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Brawl Seven Months Later: Your Thoughts

Jam Stunna

Writer of Fortune
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I meant to do this after six months, but September just kind of blew by! :)

I remember back in April, when Brawl had been released in Japan and only a few people in the States had pirated versions of it. This was when the "Brawl not being competitive" controversy really flared up, and back then the center of the storm was The Tunes Official Crew Thread, where Scar took on any challengers to prove that Brawl was not a tournament game. Back then, I said this:

You're right, the game engine is different, and things have been changed/removed. And you have played the game, which makes your opinion more valid than mine since I have not. You could be right, and Brawl is totally unfit for tournament play. All I'm saying is that it is way too early to make a definitive judgment, up or down. Each side either says, "Brawl is the greatest thing ever" or "Brawl is the worst thing ever". How can the small group of people who have played the game make either determination before the rest of us get a chance?

Give it some time, that's all I ask. If it sucks in six months, then you were right, and I will admit so.
Of course, it didn't take me six months to come to a conclusion about Brawl's competitive value:

http://www.smashboards.com/showpost.php?p=4245943&postcount=2356

But in retrospect, even that admission and the essay that went along with it may have been premature. So here I am, after the initial six month grace period that I requested, about to share my thoughts regarding Brawl again, and I would encourage other people to do the same. PLEASE do not reduce this thread to a flamefest; I want an open discussion of how people view this game at this point. If you think that Brawl sucks, or that it's wonderful, that's fine, but I also want to know why. Think of this as the short answer section of a test: it doesn't have to be an essay-length response, but one sentence is definitely not going to cut it.

Also, I do not want people coming in here multi-quoting and picking apart someone else's post in an attempt to prove them (and the people who think like them) wrong, nor do I want people coming in simply to co-sign on something that someone else said. The goal of this thread is to share your thoughts on the current state of Brawl, not your thoughts on what other people think of Brawl.

Mods, I request that you be vigilant in policing this thread. I know it's a topic that almost begs for flames and attack posts, but I'm really interested to see how community attitude has evolved up to this point.

-------------------------------------------

After that essay that I wrote about Brawl, I continued to play the game feverishly, because I was convinced that even though it was inferior to Melee, it was the future of our community. Basically, I believed that a worse, but newer version of Smash would have a better ability to draw in new players than the better, but older version of it. So I put Melee to the side for a few months, and tried to do my part to ensure the continued growth of our community.

But it wasn't that easy. Brawl wouldn't let me just have fun. The normal things that people complained about were still issues (lack of hit-stun, no l-canceling, etc.), but I started to notice that the problems in Brawl weren't just competitive, but structural in nature. That is, Brawl wasn't a bad game because it eschewed a competitive philosophy, but Brawl was a bad game because of shortcomings in design, programming and philosophy. Playing against laser-locking Falcos, chaingrabbing Dedede's, utilting Snakes and b-spamming Metaknights showed me that the game was broken from a practical standpoint.

When a character can get caught in an infinite by simply being grab-released, that is poor programming and game-testing. I would argue that it was unreasonable for the developers of Melee to forsee the invention of the wobbling technique in the tournament community metagame (in fact, it took years to be invented and shot it's inventor, an otherwise skilled player anyway, to national prominence overnight). By the same token, it is reasonable that they should have forseen D3's infinite on stages like Pokemon Stadium, Shadow Moses and the death combo on Mario Circuit and Bridge of Eldin. D3's chaingrab was discovered by the Japanese players the first time they got their hands on it. Once again, chalk that up to bad design and testing.

Pokemon Trainer is the personification of the game's poor design philosophy. Here we have a character that is three in one: Charizard, Ivysaur, and Squirtle. The catch? You can't use either of these three for more than two minutes without all but forfeiting the match due to the significant handicap they suffer from. A friend of mine described that design choice this way: "Sakurai doesn't want you to play the game the way you want to; he wants you to play the game the way he wants you to." Even from a non-competitive standpoint, this was a baffling decision on the developer's part: why include a fan-favorite like Squirtle, when it's almost literally impossible to win as Squirtle? With Pichu, the only analagous example, you could at least refrain from using the moves that caused him damage. No such luck with Pokemon Trainer. If you can't finish the job in two minutes, tough cookies.

Even now, the problems continue to present themselves. The "Ban Metaknight" movement is gaining steam, and whether or not it's a legitimate reaction to Metaknight is irrelevant. The idea that a character can be banned in a Smash game has been firmly planted in the community, and now that is something that we must come to terms with because of the precedent that this sets (the same could have been said about wobbling as well, and I think that it would have been a valid point back then as well). I've always been philosophically opposed to bans unless they are absolutely necessary to facilitate tournament play. For example, I understand why Hyrule Temple must be banned, as it would be literally impossible to conclude a tournament match on it in a timely fashion, if ever. However, with anything short of that, I have the attitude, "Let the metagame take care of it". That, and there must be a sufficient body of evidence, both factual and anecdotal, to support such a ban.

Which brings us back to the tricky issue of Metaknight. I am of the opinion that there simply isn't enough metagame in Brawl to overcome the myriad advantages that Metaknight possesses. People have been saying all along that it's too early in Brawl to tell, and that we need to give the metagame time to develop in the same way that Melee's did. That is far from accurate though. Melee's metagame developed in bits and pieces initially, due to the lack of a centralized and focused effort. Brawl has been picked apart and dissected by the best minds the Smash community has to offer since before day one, and the best we've come up with is mortar sliding and glide tossing. That's not a knock on the community, but a knock on the game that the community has relegated itself to.

Not only is their anecdotal support for a Metaknight ban, but the factual data exists as well. On Ankoku's last published rankings list, Metaknight had a tier all to himself. Some might point out that this shows the metagame is evolving, as Snake used to dominate the list. But his reign was short-lived, and it has been Metaknight, far and away, ever since. Some have suggested that the list itself hinders metagame development, and their may be a small ounce of truth to that. But that leads to a "chicken and egg" scenario: Did Metaknights flourish, pushing him to the top of the list, or did being at the top of the list result in Metaknight flourishing? A compilation of tournament data has no effect on what is possible within the confines of the game itself, so we must accept the former as truth. But in any case, it's irrelevant. Whatever the reasons, Metaknight trounces everyone. As I've said already, I am idealistically opposed to the idea of a ban, but from every practical evaluation, I think I could stomach one in this case.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: it seems that as these few months have passed, the problems in Brawl have simply seemed to proliferate, from M2K's "Ban Ledgestalling" thread (which, no matter what anyone tries to pretend otherwise, is primarily directed at Brawl), to the growing community that is hacking Brawl. But to me at least, there's an even more basic problem. Brawl just isn't a fun game. The person I play games with the most is my wife, and she stopped playing Brawl altogether months ago. Sure, I could go online and play with other people, but the person I enjoy gaming with the most found the game boring, and not even worth playing in a non-competitive sense. I totally agreed with her, but still I pushed on, hoping something would come along that would make my purchase worthwhile.

The straw that broke the camel's back came about two weeks ago. I was playing online with a friend who's pretty good, and we split our matches 50-50. He didn't do anything gay or stupid, he just beat me legitimately with good play. And every time I lost I was furious. Not because I was thinking, "I'm better than this guy, I should be beating him!" But because that's the nature of Brawl: it's only fun when you win. I've always done more losing than winning when it comes to Smash tournaments, whether it be Melee or Brawl, but I always had fun at Melee tournaments regardless. The atmosphere and mood in Brawl tournaments is totally different to me: everyone is on edge because they don't know when something ridiculous and stupid is going to happen that's going to cost them a stock, or a match. Losing is fine, it happens to everyone. But Brawl had managed to suck the fun out of losing, which I didn't really think was possible. So I traded it in two weeks ago. I played it with a friend on Thursday (it was his copy), and playing the game only reinforced to me that I'd made the right decision.

So where am I after six months of Brawl? I'm proud to report that I'm Brawl-free at this point. I may go to a Brawl tournament at some point in the future, but that will only be to prove a point: You don't even need to play the game to be okay at it. Maybe I'll be wrong, but somehow, I don't think I will be. Don't think I'm happy though, because as I see it, the Smash community is in a lose-lose situation. We either push ahead with a competitively inferior game, or we put ourselves to the impossible task of convincing new tournament players to take up a game that is almost seven years old. Those are both pretty crappy options.
 

urdailywater

Smash Hero
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
5,563
Good report.

Personal preference. Some like Brawl, others like a harder game.


I don't care, I hate these threads.
 

SleepyK

Banned via Administration
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Mar 26, 2006
Messages
5,872
Melee for life, jam.
I wish I had an ounce of the writing ability you have ;)
 

Veggi

Smash Champion
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Messages
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I'm gonna wreck it! (Fort Myers)
I can't understand how anyone who plays Brawl this much could question if the game was worth 50 bucks or not. I could play a game for 3 weeks infrequently and say it was worth 50$. It's still the Smash Bros. formula and someone would have to make people very angry for it to come out different enough to make a terrible game. Honestly, if Brawl is a bad game 75% of all games must be bad too.

Off that point, people have told me how amazing they are at Brawl and it's always been the same result every time. People brag to me and people lose to me if they have less skill and as long as it stays true it's fine as a competitive game. They can pick whatever character they want, I've seen close to every fad here on Smash Boards. I remember hearing things like...
"I'm sick of seeing all the tourneys full of only Marth and Falco. "

People believing Ike and Wolf were amazing characters. Yoshi was like the worst in the game and Snake was the best. Then came Chillin's tier list that listed MK as the best, now guess what we have? A large influx of MK users trying to get money. Possibly because Chillin's list was the most realistic looking at the time. MK becomes this insanely over-powered character now. Honestly, I'm half done listening to what other people say. The tornado seems to be this unstoppable force and his mighty one reliable kill move combined with Shuttle Loop and gimping ability. Along with Lucas being a low-tier character despite in my eyes being more over-powered than Mr. G&W. Is it because of his terrible match up against the characters (1-3) I can't remember. I really don't know. DK is high up on the list despite being able to be infinited by D3 and I think Wario can do it now too. The better players in Brawl win consistently, you see the same faces everywhere and they don't all use MK.

Now into the part where opinion plays a role. If Melee fans really care about competition so much, why don't they play something more competitive than Melee? You can't deny that they exist, there are more things that are more competitive than Melee than Cranky Kong can shake a stick at. How about track? If people want competition, go join a track team. The reason why they don't is simple. People like to play the games they like and like to play the games they like competitively.

(No, I wasn't clever enough to make that up. I had to take it from someone else.)

Anyway, believe it or not, me, like tons of other people, like to play Brawl. When I play Brawl I have fun, when my friends play Brawl with me, they have fun. Me and my friends are very confident that when we play Brawl, that we are indeed enjoying ourselves. I also like to have competition with Brawl, like I'm sure other people do. Obviously, we play like tourney***s and make it competitive to the best of our ability while we would never sacrifice fun for competition, we play on Delfino Plaza, Smashville and Yoshi's Island (Brawl) despite them having some variables that could alter the result of the match.

Personally I like Brawl more than Melee, while I still did enjoy Melee alot. As much of a shock as this may come I actually disliked Melee's air dodge system and I was glad to hear that I wouldn't enter the air cripple after an airdodge in Brawl. I enjoy being able to avoid chains of moves in Brawl and I enjoy trying read other people's motions so that I could keep them in mine. The lack of hitstun avoids the rag doll state that happened in Melee upon impact where they player couldn't control his character. Many chains of moves can be done in Brawl provided one player outclasses his opponent and we all know that favoritism of hitstun is an opinion, I mean...look at Smash Bros. 64. As long as someone doesn't get punished for connecting a move, I don't have much of an opinion on hitstun. The better recoveries in Brawl make there more chances to edgeguard and edgeguarding is one of my favorite things about Smash Bros. If someone isn't going to recover anyway, why edgeguard? There's also better defensive options in Brawl than Melee and people dislike this for some reason. Do defensive options make a bad game? If a new player comes up and beats you? What's your excuse for being hit with all the defensive options? He has the same tools as you do.

There are plenty of characters that rival the tech skill of the characters in Melee and we arn't even done yet. I don't understand how people could say that we are done finding things out about Brawl, no one can say that, no one could know. Exploits are overrated anyway IMO. The infinites are character specific and the laser lock I've never seen anyone have a consistent problem with and requires a good amount of technical skill to get people into iirc.

If you don't have fun Jam, that's fine. Melee still exists for people who enjoy playing Melee, personally I enjoy playing Brawl and me as well as the people I enjoy playing it with will continue to.
 

MasterWarlord

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Laughing at you
I'm in favor of the ban of MK strongly in competetive play. He's just too good when a new player can pick him up and spam B to win with him. The only thing wrong with banning him makes us wonder if Snake, Dedede, Falco, Marth and the rest will be soon to follow in being banned if we ban MK.

I still don't see why we can't just give MK players a handicap instead of banning them though. Give them 50% damage or some such thing.

On Brawl as a whole, I was never into the melee scene due to not having the patience to learn the advanced techniques. Sakurai was a fool to remove the competetive elements of the game though, as they didn't harm the casuals and just upset the competetive players. In Melee you could still play as a bottom tier and win (See Gimpyfish), but in Brawl the top tiers will always dominate.

I disagree though with you thinking that Melee is more fun casually. Brawl has the extra characters, stage builder and more chaotic items (You did say casual. . .).
 

BoTastic!

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In Melee you could still play as a bottom tier and win (See Gimpyfish), but in Brawl the top tiers will always dominate.
That all depends on skill. Gimpyfish is one of the best players in the US. You'd expect that from him winning a lot of matches.
 

sHy)(gUy

Smash Ace
Joined
Jan 28, 2006
Messages
558
Location
Metairie LA
Agreed

Brawl doesnt have the game physics to last as a competive game like melee....every thing now just feels forced in terms of competive play... People are playing it but are people really still enjoying it? maybe a few,but id say the majority of people are playing it cuz theyre trying to fill a void from absence of melee tournies,trying to make money,playing the game because its still fairly new and popular..

The melee comunity was formed around a game not meant too be competive but accidently was,The brawl community is formed around a game not meant to be competitive and actually is not competitive.
 

DarkDragoon

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I just got back from a melee tournament.

I got *****. Bad.

Did I have fun? I suppose I had more fun than I do at Brawl tournaments.
Then again, life in general isn't doing me any good until my depression meds kick in. LOL.

*ahem*

So like this essay states, Brawl is no good from a competitive point. I enjoy the hacked versions of Brawl, which now includes wavedashing, and coming up soon with L Cancels.

When Brawl was released, I rushed onto all those live stream sites and began taking notes on Lucario, because I aimed to learn Lucario as fast as I could, so when I get my hands on it, I could already have a general idea of what I was doing. I was looking forward to being a top Lucario player and having fun competing at higher levels than I could possibly achieve in Melee.

When I started, it was fun. I didn't mind losing, it was just how it was for me to lose in melee, a learning experience. It wasn't until about the third or fourth Brawl tournament I went to that I started hating Brawl. I'll admit I was having a bad day already, but either way I was excited to compete.

Round 1: I get paired with some random Ike player. I rush in and obliterate him, because unless you're Jam Stunna[*shakes fist*], that's what Lucario does to Ike. The next match I'm paired with my, for all intents and purposes, rival; PoF. He, at the time, played MK. On wifi, we'd generally be even, trading win for win, stock for stock.
The match begins, FD, he wins round one as MK. Second match starts, I CP'd Yoshi's Story. I was beating the pants off of him that match. He sends me off the stage, and I begin to travel back up, and I notice he is holding the ledge, so I decide to grab the wall, because that's what Lucario does. Well, by does, I mean is supposed to do. I didn't grab the ledge, and I died at a very low percent. It cost me the match, and subsequently, the set.

I was kinda pissed, but whatever, I still had the loser's bracket. So I get paired with this 11 year old kid. He plays GaW.
So I sandbag.
I fill up his bucket, he lets it rip, I DT and...it kills me anyways. -_-. So I decided no more Sandbagging.
I get him to his last stock, and FD gays me out of a win, because its ******** like that now.
Next match, I CP'd YS, 3 stocked him.
Next match, he CP'd FD again, and he got a 9 on me right off the bat. Then he followed it up with a bunch of DAir spam, and I get him to a high percent, last stock. He sends me up with a DTilt, and he is at kill percent from a Lucario's DAir, because of Aura and whatnot, so I start to descend. He charges a USmash. I DAir stall. and I get closer and closer as he charges it. I'm above GaW, I use my DAir, and he uses the USmash.
Not only does the DAir NOT hit GaW at all, his USmash killed me, and HE won the set.

So I packed up and left.
o_o I have a great time playing Brawl when gay stuff doesn't happen.
I have a great time playing Melee when it feels like I can keep up.
:3 Unfortunately, neither thing seems to happen to me.
xD Oh well.
-DD
 

OmegaXXII

Fire Emblem Lord/ Trophy Hunter
Joined
Jul 4, 2006
Messages
21,469
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Houston, Texas!
First of all I will admit that I love to play Brawl both as a casual gamer and competitive as well though it isn't necessarily competative and I realize that. Honestly when I first played Brawl back 7 months ago, I was skeptical because of all the controversy it was receiving, especially from Scar who stated and proved Brawl wasn't meant to be competative, IMO I believe it is competative it it's own way aside from Melee's formula.

So far in real life, I have yet to encounter a "Brawl hater" and I believe that's a good thing because just like the people i've encountered, I too love Melee's Physics as well as Brawl casualness, and though they are obviously two different they are still a part of Smash roots ,which I consider a must own for any Smash enthusiast.

So far, alot of Brawl Elitist are currewntly dealing with the "Meta-Knight Ban" issue which is gaining alot of appeal as of now, Honestly I am opposed of Meta-Knight getting banned, yes he's Top-tier and everyone knows it, but if if Smash elistist argue against this, I still believe it's an irrevalent thought that just because he's High-tier that all of a sudden he should be completly banned, okay so maybe he should be be banned but only somewhat as I would say limited, of course it the metagame will probably still be evolving.

Alos I have to give my two cents over Pokemon Trainer, first of all why would such a fan favorite such as Charizard be in a ackward two-minute battle and all of a sudden you are forced to switch into another? I know that this trainer wasn't intended to be played how we wanted to, rather he was designed inded to be played how Sakurai wants us to play him which really shows a poor pholosipht design, i konw he could have done a better job with this but yet he just made it his way which a sad dissapointment.

All in all, I still will play Brawl and I honestly want to keep on playing it, even though I know I probably won't play it so competitavely like I did Meele, speaking of Meele, these days I am finding mysel f more on the Meele side than Brawl, but nonetheless Brawl overall is a good casual game to enjoy with such favorites like Metaknight.

I will post more of my thoughts on this later.
:)
 

ChronoPenguin

Smash Champion
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This post is very well written, I don't play Nelee anymore; to be honest I never went to a Melee tournament so I missed out on the pleasures many here have experienced. I however do play brawl (haven't gone to a tournament yet...about to) and what do I think? Brawl is kinda....just there as a game.
I remember playing Melee with my cousin, and it was intense, Remember I haven't been to a Melee tournament before, and neither has my cousin yet we play with no items standard stages only. We have a lot of fun when I would wind up at his house and play Melee against him. I'm playing brawl now and...really, this game isn't very fun.
Fun can be had with brawl, but in general it doesn't radiate fun.
Brawl fundamentally has some really bad practices, and has a lot of flaws.
Do I enjoy brawl though to an extent, yes I do, you could say despite not having a lot of fun, I enjoy it a lot.
The contradiction may cause you to say "What?" but it's as if I'm possessed. I play brawl, just for the sake of playing it, I have nothing to do? Put in Brawl, I'm feeling tired? Put in Brawl, Had a hard day? Put in Brawl.
Want to have fun?.........put in brawl, not for the fun, but just because.

Brawl has fun moments, but ya, theres this thing it's missing.
The more I look at it Brawl is exactly like Twilight Princess for me.
Games that can be fun, but when I'm playing them I'm not playing for fun, I'm playing just because, because the game has no soul.
I'll still play brawl though, just because, like I said I'm possessed and can't seem to break away, not yet at least.

To close.
Im pissed of that Isaac is not a playable character, and I'm annoyed at how Brawl works. I play Brawl because I'm hooked, but im not hooked the way I should be, it's kinda empty.
I don't want to play melee though, I like Brawls looks and I like the music of Brawl, I also like having a larger character roster.
 

Oracle

Smash Master
Joined
Apr 15, 2008
Messages
3,471
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Dallas, TX
Brawl is uncompetitive. You can't deny it. And don't tell us to go join a track team. Our hobby is competitive video gaming, not running. And melee is one of the most technical and competitive fighters out there.
 

BoTastic!

Smash Master
Joined
Jun 24, 2006
Messages
3,232
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Chicago Heights
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BoScotty
Please guys theres no point in complaining. Just trade in your copy of brawl. I mean.. whats stopping you?
 

Steeler

Smash Hero
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Jan 5, 2006
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Wichita
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Pokemon Trainer is the personification of the game's poor design philosophy. Here we have a character that is three in one: Charizard, Ivysaur, and Squirtle. The catch? You can't use either of these three for more than two minutes without all but forfeiting the match due to the significant handicap they suffer from. A friend of mine described that design choice this way: "Sakurai doesn't want you to play the game the way you want to; he wants you to play the game the way he wants you to." Even from a non-competitive standpoint, this was a baffling decision on the developer's part: why include a fan-favorite like Squirtle, when it's almost literally impossible to win as Squirtle? With Pichu, the only analagous example, you could at least refrain from using the moves that caused him damage. No such luck with Pokemon Trainer. If you can't finish the job in two minutes, tough cookies.
i see what sakurai was trying to do with pt:

force you to play three characters at once, which has both advantages and disadvantages. the only problem is that the mechanic that he used to do it with, fatigue, is severely flawed because of the timer AND the fact that one second is removed for every attack you use that isn't like...a jab. the timer is the biggest problem, because it encourages camping and stalling. the one second decreases really hurt aggressive play as well, which is what you are SUPPOSED to do when you are playing on a timer limit. so now you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. an okay intent, poor design to achieve it.

the fact that sakurai decided to load character data DURING THE MATCH instead of beforehand, like in melee, worsens matters. if switching were instantaneous, there'd honestly be no complaints about the fatigue mechanic.

it's just one thing after another compounding to form a bad mechanic that hinders more than it should, although it's not a big deal unless your opponent isn't a douchebag and stalls your timer out (most vulnerable against sonic).

and fatigue isn't THAT much of a handicap. it's a little overexaggerated. about 3% on average less damage on attacks, less knockback. although, if you use a ko move when fatigued when it's supposed to ko and don't kill, you'll still have enough time to switch. the problem is when you don't really want to use the next pokemon in line in that situation...more often than not, you (or at least i do) will second guess yourself and wish you'd either stayed or switched.

it's a shame...pt has a lot of potential without these ridiculous restrictions. better fatigue system, quicker switching, improving ivysaur by quite a bit in some areas. still mid-tier quality, though.
 

Amazing Ampharos

Balanced Brawl Designer
Writing Team
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Jan 31, 2008
Messages
4,585
Location
Kansas City, MO
In Defense of Brawl

I suppose I had better make a post I have been wanting to make for a long time. I will even give it a title: In Defense of Brawl. This will be VERY long by the way.

I will start with the story of a melee community going into brawl's release. The Rolla smash scene in the waning days of melee had four players who were better than all of the others. There were Kyle, Ian, Brian, and I. I was the worst of the bunch, and I came to Rolla as a plucky Ness main. I got to play some melee against random people and flattened them... until Brian walked over and joined in. He played Sheik and tore up, but the format was still free for all so skill wasn't really shining through. Later we went back to his room to play some serious games, and I found myself on the Ness side of Ness v. Sheik. None of my friends back home played Sheik (though we knew she was really good and had read online about the game to some extent) so this was new to me. Oh boy, it sucked horribly. I was chainthrown 0-100% and finished with forward aerials. His needles canceled out my Pk Thunder recovery. He was easily 2-3 stocking me, and I was faced with a dilemma. I knew Ness was bad. I had known is for a long time, but I REALLY loved playing as Ness and thought that melee was a game where you could do fine even if you used a bad character (and Ness wasn't Bowser or anything even!). I decided to try my secondary, Jigglypuff. I still lost, but I was doing much better. I knew I was not as good with Jigglypuff as I was with Ness, and at that moment I came to truly accept what an imbalanced game melee was. I stopped maining Ness that day because I knew that I simply COULDN'T win with him; as long as there were Sheik players, Ness players in melee had no hope at all. Sure I wasn't really using wavedashing which I knew Ness could use somewhat well, but who cares? Sheik's chaingrab, ridiculous speed advantage, and abusive gimping game on Ness obviously make the matchup unwinnable unless the Ness player is 100x better than the Sheik player. I will make an aside to the future here and say the people who suggest that melee's advanced techniques let the low tiers win are just full of it. Unless there's a "Ness gets out of Sheik's chaingrab" technique, I'm going to have to assert that it's hooey.

Anyway, soon thereafter Brian and I met up with Kyle and Ian (along with Massive, who was also better than Brian and I but left Rolla before brawl came out). Kyle was the best of the group with his super powered Falco. Falco was another character I hadn't seen much of, and it was pretty much completely horrible. Short hop laser was so patently broken; I was using one of the characters best able to jump around and it was ridiculously pinning me down. I don't have the timing to powershield in melee, and given how small the window is, I don't think it's reasonable for the game's balance to expect me to. I was able to make some headway on him, and I won a very small number of matches. However, something in me changed as we played. I not only stopped viewing melee as balanced, but I stopped really seeing it as all that fun. I still liked the game, and I was serious about getting better. However, Falco was just plain obnoxious to fight against, and he really sapped my passion for the game away. I also got to see what made the other characters so ridiculous. Fox's ability to kill Jigglypuff at 70% if she had non-perfect DI was just ridiculous. I really didn't have much problem with Marth (the favorite of my friends at home) beyond the whole lie that his grab range is. Peach's down smash was ridiculous, but it was at least managable so I didn't particularly hate her either. And then there was Sheik who was way too fast with her way too ridiculous down throw.

Fast forward to brawl's release date (the story started the fall brawl came out). All four of us are at the Walmart in Rolla (the only place in the town that sells games) and get the game as it comes out. My excitement is overflowing; I had been following the dojo religiously and took great interest in all the info we had gotten otherwise (I was especially interested in the intriguing information I heard about Mr. Game & Watch's up special as he was a character I had grown fond of in melee who couldn't win... much like Ness but with less passion). Anyway, after a painful hour long walk back, Brian and I start to play my copy on my Wii (I was so eager to get it open that I actually damaged the box Brawl came in!). I was sad that Ness didn't come unlocked initially, but I figured Lucas would do just as well. Brian chose Zelda as she was the first character he had used in melee and had always liked her. Random gave us Delfino Plaza (a level I knew to be fair from my research), and... oh boy. I really couldn't double jump cancel! However, I wasn't sure the new path was bad. Lucas was just so different from Ness; I wasn't sure I liked him. But the exploration was just so invigorating, and I managed to make him work somehow and win the first match. I was having the time of my life playing a new smash game, and using various characters Brian and I played a few more matches. Brian, however, had a different feel. He wasn't convinced that Zelda was much better, and he was mad they "ruined" Sheik and Peach. He generally got a very bad feel for the game early. When we unlocked Ness, I tried him and decided I didn't like him in brawl as much as in melee; the new forward aerial and lack of double jump cancel just moved him away from what I liked. Either way though, I was loving the sense of discovery (I was especially surprised by Wario; I hadn't heard anything about his mobility and thought he was going to be another sucky heavyweight). Brian's opinion continued to decline when we unlocked Marth; we saw how good he obviously was and he said that brawl seemed very imbalanced. I ended up deciding the Pokemon Trainer was my favorite of the early bunch; Squirtle and Ivysaur were so awesome to play as that I felt as though I could ignore how much I disliked Charizard. Brian, in the last match of the night, finally found a character he at least somewhat liked: Zero Suit Samus. I then stayed up half the night playing subspace, and I was frustrated that I hadn't gotten a SINGLE new character (since I already had Marth from the vs matches).

The next day was a long scheduled melee tournament for some odd reason. I ended up getting 4th, and Brian and I as a team got 2nd. It really was just there to prove that Kyle > Ian > Brian > me (Brian and I had VERY close games though which proved that I had done much to close the gap). Afterward we all played brawl, and I noticed something. I was REALLY good at the game. In melee I was 4th with a lot of distance. In brawl I was beating all of them pretty handily. They all had various misgivings that were beginning to surface, but I had none of the sort. I got to play on a Wii that had unlocked R.O.B., and I grew to love the game even more. R.O.B. was so much fun to use; I decided I liked him even more than the Pokemon Trainer.

I then went home and powered through subspace for real though I got several chances to play on other Wiis with most of the cast. It wasn't long before I discovered a character even better than R.O.B.: Mr. Game & Watch. I eventually get everything myself, and we all go to focusing on improving at the game. We ended up deciding on these mains:

Me: Mr. Game & Watch
Brian: Zero Suit Samus
Kyle: Toon Link
Ian: Meta Knight

Kyle was still putting up a decent fight thanks to his wall of projectiles (I was better), but I was generally defeating Brian and Ian pretty soundly. I had fear at first that my initial success was doomed to fade, but as I began to learn more and more about the game, I saw that my advantage was real and, as long as I kept serious, would remain. Brian got angrier and angrier at the game as time went on; he eventually went on a pretty big rant about how Mr. Game & Watch was broken and about how the game wasn't really fun and put up speculation that at high levels it would eventually degenerate into Mr. Game & Watch dittos. Kyle and Ian had some misgivings about the game as well, and they stopped showing up to play as often. After the year ended, I never saw them again.

Near the end of the year, Brian decided he'd try Snake. Suddenly I wasn't winning every game any more. He was able to use those grenades to turn my great offense against me and shut me down totally. I spent about a week in despair that my rampage was over and got serious about researching how to win. I was really frustrated by a general spirit in the community online that seemed to be opposed to developing the metagame, and I ended up going home for the summer. At home I got in touch with KC's smash scene, and I even got to play some with the incredible darkrain. His DK was amazing, and the JCCC crew was pretty good too. I spent the summer really stepping up my game and competed in a few tournaments. I did decently even; I felt at that point that I was legitimately a tournament level player. Coming back in the fall, I was even able to outspace the grenades and beat Brian (who had read about the game online enough to fall into line with all of the pessimists about the game). I now feel as though my ability to find quality opponents is all that is holding me back; I'm 100% comfortable with the game and my character and feel like I have the potential to beat anyone (a feeling I had long since lost in melee).

Now, of course, along the road, I've had to deal with a constant stream of "brawl sucks", and I am at the point of being flat out offended when people go on about that after it becomes clear that they aren't going to be beating me (can they not just admit that I'm a better player?). Brian, my old melee friend, has pretty much become a spokesman for the whole group so I've heard it all. Here's my response to each point.

Brawl is too imbalanced! Melee was so much better balanced!

Did you miss the lower half of the cast in melee when you were observing its balance? The story went over my experiences with Ness v. Sheik, and I know it's not just Ness she does that to. In general the best characters in melee were better at almost everything than the bad characters; don't try to fake it and suggest that the game was balanced at all. In brawl, it just feels different. I use Ganondorf (a horrible character obviously) as a sort of a joke of a secondary, and while some things really are "I can't get past this" (mostly the projectiles of Pit, Wolf, and Falco)", it never, EVER feels as devastating as Sheik's chaingrab from melee. I actually feel as though I CAN usually win. If I space well and rely on safe options with Ganon (which I do), I usually can get pretty far. When I do get massacred, it's usually because it's MY fault. I whiff Flame Choke or Wizard's Foot. I decide to be a clown and use Ganon Punch. I screw up an approach and "jump into the ****". Never do I feel as though I'm losing because the game doesn't have it in it for me to win like I did in Ness v. Sheik in melee. When looking at the good characters, I see a sparkling kind of potential in so much of the cast that it blows my mind. Darkrain showed me how terrifying Donkey Kong could be, and I have seen a great Diddy Kong as well. Stealth Raptor showed me Pikachu, and duck showed me a real R.O.B.. I have seen Snakes and Meta Knights of course, and I feel as though my Mr. Game & Watch is a good model himself. I saw Xion tear up with Sonic, and I was beaten in a tournament by a truly inspiring Peach. Sure a small number of characters like Ganon, Captain Falcon, and Samus seem to be too limited to be practical, but most of the cast seems to have a lot going for them, enough to make them legitimately worth using.

About the top guys, I'm not convinced any of them are so bad. Meta Knight's aerial mobility is really sad, and his speed at attacking is more overwhelming than anything. I feel like he has real limits that most people are just blinded to, and I can truly say that I don't find him an intimidating character at all. Really, just stay out of the way! A careful, disciplined approach makes him so much easier to handle. Snake's tilts are even easier to just stay out of the way of, and you just have to memorize some subtle things about spacing and timing to dance around his grenades. I know it seems like he's unattackable when he puts grenades at his feet and ducks around them cleverly, but if you are careful, you can nail him. Mr. Game & Watch himself is no god either. Smash DI weakens the turtle quite a bit, and you can roll behind him if his spacing is off. Yeah, he has the tools it takes to win, but so does your character (probably). Just stop sucking at spacing and don't make it so easy for him to spam the same few things. Also, seriously, if you can't tech the down throw, you suck; learn to tech. King Dedede is just a turtle really; you can dance around him and throw out safe pokes until you break in and can do some real damage.

The release grabs are somewhat overblown. Ness and Lucas can just position on the stage to avoid "instant death" (it's NOT infinite; it runs out of stage). Wario is in more serious trouble, but only Yoshi (a character few would be optimistic about otherwise) has an infinite that's anything by extremely difficult to do to him. Wario's mobility and generally high threat level make it relatively easy for him to avoid the grab as well. Speaking of chainthrows in general, why is everyone so mad over King Dedede? I am not convinced he'd even be particularly good without it, and other than being abuse on some stages, it's really not unfair. His infinites aren't real infinites and can be mashed out of by everyone but DK anyway...

"The game is too campy/slow!"

So say the same people who think Meta Knight is broken... Anyway, I think the main issue here is that people are really taken aback by how brawl doesn't turn into melee at a high level. What I mean is that in melee, every character who was good was either a speed character (Fox, Falco, Sheik, Captain Falcon), a character who used advanced techniques to imitate a speed character (Marth, Peach in a way), or a very rare character with something so abusive that it was worth it (Ice Climbers with grabs, Jigglypuff with aerial mobility). You had to go down to Doc/Ganon level before you found something that was really outside of that; it really turned into a game where speed playstyles were the best thing ever while other styles were niche at best. In brawl, Meta Knight still is kinda like that, but look at the other top guys. Snake is SLOW, and he focuses on a very careful application of a defensive high power lockdown. Mr. Game & Watch is a zoning character. King Dedede is a real turtle. Falco is a "low payout until he gets going" guy. R.O.B. has this crazy momentum style. To take someone most people aren't as convinced is good, Toon Link is all about long range pressure. Diddy Kong embodies "control". In fact, the things that pay out in brawl are really all over the place, and you are going to be forced to run into something that is really contrary to you. It's not bad; it's just something that will inevitably put you outside of your comfort zone time and time again. As a Mr. Game & Watch player, I'm always trying to make the game about who is zoning whom. When suddenly I'm faced with hyper fast aggression (Meta Knight), a really powerful attack stopper (Snake), or this guy who is throwing half of what I want to do out the window and just WON'T DIE (R.O.B.), it can occasionally grate on me. However, I understand that the others are just trying to move the game in their direction. You have the series of exchanges on the surface where you just try to land your stuff, but below it's really a war to define the game on the terms of your strengths. If you can do that, you'll probably win the match. I think the frustration over camping comes from some players being unable to redefine a matchup that becomes about camping and their shock that the match wouldn't be defined about high speed rushdown to begin with. This explains the "it's only fun when I win" observation; you only find it fun when you succeed at defining the game on your terms. It's actually an improvement; it lets the game be fun for people who didn't find "high speed rushdown" a fun definition to begin with.

There are no combos!

Say the people who complain about infinites... which are combos. Anyway, why are combos so golden? A true combo is a truly ugly thing. Once it starts, you can't really do anything but hope your opponent screws up and be ready to act as soon as it is over. Luckily, smash 64 is the only smash game that is really all about combos. What is really more common is what I like to call "pressure". The way it works is that you land your hit and do some damage, and that hit puts them in a disadvantaged situation. From here, they have few options, and if you predict them correctly, you get to follow up and do more damage. However, if they play it right and outsmart you, your hit ends up never giving you anything more or even puts YOU at risk. It's really a beautiful thing; it's the stuff good fighters are made of. However, a lot of players didn't stop and "smell the roses" in melee because of how fast the pressure games were. Wow, that thing Sheik did hurt a lot, and I'm not sure I even saw every move. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was a combo! Well, it probably wasn't; you could get out of a lot of stuff if you predicted right with your DI. In brawl you rely on not just DI but a greatly expanded airdodging sytem, and you find yourself in "disadvantages of spacing" that don't feel like real disadvantages at all but somehow seem to end up with you losing in them more often than your opponent. Yeah, opponents are a lot more slippery, and if you are obvious about what you're doing, they DO have time to react and escape it. However, if you are careful and give them a chance to blow their guess to get out, you can get them with something good; it really hasn't changed like this so much as you have to be more aware of it to succeed at it.

There are no advanced techniques!

Have you tried playing as Yoshi lately? Anyway, I don't understand the fascination with advanced techniques. Does it make you feel warm and fuzzy to beat some random scrub with tricks he doesn't understand in any way at all? Do you feel like you are unfulfilled in life if you never go into training mode and grind on a skill until you have mastered it? Few advanced techniques were discovered in melee after a while, and it kept growing fine. Obviously discovering new tricks of this magnitude isn't needed for a game to grow. I ask why they are needed at all. Why can't you take the basic game, learn it inside and out, and master all the subtitles to win? If your knowledge about advanced techniques was all that set you apart from the random scrubs, you weren't good anyway; I'm sorry. It's not like the advanced techniques added a bunch of options anyway. L-canceling was just a buff to aerials. Wavedashing added a new movement option, but it largely obsoleted rolling which is very useful in brawl so it's not like there's a huge loss there like most people suggest. Dash dancing just made you unpredictable; there are tons of ways overt and subtle to do that in brawl and just about any fighting game. What else is "lost"? You can still tech, you can still short hop, and you can still ledge cancel a few key things. Angling your shield still exists and is even more important in brawl than in melee with shield stabbing being more common. You can still angle a variety of forward tilts and smashes, and it's more useful than ever. Peach still gets a whole lot out of floating; her float game isn't really any less deep than it was in melee (it's more like she's just less powerful overall; she went from one of the best to average). Short hop laser is gone I guess, but do you really miss that? I know I don't. Jump canceling the shine is gone, but Fox can now use his shine in the air to play mindgames with his momentum that he couldn't before so you gain some and lose some (the real complaint is probably that Fox is just less good overall... but it's not fair to cry over a nerfed character).

The complaining about L-canceling is bizarre enough to warrant its own paragraph. Who honestly thinks brawl has too much landing lag on aerials? I would request that those that do please remember the game and how it works. I hear routine complaints that Mr. Game & Watch's key doesn't have enough landing lag; should I be able to cut it in half? Most of the cast has ridiculously fast landing lag from their up aerials, and generally most characters have more stuff in the air that lets them recover pretty quickly. The exceptions to the speedy aerial landing stuff are either characters at the VERY bottom (Ganondorf tier) or guys who really need to have laggy landing lag (would you prefer Snake recovered quickly from his aerials?). Also, having to press L with fairly precise timing every time you land during an aerial is pretty lame. I know most serious melee players (and by most I mean "almost all") could do it and were able to implement it with nearly perfect consistency. I know it's not THAT hard to learn. So... what practical advantage did that need to press the button to get the proper landing lag of an aerial serve? It gave you a chance to screw up and get punished I guess, but the far more noticeable effect is that it served to really screw new players and random scrubs who didn't know about it or couldn't do it. Unless you used a very small handful of characters, you were probably going to lose pretty badly if you didn't L-cancel. It probably really created a lot of distortions as average players who knew about it would thoroughly trounce average players who didn't, and despite the fact that their "real skill" was close, it would seem far. That sort of separation didn't exist at high levels either; it just served to keep the "masses" from having any real hope of winning or improving before they did their "learning" and "practice". Why do we need this nonsense? Pressing a button precisely as you land is NOT skill. If you find that not being required detracts from your ability to win substantially, maybe you should rethink your search for improvement on your skill as you are probably looking for the wrong things.

It just rewards playing gay!

I don't feel like responding to something absolutely moronic like this "argument". I hear it all the time and really wish I could beat these people to death with their own overt homophobia. To pay attention to the actual game design issues, people who think this way probably never stopped being scrubs to begin with. A lot of people think there are a set of things that "should" win, and if they don't match up with what does win, it's "cheap" or "gay". What they don't understand is that all there is is what does win. Any perception of what "should" win is just a fantasy, and if you don't give it up, you will always be limited as a player. That's true for any game, and if you find yourself winning more at some than others, you're only getting lucky by finding a game whose metagame is closer to your chosen fantasy. It probably still won't match perfectly, and at that point you're only deciding how much you want to artificially limit yourself. Really, give it up.

It's less competitive!

I don't even understand what you people mean by this at this point. A competition is just a game in which one person wins and another loses. Being competitive means being something that enables the process of one player making decisions better than another player that cause winning. So the whole question here is whether brawl produces a consistent pattern of winners and losers. Well, does it? Do the same people win tournaments time and time again, or do random people win left and right? I think we can all look at the results and know the answer. Is melee "more competitive"? Well, do we see the top players in either game grown stale and unable to move any further? If you answer no (and if you are reasonable you WILL answer no), then the only answer is "it's not clear but both are really competitive so it doesn't matter". And yes, this is ALL being competitive really is. It's a really small, simple thing that too many people glorify into something radical. I suspect things will really change a lot here once the people who like brawl (like me) are able to really get up to steam with the people who came into brawl with the boost from the highest levels of melee play. I don't think you can really be good at this game if you don't play it because you will never improve, and I could see it in even as great of a player as darkrain. He didn't really play brawl much, and he had only the maximum level of melee skill import and his own natural incredible gaming talent to fall back on. That was enough to make him the best player in Kansas City easily, but as I played him over the course of the summer, I noticed he never improved while I did. Our games got closer and closer, and by the end I was able to snatch some wins from him. If he doesn't become a serious brawl player and if I keep at it, I'll eventually be better than him at brawl. I think most of the people who don't play brawl will see their ability to win begin to drop off as their big head starts begin to mean less and less. Of course, the old players who stuck with it and got serious about staying on top in brawl (like Mew2King) may never fall; it's hard to say since a race between two players moving forward is much more interesting than between one moving forward and another standing still.

It's just not fun!

I can't tell you a game is fun if you don't find it fun; fun is truly a subjective thing. And really, it's all I find the people who hate brawl have to say that I can't truly refute. I know I have an absolute blast playing brawl; I really love it. If you don't, you may be doing it wrong, or it may just not be the game for you. It will take honest soul searching here to determine which it is. Are you still trying to make the game into something it isn't (hacking people, I'm looking at you)? Do you still impose artificial constructs on it? Do you not truly play to win? If you tend to lose, do you fail to understand why (thinking it was impossible for you to win a match is failing to understand, by the way)? Do "brick wall" strategies such as Meta Knight spamming Mach Tornado routinely defeat you? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you have personal problems that are interfering with your ability to appreciate the game, and you may be able to overcome them by improving your playing ability and your perspective. There may be other factors I haven't considered. It may also be that you really are approaching the game correctly, and it may just not offer the style of play you are seeking in a game. That's fine. The solution is to just not play brawl. There are lots of other fighting games out there that you might like more; it may be melee or it may be something else entirely. Maybe you aren't even cut out to play competitive fighters at all, and you could be just waiting to be a serious first person shooter player or something like that. It's all a personal thing, but regardless of what you decide here, don't forget that it's not a game's fault if you don't like it. Go searching, find something you truly enjoy, play it, and don't feel the need to cling to and drag down the community for brawl (if you make routine "brawl sucks!" posts with no real substance, this may be directed at you).

Anyway, here are a few things about brawl I haven't mentioned that are very good I think:

The stage list is awesome.

The stages in brawl are very vibrant and interesting; your strategies really have to adapt a lot to what sort of course you are on. I find the myriad courses like Delfino that don't remain relatively static and the large number of quirks in the stages ultimately make the game much more deep and much more fair as you have constantly shifting advantages as opposed to static ones and have to develop deep stage knowledge and stage specific strategies in a major way.

The graphics and music are amazing.

The game is one of the most beautiful fighters you will find out there, and brawl has hands down the best soundtrack out of any video game ever made. There are hundreds of highly professional and extremely satisfying tracks of music; it really rounds off the experience nicely.

The cast is likable and diverse.

It's very hard to find a player who can't find at least one character who really suits his tastes in brawl, and most people seem to like a few characters. They represent a wide array of well-loved Nintendo games, and almost all of us have serious attachments to some if not most of the characters before we even consider brawl. Whether you're looking to satisfy your search for a particular playstyle or just want something that your fanboy at heart can appreciate, it seems like brawl probably has someone for you. Even the brawl haters seem to agree with this. "Brawl sucks but I really like Ike/Sonic/R.O.B./Zero Suit Samus..."

The little things are well attended to.

You can hold B to go back in menus. All characters have three taunts that may or may not be interesting. Most move interactions are pretty logical. Small, sometimes useful abilities like swimming and footstooling are at your disposal. It's rare to find a move that leaves you thinking "I don't understand why you would ever use this!". Stages give all sorts of small hints about what they are going to do. There are several special taunts, and some stages have backgrounds that change depending on how the fight goes (Pokemon Stadium 1/2 and Shadow Moses Island). The Star Fox characters have special victory poses against each other. If you just stay off the edge and don't put your feet firmly on solid ground, Ike can't use Aether on the ledge more than 7 times, and you can't tether a ledge moe than 3 times. Olimar's various pikmin have different health and elemental properties that would have been easy to have left out. Luigi can plant his head in the wall with his forward special. Attention to those small, otherwise unimportant details is not something brawl lacks, and it really makes the game feel "full".

Custom controls and 4 controller types are awesome.

Replays and snapshots greatly enhance your ability to capture a moment.

The stage builder is useful for testing various quriks in the game and for just messing around is pretty fun.

Stickers are somewhat interesting since the official art they contain is pretty.

The highest difficulty setings in the one player are actually playable instead of just ridiculous.

There's more I could say, but I think that's enough.

Topic creator, I can't know why you don't like brawl, but I only have to say that just because you don't doesn't make it a bad game. Heck, I can't stand Guilty Gear, but it's obvious looking at high level play between experts that there's a very good game there for those that do. Maybe someday those who love the game will make those who don't fully unable to succeed at it and show everyone what quality it really is.
 

Melomaniacal

Smash Champion
Joined
Apr 12, 2007
Messages
2,849
Location
Tristate area
Okay, so Brawl is less competitive than Melee. It is competitively inferior to Melee.

Does that mean it's not competitive? No. It means it's less competitive. A game being less competitive than another doesn't mean it has no competitive value. I know many of you are going to hate this statement, but:

They are two different games. Brawl and Melee can be played on two different systems, on two different TVs, with two different controllers, even, at the same time. This means that neither game has to die for the other to do well. Neither game's competitive value can or will destroy the other game's competitive value (as in, Melee being more competitive doesn't make Brawl unplayable). Both games can be played competitively. It's just up to the community. Don't tell me too many people won't give Melee a chance, or too many people are switching to Brawl. Don't tell me all tournaments are Brawl tournaments now. That's not the games fault, that's the communities fault. It is entirely possible for both games to be played competitively... at the same time. As for one game being more fun... opinion. Invalid argument.

So why kill one game to save the other? If you want Melee to still be played... play it. Tell the tournament organizers (if you aren't one) to include Melee. If they refuse, that's them being stupid.

So, basically:

1. Melee is more competitive
2. Brawl is still competitive
3. Different games
4. Can both be played
5. One game's competitive value shouldn't result in the other games dismissal
6. Up to the community
7. The solution of the problem isn't to kill Brawl

For the record, I still play both Brawl and Melee.
 

Oracle

Smash Master
Joined
Apr 15, 2008
Messages
3,471
Location
Dallas, TX
Referring to AA: Brawl IS more imbalanced than melee. Your first 5 paragraphs are completely irrelivant because they were days after brawl came out, with almost no metagame. Back then, people were still trying combos and not abusing the defensiveness of the game. A combo is not an ugly thing, it is a part of all real fighting games.
Ness vs. shiek is not a valid reason to prove that melee is imbalanced. It is a bad matchup. It's also irrelevant because you pointed out that you were in a group of friends that were all scrubs. Gimpyfish plays bowser, and can beat lots of high tier characters (with the exception of shiek).
Melee is much more balanced than brawl and MK or Snake only or you lose.
Also stop saying we expected melee 2.0. We did not. We expected smash 3. Which it was not. We expected a deep, technical fighting game featuring nintendo's mascots. Instead, we got a slow, boring party game.
 

Roihu

Smash Ace
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
541
Referring to AA: Brawl IS more imbalanced than melee. Your first 5 paragraphs are completely irrelivant because they were days after brawl came out, with almost no metagame. Back then, people were still trying combos and not abusing the defensiveness of the game. A combo is not an ugly thing, it is a part of all real fighting games.
Ness vs. shiek is not a valid reason to prove that melee is imbalanced. It is a bad matchup. It's also irrelevant because you pointed out that you were in a group of friends that were all scrubs. Gimpyfish plays bowser, and can beat lots of high tier characters (with the exception of shiek).
Melee is much more balanced than brawl and MK or Snake only or you lose.
Also stop saying we expected melee 2.0. We did not. We expected smash 3. Which it was not. We expected a deep, technical fighting game featuring nintendo's mascots. Instead, we got a slow, boring party game.
Except people DID expect a Melee 2.0.
They expected something it was never supposed to be. Deep technical fighting game? I never heard any Nintendo officials saying it was supposed to be. Boring? Maybe if you're a loner, but with friends, it's really fun.
And wasn't it said that Gimpy plays much better with other characters in high tiers?
 

Grunt

Smash Master
Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
4,614
Location
Kawaii Hawaii
I will start with the story of a melee community going into brawl's release. The Rolla smash scene in the waning days of melee had four players who were better than all of the others. There were Kyle, Ian, Brian, and I. I was the worst of the bunch, and I came to Rolla as a plucky Ness main. I got to play some melee against random people and flattened them... until Brian walked over and joined in. He played Sheik and tore up, but the format was still free for all so skill wasn't really shining through. Later we went back to his room to play some serious games, and I found myself on the Ness side of Ness v. Sheik. None of my friends back home played Sheik (though we knew she was really good and had read online about the game to some extent) so this was new to me. Oh boy, it sucked horribly. I was chainthrown 0-100% and finished with forward aerials. His needles canceled out my Pk Thunder recovery. He was easily 2-3 stocking me, and I was faced with a dilemma. I knew Ness was bad. I had known is for a long time, but I REALLY loved playing as Ness and thought that melee was a game where you could do fine even if you used a bad character (and Ness wasn't Bowser or anything even!). I decided to try my secondary, Jigglypuff. I still lost, but I was doing much better. I knew I was not as good with Jigglypuff as I was with Ness, and at that moment I came to truly accept what an imbalanced game melee was. I stopped maining Ness that day because I knew that I simply COULDN'T win with him; as long as there were Sheik players, Ness players in melee had no hope at all. Sure I wasn't really using wavedashing which I knew Ness could use somewhat well, but who cares? Sheik's chaingrab, ridiculous speed advantage, and abusive gimping game on Ness obviously make the matchup unwinnable unless the Ness player is 100x better than the Sheik player. I will make an aside to the future here and say the people who suggest that melee's advanced techniques let the low tiers win are just full of it. Unless there's a "Ness gets out of Sheik's chaingrab" technique, I'm going to have to assert that it's hooey.

Anyway, soon thereafter Brian and I met up with Kyle and Ian (along with Massive, who was also better than Brian and I but left Rolla before brawl came out). Kyle was the best of the group with his super powered Falco. Falco was another character I hadn't seen much of, and it was pretty much completely horrible. Short hop laser was so patently broken; I was using one of the characters best able to jump around and it was ridiculously pinning me down. I don't have the timing to powershield in melee, and given how small the window is, I don't think it's reasonable for the game's balance to expect me to. I was able to make some headway on him, and I won a very small number of matches. However, something in me changed as we played. I not only stopped viewing melee as balanced, but I stopped really seeing it as all that fun. I still liked the game, and I was serious about getting better. However, Falco was just plain obnoxious to fight against, and he really sapped my passion for the game away. I also got to see what made the other characters so ridiculous. Fox's ability to kill Jigglypuff at 70% if she had non-perfect DI was just ridiculous. I really didn't have much problem with Marth (the favorite of my friends at home) beyond the whole lie that his grab range is. Peach's down smash was ridiculous, but it was at least managable so I didn't particularly hate her either. And then there was Sheik who was way too fast with her way too ridiculous down throw.
You can't expect to win with anyone and everyone in melee or brawl. besides, It's hard to take you seriously when you say ******** things like SHL is broken, then call MK not broken. Clearly, you were not good at melee if you have these problems.
 

Vulcan55

Smash Lord
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Stuff about playing with friends.
and at that moment I came to truly accept what an imbalanced game melee was.
wah.
Just because you lose against Sheik with a low-tier is no reason to call Melee imbalanced.
Just because you lose against your friend is not a reason either.

Johns about Falco and how "OP" he is, even though I clearly stated that I had no previous match-up experience.
You really stopped thinking of Melee as fun because you couldn't beat your friends Falco even though you had no experience against one?
You must be one of those people who loses a couple times, becomes enraged and smashed stuff / yells a lot.

Stuff about your friends and their mains I don't care about.
Moving on.

My friends are scrubs!
Moving on.

I was losing matches that I had no experience in!
I met some people who were good with their mains!
You mention that you didn't feel you could beat anyone with your main in Melee.
You mained a low tier.
You say that you can now.
You main a high tier.
Hmm...

Now, of course, along the road, I've had to deal with a constant stream of "brawl sucks", and I am at the point of being flat out offended when people go on about that after it becomes clear that they aren't going to be beating me (can they not just admit that I'm a better player?).
First, wah, get over it.
Second, how do you know that no one can beat you? You're just soo goood?

Did you miss the lower half of the cast in melee when you were observing its balance?
Did you miss the lower 2/3 of Brawl's cast when you were observing its balance?


The story went over my experiences with Ness v. Sheik
Is irrelevant.

and I know it's not just Ness she does that to. In general the best characters in melee were better at almost everything than the bad characters; don't try to fake it and suggest that the game was balanced at all.
That's why they are higher-tiered. >.>
And so what if it's not the most balanced game around? It's still better than Brawl.
Don't try to fake it and suggest that Brawl is balanced at all.

Stuff about seeing good high tier mainers in Brawl
Wow, I've never seen someone play well with a high tier before.
That is truly inspiring.
I think you just convinced me that that Melee is a piece of ****.

Stuff about beating MK, Snake and GW
Um, okay?

The release grabs are somewhat overblown.
Agreed.
Ness and Lucas can just position on the stage to avoid "instant death" (it's NOT infinite; it runs out of stage).
No it doesn't.
It is a standing grab-release infinite.
Marth doesn't have to move in order to do it.

Stuff about Brawl's chaingrabs.
Um...okay?

I fail to see how you refuted Brawl being imbalanced in any way.


I think the main issue here is that people are really taken aback by how brawl doesn't turn into melee at a high level.
Aw durn it.
ya got meh.
BLarghhhh.

What I mean is that in melee, every character who was good was either a speed character (Fox, Falco, Sheik, Captain Falcon), a character who used advanced techniques to imitate a speed character (Marth, Peach in a way), or a very rare character with something so abusive that it was worth it (Ice Climbers with grabs, Jigglypuff with aerial mobility).
In Brawl every character who was good was either a Camping character (Snake, Falco, Rob), an anti-Camper (MK, GW, Wario) or a chain-grabber (Marth, D3, Falco).

You had to go down to Doc/Ganon level before you found something that was really outside of that; it really turned into a game where speed playstyles were the best thing ever while other styles were niche at best.
If you were talking about Wavedashing as an AT that "imitated speed", then why isn't everyone on that list?
Everyone uses WDing to speed up your playstyle.
And your lack of knowledge about the ICs (They are insanely fast with their WD) leads me to believe you really don't know that much about Melee.
And, as I've said before, If you don't know much about the other side, you shouldn't be arguing against it.

List of attributes about the high tiers.
The game is only fun for those who didn't like Melee
Um...okay?

You really aren't getting anywhere.

Anyway, why are combos so golden? A true combo is a truly ugly thing. Once it starts, you can't really do anything but hope your opponent screws up and be ready to act as soon as it is over. Luckily, smash 64 is the only smash game that is really all about combos.
Combos are the bread and butter of fighting games.
Combos are not ugly.
If you really think that every combo is unbreakable unless you opponent screws up, you REALLY don't know anything about Melee. (Or lots of other fighting games for that matter)


What is really more common is what I like to call "pressure". The way it works is that you land your hit and do some damage, and that hit puts them in a disadvantaged situation. From here, they have few options, and if you predict them correctly, you get to follow up and do more damage. However, if they play it right and outsmart you, your hit ends up never giving you anything more or even puts YOU at risk. It's really a beautiful thing; it's the stuff good fighters are made of.
This is true for any fighting game, combos or not.
This does not only apply to Brawl, and DEFINITELY doesn't make Brawl special in any way.


However, a lot of players didn't stop and "smell the roses" in melee because of how fast the pressure games were. Wow, that thing Sheik did hurt a lot, and I'm not sure I even saw every move. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was a combo! Well, it probably wasn't; you could get out of a lot of stuff if you predicted right with your DI.
Wow. That is not what it's like at all. Maybe for you, but then again, you don't know anything about Melee.
There are combos in Melee.
Sure, with the right DI you could get out of their next hit if you were anticipating it.
But, and I quote, "if you predict them correctly, you get to follow up and do more damage."
Combos in Melee are unique in the way that not every combo is the same. given certain conditions, one move may not always combo into another.

In brawl you rely on not just DI but a greatly expanded airdodging sytem
Airdodging in Melee was far from useless as a defensive technique.

Have you tried playing as Yoshi lately?
How many AT's does he have again?
Oh yeah, 1.

Anyway, I don't understand the fascination with advanced techniques.
It adds depth to a game.

It's not like the advanced techniques added a bunch of options anyway. L-canceling was just a buff to aerials. Wavedashing added a new movement option, but it largely obsoleted rolling which is very useful in brawl so it's not like there's a huge loss there like most people suggest. Dash dancing just made you unpredictable;
It's obvious to me that you are brimming with information about Melee.


The complaining about L-canceling is bizarre enough to warrant its own paragraph. Who honestly thinks brawl has too much landing lag on aerials?
Unless the character has very little lag on their aerials, then you are completely pressed for options when it comes to approaching. The reason why Ganon is so bad is because his aerials have so much lag that he can't approach with them. Plus he's so slow, he can't approach on the ground.

The exceptions to the speedy aerial landing stuff are either characters at the VERY bottom (Ganondorf tier) or guys who really need to have laggy landing lag (would you prefer Snake recovered quickly from his aerials?)
Yes I would.
Everyone else then is buffed immensely.


Also, having to press L with fairly precise timing every time you land during an aerial is pretty lame. I know most serious melee players (and by most I mean "almost all") could do it and were able to implement it with nearly perfect consistency. I know it's not THAT hard to learn. So... what practical advantage did that need to press the button to get the proper landing lag of an aerial serve? It gave you a chance to screw up and get punished I guess, but the far more noticeable effect is that it served to really screw new players and random scrubs who didn't know about it or couldn't do it.
Because beating noobs and scrubs means something, right?

Unless you used a very small handful of characters, you were probably going to lose pretty badly if you didn't L-cancel. It probably really created a lot of distortions as average players who knew about it would thoroughly trounce average players who didn't, and despite the fact that their "real skill" was close, it would seem far. That sort of separation didn't exist at high levels either; it just served to keep the "masses" from having any real hope of winning or improving before they did their "learning" and "practice". Why do we need this nonsense? Pressing a button precisely as you land is NOT skill.
If someone can't L-cancel then there "real skill" is not the same as someone who can.
Also no average player can't L-cancel.
L-canceling is a skill. Saying it's not is stupid. Just because you can't do it, doesn't mean it's not a skill.
Plus, if you are saying learning and practicing to get better is nonsense, maybe YOU should re-think what it takes to be good.

I'm stopping here because the rest is just filled with the most ridiculous logic and incorrect "information" about Melee, it's making me quite offended.
 

SleepyK

Banned via Administration
Joined
Mar 26, 2006
Messages
5,872
A certain degree of brokenness ensures a healthy mixture of fun and heavy competitive play.
but certain aspects can overcome the inherent fun and competitive nature.

You can argue that barlw can be competitive, but so can anything. It doesn't mean it does a good job at being competitive.

ampharos, your post is full of ignorance
 

Amazing Ampharos

Balanced Brawl Designer
Writing Team
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Kansas City, MO
wah.
Just because you lose against Sheik with a low-tier is no reason to call Melee imbalanced.
Just because you lose against your friend is not a reason either.
The low tier character has a nearly unwinnable matchup against the high tier. If that's not imbalanced, then I don't know what is. For the record, the smash scene down here is not a bunch of scrubs; these players I'm referring to are definitely legitimately good.


You really stopped thinking of Melee as fun because you couldn't beat your friends Falco even though you had no experience against one?
You must be one of those people who loses a couple times, becomes enraged and smashed stuff / yells a lot.
I had no experience at first. I got experience over months of play. For someone who doesn't care about the story, you did a pretty poor job of following it. I don't get mad when playing just about ever. Why are you making stuff up? The point is that Falco is a stupid, unreasonable character who shuts way too much down. He's not really unbeatable (I did get some wins), but fighting him is far more painful than fighting anyone in brawl.

You mention that you didn't feel you could beat anyone with your main in Melee.
You mained a low tier.
You say that you can now.
You main a high tier.
Hmm...
I actually play as much of the cast, and I described my experiences with the obviously horrible Ganondorf for the purpose of describing the low tier side. Sure I use a high tier now, but I don't think the fact that Mr. Game & Watch is good is the main reason I do better at brawl.

First, wah, get over it.
Second, how do you know that no one can beat you? You're just soo goood?
I didn't say no one can beat me. I said I feel as though I have the potential to beat anyone.

Did you miss the lower 2/3 of Brawl's cast when you were observing its balance?
No, I didn't. They aren't bad.

Is irrelevant.
How is Ness beating Sheik? Explain it because I'm not seeing it. Showing a Ness player beating one of the top Sheiks would be cool, but I doubt you can because it never happened.

By the way, I know of people like Gimpyfish. Yeah, what he does with Bowser is impressive, but can he actually win tournaments against Sheik players on his level? Sure he can beat Sheik players who are worse than him, even Sheiks who are good by an objective metric. It still seems clear that his character majorly holds him back in a way a main in brawl is very unlikely to do.

That's why they are higher-tiered. >.>
And so what if it's not the most balanced game around? It's still better than Brawl.
Don't try to fake it and suggest that Brawl is balanced at all.
I really want to see your list of characters who can't win in brawl.

Wow, I've never seen someone play well with a high tier before.
That is truly inspiring.
I think you just convinced me that that Melee is a piece of ****.
Yeah, Sonic and Peach are so high tier... Those are just characters picked at random from my experiences; it's not like these players only did well because of their characters.

No it doesn't.
It is a standing grab-release infinite.
Marth doesn't have to move in order to do it.
Dead wrong. Perhaps your facts about brawl are what are off-base?

I fail to see how you refuted Brawl being imbalanced in any way.
I was explaining how the top guys aren't broken, and I'd still like to see a real list of who can't win in brawl. My list is this: Ganondorf (only because he can't really get past Wolf, Falco, and Pit), Samus (she just has nothing), Captain Falcon (he just doesn't flow as a character). Everyone else can win. If you want to add characters, feel free.

In Brawl every character who was good was either a Camping character (Snake, Falco, Rob), an anti-Camper (MK, GW, Wario) or a chain-grabber (Marth, D3, Falco).
Yeah, Marth sure chaingrabs more than two characters in general, right? If you really think Snake and R.O.B. play even remotely similarly, then I suspect you just don't understand them.


If you were talking about Wavedashing as an AT that "imitated speed", then why isn't everyone on that list?
Everyone uses WDing to speed up your playstyle.
And your lack of knowledge about the ICs (They are insanely fast with their WD) leads me to believe you really don't know that much about Melee.
And, as I've said before, If you don't know much about the other side, you shouldn't be arguing against it.
Since when did I say that the Ice Climbers were slow? Yeah, I didn't. It's not a question of whether they are fast (though it's really a bad sign for melee if there are no legitimately slow characters who are good); it's a question of whether they are defined by their speed. I really don't feel as though the Ice Climbers are; they are more defined by their stupid grab combos. Of course, if you feel as though their speed is what matters more in the end, then I guess my list of two characters just becomes one. Thanks?


Um...okay?

You really aren't getting anywhere.
I didn't say the game is only fun for those who didn't like melee.


Combos are the bread and butter of fighting games.
Combos are not ugly.
If you really think that every combo is unbreakable unless you opponent screws up, you REALLY don't know anything about Melee. (Or lots of other fighting games for that matter)
Perhaps you need to brush up on your fighting game definitions. A combo is a series of moves that is inescapable if the first move hits. If you can get out of it, it's not a combo. It's a really simple thing.

This is true for any fighting game, combos or not.
This does not only apply to Brawl, and DEFINITELY doesn't make Brawl special in any way.
Yeah, brawl is the same; that's the point. I'm glad we see eye to eye here.

Wow. That is not what it's like at all. Maybe for you, but then again, you don't know anything about Melee.
There are combos in Melee.
Sure, with the right DI you could get out of their next hit if you were anticipating it.
But, and I quote, "if you predict them correctly, you get to follow up and do more damage."
Combos in Melee are unique in the way that not every combo is the same. given certain conditions, one move may not always combo into another.
If you can DI out, it's not a combo. Refer to the definition of a combo.


Airdodging in Melee was far from useless as a defensive technique.
Did I say it wasn't? I just said it's expanded in brawl which it is.

How many AT's does he have again?
Oh yeah, 1.
It depends on what you define as advanced I guess.

It adds depth to a game.
Not really. Advanced techniques are just another type of technique. They aren't any better than basic techniques.

It's obvious to me that you are brimming with information about Melee.
Well then explain how the advanced techniques really added options. You could already do aerials to approach; L-canceling just made them faster. It wasn't adding an option; it was empowering an existing option. Wavedashing was the only one that truly added something new, but it largely made something in the basic options (rolling) pointless so it is overblown how important it is.

Unless the character has very little lag on their aerials, then you are completely pressed for options when it comes to approaching. The reason why Ganon is so bad is because his aerials have so much lag that he can't approach with them. Plus he's so slow, he can't approach on the ground.
Yeah, that's why Ganon is bad, but Ganon is a really rare example because he's actually horrible. Try listing more than a handful of characters screwed by landing lag; I think you'll find it really hard.


Yes I would.
Everyone else then is buffed immensely.
I don't see how you can think this would be helping the game. While we're at it, why don't we do smash 64 and remove all landing lag? Everyone would be buffed immensely, but then the gameplay would be as degenerate as smash 64.

Because beating noobs and scrubs means something, right?
Not really, but it's the only thing that L-canceling adds to melee (as opposed to the landing lag from aerials being the L-cancel time automatically with no need to press a button). Since these players are going to lose anyway, I don't see why the game needs systems to screw them; why not let them lose normally and perhaps let them improve as they keep playing?

If someone can't L-cancel then there "real skill" is not the same as someone who can.
Also no average player can't L-cancel.
L-canceling is a skill. Saying it's not is stupid. Just because you can't do it, doesn't mean it's not a skill.
Plus, if you are saying learning and practicing to get better is nonsense, maybe YOU should re-think what it takes to be good.
I can L-cancel; why do you think I can't? Plenty of average players can't L-cancel; do you just not know any real average players (the guys who actually attend tournaments are pretty universally above average)? The point of it is that you won't get good in melee unless you stop playing matches, go away for a while, and study things that are thoroughly non-obvious. In brawl that's not really true, and you can learn the game pretty well by just playing it.

By the way, skill is knowing when to do something, not being able to do it at all. L-canceling requires no decision making at all; you always do it 100% of the time. Therefore it has nothing to do with skill. I wouldn't say it was so horrible if you got some advantage to sometimes L-canceling and sometimes not (like you do with teching), but the fact of the matter is that all it reall does is serve as a barrier to new players.

I'm stopping here because the rest is just filled with the most ridiculous logic and incorrect "information" about Melee, it's making me quite offended.
I think you are more misunderstanding me than reading actually incorrect information.

I also would reply to the other posts.

Also stop saying we expected melee 2.0. We did not. We expected smash 3. Which it was not. We expected a deep, technical fighting game featuring nintendo's mascots. Instead, we got a slow, boring party game.
Brawl IS deep. It's not technical, but it's deep. Depth refers to your range of real options at any time; you have a lot of those in brawl. Technical refers to how physically demanding it is; brawl isn't really that physically demanding (which I would assert is a good thing!).

I stopped reading there.
Then why did you post? I still don't see how Ness is supposed to get out of Sheik's chaingrab; it's pretty much completely devastating. My Ness style was really about approaching with double jump cancels anyway so it's not like I was missing the most important stuff. Yeah, I could have done better, but it was obvious enough that the matchup is unwinnable that it wasn't worth it. Why should I work hard to master a technique that still won't be enough to put me anywhere close to winning? The only option was really to change characters.
 

Veggi

Smash Champion
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
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I'm gonna wreck it! (Fort Myers)
Because no one else seems to have read the OP other than me and I suppose derailing more won't hurt as much.

Brawl is uncompetitive. You can't deny it. And don't tell us to go join a track team. Our hobby is competitive video gaming, not running. And melee is one of the most technical and competitive fighters out there.
Stripped down it would look more like this...

My hobby is competitive video gaming.

My hobby is the fighting genre of video games.

My hobby is Super Smash Bros.

My hobby is Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Looks like we're not so different after all. I'll also deny that Brawl is uncompetitive all I want.
 

sHy)(gUy

Smash Ace
Joined
Jan 28, 2006
Messages
558
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Metairie LA
ness just sucks in melee...but for the characters u can use/win with in melee competively (basicly everyone from top-mid tier and low bottom if ur really good) are better than anyone played competively in brawl. Metaknight domintes everyone in brawl, (almost) atleast in melee u have fox/falco/marth/shiek balancing eachother out, and even below that alot of characters do well against them. melee has a deeper game engine that works better in a competive setting(basicly its a game that deserves to be played competitively), its a rare gem and sumthing that only comes once in a blue moon.

brawl is more like ur average game u play for a few months at home and then get tired of..

we might as well be playing kirbys dream course competitively.... its more fun
 

cutter

Smash Champion
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Jun 4, 2008
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Getting drilled by AWPers
Jam, that was a FANTASTIC read. Two thumbs up.

Personally, I hope the community just stays intact and doesn't erupt into chaos.

Also:

Melee's metagame developed in bits and pieces initially, due to the lack of a centralized and focused effort. Brawl has been picked apart and dissected by the best minds the Smash community has to offer since before day one.
This couldn't be any more true.
 

The Real Inferno

Smash Hero
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Jan 22, 2008
Messages
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Wichita, KS
Brawl vs. Melee
Making a thread or post comparing or discussing the differences between Melee and Brawl will result in you receiving a 2 point "SPAM" infraction.
Hmm. I think people really should read this more often.
 

Amide

Smash Lord
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
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Maine
I agree with what you mean, but some of the points were really weak. Complaining about Laser Locks? Come on... Also talking about D3 infinites on BANNED STAGES. I see the point of PT, but the entire point of that character was that you'd be using more than one character.

I fully agree with what you said in closing, so...

Melee FTW:p
 

Pikaville

Pikaville returns 10 years later.
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Feb 16, 2006
Messages
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On point.
After 7 months of brawl I still feel the same as I felt after 1 month.

Brawl has no soul and never will.

Like the few who are old enough.I have made the progression from 64>melee>brawl.I have purchased all 3 on release day,not that that really matters but,ive played them all ALOT.

It started with 64.The thought of nintendo characters kicking the s**t out of each other was a dream come true as a pretty big nintendo fanboy.I bought it played it with my friends,loved it and thought nothing more of it.Then melee came out originally I was so god **** excited to be getting a new smash game.I got it played it and loved it like its predescessor.The transition was easy because it felt nice to play,learn and watch and the controller was really good for it.I instantly thought "this is 100 times better than 64"and played it with my friends for a few years and never got bored not even once.
It was kinda late in melees life when I discovered smashboards.I was overwhelmed with the amount of people who played the game and the stuff they had discovered.The 1st thing I did was ask about the best players around.I was given links to "Soldier of fortune" and "Kazu nu Kizzu"(bombsoldiers and Kizzu combo videos in melee)and was blown out of my f*****g shoes.Id never seen any game played like that,the speed,the tech skill,the perfect combo's I was stunned.I instantly wanted to learn to be as good as that and did.I sat down and learned specific AT's and whatnot and all the way through I had fun doing it(Im now champ of Ireland in melee YAHOO)

Then we get to now.

Brawl was never going to please everybody we all knew that.But who was to know that the fool Sakurai would give the game cerebal palsy.

Like melee Ive watched the videos,learned all the stuff,gave it a fair chance even though I originally didn't like it and quite frankly it just blows.ITS NOT FUN AFTER LIKE 10 MATCHES IT JUST GETS FRUSTRATING!

For me its a slow game,dominated by pretty much 3 characters,boring as hell to watch and play AND quite frankly has possibly the single worst design flaw in any game Ive ever seen......TRIPPING!Who wants to play a game where you can randomly fall on your *** and lose a match because of it.Thats only the beginning of the crap that this game spews.

I think brawl is not going to come much farther than it is now and the reason for this is because it is dumbed down.Even to the point where your don't even really need your up b to recover......and you cant really miss the edge either.Nothing has/will be discovered in brawl that will make it a better game than it is now.........of this I am positive.Plus the community has already split and its going to happen again with the hacks.Sure some of the new stuff you can do is cool and all but when applied at a high level of play it doesnt even matter.

Its too easy to do everything except die in brawl and that is why I dont like it.Im not saying it's worse than melee......it does that by itself.

I want to go over this properly but im baked and tired so just quote any stuff that you want to ask about.
 

IstariAsuka

Smash Cadet
Joined
Apr 16, 2006
Messages
27
Location
Tucson, AZ
I'm a little confused by the arguments for Brawl being more balanced than Melee in terms of characters.

In Melee, you have a large number of characters used at the highest level. Marth, Fox, Falco, Shiek of course, but also ICs, Peach, Samus, Falcon, Puff consistently as well. Other characters are used sporadically as well, but for simplicity we'll pretend they aren't. That's a good 9 viable characters to use as mains and secondaries. No one of them is so overpowered that you can't compete with him; no one would even consider calling for a character ban. It's fairly balanced within this upper tier of characers.

Now, in Brawl, witness the calls for a MK ban. Lots of the highest caliber players arguing that MK may need banning (contingent on more time for the metagame to develop). Following tournament results for the largest Brawl tournaments with the deepest talent, typically the top (several) placer(s) all mained MK, or at least used him. Like at HOBO 11. And apparently the top MK players are still perfecting how to abuse their character in such a way as to be even more unpunishable. Right now it appears that, barring something very unexpected, MK will quickly dominate Brawl in an absurd way, sufficiently enough as to warrant a banning, Akuma-style. That's more balanced than Melee?

Now, you could probably argue that Brawl\{MK} is more balanced than Melee, and you might be able to do a good job at that. I don't know, it's unclear to me that if even with MK Brawl would have more truly viable characters than Melee. Would lower-tiers be truly viable, or would tournaments be mostly dominated by Falco/DDD/Snake/Marth/ROB/Wario/GW, with a smattering of lower tiers as occasional counterpicks? If that latter, then Melee and Brawl would be roughly equivalent. Slightly more tourney-quality chars in Melee, but the rest of the cast in Brawl being a bit better and more numerous as counterpick characters.

Anyway, as to other issues. Regarding the discussion of "combos." In most fighters, yes, a combo is a string of attacks which is inescapable, provided it is initiated and carried out properly. In Smash it hasn't traditionally been used so strictly, since smash is much different from other fighting games. In smash characters can DI. As such, typically a combo in smash has a weaker denotation, and mostly refers to a string of hits that never release the opponent from hit-stun. These are often escapable, yes, either perfectly with proper DI, or by the attacker failing to predict DI correctly, but it makes the most sense for a definition of combo in smash.

Now, why do pro-Melee people talk about how the lack of combos are such a bad thing? Lots of pro-Brawl seem to take the same lack of combos as a fantastic thing. Both these positions stem from two ideas which are perfectly reasonable. Let's examine them.

(1) Combos are good because it enables appropriate punishment for an opponent's mistake.
(2) Combos are bad because they lead to things like infinites, and not having control of your character while you wait for your opponent to finish with you isn't fun.

These are both reasonable. Let's talk about them a bit more. The lack of combos in Brawl means that if an opponent makes a mistake, he can only be minimally punished. A small mistake can typically be punished with a weak, quick attack, a big mistakes may be punished be a stronger, slower attack. Note that even the biggest of blunders only rewards the other player with with good hit. To anti-Brawl players, this is incredibly unsatisfying. It means the game is one of hit-and-runs, and skill isn't rewarded as thoroughly. After all, what reward to get you for your opponent making a big mistakes? Maybe 5% extra damage. That's just not an appropriate penalty for the severity of the mistake. Severity of punishment should correspond with severity of mistake, and in Brawl it largely doesn't.

Now on the other side, pro-Brawl players have a good point. Infinites typically just aren't fun. You can't do anything. But more than that, they often take the above link between mistake and punishment too far, such that a relatively minor mistake can result in a disproportionately large penalty (instant stock loss). This is the opposite situation as in Brawl. Brawl you're hardly rewarded for opponent mistakes, but with infinites you're rewarded too much. Now, of course, infinites are a tricky matter. Of course, they uniformly give a huge reward if carried out properly, but not all are associated with minor mistakes. For example, wobbling didn't warrant banning in Melee, because, while powerful, with practice it took a big mistake to be caught by the wobble. As such, the resultant stock-loss was a perfectly fair punishment. Furthermore it was hard to start at low percentages, so in affect it was more just a really, really powerful move that was only applicable a mid-high percentages. Not in theory much different than a fox upsmash or whatnot. Anyway, I'm a little offtopic; the point is that not all infinites are bannable, but in general they are undesirable.

Exactly how much comboing is disproportionate in either direction is, to some extent, preference. And obviously there are other factors in the risk/reward, mistake/punishment setup of a game than just comboing. In a fighting game that strives to be really competitive for a long time, and be deemed a good competitive fighter, there must be an overall balance in these mechanisms.

Brawl, well, Brawl doesn't have any balance in them. As discussed above, the comboing system is non-existant. Other measures such as viability of offense approaches are similarly awful. Defensive options are just too good in Brawl. Edge-guarding in general is sub-par. It may have been too powerful in melee, but it's far, far too weak in Brawl. Even options for spacing like WDing and dashdancing have been removed, now there are too few. The list could go on.

While Melee wasn't the perfect gem many seem to think it was, in the end it held up quite nicely to abuse, and its various factors had reasonable balance. This can be seen by how long and strong its tournament tradition has run, and is maybe even still running despite Brawl. Brawl, on the other hand, is incredibly skewed on most conceivable metrics, making for a very unsatisfying game of limited competitive potential.
 

Pikaville

Pikaville returns 10 years later.
Joined
Feb 16, 2006
Messages
10,900
Location
On point.
Oh and bread,butter and jam you are a very good writer.Your language use is great....really drew me in with that 1st post.
 

Steeler

Smash Hero
Joined
Jan 5, 2006
Messages
5,931
Location
Wichita
NNID
Steeler
lol neither game is 'balanced'. the balance argument is flawed and stupid, as no game ever made has been perfectly balanced. starcraft (iirc) is the closest thing to balanced, and that's because of years of hacking making it what it is.

except maybe pong. even then the right bar could wavedash to get to the ball quicker.
 

mentosman8

BRoomer
BRoomer
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Messages
152
Location
Naperville, IL
I hate to admit it, but I've got to agree with the OP. Prior to Brawl's release, I was clinging to hope for it, trying to argue that we didn't know enough yet, and that it would get better over time.

Now, I've been playing Smash since the original. I can still remember just how much fun Smash 64 was, from when I played it back then with items just having fun, to when I played it after having played Melee for an extended time in more competitive-esque matches. And you know what? After all the years since 64 came out, I still love to sit down and play it from time to time.

Melee was the first game I got on release date ever, and I've gotta say I still love that choice. Since day one with the game, I was amazed at how much fun it was. Me and my friends played it together a lot, and it kept going that way for years. After Brawl was announced, I stumbled upon Smashboards, the competitive scene, and a wider view of the game in general. I took this back to my friends, and we all started playing more competitively. We had pretty much consistently done 1v1 or three way matches, no items, but after seeing more of the competitive view, it pushed to the next level. Not only that, but in the 7 years of Melee dominance, I could play it at any given time, and was never bored the entire time I played it.

Then came Brawl... After the Japanese release, I was one of those strongly saying we needed to give Brawl a chance. And at first, I really enjoyed it. The tournament for launch at Gamestop was fun, despite showing many of the flaws I had heard about during the pre-US launch phase... As time went on, I just began to realize how slow and shallow the gameplay was, and for the first time ever, I grew bored of a Smash game. In fact, there was a solid break between when that happened and when the new hacks for Brawl came out when I rarely, if at all, touched Brawl. And you know what happened when those hacks came out, adding back some of the depth from the first two games, and I've been playing consistently since I got them.

So I guess my view after these many months is this: Brawl does not have the magic the former games had. I don't dislike it so to speak, but I have grown bored of it, which has honestly never happened in the old games, and in a much, much shorter time.
 
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