The Players and Their Characters
01. Lilian “milktea” Chen – Pikachu.
02. Hugo “HugS” Gonzalez – Mega Man.
03. Ken “LiquidKen” Hoang – Marth.
04. Daniel “LiquidKDJ” Jung – Rosalina & Luma.
05. Hendrick “DJNintendo” Pilar – Bowser.
06. Neha “Lilo” Chhetri – Wii Fit Trainer.
07. Sam “PeachyHime” McNaughton – Villager.
08. Kris “Toph” Aldenderfer – Pit.
09. Juan “Crs. Hungrybox” Debiedma – Kirby.
10. Kevin “PewPewU” Toy – Mario.
11. Kevin “EG PPMD” Nanney – Fox McCloud.
12. Dakota “TheRapture” Lasky – Little Mac.
13. Cristin “Crismas” DeSaro – Zelda.
14. McCain “MacD” LaVelle – Greninja.
15. Gonzalo “CT ZeRo” Barrios – Zero Suit Samus.
16. Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto – Pikmin & Olimar.
Nintendo had a very good idea to show off their progress in their new Smash Bros. title, it could showcase things to the world and get players involved who had been apart of the community and helping it to survive, thrive, and grow since the series debuted nearly 15 years ago. However, I think Nintendo went about this the wrong way. The casual scene will love Smash Bros. no matter what they will offer because the goal is to simply have fun, not to win. The scene that is competitive loves fun, but they will also like to win and showing that this game is tournament worthy will halt the doubts permanently embedded within some of us due to the disappointed that Super Smash. Bros. Brawl was.
Nintendo chose to go with a Four-For-All format where the person who survives will automatically progress to the next round and the character with the highest score (Best Kill-to-Death ratio) will also proceed to the next match. I believe this was incredibly one-sided in some of the fights because not all characters were made to be viable during Melee fighting. Some players with weaker K.O. characters (Such as Lilo with Wii Fit Trainer at some points), simply decided to zone and range opponents until an opportunity to grab a Smash Ball came forth. Others with massive Smash Ball and normal K.O. ability (Such as Zero Suit Samus) seemingly dominated. If having a Melee style tournament was not crazy enough, they decided to add items into the mix (Though, they began to lower their usage and the Smash Ball appearance after every match it would seem).
I feel like if they wanted to make a worth while tournament to show off things to both the competitive and the casual community, they should have made the tournament a 4-hour or so event with all 16 players (Or 8 players and a 2-hour event) where you fought best 2 of 3 matches, four stocks, 8-minute time limit, and it would be 1-vs-1 and not 4-for-all. The first match would be all items with medium frequency, the second match would be no items whatsoever, and the last match would be items on low. In order to make it steam lined they could have three Wii U’s setup with the settings already in place and all they would have to do is plug in the controller. If they did not make it to a match 3, oh well, but it would have been fun to see and more intense than just seeing a bunch of random acts on the screen simultaneously.
All-in-All, we did get to see some new weapons, how some of the Final Smashes actually work, and solid game play of just how the game is going to look. Honestly, I am not really impressed because, while they seem to have some hit stun, it still is not as fast as Melee and I did not really notice any advanced techniques (Or if there were some that players found, it was not readily apparent). I find this is going to steal the spotlight from Super Smash Bros. Melee just as Super Smash Bros. Brawl once did, but ultimately it is going to fail (Or wind up being modded), simply because it will not have the longevity of intense competitive matches. Then again, it could be too early to tell but I do not think the exclusion of Wave Dashing, Dash Dancing, and L-Canceling will work.
During the tournament they also had a couple of special events, such as the Celebrity Match which featured famous personas such as Zelda Rae Williams (Robin Williams daughter who was named after the princess in “The Legend of Zelda”), and even a demonstration (Shown above) which shows Super Smash Bros. for 3DS exclusive mode, “Smash Run”.
I find that while these are pretty good to give more information about the game and giving us value as far as the appeal of Smash to the masses, both common and famous people, it was nothing more than a time filler. Everyone who was paying attention to Smash already knows what Smash Run is and no one really cares about a Celebrity Match, if anything it was a show that nothing really goes differently in Free-For-All between people who do not take the game seriously and those who have spent tens of thousands of hours devoted to becoming the best.
Say what you will, but the announcers chosen were ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE in the worst way during the Invitational Tournament. Even if I did not like the format of the tournament, it could have been made fun and more exciting had we the right speakers for the job. While these guys may be good at announcing 1-vs-1 competitive smash, such as in Super Smash Bros. Melee or Project M tournaments, it is quite clear that they do not know how to properly commentate without extensive knowledge of the game prior to taking the commentators seat. Throughout the tournament they were yelling at awkward times, had oddly spaced out sentences, and did too much which reminded me of corny game show hosts who desperately try to get you into the game. Also, I felt as though they attempted to play to the audience too much.
I feel what they should have did is, besides calling in play-by-plays constantly, try to talk about the characters and the community while keeping an eye out on the action. Discuss what we are seeing but also possibly why we are seeing it. Discuss what they wish someone had done or try to do, maybe why they had such a dominating performance and bring into account things from the community. Also, they could have discussed what type of strategies they would like to have see instead of complimenting the same strategy multiple times out of lacking anything else resourceful to talk about (Remember when Lilo kept hiding Wii Fit Trainer behind Yellow Devil and they praised her multiple times?).
While it was very good to have people from the communicate come in and be apart of every aspect of the action, I felt like we would have gained more knowledge and more in-depth analysis from those who were already working on the game and had extensive knowledge that we did not know. Talking about things like, “Why did Pits move change from Brawl to Smash Wii U?”, “What was the inspiration behind creating Mega Man’s core style to be faithful to the original?”, “Why is Zero Suit Samus’ Final Smash so good and Rosalina & Luma’s so bad?”. These would have been excellent things to figure out, or at least something that would have been better to illuminate my senses while watching these matches.