Super Smash Bros Brawl was the last installment of the Smash Bros series we have received. It's been a good five years, I've enjoyed my time playing with my Wii and having a few spars with friends from myIGN to just my neighborhood pals. But, as much as Brawl was a nice addition, it was nowhere near perfect...or even amazing for that matter. With the upcoming news that the New Super Smash Bros with be unveiled at E3/Nintendo Direct, I have decided to take a look into the series and what I believe should be done to fix what Brawl had done. Joining me in my super discussion will be good friend and myIGN user Matt/Shmuga9
The original Super Smash Bros to Melee was a big leap for the Smash Bros series. Not only did it introduce a ton of new modes but Melee set the standard for the series saying this isn’t just a fun party game, it’s a serious contender as a fighting game, and offers a lot more content than one too. Melee was fast-paced and the addition of a side-B move, an air dodge and a sidestep, it added even more ways for people to learn new skills, like L-cancelling. While the roster fell a bit short with half of the new characters being clones of existing ones...it still did introduce North Americans to the Fire Emblem universe, and I mean, come on who can forget Mewtwo. With Brawl, Sakurai expanded on what Melee provided with basically everything having a co-op mode, a more interesting story mode, achievements, saving your replays, fixing some mechanics and adding new ones (and an unmentionable *cough tripping*). Let's not also forget the stage builder, Virtual Console demos, the smash ball, more diverse characters, song selection, revival of an old character (Pit), and more. It was one of the few Wii games to be a dual-layered disc and it packed in so much content that it rivaled RPGS. He even squeezed in online play into a system that lacked any online support. But even with all of these great additions and improvements, the slower pace of Brawl could not hold up to the fast-paced combos in Melee that fans loved.
Come on step it up!
Before, I go on, I'm tired of seeing "Character Addition" Brawl blogs. If anyone has been paying attention, the next Smash Bros game is apparently going to have 5-6 LESS characters. As Masahiro Sakurai has stated,
“It isn’t a matter of ‘if the next game has 50 characters, that’ll be enough.’ There is a certain charm to games that have huge casts of playable characters, but they tend to have issues with game balance and it becomes very difficult to fine-tune each character and have them all feel distinctive.
“In terms of quantity, we’ve probably already reached the limit of what’s feasible. I think a change of direction may be what’s needed.”
In addition, most ideas are pretty ridiculous and most likely aren't going to be added. Some series-character swaps are possible, like Fire Emblem Ike for Chrom, but most characters are pretty easy to see who they will take; for example R.O.B. Also, no one has taken the idea that what are they going to do with the Legend of Zelda characters, do we keep them Twilight Princess because of Zelda and Ganondorf?
All I'll say is I don't expect Waluigi, or a Toad, those are terrible and you should feel terrible for thinking of them. Almost any of GameRadar’s suggestions are garbage. Their potential for a great moveset is low because they’re minor characters with no diversity.
We should be getting interesting characters with the potential for unique move sets like Bowser Jr with his paintbrush, or Matt from Golden Sun so I can play with as myself. Maybe even Lloyd Irving from the Namco side. He would fit in the Smash Bros universe well, RPG characters have a variety of moves great for making move sets, and he's pretty cool in Super Smash Flash. Oh also, the SNES version of Mega Man, because Mega Man.
I wonder what Adult Link will look like. It may be the SS one or TP because I doubt we'll even see concept art for the next Zelda before SSB4 is out (which is subject to change anyway just like Skyward Sword). I also wonder if Majora's Mask Link, or LTTP Link will replace Toon Link. Remember the main characters designs are usually from the latest version of their franchise or at least in that generation.this part was written before the reveal today but you can still read it!
The first and possibly biggest problem at SSB Brawl is the single-player. The entire single-player, be it from Event Matches, to the Subspace Emissary, to the "Classic" mode, everything needs to be redone. Let's start with "Classic" Mode because it is a mode that is featured in all the Super Smash Bros games. I don't know how, but apparently Nintendo ruined this mode in Brawl. Classic mode is the mode featured in Melee and Brawl, which reminisces the first Super Smash Bros single-player campaign. In the N64 version, you fought predetermined 11 battle set against the characters of Super Smash Bros following a fight with the Fighting Polygon Team, Metal Mario, and of course Master Hand. Between these 11 fights were 3 bonuses: Break the Targets, Board the Platforms, and Race to the Finish. When Melee came out, the Classic Mode was shortened to eight fights and the randomization of fights were introduced. In addition, gone was Board the Platforms, replaced for Snag the Trophies, while Break the Target and Race to the Finish altered a bit. One new thing added to the fray of this Classic Mode is the infamous Crazy Hand.
What Brawl did to Classic mode was suck the soul of playing the game by yourself. In this Classic Mode, you fought 12 battles but gone are the idea of special matches, as every match is randomized to be either Giant, Team, 1-v-1, or 2-v-2. Most importantly, gone was the special points you received after a match, to make the game seem more interesting (for example: double-ko, cheap attack, etc). The entire process of beating the game became a chore and the Classic Mode campaign is the longest of any of them, making beating it with every character a grueling campaign. Let's not forget that the only bonus game is the Target Mode, which is generic for every character; gone is Trophy Grab and Race to the Finish.
To fix Classic Mode, I say go back to the N64 roots and make a new one based off it. It doesn't matter if the battles are pre-determined or not, but bring back the points system, keep the matches to a maximum of 10, maybe throw in special bosses only like Giant DK or Metal Mario Bros. A new thing to add could be to add an "off-speed pitch" like a timed battle, or a increased speed fight. That way you can have the player not always expecting the same thing. One other idea could be, since this is the 4th Smash Brothers entry, the classic mode can become a mixture of the Adventure Mode of Melee with the Classic Mode of N64. The Adventure Mode in Melee is timeless, unforgettable, and great ode to characters and series that all Smash Bros games should implore.
Next up on my list of changes is Target Mode. Target Mode used to be a fun way and unique way to learning how each character plays. A classic example Phil (my Smash Bros buddy) and I always talk about is Super Smash Bros Melee's Young Link Target Stage. You honestly start stuck in one place and go ok.......now what!? When you finally figure out one part of the Stage, another one puzzle comes right at you! In Brawl, Target Stage became a generic stage that EVERY character plays in. To specify, you played the same stages with different characters; gone were unique stages to fit each character. In turn, this felt the same as Classic Mode, there just to say it was there, with no real meaning towards it. Target Mode doesn't really need to be fixed, it just needs to be brought back to its old ways. On that matter of sidegames, I would like to see a return to Race to the Finish, considering it is very easy to recover now in Super Smash Bros Brawl (meaning Board the Platforms would be pointless) and possibly snag the trophy back. While shooting coins for trophies was fun, Snag the Trophy was a challenging and fun sidegame.
What I think Brawl did right though was the change to the Homerun Derby (especially the fact you can play two players on it now, that a lot of fun ask Phil and I on this video) and while the Event Matches weren't has historic or jaw-dropping as Melee, I think the idea of having 2-player events and one player event is fine. I feel they shouldn't have difficulties set for each event, leaving each as made, but the fact that special awesome events like Event 51 Giga Bowser or Team 3rd Party exists, is what makes that mode so good. Boss Battle Mode is a great addition to the game, although this has ties to one of the bad parts of Super Smash Bros Brawl: The Subspace Emissary.
The Subspace Emissary was a great idea in many ways; a story featuring all the Smash Bros characters, a unique villain, and semi-grudge matches between characters. Problems with the game had to go with not only its length but its play. I felt like I literally walked through every room twice just to activate one switch only to be ambushed by 1000 enemies who aren't fun to fight. I don't mind a story and co-op anytime in my story mode, but I feel I didn't gain anything by playing this mode.
-Add some new types of matches. I played it recently and maybe it was just unlucky randomizing but I played through the same types of matches twice and it was meh. Add something new in terms of fighting characters but with a twist, like the giant/metal matches. Maybe you can only play on the gamepad screen or it switches back and forth between the two (which could also be a multiplayer mode).
-Have the Kirby team actually have copy abilities again, it’s not as fun when they’re all normal.
-Make classic mode co-op as well with co-op specific matches (not just your team fights their team)
-Add a new mode along the lines of Target Smash where it’s not really about fighting. Have it centered around the gamepad. It could be Nintendo Land themed since that uses both the TV and gamepad screens
-Give Master Hand some new moves where he can travel between the gamepad and the TV screen and (providing your using it) you can only see him on one. Also some of his original moves could be shown differently. For example for his flying attack, he could fly off the TV, onto the gamepad, and then back on the TV again, just for a nice visual effect.
-If you’re fighting both hands, one of their combo moves could be Master Hand is attacking you from the TV and Crazy Hand is attacking from the gamepad screen but like I said, you can only see each one on one screen but still get attacked by both.
-A new mode alongside classic, all star, and adventure, not sure what though.
On the Subspace:
-No sidescrolling, or at least not to the extent that Brawl had. It just wasn’t fun, especially collecting trophies via throwing discs you’d rarely get. Have some fights, some platforming, some mini games, some bosses, whatever, mix it up. There could be a lot of cool things incorporated with the gamepad to break things up, like throwback mini games. These could be little throwback sections to the franchises roots much like the “Masterpieces” in Brawl but incorporated into this story mode. For example, the scene in Brawl where Pikachu and Samus escape could have been something like an old 2D Metroid game. For StarFox you could pilot an Arwing and the gamepad screen is the view from the cockpit. Maybe there’s a scene where Link and another character have to ride Epona to escape and Link is shooting arrows at the enemy. The top screen could have an overall view and the gamepad screen could be zoomed in and where you shoot arrows from, similar to the Nintendo Land game. Kirby and co. could have a battle against Wispy Woods/Kracko the same way it was played in the original game, or maybe some Canvas Curse type of battle with the gamepad or both mixed into one! DK and Diddy Kong could escape from some place ala Minecart style. They could even collect bananas in the mini game and in the next cutscene when they walk away from the cave, you see DK eating a bunch of bananas. Maybe a villain/enemy condemns Wario into one of his games and you have to play to break him out.
-Ideally each franchise would get their own little mini game (only one) but that may be a bit much. That would be 17 different franchises (excluding Sonic and Snake). It may not be a lot in the grand scheme of things (Mario Party games have around 80 mini games) but it would add more development time for a little section. Regardless having a few of these would be a nice way to break things up, and a nice nod to the franchise’s roots. I’d gladly trade in 2-3 hours of the story if it meant having 17 or so of those throwback mini games.
-Use enemies and worlds from the franchise. I did like how they had original characters and settings, like the Primids and the R.O.B. factory. However when playing through the game there were just SO many random oddball enemies that it just seems like all the Nintendo characters were transported to another universe, instead of all of their worlds being connected. Have some original worlds and enemies, but don’t forget to represent the franchises that make up the game. Have an FE battlefield, Gerudo Desert, or maybe space with Galaxy’s Observatory or whatever world Mario will be in in his next 3D outing.
-Have characters talk. It doesn’t have to be a lot, each character could say a sentence or two in each cutscene just so there’s a bit more interaction. There are a bunch of silent characters so you’re not giving up any chances for that kind of silly/innocent silent humour. However a lot of characters can and have talked before: Metaknight, Chrom/Marth, Peach, Fox, Falco, Wolf, Wario, Pit, Captain Falcon, Pokemon Trainer, Lucario/new Mewtwo, Mario and Luigi (to an extent) and possibly the new characters. Kid Icarus had a TON of voice acting, and that was a 3DS game. This has a bigger budget so they can afford to have less than 5% of K.I.U.’s dialogue spoken.
[u]Multiplayer and Controls[/u]
The most important, IMPORTANT, thing of the next Super Smash Bros is the multiplayer and the controls of the game. I liked Super Smash Bros Brawl, while not as good as Melee, the game added a great sense of balance, recovery, combos, and best of all FUN. The other thing that is great about Super Smash Bros is the game is easy to play, a 2 button system with directional influences. My friend Phil always says something funny although true, "easy to learn. Hard to master". For those who don't know SSB controls, it basically is a sequence of 4 directional attacks in the form of air, ground, and charged/smash attacks. Your other button, the B button, does your special attacks which range from projectiles to counters to whatever special ability a character may have.
Namco Bandai is known for fighting games such as Tekken and the Dragonball Z series, which feature a great set of 3D plane fighting with button combos. THIS ISN'T WHAT WE WANT FOR THE SSB SERIES. Leave the main fighting controls the same, Smash Bros is a unique fighter that cannot and should not be changed in any way! I don't mind the tripping mechanic as much, but I feel what should be added/brought back is the moves of Melee as L-Cancelling and Wave Dashes. In addition, each character shouldn't "bounce" so much making ground combos harder to do. One thing I liked about Brawl was that most characters can recover compared to the first two Smash Bros entries, making a sense of balance exist in the game. While having perfect balance in any fighting game is near impossible, having characters be unique, fair (almost equal balance in long range/short range), and of course memorable to play as is where multiplayer in Smash Bros exceeds. Changes I would also like to see is that of some of the Final Moves/Smash Balls (like Mario's Final Smash is just awful) and the fixation of the tournament mode.
For multiplayer of course we want a better online multiplayer, like for example Mario Kart Online. We as players should have the ability to play with friends, create lobbies, or even just join random matches. I don't mind having a Street Fighter-esque ranking, but it is very important that the Online features of Super Smash Bros 4 is great. Multiplayer is the most integral part of Super Smash Bros and not much needs or anything needs to be changed! Next up with multiplayer should be, of course the addition of new stages, something like Nintendo Land, a Kid Icarus 3D (KI: Uprising) stage, and of course in Nintendo fashion homages to old stages from previous games as well. The stages in Super Smash Bros are just as important as the characters; to "explore" new areas and find a favorite map is just as important as finding a favorite character.
Thinking about stages also brings me to the point of a stage builder and how we can improve it and add features to it. Maybe with the online community suggestion, you can have top-rated stages available for download so people can share their creations! The stage builder should also have a little more options, because it was pretty boring especially building anything but a large stage.
Here I come!
-The main things fans want out of the next Smash Bros –other than characters– is a faster game. Brawl was supposed to be the happy medium that would be more accessible but it still wasn’t enough. I don’t think the next one will be as quick as Melee, but I think it’ll be faster than Brawl. Also, while Sakurai wasn’t able to make Brawl as balanced as Melee I think this is another spot Namco can fill in. Same goes for adding techniques like tether recovery or the footstool jump. I can’t think of anything that would need fixing (other than removing tripping) by adding a new technique, Brawl covered all of Melee’s flaws there, but I’m sure there’s some interesting ones they’ll throw in there, probably ones that come from new characters. Basically when it comes to the fighting mechanics of SSB4, we have nothing to worry about. The best developer that could possibly be partnered with Sakurai is either Namco or Capcom and we got one of them.
-For stages I would like to see a Nintendo Land stage similar to how the WarioWare stage works with mini games going on in the background that interact with players.
-Maybe we can have more larger stages like Melee’s Hyrule Temple. New Pork City and 75m were the only big stages and 75m is barely playable. Remember how big and great StarFox’s ship was on N64? Also while we have that on our thoughts, bring back N64’s Hyrule Castle, in the game, as DLC I don’t care WE JUST WANT IT! (and maybe Dreamland…)
-Speaking of DLC, the first batch should be all of the stages from the N64 game that haven’t already been included. There’s only about 8 stages and there’s some good ones like Planet Zebes and Kongo Jungle.
-Take some notes from Playstation All Stars Battle Royale and have a few stages that mix in two franchises, some could make sense (Kid Icarus and Starfox, both are sky-oriented) and some oddball ones (Pokemon and Fire Emblem… which is actually pretty close to Pokemon Conquest).
-Have the ability to turn off stage hazards, another note from PSASBR. Example, the Pokemon stage in Brawl has a legendary pokemon interfere with battle. With this option the pokemon either wouldn’t appear, or simply wouldn’t attack the players. Stages like Castle Siege or Luigi’s Mansion would be fine because nothing attacks the players. It would offer variety for serious matches without worrying about an unfair kill.
-Better stage builder. Mostly make pieces that don’t look so bland but there could also be franchise-themed pieces like a ? block/star block (Kirby). Maybe even interactive elements like a tall canister that holds a metroid and if you hit it enough it’ll break and attack the closest person to it. This would also take damage if you threw someone against it. Those types of elements would really make the stage builder more interesting.
Shmuga Online Hopefuls
-Have just about everything available offline available online.
-Voice chat. It sounds dumb for a fighting game but screw it. I like talking to people during a match and more importantly hearing their reaction to something that happens in the game. Plus every gamepad has a mic so anyone is able to talk with their friend.
-Ability to mute other people’s mics. Not everyone wants to hear people talking, especially if they’re just rude or angry and this is just one of those features where there should be an on and off button.
-In Brawl you could create rooms but you should be given as much choice as you do in the offline mode. Be able to turn on or off items, change the type of mode etc.
-Lobbies (hopefully correct terminology). Basically an area where anyone, not just your friend, can select a match to play. When you create a room there should be an option if you want it open for “everyone” or “just friends” and then within the game you could send an invite to someone on your friends list.
-Be able to join a random match if you can’t find a room or just want to get into a match quickly.
-Leaderboards. It’s hard to find a fighting game these days that has online but NOT leaderboards. Heck even Rayman Legends’ DEMO has leaderboards. Since we can have a real online game now this should be included. Track your stats compared to your country, the world or your friends. See how many matches you’ve won/lost, how many kills/suicides/deaths, etc. Have ranked or unranked matches. Honestly, someone with more experience on fighting games can fill in the rest with their own ideas. I’m not exactly sure if this will be included in it though, as during an interview Sakurai said he thought (for Brawl) that it would discourage players from playing because they would see how low they are on the list… well screw them, they can just play against computers like everyone else :P
A level system that shows how skilled you are in online matches. Example if you have a high kill/death ratio then you have a high level to show how good you are overall. PSASBR and many other fighters have this as well, and it’s separate from your leaderboard rank.
-Both leaderboard and level system should link with your Nintendo Network ID/Miiverse since the 3DS will be getting Miiverse as well sometime this year.
[u]Wii U and 3DS[/u]
The last thing I wanted to mention is that this game is rumored to be for both the 3DS and Wii U and I was wondering how that is going to turn out. Will 3DS players vs only each other or is their someway to play Wii U players? Is it a completely different game? Will the 3DS owners who also own the Wii U version get more stuff? Hopefully some of this is answered by the conference or later in the future. I would love to see StreetPass share records of homeruns or target modes or maybe a type of "crossplay" where you can use the 3DS for your controller. One last thing about the 3DS I predict is its going to be its own game, maybe something more of an advanced Super Smash Bros 64; because I can't see it being like Brawl or the new one (to advanced imo).
On the Wii U side I don't see much being added although a possible way to play with GC controllers. I don't mind though learning how to play with the Pro Controller; though change sucks we all did it already from SSB 64 to Melee so get used to it! I see the GamePad possibly having some use in Stage Builder and maybe with new minigames, although I don't think anyone is going to use it.
Wii U Functionality:
A multiplayer mode where one person uses the gamepad and plays as Master hand trying to kill the other players, somehow using the touch screen or being able to see something on the touch screen the others can’t.
-StreetPass. At the very least it’ll share your online stats, level, and leaderboard rank to someone else. If there’s a stage builder for the 3DS as well you could also share that.
-Will the 3DS version be like the Wii U one? I wouldn’t be surprised if it was like the rumoured game (Smash Bros Memories) where both have different rosters but maybe have access to the same characters and stages if you play online, or the 3DS can store a limited amount of extra slots to store stages/characters. It would give you an incentive to pick up the other version (though I can’t see why it couldn’t be DLC for the Wii U one). The reason I think the two might be split up is because of the file size. Brawl was 8GBs. That alone is a heck of a lot of space for a handheld game, though technically it would be smaller because the screen is smaller and you don’t need as many polygons etc, but I’m not sure if SSB4, an even larger game than Brawl, can be scaled down to fit on a modest 3DS cart without removing any content. As Colin says, “I DOUBT it”. In comparison, PSASBR (PS3) is around 5-6 GBs and the Vita version is 2 GBs.
-Sakurai also said he wanted the two games to connect somehow and no doubt he wants to make them different enough to stand on their own. The retro/modern rumour is possible (and could fix the file size issue if there is one) and sharing rosters would be cool I guess but that’s not really something huge (and definitely wouldn’t be the only thing) so I’m excited to see how he connects the two games in an interesting way.
[u]Finally the End[/u]
I couldn't be more excited for another Super Smash Bros entry. I own all three games and have so many great memories from them that I just want the game to be fun like they always are. Super Smash Bros is a perfect game in a sense of competition and fun. From my friends and I just relaxing beating each other up from Smash to family dinners and hanging out with my brothers; Super Smash Bros is a game that is just fun to the core. I cannot wait for the next entry and I know it's going to be a "smashing success"! On a leaving note, I know many people looking to purchase a Wii U just for Super Smash Bros 4 so I know Nintendo is hoping to ride this bad boy!
Sakurai has a lot of work to do with Smash Bros 4, handling not only a Wii U version but a 3DS one as well. However what makes this time different than any other is that Sakurai and his team now have Namco Bandai on their side. This is HUGE because instead of having to get help from numerous developers they have one big one working for him. Not to mention they have experience with fighting games such as Soul Calibur and Tekken, and have other big names working with them from their other series too. So this ain’t some half-assed turd being pushed out, this is a humongous sh*t project with important people behind it. Even still, there’s a bunch of things I want to see improved and added to the next entry to make it even better than Brawl in terms of features, and Melee in terms of quick response time.
Last things I want to say:
-I love the Brawl theme… but please with the new theme don’t make 10 remixes of it. Seriously that’s way too much. I got sick of it when I was playing the game.
-Have multiple controller inputs and customizing your button layout return
For those interested, I found out that there’s a way to use your Gamecube controller on your Wii U with an adapter that plugs into your wiimote. It works for any classic/pro controller enabled game and it’s made by Mayfish.
Sakurai is known for stuffing his games with quality and content. I don’t know exactly what to expect when it comes to the next Smash Bros, all I know is that when I see it…
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