Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Super Smash Bros. on the 3DS - First Impressions

Smash Bros isn't a game you can "finish," so waiting until I'm done with the game to start talking about it doesn't make much sense. However, I've unlocked all of the characters in Smash Bros for 3DS, and I've completed all of the challenges on panels 1 and 2, so I'm not exactly new to the game at this point either. It's been a little over a week since I got the game, so let's talk about it.

Rather than unlock the various characters by accomplishing one goal or another, beating Classic Mode at X difficulty with X character and so on, I instead just played a LOT of Smash battles. Specifically, I spent a lot of time getting good at fighting with Peach again, fighting 2-minute battles against two random, increasingly difficult CPU opponents on random, non-Omega stages.

The most important thing for me was getting used to the feel of controlling a character on the 3DS. It felt pretty weird to me at first, but I got used to it at some point. The fact that my Peach could consistently win those 2-minute matches against Lv9 CPU opponents by the end attests to that, at least.

I had always been a Stock player rather than a Time player since I've always played defensively, even though I've still never really gotten the hang of dodges and shields. Stock battles allow you to take a breather and sometimes let your opponents kill or at least hurt each other a bit while you stand back and watch.

However, I decided to learn to be offensive, and timed battles force you to do so since they're not about survival so much as who can get the best kill-to-death ratio. A 4-person free-for-all can easily devolve into basically two concurrent duels, so I opted for a 3-person free-for all instead: we all have to be constantly fighting each other if we want to come out on top.

Omega stages are an interesting addition to the game, especially if you prefer the flat, featureless battlefield of Final Destination but don't want to always have to see the same background. That said, screw that: I want my stages to be weird and fun. I want items and battlefield hazards that force me to think on my feet as the situation changes. I want to sometimes be able to beat people who are better than me and to lose to people who are not.

I imagine my main characters will continue to be Peach, Jigglepuff, and Bowser. I was also a fan of using Dr. Mario back in Melee, so I might start using him more again.

I also want to spend some more time actually using some of the new characters, since some of them are pretty great.

Robin is my top pick for new characters. My first "Robin" in Fire Emblem was a girl, so I'll be referring to "her" instead of "him." Much like her Fire Emblem unit, Robin is a very fun, versatile character to play as. I particularly appreciate her use of the in-game spells, not just for offensive purposes, but also for practical purposes such as using Elwind as her third jump. She's also by far the most unique Fire Emblem character in any Smash game, as Marth, Roy, Ike, and Lucina are all very similar in fighting style. Robin is well-rounded in terms of speed and strength, and I expect I'll be taking the time to get good at using her.

Lucina, as I said, is basically just another Marth as far as I've seen. Ike managed to stand apart by being a slower, more powerful version of Marth, but I'm not sure yet how Lucina is different. Still, Lucina is pretty great as a character, so I might end up learning to use her for that reason alone.

Little Mac is a popular new character, and I can see why. I haven't truly gotten the hang of him yet since apparently he's not a great aerial fighter, making him quite a shift in gears from Peach and Jigglypuff. I'm interested in learning to use him, though, if for no other reason than to understand how he moves so I can fight against him effectively.

Mega Man is pretty fun to use as well. He's the first character that seems almost completely ranged--even Samus has a wide range of tackles, punches, and kicks in her arsenal. That said, I still haven't spent that much time with Mega Man, so I can't speak to my real affinity for him yet. All I know is that he lacks the easy smashing moves that he needs to handle multi-man melees easily.

Is Dark Pit different from regular Pit at all? Why is he a different character? I'm serious. If he has a reason to be different, then cool, he's like Falco is to Fox and like Dr. Mario is to Mario. If not, though, they why isn't he just a color option for Pit? As it is, I don't really like using Pit, and I haven't noticed any different between him and Dark Pit yet, so now there's basically two character I'm not fond of on the roster where there should be just one.

Aaand, maybe I'll keep exploring the rest of the characters tomorrow? There's still a bunch of new characters, but this post is getting long.

Anyway, cheers to my brother for suggesting this non-socio-political topic.

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