Welcome to part 2 of this Super Smash Bros series. If you missed part 1 click HERE to read my intro, my love of the game, and my analysis on this game’s awesome mechanics. With that out of the way lets continue.
The Various Ways to Play:
This game gives you a wide variety of choices and customization. You can turn items on or off or choose specific items. There is special smash where you can edit the parameters of a fight. You can customize your characters with a customized special. You can also change their stats such as speed, attack power, and weight. You can even play in teams such as 2 v 2, 3 v 3, 4 v 4, or 2 v 2 v 2 v 2 , or one of my favorites 1 v 7. There are so many ways you can make the rules with friends that it is borderline ridiculous that my friends and I still to this day make up new rules. One of the interesting options we did randomly one night when gaming with my friends was 1 v 7. We set the stock count to 7 and then everyone killed themselves so that everyone had only 1 stock remaining and the person that was the odd man out had 7 stocks to take out all 7 people who were up against him. I never accomplished that feat but some of my other friends did accomplish it. This game very was fun when everyone was taking turns being “it”. It is these little creative things we do on a regular basis keeps the game fresh and has us coming back for more. I also want to give a special shout out to playing with only Pokemon characters from the roster and turning on only pokeballs/masterballs. As a note, playing on a Pokemon stage always brings so much mayhem and joy.
The Design Aesthetic / Art Style:
One thing I think people overlook about this game is the aesthetic of the game itself. The reason I bring this up is because of an analogy I once heard about movies. The best special effects in film are the ones you don’t notice are there. When filmmakers uses CGI, and the viewer didn’t know that CGI was used, then the filmmakers did their job correctly. It is a slightly thankless job in the sense that you are trying to have your work go unnoticed. The same can be said about the art style of Smash Bros. The art style is very cartoon-y to the point that every character just melds together then suddenly every character in the roster fits. Think about the fact that it doesn’t seem weird that a Fire Emblem character from a Japanese turn based strategy game fits in aesthetically with a Pokemon, Kirby and Wii Fit Trainer. This wasn’t an easy task to merge so many franchises and have them all fit under one art style. The only time I feel like the Smash series ever failed in this regard was Solid Snake in Brawl. The Metal Gear Solid series protagonist doesn’t lend himself too well to a cartoon and him choking Mario and friends doesn’t seem right, but I can also argue that I am overstating this negative. Ultimately this game’s art style goes overlooked because it works so well. It accomplished its job in spades and it’s because of that the game lets you take screenshots when you pause the game. I have plenty of beautiful looking (and silly) pictures saved on my SD card from the game and the pictures you are seeing throughout this article are the same photos in my photo album. The last thing I want to say in this section is to give a shout out to the stages, because a lot of attention to detail went into the backgrounds of every stage and you can see little Easter eggs when you pause the game and zoom in on the background.
If you told me as a kid that Mario, Sonic, Pac-Man, Mega Man, Pikachu, Ryu, and Cloud were all going to be in one game where they fight each other, I would have not believed you and told you to get out of my face. But if you told me that and you got me to believe you I would have lost my mind! The fact of the matter is Nintendo and this game series has the market cornered on gaming icons. One of the biggest drawbacks of PlayStation All Stars was the fact that the characters don’t really resonate with the players. It also a bit of an insult that Sony couldn’t land Solid Snake and had to settle for Raiden instead. I’ve seen various comedy animation videos on YouTube where characters are auditioning to be a part of the next Smash game and a another where a character receives an invitation in the mail and become ecstatic. I feel that these videos are speaking truth and it’s that kind of clout that this series has that makes it a big deal to be a part of the roster. One caveat I will throw out there is that I wish Solid Snake, Ice Climbers, and Shovel Knight could be in this game. Solid Snake and Ice Climbers should have returned so that way no characters were left behind from Brawl (because Wolf, Squirtle and Ivysaur being left behind is forgivable). As for Shovel Knight, he was the one I voted for in the Smash Poll and I didn’t mind that Bayonetta got in instead. I do genuinely wish I could have had it all. While I’m at it, throw in Rayman for good measure. The last point I want to make in this section is that this game nails the characters themselves! The character’s idle animations, movement, facial expressions, victory poses, taunts, alternate costumes, and attacks are all homages to the games they come from. So much detail was put into this game that they even included Mega Man’s foot movement from the NES Mega Man games. One time my friends and I stopped a match just to simply enjoy how Yoshi walks with his arms out which is a call back to Yoshi’s Island. The fact of the matter is the people behind this game went to great lengths to nail this aspect and it’s interesting to think that playing the character’s games kind of gives you a sense of their fighting style. Take Olimar for example, Pikmin is a game where you have to manage resources and that is very much a part of high level Olimar. A great Olimar player makes sure that the color Pikmin that are in play are the right ones for the situation, a lot of time I see the Purple Pikmin out when the player is getting ready to kill since they are the strongest. It’s these little things that help you appreciate every character in the roster.
With that, we are nearing the end. Stay tuned in for Part 3