This Tuesday marked the end of an era, as the final Nintendo Direct dedicated to the 3DS and Wii U versions of Super Smash Bros. aired. We already knew series director Masahiro Sakurai would divulge more details on Final Fantasy VII’s Cloud, arguably the most surprising addition to the Smash roster, but anticipation was high as to who else would be announced as downloadable fighters. Now that the dust has settled, what did the staff think of the final Smash Direct? Read on to find out!
Disappointed. That’s the main emotion that went through my head as Sakurai closed out this final Smash Direct. Bayonetta? Another Fire Emblem character? That’s it?
Sure, Cloud is as exciting as it gets, and obviously I’m living in a post “Cloud is in Smash Bros.!” world if I can even sort of glaze over that, but this broadcast was a total swing and a miss for me. Don’t get me wrong, Bayonetta IS awesome, but no Dixie? King K. Rool? Impa? Wolf Link and Midna?
Even the costumes didn’t do much to soothe my sorrow. They’re all landlocked to offline play, so I’ve never seen the appeal. Plus, cool though it is to even get a whiff of Geno, I’d happily kick Corrin to the curb if it meant getting an actual, playable version of him, instead. Ah well, there are over fifty playable characters; what do I have to really complain about, right?
You’ll have to excuse Robert’s momentary lapse of judgement; the final Smash Direct was awesome and a great way to cap off what has been a wonderful string of downloadable content. I was pleasantly surprised to see Corrin from Fire Emblem Fates joining the roster. For one thing, it isn’t often that a character debuts in Super Smash Bros. before their own game launches. It’s a brilliant way to get fans hyped up for what appears to be one of 3DS’s final epics. It’s also fitting that a Fire Emblem hero is one of Super Smash Bros.‘ last DLC characters considering how instrumental the series was to Fire Emblem’s success in the West. Many gamers (myself included) first learned about Fire Emblem after seeing Marth and Roy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and the interest their appearance generated was the impetus Nintendo needed to finally bring the series outside of Japan.
Of course, everyone will bemoan the fact that Corrin made it into the game over their own personal choices; I’m also a little disappointed that my pick for the Smash Ballot, Isaac from Golden Sun, didn’t make the cut, even as a Mii costume. Truthfully, though, it was clear many of the Ballot “favorites” didn’t really have a chance of winning. Inklings and King K. Rool would probably have made cool fighters, but it was obvious they wouldn’t be added to the roster once Mii costumes based on them were released, and there’s no way Geno would have been added because he’s a supporting character from a spin-off game, not a protagonist or a series staple. So as far as final surprises go, Bayonetta was a great choice. I certainly didn’t expect her to appear in the final reveal video, and it’s obvious Sakurai and his team have put a great deal of care into her moveset and appearance.
All in all, the Smash Direct completely exceeded my expectations, and I can’t wait to download Corrin and Bayonetta come February. Maybe now I should finally start my unplayed copy of Bayonetta 2…
Kevin, I thought I was the only one with an untouched copy of Bayonetta 2 sitting on their game shelf! I’ve been playing Transformers: Devastation lately (also by Platinum Games), and it’s made me really want to go check out Bayonetta and see what I’ve been missing! Between that and the new Smash news, it might finally be time to dust off my copy.
I find myself a bit between Robert and Kevin on this one. On one hand, months of speculation made it hard not to be a little disappointed by yesterday’s Direct. That said, it’s also really hard to make any complaint about the roster when you consider what we got. Nintendo allowed the fans to vote on new characters and we ended up with Cloud (which is still mind-blowing) and Bayonetta as a result. And they even gave us another fighter, too! Sure, it would have been awesome to see every obscure character that got some votes show up, but, from a financial standpoint, it probably wouldn’t have worked out for Nintendo. Instead, we got a metric ton of Mii Fighter costumes, which were unquestionably influenced by the polls. While I would have preferred to see individual fighters, it was nice that two of my picks, Lloyd Irving and Geno, both made it in the game in some form. I had no problem plunking down cash for those two!
I’m still amazingly surprised that the Inklings didn’t make the cut. I had high hopes to see Banjo and Kazooie, but I was sure the stars of Splatoon would get more than just Mii costumes. It just seems to reinforce my theory that Nintendo is still taken aback by the game’s success, and hasn’t quite taken full advantage of it just yet. Shouldn’t there be a Splatoon anime and manga in the works? Where’s the trading card game and spin-off titles like Splatoon pinball? You’re missing a pile of money, Nintendo!
If there’s one thing I can actually point to as a disappointment, it’s in the very meager music lineup that appears in the Midgar stage. I love the two song options, but I was really expecting to see more. I was hoping for SNES tracks, some remixes, and maybe some music from Crystal Chronicles, to shows the history of the franchise on Nintendo systems. Considering that this hasn’t been an issue with any other level, I’m wondering if this was a Square Enix decree.
All in all, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS really turned out great. Nintendo is going to have a hard time topping it next console generation, that’s for sure!
Personally, I was pulling for Spot, the main character from the awesomely underrated SNES platformer/shameless commercial for 7-UP Cool Spot. Because he didn’t make the cut I give this presentation a seven thumbs DOWN!
Seriously, I thought it was great. What impressed me most about the presentation wasn’t just the three new characters, but how unique they look to be in a game that already has one of the most diverse cast of character ever put in a fighting game, both in terms of design and gameplay. I’m more than happy to see Corrin join the fray, because not only does his/her fighting style look to be awesome, but it further cements Fire Emblem’s position as one of Nintendo’s core franchises, which I don’t think a lot of people would have expected even just a few short years ago. As for Bayonetta, well, I’ve always felt she just made a lot of sense, and while that made her selection “predictable” to some, I couldn’t care less because it really looks like they did an amazing job in trying to replicate the great gameplay from her games in a way that works for Smash.
Even though I’ve never been big on the DLC Mii Fighter costumes, I have to say this new batch is pretty cool. I mean, you have to admit it’s good to see Tails and Knuckles in a good game again, even if it’s just costumes of them. And then there is Geno, and Geno is awesome. Seriously, Geno is one of those characters that countless gamers have wanted to see get more love, and while I too wouldn’t have minded seeing the puppet get his own slot in Smash’s roster, I’m not too proud to admit that Bayonetta was probably the better selection overall.
All things considered, I would dare say the disappointment that some people are feeling is an indication of just how well Nintendo has done with the Smash Bros. franchise. Think about it, people are disappointed that the latest batch of characters only feature the main character from on of the biggest JRPGs of all time and the heroine from two of the greatest action games ever made. If that is disappointing to you, then you really need to reexamine what qualifies as a disappointment.
What did you think of the final Smash Bros. Direct? Who were you pulling for in the Smash Ballot? Let us know in the comments!