Here, as promised, is the fourteenth portion (including my review and bonus characters) 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.
Of all the clones they included in Brawl, I really think Ganondorf was handled the most poorly. If there was ever a character that deserved their own specialized moveset to set them apart from the rest of the fighters, it is Ganondorf. As much as I like the idea of Falco earning a moveset truly of his own (or at least more different than Foxís) Ganondorf deserves one that much more.
No one likes a fatty.
Ganondorfís inclusion in Melee was cool, just because it was nice to have Linkís main rival included in the series. By now, though, he should have had his moveset specialized. The dudeís simply not Capt. Falcon, plain and simple. So why the hell does he still have his moves then? Only Nintendoís lazy developers may ever know.
Overall, thereís not much that can be said about Ganondorf that canít be culled from some time with Capt. Falcon. On that note, I highly suggest simply using Capt. Falcon if youíre looking for a fighter with such potent hand-to-hand maneuvers. A lot of people thought heíd finally get his mighty sword, which he does. In a taunt. Lame.
To become worth anyoneís time Ganondorf needs his own moveset once and for all. He needs his giant sword for potent sword-based attacks. Make him a mix between what he is now but allow him to go head-to-head with the other heavy sword fighters, like Link, Ike, and Marth. Throw in some magical attacks to give him his own flavor, whatever it takes. Just stop giving him purple versions of Capt. Falconís moves.
Where's this lithe badass been all my life?
On top of still being the most blatant clone in the game, heís also one of the truly slowest characters out there. The guy is flat out lethargic. He may have some powerful hits here and there (like his neutral B warlock punch) along with a number of his smash attacks, but he generally moves so slowly that itís difficult to not get circles run around you as you try and connect a hit. Only time he has considerable speed is his Up+B recovery move where he leaps upward and can suck in aerial opponents and make them explode in some purple dust.
The one aspect of his moveset that sets him apart from Capt. Falcon is his Final Smash, wherein instead of a single hit FS, he transforms into a giant dark demon beast and jumps across the stage, doing massive damage in his wake. Itís actually rather effective and cool to look at however, playing through the rest of the match just to MAYBE get your hands on the Smash Ball isnít quite an enjoyable experience and isnít enough to outweigh the rest of his moves.
Ganondorf = Epic Fail. Theyíve had two chances to make Ganondorf a worthy inclusion to the Smash series. Theyíve failed miserably both times. They need to drastically revamp him by the next iteration or leave the dude out completely. He simply wonít be worth it at that point if they donít. Ice Climbers
Back when they were introduced in Melee, I was highly skeptical about how the Ice Climbers could ever be any good. The whole teamwork mechanic seemed out of place in what is essentially a free-for-all fighting game. I was surprised how well they played and how fun they could be to spend time with. They offer a unique moveset with a certain charm to it that other fighters simply lack. Luckily, they returned for Brawl (after some early rumors that they were cut) and they are as good if not better than ever.
Surprise buttsecks! You're doing it wrong...
The Ice Climbers are a weird little duo. You pretty much control the pair by controlling the male (Popo in the blue). The female (Nana in pink) will follow along and perform whatever move Popo does. This doubles the power and effectiveness of every move in their arsenal, unless Nana gets knocked out before Popo does. This is a real cool mechanic that I have come to appreciate so much that I felt it would be used for the introduction of another series star (more on that in later updates).
Their moves are pretty much hammer and ice-based. They have a bevy of hammer attacks (Over+B as well as most A attacks) along with lots of icy moves. They have blizzard breath (Down+B) which can blast both sides of you should Nana still be in play, a great move for cooling off a crowd of opponents. Plus they have their neutral B ice cube smack move which is an okay distance attack for a more hand-to-hand character(s).
Their Up+B recovery move is ONLY useful if Nana is in play, as she is the one who grabs ledges. Playing with the Climbers really is more of a chore than some other fighters, but itís a fun change of pace that truly canít be had with anyone else.
Not quite so cute, eh?
The Ice Climbersí FS is, in my opinion, way more powerful than it should be. They essentially summon a giant iceberg from the ground and take up roughly 75% of most levels with it. As you touch it you take damage and eventually freeze and can get KOíd because of it. My problem with the move is that even if there are still platforms in play that arenít being affected by the Ďberg, touching the ground STILL causes you to take damage and can STILL make you freeze. There is, essentially, no way to avoid taking damage from it. This is compounded by the fact that, save for a very small number of characters, no one can stay in midair long enough to avoid damage. Itíll pretty much always hurt everyone (save for the Climbers themselves); itís just a matter of to what degree. I feel this is highly unbalanced compared to the majority of the other FSs.
**Side Note: I really like their Brawl stage more than their Melee stage. The scaling stages make matches less of a fight and more of an avoidance of the screen outskirts. I was pissed they made DKís stage in this manner, but at least thereís only one new stage such as this (since one of Marioís old stages still does this).**
Ice Climbers = Win. The Climbers really offer a great diversion from the more traditional fighters. While they may not always be in my usual rotation of fighters, I never dislike playing as them. That says a lot. On top of a unique style, they can be pretty potent in the right hands, especially if Nana manages to stay in play. I wouldn't mind their FS being scaled back a little bit, though.
Thanks for reading. Come back tomorrow for the critique of King Dedede and Wolf!
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 Ike and Snake Peach and Yoshi
And my bonus characters who should have made the roster:
Mega Man Bomberman
Thanks for reading!