersonator, her using the mask from the disguise as one of her taunts and Kirby wearing the same mask after stealing her ability certainly make it obvious.  At least they didn’t give away the time-travel part from tha… She mentions it in one of her victory quotes, doesn’t she?

Portal

3. Portal

Here’s one that’s become so ubiquitous that you’ve probably forgotten that it even is a plot twist: GLaDOS, the mastermind behind the first Portal game, is actually a psychotic computer out to kill you.  Today, that just seems as obvious as the fact that you use portals, but this was actually a massive surprise when the game first came out.  Remember that Portal was first released as a part of the Orange Box alongside the highly anticipated Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and Team Fortress 2 with little build-up for the tacked-on puzzle game.  People started it up thinking it was just some simple bonus that was thrown in with the big releases because it wouldn’t sell on its own.  Then it starts throwing around a dark sense of humor slowly enough for it to be cynically charming.  As you dig deeper, it becomes more and more apparent that this facility is not what it seems and that everything has been designed to tear you apart physically and mentally.  Finally, you meet with the mechanical mastermind to shut down her devious plans… And then GLaDOS became the most iconic character in the Portal franchise, being heavily promoted for the sequel, making cameos in Poker Night at the Inventory 2 and the film Pacific Rim, and generally made it impossible for anyone to enjoy the same mental trip that Portal once offered again.

OcarinaSheik

2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Smash strikes again, but at least it’s not the only guilty party for this one.  The fact that the mysterious ninja warrior named Sheik is actually the missing Princess Zelda in disguise has been made abundantly clear in anything and everything to feature Sheik since.  First, Super Smash Bros Melee introduced both Zelda and Sheik as playable fighters with the unique ability to transform from one to the other during matches.  This was carried over into Brawl before being cut with the 3DS and Wii U entries making the two completely separate characters, but the damage had already been done by that point.  Even then, Hyrule Warriors came by to make sure nobody forgot the princess’s double-life by making it a plot point in its own campaign.  At this point, expecting anyone to be surprised at Sheik’s true identity is a joke in and of itself.

AlbertWeskerFMV

1. Resident Evil

Capcom really couldn’t try harder to make the single biggest plot twist from the original Resident Evil known to everyone, regardless of whether or not they’ve ever even touched it game or any games in the series.  One of the members of your team sent into the Spencer Mansion, Albert Wesker, is secretly a double-agent working to sabotage your operations from the inside.  It’s shocking to discover that, after all of the horrors you’ve struggled to survive against, one of your own is actually complicit in it all and working to cover it up.  Or, at least, it would be shocking if Wesker hadn’t been made into the main villain of the series and highly advertised his turn to the dark side in future titles.  Not only did he reappear as the antagonist in several RE games, such as a major selling point for Resident Evil 5 being the chance to finally take revenge on him, he’s also appeared in two of the live-action films and as a playable character in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and Lost Planet 2.  Each time he’s appeared, it’s been readily apparent that he’s the baddest bad guy that the entire RE series has to offer.  Honestly, it feels like he should have just been a low-level goon that died within the first game and have a new character take up the role of the mastermind if only to keep the surprise fresh for a lot more people late to the party.  If you haven’t already picked up Resident Evil with any of the half-dozen rereleases that the game has had over the years, you’re going to have to go in already knowing who the surprise villain is right from the start.

What spoilers are you sick of seeing everywhere?  Do you have any that should have been included on the list?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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.

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.

Liking a Character Vs. Liking a Playstyle

Playstyle

There has always been plenty of excitement surrounding the inclusion of fan-favorites as playable characters in video games, be they popular figures in that series or guest characters making a special appearance, and it’s reaching its pinnacle these days.  Mortal Kombat X makes a major selling point out of the fact that film icons Jason Voorhees and the Predator will be DLC characters and there’s massive buzz surrounding the mere suggestion that comic book antihero Spawn may join them down the line.  Nintendo released an open ballot for requests on who should join the cast of Super Smash Bros with almost no restrictions and many people (myself included) jumped at the chance to offer their own picks.  Blizzard will be officially releasing their own MOBA title this June that uses characters and locations from their various existing games, such as Warcraft and Diablo.  One of the first things announced about Batman: Arkham Knight was that preordering would get you a DLC pack where you could play as popular villain Harley Quinn.   It makes sense to want to step into the shoes of your favorite character, but people rarely stop to consider the important question of how much they’ll actually enjoy using that character’s playstyle.

Often times, the enticement of having a character made playable in a game is based on that character’s backstory, personality, aesthetic design, or the simple novelty of it all.  Rarely is much consideration given to how they will actually play and if the people pulling for those characters will truly enjoy using them once given the chance.  Note that I said how they ‘will’ and not how they ‘might’ play as it’s easy to have a vague idea in your head, but the actually execution carried out by the developers can result in something drastically different.  You can’t know exactly how someone will handle until after they’ve been developed and you’ve had a chance to try him or her for yourself.  The only major exception is when fans pull for the return of a character that had previously appeared in the series and they already know that the character suits them well.  Otherwise, it’s a surprising gamble to request or purchase your favorite character based only on his or her appearances outside of that game.

Speaking from personal experience, I’ve always tried to make good use of Donkey Kong in the Smash games.  The Donkey Kong Country games made for some of my fondest childhood memories, so he was an easy choice to get my start with.  Unfortunately, there’s a good reason why DK always places so low on the tier lists.  I do know of one or two pro players that can main him, but I’ve never been able to really make him work for myself.  At least I wasn’t disappointed with Mega Man and Little Mac when they were finally added and I’ve had my fair share of fun with them.  However, I still find myself turning back to one certain character whenever it’s time to get serious.  That character is Mr. Game & Watch, someone I have absolutely no personal attachment to and initially shrugged off as a joke character.  The Game & Watch line of handhelds were before my time and I always thought that his 2D appearance was a one-note gimmick.  What makes him my fighter of choice is that his strong aerial mobility, quick key drop, devastating oil spill, and much more all come together for a character that fits my playstyle almost perfectly.

The greatest disparity I’ve ever had between a character and their playstyle came from Hyrule Warriors.  Many fans were disappointed to see that the massively popular Groose from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword wasn’t going to be playable even as a DLC add-on, whereas the hated character from the same game, Fi, was included.  I was certainly among them.  I still haven’t even come close to finishing Skyward Sword and I rank Fi’s grating non-personality as one of the main reasons as to why.  I also thought the fact that she basically acted as her own weapon was ridiculous.  If you had given me the chance to cut one character from the playable roster of Hyrule Warriors before it was released, I wouldn’t have needed to think twice before saying Fi.  I’ll give you one guess as to who my most played character by a longshot is.  While I find Fi insufferably annoying as a character, I absolutely love her ability to corral enemies together while simultaneously cutting through them like a living lawnmower before scattering them with a powerful finisher.  I was ready to write her off completely beforehand, but discovered my perfect fit.

The fact of the matter is that you’ll only truly know how much you enjoy playing as a character once you’ve actually played as him or her.  This is why I think that the Premier Towers in Mortal Kombat X that give players a chance to test out DLC characters without having to buy them first is something that should be made standard in every game that releases from this point onward.  It’s why I hated Marvel Heroes as it offered no method of playtesting characters before unlocking them and expected players to purchase them based purely on recognition (note: I only played Marvel Heroes around its launch period in 2013 and I don’t know if this policy has changed at all since).  You can read up on characters until you know them inside-out and it can never compare to having some actual hands-on time with them.

Are there any characters that you initially liked for their personality, etc, but actually disliked playing as or vice versa?  Are there any characters you haven’t given a fair chance because of a bad first impression?  What are your thoughts on guest characters like those in MKX and crossover games like Smash?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

8 Nintendo Characters You Haven’t Considered for Smash DLC

Nintendo

Nintendo recently opened the floodgates on Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS.  Not only are Mewtwo and Lucas set to appear as DLC, but there is also a page on the official Smash website to submit your own requests for characters you want to see added to the game.  There are plenty of obvious fan-favorites that are overdue for an appearance, but there are also obscure characters worth considering.  These characters haven’t appeared in any Smash game save for maybe a few trophies, but they still have plenty of potential as new fighters.  We’ll be focusing on just first-party characters owned by Nintendo with this article rather than opening it up to the entire gaming industry.  They aren’t so obscure as to be entirely ridiculous to consider; they just offer unique additions to the roster that shouldn’t be overlooked.

CaptainSyrup

8) Captain Syrup

The Mario series isn’t exactly hurting for representation (including spin-offs, it’s currently sitting at eleven fighters), but there are still some characters that could use some recognition.  One prime example is Wario’s arch-rival in thievery: Captain Syrup.  First appearing as the antagonist in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, Syrup is the leader of the pirate troupe known as the Black Sugar Gang.  Not only is she a rival for Wario, she could also act as an antithesis for Peach.  The idea of a Peach counterpart has been tossed around within Nintendo for years (along with Waluigi, there were plans to introduce a character named Warupichi in Mario Tennis), but they’ve never been able to settle on something.  Syrup could finally fill the void as Smash‘s resident bad girl.  Plus, the ninja-to-pirate ratio in Smash is currently 2-0 and that is unacceptable.

Sothe

7) Sothe

The Fire Emblem series has quite a few fighters on the roster already, but they’re mostly just different spins on the same swordsman type.  Given the wide range of classes that Fire Emblem has to offer, there’s little excuse for the lack of diversity.  One good example is Sothe, one of Ike’s allies in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and a major character in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, who would be a perfect representative for the thief class.  Being a thief, he could steal items right out his opponent’s hands in similar fashion to the Villager’s pocket ability.  He could also use a knife-based fighting style similar to Street Fighter‘s Cody and Killer Instinct‘s Maya; able to use his knife as a powerful projectile, but having to physically recover it afterward.  I do feel guilty putting Sothe on the list over Micaiah, the actual main character in Radiant Dawn, but I can’t see her light-based magic offering much to the roster.

Vaati

6) Vaati

Despite being one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, The Legend of Zelda hasn’t had a truly fresh addition to Smash‘s roster since Melee.  Hyrule Warriors recently displayed just how much potential the series has with characters like Impa, Ghirahim, Midna, and Darunia to name a few.  Anyone of those characters would make a fine addition to Smash, but there’s one major character in the Zelda series that was bizarrely absent from Hyrule Warriors (besides Groose).  Vaati is the second most prominent villain in the Zelda series, appearing as the central antagonist in The Minish Cap, Four Swords, and Four Swords Adventures.  A powerful wind mage capable of changing his appearance, there’s no doubt that he could provide a unique playstyle to Smash.  Much like Ganondorf’s ability to take the form of a giant pig demon, Vaati takes the form of a giant bat demon for the final battle and this would obviously be his Final Smash attack.

Sukapon

5) Sukapon

Super Smash Bros isn’t the first fighting game Nintendo developed as there were two 8-bit fighting games they released for the NES and Famicom.  The first was launch title Urban Champion, which is probably too simplistic to offer much that brawlers like Mike Haggar and Axel Stone couldn’t do better.  The other was Joy Mech Fight, which was released exclusively in Japan towards the end of the Famicom’s lifespan and was a full fighter on the level of Street Fighter II despite being an 8-bit game with only two buttons and a D-pad.  The way it got around these these technical limitations was to go the Rayman route (two years before Rayman debuted) and make all of the characters limbless clusters of floating body parts.  To make that concept less creepy, all of the fighters are robots.  The main character, Sukapon, was originally designed to be a comedian, but was converted into a fighter when one of the scientists behind the line of physics-defying machines tries to take over the world (sounds like he would have plenty to discuss with Mega Man).  Sukapon makes the most sense as a legacy character for Nintendo as their one traditional fighting game character.

Rundas

4) Rundas

When it comes to adding a new Metroid character, everyone immediately looks to regular antagonist Ridley, who has been relegated to the role of boss fight due to his massive size.  The issue with Metroid is that Samus has few allies and most of the characters are large bosses that can’t work as fighters in Smash.  The only exceptions are the rivals in Metroid Prime Hunters (who’re all fine characters, but the game itself isn’t fondly remembered) and the bounty hunters introduced in Metroid Prime 3 like Rundas.  An alien with power over ice, Rundas worked alongside Samus in hunting the Phozon threat and he is the closest she has ever had to a love-interest.  With the Ice Climbers showing no sign of making a return, Rundas could offer a new spin on ice-based attacks with a freezing beam and icicle traps.  If we can’t have Ridley, Rundas is the next best choice for a new Metroid fighter.

AlexRoivas

3) Alexandra Roivas

If you’re looking for something truly unique for the roster, you can’t get much more bizarre than good, old-fashioned eldritch horror.  Alexandra Roivas is the main protagonist in Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, a survival-horror game released on the Gamecube and one of the few M-rated games developed by Nintendo. While investing her grandfather’s mysterious death, she discovers the Tome of Eternal Darkness and learns of a group of malevolent elder gods called the Ancients that seek to invade Earth.  While her marksmanship is clearly off the table with Nintendo’s stern refusal to include realistic guns in Smash, Alex still has plenty of magic and sword skills that could easily form a moveset.  The biggest twist she can offer is the addition of the unique insanity effects that Eternal Darkness is famous for.  These range from the level being flipped upside-down and hallucinating death to fourth-wall-breaking effects like muting your television and trying to delete your save files.  These sparks of madness could fit in perfectly with the chaotic gameplay of the Smash series.  On the other hand, they’ll never be quite as scary once Kirby and Pikachu get involved.

captain-rainbow

2) Captain Rainbow

This guy was pretty much made for Smash.  Starring in the Japan-only Wii game of the same name, Captain Rainbow is a down-and-out superhero armed with only a yo-yo who travels to a mythical island in the hopes that he can find a way to restore his former glory.  The part where things get really strange is that he isn’t the first to search the island with this goal as it is already populated with several forgotten Nintendo mascots.  Some of the characters he meets include the samurai Takamaru, minor Mario antagonist Birdo, and, most interestingly, Punch-Out!! star Little Mac who soon after made his return to the spotlight with a new game on the Wii and a playable role in Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS.  If nothing else, I’d say Mac owes the captain a good word after he did his part to get the former champ back into fighting shape.

Pro_Wrestling_Star_Man

1) Star Man

Star Man, a character from Pro Wrestling on the NES, is easily the one Nintendo character with the most to offer Smash that has the least amount of people thinking about him.  Being a luchador, Star Man could bring plenty of high-flying techniques that fit Smash so well.  Think of him like a reverse Little Mac; a close-combat fighter that thrives in the air, but is more vulnerable when close to the ground.  He’d also give the roster some much-needed racial diversity as the first Mexican smasher (assuming he’s not secretly an alien under that mask or something).  If old-school oddities like Duck Hunt and R.O.B. can make it onto the roster, there’s no reason to ignore this master of the ring.

Which characters have earned your vote on the Smash Ballot?  Has anyone listed above caught your interest?  Are there any other obscure characters out there that you think warrant consideration?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

6 Game Characters that had Unexpected Reactions

Game

Sometimes, you just can’t predict how people are going to react to something.  Game developers create a character with the expectation that players will have one reaction only for them to go the opposite route.  For example, look at Teemo from League of Legends (pictured above).  He was obviously designed to serve as an adorable mascot character for the game.  While he’s had his share of success with that, many know him better as the single most frustrating assassin character in the game and has garnered the apt nickname of “The Devil Himself”.  This list will be looking at six characters that had similar reactions that must have caught their designers by surprise and looking into why they received the responses they did.

great fairy

6) The Great Fairy (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

With her long hair, heavy makeup, and distinctly un-Nintendo attire, there is only one thing that comes to mind when thinking of the Great Fairy: NIGHTMARE FUEL!  Early 3D games were a time where the uncanny valley ran rampant and character models would often just look off.  I’m guessing the reason that survival horror games had such a renaissance during this period is because it was the best time to make something look disturbing.  Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask generally used this to their advantage with truly horrifying models and animations for their enemies.  However, when the team tried to design a character with the opposite intent, the result was the most unsettling monstrosity in the entirety of either games.  Not helping matters is the fact that she lets out a blood-chilling banshee wail every time she appears.  Hyrule Warriors recently tried to update her appearance (pictured above), but the damage has already been done for many and she shall always remain a living nightmare.

silver_the_hedgehog

5) Silver the Hedgehog (Sonic ’06)

I honestly feel bad for Silver.  In any other circumstances, his telekinetic powers could have been revolutionary and he might have warranted his own spin-off series.  Instead, he made his debut in one of the most infamous games in the Sonic franchise and became the poster-boy for most of the game’s problems.  His post-apocalyptic time-travel backstory remains one of the greatest examples of a narrative trying far too hard and yet not nearly hard enough.  What truly sealed his fate as one of the most hated characters in the series was how much Sonic ’06 failed to deliver on the concept of his telekinetic powers.  This resulted in some of the worst controls in a game already built off of terrible controls.  Well, the telekinetic powers do get a chance to shine, but it’s at the worst possible time with the incredibly cheap boss fights you have against Silver.  Sega has kept him around and has tried to make him a mainstay of the cast, but the damage has already been done and IT’S NO USE!

VillagerSSB

4) Villager (Super Smash Bros for Wii U)

The Villager from Animal Crossing was originally considered to be playable in Super Smash Bros Brawl, but he was dropped early on because the idea of seeing such a cheerful and carefree character getting involved in a fight just seemed too ridiculous.  Cue his inclusion in the latest installments on Wii U and 3DS and everyone immediately labels him as a crazed axe-murderer.  People took one look into his lifeless, doll-like eyes and saw nothing but the soul of a bloodthirsty monster.  Maybe he just wasn’t included in Brawl because the developers feared the unholy terror that they were bound to unleash.

aliensoneal

3) O’Neal (Aliens: Colonial Marines)

Everyone hates escort missions.  We can accept when we fail due to our own mistakes, but failing a level simply because the friendly AI that you’re stuck baby-sitting did something stupid is the worst punch in the gut that a game can give you.  Everything from Daikatana to Epic Mickey 2 has been largely undone by the inclusion of these digital parasites that call themselves your friends.  I could have filled this list with frustrating computer companions that only prove to be a greater threat than any actual enemy, but I’ve decided to focus specifically on O’Neal from Aliens: Colonial Marines.

O’Neal is your typical giant teddy bear-type of character; he’s big and gruff, but has a heart of gold underneath.  He’s supposed to be the best friend you could ask for when facing done ravenous xenomorphs.  There’s just one problem: he’s in Aliens: Colonial Marines, a game so historically awful that Sega and Gearbox were actually taken to court for daring to release it on the unsuspecting masses.  O’Neal follows suit with being horrible at everything he does.  Worse aim than a Star Wars stormtrooper?  Check.  Standing in narrow hallways for no reason other than to block your path from critical objectives?  Check.  The worst part is that you can’t even turn him off by having a second player like in most other games that stick you with an AI partner.  Even in co-op, O’Neal will still insist on being the third-wheel and getting in the way of both players.  Don’t you ever wish you could turn on friendly fire and knock the stupid out of these guys?  Well…

dinobaby

2) Dino Baby (Conker’s Bad Fur Day)

While escort missions are notoriously hard to get right, good ones aren’t entirely unheard of.  For example, look at the section of Conker’s Bad Fur Day that has you escorting an adorable newborn dinosaur.  Not only is he invulnerable to damage, but he’s actually more capable in a fight than the character you’re playing as.  While Conker’s frying pan has a long wind-up and only stuns enemies, the dino baby can easily gobble up anything that comes near it.  Yeah, he gets stuck on corners every now and then and generally slows you down, but that’s a small price to pay for essentially playing on godmode.  If anything, he’s escorting you.  Actually, can we just ditch the drunken squirrel and play as this champion instead?

Alas, it seems Rareware underestimated their own abilities and expected people to react to the dino baby the same way they do to most escort characters.  At the end of the level, you are forced to lead your superior onto a sacrificial alter and watch him meet a gruesome end in order for you to progress.  It’s the one point where the game’s dark sense of humor actually goes too far.  Whenever I think of the cruel choice that this game forced me to make, I feel a little less bad about the fact that Rareware is now doomed to make Kinect minigames for the rest of eternity and license out their IPs to more capable developers (like the people who made the Battleship shooter).

foxy

1) Foxy (Five Nights at Freddy’s)

You can never truly anticipate how people will respond to fear.  Some flee while others fight, and others still merely embrace their fate.  And then you have the truly bizarre reactions that can best be described as an extreme form of denial.  Nothing may be a better showcase for this than the Five Nights at Freddy’s series.  Foxy from Five Nights at Freddy’s is your biggest threat in the game as he’s the only  one that doesn’t rely on catching you off-guard in order to get you.  He can charge directly into your office and attack faster than you can react.  The only way to keep him at bay is to constantly check your cameras and make sure he stays behind his curtain, which makes you vulnerable to all of the other haunted animatronics.  If it wasn’t for this one threat, each night wouldn’t nearly be as difficult as they are.

Strangely enough, Foxy has become one of the most popular, if not the most popular, characters in the series.  Several fans of the series, rather than recognize Foxy as the menace that he truly is, have crafted theories that Foxy is actually a good guy whose just checking in on you if you don’t check in on him for too long and that you just die from shock rather than him attacking you.  There is also a plethora of fan art out there that I dare not link you to nor attempt to describe.  To each their own, but you’d think people wouldn’t be drawn toward a screeching serial killer en masse.

What other characters had public responses that surprised you?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.  Depending on the response we get, your suggestions may be featured on a follow-up article in the future.  Until then, keep your eyes peeled for that Villager.  I don’t trust that guy.

5 Reasons Why Super Smash Bros Is Amazing

Super Smash

Nintendo‘s Smash series has spanned 4 generations, starting on the N64 as a way of combining Nintendo’s biggest names and allowing them to duke it out in an all or nothing deathmatch. Of course, with such a strong premise, the series is immensely popular. No other game has so many legends in 1 place (we don’t talk about Sony’s attempt…). Where else can you have Sonic, Sega’s super fast mascot, go toe-to-toe with Samus Aran, the legendary Metroid hunter? Here are 5 reasons why Super Smash Bros is amazing.

5) Massive Roster

Lets be blunt, Smash has a massive roster falling just shy of 50 characters. Its size, and scope is only matched by its diversity. Every character in Smash 4 feels unique, and adds its own set of challenges to the mix. Having so many characters, with the vast majority of them being unlocked from the get go, allows you to experience something new and different every time you load it up. Of course, this is not taking into considering the expansive stage selection, all of which having an “Omega” version for a true test of skill.

4) Accessibility

The beauty of Smash is that literally anyone can pick it up, and have a good time. With only 2 attack buttons, a shield and a grab you can learn the basics in about 5 seconds. That is the level of accessibility Molyneux wanted for Fable…done right, and done much, much earlier. Despite the simplicity, you feel fully in control of your avatar, every move is responsive and lightning fast. With every controller imaginable supported, and every button, and stick, completely rebindable, you have PC level of control optimization, so Smashing always feels comfortable.

3) Content

Fighting games are notorious for having very little content. You have you arcade mode, a team mode of some sort, some online functionality and usually, that is all you get. Like its predecessors, Smash 4 is full of unlockables, collectables, secrets and crammed with stuff to do. On top of your basic 4 man smash, you have Arcade, Event, All Star, 8 Man Smash, Conquest, Smash Tour, Ranked, and Unranked Online play, Master Orders, Crazy Orders and full Amiibo support. There is also a Level Editor, a music area where you can make your own playlists from unlocked tracks, which contains some of the best music in gaming, and a trophy room where you can get trivia on some of the most obscure things from Nintendo’s past. Oh, and an incredibly difficult Challenge List pushing you to your absolute limit if you want to complete all of them. In short, there are hundreds of hours of game.

2) Online

As I mentioned, there is Online in Smash 4. Unlike Brawl however, Nintendo has really stepped up their game, and we finally have a proper online suite in order to play Smash against people from around the world. Whether you want to play intense 1v1 matches in an all or nothing ranked mode, play team modes or just go for the classic free for all, Smash Online has you covered. It has taken long enough!

1) Depth

Smash may be one of the most easy to learn games on the market, but it is also one of the hardest to master. It is a common misconception that Smash is casual, simple and button mashy, however this is not the case. Since Melee Smash has had a massive following in the Pro scene, with tournaments all over the world, and with the dawn of E-Sports, you can see the amazing things people can do with only 2 buttons. This is the real reason Smash has stayed so popular over the years, and why people beg for sequels. The games simplicity is a ruse, a cunning disguise, something to hide the truth, and that is that Super Smash Brothers is a hardcore fighter that requires incredible reflexes, planning and skill to come out ahead. To put it plainly, it is one of the most satisfying experiences in gaming. Well played Nintendo, you had us all fooled.