Hello everyone, we’re back for another installation of Smash Saturdays! This week was a fairly interesting one. We got some great screenshots and yet another unexpected announcement. Without further delay, lets jump in!
MONDAY MAY 26th
We opened the week with another visual change in the game. By now, you guys know I love little details like this.
“Here’s a look at the revival platforms. The color of the bottom mechanism changes from yellow to red to warn you how much time you have left before you drop into the fray.”
This might not seem like much to most but it’s actually pretty informative. As the smasher or the smashee, I’ve utilized the time on the revival platform to plan my next strategy against my opponent. This came in handy anytime I used Sonic’s final smash and would hover around the revival platform waiting for the opponent to drop. It’s a cheap tactic but a solid one! Having a visual queue to know your opponent is going to drop is a nice touch. What I’m wondering now is if characters will still have invincibility frames if they drop from the platform before the time limit is over? That question will definitely get answered at E3.
TUESDAY MAY 27th
We get another look at the Rocket Belt Item with the newly announced beefcake veteran Ike.
“The rocket belt from Pilotwings lets you fly upward by jumping. This is a really useful item for characters that have weaker recoveries. By the way, is that cape fireproof?”
His cape must be fireproof! It must be some crazy Fire Emblem magic at work there. We’ve already seen this item in action from the April Smash Direct so we know it’s purely a recovery item. What we still don’t know is how long does it last before it disappears and if the user is hit while using it, does the character lose it? Little Mac and Ike are going to be out of luck in For Glory mode and the tournament scene in general since items aren’t allowed in either setting. Poor guys.
WEDNESDAY MAY 28th
Sakurai shows off another new game nuance that I think is pretty cool.
“Characters that have heavy damage slowly start to emit steam. When your opponent starts to get nice and smoky, give ‘em a solid attack!”
I like that there are a lot more visual signifiers in the game that keeps you focused on the action and less on checking the damage meter at the bottom of the screen. Given the damage percentages being as high as they are, I don’t think that it’ll be too distracting gameplay wise but a great visual queue to know that you’re at high risk for getting KOed. It’s also funny that Sakurai decided to show characters smoking on the level that would probably be the hottest.
THURSDAY MAY 29th
We get another look at one of Ike’s returning moves.
“You can charge up Ike’s Eruption attack by holding the button down, but remember to release it right before it fully charges to avoid recoil damage. Let go of the button at the moment the sword shines!”
I’m glad to see that this move is back, though during the short time that I thought I was going to main Ike in Brawl, I didn’t use that move very often since this move was easily punishable if you missed with it. Unfortunately, it looks like the same thing still applies in this game too. A common critique of this game that I’ve mentioned before is that some of the veterans don’t feel different enough from the previous games. I’m hoping his normals, side and down special attacks will be different. Since we haven’t seen him in action yet, it’s hard to say as of right now. It’s kind of a bittersweet feeling for me to be honest. I’d love to see Ike get changed up a bit but I also don’t mind if he stays relatively the same.
FRIDAY MAY 30th
This set of screenshots of the day are probably my favorite. Reason being is that this is the first time we’ve seen the user interface on the bottom screen of the 3DS version during a standard battle.
“Here’s a first look at the bottom-screen display for the Nintendo 3DS. Your name will appear in the area above the accumulated damage. And if you tap one of the fighter displays…!”
I’ve been waiting to see how they’d take advantage of the bottom touch screen and I’d say that this is the most practical method. In the second screenshot, Sakurai shows the benefits of the touchscreen.
“…You can highlight that fighter on your screen. This is useful when you want to get back at a particular opponent. You can also highlight yourself if you need to keep better track of where you are. This is a great benefit to having your own individual screen.”
I like this feature a lot. I can image that having the option to select a particular target on such a small screen makes it easier to keep track of what’s going on. This option as well as the character outlines makes for a solid user experience. There’s a lot of attention being paid to making sure that players can keep track of what’s going at all times. Because let’s be honest, Smash can get a little crazy at times. Especially with items turned on. Sakurai is making some sound decisions here, bravo.
As we get closer to the 3DS versions release date, it’s nice seeing what it looks like together as a complete package. Some wonderful person on Reddit put together the two screenshots from Friday on a 3DS XL and this is the result.
Seeing this only continues to build the hype for this game. My body is the most ready.
We also got something a little extra this week that made me have a “clutch my pearls” moment.
BAM! Nintendo did a sneaky reveal for the Official Gamecube Controller Adapter for Wii U. This was revealed at the very end of the Smash Bros Invitational Tournament announcement trailer on Thursday. This is huge news. Especially considering that a large amount of players in the Smash community, myself included, use this controller. There were rumors circulating around that there was a 3rd party company planning on making a Gamecube inspired controller for the Wii U but this is a fine alternative. I appreciate that Nintendo is letting us use the Gamecube controllers we already have as opposed to having to buy new ones. I think they’re finally starting to pay attention to their players. Between For Glory Mode, the Final Destination variants of the stages and now this, I think this version of Smash is going to be the best one since Melee.
Until next time gaymers, keep smashing!