Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stage Tour #1

Well, here’s the first part of many. In each of these, I’ll go over the basics of every stage, list all the traps, give you an idea of when and why you’d want to play this particular stage, and even rate the music. Hopefully, these will enlighten you on certain things about every stage in the game, but chances are it won’t. * indicates the stage must be unlocked.

Size: Small
Design: Three non-solid platforms over a floating island, two slightly above the ground, and one in the middle of the other two and high above the stage
Hazards: None
Comments: This is as basic and basic can get, folks. Battlefield best represents the main aspects of Smash Bros., with a size allowing you smash others off easily, and platforms to take advantage of your jumping. Of course, those platforms are pretty much the defining aspects of this stage: while it is pretty simple overall, the platforms can be taken advantage of both offensively and defensively. They help you avoid attacks, but they also make you an easy target in certain situations (especially for things being flung upwards, and upward attacks like Samus and Wario’s Up Specials). The platforms can also both help you perform some aerial attacks, while hindering your attempts to pull them off from the ground.
Some characters with good floating/flying (Peach and Jigglypuff) abilities can fly underneath the stage from one side to the other, not something you’re going to be pulling out during a heated battle, but neat nonetheless.
Danger Level: Low
Music: 4/5
Home to original songs (and when I say ‘original’, I mean remixes of the main theme) and songs from other Smash Bros. games. All of them are very good semi-epic battle music, with the Menu 1 remix being the standout. The Latin-infused Battlefield Version 2 is also great.

Final Destination
Size: Medium
Design: A completely flat floating platform.
Hazards: None
Comments: Some may say this is an even more simplistic arena than the Battlefield, lacking extra platforms that at least give you somewhere to jump. But, just like in Melee, Final Destination has one very interesting bit to it: there is nowhere to run, and when something gets thrown, shot, or tossed, you’re more likely to get hit by it. Things like sliding crates, Bob-ombs, Smart Bombs, and most final smashes become even more dangerous when you have no way to avoid them for long. Characters with ranged attacks will have an absolute field day (especially ROB). This means, especially with items on, you’re going to need to master both aerial and ground based evasive manoeuvres.
Danger Level: Low to medium
Music: 4.5/5
Final Destination houses some of the best tracks in the game, including the awesome main FD theme, and remixes for the intro/credits of the first two Smash Bros. games. The two Melee Final Destination songs on there are okay, but sound kind of weak compared to the newer ones.

Delfino Plaza
Size: Small to Medium
Design: Set on a small floating platform with a larger, semi-solid bottom (you can’t go through it from above, but you can jump through it from below) for a few seconds that changes the formation of platforms every time it reappears (sometimes it’ll be a basic three platform style, sometimes it’ll only be one big platform, sometimes there are two curved platforms, they can be more spread out) After a time, it will land in one of several spots, each with its own design:
*A slightly large, flat area with slightly curved edges and water on either side
*Three pillars rising above water
*A small island surrounded by water
*Another small island surrounded by water
*An area with a low center and stairs on both sides curving upwards with walk-off edges
*An area with one normal, flat section with some umbrellas you can stand on and a walk-off edge, with a lower section in shallow water to the left and another walk-off edge
*A slightly large main gate/tower, with a half-circle rising up in the center and two fairly medium-sized solid platforms on both sides
*Atop a number of buildings with lots of curves, walk-off ledge on the left and a pit on the right
*An area with solid ground to the right with a walk-off edge, a low shallow water area in the center, a small area of solid land with a transparent platform above it further left, and a small pool off deep water to the very left
Hazards: Water
Comments: One of the more interesting stages, if only because of the sheer number of different land designs that appear in it. Even the basic platform that takes you from spot to spot changes constantly, although since the platforms aren’t solid, you hardly even notice it. The order in which the floating platform lands is entirely random, so you the only real way to know beforehand where you’ll end up is by recognizing the various landmarks as the background stops in front of them. When the platform stops in front of Delfino Plaza itself, it signifies it’s just going to stay still for an extended period of time. Because of its small size and only one way to get back, the platform is the easiest place to get KOs, although none of the land sections make smashing people off any harder.
The water, for the most part, doesn’t pose much of a threat here, as the stage stays entirely still (unlike Pirate Ship). However, what the water contributes to is the possibility of you being left behind when the platform suddenly reappears and floats away, which isn’t going to happen if you stay near the center of the stage or aren’t slow as hell. Even so, it’s something you need to watch out for.
The stage is also rife with walk-off edges, making throwing your opponents into oblivion rather easy. It is especially easy for characters with grab-and-move techniques (Kirby and Dedede with their B specials, DK with his forward throw) to get kills for very little effort. They also make it easier to chase after a smashed opponent and add that little bit of extra distance to send them off the screen proper.
Danger Level: Low
Music: 5/5
This stage has quite a selection of classic Mario tunes, and not only are all of them great, they all fit the sunny, boppy atmosphere of the stage. I’m torn on my favourite – I love the Mario World remix, but I also love the NSMB theme. I even love the basic Delfino Plaza music. Oh, maybe Bob-Omb Battlefield.

Luigi’s Mansion*
Size: Medium
Design: A mansion with three floors of similar size, and all with openings on both sides. The top floor is the smallest (and when all players are on it, the rest of the mansion is covered by the front of the house); the second floor features two solid floors and one semi-solid floor in the center. The bottom floor is the biggest, as it encompasses the outside edges as well, and features two platforms slightly underneath the semi-solid floor of the second floor. A platform will appear on either side of the stage outside the mansion and slowly float up and down (it will go down if you jump on them), and then disappear after a while and possibly reappear on the other side of the stage. The only time both platforms show up is when the mansion has been knocked down.
Speaking of which, the two lower floors have two pillars, and when you smack one pillar enough, it causes that half of the mansion to collapse (you need to make the top part of the mansion collapse before you can make the bottom part do the same). Once all pillars have been destroyed, the stage becomes flat (this is about the only time both the floating platforms appear simultaneously). After a short time, the mansion comes back, good as new (but won’t become restored until after the ENTIRE stage has been destroyed. If half of it is gone, it’ll still like that forever).
Hazards: Pillars holding up the floors can be destroyed, levelling the mansion piece by piece (I already went over this).
Comments: The stage seems like a pretty simple variation to Shadow Moses Island, and while it doesn’t have much in the way of little interesting extra things, it’s still pretty damn fun.
One important thing is the two solid platforms that hang in the center of the stage. One could easily mistake these two for semi-solid platforms and waste time either trying to move down from them or jump through them, only to be blocked. It also gives the bottom part of the stage a narrow ‘tunnel’ feel, as you can really get bounced around. Of course, if those solid platforms really bug you (and they easily could), you can take them out of the picture for a while with a little effort. I guess that’s the other major attribute of this stage (more so than Shadow Moses) is that you can shape it any way you want.
I guess it’s also worth noting that the stage has a strange bottom structure: It is being held up being a thin pillar. Most characters will not be able to reach the thing holding up the stage, but fliers can. So, it’s not quite a floating island, but unless you have some weird skills, you won’t be able to take advantage of it. It’s just a quirk that happens to be there.
Danger level: Low
Music: 5/5
Another Mario stage with excellent music. I love the main Luigi’s Mansion theme, but I think the two Tetris themes steal the show, as they are catchy and (surprisingly) reflect their ethnic origins (that’s a weird statement, I know). The two ‘evil’ Mario themes are also well done, but are overshadowed by everything else that is offered.

Friday, June 6, 2008

And now...a ctrl+C/ctrl+V opinion piece!

I am almost done with the first Stage Tour, so sometime later this weekend/early next week it should be up. Until then, here's a relevant article I posted on my personal blog almost two months ago:

Here's my opinion: I don't think they should make anymore Smash Bros. games.

You might be thinking "The game's only been out for month (three months now)! You still have time to absorb what Brawl gives you! Why would you be thinking about the future now?" The reason I am is because others are, and I'm constantly surrounded by a fan base who started looking towards the future in February. So basically, I don't think for myself.

Apparently Nintendo has been sending out a survey asking whether or not you would like another Smash Bros. This makes sense, but on the other hand doesn't. Durrrr, I don't know; do you think the millions of people who bought this game would want you to make another one? Well, I guess I'm the exception to the rule. I wouldn't want them to make another one.

Errrr, okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration. Would I buy another Smash Bros.? Of course I would, I'm a slave of the series. But I just don't think they should make another, which is about the fifth time I've said that, and I haven't even provided any reasons yet!

Why don't I want another one if I'm such a big fan? Pretty simple, really. I think Brawl is the peak, the farthest they can go with this idea. Any more games in the series would just be spinning the wheels.

I mean, just look at all the things in Brawl. Online, fully-realized adventure mode, stage editor, hundreds of songs, pretty much every major Nintendo franchise well-represented...what could they possibly add in a future game that would be new or exciting? Oh, and don't say 'a better online mode!', because that's not adding, that's just refining. And while the Brawl online isn't perfect, it feels fine for me.

Aw, the representation statement, better go into that. I can barely think of any other Nintendo series that NEED to be Smash Bros. (I think Punch-Out!! and Advance Wars are about the only two 'major' ones left, and they were both represented by non-playable things). And keep in mind, while I love obscure gems like Drill Dozer and Elite Beat Agents, I can completely understand while they weren't chosen to be playable, and why they probably never will. I look at all the character choices in Brawl, and pretty much every one represents something integral to Nintendo. It's probably harder to convince some kid why ROB or the Ice Climbers fit this bill, but they do. In a recent Dojo update, Sakurai mentioned how there seemed to be a large time gap between series represented in Brawl, and how Nintendo hasn't had that many titles in recent times that more or less work in Smash Bros. I laughed at the nerds taking this a sign that Nintendo is losing creativity or something along those lines, as those very same people almost always ignore the games I mentioned above. But I can see Sakurai's statement on two sides: good that Nintendo is branching out into new things, but I guess not so good if you love the character-based games of old. I guess that could go into another argument about how another reason there shouldn't be another SB is because they are moving away from making the types of games that support the series, but I won't.

So yeah, aside from the lack of possible new gameplay additions, I don't think they have many (or maybe any) characters they just HAVE to add into a future game. After Melee, there still were many characters that were just essential. Pit, Wario, Diddy, Meta Knight, Dedede...And guess what? They ALL got into Brawl. Hell, even SONIC, a character we all wanted but never expected, got in. After this...there just isn't anyone else who feels missing. And the side characters that keep getting mentioned by fans? Not essential at all. Also, I don't really accept the idea that more third parties lining up would solve this, as (1)they are entirely opportunist and thus don't have much chance of getting included and (2)having too many third party characters kind of dilutes the point of the game. As cool as finally getting Mario, Sonic, Mega Man, Pac Man, and what have you in the same game would be, it doesn't feel like it's a must for me.

On a slightly separate tangent, I can't help but feel partially responsible for spawning the terrible character cults and leading many online idiots to be disappointed in Brawl's final roster. As you may or may not have known, I was the one to tally up the number of character references in the very early Brawl 'give me suggestions and maybe I'll print'em!' deal. My numbers were referenced for long periods afterwards, and with each new character revealed (all belonging to the upper echelons of my list, and all of which were pretty obvious inclusions in any case), it gave several fans the idea that their favorite character was obvious. And then, after spending months talking about how awesome Ridley, Krystal, or Geno would be...you find out that they were relegated to non-playable roles, or in the case of Geno, not included at all. So to all you whiny freaks: I guess I'm kinda sorry.

So, lots of words to get two main points across: I don't want them to make anymore Smash Bros. games because there isn't any more essential features or characters they could add. I could have just posted this, but that would have saved you and me time.

"How about a DS Smash Bros.?" you may ask. Well, I'm not entirely for that either. No matter how they go about that, wouldn't it just end up being Brawl with less stuff? What would be the point, then? I know, the idea of portable Smash Bros. probably trumps any counterpoints, but I still don't support the idea. Maybe if they got the Jump Superstars guys to make a SB similar to their game, I could see more worth in it.

Speaking of new ideas, that's another thing I would be fine with them doing. Retire the Smash Bros. series and use the concept of bringing your favorite characters together in a different type of game. A puzzle game, a strategy RPG...as long as it's a genre I enjoy, seems good to me.

But as mentioned before, it's only been about a month. Maybe in another 5 years I'll change my tune. And then maybe I'll waste your time with another long winded essay about why I was wrong the first time. I'm weird that way.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Hey, thanks to Matt for the good article. He's a real treasure, folks.

I see nobody voted in the poll. SHAME.

Actually, I'm not surprised. Who reads this?


Brawl on.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The History of Smash Bros. Speculation: Part 1, The Wonder Year

I’m working on starting the Stage Tour series soon, folks. To tide the time before you can actually read something you want to read, I’ll give you some bullshit that I find somewhat interesting.

Recently, I’ve been noticing a pervasive sense of…emptiness. I couldn’t figure out exactly what was going on, until I figured out what time of year it was: exactly one year since the Smash Bros. Dojo first opened its doors and started its of wave of information that gave me reason to look forward to each weekday morning.

So, to fill the void in my life that has existed since March (and will hopefully go away soon, because it’s really annoying), I’m going to write a retrospective of the nearly two years of wild speculation, in-fights, and realized and crushed hopes and dreams that were the Brawl pre-release times. Of course, I don’t always look upon these times kindly, so expect me to insult many people, maybe even you, repeatedly and brutally.

In this first instalment, we’ll visit the early times…

May 9th, 2006
E3. It had been a year since Nintendo announced that they were making a new Smash Bros. title for their new console, which since that time had undergone a name change and a controller revelation. People were curious about how the new instalment would work on the newly dubbed Wii, and were hoping Nintendo’s press conference would shed some light on it. Alas, while games like Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3 were shown, a new Smash Bros. was nowhere to be seen. People were worried, and we all wondered where our beloved sequel could be. We didn’t have to wait long to find out…

May 10th, 2006
The next night, as if out of nowhere, our prayers were answered. Shiggy and Sakurai called together a group of journalists, and soon our new Smash Bros. was there all to be seen. Subtitled Brawl, the first few seconds of the video footage showed us shiny graphics, new stages, a Nintendog out of nowhere, and a mysterious item and revelation of super attacks.
Then the new characters marched onscreen. Meta Knight! Cool! Pit! Holy crap! Zero Suit Samus! Interesting! Wario! Awesome! Things were looking good already.
Then darkness. Then something unexpected: a Metal Gear Solid CODEC scene between Solid Snake and Colonel. What does this have to do with…unless….oh. My. GOD. Then it happened: Snake is in Smash Bros.! The first third-party character in the series, and it came from f’in NOWHERE! BEST GAME EVER.
As some lamers may say, the game was now afoot.

The Rest of May 2006
We had our first batch of information, and so the baseless verbiage that had been going on since Melee was released was now replaced with ideas based on what we had seen. People wondered: How will Snake play? How do those super attacks work? Where did that dog come from? How will Zero Suit Samus come into play? And, of course, speculation about who will be in the game, both returning and new.
The English Brawl site opened soon after, and each week a new character profile would be put up. We got out first few tidbits about each of the new characters, but little else. Some statements, like the cryptic statements about Wario’s farting special move, fuelled even more speculation. Additional information was garnered from early interviews with Sakurai, where he revealed that Gamecube controllers would be compatible with the game, leading to an argument between people who thought that it would be the ONLY compatible controller and those who thought that the Wii Remote MUST also be compatible (one side would eventually win, as they should have, because the other side was completely illogical). But these nuggets were small potatoes compared to what was being said on the Japanese site…

May 20-something to June 9th, 2006
Ahhh, Toukouken, the cause of, and solution to, most of the Smash forum problems for the longest time. This little section, where director Sakurai chose fan-submitted comments/suggestions for one reason or another to be printed and even answered some questions. Many were mad that only the Nips were getting a chance to offer opinions, but those people probably didn’t understand the concept that Japanese developers would be able to understand letters from Japanese fans much easier than some English-to-Japanese corporate communication. Even the way these comments were chosen was argument unto itself, where some believed the chosen comments meant something, while more cynical minds said they didn’t mean anything. Either way, it was our only source of information for a good, solid month.
The main info gathered by us Babelfish-using gaijin dogs were Sakurai’s comments, which sped across the spectrum from eyebrow-raising revelations to useless, jokey responses. The most important information, best translated by Smashboards stalwart SamuraiPanda, revealed a host of things: that Snake wouldn’t use ‘realistic’ weapons, but rather explosives (leading to an even bigger aura of mystery to his potential moveset); that, yes, the Gamecube controller would be compatible (which didn’t help much with the controller argument at hand); and that they would try their best with the online function, and would not include rankings and leaderboards (which apparently didn’t become a controversial decision until closer to the game’s release).
The most important of these announcements were threefold: that there would probably be, at most, 1 or 2 more third party characters (most assumed 2, but some clung to the idea that the cast would include dozens of non-Nintendo characters for very little reason other than lack of common sense); that the game’s speed would be adjusted (which led many self-serious ‘hardcore’ players to moan almost all the way until release); and that some characters from the previous game would be dropped (leading to every character not yet confirmed to be returning to be considered unsafe, even though it made no sense for them to drop characters like Luigi or Bowser. Those of us not stricken with paranoia pretty much knew from the start who would get the boot.) These statements would provide for flamewars for a whole year.
At the end of the comment section’s reign, I personally took all the suggestions that were translated by us fans and created a ranked list of characters by how many times a comment suggesting them appeared during the run. Yes, it was I who devised the shambling monstrosity that plagued countless speculation threads even to the Dojo days! I don’t regret it, but it really made things…interesting, especially later on. Some lesser thinkers treated it like a popularity poll rather than the developers choice of letters, so its meaning was somewhat skewed.
On the list itself, characters like Dedede, Ike, Diddy Kong, Ridley, Geno, and Krystal topped off the list, with others like Lucas bringing up the rear. With this, many people thought they knew exactly who would get in the game and battled with the cynics. Some were so convinced that the fan clubs they were bound to make become even more cultish and insane, soon inspiring battles so pathetic it would make Celebrity Boxing look like World War I. The one part I do regret, I guess, is possible inspiring goddamned forum wars between Geno and Ridley fans. Many also wondered where Sonic was at, and some gunjumpers thought that his absence meant that he was definitely already in. It wasn’t until about August when we found out he was the most requested character.
It was around this time, too, that the first rumours appeared. Many were easily dismissed, but one annoyingly stuck around because of people who don’t check facts. It was a doozy, too: according to some French person, Sakurai was on a Japanese radio show, and had said that they would be dropping the Ice Climbers, Mr. Game & Watch, and Young Link, and would be adding Bowser Jr., Ridley, and Windwaker Link. It sounds ludicrous now, but back then, anything was possible, especially in concerns to the former two characters, who some troglodytes saw as completely expendable because they have no absolutely no sense of history. The hardest part about disproving the rumour, as fake as it sounds, was that there was no evidence for or against it, which pretty much made it a test to see who could think critically. The fact that sites like 1Up ran the story despite the lack of evidence only exasperated the situation further. Thankfully, it played a lesser and lesser role in speculation as time passed, even though the secondary part of that rumour, where it was said there would be 40 characters, stuck around in some people’s minds a bit longer.
Then the message appeared: that the site would stop updating for a while. We still had very little clue when the game was coming out, other than he vague “2007”. We had as many questions as answers, or more. And we were forced to wait until our next big reveal, whenever that was. The arguments in progress lingered, and we waited for our overlord to enlighten us again…and waited…and waited.

October 31st, 2006
Ah Halloween. A time for spookiness, a time for candy. It was also a time for our waiting to cease…or, at least, to give us an idea of when the waiting would cease.
After 6 months and a few press conferences that came and gone with no Brawl info, someone noticed that message appeared on the Japanese site. It was quickly translated, and our hearts jumped: later that week, a new Brawl trailer would be shown at a Japanese Wii tour! There were some vague bits about “new characters moving around”, which made people wonder if any actual new characters would be shown, or whether it would be the new ones already revealed. No matter, a new trailer! We smiled and bounced as spent a few mini-Crispy Crunch-fuelled days waiting for our prayers to be answered.

November 2nd & 3rd, 2006
Time Zones allowed us to get our first new game glimpses ahead of time. The night before the trailer was to premier, we got a lone screenshot: a brochure pic of Pit fighting…gasp! Sorta….Fox, in what appeared to be a Kid Icarus stage. As I stated on one forum “it’s small…but it’s enough”.
The next morning, the new trailer was all over the Internet. We got to see lots of character footage, giving us a vague idea of how some of the new characters would play. We saw Meta Knight gliding, giving us a new technique to speculate about. Wario moved funny, and some wondered if he was replacing Mr. Game & Watch. And Snake came with some ideas about his stage, which had been slightly revealed in a screenshot on the site before. Not much in the way of new character stuff, but it was good for the time.
The new stages, however, were coming out by the boatload. A Mario Kart stage, hoorah! A Yoshi’s Island stage, booyah! The aforementioned Kid Icarus and Metal Gear stages! Is that…Pokemon Stadium, again? We even got some idea of the unique features to some of these stages. So, now we actually had some stages we really knew (where is the details of the two nameless stages and the Halberd from the previous trailer were very vague, and inspired some arguments).
And then, at the end, we see the new design for Fox, and his space ship stage. Some didn’t like his new Star Fox Command-based design, and acted like big babies about it (even a certain co-blawger I know of…) Others wondered how his new stance and the fact that he was carrying his gun rather than leaving it in his holster would affect his gameplay. Thus ended the new trailer and we were once again left with a cryptic “2007” release date. At the end of November, the trailer and a few new screens were posted on the site, and once again it went dormant.
The new trailer answered many questions, but apparently not enough. The same arguments from before raged on, and some new, very dumb ones arose: why weren’t the super attacks in the new trailer? Were they just in the first one for show (as little sense as that makes)? People also tore apart the trailer, looking for hints of attacks and new attack properties. Some used it as evidence that the game would slower and thus not totally l33t h@rdcore enough for their Melee dominating skillz. It was around this time I became disinterested in the Smash Bros. online communities and went away, hoping to keep Brawl out of mind until something new came up again.
And it would be another long while until something new did come up….


Bonus: the stupidest forum ideas/arguments from this time:

*”Obviously, the statement means that there will be fewer characters in this game than in Melee, and they will drop unimportant characters like Yoshi and Zelda.”

Monday, May 26, 2008

Hur hur hur

Tomorrow, I promise, you will see content.

Matt is slacking off, right? He needs to start posting that shit he has going on.

I'm gonna whup him good.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

King DeDeDe = DEATH

The DeDeDe guide is coming soon (expect it this weekend, in an unfinished form), but here's a combo video I found.

Just get past the music. It sort of fits with Dee's pimpin' image, but I like to think he has more taste than that.

Learn from it what you can.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Weekly Challenge

This is pretty self-explanatory, no? We issue you readers the challenge and you send in proof that you accomplished it. The prize? Bragging rights.

On the internet, no less!

This week's challenge... beat All-Star on Intense without continuing. Take a picture of the final screen and post it somewhere, then link in the comments.

Singles only, please, no co-op this week.

Matt and I will also attempt the challenge. Can WE do it? We'll see!


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fight! Fight!

Now that I'm out of school, you can expect to find more updates here, as I get in more playing time.

Matt and I have had some good battles and learned some things.

We would be more sorry about not posting here if there were "readers", but thems the breaks.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Gibby's Fave Five

Yeah yeah, we suck at updating. Some of us people have lives, right? My other blog is worse off than this... but that's not the point here. The POINT is to share my favorite characters from Brawl, so let's get to it.

1. King DeDeDe

King DeDeDe always wins. I'm serious. Even if he loses the physical fight, he wins a moral victory. He's that awesome. The very second I saw his DoJo update I knew I'd be using this guy, even if he sucked apricots. He does not, however, suck (well, his Final Smash isn't that great... fun to watch, though). He's pretty fast for a heavyweight, and as Matt said of Bowser, he's great for racking up those brutal KO's that make your opponent cry. He has a jet engine in his hammer. IN HIS HAMMER, THERE IS A JET ENGINE! He can chaingrab. But most of all, he's a giant penguin pimp with a tricked-out hammer who is just a blast to use. I love him to death.

2. Luigi

Luigi was my main man in Melee, and he's still one of my top operators. He's been improved vastly since the last game (Luigi? Attack on the ground? Impossible!) I can't really lay waste with him anymore (lack of practice, thanks to DeDeDe), but man, you can't touch this guy in the air. I like Luigi because I'm so comfortable with him, I know exactly what to do in any given situation. I'm like the color green, too, so there's a plus. I don't find him as fun to play as DeDeDe, though, probably because I've played Luigi to death (literally), but he still has a place in my Smasher's heart.

3. Olimar

I love how he's in the game, I love how he relies on killing his little friends to attack, I love how he's the scariest character in the game despite being two feet tall. That said, I HATE fighting him. Computer Olimar is a bastard, no question. Another thing I love his how well his attacks came out. Olimar is a pain in the ass to use correctly, though, so I don't use him as much as I'd like to, but the cute little bugger found his way onto this list. Also, his taunts are adorable.

4. Sonic/Snake

I decided the roll these two into one because I like them both equally for different reasons. Sonic, I think, turned out really well, maybe not in terms of fighting ability (everyone will agree he's a difficult character to learn), but moreso in terms of just being fun. I like his character model (not his voice... blech) and his moveset is really well animated. I just like watching him move around and attack, even if I lose as him most of the time. Overall, I think he fits in really well.

I'm a lot better with Snake, who is kind of the opposite of Sonic, but requires no less amount of practice and finesse. I don't know how hard they had to work to get Snake to fit in with this game, but it paid off, because he really doesn't feel out of place. Sometimes after a match I do a double take and realize I just beat up Diddy Kong with Solid FREAKING Snake, but it passes quickly. He's fun to use, too, and I just love blowing things up. I just wish he had three different taunts instead of the box.

5. Mr. Game and Watch

The only black man in the game, G&W is pure madness. He was my second main in Melee but has dropped a few spots since then, mostly because of other characters needing to be tried out. But I still whip him out when I need to lay a nasty beating and DeDeDe needs a break. He's better than in Melee, and his new nair isn't really that big a deal (I actually like it better than Parachute... well, some days, anyways). He's hard to predict and makes a lot of annoying noises to distract the opponent, and he's just a pure hunk of awesome. He is Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos. Just don't get hit by Ike.

Runners-up: Wolf, Pikachu, Meta-Knight, Lucas, Bowser, Pokemon Trainer

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Favorites: Matt's Picks

Need a simple way to get content? Share a simple, to-the-point opinion! So, to bridge the gap until the first character profile is done, the cap'n and I will share a little bit of our personal tastes, hopefully giving you a better idea of what you might see on the blog in the future. Me first.

So, what is it? Why, I will give you my Top 5 favorite Brawl characters. These are the five characters I love to play as the most, for various reasons. So, get to know my preferences, varmints:

1. R.O.B.
I have to admit, when I first heard R.O.B. was in the game, I knew I was going to love him. I mean, he's a robot! A ROBOT! Robots are great.
But even ignoring my robot fixation, R.O.B.is a really fun character to play as, with a nice mix of moves. When I land one of R.O.B.'s powerful attacks, it is really satisfying. He also has entertaining throws, another one of my soft spots.
One thing I really like about R.O.B. is the goodness of his special moves. They are all useful, they present quite a bit of variety, and have multiple uses. Whether I'm ricocheting lasers across the screen or spamming my opponent with robo-dreidles, I have reliability and utility on my side. Plus, his attacks are just fun to use.

2. Wario
Wario is another case of me liking a character long before I played as them. I'm a big WarioWare fan, so seeing the star carrying the spirit of that series into the Smash Bros. was grand.
Wario is an odd character, as expected. Like R.O.B., he has a decent mix of powerful and combolicious moves, and even shares an affinity with aerial attacks. Wario, however, lacks the strong, versatile special moves of the rockin' robot (which is why he's ranked higher). But where Wario lacks in immediate, obvious power, he makes up for in surprising opponents and adding to the chaos of a heated match.
Many of Wario's moves either requires patience (Wario Waft) or a good eye for choosing the best moments to pull them out (Chomp, Corkscrew). But seeing someone fall for them is great, and in those moments are very useful. Of course, once you're done messing with opponents, Wario has a few power moves that can used to take them out. So while Wario may be a more difficult to get used to, he is incredibly fun to master, and is especially fun in 3/4-player matches, where others are more likely to be caught off-guard.

3. Bowser
Aw, my Melee favorite. He's been knocked down a few notches, but that doesn't mean I like him any less. I like heavy characters, if only for their raw power. It's just the most giggle-worthy time when you send opponents reeling with a single blow, and Bowser is one of the greats at this.
Bowser feels much more refined in Brawl, although it's hard to pinpoint. Certainly, his hilarious new side special is a major improvement, but the rest of his moveset feels a touch faster, maybe. Maybe the new physics engine just lends itself more to his style of play? I don't know at this very moment. What I do know, however, is that Bowser is who I go to when I want to get the most brutal KOs possible.

4. Pokemon Trainer
I'm incredibly lucky: one of the most inventive characters in the game is composed entirely of parts that I enjoy. I get a good selection of characters here: Squirtle as a fast, annoying bugger with good combo moves and surprisingly powerful smash attacks; Ivysaur as a slower character who can annoy others with his rapid attacks before sneaking out a surprise explosion; or Charizard, a more traditional power type with good jumping ability and Bowser's fun fire breathing. And I get to change between them at will! There's enough power within the entire trio to appeal to me, and I can choose whoever I want to start with to suit my mood.

5. Yoshi
Back in the days of the original Smash Bros., Yoshi was my main man. For one reason or another, he/it didn't feel the same in Melee. However, in Brawl, Yoshi feels...better, once again for one reason or another. I like his/its new Egg Throw hover, and while it isn't really a third jump, it saved my ass more than once. Yoshi is quick, with good smash attacks, good reach, and some fun mutli-hitting aerial moves. I've always liked Yoshi, and Brawl has him/it feeling much better.
Hmmm...now that I think about it, aside from the hover, Yoshi really hasn't changed all that much. Maybe it is the changed physics? Or maybe I just figured out how to use him/it properly? That is possibility. Whatever.

Lucas, Donkey Kong, Ganondorf, Diddy Kong, Ike, Zelda, Lucario

Friday, May 2, 2008


There doesn't seem to be a lot going on here.

For everyone who reads this (and I know you're there, as you voted in the poll), the cap'n and I will try to get more content soon. Expect something this weekend from me, at least.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Multi-Man Brawl Strategies

Well, here’s my first contribution to the site. And it’s about something I doubt many of you actively care about, or haven't figured out already. Tough.

There are quite a few challenges unlocked through Multi-Man Brawl. If you find yourself unable to complete them, here’s a guide to the mode. Hopefully, these strategies help you get all those fabulous trophies. If you came up with better strategies, then I’m mad at you.

For the most part, if you played Multi-Man in Melee, you know what to expect here. There are some major differences, concerning both your enemies and items that you still need to recognize. So, let’s get started:

Know your Alloys
Red Alloy – Based off of Captain Falcon, and pretty much just a recolor of the Male Wireframe in Melee. Despite having access to some powerful moves, like the Knee and the shoulder smash, Red Alloys are one of the least annoying in the group. As long as you keep your distance or get them when they aren’t paying attention, these really are no problem.

Blue Alloy – Based off of Zelda, and somewhat annoying. These ones are prone to grabbing/throwing and using aerial attacks (which is especially unwanted when you are tucked away in a corner facing the ravenous horde, and the thing jumps off the stage and then heads towards you). Try to get them before they get too close, and keep them out of swarms.

Yellow Alloy – Based off of Mario, and teeter back and forth between annoying and not that annoying. Their smash attacks are fairly easy to avoid, but like the Blue Alloys, they like to grab and throw. Like the Blue ones, keep them out of grabbing range, and they shouldn’t be too hard to deal with.

Green Alloy – Based off of Kirby, and the most aggravating of the group. This is for several reasons: (1) like Blue and Yellow, these ones are prone to grabs, (2) they use the most effective moves, including rapid punches and Kirby’s ranged forward smash, (3) they have the easiest time recovering out of all the Alloys. If you see these running around, especially when you have a whole bunch of Alloys out at once, get rid of them first (and since they are fairly large, it’s not terribly difficult to land an attack on them).

Not An Alloy – After about 25 KOs, a normal character will appear in place of an Alloy. They are only slightly less easy to knock off the stage. However, unlike the Alloys, these characters can use items, which make them very dangerous. Try to make sure you pick up and use all the most powerful items on the stage, including things like Poke Balls, Super Scopes, and Smart Bombs.
In 10 or 100-Man Brawls, the last opponent you face will be a copy of your character.

Item Considerations
Items are going to be popping up all over the place, and they can make or break your run. The following are some items you definitely should be on the lookout for.

Bob-Ombs/Smart Bombs – Oh yeah, these are important. If you see any of these, pick them up immediately or stay as far away from them as possible. These can end your game instantaneously if you’re not careful. Bob-Ombs can be useful to take out enemies, but since they’ll constantly try to get in your face, it’s incredibly tricky, and may not be worth the trouble (just throwing it off the stage works). Smart Bombs are a little bit easier to control, as long as you don’t accidentally smack one. Like Bob-Ombs, they are tricky to use offensively because the enemies will be staying close and there’s a chance you’ll get caught in the explosion. Either roll as far away as possible before throwing it, or jump in the air and throw it down. It can catch most of the enemies on the field, so it can be useful.
Make sure normal characters that pop up don’t get their mitts on either of these; they know how to use them.

Poke Balls/Assist Trophies – Incredibly useful for wiping out tons of enemies. If you can get the likes of Snorlax, Weavile, Entei, Groudon, Togepi, Moltres, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Meowth, and Latios/Latias from a Pokeball, or Andross, Saki, Gray Fox, Custom Robo, Jeff, or Samurai Goroh from an Assist Trophy, you’re in the money. But, like explosives, you wanna grab these things before a normal character shows up and takes them first.

Beam Sword – Incredibly useful, especially in 15-minute Brawl. The reach of the sword allows you to keep opponents away, and this can be a godsend when you are using the ‘stay in the corner’ strategy with a character that doesn’t have a potent ranged attack. And if all else fails, you can throw it. You can try using the other smacking items, and while they are good for throwing, none match the utility of the Beam Sword.

Ray Gun – Surprisingly effective. Close to a guaranteed KO with every shot. Grab one and unload, and then toss it for another free KO.

Bumper – Can be both a boon and bother, depending on where you stick it. The Alloys are none too smart, and they’ll walk right into it. But it can also send you flying off the stage, so you must be careful.

Paper Fan – Okay, this one is a bit more useful than some of the other non-Beam Sword clobbering items, if only because when thrown it bounces off of enemies and can cause mass death. It takes a little bit of luck, but it’s sure fun to watch.

Urinas – Very useful to have around. Throw one in front of you, and like the Bumper, watch the idiots walk straight into it.

Motion-Sensor Bomb – Probably not advisable to use, if only because you can lose track of it amidst the chaos.

Super Scope – Not terribly effective here because of its slowness and the weakness of its rapid-fire shots.

Starman – Oh god, grab the star as soon as you see it. Make sure no one else gets it.

Warp Star – Good for both taking out lots of enemies AND avoiding damage, if only for a short period of time.

Superspicy Curry – Keeps enemies away, so it’s very useful, especially in 15-minute Brawl.

Timer – Worth it for all the times it doesn’t turn against you. Allows you to easily kill all enemies on screen, or just let them float around to waste time (the ones that pop up on screen after you grab the Timer are not slowed down). In this way, the Shadow Assist Trophy is also useful, and guaranteed not to backfire.

Bunny Hood – Good for helping you avoid enemies, but not essential when you’re going for the kill.

Metal Box – Makes it hard for you to recover, so not something you want to get all the time.

Cracker Launcher – Fast enough so you can kill plenty with it, but the aiming leaves you open.

Deku Nut – Poses pretty much the same danger as the Bob-Ombs and Smart Bombs, except this is harder to see. Beware.

Hothead – Very useful. Throw it on the bottom floor, and let it go. It’ll cause a bit of ruckus, guaranteed.

Freezie – Good for keeping things off your tail, so worth picking up if you get a chance.

Green Shell – Make sure you grab it and throw it, lest you find it zooming towards you after an enemy accidentally touches it.

Spring – A good item to throw at enemies, but don’t use it to evade, as they are completely willing to follow you.

Pitfall – Useful in the same as the Freezie, but don’t rush to get it all the time.

Banana Peel – A less useful trap than the Urinas or the Bumper. It’s fun to see them trip, but don’t bother getting it most of the time.

Soccer Ball – Hit it off the stage as fast as you can, so that none of the enemies can accidentally smash it themselves.

Screw Attack – Quite useful, actually, as the jump automatically kills the enemies. Grab one and use it to get some easy KOs.

Mode-Specific Tips

100-Man Brawl
If you’re going for the time challenges, you’ll need a character that can kill groups of enemies in a single attack, but an attack with good recovery to boot so you can quickly attack the next group. I was able to do it with Yoshi, mainly using his Yoshi Bomb attack. Characters like Toon Link and Mr. Game & Watch have great down aerial attacks that also work really well. Take advantage of your tilts and aerial attacks overall, as they are among the fastest moves you have that will still KO. Up tilts, especially, are almost always useful.
You also want to take advantage of every item you can – items like Urinas, the Bumper, the Ray Gun, or anything you can throw will help speed up the killing process.
Part of the challenge of this is that while the Alloys seem aggressive, they will also piddle around and waste your time instead of walking right into your killing. This is why a quicker character might be a good choice (see: Toon Link and Mr. Game & Watch): if one or two don’t walk into your attack; you are fast enough to be able to track them down and take them out without wasting too much time.
The closer you get to finishing the Brawl; the enemies will become more and more aggressive. Keep taking out as many as possible to avoid swarming. And remember – the last opponent you face will be a clone of you, so be wary.

15-minute Brawl
There are two ways I’ve discovered that might help you succeed in surviving a 15-minute Brawl, and neither of them involves much killing. Killing may not be advisable during this – if you go out into the open, you are likely to take damage, which you should avoid at all costs. As tedious as these will sound, they are your best chances.
First is a method I’m sure some of you used in Melee - the “Corner Strategy”. Basically, roll your way to farthest side of the bottom part of Battlefield (and make sure you get to the point where you can’t roll any further – that gives the enemies the least possible room to jump behind you), and do whatever you can to keep the enemies away. Usually, this involves a ranged attack, but one with enough potency that it causes the enemies to fall back quite a bit. The quickest and most effective of these belong to Pit and Falco, although Pit’s seem to be more reliable and have the added bonus of being able to curve, allowing slick shooters to take out possibly detrimental items that appear on the ground, like Bob-Ombs. For other characters, the best possible way to go about this is to find a smacking item, especially a Beam Sword, and just swing away. The Beam Sword has the best reach, so make sure you get one when you see it. Other incredibly useful items include the Superspicy Curry, the Urinas, the Warp Star, and of course, Stars, Poke Balls, and Assist Trophies.
The second strategy is simply to outrun the enemies – back and forth across the field, evading them when you need to, and knocking those in front of you out of the way. Of course, the best possible character for this is Sonic, who is not only the fastest character in the game, but also has a decent dashing attack for this. This strategy may work well for a bit, but it’s not as easy as the Corner Strategy, and you may want to alternate between them, especially if you can grab a Beam Sword or Superspicy Curry while you’re doing your laps.
The biggest danger to you in this mode is the normal character that pops up – they have more moves, greater intelligence, and the capacity to use items, making them more likely to cause damage, and a lot of it, too. While keeping your strategy up may work, it’s probably a better idea to take these characters out before they pick up a deadly item and use it against you.
One of the best possible situations you can get into is one of the odd times you need to kill every enemy onscreen before more spawn. If you can whittle it down to one enemy on the screen, things will be a lot easier – you can just evade it and take some time off the clock. This situation generally doesn’t last very long, though – if you don’t kill it, it will probably find a way to kill itself eventually.

Cruel Brawl
The name is wholly accurate, especially in Brawl, where there are far more difficult enemies to deal with. No matter what you do, you’ll probably need to try it a few times before it works the way you want it to.
The most attainable strategy is simply to lure the enemies off the side of the stage, using a character that can float (Peach, Kirby, or Jigglypuff). First, jump off the stage and out of the range of the enemies, who will dutifully wait for you on the very edge of the stage. Then, once your done floating, fall down towards the stage and then under it. Once you get close, some of the enemies will jump after you. Quickly jump to grab the ledge, and repeat the process. It might take a few tries to finally get one who can’t recover. You also have to time your fall just right, as to make sure you get close only when you reach the side of the bottom of the stage, because if they can reach you, you’re as good as dead. Also be careful when you grab the ledge; if you get back on, they’ll swarm and destroy you, and if you stay on too long, they’ll use low attacks to take you out.
More skilful players may be able to use attacks like Kirby’s Final Cutter to speed up the process and spike the enemies into the pit. You could also try floating underneath the stage as Jigglypuff, using the same strategy but possible being a bit safer (if you know how to use the jumps right).

These hints are just general, though. If you’re REALLY good as a certain character, chances are you can beat any of these with ease without resorting to my ideas. If you want more specific and detailed examples, look up videos of speed runs on Youtube.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

News: Man, I'm Lazy

It takes a lot of effort and playing before any Character Classified comes together in a useful form, but it shouldn't take THIS long, and I'm sorry I haven't been on top of it as much as I should. I've asked Matt to do a little filler thing in the meantime, so I hope he gets on that soon.

Matt's not a terrible blogger, and once I add him as an author here expect more frequent updates on little things while him or I work on bigger things. (Matt has the Wario CC on his shoulders.)

We just need to get this off the ground, and hopefully give you a different experience from all the other blogs and FAQ's about this game.

Ta ta!


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

News: New York City

I am currently in downtown Manhattan, which, as you can expect, is quite distracting.

I am working on the DeDeDe Character Classified at the moment. I get back home Saturday.

Smash on!

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Categories of Posts:

Character Classifieds: A guide to using a certain character, expect 40 of these.

Stage Tour: Take you through the finer points of a certain level.

Metagame: General metagame stuff, probably not going to be too many of these at first.

News: Duh.

Secrets and Glitches: Speaks for itself.

Blawg: Logging info on stage creation, music, and other things that don't full under the other posts.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ha Ha, Matt, I Stole Your Blog!

Indeed, I stole it from right out under your nose!


While under new management, this blog will be used to compile knowledge about Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

I guess Matt can help.