Smashing Expectations

We look into two of the most anticipated games of 2014– Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 01/15/2014 09:00 8 Comments     ShareThis

Two systems, two games, and an epic level of hype and expectations; welcome to the world of Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS. Ever since the E3 2013 Nintendo Direct broadcast that unveiled Mega Man would be joining the venerable series’ roster of fighters, hype for both games has been somewhere just north of the stratosphere. The lofty hopes of fans is due in no small part to series creator Masahiro Sakurai’s regular posts on the Smash Bros. Miiverse channel. There’s a lot of information floating around about the next installment of Nintendo’s beloved fighting series, so let’s break it all down and deduce what else might be lying in wait for fans!

The Namco Connection

It was more than a little bit exciting when Nintendo announced that Namco Bandai would be handling Smash Bros. development duties alongside Sakurai. Not just because Namco is no stranger to fighting games, what with its own stalwart series Soul Caliber and Tekken, but because of the tantalizing possible character cameos. Pac-Man was my immediate first thought, but there are certainly others– Lloyd from Tales of Symphonia, Klonoa, Heihachi, and dozens more. There’s even a precedent for a Nintendo/Namco crossover; 2005’s Mario Kart Arcade GP was developed by Namco and featured Pac-Man!

Sakurai sort of rained on everyone’s parade, though, when he told IGN that Namco wouldn’t be “given any special consideration for having characters in the game,” citing the inclusion of any third-party fighter as “a very special situation.” Considering Mega Man and Sonic have both already been confirmed as fighters, at this point I’d think it pretty odd for Nintendo to snub Namco while featuring two other companies’ characters. The safe money is on a Namco character reveal in the next few months, but it’s still anyone’s guess who that character might be.

The Roster

Speaking of the roster, Nintendo has enough of its own characters to worry about including as it is. With the recent reveal of King Dedede returning to the roster, there are now 21 confirmed fighters for both iterations of the next Smash Bros. That’s crazy, considering that seemingly-obvious returns (like Yoshi) haven’t even been officially announced yet. There really aren’t many characters from Nintendo’s own pantheon who haven’t been utilized, outside of more obscure games like Clu Clu Land and Adventures of Lolo, but everyone has their favorites who they’d like to see appear. I personally wouldn’t oppose an appearance from some of the Advance Wars COs, and Fire Emblem Awakening certainly brought along more than a few potential candidates (hello, Chrom!).

One thing I’d like to see is a wider variety of skins for each character. It was great being able to select Fire Mario and Dark Link skins, but I felt like Nintendo massively underutilized that particular feature. Characters like Samus had color combos that were obvious homages to her various armors over the years, but with the power of Wii U it should be easy to actually render her in them. Going nuts with the choices this time would really amp up the fan service and foster a greater sense of personalization. Frog Suit Mario versus Light Suit Samus, Classic Sonic versus Fierce Deity Link, and so on. Considering it doesn’t alter gameplay, I’d like to think it would be an easy addition.

The Subspace Emissary 2

I was a huge fan of Nintendo’s inclusion of an immersive single player adventure in Brawl. The Subspace Emissary brought a ton of incredible cinema scenes and fun (if simple) platforming that really made the most of the game’s huge roster of fighters and their individual series. Just look at Pit; the winged hero of the Kid Icarus series got a surprise second lease on life due to his role in the Subspace Emissary! While it would be hard to top, I hope that Sakurai isn’t any less ambitious with the next Smash’s single player efforts. There’s still plenty of fun left to mine from another huge team-up adventure!

The Multiplayer

I can’t emphasize enough just how important it is that the online component of the next Smash Bros. be as smooth and functional as possible. Brawl‘s online was cripplingly slow and nearly unplayable, which was really disappointing. The next Smash Bros. has the dual responsibility of being another solid entry in the series along with helping to bolster Wii U itself. That’s a tall order, but it’ll be easier to do if the game becomes the cornerstone (along with Mario Kart 8) of Nintendo’s online multiplayer offerings. I will seriously probably never play Call of Duty again if Smash is fully-functioning on the Nintendo Network.

Everything Plus the Kitchen Sink

Sometimes, more of a good thing can be a great thing, and that’s especially true when it comes to Smash Bros. games. Brawl was stuffed with content and I hope that Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS follow in its footsteps. Game demos, a ton of trophies, stickers, and whatever else Sakurai concocts are all more than welcome. What makes the Smash Bros. series special is that they’re not just fighting games, but also celebrations of all that is Nintendo. The amount of history and information that a person can glean from the trophies alone is staggering, and I think does a great job of keeping newer generations of players appreciative of Nintendo’s rich history.

2014 is going to prove very important for Nintendo’s future, and Smash Bros. is going to play a very big part in righting the ship. There are a lot of questions still surrounding the games, but with Sakurai at the helm, I’m confident that Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS are going to be beyond anything we could hope for!

8 Responses to “Smashing Expectations”

  • 102 points
    Hawthorn says...

    I’m not sure where to ask this, but where can I find a list of all the issues of Nintendojo? The search box isn’t very helpful when it comes to this.

    And a little feedback: It is very, very good to see Nintendojo Issues have names again.

    Thumb up 0
    • 1 points
      Kevin Knezevic says...

      I don’t believe we currently have a list of all our past issues, but that’s something I’ll begin compiling very soon (though that may take a while considering how many of them I need to track down, so please bear with us while I work on that).

      And thanks for the feedback! Not every issue will be named, but we will be running themed issues a lot more frequently going forward, so I hope you look forward to those!

      Thumb up 1
      • 102 points
        Hawthorn says...

        A few months ago I actually tried to compile a list of all the issues… but there were a few issues I could not find, and while doing a cleaning I threw it away (I had stopped when themed-issues ended)… now I regret that. Still, I’ll do anything I can to help get a list of Nintendojo issues.

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        • 102 points
          Hawthorn says...

          Here’s an idea – a page on the website, say nintendojo.com/list-of-issues or some other thing like that (I have no idea how to program) that lists all the issues, and each issue (the text for it) links to that issue, allowing you to read all the articles from that issue – a way of implementing a semi-search system for easier access to our favorite issues of the past and our favorite articles of issues of the past. Whaddaya think? :)

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        • 1 points
          Kevin Knezevic says...

          I haven’t quite figured out the logistics of how to set it up just yet, but we’ll have a set page that’ll contain links to each of our past issues, similar to what you suggested. We’ll also add a big link on our sidebar to make it easy to find, regardless of what page you’re currently on. :)

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  • 780 points
    Toadlord says...

    For me, Pac-Man not getting in would be more of a shock than the reveal of Wii Fit Trainer.

    Smash Bros is an iconic character brawler, and Pac-Man fits the bill for perfectly. Having Mario, Mega Man, Sonic, and Pac-Man on one stage together would be such an amazing accomplishment.

    Thumb up 2
    • 189 points
      Jon Stevens says...

      Pac-Man’s final smash would have to be him moving across the screen in classic 2D fashion. Ms Pac-Man could even be an alternate costume! Ah so many possibilities…

      Thumb up 1
  • 156 points
    Linkrevenge says...

    Didn’t Sakurai mention there wasn’t going to be nothing like Space Emissary mode for these games?

    Thumb up 0

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