Friday, March 5, 2010

Super Smash Bros. Series

I should have done this a few months ago, but now I am finally getting to the last of the game series that started about a decade ago. Out of the three series that I'm reviewing, this one is by far the best, even though there are only three games in the series so far. That's because they're among my favorite games ever.

This game is a fighting game with popular Nintendo characters duking it out. What could go wrong? Well . . . as time would tell, not much! Speaking of time, even after a decade, this is still one of the most addictive games I've ever played, and I still play it somewhat often to this day. Most of my friends would rather play other games with me than this one, including the other two games, so I'm usually stuck playing it with my girlfriend on the same team, or I play alone.

Playing alone is fine with this game. It's still fun, but a common complaint that I hear is that the game is more fun in multiplayer, since the single player experience is mostly the same every time. That doesn't mean it's impossible to enjoy single player, though. You can do what I did once: beat the Very Hard mode all the way through without losing a single life or using a continue. You can also go to Training Mode, which is the most fun mode in all of the single player mode, especially because of the glitches. Otherwise, I agree that the single player experience is lacking in comparison to the multiplayer mode.

The use of items made the gameplay more interesting. It could make or break your possible win in a match, but you can turn them off. It's great to have that option, just in case, say, it's your first time playing, and you're facing a hardcore expert like me at the game (by the way, I haven't lost a single game for about five years now, and that person beat me only one time out of several). In that case, you'd want the options on, because I would win for sure otherwise. I'm not trying to brag about it, since I suck shit at several other games, and I have been defeated before. In fact, the only game that I can think of that I'm undefeated at (for thirteen years, by the way, and I'm sure there's more games) is Star Fox 64, though I haven't played a huge amount of multiplayer in that like quite a few other games, and people have gotten close, my cousin being the closest by just a small fraction of a health bar.

There is a great variety of characters. Even the Luigi, who is similar to Mario, has differences, though I think he is worse. This is one of the few games I know of in which just about every character is good, except for Jigglypuff, and I personally don't like Donkey Kong much, though he can still be put to good use if played properly. In fact, here's how I rank the characters:

1. Captain Falcon
2. Samus Aran
3. Yoshi
4. Fox McCloud
5. Kirby
6. Mario
7. Link
8. Pikachu
9. Ness
10. Luigi
11. Donkey Kong
12. Jigglypuff

That's just my personal preference, though. Look around enough and you'll find a lot of different lists.

Anyway, despite it's one big flaw, it still has aged very well. I mean, if I'm still playing a game a decent amount more than a decade after it's release, that's saying a lot. It seems to have more staying power than probably any other game that I've played, at least so far. That means it's the most addictive game ever, more than Tetris, more than Mario Kart, more than motherfucking Goldeneye 007 (or whatever multiplayer First-Person Shooter you prefer). I've played some other games from longer ago even today as well, but I don't play any of them as often as this one. I'm not saying this is my favorite game of all time, but because of this factor alone, it's among at least the top ten, maybe even higher.

Oh, and it has one of my favorite commercials ever:

This game is basically like the last game, but with plenty of differences to separate it into it's own game. Typically, sequels are more often than not as good as their predecessors, but many people would probably make an exception with this game. I'm not sure if I would, but it's still an incredible game worth buying.

This game has more characters than the previous game, 25 total. However, there is one common complaint about them: six of them (Dr. Mario, Ganondorf, Falco, Young Link, Pichu, and Roy, though it's seven if you want to count Luigi) are what many people call "clones," which are characters who, although are different from their counterparts in the sense that they're more powerful, yet slower, jump higher, but moves slower, etc, and have different appearances, they have the same movesets. I find this okay to some extent, since Captain Falcon, although still a great character, became worse overall, and Ganondorf surpassed him in greatness. In fact, I think Ganondorf can be the best character in the game if used properly, and depending on the stage choice, since he sucks at the moving stages like Icicle Mountain. I guess Captain Falcon, and a few other characters as well, got worse, but it's understandable considering this game's physics are different. Anyway, sometimes the cloning didn't work, particularly with the worst character in all three of the games combined: Pichu. Yes, he/she is worse than Jigglypuff, something people thought wasn't possible. Now I don't think it's possible to beat Pichu in that category. Well, maybe it is possible, but it'd be a difficult feat. Anyway, he's a copy of Pikachu. Pikachu's not a bad character, so you'd probably think Pichu wouldn't be bad, either. Well, he/she wouldn't be the worst if it wasn't for one big factor: he/she hurts himself. You read that right. He/She fucking hurts himself with his/her own attacks! He's/She's already one of the lightest characters in the game, as well as one of the weakest in attack power, so that's just another kick in the crotch for him/her. That's why Pichu sucks shit.

 As good a fighter as he/she looks.

There are a plentiful amount of stages as well. The only ones I have a problem with are the moving ones, like I mentioned above. It's not just because of my personal preferences in fighters, since I like to use Sheik and Falco as well. It's the fact that they practically make you worry more about trying to avoid death, because if you stay still, you lose a life/point/coins/even the fucking match. It's irritating, so I avoid those stages, and thankfully, most people I know do so as well. Also, they only included three stages from the previous game, which is fine, but they could've chosen better courses than they did, at least Hyrule Castle. That was my favorite.

Despite any sort of criticisms about the game, there is one thing that has improved a lot: the Single Player. There are more modes to play, including the mode from the last game (which is now more varied), and two new modes called Adventure and All Star. It's all pretty cool stuff, especially Adventure.

Otherwise, there's a shitload of various content as well, such as individual challenges in Single Player and trophies to collect that showcase various things about Nintendo games and stuff. It's challenging getting them all, but ultimately worth it.

Considering all of this, I'm not sure if it's better than the original, but it at least is well worth playing in it's own right. I would strongly suggest getting both games, because, whether one's better than the other, they're both among the greatest games ever made (at least, I think so).

This is the most recent game in the series, and there hasn't been another announced yet, so this'll be the last one reviewed. Before I get started, though, I should mention that people went batshit crazy over this game. Why? Because of the speculation of what characters would be in the game, ranging from the highly plausible (people talked about Pit and Sonic before they were officially announced) to the absolutely ridiculous, such as Professor Oak, Tom Nook, and even a Goddamned Tetris Block. I remember people even joked about Barney being in the game, just to parody the ridiculous ideas going on at the time. It was so bad that people even fabricated massive menu screens with characters they wanted to see in the game. This one is the worst I've seen so far (it even includes music from the previous game):

I mean, seriously, why would anybody think a Nintendog would be a good fighter against the likes of Bowser and Ganondorf? It's just a cute little dog, not a Kung Fu master. Just think of how much Pichu sucked. If anything, that's a candidate for being a worse character than him.

Great fighter.

And, of course, we can't forget Slippy Toad, the guy who constantly asks for his buddy Fox McCloud to save his ass throughout the whole game. The very same guy who annoys people so badly that they just shoot him down themselves to ease their pain. Good reason to replace him with the Sandbag, but he's not a good fighter. But wait, there's even worse! I spotted Beltino Toad not far from him! What the fucking Goddamned Hell! Slippy's bad enough, but Beltino, his father? Jesus fucking Christ almighty.

Fox, get this guy off of me!

Oh, and I should also mention that there are four versions, yes, you read it right, four fucking versions of Mario in that picture! Chef Mario, Paper Mario, Dr. Mario, and finally Mario Mario. Holy shit, isn't two enough? Hell, I think one is enough . . .

These are all different. Add them now!

Okay, I'm getting off track. That all started, though, partly because of an April Fool's Day joke run in the magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly about how people can unlock Sonic the Hedgehog and Miles Tails Prower. They said you had to defeat twenty enemies in Cruel Melee, which was impossible for me to do. In fact, I used to have that issue, and I don't know where it went. I remember the cover featured the game State of Emergency, which, though it was apparently hyped, I never cared to play it (neither did anyone else I knew), and it was quickly forgotten about anyway. I remember getting it for the Metroid Prime beta stuff, which was pretty cool.

This was the issue.

Okay, I'm getting off track. Well, when it comes to the clone character aspect from the last game, the creators mentioned that there would be no more clones. Sure enough, there are. This time, there are thirty five characters, with, once again, six clones (seven if you count Luigi). So they broke their promise. However, they kind of made up for it by getting rid of the more useless characters in the last game: Dr. Mario, Roy, Young Link, Pichu (hooray!), and, sadly, Mewtwo. Personally, I thought Mewtwo was awesome. Thankfully, they put another Pokemon in the game that was somewhat like him, but . . . it was Lucario. With so many Pokemon to pick, they could've picked something much better than him. Lucario's not even popular enough for the game (or, he wasn't until he was in the game). They could've at least chosen Blaziken, or Hitmonlee (a lot of people pulled for him for good reason), or motherfucking Deoxys. You know, good fighters. Not just some random Pokemon. He doesn't fight too bad, but he wasn't the ideal fighting Pokemon most people had in mind, really. Hell, I think he's worse than Mewtwo because he doesn't have a kick ass tail to use during battle. Oh well. Whatever.

Would easily kick Lucario's ass.

There's also a problem with Samus. There are two forms to her: Varia Suit Samus, and Zero Suit Samus. That's a good idea to have, but here's the problem: there are only two methods for getting Zero Suit Samus, and they are through a Final Smash Ball, and pressing the D-Pad up and down really fast, which takes a lot of tries to do, and ultimately, if you're fighting real time, isn't worth trying at all. I'd love to choose one or the other an easier way, but it's not possible. Thanks a lot, asswipes. By the way, I noticed that if you use Samus' sideways kick, and pause at just the right time during the kick, and move the camera to the right position, you'll notice that Samus' ass and head are on the same side. Quite a way to twist a body, huh? I mean, I like flexibility, but . . .

Okay, I'm getting off track. Now I should probably talk about the stages. There are quite a few great stages to choose from. I'd say that, if this game improved at least one thing from the last game, it's the stage selection for sure. It even includes some of the better stages from the last game. You can even choose which music that plays in the course (though it lists what you can play for the course, so it's still limited) and how often it plays. There is also what I think is one of the most fun features in the game: a stage builder. I wouldn't have expected one in a Super Smash Bros. game, but it works pretty well. The only problem is sometimes connecting some of the pieces, since some items take up room even if it really doesn't/shouldn't. Otherwise, you can make some pretty damn cool courses. My favorite one that I made is a giant cube that fighters jump into and fight in, trying to knock each other out of the hole at the top where they came in. It's fun watching your opponents flying around the cube at high percent damage. There are plenty more clever ideas you can use though, like I also made a course that's just four small platforms in a large area (because I'm sadistic like that :P), and a course just consisting of falling blocks, and a course with a bunch of elevators, and a course . . .

Okay, I'm getting off track. Now I should get to the Single Player modes. There's still a great variety of things to do alone in this game, but there are some differences. The biggest one is an adventure mode called The Subspace Emissary, which isn't too bad, but it seems to me like the story was the winner of a fan-fiction contest or something. It's fun to play otherwise, though, especially once you beat it, because you can use whatever character you want at that point. Otherwise, most of the modes from the last game are intact, though they included a Boss Battles mode (which I personally don't care for), they changed Home Run Contest up a bit, making it more possible to hit the sandbag further, yet making the process a little less fun for some odd reason, got rid of Race to the Finish in Classic mode, and changed the Break the Targets mode to just five different levels instead of character-unique levels, which was kind of disappointing. Otherwise, Single Player is still pretty fun, but definitely a downgrade from the last game.

There are even more extras in this game than the last one, with not only the inclusion of the stage builder as I mentioned earlier, but also stickers that you can put on the bottom of character trophies to change their stats (make them stronger, faster, etc.), play demos (really short ones) of classic games (although I don't necessarily consider Ice Climber a classic because it's okay at best), and view photos and replays you've saved, among other things that don't quite matter, unless you're a collector, then you'd like the Chronicle, listing every game Nintendo ever made (at least in America, I'm not sure about Japanese games like X and Mother). However, the Trophies section has downgraded a bit, because you can't zoom in on your obtained trophies and view them in greater detail like in the last game. I liked doing that in the last game. Viewing trophies of stages in a way you wouldn't normally see them while playing the game, pretending you're inside vehicles, and, of course, getting a great view up Peach's dress, which, yes, both my girlfriend and I did. We thought it was funny and cool at the same time. Oh well, you can still do that multiplayer and take pictures of it.

Pictured: why I don't wear dresses and skirts, and why you at least shouldn't in a fight.

But overall, this is still a great game, but I don't think it's the best of the three. I'd still suggest getting it, because it's changed enough. If anything, get this one for the multiplayer, because that's where it's at here for sure. Well, that and I almost forgot to mention that you can go online and face people as well. I haven't played online yet, but I've seen people play, and it seems that there aren't a lot of people using the fucking wave dash techniques and shit. I'm sure there are some people who do, but it seems most everybody plays normally, and it actually seems like I could beat a lot of them as well. For online games, I wouldn't think that'd be the case, but it might be for this one.


Despite the fact that the series is a decade old, there have only been three games released, but their greatness makes up for it. I have to wonder if more will be released. I even wonder if there'll ever be a handheld version. Now that would be pretty damn cool, being able to play one of the most addictive video game series ever anywhere. Or here's another idea: bring online capabilities to the other two games. Or here's another idea: Add Mega Man, Black Bull, Ridley, and, of course, motherfucking Scorpion as playable characters. At least Scorpion. Please.

 Actually a great fighter.

Okay, I know I'm being unrealistic like those other guys, especially with Scorpion, but those first three can and I think should happen. Mega Man is another highly popular third-party character, I'd love to see another F-Zero character in the game, and Black Bull would probably be the best one overall (and please, not Samurai Goro, 'cause he sucks), and lastly . . . come on, it's fucking Ridley. Practically everybody and their umpteenth cousin (even my cousin, by the way) hoped that Ridley would be a playable character. Didn't happen. Great way to disappoint us, Nintendo. Leave out Ridley, yet leave in fucking Jigglypuff and add another non-worthy Pokemon to the roster. Great strategy.


Not worthy

By the way, had R.O.B. ended up not being a good character, I would've complained about him as well, though it's still an odd addition.

Yet another brilliant idea that most people will like.

And Goddamn it, I'm getting off track again!

Well, I'm finally done with this trilogy post that I planned. Yay, another burden off my back. I guess I could do more posts about game series that I've played, but I'm taking a break on that. I don't know when, but I will do more. Next will probably be the Mario Kart series, another fun one, or Turok 2 because I've been feeling nostalgic about it. After that, I don't know, but for now, I'm done.

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