Competitive Smash Bros. Players Aren’t Impressed

Competitive Smash Bros. Players Aren’t Impressed

So Nintendo hosted their Nintendo Direct which showed off a bunch of new features that the Wii U version of Smash Bros. will have. But while everyone else was drooling over their eight player battles, I was sitting in my chair sighing and screaming “no!” at my screen. You see, I play Smash Bros. for the competitive scene, treating it like a traditional fighting game, and while all of these features might be awesome for the casual players out there, there just wasn’t a whole lot for me or the rest of the scene out there. Here’s why.

1- Most of the new features are single player or co-op

The COMPETATIVE scene is by nature COMPETATIVE! But a good portion of these fifty new facts that we were told about Smash were all just single player modes. Master Orders, Crazy Orders, Classic Mode, Events, Home Run Stadium, Target Smash, the new boss Master Fortress, all of these are things that you take on alone or with a friend. They have no impact on the default versus mode whatsoever.

2 – The new features that do effect versus mode are already banned in the competitive scene

Coin battles, mushroom battles, metal battles, curry battles, and more are all not utilized in the tournament scene. For that matter, neither are items, and large stages (of which there are quite a few on purpose in the new Smash ) are generally banned or regulated as counter picks. All of these features either increase randomness or unfairly weight the game toward certain types of characters. So adding more won’t actually effect the competitive scene in any meaningful way.

Competitive Smash Bros. Players Aren’t Impressed

3 – The saturation of uncompetitive features actually does reduce the amount of competitive features in the game

One of the problems that the 3DS competitive scene is encountering is the fact that very few of the stages are workable in competitive play. Even Final Destination isn’t really considered balanced, as characters who have a hard time approaching from above or on the ground usually do worse there. Battlefield has long been the go to stage for competitive play, along with stages like it, like Fountain of Dreams, Yoshi’s Island, or Smashville. But very few 3DS stages have this simple layout, a flat-ish stage with a few platforms and no stage hazards. Most of the stages are wacky and players have to default to using Final Destination versions of stages in order to get a good game in.

The Wii U version seems to be following in the 3DS version’s footsteps. A lot of “casual” features are being included, and these features are actually reducing the amount of “competitive” features. There appear to be far more casual stages, for example, than competitive ones. While this expansive feature suite is great for the casual player, it feels like there just isn’t enough space for more competitive features to have been worked in.

4 – There are a whole host of easy competitive features that were overlooked

What about an advanced tournament mode that can automatically run tournaments with hundreds of people in them? What about a character selection mode that already allows you to ban or “counterpick” a stage automatically? We already have something like that in the Brawl Project M mod. What about the simple ability to turn off stage hazards? That would immediately make a ton of stages competitive. What about the ability to make a stage START with items spawned but not spawn them randomly? That might bring items back into the competitive scene. You could let people turn melee style air-dodging on and off, ledge invincibility on and off, even let us adjust where the blast zones are at the edge of the stage! There are just so many features that WOULD mean something to the competitive scene, and they were all overlooked for things like the return of coin battles.

5 – The one thing that will appeal to the competitive scene is essentially a 40 dollar piece of DLC

So Nintendo revealed that Mewtwo will be a DLC character for anyone who bought both the 3DS and the Wii U versions of Smash . That’s one character. One single DLC character. When games like Blazblue and Skullgirls give us 3-6 DLC characters, Nintendo gives us one, and you can’t even purchase it alone! You HAVE to purchase a whole other version of the game. So people who don’t own both systems are just out of luck. This is going to cause a bunch of problems in terms of the competitive scene, and the question of “whether or not we ban Mewtwo” is going to be a big one.

What do you think? Has Nintendo really thought of the competitive Smash community? How do you feel about the features they just revealed? Let us know in the comments.

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