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.

Earthbound Beginnings Announced for Virtual Console

Earthbound

Just before starting the Nintendo World Championships, Nintendo dropped a bombshell with the announcement that the highly anticipated prequel to cult-classic RPG Earthbound will finally be released on the Wii U’s Virtual Console.  Earthbound Beginnings, known as Mother in Japan, has never received an international release and was only available on the Famicom.  This is definitely an exciting day for Earthbound fans around the globe.

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.

6 Things I Don’t Want to See at E3 2015

E3 2015

This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo is only a week away and there is plenty of excitement surrounding what new games and hardware we might see unveiled.  I won’t deny that I have my own share of excitement for the festivities, but a part of me can’t help but feel cynical at this time of year. As such, let’s go over some of the possibilities that I’m most dreading for this year’s E3.

6. Another Assassin’s Creed Game

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“Oh, you mean you don’t want Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate to be at E3?”  No, that’s obviously going to be there and it certainly has every right to be.  What I don’t want is for Ubisoft to announce another new Assassin’s Creed game this soon after the announcement of Syndicate.  Before you call that absurd, I’d just like to mention that two Assassin’s Creed games have already been released between the launch of Assassin’s Creed: Unity and now.  Assassin’s Creed: Rouge launched on consoles right alongside Unity and Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China released in late April.  Also, this is probably a wasted wish as the already announced Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India will probably be showing up anyway and may even bring Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia along with it just to spite me.

Now, the number of releases on its own wouldn’t be that big of a deal.  If I was that bothered by oversaturation, I wouldn’t be a Mario fan.  The problem is that the Assassin’s Creed games have been pretty spotty recently and many have been turned off from the series as a result.  I do think that there is still time to turn the series around, but the worst thing that Ubisoft can do right now is machine-gun titles back-to-back to further exhaust their consumers.  If they just focus on making Syndicate into something great, it may be enough to turn the reputation of the series around.  Right now, the failures will speak louder than the successes and the best way to avoid that is to stop churning out buggy, unfinished products and consolidate the series.

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5. More DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight

How sad is it that I’m already tired of a game that hasn’t released yet, I have every reason to be excited for, and have actively been avoiding media coverage of to prevent spoilers?  Warner Bros. Interactive is one of the most frustrating companies in the current industry.  With excellent studios like Netherrealm, Monolith, and Rocksteady working for them, Warner Bros. could easily be on par with the biggest companies in the industry today.  They could stand to hold their own personal E3 conference with all of the prestigious developers they have at their side.  T

he only thing holding Warner Bros. back right now is, well, Warner Bros.  They have been pulling all manner of shady practices recently and they’ve been continuously getting worse with every title.  They nearly sabotaged the release of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor by placing an unnecessary review embargo on it, which is publicly seen as a game being overhyped trash ever since Aliens: Colonial Marines, despite Shadow of Mordor actually being a landmark title that earned universal praise.  It was actually up to reviewers to save the title from its own publishers, and I’m not sure how you can even reach that level of incompetence on purpose.  Mortal Kombat X has taken some black marks against it for a rocky launch and greedy practices like microtransactions for easy fatalities.  I know Netherrealm is better than this, as displayed with their continued dedication to include a free costume to all customers with every DLC patch, but they’re stuck working for the kind of people that would dodge gold for pennies.

Batman: Arkham Knight is the latest example of Warner Bros. testing the limits of their customers.  Right in the game’s reveal trailer, they announce that a playable Harley Quinn is restricted to preorders.  Later, they announce that you better preorder through Gamestop specifically because that’s the only way you’ll get to play as Red Hood.  I generally don’t preorder games and no amount of incentives is going to sway me on that.  There’s no telling when a promising title is going to fall flat as companies are becoming harder to trust.  I still have faith that Arkham Knight will be fantastic given Rocksteady’s history, but I’m still going to wait to pick it up simply as a matter of wise spending.  Sell us on the actual game itself before trying to push even more it onto us.

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4. More “HD” Remakes of Games that Are Only a Few Years Old

With any new console, quality releases are always going to take some time to build up.  Still, the amount of reliance that has been placed on rereleasing games that the Playstation 4 and Xbox One could already play if they had just made their systems backwards compatible is getting out of hand.  I can understand rereleasing the Halo series as it dates back to the original Xbox and it could use a fresh take, and the Grim Fandango remake was direly needed because the game was impossible to legally get otherwise.  Rereleasing God of War III for the Playstation 4 with no real selling point outside of “It’s on the Playstation 4” is not even worth acknowledging.  Words can scarcely convey just how depressed and enraged I was when one of the most applauded announcements at Sony’s conference last year was that your $400 purchase now made you eligible to buy Grand Theft Auto V a second time.  The game’s most worth remaking are the ones that have either lost some of their luster with age or have become hard to find.  If a remake for Deus Ex, Mother 3, or Battletoads was revealed, it would certainly be cause for celebration.  What we don’t need are remakes of Gears of War, Super Mario Galaxy, or Unchar…  Wait, what’s that?  Uncharted: The Nathan Drake  Collection was just announced?  And it won’t even included any of the multiplayer features from the original games?

$#&*%#@*-$!* WITH A &$#Ω€`#>(%^_¡@`!&@?; AND RUE THE DAY YOU %$#)∑<&*ñ##¶@>Ω<+ THE SIZE OF A GIRAFFE’S [email protected]&^Ü¢?Ø#*%€Ñ<)_¶™$#!+=ü(:¡\Θ^} AND HAVE YOURSELF A NICE DAY!

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3. Limited Edition Amiibos

While I like the concept of amiibo, the amount of hurdles that people have to go through over them is quickly burning me out on them.  These figures have quickly devolved from cool collectibles with the bonus of interacting with video games into DLC with arbitrary scarcity.  Hopefully, things will even out once Nintendo increases the supply and the scalpers move on to reselling Lego Dimensions figures (you know it’s going to happen), but the last thing I want to hear about right now is limited edition amiibo specifically designed to be rare.  The gold and silver versions of Mario were infuriating enough to see and I don’t want to see the same treatment given to any other figures.  The quantity of normal amiibo is bad enough that it’s impossible to even tell the difference between the standard and special editions of them.

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2. Konami C-Games

I’ve made it abundantly clear that I don’t have much confidence for Konami after Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain releases.  I fully expect them to start exploiting all of their franchises for cash-grabs in the mobile and gambling markets, but I don’t want them to prove me right and especially not this quickly.  The state of Nevada recently passed a bill for that made Konami ecstatic to hear it.  It’s only a matter of time before Konami starts to go for a gamble – literally – but making it at E3 is going to cost them whatever remains of their dignity in the gaming industry.  I can’t think of anything that could be announced at E3 this year more heartbreaking than to learn that Silent Hills was cancelled in favor of a survival-horror slot machine.

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1. Trailers that Say Nothing About the Actual Game

I know I’m really asking for the moon with this one, but I would really love it if every new game announced at E3 this year included an actual explanation of what the game is.  The only thing that I hate to see at E3 more than completely unnecessary musical acts meant to fill time (a trend that, thankfully, seems to have died) is reveal trailers that just play a short CGI cinematic with little to no inclination on how the games they’re trying to depict are actually played.  Sequels and spiritual successors have some lenience with this as we have previous games to draw answers from, but this is the worst way to push an entirely new IP.  Last year had plenty of examples of this like Scalebound and Mad Max just showing brief trailers that couldn’t even depict just the general genres that those games would fall under.  The only reason I know that Phantom Dust involves deck-building elements is because I looked up the original myself after seeing the horrendously vague reveal of the Xbox One reboot.  Quantum Break was a personal thorn in my side for two years straight with nothing but wild guesses as to what it even was.  Fortunately, they finally revealed some actual gameplay at Gamescom late last year, so they can’t pull that stunt a third time.  Still, there is bound to be some new title revealed, and we’ll all be stuck waiting another year or two before being given the slightest reason to care about it.

So, that’s my personal rundown of the worst case scenario for E3 2015.  What are your most dreaded possibilities at this year’s showcase?  How much do I need to shut up for not mindlessly obeying the hype machine and being concerned over what might go wrong?  Leave a comment below and let me 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.

5 Games I Need To See At E3 2015

E3 2015

With E3 mere weeks away, everyone is beginning their yearly ritual of building hype and prepping for disappointment. It’s no doubt that we will be pleased with all of the exciting new titles, and disappointed with all of those that either don’t exist or missed the cut.

Each and every person who anticipates E3 has a select few games that above all else, they need to see at E3. With that I present to you my personal select few. Some might be obvious, some might be hopeless, but if I could ask for anything at E3, it would be these five games.


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I – Resurrect The Guardian

I’m starting to think that hoping for  The Last Guardian to make an appearance is like waiting for the cows to come home. Every year I think that we will finally be graced with an amazing demo showing off the enhancements they’ve made since it’s original showing in 2009, and every year I’m let down as the show ends, the lights go out, and there is no griffon and boy running around being adorable together.

I long for this game, and it looks like it could be as incredible as Shadow of the Colossus was. With rumours of cancellation showing up more than E3 itself however, I’m starting to think that maybe we’ll never even see it again.

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II – You Are The One Who Will Open The Door

Every time I think about Kingdom Hearts, I think about how much I adored the series that gave me so many fond memories as a young teenager. Kingdom Hearts was a game that showed to me the infinite creativity of video games on the PS2. After spending over a decade debating, pondering, and otherwise obsessing over even the most minuscule of details with my close friends, just thinking about another sequel has me watering at the mouth.

On the other hand though, the last several years has proven that Kingdom Hearts is a franchise worth milking to an almost sickening degree. Kingdom Hearts III has been put on the back burner so they can monopolize on every possible story-line on every possible device known to man.

What we’ve seen on Kingdom Hearts III is sparse to say the least, but the focus on theme-park rides in half of the trailers we’ve seen has left me with such a disgusting taste in my mouth, that I pray to Xemnas that we might finally get a proper trailer showing much more than an advertisement for Disney.

Please Square, show it off and show the fans why Kingdom Hearts is a console seller like it used to be.

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III – I Need More Blood

Bloodborne is a game that amazes me in every way. It is an incredible piece of art that stands proud amongst games like Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls. It’s no surprise then that after investing almost two hundred hours in the game, I’d love to see some more Bloodborne in action.

With the recent announcement of a Bloodborne expansion on the horizon, I can only hope, despite how futile it might be, that Sony and Fromsoftware have at least a cinematic trailer prepared for E3 to start the inevitable hype train.

My blood lust is far from over, and I’m just waiting to continue my adventures through Yharnam.

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IV – Fifteen Years Later…

E3 2013 will stand was one of the most exciting gaming events I’ve ever witness. I am a Final Fantasy fanboy, I admit it, and when Square-Enix literally smashed my face with a sword called Final Fantasy XV‘s revival, I craved for them to finish the job.

The E3 trailer showed us that Square was coming back to compete. It showed us that Final Fantasy was no longer about robotic pink-haired Cloud clones and mobile scams. It was finally the console Final Fantasy game that every fan had been waiting for.

While we have been getting tons of delicious tidbits of information on the game and even a playable demo, I’d love to see another gameplay trailer that wows us with some of the mechanics they’ve been working on. Beyond that, a release date to finally end our waiting. It’s been a thousand years Square, and we’re all waiting for our baby to come back to us.

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V – Wii U Would Like To Play

Yes, I admit it. This is not a singular game so it’s kind of cheating, but I care not! The Wii U was a console that became the laughing stock of the industry for the first year of it’s life. It had almost no worthwhile games that weren’t direct ports, and it seemed like Nintendo had completely lost touch with where consoles belong in the market.

Then E3 2014 happened and Nintendo showed us that they were trying to topple the giants and take back their throne. With games like Kirby, Yoshi’s Woolly World, The Legend of Zelda, Starfox, Smash Bros and Splatoon, Nintendo went from a joke to a serious contender. Now they just need to keep bringing the heat.

Please Nintendo, don’t let 2015 be 2012 or 2013 all over again. Show off your big titles and show us why the Wii U was a valuable investment. I need to keep believing that you can come back.

OP Or Not OP, That Is The Question: #2- Little Mac

Smash Bros

Little Mac

Ah, Little Mac. The star of NES classic Punch Out!! is one of those second- or third-tier Nintendo characters many have wanted to see in Smash Bros for some time. He made his debut in the latest 3DS/Wii U installment, but could anyone have predicted the hot mess the character would turn out to be?

For the uninitiated, Punch Out!! hit the NES in 1987. It’s a toontastic arcade boxing sim, in which you rise through the ranks of the circuit as a scrawny young greenhorn boxer. Little Mac was no powerhouse here, and victory depended on strict timing and careful positioning of attacks in opponents’ weak spots. But then Smash Bros Mac happened.

On the one hand, his design and general moveset is very much as you’d expect. He fights only with his fists, of course, using attacks which could have been pulled direct from the games. But the character’s other mechanics caused a wave of Mac hate and cries of OP when the game was first released. Let’s take a look.

First up, as I say, brute force would quickly get you flattened in Punch Out!!. Counters and suchlike were vital to success, and the only real way to damage opponents at all in some cases. But in Smash Bros, he can overpower and overwhelm you effortlessly. The combination of great speed and power is very much taboo in fighting games, after all. Generally, you’ll encounter a hulking, shrugs-off-bullets-like-the-Terminator type (Soul Caibur`’s Astaroth), or a scrawny, agile opponent like Taki. There are those average in both, sure, but excelling in both? That’s Mac.

He’s among the fastest-moving fighters, and boasts some similarly quick attacks (that killer jab being particularly notable among them). As with everybody else, his smashes are the deadliest moves in his repertoire, but the puny pugilist’s have unique qualities. By which I mean, powering through everything else with super armor. That is not the traditional Little Mac way, and it makes him a scary prospect to face for unfamiliar players.

Little Mac

Then there’s the formidable KO Punch, a mechanic exclusive to him. Taking and dealing hits fills a meter, and allows you to unleash the punch when it’s full. It’s very predictable, but is almost a guaranteed kill when landed. It’s a neat little nod to the original game, but here it also seems like overkill, a little unnecessary, and rewards the player for performing badly (sustaining damage charges the punch more effectively).

All of this led to Mac being seen as cheap, an ‘easy wins’ button, on the game’s release. But familiarity with him is key.

Much of this attitude comes from play in For Glory mode. Here, stage hazards and platforms are removed, rendering each level a pseudo Final Destination. This is the perfect environment for Little Mac to thrive in, letting him exert his dominance of the ground unhindered. Anywhere else, he struggles, due to his pitiful aerial game.

Generally, this guy’s aerial attacks are of slim to zero use. You’ll want your feet on the ground at all times as the Punch-Out!! star, because he just can’t take anyone on with his weak and short-ranged aerials. This translates also to his recovery, which is notoriously bad and leaves him ripe for a gimping if the player isn’t wary.

There’s no doubt that Little Mac is a Smash Bros powerhouse, and particularly so in For Glory. He earned himself a reputation almost instantly as a noob killer, and he retains it. Nevertheless, the key is understanding and knowing how to manage him. In a tournament setting, you’ll find proceedings less than Mac-tastic, which probably tells you all you need to know about whether the character is truly broken or not.

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.

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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.

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.