After this year’s E3 video presentation, the consensus among the Crew here at TBC is that, as a whole, it was a little disappointing. There were very few “surprises”, and, though we were excited to see Smash Bros., we felt like the amount of time they spent showing us what they showed us was not wisely used. You can see our in-depth E3 reactions here.
Even so, Nintendo can’t present a game for a half-hour at E3 and not show anything to get excited about (don’t. Just… Don’t). In the spirit of contented mess, I wanted to draw attention to three things about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that should get us excited.
#1: Port-Like Qualities
This may sound like something to gripe about, but I see so many advantages to all of the similarities between Sm4sh and Ultimate. First, some minute balance issues aside, Sm4sh was a fantastic fighting game. My hopes for the upcoming title were that it was either a totally new direction for the series (ala Marvel Vs. Capcom) or a tweaked port, and it looked like the Big N granted my latter wish. Do we really need major “improvements” when what we have is already great? I do not think so.
Second, porting a game with slight changes should take less time and cause fewer problems at the game’s release. For Sakurai’s sake, I hope this is the case. The man’s tireless dedication to his work is legendary, and he needs some sleep.
#2: Attention to Audience
Super Smash Bros. has evolved a lot over time. It started out as a fun new foray into the crossover fighting genre. Melee made the game more competitive. Brawl fleshed out the single player experience as well as made the game more accessible to newcomers. Smash for 3DS and Wii U fleshed out previous imperfections, making it clear that, though party elements are still very much present, it had grown into a well-balanced fighting game.
With the last entry, especially, we saw a shift in the developers listening more to the competitive fans. Even in the simple gesture of placing the stage select before the character select, we see that Ultimate will continue this tradition. They are piecing elements of what made each of the previous entries great and unique together to make happy a crowd that has wanted to see this series taken seriously. Sakurai shaking his head at imbalances, roll staling, ”easy” character unlocking, and more keep me excited for release.
#3: Everybody’s here!
So what if “Echo Fighter” is just an attempt to avoid calling characters “clones”? The fact that every fighter from all previous games is playable right out of the box has me stoked! The fact that Sakurai stated that there will be few new characters does not have me concerned for a number of reasons. First, the amount of free characters is more than any previous game in its final state, and we do not have to pay extra to have that. Second, Sm4sh had a large enough roster as it was. Throwing in more characters makes the game more and more difficult to balance. Lastly, I think Sakurai is not quite being honest with us. The DLC support for the previous game was extensive, and, though the initial bundle might not be teeming with new characters, I am sure we will see more newcomers after first release.
Nintendo’s Direct this year might not have been knock-your-socks-off great, I think there are plenty of things for which to be grateful. I think ultimately (see what I did there?) what I am trying to say is that people who are complaining about the lack of Animal Crossing need to grow up and realize they got a game every year for the past three.
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