Here, as promised, is the third portion 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 top 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.
Link was one of my favorite fighters in the original Smash. I felt they neutered him in Melee. That thought hasnít changed in Brawl.
I remember Link playing much more fluidly than I find he does now. There is just something off in regards to the timing of all his moves. He used to represent the sword fighter-type character better than anyone else, but now he lags far behind Marth and Ike (and even Roy from Melee). He just seems useless.
Some may argue heís more balanced because he has bombs and arrows and a dumbass tornado move, but I think he blows. If the tornado did more than sorta pull people towards you, itíd be a worthwhile addition. As it stands, itís retarded. It should throw people up in a spinning frenzy and force them into the air (think the tornado obstacle in his original Smash stage), allowing for some sweet aerial assaults by anyone fortunate enough to take advantage of the move (Link or otherwise). Kinda turning them around and pulling them toward you is stupid.
Linkís Final Smash is stupid, too. If there was any a character that had LOADS of different FS opportunities other than Mario, it would be Link. The dude has a gameplay-altering change to every game in his entire history and yet all they give him is a sword attack. Whereís the wolf transformation from TP? Or the alternate Links from Majoraís Mask? Minish cap, perhaps?
I think Link had a lot of hope for his FS and they failed miserably. Pretty much anything from his games would be better than a lame sword attack. My personal vote goes to a random timed transformation into one of his alternate forms from Majoraís Mask, much like Warioís change into Super Wario. Heíd gain new moves and do extra damage until he transformed back. Heck, even whipping out the Ocarina of Time and causing the moon to crash into the stage for explosive damage would have been cooler. Anything pretty much would have been cooler than what they chose.
Cooler than a sword slash Link = Fail. If they would make him the awesome fighter he was in the original and give us a worthwhile FS, Link would be back in business. Samus
I always liked Samus. She was a great distance fighter AND a pretty awesome hand to hand combatant throughout the series. Her general smashes are as powerful and fun to pull off as always. They havenít tweaked her too much and I like her that much more because of it.
The first noticeable change in her moveset (to me) has been her Over+B attack, which launches a missile. The missile is sometimes a homing missile, sometimes itís just a normal missile. Ooh the excitement of the unknown. The second is the fact her grab move doesnít send out her grappling laser anymore. Itís just her hand. I donít believe this was the case in Melee, but if it was I didnít notice it. I notice it now, as her grab reach has been significantly lessened because of it. It kinda sucks because her grappling laser is still present in the animations of her grabs, they just donít help her actually pull the move off. This is dumb to me, especially after playing Prime 3. To have them remove a core maneuver that is reminiscent of a move in a fighterís respective game series is dumb, in my opinion. Bad move, but shit happens.
Speaking of which, Iíve also come to appreciate the fact her Down+B attack, which lays a bomb, is limited to three bombs at a time. Before Prime 3, I never played a Metroid game, so I didnít know that in those games she couldnít lay more than 3 bombs at a time. I always wondered why that limitation existed in the Smash series. That quirky little detail made me smile when I played my first match in Brawl as her and it dawned on me.
The biggest change to Samus is her Final Smash. After executing her giant charged up Ryu-like blast on the other fighters, she loses her super suit (Woo-hoo! Fanboys rejoice!) and becomes Zero Suit Samus, a wholly different character to play as.
Unfortunately, I donít like the way ZS Samus plays. At all. I think her moves are much weaker and she doesnít become any more agile, which you think for a dainty chick that just lost a solid 30 or 40 lbs (at the minimum) of body armor off her frame, would allow her to move a little quicker. Nope. I recognize no noticeable difference. This hurts my love of her in Brawl.
For someone who loves playing as Samus, it sucks to actually get the Smash Ball and know, if utilized, Iíll hafta fight as one of my most despised characters. Yes, I understand you can do some crazy taunt maneuver that makes her put the suit back on early instead of waiting for ANOTHER Smash Ball and using it to put the armor back on, but I canít ever manage to pull that move off, nor are there often two Smash Balls in a single match (I usually play 2 minute brawls) let alone ones I actually get to first both times.
This suit had a lot of potential
For this, Samus loses some love from me. After playing through most of Prime 3 I would have liked to see her represented by her Phazon costume, too, even if it was just a color tweak. I like that they included the colored suit from the GBA games, but I think paying homage to her latest outing would have been even cooler. Especially because Wario gets two wholly different costumes, it makes no sense that other characters who have seen some pretty drastic changes to their outfits over the years couldnít have been shown the same love. It would have been a due fan service to Metroid fans who almost always get shafted by Nintendo (i.e. why the fuck is there only one Metroid character in the Smash series after 3 iterations? No, Ripley in the SSE doesnít countÖ nor does the Metroid assist trophy). I think alternate costumes with slightly different attack properties would have been real cool. Say, have Dark Samus from Prime 3 who has more powerful laser attacks but is slower. Or, her normal Phazon-powered suit that utilizes the fire or ice beam instead of a normal laser (Perhaps it could start off short range but very powerful and as you charge it, it becomes longer range but less powerful? Something like that, anyway). Wishful thinking, I guess. Oh well, maybe next time.
Samus = Win (as Samus) / Fail (as Zero Suit Samus). I guess including ZS Samus WAS Nintendoís fan service to Metroid lovers, but I donít think it was handled as well as it could have been. I wanna see alternate costumes/powers represented in the future.
Thanks for reading. Come back tomorrow for my critiques of Kirby and Fox!
If you're bored, read my review of the game Or, if you're interested in my thoughts on Mario and DK, read this.