Warning Bad Language + my usual controversial opinion which you will likely disagree with but I'm going to state it anyways because that's what blogs are made for.
Let me get one thing straight here, Masohiro Sakurai is a legendary game developer, one of the best if not the best developers in the industry. However things from my Perspective are not going good for Smash 4.
Now i sunk a lot of hours into Smash Bros Melee, fighting against the computer time and time again and occasionally my friends. Believe it or not, in Melee i used to play as Pichu. Now you're probably wondering why the hell i played such a useless character. Well for one reason, Pichu was the representative of Pokemon Gold/Silver and another reason is that i found Pikachu to be too spammy with his thunder attack, plus i wanted a character who would be more nimble and required management of skills. Pichu was the perfect character for me in that regard, i also used to play as Kirby too as a secondary. Many fun times were had back then.
Dem aviator goggles...
When i heard Brawl was released i was extremely hyped. The Smash Bros Dojo site was filled with new innovative features, characters, stages and game mechanics. It was simply amazing how much the game had improved over the original... at the sacrifice of my main character and a little of it's charm. I regret not playing Brawl as much as i did, i enjoyed it, i really did, purchased the game on day 1 and played it all day. However, the charm of Melee had soon began to show it's decay. One of the things that stood out about Smash Bros Melee was the menu.
Stop being prejudice towards clones Nintendo!!!
It might seem strange but the design and style of Melee was iconic. That amazing opening sequence followed by a menu screen with a wire framed background. There was just something amazing about that menu screens art design which left me entranced. This was swapped in for a cliche'd orchestral intro and a white menu screen. Then i thought to myself "come to think of it, this kinda shows the direction Nintendo have taken since the launch of the Wii" The Wii too was a white console and it looked really bland compared to the Game cube and the N64, it appeared that many of the games had taken on these traits as well. I don't know why but since the Wii was launched, Nintendo games have felt different, a difference i can only explain in color. The Gamecube was full of vibrancy as was the N64 where as the Wii felt more sophisticated, almost unnecessarily. Heck even the Official Nintendo Magazine showed this change too. It just didn't fit Nintendo's style at all, it sounds like something Sony would do.
Since then, the only game i had played on the Wii which showed any hint of vibrancy was Kirby's Adventure Wii. How ironic how Hal, the creators of Smash Bros managed to keep their flagship title vibrant, yet failed to show it in Smash Bros Brawl. Of course, this was not big deal. I enjoyed brawl despite all these things, i appreciated the effort that went into making that huge game that barely anybody appreciates and be honest people, you do not appreciate the work that Sakurai did to Brawl, if you did, you wouldn't be asking for a Smash 4.
But now it's happened. Smash 4 has been confirmed, actually it was confirmed a year ago but it made me think to myself "why?". Put metaphorically, hearing of Smash 4's release was like hearing that my brother/sister (if i had one) has cancer and had 2 weeks to live only to find out by the time funeral preparations were complete that it turned out they didn't have cancer. It's like a slap to the face. It feels like Smash Bros Brawl was meaningless, as if it was a failure. Smash fans are going to forget about it soon and Smash 4 will receive all the focus but what did this mean for Smash Bros Brawl? Did it fail? Did the biggest game of this generation fail to deliver to the fans? Even i, who managed to point out a few issues with Brawl continue to respect it as if it was a memorial of a WW2 veteran.
The fact that people had the nerve to say that Smash Bros Brawl was disappointing is appalling. Those people either did not think about the game whatsoever or they were part of the competitive community who are a bunch of whiny babies who are never happy no matter what you give them and continuously spit their dummies out because "it's not Melee". The same thing happened for Halo. Most players argue that Halo 2 was the best because it had the most balanced game play, then Reach came out and people spat their dummy out about it though to be fair, Halo Reach removed one of the most revered weapons in the series, the BR and swapped it with the horrible DMR (though some people felt differently). Still, looking back on it as a game, i still give it praise for adding something completely unexpected, Forge World.
Then Halo 4 came, bundled them together and made it into a trash heap. There are no redeeming features from that game, it just took the massive ideas that Halo Reach came up with, tuned them slightly and released it with the only new feature being Spartan Ops which was completely bland, uninspired and lacked any form of consequence for dying. It was simply pointless.
Now i mention Halo because it hypothetically links to Smash Bros. If we forget halo 1 for a minute and say that Halo 2 is SSB, Halo 3 is SSBM and Reach is Brawl, looking at those games, they show a very similar pattern. Halo 2 was hugely successful when it came out mainly for being one of the first majorly successful online multiplayer games on consoles. Halo 3, like SSBM built on the success of it's predecessor and added lots of new stuff whilst continuing to remain a top quality title. Then Reach came and that's where it started to show a few scars but it managed to incorporate lots of cool new features that you simply didn't care at first, you just wanted to dive in. Over time however, the flaws became apparent. Like SSBB, there was something missing, the differrence being that in Halo, the issues were more mechanic (though most argue that the mechanics of brawl were bad *cough*bullshit*cough*) whilst Brawl mainly faltered in it's aesthetic style.
So that leaves Halo 4, the game which led fans to abandon the series entirely. All the charm from the previous games had gone and the game became a COD clone. Now you could argue that there was a completely different team working on it but then again, Smash Bros 4 has brought in Namco. I'm personally not sure if Hal are even involved anymore. I know they were involved in Brawl somewhat because their logo was on the back of the box but in Smash 4? I have no idea. All i know is that Nintendo, Namco and Sakurai are the ringmasters.
So with Smash 4 having some really controversial character choices (or are they?). Lets ask ourselves one question for a moment. Did any of us want the Wii Fit Trainer? Was he/she an iconic Nintendo character? Fuck no, Wii Fit was shovelware, it was, don't deny it people. Sure i can warrant it's existence but it's not a game, at least not to me it isn't. I also hate how these games are categorized as "Casual". Smash Bros has always been casual but it's demographic hasn't been towards middle aged men/women who can't get out of the house. I honestly can't picture that demographic of people playing a Smash Bros game, even though i want to and yes there are a lot of older gamers but they don't count at the moment. The point is, Wii Fit has no substance, it was created to serve a purpose and that is it. For a character to be recognizable, it needs substance. So why the hell was the Wii Fit Trainer put in Smash when he/she is not even recognizable!?
I'll be honest, i haven't played any of the games these characters came from...wait that's a bad thing isn't it.
But thats just the beginning, now we have Mega man, Sonic returns... I think we're missing the point here, isn't this supposed to be a game centered around Nintendo characters. Let me remind you that this isn't Mugen, this is a beat em up game which prides itself on Nintendo's culture and it's characters. What place does Mega Man and Sonic have in this series? The only reason why sonic and snake were in Brawl was because of a deal between the developers and third party companies. Which brings up my next rant. Stop requesting characters which are not first party/second party Nintendo characters!!!
Jesus christ people, do i need to say it clearer? Cloud Strife will never be in smash, nor will any of your favourite characters from other companies, even if they first appeared on a Nintendo console, sadly this is not the case now as shown by Mega man's debut. It is now official, Smash Bros has lost all meaning. It has also lost it's charm and purpose. Such a shame that they had to go this route. Now Smash Bros is just a generic Mugen style beat em up where pretty much any character from any series in any video game ever developed can fight in it.
Sonic is one of my hated videogame characters of all time and for good reason.
Now i am aware that Sakurai expresses his stress and grievances for the new character roster when it comes to trying to please everyone but i cannot lie when i say that this roster sucks ass. Sakurai could do so much better if he didn't have a shotgun aimed at his head to knock Saturn out of orbit because that pretty much is the situation with Smash 4, he's thrown all he can at Brawl but still, that's not enough to please the ungrateful masses who want more, this is the reason why Sakurai left Hal in the first place, he's sick of you all! All Sakurai wants to do is do what he does best to feed him and his family, make video games yet he struggles to do so and the whiny competitive community definitely doesn't help, especially considering Sakurai's stubbornness towards his own ideals which should rightly be so.
Anyways back to the point, The character roster is bad, this is simply because Sakurai can't cope, asks the community for help and in turn, the community fucks everything up and now Smash Bros' character roster is ruined because of the competitive community who favor balancing over all substance. Competitive Smash players cannot appreciate substance for what it is, Competitive gaming doesn't even need substance, why do you think DOTA exists? (I ask myself that question every day).
So what good has come out of all this? The only features that show some promise are Smash run and customization. So that's 2 features out of how many? Put simply, if it wasn't for Sakurai's excellence, there wouldn't be any new features at all, no wonder he's so stressed, he's been tasked with the impossible: make a game better than Brawl
. Really Nintendo are so lucky that Sakurai continues to cooperate with them because without him, Nintendo would be nothing, heck without Hal Laboratory, Nintendo would be nothing and vice versa but Sakurai is no longer part of Hal so he has no reason to continue supporting Nintendo as he isn't indebted to them in the slightest. God only knows how much money Nintendo has offered Sakurai for this job.
So now, back to the title of this rant, why is this game getting so much hype despite it's obvious signs of failure? Well sure it may not be a failure of a game but considering the standards players had with Brawl, i expect a lot of people will show at least some disappointment with Smash 4. As such, we need to look at the game realistically. Will it be better than Brawl? Fuck no. Will it be a good game? Depends. All i know for sure is that people should stop hyping up Smash 4 and instead, they should be pestering Nintendo for new IP's, this way, the series won't be milked to death like uh i don't know... COD? Pokemon? There is a peak people, it's easy to tell when it's been reached and i can already tell Brawl has reached it, it's so painfully obvious, i can see it with my own eyes and my eyes never lie. To explain it in words is the difficult part, a part i have made a strong attempt to do so. As quoted from Sakurai "The possibilities that games have to offer are growing smaller and smaller
". Now take one good look at where Smash 4 is going and you will see how this statement makes sense. Oh the irony.