Monthly Archives: April 2014

Unlock Run Level 8 Part1 + Bonus!

Level 8 turns out to be worse than it probably should have been…

Also, you can check out a new video, below.  Let me know if we should do more of these!

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Super Smash Step-Brothers: Weed Wacking Round

This month we were treated to a plethora of new information regarding Super Smash Brothers for Wii U and 3DS, not least of which was the newest character added to the roster — Greninja.  Greninja was revealed alongside Charizard, leading to the speculation that he is effectively replacing Squirtle as the water-type pokemon this go around.  That speculation of course leads to more speculation — who is the grass-type starter replacing Ivysaur?  So, in this special edition of Smash Step-Brothers, we’ll be looking at the Grass -type starters to see who could possibly make the cut, and who should be left in the pokeball.

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Venusaur

Generation 1

height: 6′ 7″

weight: 220.5 lbs.

The grown up version of Smash veteran Ivysaur, Venusaur is a powerful plant pokemon that thrives off the nutrients that the giant flower on it’s back absorbs.  Venusaur maybe the easiest of the pokemon on this list to adapt, as it’s basically a heavier, bulkier Ivysaur.  Venusaur can learn all of Ivysaur’s moves, so there should be are fewer changes needed to his model, size, and weight ratio; or at least, that’s what it seems.

In practice, however, several of Venusaur’s moves would have to change due to his new-found girth.  Certain attacks should be more powerful given his larger size.  His speed should naturally be reduced as well.  Generally, however, Ivysaur’s moveset conflicts with Venusaur’s general focus in the games.  Late-game Venusaur has a lot more powerful special attacks, such as Solar Beam, as it’s signature attacks.  Many of these maybe more difficult to include into a viable moveset made from scratch, however.

Also, while Venusaur isn’t the heaviest character on this list, he does suffer from an issue many of contenders on this list will have — he’s huge.  In fact, Venusaur looks like he’s been lounging about just soaking in the delicious rays.  The idea of him jumping about like Mario or even hopping like Bowser seems more than a bit awkward.

Even if that wasn’t the case, there is also a few other issues to consider.  Venusaur is a Generation 1 pokemon, of which there are at least 2 (Pikachu and Charizard), and possibly 3 (Jigglypuff).  While Smash has always been very heavy with generation 1 pokemon, if Greninja’s inclusion is a sign that Smash is trying to diversify, Venusaur is not a good means to that end.

Probability Forecast: Mostly Unlikely:

Venusaur is a cheap option, but not necessarily a good one.

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Meganium

Generation 2

height: 5’11”

weight: 221.6 lbs.

Chikorita was the grass type starter from generation 2, who previously featured in Super Smash Brothers Melee as a pokeball pokemon.  Meganium is it’s fully evolved but lesser known cousin.  Shaped like an apatasaurus, the petals about it’s neck are renown for calming creatures that touch them.

Meganium like many grass-starters is very heavy.  Unlike Venusaur, however, it is much more slight, meaning most of it’s weight is going to muscle, not fat.  This would make Meganium a bit quicker, and more plausible as a fighter.  It’s long neck would keep it more flexible when it comes to attack range, and give it a much more unique fighting style.

It’s build could also prove a curse though.  Meganium is a four-legged combatant.  With the exception of Ivysaur, every fighter in Smash Brothers has at least two hands and walks erect, or has the ability to walk erect (see Pikachu and Yoshi).  Ivysaur got around that by using vines that came out of his flower — something the Bulbasaur-Ivysaur-Venusaur line was known to do.  The line Meganium is from is not particularly known to do that, or known to stand erect for any significant amount of time.  Meganium’s only real way to grab a hold of anything is to bite it, which isn’t in is nature per say.

Meganium’s general description is that of a rather peaceful pokemon.  This is evidenced by it’s moves in the pokemon games being heavily focused on status effects.  It lacks many physically damaging moves, and what powerful attacks it has would be hard to translate into Smash — see Solar Beam and Giga Drain.  This is also why Meganium biting something to toss it isn’t entirely natural.

Probability Forecast: Unlikely with a chance of unreasonable:

Meganium suffers from possible technical issues and lack of easily translated moves

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Sceptile

Generation 3

height: 5’7″

weight: 115.1 lbs.

Notable as the first Grass-type starter to stand erect, Sceptile is the final evolution of Treeko.  It’s raptor-like appearance makes it an intimidating pokemon, and the seeds on it’s back and blade-like leaves on his arms make it even more deadly.

Out of all the grass starters, this is the first that seems at all likely, as it has all the elements that should make a good fighter.  Unlike his precursors, he generally stands erect, and is more focused on physical attacks — his signature attack being Leaf Blade.  He has hands that allow him to grab opponents, and a lithe body type that lends to hopping about a busy battlefield.

Sceptile’s main drawback is that he was sadly born in the wrong generation.  Sceptile comes from generation 3, which is noteworthy for two other pokemon — the meme-inducing Mudkip, and the incredible Blaziken.  Both Mudkip and Blaziken are starters in this generation, so Sceptile was sadly overlooked most of the time.  It’s possible Smash could give him a second wind, but Smash tends to follow certain trends, not completely rewrite them.

Probability Forecast: Mostly Unlikely:

A lack of recognition trumps viable movesets for Sceptile.

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Torterra

Generation 4

height: 7’3″

weight: 583.4 lbs.

If you thought Venusaur was big, Toterra carries a small island of his own on his back.  The final form of Turtwig, Torterra is also one of only 3 grass starters with a secondary type — his is Ground.  Torterra is also my favorite starter, so forgive me if I pull any punches.

Torterra is somewhere between Venusaur and Sceptile when it comes to playstyle in pokemon.  His ground type moves lend to a much more physical fighting style, while his grass typing grants him a plethora of special attack moves as well.  This lends him a very broad number of abilities he can pull from.  While he is big, bigger than Venusaur by far, he carries his weight better than Venusaur does, and looks more like a combatant.

That is about the extent of Torterra’s advantages, however.  Torterra overall is a microcosm of all the issues that could befall grass-type starter pokemon.  Like Venusaur, he’s too big to even consider jumping, much less with any agility.  Like Meganium, he has nothing that would substitute for having hands, and likely would die trying to stand erect.  Like Sceptile, he also is typically out shined by another starter from his generation — Piplup/Empoleon.

To make matters worse for Torterra, there is already a Generation 4 pokemon confirmed in the new game — veteran fighter Lucario.  While there’s no rule stating one per generation, a heavy focus in generation 4 seems unlikely.

Probability Forecast: Unreasonable:

Even I have to admit, Torterra has little going for it right now.

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Serperior

Generation 5

height/length: 10’10”

weight: 138.9 lbs.

The Serpent pokemon, Serperior is unique amoung it’s peers.  Serperior is one of only a handful of snake pokemon in the game.  Serperior is similar to many of the pokemon on this list, but differentiates itself in this way.

Serperior is one of the more versatile pokemon on this list.  Capable of both physical and special grass-type attacks, many of it’s attacks, such as Vine Whip, make sense for it’s body type.  Being serpentine also gives it a unique fighting style as compared to many of it’s compatriots.  It is non-humanoid, but the ability to wrap itself around opponents provides a possible out for that.

The down-side, of course, is also it’s body-type.  If the grab ability can be worked around, there would still likely be issues concerning it’s size and movement.  Also, very few of it’s attacks would be considered good moves to elevate it back to the stage.

On the plus side, however, Serperior isn’t sharing stage with any more well-known pokemon; Emboar and Samarot aren’t any more popular than Serperior, or at least not by a wide margin.  Also, no other generation 5 pokemon have been announced thus far.

However, the latest trailer may signify his undoing already.  In the new Charizard/Greninja trailer, Serperior’s basic form, Snivy, appears in the hoard of pokemon — many of whom were already confirmed in the nintendo Direct to be pokeball pokemon.  While this is circumstantial at best, it is noteworthy.

Probability Forecast: Unlikely:

Technical issues with Serperior’s unique body type may trump it’s relatively even playing field.

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Chesnaught

Generation 6

height: 5′ 3″

weight: 196.4 lbs.

The bulletproof pokemon, Chesnaught is the final form of Chespin — who also appeared in the pokemon hoard in the last trailer.  The only mammal on this list, Chesnaught is surrounded by protective armor.  It also has typing that seems to lend itself to a fighting game rather well — the Fighting type.

This is the pokemon that has it all really.  Bipedal humanoid shape that can grab and throw things?  Check.  Focus in physical attacks in it’s game of origin?  Check.  Unique ability that differentiates it from other pokemon?  It has a unique skill Spikey Shield, so that’s a check.  What could possibly deter me from giving Chesnaught the thumbs up?

The only thing barring his passage is Greninja’s announced inclusion.  With a powerful generation 6 pokemon already in play, it is difficult to argue another is needed, particularly when other generations have so much to offer.

Probability Forecast:  Unlikely:

Unfortunately, Chesnaught’s chances may be over before they began.

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Conclusion:

Ultimately, none of these pokemon seem incredibly likely on their own.  Even the strongest competitors would have a ghost of a chance if I didn’t assume that there would be grass-type starter among the cast.  Not to mention, we do not know for certain that Squirtle and Ivysaur are not returning; so much of this speculation will be moot until we learn that for certain.

 

That doesn’t prevent us from hoping though.  Who would you include in the new Smash Brothers?

 

 

 

Unlock Run: Subspace Emissary Level 7 The Ruined Zoo

Nyuuron and Katsa develop psychic powers… and Katsa fights her deadliest opponent yet.  Spikes!

Unlock Run: Subspace Emissary Level 6 The Lake

The adventure continues as Diddy and Fox take on the mighty Raquaza, but are Diddy and Nyuuron not getting along?

Unlock Run: Subspace Emissary Level 5 The Plains

Nyuuron and Katsa continue to the Plains… where they learn having wings is very over-rated….

 

State of Smash: 4 Little Things that Matter

This week Nintendo decided to blow Smash Brothers players minds with a Nintendo Direct centered around the two new Smash games.  There was plenty to be excited about, but here’s a few tidbits that perhaps you may have missed that mean a great deal to the future of the new Smash Brothers.

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60 Frames per Second

The game runs at 60fps, or at least the main characters do.  Sakurai reported that the assist trophies and pokeballs/masterballs only run at 30fps.  This is important to competitive players though, because this means the characters are more responsive to their commands, leaving less to chance and more to actual player skill.  Speaking of chance…

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Less Randomness

A number of the changes listed to characters seem paltry to anyone who isn’t aware of the random chance players had to work around in previous versions.  Olimar picking Pikmin in a specific order rather than based on where he is in a stage is far more reliable and predictable.  King Dedede throwing nothing but Gordos instead of having a random chance of getting one in place of a Waddle Dee is far more consistent.  The limitations set in For Glory (ranked) mode — i.e no items and Final Destination only — are similar in that respect.  Speaking of which…

 

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Multiple Final Destinations

Rather than trying to make a handful of stages that will work better for every character in the cast, there are now multiple versions of Final Destination instead.  For those that are unaware, Final Destination is notorious for being the competitive player’s choice of stage.  This is because it’s basically one big platform that is entirely neutral — no character has any particular advantage or disadvantage playing on it.  By allowing multiple looks of the same basic stage, it gives competitors what they need, while allowing non-competitors to get some variety in the backgrounds.  Which leads me to my next point…

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3DS First, WiiU Later

The 3DS is a harder sell to competitive console players, as there are fewer competitive games that come out on mobile platforms; however, the chance to get good with these characters before the home console version comes into being is critical for staying ahead of the competition.  Thusly, Nintendo stands to profit from these players who want an edge but don’t already have a 3DS.  What’s more, the 3DS is Nintendo’s better selling console right now, meaning they have a better chance of getting newer players into the game by releasing it there first.  By wetting players appetites, they may sell more Wii U’s when the console version releases in the Winter also.  This means potential more players getting into Smash, and thus a bigger pool of players joining the competitive scene in the future.

 

Overall, I felt that Nintendo, Namco Bandai, and Sakurai and his crew are showing a great amount of awareness with this new title.  They are putting in plenty of interesting things to excite new and casual fans, while tweaking the little things that competitive gamers have been complaining about.  Addressing these needs shows a maturity with their fanbase they previously had not expressed, and I think that’s incredibly refreshing.

Also, Strider… I mean Greninja looks awesome!

Unlock Run: Subspace Emissary Level 4 The Jungle

Nyuuron and Kasta find out who really is the king of the jungle… Donkey Kong or Bowser?

UPDATE:  correct video was finally uploaded.  I apologize for any confusion.