Ninja Reviews: Super Smash Bros 4

The new Smash Bros released and it seemed everyone collectively agreed that it was amazing. However, I wouldn’t be the critic I am without throwing a bit of fire on this game, so let’s dive right into it.

Smash Bros is pretty good. However, if Nintendo thinks this game is going to save the WiiU, they’re sadly mistaken. It’s kind of like MarioKart 8. It was pretty damn good, but it reeks of a game that was rushed out to try and boost numbers. And in some areas, it really shows.

Now I like to consider myself a pretty positive ninja, so let’s start with the good. Smash Bros was is surprisingly well tailored to the 3DS. I’ll admit, I was skeptical about the 60 fps claims it was making, but by gum they pulled it off. Unfortunately, this means that some aspects need to be dropped to 40 fps, like Olimar’s Pikmin and several of the pokemon/ assist trophies (I think even some of the final smashes have reduced frame rates), however though noticeable, it’s not exactly deal breaking when the main characters move at a speed comparable to melee or eve brawl. Stupid elements from brawl like the tripping have been removed and overall the characters feel a bit more balanced (with the exception of Little Mack who is broken as all hell.)

Gameplay wise, it’s exactly the same as every smash bros so I’m not going to focus on it. I will say that it doesn’t feel as fast or fluid on 3DS but that’s really more an issue with the 3DS itself. The circle pad just doesn’t really lend itself to a fast paced fighting game where a solid joystick would. It’s too stiff and limited in its movements and often times attacks don’t register, or different attacks are thrown out in place of what you actually wanted. However, this is no problem on the WiiU version as both the tablet controller and the pro controller work beautifully with the game. Nintendo even went a step further by adding a USB adapter allowing for use of the Gamecube controller, which everyone agrees is the best controller ever designed.

Character-wise there’s a pretty decent selection on hand with the 90% you know and love from melee and brawl, and newcomers such as the aforementioned Little Mack (a.k.a I’m a small man, so let’s make him so super-stupid-powerful because chauvinism is still apparently a thing in Japan), Rosalina and Luma (who are actually pretty interesting to use), Bowser Jr (who is pretty tricky and I love him) and my all-time new favorite PAC-MAN.

The 3DS version looks pretty good. The game plays well in 3D and some of the effects, like when players are launched off course and fly right into the screen look pretty good. I always thought Brawl looked fantastic, but good lord does this game look amazing on the WiiU. The HD rendering really lends itself well to these cartoony colorful characters and the action stays fast-paced and looks beyond good.

Overall it’s a pretty good game. I think any kids who own a 3DS and don’t at this point know what Smash Bros is, but like the idea of it much like we did when it first debuted on the N64 will undoubtedly get it. Much like any adults who still like Nintendo will probably undoubtedly get it because, c’mon it’s fucking smash bros; how can you not like it? It’s that one game that basically all your friends expect you to own if you still own a Nintendo console, because even though they’ve matured past all the baby’s-first Mario-bullshit, they still love Smash bros.

Pretty short review eh? Well yeah, it’s Smash bros. What else can I say about it? Well…actually…

There are two pretty glaringly bad things about this game that need to be talked about. Firstly, the characters. There are 3 characters in this game that could have essentially not existed (4 if you count Palutena because seriously, who gives a fuck about Palutena? I honestly haven’t seen a single person use her): Dark Pit, Dr.Mario and Lucina. Now Sakurai is so ready to retort this with genius counterarguments like this (Granted this is also coming from the same big baby that said Smash Bros 4 couldn’t have cutscenes because the internet ruined it )

Firstly, why the fuck would you include those characters when they were essentially retooled palette swaps? Why not remove them completely and make room for better characters; to list a few

  • Simon Belmont
  • Billy and Jimmy
  • Warrior/Theif/Blackmage from FF1 (they could be swappable like Pokemon Trainer)
  • Simon Belmont
  • Ryu Hayabusa (making him like the NES version like MegaMan)
  • SIMON GOSH DARN BELMONT

Honestly, why the fuck hasn’t a Castlevania character been in Smash Bros. Remember Castlevania Nintendo? It was one of your flagship series? Why the fuck couldn’t Simon Belmont be Smash? He’d be so easy to design, look I can do it right now!

And I’m not even some fancy game designer, I’m just a dumb artist/game journalist? How come I can do it so easily and you guys can’t? Because gotta make room for these pallet swaps we decided to make characters. Because everyone loves Pit so goddamned much we gotta have two of him!

And if you wanted another Mario so fucking badly, why not have included PAPER MARIO. You know, a character that could have been different from the Mario you already have in there. Look, I’ll design that for you too Sakurai!

And another thing. I notice a lot of people are saying that this is being taken out of context and Sakruai isn’t calling people who complain children, but that it’s mostly children who bought the game so if they’re being “haters” who cares? What sort of human-being are you? Why wouldn’t the complaints of children equal the same as a complaint from an adult? Ok, I understand, children don’t have refined tastes as adults so their opinions on things can be taken with a grain of salt, but seriously? If you kick a child in the stomach, and he/she says “I don’t like that” you gonna say “What the hell do you know kid?” Seriously, go to hell Sakurai. Your clone characters are stupid, lazy, boring “design” choices and you’re too busy sitting on a pile of money to see the forest from the trees.

Like I sort of get what you’re saying about man hours and that BS, but you spent the man hours anyway developing and balancing what were essentially palette swaps. You could’ve saved the time and not looked like a complete jackass by just not even considering them in the first place. Not after:

  1. Dr.Mario was already a pointless clone in melee and
  2. Melee and Brawl were both criticized by fans for having too many clone characters.

And speaking of issues that fans complained about but Sakurai and apparently no-one at Nintendo bothered to listen too is the  BULLSHIT SHITTY ONLINE. This is my major criticsm of the game, and something that should have never been an issue in the first place, considering Brawl’s god awful unplayable online mode. Smash Bros for 3DS’ online is a complete joke. You are lucky if you get into an online game without any lag, if you can even make it that far (get used to seeing the “a communication error has occurred” message A LOT). What’s even stupider is the game ACTUALLY punishes you for dropping out of games with serious latency. If a game is lagging out super bad, and you want to leave before you waste 2 hours trying to fight some guy, Nintendo locks you out of the server for 10 to anywhere up to 20 minutes. 20 GOSH DARN MINUTES!? Are you kidding me? Why am I being punished for trying to have a good time?

And it’s not like the 3DS is a home console where it can be enjoyed with multiple people. The multiplayer is the ONLY reason you get Smash Bros (if you say you play it because you like the single player you’re a liar). In order to play Smash Bros 4 with your friends, each of them need to have a 3DS and each of them need to have a copy of the game (no download play here). That is INSANELY demanding. So you think Nintendo and Sakurai would have made sure the online mode was more functional than ever, yeah?

NOPE, Sakurai actually said you should get the special WiiU lan adapter for a “more solid online experience.” Um, it’s 2014, if I can’t have a solid wireless online experience, that’s because you couldn’t be bothered to create on. A game like WoW can host over 4 million people at once, and I don’t need a special add-on LAN connection for it.

For all Sakurai boasted about Smash Bros’ improved online, I guess the man hours couldn’t have been put in to make sure that it worked better than ever, but then again Nintendo has never given a shit about online as Shigeru Miyamoto said AND THAT WAS LAST YEAR. He also said the same when he was asked why the gamecube didn’t have online functionality, as the xbox and ps2 were showing a rise in online gaming popularity.

It’s honestly almost Nintendo’s sheer arrogance that makes me want to hate this game so much more. Like they know you’ll buy Smash Bros because it’s Smash Bros so whether or not you have the best time with it is none of their concern. Like Sakurai says, the game’s great and we’re wrong about everything.

This is what keeps Smash Bros 4 from being a knock-out hit. Its online sucks giant donkey balls, it still partakes in stupid character bullshit, and the guy who made it is a total asshole. I remember years ago making a joke about Nintendo and it couldn’t possibly be truer than right now. Being a Nintendo fan is like being in an abusive relationship. They treat you like shit, slap you around but then they come back with fun looking games and promises of change. Then what they give you is black eyes like Other M and 3D World, but you stay with them because the memories of the good times outweigh how much they keep treating you like shit.

I dunno, I love Nintendo, I love Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Kirby all that. Not only because they’re nostalgic and I grew up with them, but because they were really fun and they still kind of are. Is it honestly so much to ask for their new stuff to be as fun? And heck, sometimes it is (see my Mario 3D world review) but you can’t keep giving us the same toy, again and again and expect us to think it’s just as fun as the first time we played with it. We want new toys! And ok, toys are fun by nature, but I personally am getting bored of the same damn toy, in a different package every fucking year or so.

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