Breaking it Down: Nintendo’s Smash Centric Direct

A lot of news regarding the new Smash Bros. games was revealed in yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, so let’s talk about how it will all affect the finished product.

Awhile back I talked about what the new Smash Bros. had to do to the entice audiences to purchase both the 3DS and WiiU version, after watching Tuesdays Smash-centric Nintendo Direct it would seem the big N was well aware of this predicament as well. The 3DS copy of Smash 4 will release in the summer of 2014 while the console version will hit shelves this winter . Initially I was confused but quickly realized how brilliant this strategy was. Fans want to play this game badly, therefore by having a copy release earlier in the summer they will be able to play the full game on the 3DS hence buidling hype and spreading word of mouth of how fun the game is. After a few months when the console version hits shelves fans who purchased the 3DS version will be willing to shell out their hard earned cash for the HD copy. If both titles were released simultaneously sales on each would hurt, most likely the 3DS copy selling more due to it’s larger install base. This is somewhat of a precedent setting instance so we will have to wait to see how it pans out.

Are you willing to wait?

Release dates were only the tip of the iceberg for the Smash focused Direct as a handful of characters were added to the roster. Yoshi, Sheik, Zero Suit Samus, Charizard and newcomer Greninja were each announced bringing the current roster to 29 playable characters. It was also revealed characters will no longer transfrom during battle, meaning Zelda and Sheik will be completely seperate characters as will Zero Suit Samus and Samus, also indicating Pokemon Trainer will not make a return seeing as Charizard will be duking it out solo. This personally excites me, transforming characters were always somewhat of a cheat. By sacrificing one move a character was able to become someone entirely new with new stats and moves giving more flexibility and ability to adapt. In addition, this will be welcoming to newcomers, eliminating any possible confusion. Although the tranformation removals is somewhat of a nerf to characters such as Samus and Zelda it will allow them to become fresh new experiences as oppose to overly powerful characters.

Pokémon incoming.

But one of the more important news from the Nintendo Direct was elaboration on how multiplayer will work, specifically online play. Friends will be able to duke it out with each other and others no problem, playing without friends will give the choice between two game modes: “For Fun” and “For Glory”. As it’s name suggest For Fun will be a casual experience, consisting of all items active and random stages (except Final Destination). For Fun will only record players’ wins, eliminating any stress of performing well. For Glory on the other hand should be compared to League of Legends Ranked Play Mode. For Glory is the game mode for competitive smashers, no items and Final Destination versions of each level. Wins and losses are recorded and tracked here. Easily the best piece of news, by separating those looking to have fun and chill with a quick game from those taking the game seriously and play to win there won’t be so much skill disparity in matches. Even among current and older Smash titles there is a divide between fans who like items and the gimmicky stages and those that hate items and simply want to play on stages without and level threats. It was also mentioned players will be able to set custom rules when playing with friends locally and online.

Hate final smashes? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

That’s all the news from the big Nintendo Direct. Great character announcements and details on multiplayer are no doubt the highlights. Initial reactions on the separate release seems mixed, fans will complain but are they ultimately willing to wait for the console version or will they cave and get the portable copy ? As always only time will tell, all we know is the Smash Bros. hype train is in full motion.

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