Welcome to the Saturday Smash-Up, a weekly recap of all of the new and exciting information from the week in Smash Pics of the Day. What am I talking about? Well, here’s a primer: Since the announcement of Super Smash Brothers for Wii U and Super Smash Brothers for 3DS back at E3 2013, project director Masahiro Sakurai has been posting daily updates on SmashBros.com, just as he did with Super Smash Brothers Brawl during its development cycle. The update is just a screenshot from one of the two versions, but Sakurai provides a small description of the screen on the Super Smash Bros Director’s Room Miiverse page. Sometimes we see the announcement of a character (most recently with the Smash Bros Direct Five on April 8th), other times it’s just a goofy pose. Check back here every week for a week’s worth of Smash updates, Sakurai musings, and Fanelli reaction.
Man, I love busy Smash weeks. After a full month of minor updates and “hey cool” moments, Sakurai and Nintendo blew the lid off of the information jar with the Super Smash Brothers Direct, giving us a treasure trove of stuff to talk about. Seriously, the amount of analysis videos I’ve seen is absurd, but the fact that we have this fresh information to talk about is a beautiful thing. Let’s get to it!
Monday, April 7th, 2014
Sakurai: “Pic of the day. An insatiable, unidentified extraterrestrial is targeting a certain peaceful town…!“
Editor’s Thoughts: Man, that is one UG-A-LY creature. It looks like it has giant meatballs for whatever those things are in its center. Now I can see why Samus didn’t want those things to be unleashed; they are straight up gross.
Tuesday: April 8th, 2014
Sakurai: “Pic of the day, and a very important announcement. On 4/8, at 3 PM PST (8/4 11 PM UK time), we’ll be airing a Super Smash Bros. Direct!! There will be all kinds of info about the new Smash Bros. games on this simultaneous global stream that will be delivered “directly” to you, so don’t miss it! It’s airing at a really late time for some of you, but it’ll probably be worth the wait. You can watch the stream from the official site (www.smashbros.com).“
Editor’s Thoughts: Oh, we watched it Sakurai-san…we watched the CRAP out of it. Every second of the 39-minute presentation was absorbed, consumed into our knowledge and analyzed from every angle. It was truly a wealth of information that’ll keep us busy until E3 in two months’ time.
Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Sakurai: “Pic of the day? No, it’s an internet broadcast! The video of the Super Smash Bros. Direct can be seen right here!! There’s quite a bit of new info in this one, so make sure to check it out!“
Editor’s Thoughts: That’s quite the understatement! So here’s a rundown of everything that went down, straight from the information on that YouTube video:
01:14 Release Timing
Summer for 3DS, Winter for Wii U. 3DS, amazingly, is coming first.
01:45 Technical Tidbit
Sakurai gets into the framerate of the new Smash, mentioning that every battle will be a full 60 frames per second, though the Assist Trophies and Pokemon will run at 30 FPS. I’m cool with assists being half the framerate, it makes total sense.
02:39 Differences Between Versions
Things got a little in-depth here, talking about the playable roster will be the same for both versions, but the stages will be completely different and the few that DO appear will look way different. Also, each 3DS stage will have two songs associated with it (a la a few stages in Melee), while the Wii U version WILL BE GETTING MY MUSIC BACK AW YISS.
03:56 Nintendo 3DS Stages
A laundry list of some (not all!) 3DS stages then get shown in snippets: Reset Bomb Forest (Kid Icarus), 3D Land (Mario), Spirit Train (Zelda), Gerudo Valley (Zelda), Arena Ferox (Fire Emblem), Tortimer Island (Animal Crossing), Living Room (Nintendogs), Prism Tower (Pokemon), Rainbow Road (Mario), Find Mii (!), Balloon Fight (Retro, !!!), and the returning Jungle Japes from Melee. All of them seem interesting, but that Balloon Fight at the end was a pretty awesome surprise.
04:57 Wii U Stages
The Wii U stages immediately get the same treatment: Mario Galaxy (Mario), Pyrosphere (Metroid), Town and City (Animal Crossing), Boxing Ring (Punch-Out), Pilotwings, Skyloft (Zelda), Windy Hill (Sonic), Garden of Hope (Pikmin), Wii Fit Studio (Wii Fit), Palutena’s Temple (Kid Icarus), and the returning Halberd from Brawl. Sakurai then mentions the returning stages, saying that more past stages will be available as well. No Wii U stages we didn’t know about already, but seeing them in action for the first time was pretty cool.
07:57 Online Play
Both versions will have online play right out of the chute, but there will be three different offerings. When you’re playing with friends you can set everything there is to set to your liking, but when you venture into playing the unknown you’ll have two options: For Fun and For Glory. For Fun is free-for-alls in random stages with items/stage hazards enabled and only wins recorded. For Glory is Final Destination only (cool), no items (cool), 1-on-1 battles are possible (awesome), and wins AND losses will be recorded (awesome). Also, because Sakurai didn’t want the game wasted for the Glory players, almost EVERY stage in both games will have a Final Destination form: one big flat platform with nothing else. That’s a GENIUS move on Sakurai’s part, and one the competitive scene is sure to love. Sakurai then talks about the banning system and what his team will be watching out for, as well as a new solo play ranking system called Global Smash Power, where your rank is actually the number of people who rank below you. For example, if your GSP is 45,113, then there are 45,112 below you. Hooray adapted percentile method!
The video then moved to items, showing the Beam Sword, Bumper, Smart Bomb (Star Fox), Motion-Sensor Bomb, POW Block (Mario), Beetle (Zelda), Fire Bar (Mario), Back Shield (Kid Icarus), Bombchu (Zelda), Fairy Bottle (Zelda), Ore Club (Kid Icarus), X Bomb (Kid Icarus), Hocotate Bomb (Pikmin), Rocket Belt (Pilotwings), and Steel Diver.
14:26 Assist Trophies
Now we have Assist Trophies, both new and old: Andross, Devil, Knuckle Joe, Saki Amimiya, Lyn (Fire Emblem), Nintendog, Waluigi, Dr. Wright (Sim City SNES), Skull Kid, Mother Brain, Midna (Zelda), Ashley (WarioWare), Dark Samus, Chain Chomp, Isabelle (Animal Crossing), Elec Man, and Color TV-Game 15, which is Pong. Yes, Pong will attack you in Smash Bros. Amazing.
We then get to see Pokemon in action, including the new Master Ball items which hold rare and legendary Pokemon. No longer will we be mining red-and-white Poke Balls to see Mew; now we need to seek out the purple one. Pokemon shown include Arceus, Meowth, Electrode, Eevee, Staryu, Metagross, Fennekin, Meloetta, Gogoat, Entei, Deoxys, Palkia, Kyurem, Victini, Keldeo, and Xerneas.
17:20 Returning Fighters
Next the Direct shifted to all kinds of information about select returning fighters. Most importantly is the fact that characters who transformed no longer do so. Zelda no longer has Down+B devoted to Sheik, and Samus doesn’t lose her armor to become Zero Suit Samus after a Final Smash. Both Sheik and Zero Suit Samus, however, get their own spots on the roster, which is pretty awesome. After that reveal Sakurai talks about some buffs/nerfs to certain characters, like Pit no longer be able to glide, Lucario transforming into Mega Lucario, and Dedede throwing just spiky Gordos now with his Forward+B. Perhaps the most changed is Olimar, who only gets three Pikmin at a time now, in a set Red/Yellow/Blue/White/Purple order, and his recovery Up+B move is now Winged Pikmin. Finally, Sakurai gives us another new face: the long overdue Yoshi, who stands more upright now instead of hunched over. Sakurai says that adds to his power; we’ll see when we play him.
23:41 New Fighters
We then get some info on new characters, including moveset info for all five of the known newcomers. Except for Wii Fit Trainer which we’ve seen before, we get to see all of their Final Smashes: Rosalina’s Power Star, Mega Man’s incredible laser attack with cameos by every other Mega Man known to us, Little Mac’s Giga Mac, and the Villager’s Dream Home where one opponent is turned into Bells, given to Tom Nook, built into a house, then blown up. Maybe Villager is a psychopath.
30:20 Mysterious Special Moves
Suddenly we see Mario throw a giant Fireball unlike his other stuff. Apparently now we can customize a character’s moveset to our liking and unleash the modified moves against our friends or the A.I. Smartly this option is NOT available online against strangers, because that would throw the whole competitive balance off.
31:12 Smash Run
The end of Sakurai’s part of the Direct talked about Smash Run, a 3DS-exclusive mode. Here four players run through an “obstacle course” defeating enemies, gaining power-ups, and opening treasure chests. After five minutes, the power-ups are tallied, each characters gets the appropriate buffs, and a free-for-all ensues. It’s a really cool idea, one that I’m excited to try, but I could see one person hogging all of the power-ups and becoming unstoppable.
36:42 New Trailer
After what’s seemingly the end of the presentation, a new trailer airs with Poke Balls flying all over the place, then Pikachu standing on a cliff with Charizard, revealed to be returing as a veteran (no more transformations after all, so Trainer is OUT). As Charizard charges into battle, we see a shadowy figure charging an attack and throwing it at Mario and Zard just before they attack. The figure is revealed to be Greninja, final evolution of Water starter Froakie in Pokemon X and Y, who joins the cast as a newcomer. For those unaware, Greninja is a ninja frog with a scarf that is actually his tongue, and he is awesome.
So there you go, that’s the whole Nintendo Direct in a brief synopsis.
Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Sakurai: “Pic of the day. Samus and Zero Suit Samus!! How will she match up with her new jet boots?“
Editor’s Thoughts: I was pumped to see Zero Suit Samus return, but a few people on the internet were mad at the fact that her jet boots look like high heels, saying it adds to gender stereotypes or something like that. I must not qualify as a “gamer” by today’s standards anymore, because I didn’t think twice about how those boots looked. My mind went to “oh wow, she’s more mobile now, that’s pretty awesome.” Also, those detractors seem to be COMPLETELY IGNORING the fact that both the male and female Wii Fit Trainers are TOTALLY EVEN in height, attack power, and overall ability. Literal gender equality in Wii Fit Trainer form, and no one says anything, they’re too worried about high-heel jet boots. Oy.
Friday, April 11th, 2014
Sakurai: “Pic of the day. Your character starts a Smash Run as a relatively ordinary fighter. But before the game, you can outfit yourself with certain items that can help power you up early, which will give you a big advantage later on!! These items are much like the Powers you’d find in Kid Icarus: Uprising. For those who are wondering what Smash Run is, check out the Super Smash Bros. Direct. You can find the link on the post two days before this one.“
Editor’s Thoughts: I am totally down with this exclusive 3DS mode. It’s like a mini-Adventure mode that rewards the player for exploring every bit of the big stage by giving them power-ups for the ensuing free-for-all. I never played Kirby’s Air Ride (the inspiration for this mode) but I may go try it now to get familiar with things.
News was in plentiful supply this week, as I could talk about the Smash Direct for hours if I wanted to. However, now that the dust has settled on release information, stage info, character info, and the like, it’s time to look to the future: we have two months’ worth of daily updates ahead before The Super Bowl of Gaming in June. Full speed ahead!
That’s all for now, but before we go, it’s time for the Song of the Week! At the end of every week, I’m going to post a Nintendo tune that I’d like to see make it into either version of Smash (especially if My Music returns, WHICH WE NOW KNOW IT IS WHOOPEEEEE). I’ll take requests for songs on the GamerNode Twitter page or on my personal one (remember the #SaturdaySmashUp hashtag!), so let’s jam to some sweet music every Saturday.
With the announcement of My Music returning to the Wii U version, my heart sings with musical glee! Also, some of the background music in the Direct was just swoon-worthy…the Kapp’n remix during the Villager moveset section? I shouted in delight when I heard it. As for this week, let’s slow it down with a song I’ve loved for many years, and even though it’s slower and more melodic a good remix would totally make it fit into Smash (a la Stickerbrush Symphony from DKC2).
Until next week, Smashers!