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I was one of the fated chosen who reached platinum status with Club Nintendo. I’ve pretty much been playing the Smash 3DS demo non-stop, just trying to get Mega Man right and playing its two minute stock matches during breaks at work. I also saw some analysis videos but those largely confirm my suspicions and opinions. It’s been a successful demo, giving me only five characters and effectively two stages (Battlefield with items and Omega Battlefield, basically Final Destination). Here’s how I feel about how the game feels and its five characters. It’s agreed upon by many players that this build represents the final build of how the game will ship.
If I had to summarize everything into one bullet, it’d be that Smash 4 represents a compromise between Melee and Brawl’s design philosophies. Not quite as slow and pondering as Brawl, but not quite as blistering and fast as Melee.
Edge hogging is impossible and it’s an improvement to overall match pacing. The lack of edge hogging promotes more offensive tactics rather than passive defense. Since someone with decent recovery can and will make it, defenders are encouraged to jump off for preventive measures.
Ledge grabbing is not as lenient as it was in Brawl but not as strict as Melee. The distance before you grab the ledge has been reduced compared to Brawl. Characters also no longer magnetically home in on the ledge when they get close, which gives them the safety of invincibility frames. Now, you need to space your recovery move so that you can latch on safely. If you’re too close, you’ll actually overshoot and subject yourself to counterattacks.
I might actually play mostly in 3D as the 3D effect actually gives it a nicer look. The FPS might be getting a bump while 3D is on, which is weird since the 3D made Pokemon XY FPS chug.
Having the Omega stage choice be a simple button toggle on the stage select is rather convenient. I’d imagine it’ll eliminate the need to drill into the item select screen to fiddle with the options. Set your favorite items and frequencies and whenever you get an impromptu challenge to your honor, just keep going and toggle the Omega stage.
Mario is overall more agile with a general increase to all facets of his speed. Footspeed, air speed, and attack speed all have an extra bit of pep. I know we call him a fat Italian but the guy works out for a living.
FLUDD’s range received a massive increase. Like, it has no business reaching as far as it does. If your opponent has bad recovery, this thing is viable. At the very least it stalls them in the air and leaves them vulnerable.
Back air is Mario’s best and fastest move. Comes out quick, plenty of knockback, and little to no recovery lag, even if you land with it. It’s not a kill move but it definitely helps throw people of the stage.
Down throw is your best bet to quickly pile on damage early on. Bounce them off the ground and give them a few up tilts and they’ll be pushing 50% in no time.
Mario overall has received more subtle buffs compared to the other two veterans in the demo. Its small but its noticeable when you reflect on how Mario worked before.
Hands down, this is the de facto version of Link. You know how Street Fighters say vanilla Sagat was the best Sagat in Street Fighter? Well, Smash 4 Link is the best Link by a landslide.
Link’s overall speed has been increased, similarly to Mario.
The damage to boomerang and bomb have increased. Arrow charges faster in exchange for reduced damage.
Down air spikes opponents if you hit on its starting frames. This is immensely satisfying provided you actually hit and don’t miss and plummet to your doom like a tool.
Back air is stronger and reaches further. Good alternative to using his slower forward air.
Recovery is way better. The distance his aerial spin attack travels is much better, not to mention its finisher hit has more knockback. Tether grapple is also improved, which is something across the board for all characters with tether grapples.
Dash attack actually has kill potential. Its way better and you should use it.
Up smash has better horizontal hitbox.
Link isn’t the butt of jokes amongst pros anymore. This Link has taken all his complaints and just fixed all of them. I’m excited to see how her performs at higher levels because I think he’s going to do better than he ever has.
Skull Bash goes FAR. I mean, if you miss, you’ll probably fly off the screen. Not enough to make it risky but enough for everyone to notice.
Up tilt and up air are annoying jugglers. Fast ways to do more and more damage.
Back air is by far my favorite thing about Pikachu now. On defense, hitting someone with this multi-hit spin move will drag them along helplessly before being launched backward. At best, you can score knockouts by using this in the no man’s zone. At worst, you’ll drag them down to a point of no return where you can still recover with a double jump and an angled quick attack.
Changes to Pikachu aren’t very dramatic, but a buff to a few moves of his really make a difference.
Described by Zero as Jigglypuff with projectiles. Both side airs shoot a slingshot. The slingshot itself is the brunt of the hit box while the pellet is slightly weaker but has a great range. Simply jump off and carry your opponent to oblivion with these bad boys.
Speaking of defense, Villager has unmatched recovery. They removed gliding but Villager’s balloon trip pretty much lets him fly from off screen all the way to the other ledge of Battlefield. He’s like Metaknight from Brawl in the sense that he can recover from pretty much anything short of being knocked all the way out.
Forward smash (bowling ball) is ridiculously strong. It has no range but it certainly compensates. You will not believe the knockback on this attack.
Up and down air have a lot of active frames. There’s no need to time these attacks. Throw them out and watch your opponent slam into your radishes.
Keep in mind that Villager’s pocket move double damage and knockback. Play with items on and try pocketing those big crates for laughs.
The true purpose of Villager’s timber (down B) is for edge guarding. Keep a sapling planted on the edges and if your opponent recovers from a downward angle, they’ll be saying hello with a whole lotta wood.
Villager will be interesting to see in play. Villager exemplifies the changes to the edge grabbing mechanics with his jumping slingshot carries and tree guarding. Why wait to see your opponent fall down when you can get out there, expedite the process, and just fly back.
Megs has tons of projectiles, almost none of them are very good at aggressive play. I’m afraid effective Mega Man play might exemplify Brawl’s design philosophy but time will tell if there’s anything to discover.
Crash bomber is very underwhelming. It disappears on contact with shields and keeping it up blocks damage.
Metal blade is versatile but slow. Even Link’s bombs are faster.
You can’t multitask with leaf shield. Once it comes on, you can only shoot it out. You can however grabs with it, adding damage with or without a pummeling.
Crash bomber and metal blade together can take up a lot of space.
Megs is built from the ground up differently with the lack of a true side tilt. He just walks and shoots.
His uncharged buster shots have uneven hitstun. A regular problem for players with too much muscle memory is to walk forward and forget they shoot buster lemons rather than have an actual tilt. This leads to them walking right into a grab due to how little the shots do.
Forward air has a good hitbox but poor knockback. Back air however has great knockback but a difficult and narrow hitbox.
Down air is a meteor smash projectile. You can meteor people from a comfortable distance and it doesn’t have any complicated hit boxes.
Slide is probably a better options for Megs at neutral than moving and shooting. Up tilt also has surprising knockback.
Best kill move is down smash but has brutal recovery frames. You can try punishing rolls with it but this thing is high risk/high reward. Do not use at low percentages because that’s how long its recovery is.
Up air (tornado shot) is good at carrying opponents into the sky box. It’s small hit box makes it hard to connect unless your close.
Out of all five, I have a lot of trouble scoring kills with Megs. With limited kill moves, Mega Man struggle to fight in any conventional way. People interested in fighting with Mega Man will need a deep understanding of his moves and how they all work in tandem.