Smash Bros Switch Predictions

Smash Bros

Smash Bros for the Switch

I’ve mentioned how much I love Smash Bros before, and now they’ve finally announced that the Nintendo Switch will be getting a new entry. Or an enhanced port, as they weren’t clear with the initial announcement, which is all I’m going with at the time of this article.

Whether a port or a brand new game, we know we’re getting new content. Others have chimed in, but here are my predictions on what will be in the new Smash Bros game. 

New Confirmed Characters

Inklings: This is obvious, as it was in the trailer. It will be interesting to see how they play. I assume they’ll be able to cover the stage with ink and maybe move around in it. How long will the ink stick? Will they be able to paint the other characters? Will there be several different character skins? I’m interested in finding out.

BOTW Link: I’m going to go in depth on this, because I have a lot of thoughts. The trailer clearly showed BOTW Link, but we don’t know what that means. Ever since the original Smash Bros, Link has been my main. But BOTW Link plays much differently than Links in other Zelda games, and I think it will be the same here. So there are several options:

  1. BOTW Link replaces classic Link with same basic moves, just aesthetic differences like the tunic, bombs, and other aspects. Not likely.
  2. BOTW Link replaces classic Link with a whole new move set. 
  3. BOTW Link is a new separate character, classic Link remains the same. My preferred option, as I love classic Link, even if he is only mid-tier.

So what new moves could Link have? I’ve seen possibilities of his specials using the Champions’ abilities. I could see some, but I don’t think they will all be used. For one thing, how would he be revived by Mipha’s Grace. He could also use Sheikah Slate abilities. 

Here are my predictions:

  • Up Special: Rivali’s Gale, followed by the paraglider. Simple. I think it could also have a tornado effect of blowing nearby characters upward, so there’s some attack element to it.
  • Neutral Special: Bow. He has the bow in the trailer, so I think he’ll use it. But maybe he has some way of switching arrows, so he could use fire arrows for extra damage, ice arrows to freeze an opponent, shock arrows to stun them, bomb arrows for an explosion, and ancient arrows to break shields. He could even fall slower if switching between them in mid-air.
  • Side Special: This one’s hard. Maybe a Sheikah Slate ability, like stasis on an enemy in front of you, or a quasi grab with magnesis. Or maybe just the boomerang.
  • Down Special: Link could stick with the bombs, but this time they would be remote controlled explosions. Or he could have a counter using Daruk’s revenge. 
  • Final Smash: Divine beasts shooting their lasers. 

I don’t think he’ll have a hook shot, because that wasn’t in the game, so his grabs could use either stasis or magnesis for the animation. His smash attacks might use different weapons, from great swords to spears. I do think he’ll be an interesting character. 

Mario: He might just have some new moves with Cappy.  If he can possess people, where they have to wiggle to kick him out, kind of like Yoshi’s eggs, then I see him becoming the ultimate troll.

Possible New Characters

Nintendo will most likely use some of their new IPs from the biggest Switch games.

Arms character: Spring man, Ribbon Girl, or Twintelle. Who knows? Maybe it will be like Bowser Jr with a different skin for each color. There will probably be long range punches, grabs, and other maneuvers. But I don’t see them handling the close range well.

Xenoblade 2 characters: Probably Rex, with Pyra following along. Maybe it would be like the Ice Climbers, where both attack and are hurt, or maybe Pyra sticks to the background and helps with specials or the final smash. Although I think it would be nice to have just her, as Rex is kind of boring.

BOTW Zelda: I would like to see either a new, separate Zelda or a revamped one, as she’s always been one of the worst characters. This new one could use the Sheikah Slate Abilities that Link doesn’t use.

Other Nintendo Characters

I’m not so sure about any of these, but there is a chance.

Ice Climbers: With Smash Bros on the Switch, there shouldn’t be an issue getting these veterans back, as the 3DS held back the last installment.

Star Wolf: He was in Brawl, but taken out last time. I liked him, and maybe he’ll return.

King K. Rool: Donkey Kong’s nemesis, many people have clamored to have him. 

Dixie Kong: She’s like Diddy, but she can fly with her hair. 

Waluigi: I don’t think he’ll make it in, but if he does, he’ll be Wario’s skinny counterpart.

Captain Toad: With a Switch port, Toad can become a real boy…I mean, playable character.

Ganondorf: Maybe he’ll get his own move set for once.

3rd Party Characters

Less likely, but the following have some merit. As I understand the rules for Smash Bros, characters have to originate in a video game and be a classic. So no Goku or Shrek.

Shovel Knight/Shantae: Both indie hits on the Switch, many people have clamored for them.

Crash Bandicoot: His trilogy is coming to the Switch and he is a classic of gaming. 

Dragonborn: Skyrim on the Switch did well, so maybe this character could come to Smash Bros.

Solaire: From the upcoming Dark Souls on the Switch, he has an Amiibo.

Rayman/Rabbids: Both on the Switch, either Ubisoft character could make an appearance.

Solid Snake: He was in Brawl. Maybe he can make a comeback.

Sora: From Kingdom Hearts, if Cloud could make it, then maybe he could, too. But that brings me to the next point.

Characters That We Might Lose

Not all characters last throughout all the games, and with the roster continually growing, some might get pushed aside.

Cloud/Bayonetta/Ryu: Any of the DLC characters could go, although Bayonetta is the most closely aligned with Nintendo. I would be most sad if Cloud leaves, as I ended up taking him on as my second main in Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS.

Lucina, Dark Pit, Doctor Mario, Toon Link: The first two or three of these clone characters should have been skins, not full characters, and may go back to that. Toon Link might step aside to make room for the other Links (or he stays and classic Link goes away)

Pacman, Megaman, Sonic: Sonic will probably stay, but other 3rd party characters might leave.

Conclusion

A lot of the big games on the Switch have reinvented the franchise’s formula, from Mario to Zelda, so we’ll see if Smash Bros does the same or is more like a port. Either way, I’m excited. I’ve been waiting for this game for a long time. 

My Wish for Smash Bros Switch

Smash Bros switch

Smash Bros: When???

As I’ve mentioned in another post, Smash Bros is one of my favorite games. It is also one of the most popular games for any Nintendo system. There’s been a lot of speculation as to how it will be handled on its newest one, the Switch. There are a lot of options and here’s my take on some of them. 

Port Old Games

Many people assume that Nintendo will port the Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS. Mario Kart 8 was successful. The logic behind this is that the game is well regarded, featuring a large cast of characters that are pretty well balanced. The downside of having it on the Wii U is that it didn’t reach as many people as it could have, so moving it to the Switch would get it to more people. Add a few new characters, like characters from Arms and Splatoon, and some new stages, include all the DLC, and it’s an easy way to have Smash on the Switch. Which is why many people wonder why it hasn’t happened yet. 

Personally, I like this option, as it would mean having Smash Bros available faster, in theory. I also like the balance better than other games, like Brawl, and would hate to lose characters like Cloud if they make a brand new version.

Another rumor is that Smash Bros Melee, one of the beloved versions, will be available on a virtual console in HD graphics. Problem is, there is no virtual console yet. I would welcome this, as long as it is not the only Smash Bros game on the console. Melee was fun, but its time has come and gone, in my mind.

Create a New Game

Since there’s been no announcement yet for porting the old Smash Bros games, I’m assuming this is what Nintendo is planning. There are some interesting possibilities on how to handle this, which I will go over. 

One possibility, probably the most extreme and least likely, is to completely get rid of the formula and create a 3D Smash Bros. I’m not even sure how that would work, but it could be really interesting.  It would probably play out more like an adventure game or shooter than a fighting game, but with Nintendo characters. Have Link or Samus snipe you from afar while Donkey Kong gets in close. The Switch can’t handle Overwatch? Well, let’s make NintendoSwitchWatch instead. Take that, Blizzard. 

Or they could do some other 3D style. People have modded it.

Another possibility I’d like to see is revamping the characters. Link’s moves haven’t changed since Melee, yet how many Zelda games have come out since then? This would apply more to long standing characters like Mario and Link, but I think they could have different versions. Ocarina of Time-Era Link could use the familiar moveset, but Breath of the Wild-Era Link could use his glider for recovery. Mario Sunshine-Era Mario could use the FLUDD for recovery and attacks, but Mario Odyssey-Era Mario could use Cappy to possess other characters for a short time. A version of Luigi could use the Haunted Mansion vacuum. We could finally get a version of Ganondorf that isn’t a clone of Captain Falcon (one of Melee’s laziest choices). 

What do you think Nintendo will do with one of their most popular properties? Does anything in this post hold any potential? Or will they switch it up completely? (Pun intended)

Fire Emblem: Awakening Review

Fire Emblem

 My First Fire Emblem

After years of wondering who the heck Marth was in Super Smash Bros, I finally decided to buy a Fire Emblem game. (Kind of. I gave my wife four 3DS game options for my birthday: Fire Emblem Awakening, Fire Emblem Fates, Super Mario 3D Land, and A Link Between Worlds. She gave me Awakening.) I know, it’s been out for a long time, but I haven’t had a 3DS, ahem, 2DS, that long. I have finally beat the game,  so I have the right to play as Robin and Lucina on Smash Bros.

While Final Fantasy Tactics had more, well, tactics, I liked this game for the relationship aspect. I liked it when characters married and had kids. In fact, that’s what I spent most of my time doing. From my female Robin and Chrom hooking up to create the most powerful royal family ever to Sumia and Fredrick, Miriel and Kellum, Nowi and Lonqu, Henry and Cordelia, and other interesting couples, I had more fun shipping characters than fighting with them.

Gameplay and Story

Fire Emblem
My female Robin Character

The story was not anything special but had some interesting time travel elements. Due to the option to have perma-death (a masochistic option at best, due to how easily a character can die), most of the characterization for the large cast only comes through the optional character conversations and sidequests. Having the future generation take part is interesting but there isn’t much point to recruiting them, storywise. And to grind them all to an acceptable level takes plenty of time. Probably too much time, honestly. The options for replayability are there, but for now, I don’t really want to take the time to go through the game again. I do admit curiosity as to how things would change, though. 

If you have a 3DS, this is a good game, but don’t expect Final Fantasy levels of story telling. There’s also a Free to Play mobile game out there with a lot of returning characters. I haven’t tried it out yet, but maybe someday.

My Thoughts on the Nintendo Switch

Switch

What’s the Switch?

In case you haven’t heard, the Switch is the next Nintendo console. You can play it as a portable, basically a tablet with controls, or you can put it into a dock and play on your TV like a normal console. Last October they announced it:

My Thoughts

First, I gave into the hype when I should have known better. I hoped for something that wasn’t realistic, given Nintendo’s recent failures with the Wii U. I had hoped for a powerful home console with great third party support (see my article here) but was wrong. Even after the announcement video, I still hoped for a portable with enough power to play something like Final Fantasy XV. After the most recent announcements, though, I do not think that likely. I fear it might end up like the Wii U, with little third party support, despite their claims of having many developers working on it.

I give the Switch a 50/50 chance of being successful. The idea of having it be portable appeals to me. I haven’t played video games on a normal console for a while, even though I have several games on my Playstation 3 that I haven’t touched or finished. But on my 2DS (I’m too cheap for the extra dimension), I’ve been playing a lot in my spare time. It’s just easier than booting up a console, especially since I have kids.

The problem right now is the software. Of all the games announced, the only one that really appeals to me is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and that only after seeing the newest trailer. Before, I wasn’t even excited about that. The new Mario game looks like it could be good, but it won’t come out until next winter. So I just don’t see a reason to buy this, especially at launch.

Conclusion

If it can start out strong, with the help of Zelda, then I think developers will give this console a chance, and it will become a real player. But if that doesn’t happen, I think it will hurt Nintendo even more. With two failures in a row, the company might just end up creating software for other consoles. We will see. I can always hope for something more.

My Thoughts on E3 and the Future Consoles

E3

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, a place where video game companies show off their future games and consoles, finished over a week ago, but I’m still processing what I saw there, and I only focused on a small portion of the event. It has been an interesting year, including the behind-the-scenes speculation I came across. Here I’m going to focus on what impacted me, personally.

I’m not the gamer I used to be. When I was a teenager, I used to play each day. I was mostly into RPGs, but would still play multiplayer games with my brothers. Now, though, I don’t have nearly as many opportunities as I used to. I have a job, a wife, a baby, am going through a masters program, plus I’m writing a book and the content for this site. All of these things get in the way of playing video games. Plus my interest has waned. FPSs never interested me much, and a lot of RPGs are getting more gritty, something I don’t care for. So I’ve focused my attention this conference on two main titles that interested me, a throwback to my first gaming experiences. These were Final Fantasy XV and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Neither of these blew me away, but they do look interesting.

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV didn’t really seem to reveal a whole lot of new stuff. I think we’re at a point that not much new stuff will come out, you’ll just have to experience everything in the game. So far the story doesn’t look fantastic, but I optimistically think that they’re just hiding it so you can experience it in-game, which I don’t mind. Better than revealing everything like recent movie trailers have done.

I saw some new stuff for Kingsglaive, the Final Fantasy XV tie-in movie. Square produced two other movies for the Final Fantasy franchise, Spirits Within and FFVII Advent Children, but neither came close to the games in terms of quality storytelling, although the graphics looked beautiful for their time. Kingsglaive might have the same problem. It looks nice, but I don’t know that it’s really necessary and I doubt it will draw many newcomers to the franchise, so I question the need to do it. It’s supposed to tell parts of the story that couldn’t be included in the game, but I would rather just have the game itself tell everything. I don’t really like the trend of storytelling through multiple platforms, because if you don’t go through each platform, then you miss out on content. We’ll see how this strategy works out.

There also was a little bit about a VR version of XV, but it looked stupid, just a way to ogle the character Cindy (who I don’t like because the whole point of her seems to be eye candy. I’m married, and if my wife sees me playing and she’s around, things would get uncomfortable. I wish they hadn’t designed her that way).

Zelda

Nintendo had the opposite position with Zelda at E3. Instead of nothing new, everything was new. This was the first real look at the new Zelda game, coming to Wii-U and the NX in March 2017. I thought there were some nice ideas, but as others have pointed out, if you take away the Zelda title, they’ve all been done before. Weapon stats, breaking weapons, camping, and clothing is not really new and I feel like it’s lost its uniqueness by going that route, even if this was the original vision of Zelda.

Both Final Fantasy and Zelda have adopted the open world feel for the first time, in order to save the franchises. But the open world games have been out for a while now, so it’s more of “It’s about time,” than “Oh, wow.” And I personally don’t mind a fairly linear story line (as long as it’s not like the extreme example of Final Fantasy XIII). I felt the demos of Zelda showed a game without much purpose. The gameplay seemed to get caught in the details and lose the overall story, whatever that is. But we’ll have to wait and see.

Consoles

Of course, at the moment, I can’t play either of these titles, because I don’t have either console (Wii-U and PS4 or XBox 1). So the information about the consoles at E3 has interested me.

I found a lot of this information in this Forbes article, so you may want to take a look:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2016/06/23/the-very-different-problems-facing-xbox-scorpio-playstation-neo-and-nintendo-nx-in-2017/#25fd985c59b4

From what I can gather, Microsoft only planned on showing the XBox One Slim at E3. But then leaks forced them to reveal their work on the Scorpio (a more powerful version of the XBox One, but would still play the same games) before its time. So Microsoft left a muddled message of: Buy the XBox One Slim! But then buy the Scorpio! Or just keep your current one, because they all play the same games! It seems the Scorpio would be useful if you have a 4K TV, which I know I don’t.

This announcement in turn disrupted the Sony announcement of the Neo. If rumors are true (4 teraflops instead of 6), it wouldn’t be as powerful as the Scorpio. So instead of announcing it at the end of their conference, they put in some filler trailers and ended weakly, possibly to go back and improve their machine before it gets released, based on what they learned about the Scorpio. So we still don’t have any official announcement.

E3 didn’t tell us much about the NX, Nintendo’s new console, so we still know very little. Rumors before told of a system more powerful than the current generation. Then  Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-AimĂ© said something at the conference, in reaction to the news on Scorpio. He said they were focused on content more than teraflops. This makes me think that the NX was more powerful than the current versions of the PS4 and XBox One. It just doesn’t compare to the new versions. Still, if so, it’s not that bad, because supposedly developers will still be developing for the current versions and the new versions will just have bonus power, and so they could theoretically develop for the NX as well. Which is what I’m hoping.

I’m hoping the NX gets a lot of third party support, especially from Square Enix. I hope to play both Zelda and Final Fantasy XV on it. Then I wouldn’t have to choose between the two games because I can only afford one console. I think that is how Nintendo could win out. If they have the games people want to play on other consoles, as well as their own first party games as well, from Zelda to Mario to Smash Bros, people will buy it. That’s what gets me excited. But only time will tell how things turn out.

So who won E3? I don’t know, there’s still too much unrevealed. But it certainly made things interesting.