Here, as promised, is the twelfth portion (including my review and bonus character) of my in-depth Super Smash Bros. Brawl critique for Rorschachís contest.
After writing this all out, I realized it is way too long for a single post. Iíll break it down into two characters at a time and release them over the course of the week so you can read who you like at your own leisure.
The following will detail my impressions and thoughts of every character in the second row of the final roster, two at a time. So, if you havenít finished unlocking the entire roster, or have been living under a fucking rock for a couple months, donít read any further. There may be a surprise or two mentioned herein. Iíll also offer up one or two suggestions for additional characters that I feel should have made the roster or deserve a spot in the next iteration. Enjoy.
For anyone that read my Marth critique, you already know I prefer Ike. I consider him the best sword fighter in the game. He filled the gap the exclusion of Roy left in my heartÖ I mean roster. Anyone swinging a giant broad sword is gonna do some damage when they connect with it. Ike is that character. Heís got a decent array of sword attack and all off Ďem have pretty powerful knockout potential. Plus, his reach is almost unrivaled because of it with almost every move he does. The guy may not have the best jumping/recovery ability, but if youíre the only one still left on the stage in the end, that doesnít matter.
Is that a sword in your pants or are you happy to see me?
So as Iíve stated, Ike is a powerhouse. Even his neutral B charge up attack is great if you can manage to get someone to roll into/through it and have it charged enough. I usually use this move when I fall from a great height back to the stage, so by the time I land itís highly charged and I can release it to clear out anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves beneath me. It certainly makes people think twice about attempting to hit me as I land. Only thing I donít like is how long it takes to fully charge, fortunately itís still a pretty mean move when not at total capacity. Such is balancing, though, right?
His Over+B forward dash attack is great for closing gaps between you and your enemies and offers some decent damage. The fact the tip of his sword (like Marthís) does the most damage means that even if someone tries to avoid it, theyíll likely get hit by the worst part. Good for you, bad for them. Also, I like his Down+B parry move, just like Marthís. Itís one of the most rewarding defensive moves for me. I donít like reflecting stuff as much as I like slashing people with my sword when they mistakenly attack me. Reminds Ďem to keep their distance.
His Up+B recovery (Aether, the only move I know the name for Ďcause he fuckiní yells it all the time) is pretty decent, plus it does some fire/explosive damage. As I stated with Marth, I feel as though Ike manages to move further horizontally with his recovery as compared to Marthís higher vertical. I often find myself in more need of horizontal movement, though Iím not certain.
Another great aspect of Ikeís arsenal is his bevy of smash attacks. Almost every single one he has delivers a huge hit with highly potent knockback, if at least good damage. Plus, because of the long reach from his sword, can also cut a wide swath through groups of enemies. Getting underneath enemies and using his wide-arcing Up Smash+A can usually clear out entire platforms above. This is key on levels with low lying platforms and low level ceilings. Plus, even his Over Smash+A does vertical damage as he swings it all the way around, potentially clearing out people on all three sides of you. Unfortunately, this reputation often precedes him, resulting in many enemies staying clear of Ike. This is fine, though, Ďcause that means he can cherry pick Ďem later when theyíre more damaged and prone to a KO, which Ike can deliver in spades.
As for Ikeís Final Smash, I know I usually dislike single hit or miss FSs, but I find Ikeís is the easiest to connect with. The fact performing Aether (Up+B) has a very wide arc to hit with AND the fact you vertically and horizontally cover ground with it when performed, means it is easier to catch unsuspecting or suspecting-but-escaping foes with it. Plus, due to its high damage/KO potential pretty much everyone will attempt to jump over you to get away from you at some point, otherwise theyíll stay on the ground and get swept up in it anyway. I also enjoy it Ďcause it has just enough flash and showmanship to make it seem like youíre really beatiní the crap out of Ďem. Much more so than Linkís or Meta Knightís in my opinion.
Ike = Win. Seriously, were you surprised? I know Iíve gushed over him the whole time, but I really think Ike is one of the best fighters. He may not be light on his feet, but he doesnít have to be. Most light fighters donít come close to the heavy hit potential Ike has so when they come in close for some hit and run attacks, they usually get knocked WAY back. Plus, most heavy fighters donít have the ridiculous reach Ike has. Ike deserves to take Marthís spot as the regular from here on out. There, I said it. Snake
Going into Brawl I was very suspect to Snakeís inclusion, as I feel many people were. How were they going to take a stealth-ops character and fit him into a game thatís all about fast action and over the top fighting? By giving him the moveset and panache that theyíve given him, thatís how. Snake may not be the best or most well-rounded fighter in the game, but DAMN is he fun to play as. Due to Nintendoís dislike of guns and blood he loses the use of a handgun or machine gun, but they sure did make up for it with what he does have.
Somehow one of the most serious characters in gaming managed to fit into on of the whackiest games. Who would of thought it possible?
Snakeís neutral B grenade toss isnít always the most effective move, but itís decent to throw into close-quarters fights and wait for it to explode. The fact most people donít see it (the thing is pretty small) means it can hide unnoticed on the ground and do unsuspecting damage.
While some may argue that the grenade isnít stealthy, they canít deny the stealth of his mine lay (Down+B) planting those things in a random spot and walking away to join the fight elsewhere is great. Actually scoring a KO from it a minute later because the fight migrated to wear you laid it is damn near classic.
His Over+B missile launch is decent, too. It has some nice power behind it when it connects. Itís also cool that you can use its fly-by-wire to steer it in case someoneís trying to avoid it (or if you happen to choose a new target). The fact it loses gas and sorta dies off after a while is funny, too, plus it manages to balance the weapon out.
For a land-based covert-operative Snake managed to receive one of the most useful Up+B recoveries in the game. Calling upon that little flying thing (I never played an MGS game, so sue me) is a great way to cover ground and comes in handy often.
On top of some cool special moves, Snake manages to have some of the most powerful A attacks in the game, too. He can deal some great damage with his Smash A attacks (almost all of them), especially his heel kick (mid air). I forget if thatís Over Smash+A or neutral, though while in the air. Either way itís still powerful.
I also really enjoy his Over Smash+A (the rocket launcher aimed at the ground). That thing has saved my life many a times as I blasted away incoming opponents. His Up Smash+A is also cool (the mortar) because it can hit people on the way up AND the way down, meaning both you and your opponent hafta plan ahead. It's also highly effective when used beneath opponents on platforms, because when fully charged it can often travel high enough to go through the platform, but if it misses it falls and lands on that, not by you. I expected them to nerf his KO potential because of his stealthy play style, but I like that they didnít.
Including this art style for an alternative costume would have been sick.
**Side Note: Snake has, arguably, the best alternative colors in the game. Using other camo prints was not only hilarious but also highly relevant to the character. PLUS, his Grab+Down where he sleeper holds opponents is the funniest in the game. Good job devs.**
Snakeís FS is also really cool. While I donít know if heís ever hopped onto a helicopter rope ladder and rained hot grenade death on enemies in one of his games, Snake is badass enough to at least try it at some point. The third person aim mechanic works decent enough and manages not to disrupt the screen THAT much. Plus, itís cool to watch everyone else scramble to avoid the grenades. The fact they take a little while to reach the stage and explode is a nice touch, forcing Snake to use some planning and strategy as to where he shoots them and also gives his enemies a fighting chance to avoid them. This is one of the coolest FSs in the game, in my book.
Snake = Win. I think they really introduced Snake the best way possible. They gave him a great array of military-based weapons while managing to avoid outright firearm use. They also managed to fit in some tongue Ėin-cheek references to his series with his hidden codecs, box taunt, grabs, and his awesome stage. Snake is in my current rotation and he deserves to be in yours, just for his stealth style.
Thanks for reading. Come back tomorrow for the critique of the second character I feel should have made the roster!
Or read my review of the game!
Or, if you need to catch up on old critiques try these:
Mario and DK Link and Samus Kirby and Fox Pikachu and Marth Mr Game & Watch Luigi and Diddy Kong Zelda/Sheik and Pit Meta Knight and Falco Pokemon Trainer
And my bonus characters who should have made the roster:
Thanks for reading!