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A Better Edge-Camping In 'Super Smash Bros. U'

Jan 27 2014, 6:42am CST | by

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A Better Edge-Camping In 'Super Smash Bros. U'

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A Better Edge-Camping In 'Super Smash Bros. U'

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Super Smash Bros. formula that has yet to be effectively replicated by any competition is its reliance on arena ringouts for kills, rather than lifebars, a long-time fighting game staple.

The heavy emphasis placed on being able to make it back to the edge of a map and hold on for dear life has been one of the key components of all three games, and the subtleties of the system are important to the functionality of the entire game. And now, for the 3DS and Wii U’s strangely still-untitled Super Smash Bros. installment, the fundamentals are changing.

The screenshot below was shared by game designer Mashiro Sakurai. Here’s what he had to say about what’s being shown:

“There are many changes being made to attack and defense options for grabbing edges. In this picture, Link is actually trumping Mario’s grab.”

Mashiro goes on to say that the previous system of grab controls being determined by being over or under 100% damage has been replaced by a system which takes air time and accumulated damage into account. So if you’re not invincible and on a ledge? It seems a combatant can smack you off with a new type of move, as seen in the Mario/Link image above.

This is probably the most major gameplay change Nintendo has announced regarding the new Smash Bros. so far, as information about the game has been released at a snail’s pace. Over the past few months they’ve been slowly unveiling their final roster, and are up to 21 characters so far, including new hires like the Wii Fit trainer, Mega Man and Mario’s other woman, Rosalina.

What hasn’t been announced yet is a release date for the game, and now that we’re finally in the year the game is supposed to come out, it’s starting to get fans a little jumpy. Granted, Nintendo doesn’t want to commit to a deadline and then miss it, but the vast majority of nearly all their anticipated Wii U titles don’t have release dates yet, which is disconcerting to Wii U owners or potential buyers. Still, fall seems like a safe bet.

Super Smash Bros. U, or whatever it ends up being called, will be hugely important for the Wii U. While many Nintendo games are single player stories that are beaten and never returned to, Smash Bros. always tops the charts of every Nintendo system, from the Wii to the Gamecube to the N64, for the game played the most consistently over time, even years after release.

That said, even if a new Smash Bros. is likely going to be one of the best Wii U games during its lifespan, it’s hard to say if it’s going to be the “system seller,” the past games have been. Even dedicated fans may care a bit less about the series now that it’s entering its fourth installment, and if they haven’t been convinced to buy a Wii U to date, $350 for the chance to play a new Smash Bros. is a steep proposition.

But if SSBU is part of a larger, must-have lineup of games (which it looks to be between Mario Kart, Hyrule Warriors and more), the Wii U could start to move more quickly off store shelves, especially paired with a price cut.

It’s interesting to hear about these changes to edge-guarding, though I think at this point most are more concerned with a release date. Personally, I’d like to hear about how or if the gamepad is being integrated into gameplay, especially when there’s likely only going to be one used at a time in the famed local multiplayer game that relies heavily on balance and keeping players on equal footing. No word on that yet, however, and much about the next Super Smash Bros. remains a mystery.

Follow me on Twitter, subscribe to my Forbes blog, and pick up a copy of my sci-fi novel, The Last Exodus, and its sequel, The Exiled Earthborn.

Source: Forbes


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