Skurai Smashes into Nintendo Direct
Nintendo held a Nintendo Direct to deliver news to the public about the upcoming “Super Smash Bros,” games currently being developed for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U consoles on April 8. The video was hosted by the game’s director Masahiro Sakurai.
Though solid release dates were not given, players can expect the 3DS version sometime in summer with a Wii U release planned for later this winter. This delay is likely to give the developer’s time to work on the Wii U version more as well as boost sales with a release near Christmas.
The press release revealed multiple new playable characters for the new “Super Smash Bros” games. Charizard will be available as a stand-alone character, unattached to the Pokemon trainer of “Super Smash Bros Brawl.” For his final smash, Charizard invokes his mega-evolution to wreak havoc on the other players. The Pokemon Greninja, the final evolution of the water starter from “Pokemon X and Y,” was also revealed.
Characters who could change form in previous “Super Smash Bros” entries, namely Samus and Zelda, now have these forms split into their own selectable characters. This led to the introduction of Zero Suit Samus and Shiek respectively, complete with their own new move sets.
Both “Super Smash Bros” for the 3DS and Wii U will have the same line-up of fighters, though each version will have their own set of stages. The stages for the 3DS version draw from DS and 3DS games such as “The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks” and “Fire Emblem Awakening,” while the stages for the Wii U version draw primarily from Wii games including “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” and Wii U games like “Sonic Lost World.” Both versions will also feature stages from previous “Smash Bros” releases, such as Jungle Japes and Halberd.
Some stages will feature boss characters that disrupt combat and must be beaten by the players, a new feature that Sakurai demonstrated in a “Megaman 2” inspired stage. In multiplayer, players compete to beat the boss first. While Sakurai announced the other stages that will feature bosses, a “Metroid” stage was shown with the shadow of “Metroid” boss Ridley cast on the ground.
Both “Super Smash Bros” versions will feature online play. To improve the experience from Brawl, the developers have split online play into two modes called “For Fun” and “For Glory” when playing publically. Another option is to play only with registered Nintendo Network friends.
“For Fun” mode will randomly choose any stage, include items, and only track victories. Battles are also restricted to being 4 player free-for-alls.
“For Glory” will allow player to be more competitive by only allowing the flat Final Destination stage, forbidding items, and tracking losses as well as victories. Battles can be 4 player free-for-alls or more competitive one-on-one.
To keep the “For Glory” mode from becoming repetitive, most stages will have a Final Destination form. This form flattens out the stage and removes the environmental interactions, but still keeps the background and visual styling.
A new 3DS exclusive mode was also revealed, called “Rush Mode.” In “Rush Mode” players explore a dungeon fighting computer controlled enemies and each other while collecting power ups. This phase lasts for 10 minutes and is followed by a standard Smash Bros fight, with each player being enhanced by their collected power ups.
Online play is now handled through Nintendo Network, allowing players to see each other’s usernames and report players who are making the game unenjoyable by cheating or overusing a certain attack. Even though online battles won’t have a ranking system, they will feature match making to ensure the battles are never too easy or hard.
New and returning items and assist trophies were also shown in the Nintendo Direct release. Items such as the smart bomb and beam sword from past “Super Smash Bros” games are confirmed to make reappearances, and the beetle from “Skyward Sword” and flame bar from “Super Mario Bros” will be included for the first time.
Trophies include the previously announced Skull Kid from “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” as well as Mother Brain and Dark Samus from “Metroid.” Also shown was “Color TV-Game 15,” an old school Pong-like Nintendo game.
In a similar vein, master balls from Pokemon were also revealed as usable items. Rather than releasing a random Pokemon into battle, these pokeballs will only release rare and legendary Pokemon, such as Arceus from “Pokemon X.”
Almost all of the returning characters have been made stronger for their new roles. Lucario can mega-evolve, similar to Charizard and Little Mac possesses an exclusive KO meter that, when filled, allows him to unleash an even stronger attack, though the attack is hopeless and in mid-air.
By Noah Young