Here, as promised, is the fourth 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.
Oh, Kirby. You spamming little pink son of a bitch, you. Oh how my girlfriend loves you. Oh how I loathe you (only because of her love for you).
Kirby was always one of my favorite characters in the original Smash. I felt as though he got nerfed in Melee, though, and I didnít spend much time with him in that game. Luckily, heís fun to play with again, so rejoice.
The pink wonder
I donít know what they changed between Smash and Melee, but the lil pink dude that could just didnít have the same effect on me as he used to, so this is my critique almost as if Kirby is a new character again. And boy, do I love him.
Not only is Kirby one of the most versatile fighters in the game, the little bastard has one of the best recoveries (arguably THE best) of anyone. That is key in this series, as you all know. Not only that, the guy has the most unique moveset available because he has a little bit of EVERYONEíS moveset. His swallow move (neutral B) is classic and lends itself great to evening out fights when his core moveset isnít getting the job done. Nothing like giving someone a taste of their own neutral B move medicine. The only downside to it I have found is that the canned animation for it lasts WAY too long. Since the game has become all about the whole ďhit button, wait for animation to play through before anything responds to your button pressesĒ kinda fighting, if you miss with a neutral B and donít get hit (say if youíre falling off the stage) youíll likely die or get hit, which can really break the flow of the game for me and is quite annoying. Dude sucks forever. Itís true.
Kirbyís Down+B attack is easily one of the most spammable moves in the game, however. Landing the move and cancelling out (usually by pressing Down+B again) immediately causes him to float a little as if he jumped, which allows you to jump again, clear the ground attacks of an area, and reassault it with another Down+B. This can cause some serious damage to a crowd of people if you manage to maneuver yourself above them. Itís annoying, yes, but also deadly in the hands of a skilled combatant.
The move my girlfriend loves to spam is his Over+B hammer attack, which as far as I know is new (I donít recall it being in Melee, but that was a while ago, so I could be wrong). I believe it was included to mimic King Dededeís similar use of a hammer (for no reason). Yes, itís the one where he makes the annoying lil yelp noise. God damn it do I hate that move. She played as Kirby for 2 hours before even realizing he could steal powers, based purely on her love for that fucking hammer. Howís that for spammable? I digressÖ
In general, I love Kirby. I think for such a small pink wonder heís a pretty formidable fighter that, in skilled hands, can go against anyone in the game. The only aspect of him I REALLY dislike, though, is his Final Smash. Since when in the fuck does Kirby cook? Honestly. Where the hell did this FS come from? It makes no fucking sense. Did I miss a GameBoy game or something over the years? Sure, itís useful to a degree based on the fact it does respectable damage AND spawns a ton of items afterward, but that doesnít mean it fits the character well from the games I played (plus, itís really annoying to have him spawn only hammers thereafter). This FS makes me think they had Cooking Mama in as a fighter and removed her Ďcause they knew sheíd be lame and just let Kirby have her FS. There is no other explanation I can deem even remotely reasonable as to why he cooks people in a pot.
Unfortunately, I donít know the character and his games well enough to even be able to come up with a worthy alternative for an FS. I guess thatís what happened to the creative team behind the game, too. But itís especially odd considering they worked closely with the original creator of the character. Some characters just arenít that deep I guess. Who knows?
Kirby = Win (when his entire arsenal is utilized) / Fail (when my girlfriend uses that fucking hammer and ONLY that fucking hammer!). Seriously, though, heís much better than in Melee. Kirby is back in the game. Youíve been warned. Fox
Oh Fox, you crazy bastard you. I have to admit I never really liked Fox in the original Smash and despised him in Melee because I felt he was way too powerful for a speed-based character. That has changed for me, though, in Brawl. Mostly because they have lowered the power on his attacks and really embraced his speed as his core gameplay mechanic. I appreciate that. Now heís less like a speeding Mack truck, but more like a sleek motorcycle.
God, that was an awful comparison to draw.
Anywho, Fox is much more balanced now than ever before. His moves are sped up and deal less damage, which is exactly the point of having a speed character. Sometimes, though, I think he moves almost TOO fast. This is usually only in the target smashing levels, though. I hate the characters that move so fast they run off edges, hit walls, and jump off. Fox is the leader of this group of fighters (who also includes Falco, Samus, and a few others). God I hate that.
I really like how his blaster (neutral B) attack has been modified to simply do damage, not stun or knock back people, as well. Itís a sneaky way to raise peopleís damage without them realizing anything is happening to them, which can be a deadly mistake. I believe this is new to Brawl and I wholly enjoy it. It also sets him apart from his two clones, which is appreciated. Plus, his Down+B (reflective shield) move can now deal a lil damage. Good for Fox.
**Side Note: I also really like the redesign they did on Fox between Melee and Brawl. Fox just simply looks tougher. Heís a badass space-faring fox, not some pussy-ass cartoon joke. Now, I understand the Melee design is way more faithful to the original Star Fox puppet design things they used in the promotion of the SNES game, but letís face it, those things were showing their age. The redesign is simply badass and I love it.**
Now with more badass!
One of my favorite aspects of Fox has always been his Up+B explosive rocket diarrhea move. HonestlyÖ what the fuck is he DOING? I dislike the fact they lowered the damage on this specific move, despite how much I appreciate the lowered damage for the rest of his moveset. The dude should have at least one good powerful hit, right?
I guess the creative team agreed with me, Ďcause they gave Fox one of the most potentially devastating Final Smashes in the game, at least in the hands of (not a skilled player) but a complete bastard such as myself. While the tank he summons is huge and cumbersome and powerful, the fact you canít aim the laser turret kinda lessens the likelihood youíll ever actually hit someone with it, let alone off the stage, especially in stage with uneven terrain. A much more useful tactic is to get people to jump on the tank as they attempt to get around it and then fly to the top of the stage (via repeated jumps) until you hit the peak point and they get hurled off automatically. Properly timing your descent so you land before they respawn and then repeating the process for kills against opponents with 0% damage is an effective way to lose friends quickly. And boy is it a joy to perform.
Fox = Win. Because of all this, I like Fox again. Heís fun to play with. Not as fun as Falco, imo, but still not as bad as before. I like that they embraced his speed. The game needed a truly fast character. Fox effectively fills that gap without being overpowering to play against. Unless, of course, he gets the Smash Ball. In that caseÖ hang off the edge, Ďcause youíre in his jungle then... and youíre gonna die.
Thanks for reading. Come back tomorrow for my critiques of Pikachu and Marth!
And if you're bored, read my review of the game!
Or, catch up on my previous critiques:
Of Mario and DK! Or of Link and Samus!