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.
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…
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…
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…
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!