Gimpyfish's Brawl Impressions - Brawl Talk Episode 1 Added

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Gimpyfish62

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#1
Brawl Talk

Hey everyone! This is where I'll be adding my video blogs as they become available! Any suggestions can be sent to me, thanks for watching!

Video Blog - 0 Introduction

Brawl Talk Episode 1

Brawl Talk Announcement


I'm glad this has hit such a positive response! Comments/ratings are greatly appreciated!


Shameless self promotion!

Alright, this is almost a completely selfish update right here but I think that EVERYONE WHO READS THIS TOPIC should check out THESE TWO ARTICLES.

http://www.gametap.com/home/read/article/8a25090115d6b7e40115d954fd6e13b0
http://digg.com/nintendo_wii/The_Competitive_Brawl_An_SSBB_preview_interview_for_the_hardcore
http://www.gamernode.com/interviews...weigh-in-on-super-smash-bros-brawl/index.html

it's absolutely critical to anyone who checks this for updates ;P

thanks


General Game play
Alright so first and foremost, the most important thing that I can possibly stress (beyond it being very fun) is this.

THIS GAME IS NOT MELEE. THIS GAME IS NOT SMASH 64. THIS IS A NEW GAME.

Don't expect to be flying around the stage in the same way as you did in melee, and don't expect your combos to work like in 64. This is a completely new game. It DOES have a familiar feel though, at first you will likely not like the way it controls (for about a match or two) but once you adjust to it and start figuring things out, you'll start to like it. Another reason for the lack of control at the beginning could've been just an issue with the controllers for now.

The technical aspect of the game seems less important, but seriously we are on day 4 of a game that isn't even in its final version.

Alright…. now for SOME specifics. Everyone at first seemed very floaty and slow up and down, but after playing as much as I did (I probably played more than anyone there) it stopped seeming that way as soon as I got control of my character. The reason it probably seems that way is because its different timing to fast fall and most aerials start quicker and end quicker. It’s more of an Illusion of floatiness than everyone actually being really floaty.
Throws in Brawl seem to be toned down, harder to combo with in general. The hit-stun of the throws is almost nothing. For example, fox can't up throw into anything; people just seem to escape really quickly from most throws. Grabs themselves seem to be pretty important however. They all seem very fast to activate, it seems like you can shield grab anything you want to, but again we don't exactly have the best technical skill at this point in the demo. Also the faster characters on the ground have a lot of range on their dash grabs. You can grab from far away because of their speed, so that seems like it will be an important part of the game.

In general everyone seemed to live a lot longer – that or everyone got a lot weaker, depending on how you want to look at it. Most of the kills that people got in the demo seemed to be from people throwing items or the Final Smashes. After we played the game and got used to the controls some of our matches we tried to avoid using/abusing the items for kills to try and see what people are capable of, and people in general lived upwards of 120% on average - even those we assumed were supposed to be “lighter. Again this is only a demo, and there could be different weight/survival percentages in the actual game.
Edge guarding itself seemingly has become more difficult. Most characters have a really effective auto sweet spot feature - even while still moving up during their up b’s. For example, Mario can hit the ledge after just starting his up b and it will automatically grab the ledge on the way up. It is very difficult to edge guard. That being so, it seemed like (at least in the demo) a lot of the time characters are not abusing that fact, or even using it at all. A lot of the characters are recovering very high, it seems like most things hit higher, so recovering lower would be more awkward.

Camping with projectiles seemed to be more awkward and less effective with all of the characters that had projectiles as well. Even pits easily spammable arrows speed wise don't seem like they would be very effective in camping, although I could be wrong on that aspect of the game. Link’s projectile game seems to be toned down (in effectiveness) in brawl as well. Projectiles themselves simply seem like they would be less useful, but again, its only the demo and we haven't exactly mastered the game at this point.

The game is fun, very fun. After you get over your 3 match shocker that the game isn't exactly the same as melee you'll understand how great this game is.

On a cosmetic scale this game is beautiful, its much prettier than melee was, there is a lot going on in the backgrounds and it just looks crisp. Even with the sheer amounts of “stuff” going on we never saw frame rates drop one time. Character introductions are back and better than they were in smash 64, it really adds a nice amount of flavor to the characters. The additional taunts are also a nice feature. Final smashes are really fun, but I'm doing a whole section on those so I'll get to that more later. Any ways let’s get to the real information!


Basic Techniques

This section is just a general overview of the basic techniques available in brawl, most of which were in melee, but there are a few new things at the end.

Air Dodge – The psychics of the air dodge have changed. You likely already know this. Air dodging is no longer directional, and you also can't do it in place to sort of “stall” in the air. air dodge simply gives invulnerability frames temporarily, and does nothing else. You can attack after air dodges. You can jump after air dodges. You can air dodge multiple times in a row if you have time to do so. There is a short amount of time where you can't air dodge so that you can't just stay invincible in the air forever though.

C-Stick – The c-stick does work differently in brawl then it did in melee. C-stick still does smash attacks if you aren't holding a direction, but if you are holding ANY DIRECTION and point your c-stick it will do a tilt in the direction that you tilt the c-stick. You can also charge smash attacks with the c-stick, which is a good change. C-stick still works for aerials, and you can actually catch items with the c-stick as well.

Crouch Canceling – Crouch Canceling works just like it did in melee. We honestly don't know if it’s as effective, but it still does basically the same thing at least. It is also harder to CC (crouch cancel) into down smash because of the new c-stick functionality in regards to the tilts.

Dash Dancing – Dash Dancing is in, and seems to be equally effective if not more effective in brawl. Sonic’s dash dance in particular is especially good because of its very high speed and the distance he can go while doing it.

Sidestepping – Sidestepping is in, and appears to be basically the same as it was in Melee.

Double Jump Canceling – This appears to be out, Yoshi can't double jump cancel any ways, but we have no way of being sure it is not in with some other characters.

Edge hogging – Edge hogging works the same way it did in melee, characters gain invincibility frames on the edge, and during a rolling animation or getup attack other characters cannot grab the edge.

Fast Falling – Fast falling is in. It works similarly to the melee fast fall, but seems to have an even greater effect on falling speed (compared to their jumping speeds at least)

Item grabbing/catching – It seems like you have to be closer to items to pick them up while they are on the ground, but catching them in the air is much easier. Oftentimes we found ourselves accidentally catching items because of a new item catching feature. You can catch items while you are in the middle of aerials. So if you are peach and you throw a turnip at somebody and it hits their shield (or hits them I suppose) and you follow up with a forward air you will catch the turnip as you hit with the fair.

Jump Cancel Up smash/Grab – Honestly I'm not sure if this is in, if it is it’s a lot more difficult, I just crouch really quickly before I up smash normally any ways, and that still works, but jump canceling seems to be harder if its in at all.

Edge hop – Edge hopping is in the game, but it seems like it might be less useful for some characters because of the overall “floatiness” factor. Also you can't actually drop from the ledge by pressing down anymore, just a little quirk about it. I found myself messing up my ledge hops at first because of this adjustment.

Ledge tech – Didn't see it, but using rational thought based on the seemingly improved DI and ability to still tech it seems like it would be in, although with the new sweet spot I can't imagine there would be much opportunity for this any ways.

Meteors – Still in, saw a couple meteor cancels (or at least I think I did) but this is one of those things that could change really easily from the demo to the real game

Rolling – Still in and very similar to the melee. Some characters (Metaknight and Pit for example) have really quick rolls that seem like they would be more useful than most rolls in
melee.

Shield Hit Stun – At first it appeared there was more shield hit stun in the game, but then I noticed that every character seems to have a really good sheildgrab off almost any air -> ground attack combination. Visually it looks like more shield hit stun, but I don't think it really is anything that will affect the game at all.

Shield Grab – If you read the shield hit stun description right above this one then you will already know about this. Shield grab is in and seems to be even more effective than it was in melee (at least in the point that getting the grab is going to be happening more often).

Shffls – Still in, done SLIGHTLY differently - aerial after the fast fall remember.

DI/Smash DI
– DI is still in brawl, and seems to be a lot more effective. There is more hit stun with pretty much every move, so there are more frames to DI. It’s really a hard thing to check, all of the competitive players who played brawl have a really natural instinct to DI to survive, its hard to think not to DI on purpose for comparison purposes. It did seem like we lived for longer percentages though, especially on most of the item attacks. Honestly it seemed like it was easier to do survival DI, but harder to DI out of combos. My theory on that is that because the game and most moves are new, we simply don't know where to DI yet to get out of combos.

Teching – Teching is still in. You can tech off walls the ground and the ceiling. You can wall jump tech, tech in place, and roll tech. Teching acts more or less the same as it did in Melee.

Tumble Recovery – This is still in, you can wiggle the control stick to get out of your tumbling animation faster.

Wall jumping – Still in. I saw Mario and Samus both do it, and I can't remember if Diddy actually can or not, but I THINK he can. Don't take this one as fact though.

Footstool Jump – Footstool jump looks really silly actually. You just jump on characters heads. I believe any character can do this, but we didn't see them all do it (I never did it with Bowser, but I never really tried to do it either) It does no damage and seems to have very slow knock back, but we didn't see anyone meteor cancel one, and we tried to cancel it every time it was done to us. It just sent us down really slowly and you couldn't jump right away.

Tether Recovery – Tether recovery is different in brawl compared to how it was in melee. The hook shot/grapple/whatever goes right for the ledge where you sweet spot and automatically pulls you up right away. It is unknown at this point whether or not you can edge hog this or not (I would assume that you can). Another difference between this recovery type in brawl is that you can actually do it multiple times without touching the ground. You can drop off the edge and grapple immediately into a sweet spot, it’s a pretty cool little stall.

Gliding – Gliding is really unorthodox, I think we just didn't try it enough because it’s so different. It’s also awkward to activate a glide. You actually press DOWN to start gliding with pit/Metaknight. Seems like it would be a great way to recover, but it might be pretty easy to edge guard. But we really don't know, it wasn't researched very much.

Crawling – Crawling also looks funny, it doesn't look very fast, and it also doesn't look like every character can do it. It sounded more useful in early impressions than it was when we actually tried to use it in matches.

Taunts – Every character has three taunts now, and the additional taunts are really cool. Just a small feature, but I really like it myself.

Turn around neutral B – the only reason I write about this is because sadly it has been removed. You can't turn around with your neutral b moves in the air.

The Halo – The halo that drops you off after you die still exists, and works the same, you retain invincibility I think for the same amount of time in brawl that you did in melee after a death.

Swimming – Every character in the game can “Swim” if you land in water. However, you can only swim for a short period of time. This is primarily seen on Delfino Plaza (at least for now). You can be spiked through the water, and you can do moves (like Bowser’s down b for example) through the water and still die, so be careful!

Super/Heavy Armor – When the heavy or strong characters in this game perform certain moves they receive a number of frames where they do not flinch. This acts differently from what some initially thought. If you are hit during your super/heavy armor, you not only do not take stun, but you also DO NOT RECIEVE ANY DAMAGE. It was difficult to test what moves have this effect in such a short period of time, but after viewing videos of it you can see that no percentage is received upon impact of the moves.

Grounded characters (results of “pitfall” item and DK’s side b attack) – If you hit somebody with these things the characters go into the ground. In melee you could just pound on them to do damage until they broke free. Well in brawl you basically get a free big hit, so don't bother with your little combo move (unless you have them at low percent) you want to release the charged up giant punch you had right now. It'll send them flying. Not particularly important, but it’s a change.

“Advanced” Tactics

Alright, so here is where we get into the “advanced” tactics. Some things we discovered at the venue or we just figured out how to actually get them to work. Other things we found but we've been having trouble duplicating. Any ways, read on to see what kind of “advanced” techniques we found for Brawl so far. (also, since it’s a demo, every single one of these could easily be removed/changed, so keep that in mind)


"Hugging" - Special edge hog– "Hugging" seems like its going to be big in brawl. With the lack of a solid wave dash this seems like the best way to edge hog at this point. You simply walk/run/roll/whatever off the edge and press towards the stage after you fall, you grab the edge automatically facing either direction. Its fast and its useful. Pretty cool new technique

Moon walking – Somebody told me this was in, and acted mostly the same way, I can't moonwalk in melee so I didn't check myself so who knows for sure.

Tripping – Alright so to make your character trip and/or cancel out the trip you… well… to be honest we have no idea! We experimented and we couldn't really find a way to reliably make this happen. After day one we were sure that you could dash pivot by canceling the tripping animation, but we don't know for sure. This one eluded us for now, oh well. It'll probably be in the instruction manual or something.

Pivot – Still in, and apparently you can do it while dashing somehow. It seems like it would be very effective with sonic. Inks was the first one that did that with Mario doing a reverse grab out of a dash, and I did it later by dashing across the screen into a reverse short hop back air. We aren't sure how it’s done, just that it can be done.

L Canceling – Alright, the very last day we had the demo we finally figured this one out. You CAN l cancel, and l canceling removes all the lag from your aerials. Remember that l cancel stands for LAG cancel, NOT the button that you press. You l cancel in brawl by fast falling and then doing your aerials, it takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s obviously useful to have no lag after moves. You don't actually have to press a button, as long as you are fast falling before you do your aerial you should l cancel.

Wavelanding – Yes, wave landing appears to be back (at least in the demo). Bob$ was the first person to be able to apply it consistently and helped us to actually figure out how to do it. It is NOT done with the air dodge in any way whatsoever. This could EASILY be removed before the actual release of the game, but it’s still in for now. To do this wave land you have to be in the air (obviously) and do a move that pulls your character in one direction. The best example was Mario’s back air, but it can also be done with his up air (and just to give more examples, Bowser’s back air, several of peach’s aerials, etc etc). If you do moves like these while you are close to the ground it pulls your character over very quickly and does basically the exact same thing a wave land does in melee. We know that it slides you along the ground, but as far as applications goes that’s up to you guys to discover. If you l cancel the aerial by fast falling first then you do the move it doesn't even come out and you just go sliding over.

On a side note (something we didn't really have time to experiment with) it seems like peach would legitimately be able to wave dash back and forth because of this technique combined with the shortened height of float canceling, which means that peach (or somebody else with a double jump cancel, if other characters can do it) will be able to wave dash back and forth quickly

Land Canceling B moves– by this I mean things like Falco’s short hop blaster from melee or needle canceling or other things like that. In general it seems like this has been removed, at least in the things we tried. Diddy can't short hop peanut gun cancel spam, sorry guys.

“Thunders” Combo – When somebody misses a tech, tapping them no longer causes them to stand up automatically.

Shield Drop - You CAN drop through platforms with your shield up just like in Smash 64. This is a very good thing.

Jab Canceling - Jab canceling is in and it works just the same as it did in melee. If you jab, then press down, then jab again you will repeatedly do just the first hit of your jab instead of doing the other hits after.


Stage Impressions


Battlefield


Battlefield is basically the same layout as it was in melee without the glitch edges. It’s a very “balanced” stage. I might just die if this stage somehow wasn't a neutral stage for us competitive players. It’s very straightforward but it’s also much more stylized than the old battlefield. The background changes from day to night and the sunsets and everything, it’s really something. Everything seems fresh and nice. The platform layout itself is as straightforward as it looks. Nothing out of the ordinary here. Main stage, two platforms that hover on the sides and one up above those in the middle. With the new sweet spot mechanics getting caught under the stage isn't QUITE so bad with most characters. Overall I really like this stage, we spent most of our time there at first because we were just trying to learn how to play.

Norfair


Norfair will probably just be called no fair pretty soon because people make silly puns like that. This stage hasn't been announced yet. It’s got platforms that are the size of the platforms on battlefield but there is no real bottom area. There is one platform on the bottom (same size as the battlefield platforms) two platforms above that that are on the sides of the first platform, and then there are two platforms above those just outside of the second set. That was a really poor explanation; I'll try and get a picture up soon. Any ways, you can hang on EVERY ledge of EVERY platform. Lava comes flying in from the background, from the sides, from almost everywhere. At one point the lava rises in the background and you have to actually go to a certain part of the stage and enter this little chamber to escape the fire. It’s visually really impressive, but it isn't exactly one of my favorites.

Yoshi’s Island


Surprisingly I didn't really play on this stage much. I really like the graphical style of this stage. Shy guys appear on this stage carrying food again, they are WAY bigger in this game too. The stage is pretty basic, its one main platform and two on the sides outside of that, the ghosts hold those ones up. There is one platform hovering above the main platform that goes almost the whole way across the stage (at least that’s what I'm remembering now) . There are also some animated Chain chomps on the very sides of the stage that seem like they can actually hit you pretty hard if you run into them and they chomp or something, I need more confirmation on this stage I really didn't see much of it.

Bridge of Eldin


The Bridge of Eldin from Zelda: Twilight Princess was a HUGE stage. It’s completely flat with no platforms anywhere. The stage is gigantic. And no, it’s not like final destination because it has no platforms. This stage basically has walk off edges. Every so often the Bulbin King comes out and drops a bomb on the center of the stage, this blows a pretty big hole in the middle of the stage until it gets repaired later. Did I mention yet how absolutely large this stage is? Any ways, I didn't play here much, but I know that you can attack the Bulbin King if you want, and if he runs into you he does some damage.

Skyworld


Skyworld initially seemed like a much better stage than what I think of it now. At first it seemed pretty normal, you've got a bottom level main platform, two platforms a level up from that, then one above those ones. There is also a platform that goes left and right below the main platform that you can land on. This is one of the stages that you can actually break – you break the land that is on the clouds. You CANNOT jump or fall through the platforms without breaking the land on the clouds. Now at first this seemed all well and good until we realized that there is a little bit of a hyrule problem on this stage. I quickly realized you can jump stay in the center of the stage and basically never die, you can almost always tech on something. While the stage is broken away there are some interesting things that can happen. You can spike people THROUGH the clouds that you land on which is actually pretty cool looking, but not exactly something we all want happening all the time. Fox can actually just grab you on a cloud and down throw you and you get spiked right away, it’s pretty crazy. All in all this stage appears to be less of a hassle than it really is when you play on it, it definitely has a hyrule effect (where you can just camp and tech forever) and the clouds themselves have some interesting quirks. It’s fun, but I doubt it will be a super competitive stage.

Battleship Halberd


Battleship Halberd was one of my favorite stages. you've all seen the main platforms on this stage. The stage moves around a lot until you actually land, that’s where the stage hazards come into play. The stage hazards on this stage aren't NEARLY as impeding as one may think; you can ALWAYS see the laser coming (about 10 seconds before it fires) and you can ALWAYS see WHERE it is shooing before as well. Another stage hazard was a large cannonball that fires onto the stage and explodes, and it is also very easy to see. All in all I really like this stage a lot, it’s easy to maneuver around the stage and the hazards are not impeding. One of my favorite stages.

Pokemon Stadium 2


Pokemon Stadium 2… Well, it’s just like Pokemon Stadium from melee when it’s in its neutral position, but when it changes things REALLY change this time. There are a few different types that the stage transforms too this time. There is one that seems to be sort of earthy with a little hill in the center of the stage, not too big of a change on that stage, doesn't’ seem too campy either. There is another stage (lightning I think) and the stage actually has conveyor belts on the ground, honestly this was much more disrupting to me then it would seem based on the description. It was really annoying to run in one direction and go almost nowhere, then run the other direction and go flying across the map. Another one was the “half gravity” transform. This was really, really unusual, and was really, really disruptive. It seems like it doesn't necessarily give particular advantages to one character over the other (at least at this point) but it’s just frustrating. I didn't particularly enjoy this stage because some of the changes were quite abnormal.

Delfino Plaza


Whoever said Delfino Plaza was going to be essentially Mute City was exactly right. Oh wait! That was me – and probably about a million others. The main platform moves around and drops you off at certain locations across Isle Delfino. This stage is BEAUTIFUL. It is so crisp and clean, I really liked this one a lot. Most of the places you get dropped off are pretty standard; almost all of them are surrounded by water. You can swim in the water, but only for a short amount of time before you sink and die. You can spike people down through the water and still kill them that way though. One of the stages you get dropped off in has a big wall on the right side, which can be a hindrance, but overall this stage is pretty fun and isn't too random or difficult. It is a very pretty stage and is one of my favorites.

Lylat Cruise


Lylat Cruise was probably my favorite stage. With everything flying around in the background you would imagine that there are MUTIPLE stage hazards, but there are none (at least not in a 2 minute match in the demo). This stage has one bottom platform and three platforms that float above it, I really like the layout. There is a TON going on in the background, this stage is gorgeous. With everything going on in the background you can still focus on the match, so don't worry about that. We didn't experience a single dropped frame on this stage even with everything that was going on. No stage hazards, good layout, beautiful stage. It is a great stage overall.


Smashville



Smashville was another one of those really simplistic stages that we were all wanting. It has one main platform on the bottom and one platform above it that moves left and right as you play. There’s really not a lot going on here. Not a lot going on graphically, not a lot going on on the stage, very neutral, very nice. It’s a good stage, but it isn't one of my favorites because it just isn't as pretty.

Castle Siege


Castle Siege is constantly changing, you start off on one main stage, then you seemingly “fall through” the stage and it becomes just on platform with walk off edges on this part. This stage was really bizarre and didn't get a lot of playtime. I'd assume it would be a counter, it didn't seem like there were many stage hazards, but the stage is going all over the place. The track is NOT random though, it always follows the same path. But we really didn't play this stage very much, so I don't really know.





Item Impressions

I'm not sure if I got all of these. This is basically an items list that explains what each one does. Right now I don't have the assist trophies or the Pokemon on here, but they'll be the next thing I update.

Food – Generally the same thing as in melee, it looks a little awkward in this game actually because of the graphical style of the food. This item heals you for about 2-5% per “meal”.

Maxim Tomato – Works exactly the same as it does in melee and in 64. Healing item, it restores 50% I believe.

Heart Container
– Works exactly the same as it does in melee and in 64. Healing item, it restores 100% I believe.

Beam Sword – Wow the beam sword got quite a buff, and peach can still pull these things. The range of the beam swords increased massively, it extends as you swing it. Still works
basically the same as in melee and 64 though.

Smoke Ball – This is a weird new item. You throw it and it makes smoke go all over the place, supposed to make it hard to see. It’s really just a minor distraction that looks cool. Apparently you can hold this WHILE using a final smash because I saw Super Sonic with smoke flying out all around him from the smoke ball. It’s a pretty cool but seemingly useless item, it would be fun to have a whole bunch of these on at once though.

Banana Peel – Pretty self explanatory. You trip on these. Basically a forced Ink Drop! They don't go away after you trip on them either; they stay for quite a while. I can't remember if they do any damage or not, but I don't think they do.

Spike-Ball – Some people are saying this is from the Kirby franchise, but I honestly have no clue where they got that from. He’s basically a little spiky guy that you can throw or attack. After he is “activated” (through throwing or attacking) he grows and stays in place, running into him harms you and sends you back a little bit.

Bob-omb
– These are the same as they are in melee and 64. After a while they start to walk around, they seem to be less devastating in this game, although that could be because you have more frames to DI.

Bumper – The bumper from smash 64 has returned! It’s a pretty cool item, if you throw it in the air and it doesn't land anywhere after a short while it will set itself up in the air. These things fling you all over the place, they work just like in 64 smash.

Mr. Saturn – Mr. Saturn is back and he wants his revenge on your shield. He seems to destroy shields much faster in this game. He walks around the stage, you can still attack him if you have no heart.

Screw Attack – This thing works a little differently. The screw attack item now is passive once your grab it. You get the screw attack for your jumps (which do not change height like they did in melee) and you can also hold another item while you have it, you can no longer throw this item at another player.

Lip’s Stick – As far as I'm aware, this item works the same as it does in melee. But I didn't see it very much.

Fan – It’s back and it is SUPER quick this time. It seems to swing even faster in brawl then it did in melee and it wrecks your shield.

Star Rod – Seems to work the same, but I don't think the stars that come out go as far or do as much damage/knock back. But I don't remember using this item very much so I could be wrong.

Hammer – Same as in melee, the hammer can fall off of the handle occasionally which is problematic for whoever is carrying it. The hammer doesn't seem as “broken” this time. As Bowser at least I found some of my attacks going through the hammers and still hitting the person and they are more or less helpless flying through the air with a hammer on.

Golden Hammer – This is a new item, it’s basically the normal hammer on steroids. Everyone moves SUPER fast with this thing and it looks pretty ridiculous. You can actually float while using this hammer to get them off the stage. Although we never really tried doing that, it sounds really cool. Every so often you'll get the squeaky hammer I think is what they called it. It’s the same as the golden hammer in every way except it does no damage or knock back and you can't float with it. So it isn't really like it at all. It’s basically the same thing that happens when the hammer falls of the rod with the normal hammer.

Mushrooms – These items are back and do the same thing as they did in the other games. There is a poison mushroom and a super mushroom. They will make you either shrink (poison mushroom) or grow giant (super mushroom). One cool little feature I noticed of this item is that when you get it, your character strikes a nice pose sort of like they are powering up after they grab the super mushroom. It’s a really subtle addition, but it’s really cool as well.

Motion Sensor Bomb – These seem to be a LITTLE bit harder to see from what I remember. They are essentially the same thing, although they also seem to do less knock back just like the bob-ombs.

Cracker Launcher – This item is super-powered. It’s difficult to use at first but once you get the hang of it you can basically combo whatever character you are fighting right off the top of the stage with this. It’s a really cool item visually speaking and really damaging as well.

Pitfall
– This item is a new one. It basically does what DK’s over b does. Once you are in the ground you can knock them with a powerful move. In this game think of being grounded like being put to sleep, you will get hit out of the ground if you get hit while you are in the ground. You can also put this item on a platform and they will go falling right through it. It’s a pretty cool new item. If you place this item on the stage it disappears completely, and anyone other than you can accidentally run into it after that. Very cool item.

Franklin Badge – I honestly don't even know if we saw this one in the demo. Once you pick
this up it’s a passive item. You can hold other items while still under the effect of the Franklin badge. This item causes you to reflect projectiles automatically. Pretty useful in a 4 player FFA as it is difficult to tell when somebody has this on or not.

Homerun Bat – I didn't see any home runs, but I'm imagining this works the same as it did in the other games.

Deku Nut (at least I think that’s what it was) – The deku nut is a cool item. If you hit it it causes you to be stunned as if you just broke your own shield. You can also throw this item at people and make that happen to the other characters. It seems pretty useful, and the item itself is pretty small.

Spring Board
– These things randomly fall down either on their side or upright. If you run into one that is on its side you'll go flying off sideways (think of the springboards in the original sonic games that would push you sideways). If it lands upright you can jump off them to get a really high jump. It’s a pretty cool item. I'm not sure if you can pick this one up or not.

Fire Flower – Works mostly the same as it did in melee, one big difference is you can run and jump while you are using it, so you can basically just push people off the edge with it, which makes it much more fun to use.

Super Scope – This item got the same new traits as the fire flower did. You can run around and shoot with this, it’s much cooler looking that way, but otherwise it’s the same item as in melee.

Gooey Bomb – This item was actually really really cool. I bet you all know what this one is already, you throw it at somebody and it sticks to them (or wherever it landed if you miss). If you have this stuck to you try to run into the other players and it will stick to them instead. It explodes quickly and seems to do more knock back than a standard Bob-omb does. It’s a very fun item.

Lightning Item (ala Mario Kart) – This item doesn't need to be picked up. You just run into it and every character other than you becomes small as if they just got a poison mushroom. It’s a pretty cool addition, I like this one a lot.

Spicy Curry aka the broken item – This item is so broken I can't even believe it. Even the non competitive players are going to have to agree with me here. This item is better than getting a star. Basically your character has become an automatic fire flower spewing combo machine of doom-death if you grab this item. The fire doesn't stop coming out and it’s ridiculously hard to attack somebody who has this item. We were thinking you could essentially just grab somebody and rack up the damage, but unfortunately wobbling with the spicy curry didn't work as it stopped as soon as you grab. Regardless, this item is broken broken broken. It is WAY too good.


Assist Trophies
Assist Trophies are one of my favorite additions to the game. These things are great, they are really fun and really creative. I like them a lot. It’s too bad us competitive types care about fairness and reducing luck and what not because these things are REALLY cool. You don't have to actually do anything when you grab an assist trophy, you pick it up and your character will do a short animation and summon the AT to do whatever it is that they do.

Saki from Sin & Punishment – He basically comes out and just starts shooting randomly. He is mobile, he runs all over the stage and basically chases down your opponents. He isn't that powerful and doesn't do that much damage. Most people didn't know who he was, so it seemed less exciting when he came out in general.

Hammer Bro – The Hammer Bros are one of my favorite characters in all of the Mushroom Kingdom, however, they aren't exactly the best assist trophy. When you summon this guy he stands in one place and jumps up and down throwing hammers. It’s basically like the hammer bros from Super Mario Bros. They throw single hammers, then they throw several at once, he will change directions if your opponent goes to the other side of him. The hammers do substantial damage and knock back. He seems easy enough to avoid, but in some cases he would be great to have out (hammer bros. edge guard?)

Advanced Wars – The Advanced Wars Trophy seems like one of the less effective ones, they don't stay out for long (unless there is a wall I'd imagine). They sort of just come out, and run both ways off the stage. They fire a few shots, but generally don't do very much damage or knock back.

Samurai Goroh – A lot of people liked the Samurai Goroh Assist Trophy and I'm purely baffled. Maybe he is just more popular than I expected. He slashes a LOT and runs back and forth, he seems really out of control; before he fades away he jumps at you for one last series of slashes. His knock back is pretty good, but nothing crazy.

Knuckle Joe – Knuckle Joe was a personal favorite. Try to grab your opponent after you get him! He comes out and does a series of rapid punches that can combo your opponent, and after a little bit he does one final uppercut that will likely kill whoever you are fighting at a reasonable percent. He is really awesome looking and is actually one of the more effective assist trophies.

Andross
– you've all likely seen the screen shots of Andross in the background shooting at the screen. He does basically exactly what you expect him to, Andross does fairly good knock back and CAN do quite a lot of percent, but I saw him missing a lot.

Excite Bike – Excite Bike was pretty cool visually, it looks just like the original Nintendo graphics. Several bikes appear on the screen and they just drive off in one direction. They don't do much damage or knock back from what I saw, pretty cool though.

Devil – This is one of the assist trophies that really messes with people. Devil appears and can move the focus of the camera, at one point with this AT I saw the camera so far away that you couldn't even see the characters anymore, they were both in bubbles off stage. Pretty cool.

Nintendogs – Nintendogs are another one of those trophies that just seem to get in the way. He just takes up almost the whole screen and tries to paw at you. He does no damage and he just gets in the way.

Metroid – The metroid is huge and he does a LOT of damage and is REALLY hard to get off of you. Luckily it seems like he follows a set flight pattern, so you can avoid him on most stages. The metroid is really intense, it’s one of the coolest ATs.

Jill (Drill Dozer) – Jill stays out for a long time and does pretty good damage. She goes left and right on the main platform, but she can also jump up at you to get you, she sort of combos you over to the edge building your percent up as she does it, but she doesn't really have any sort of killing knock back.

Dr. Wright – Dr. Wright seemed better than he was at first. He stands there for a minute then suddenly summons a building to spring out of the ground and do a lot of knock back, sending you straight upwards. You can avoid him altogether however if you stay in the air long enough, and it seems every character is capable of avoiding him like this.

Lyn – Lyn is probably the best assist trophy at this point. She comes out, strikes a pose, and then just sits there for a few seconds. Then suddenly, regardless of where you are on the stage she flies at you and slashes doing MASSIVE knock back and likely landing a kill. She is very very strong, and we don't know how to avoid her yet other than ledge camping invincibility frames.

Little Mac – After seeing Little Mac as an assist trophy I finally understand why everyone wanted him as a character. He was a REALLY cool assist trophy, he comes out swinging his little heart out doing some damage then after he’s done all of his standard jabs he finishes it off with his trademark uppercut doing huge amounts of knock back. One of my favorites.

Mr. Ressetti – Mr. Ressetti was a really interesting assist trophy. You may have read about him already. He talks, and talks, and talks, and talks. The chat bubble seemingly never goes away. Even if he falls off the stage, he yells at you for doing so then continues on yammering. If the match ends while he is still active (which he was in every single one of our 2 minute matches, even one that I saw where he was summoned within the first 6 seconds of the match he shouts something along the lines of “What?! Now you don't have enough time for me?!” or something to that effect. He is a very curious character, and that chat bubble can really get in the way of your fighting.

Lakitu – Lakitu with the original Super Mario Bros. graphical style. He throws spineys that walk across the platforms and hit you, something you might not know about the spineys is that they sort of semi-spike you. Somebody recovered right into one and it hit him at a horrible angle off the stage. Lakitu is pretty cool but not one of the best assist trophies.


Pokeballs

Pokeballs work the same as they did in Smash 64 and Melee. One of the coolest items in the game, or at least they used to be back when they used first generation Pokemon. Now I don't know what is coming out of the pokeballs anymore. I seriously had written down in my notes “Off screen quick flying mcgee” because I didn't know what to call one of them. But I THINK I have the names of all of them now, I really don't know for sure though, so feel free to correct me if you see an error here. Just on a side note, I really really hate Pokemon past the first generation, so I'm going to sound way less excited about these Pokemon.

Kyogre – This is apparently some huge whale Pokemon, he sprays water way above the stage from what I saw and was near useless in that regard. The water does no damage, it simply does knock back like Mario’s FLUDD. Kyogre himself does damage and knock back if he touches you though.

Piplup
– Piplup uses surf and is basically the new Marrill, but more effective. Surf seems to drag you off the stag much better than Marrill ever did. Still not that great of a Pokemon though.

Munchlax – Munchlax loves to eat items. As soon as an item appears he dashes to it real quick and eats it. I don't think he eats other pokeballs though

Bonsly – Apparently this stupid looking tree thing is called Bonsly. He doesn't do anything but wander around as far as I can remember, but you can pick him up and throw him at your opponents for some really big knock back.

Groudon – Groudon looks like you expect. He’s really big. He doesn't seem to really move very much if at all from what I remember, but if he touches you he does massive amounts of damage and knock back. Pretty cool visually I suppose.

Torchic – Torchic stays in place and Fire surrounds him. He is basically the Wheezing of Brawl. Does quite a bit of damage.

Chikorita – Same thing as in melee, but it seems harder to DI out of.

Snorlax – Snorlax does the same thing as in the other games, but seems to have even more knock back this time around.

Goldeen – Goldeen is again seemingly useless, HOWEVER with the new swimming feature added maybe we will see something happen if Goldeen flops into the water. But I doubt it.

Gardevoir– Gardivor basically comes out and makes a big circle force field around itself and floats around the screen. A lot of people didn't know what this Pokemon did, but it basically acts like a huge reflect zone on projectiles if they hit the circle. I'm not sure what happens if you use a projectile while inside of the circle though.

Latios/Latias – These Pokemon come out of the pokeball and immediately fly off screen. Then they fly VERY quickly back onto the screen across the stage doing big knock back and big damage. They are very fast, but it seemed like they missed more often than they landed their attacks.






Final Smash Impressions

The Smash Ball - The smash balls appear randomly on the stage at seemingly random intervals in seemingly random locations. Getting a smash ball open requires a bit of strategy. The person who hits the smash ball first doesn't necessarily get the item, if you use certain moves you can combo the smash ball (which is ideal) or you hit them hard and send them flying, possibly where another player can swipe it as it goes by and steal it! I honestly think that smash balls add a lot of strategy to the game, although some people will say they are really broken, I'm assuming there will be tournaments that have the smash ball on, and tournaments that have the smash ball off (assuming that we can turn them off of course).
Once you have the smash ball you don't simply activate it right away. You can hold onto it for... well... for the rest of the match if you really wanted to. However, the opponent can attack you and knock the ball out of you and use it themselves! To activate the final smash you simply do your "neutral B" move, or whatever button is your special ("PRESS 1!")Missing with these would be an awful shame, and it is possible to do so with every character, so read on to see my impressions of the individual final smashes!


Mario
Mario’s Final Smash is something we've all seen before. It’s that big fireball thing. It’s really really cool looking visually. If you land this it drags them almost all the way off the stage every time, it often kills if they are caught in the center of it, but its surprisingly easy to mess up and miss with this (at least for now). This is a good final smash, it’s not great, but Mario has a lot of ways to setup for it.

Peach
Alright, Peach’s Final Smash seems to be misinterpreted as being a really bad. That is completely false. Peach’s Final Smash is really quite good, using it while your opponent is at low % seems to be a poor decision though, but peach can rack up damage with combos really quickly any ways. Peach’s Final Smash causes her to sing and dance which puts everyone on the screen to sleep. Oh wait, it puts everyone who is ON THE STAGE to sleep. It doesn't put you to sleep if you are in the air, OR on the edge. So this one actually requires a setup to get against somebody who knows these things, seems like down throw into final smash would work, but maybe it wouldn't because they could just stay and miss the tech, I'm not sure. There’s bound to be something though. Any ways, assuming that you just put everyone to sleep there are now peaches all over the stage that heal you quite a bit, you can easily heal up all of your percent if you manage to get them all, but it isn't likely you'll eat them all before you get your opponent. If you've used it at higher percents you can eat some peaches, then go kill your opponent with a forward smash (which got buffed quite a bit) then eat the rest of the peaches, it’s a really good final smash.

Metaknight
Metaknight’s Final Smash is short and sweet. It deals 41% in a single crushing blow. It won't kill at under 30% or so, but just above that and most people will die. This final smash has limited range, so it looks like you have to combo into it. I saw somebody do just that, it’s essentially the new Ken Combo. Forward air into final smash! There are a lot of ways to land it I'm sure, and it can actually hit multiple people if you catch more than one person in it (which sounds really cool for teams or something like that). Metaknight throws his cape forward a ways and the action all slows down. If you catch somebody in it the screen goes black, then you suddenly see a big slash mark on the screen and the enemy goes flying away while MK stands in a pretty cool pose. It’s a great killing Final Smash, it is quick, and it is really cool looking to boot.

Pit
Pit’s Final Smash is a little bit weird. For a moment the action pauses while he summons his little winged friends to attack you. They all hover on the screen for a moment and then ONE AT A TIME in fairly rapid succession they attack you. Pit can actually move around and attack you while this is happening, basically if Pit gets a grab it’s all over. The attackers do TONS of damage and knock back, and if one of them hits you, you are most likely dead (with the exception that the one that hits you is the last one) because there are more coming and they combo you if one hits. Pit’s Final smash is pretty cool, but the bad thing about it is that you can actually fight the summons. When I was using Bowser versus a Pit who got his Final Smash I actually started Fortressing away the summons, so they can be defeated. But that’s where the advantages come in that Pit is actually still mobile during all of this, so you can get your setups this way.

Diddy
Diddy’s Final Smash honestly looked like it would be one of the worst ones for a little bit. He flies all around the screen and it’s awkward to aim his shots. You have to fly in the opposite direction you want to shoot in, so it’s difficult to control. It seemed like you could just ledge camp, but once we learned how to control Diddy we found out that his final smash is really quite powerful and also fast, it’s hard to avoid and it does a ton of knock back. It’s pretty good, although it looks incredibly weird.

Sonic
Sonic’s final smash I'm SURE you all know already. He transforms into Super Sonic. The first time I saw this it was pretty cool, the second time my excitement died down, and now it’s probably the most boring one to look at. This final smash appeared to be unbeatable at first, he just flies around dealing huge knock back that is pretty much inescapable because of how fast he is, but if you do a move when he hits you the move will clash with Sonic, canceling out the damage and knock back of Sonic. It also seems that you can time spot dodges or air dodges to escape, but if you learn how to control Sonic well enough, or use it while people are recovering, it’s going to be nearly impossible to avoid. This final smash is one of the best for that reason.

Fox
Fox summons the landmaster tank. This final smash is really bizarre. That tank is humongous, but seemingly unwieldy. You can turn around with it, you can “do a barrel roll”, you can fire the laser. It initially seemed like the laser was going to be almost impossible to hit anyone with, but if you go near the opposing ledge of the way you are facing you can hover there and shoot on ground level, and running people over always works too. Players can stand on the landmaster tank, but if you do a barrel roll it knocks them off of you. Barrel roll also spikes people who are trying to recover, which is really cool to see. This final smash got boring really quickly.

Pikachu
Pikachu’s is awkward. Really awkward. I don't see how anyone could feasibly control this accurately. It flies on such a bizarre pattern when you use the directions it almost always goes FAR past who you are going for, and you can't stay still with it. It slows down only for a moment at the very end of the final smash and you can actually land on somebody. During this final smash if you press the attack button he sends out massive shock waves that do a lot of damage and some pretty good knock back. You can use this jolt multiple times, but it does have a very small recharge time. I think this final smash is one of the worst purely because of how seemingly impossible it is to control. Hopefully it was only this way because we only got a short while to experiment with it, and it will actually be possible to control it accurately in time.

Link
Link’s final smash is one of my personal favorites. Unknown to most of the first brawlers Link’s final smash actually can be landed from VERY far away. You have to be directly horizontal to the person you are aiming at for it to hit, but they can be anywhere on the stage. The coolest usage I saw of this wonderful range was one that I did myself. I got the smash ball and I was trying to think of the coolest way possible to use it, I got hit off the edge shortly thereafter and almost died, then I got an idea. I used my second jump off the stage then instantly used my final smash against the person who was standing on the stage; Link zoomed right over to him and activated his final smash, which killed him. Link actually seems to have a lot of ways to land is, the new noob link combo is down throw to final smash, and yes, that actually works. There are a lot of ways for link to land this. His final smash rushes his opponent and slashes at them several times. All of the hits before the last one are concentrated solely on the single person you aimed at, but the last hit can hit multiple people. Link’s final smash does a lot of damage and does a lot of knock back. This final smash is very effective and visually very impressive.

Bowser
Bowser’s final smash is my obvious favorite, and seems to be the most unavoidable aka broken. You can actually give Giga Bowser some percent while he is in this form, but your moves do no stun, so it isn't worth attacking him unless you have invincibility frames after he kills you. Giga Bowser can basically be activated at any time and you should get a kill. His range is unreal, his knock back is unreal, Giga Bowser is just too good. You have full control over him and he does anything Bowser does, but better, including taunt AND crawl! Giga Bowser is awesome and intense, edge camping seems to be the most effective way to fight against this, but he can hit you out of it unless you have a fully invincible stall somehow with his massive down smash.

Samus
Samus’s final smash turns her into Zero Suit Samus. The main person to be using Samus was Hugs, and he didn't want to use Zero Suit Samus, so we rarely saw him use the final smash. Samus’s Final Smash is a gigantic beam you've likely all seen. It does a TON of damage and pushes the opponent close to the edge before the final blow which does a lot of knock back, but not quite as much as you'd expect. Hugo’s favorite way to use this was to ledge hop final smash, it seemed to be purely unavoidable. This final smash does require some aim, and you can likely just combo into it, but it can be avoided if you aren't careful in how you use it. You can also pick up and throw the pieces of her suit at people after you transform.

Zero Suit Samus
Zero Suit Samus’s final smash turns her into Samus. We saw this one multiple times used seemingly improperly. It summons her suit back to her, and does damage to those who are VERY close to her, but not an absolute ton. This one seems like it would be the most difficult to apply out of all of the other final smashes. doesn't seem very good, but it turns you back into Samus.

Yoshi
Yoshi’s final smash is really good. You turn into an invincible dragon and you have complete control over where he moves, you shoot massive fireballs that do 25% per shot, and if you hold it down you get a nice flow of fire breath. It seems almost impossible to avoid this if you use it right, but you could for a while through air dodge jumping and ledge stalling. This final smash is really weird looking, it’s not really from any Nintendo game, but it’s really good. It's taken from Super Mario World I suppose, but it is really nothing like Yoshi with the rainbow shell from that game.

DK
Alright… Donkey Kong must've drawn the short straw here. His final smash is completely immobile and has almost no range whatsoever. You can press buttons on the beat to increase the range but it still seemed mostly useless. We did think of one way where you could apply this however, if you knock somebody off the stage you can use this final smash as basically an unbeatable edge guard. The shock waves that come out do a lot of knock back in the direction that they are moving, so if you used this near the edge it would basically be a free spike every time, nobody can stay in the air for THAT long. And yes, I'm including pit and Metaknight in that statement. Generally this one isn't that good… maybe in teams?

Ike
Alright, Ike’s final smash is another one of my favorites. You may be able to set this one up with throws or something like that, his moves in general are really slow so it would be hard to do it another way. Ike’s final smash has rage similar to Metaknight’s; it hits right in front of him and is pretty limited in distance away from him, but it’s really quick. Once you land this final smash Ike launches his opponent into the air where he unleashes a massive and amazingly cool looking barrage of sword strikes and kicks, then finishes with a downward sword plant on the ground which causes a massive explosion. The explosion can hit multiple people, but the last hit can also MISS if you use this final smash in the wrong place. If you space this JUST right (or wrong I suppose) the final hit will drag them down and they will land on a platform in front of you, while you continue downwards with the explosion hit on the lower section of the screen. This one would be a fun one to do off stage if you were up by a stock because it would spike them into oblivion. This final smash is really cool looking, just like the rest of Ike’s horrendously slow move set.





Character Impressions

Alright this is the big update. Well… This is the most important part of the update at least to most people – even though realistically the very first update where I actually wrote about how the game plays was really the most important one. I'll be doing this ONE CHARACTER AT A TIME so you will all have something to look forward to. Hopefully I'll be able to get in a couple characters a day, but I've been really busy with the feed the homeless project that I've been working on. Sorry, but its slowing down the Brawl updates. Also, answering specific questions on aim/msn/pms/general brawl discussion really slows down these updates, so just keep that in mind before sending me messages about it. Yes, I'm talking to all 9 billion people who seemed to get my contact information and send me messages both while I was AT E for All and after.

Diddy Kong




Alright, let’s start off with Diddy Kong. I played as Diddy a bit and watched some other competitive players use him a lot. Diddy moves up and down quickly, which is important in Brawl since most players seem to be slower in this regard (he is still slower up and down than any melee character is, that’s for sure). Diddy moves fast, a lot of his moves combo fairly well and he has some nice KO potential. He isn't particularly strong, but he kills reasonably well. Diddy’s recovery is questionable however. You can over b and it causes him to do a little jumping grab towards whatever side you pressed, or you can use his up b.

Diddy’s Up B is chargeable, he will hover during the charge for a moment then will start to fall quicker and quicker (think holding fox’s shine from melee). Diddy’s uncharged up b goes only a short distance, and only goes straight up, so you almost have to charge it at most moments. When it is charged you can move to the left or the right, fully charged this up b goes FAR and FAST. There is a SERIOUS problem with Diddy’s up b however. It seems that if you hit Diddy out of his up b with certain moves he can't up b again until he has touched the ground. Yes, that means if you hit him out of his up b he cannot up b again. He CAN use his over b, which does gain small amounts of height and horizontal distance, but this needs to be fixed. I'm unsure as to whether or not ALL moves knock the barrels off of Diddy, or if it only happens at certain frames, but I know that I saw him unable to up b after getting hit SEVERAL times, and it happened to me once when I was using Diddy. We didn't just mess up, this was simply how it worked. This needs to be fixed because it’s a little extreme, and also incredibly random. This factor seems to be holding back Diddy a little bit, but he is still overall a very good character.

With the game generally being more floaty and slower, having a character who seems to move up and down quicker, as well as have a fast run speed seemed to be very advantageous for the game play. Diddy’s grabs seemed to be effective, one or two of them looked like they could even combo (which is much more rare in this game) and his grab range is really high. Diddy unfortunately seems to suffer from a lack of range on most of his aerials and ground attacks, but generally his overall speed, combo ability, and edge guarding make up for that. His weakness is likely his recovery.

The coolest thing I saw a Diddy do at the expo was a sort of anti edge guard. Nick (Diddy) was playing against Mike Haze (Fox). Haze went out to edge guard Nick and he used his over b. Diddy’s forward b is an air grab. The move grabbed Mike, he hit him a couple times, then he spiked him straight down out of it. Diddy’s air grab is the coolest spike I've ever seen. Diddy is also able to use his up b after this move lands, because Nick made it back onto the stage safely after that.

Diddy also has a fairly reliable projectile, it doesn't do a lot of knock back and it isn't too quick… Think of Diddy almost like you thought of Mario in melee (if I have to make a comparison between the two games that is) he is pretty strong in mostly every area, lacks in range, has a situational projectile, and doesn't have the strongest of kill moves.

Overall Diddy has a lot going for him. He is very fast, has good knock back, good combo ability and great throws with a decent projectile. One of Diddy's main drawbacks is his easily gimpable recovery, but aside from that Diddy is a force to be reckoned with.


Fox




Moving onto Fox now… Alright I said Fox got nerfed and sucks at first, and I was exaggerating and it was completely on purpose. Fox is still very good, but I don't think he is going to be top tier anymore. Fox still has a lot going for him. He is very fast on the ground, second in the demo only to sonic (but sonic was WAY faster). Fox is NOT a fast faller in this game; in fact, comparing the falling speed of anyone in this game to the falling speed of anyone in melee would be absolutely ludicrous.

Fox seems to have different kill moves this time around. His up air and up smash just didn't seem to be doing the trick. It seemed like Fox’s forward smash did a better job killing than either of those moves – and it also seemed to eat through shields pretty nicely. Fox’s up air is now primarily a combo move. His neutral seems to essentially be the same thing as in melee, but his back air is much more precise and difficult to land. It’s a quick kick behind him and then he brings his leg back in, the duration isn't nearly as long, but it is a nice kill move regardless in Brawl. One major and obvious improvement is Fox’s forward air. Fox’s forward air now works likely in the way it was intended to work in melee, if you hit with the first (or one of the first) kicks, then all following kicks will land – you could POSSIBLY DI out of this, but we aren't sure at this point. That being said it seems like you could perform a lot of tricks when you apply this move with the new l cancel. In melee you could use the first strike of captain falcon’s neutral air to set up for a grab, it SEEMS LIKE Fox should be able to do this same thing in Brawl.

Now I'm going to move onto Fox’s specials. Foxes blaster has some glaring nerfs. The first one we noticed was an obvious decrease in the range of the blaster. Not only is that the case, but in Brawl (at least in the demo) you cannot turn around with your neutral b moves, so it seems like laser camping in general would be much harder and much less applicable. Another aspect of Fox’s blasters that became apparent was the fact that he does not cancel upon landing. Fox CAN short hop triple laser in Brawl (sounds scary, but remember, brawl is NOT melee) HOWEVER if Fox does this he does incur a small amount of lag after he lands when he puts his gun away because there is no laser cancel upon landing.

The next moves I'll briefly discuss are Fox’s recovery moves, the Fox’s Illusion and the Fire Fox. The illusion seems more or less the same, even to the point where you can still shorten the move by pressing B at the right moment. This move now seems to have some more “auto sweet spot” to it. If you use over b below the point where you would grab in melee for example, it seems like it will automatically shoot you towards the ledge so that you can grab. Fire Fox has gone though just about as much change as the illusion has, meaning not very many changes at all if you didn't catch that. One of the noticeable changes to this move was sort of accidentally found. A Fox I was watching got hit beneath battlefield by something – it may have been an item, but that isn't important. Fox did his up b at an angle towards the ledge from UNDERNEATH the stage, and ON HIS WAY UP Fox sweet spotted and grabbed the ledge. It’s a nice little feature for Fox indeed, although it seems like most characters have a different type of sweet spot any ways.

Now to discuss the big one – Fox’s Shine. Easily one of the most versatile and effective moves in melee, the move has been, unfortunately, nerfed – seemingly on all levels OTHER than stalling. First I'll say that Fox's Shine SEEMS to still come out on frame one, but its pretty much impossible for me to tell you that, so I'll say that it still comes out really fast. Not only is jump canceling the shine “different” – and by that I mean the timing is a little bit slower – but the way to do it has also changed. You MUST be HOLDING down AND b while you jump cancel your shine, you can't tap b release and then jump. This change might not SOUND to different, but most people tap shine and try to get out as fast as they can, and they've already moved their fingers to start something else. That cannot be done in this game. The shine seems to knock everyone down as well, or at least that’s what I saw. Wave shining is obviously impossible any ways, so this effect doesn't seem to be too big of a deal. The shine spike has undergone some changes as well. It visually looks like it would basically be the same thing, however – with the characters new sweet spots, overall speed of the game, and floatiness of the characters – the shine spike seems more or less ineffective. The shine hits at a VERY SLIGHTLY more favorable angle then it did in Smash 64 or Melee. I am unsure of how large the hit box is on this move compared to Fox’s body, but it seems like most characters can recover after being shine spiked due to all of the above changes. Alright, now it’s time to discuss the only buff the shine received – stalling. Essentially in the air to cancel out of a shine you simply release the button. Falling through the air you can shine FAR more times than you ever could in Melee. The move simply ends faster naturally. Every time you shine it completely halts you're downwards momentum as well. Initially it seemed like you could jump into the air, shine somebody right before landing, cancel out and follow up with something ala smash 64. Unfortunately the move doesn't cancel out fast enough and it doesn't look like you can punish the shine quickly enough. Maybe something will change in the shine before the release of the actual game though. Oh, and you probably don't care and made these assumptions already, but the actual reflecting properties (you know, what the move actually is supposed to do) remained essentially the same.

All in all Fox is a good character, apparently some people that played Fox in melee were legitimately fans of him, rather than just playing him because he is good (which I have no problem with) so seeing the reaction to telling everyone he sucks was amusing. Fox seems like he will still be good, but he will be played in a completely different style this time around – but so will everyone else, because of how different this game is.

Pikachu



Let’s do the little rat character next. Pikachu is back and he’s certainly seemed to receive some buffs, or perhaps I should say some… alterations. Pikachu is pretty quick in this game, compared to the rest of the characters in the game he is probably still about the same in this regard (please note that this does not mean he is the exact same speed, but when compared to the rest of the cast, the speed between everyone puts him in a similar spot). Pikachu seems to have a lot of combo ability. His down throw looks like one of the only throws that has a potential chain throw (although it can be DI’d out of from what we saw) and it also is one that you can combo with (with the apparent new throwing mechanics that seems like a bigger deal than I can make of it through this writing). Pikachu’s up airs combo better than they did in melee in this game from what I can tell, they do decent damage and it is easy enough to string them together. It also does NOT spike in the same fashion in this game. It hits the opponent straight up and not very far – perfect for comboing. Pika’s forward air seems to work more similarly to the smash 64 version than the melee version, meaning it looks like it will be a little bit more viable for comboing than it was in Melee. Pikachu’s up tilt also has received a nice buff; it has more range on all sides and is a nice setup; overall Pikachu seems like he’s a pretty good character.

Now let’s move onto his specials, which appeared to receive some nice buffs, well, at least one of them did. His neutral b seems to be just as effective (or ineffective) as it was in melee. Still does basically the same thing, doesn't seem to be much faster or do any kind of extra knock back or anything. His over b does more or less the same thing. According to T0MMY it can be charged for longer in this game than in Melee, but it doesn't seem to be too drastic of a change. Keep in mind that you CAN sweet spot with this move now due to the new sweet spot mechanics. Pikachu’s up b seems to be the same as it was in melee, doing the small percentage of damage and knock back after quickly passing through an opponent. The most massively and obviously improved move of Pikachu’s is his down b thunder. This move is MUCH faster to activate and has VERY little lag. From what we saw it doesn't look like it has the cloud at the top, I'm unsure if it actually comes down from the absolute top of the screen, but it does go noticeably higher. The knock back on the move is also more vertical, it seems like killing off the top for Pikachu has become much easier through this move. His Down B is simply more viable now, I'm sure that this move will find a lot of uses in Brawl.

Let’s get back to his regular moves now. I've already discussed some of his combo moves and now I'll move onto his smash attacks. Pikachu’s might up smash from Melee has sadly seen some nerfs, and its more than just the characters living for a higher average percent, the move just doesn't seem to have the power that it did in melee, although the speed and applications seemed mostly the same. His forward smash has more range, I'm not really sure if it has any changes to knock back. The big one here is his shiny new down smash. If you were looking for Peach’s dsmash you wouldn't find it on peach, you'd find it here. Pikachu’s down smash is MASSIVELY improved in brawl. It is likely going to be one of the primary ways you'll get kills with Pikachu. This move sucks you in, if you shield it sometimes it damages your shield well enough to get a hit out of it. The move does a good amount of percent (around 25% or so I think) and does an absolute ton of vertically knock back. Festizzio was one of the main players using him at the event and he remembers doing a down smash on a fox at around 90% and it killed him off the top.

Overall Pikachu is better than he was in Melee, compared to the rest of the cast at the demo at least. The one big thing that Pikachu seemed to lack in Melee, range, was increased substantially in Brawl. His priority also seems to be better, and he might have even more killing potential this time, he doesn't seem to have to spam up smashes or neutral off the stage exclusively to get kills this time (calm down Pikachu mains I know that’s not exactly how it is), but he just generally seems to have some nice improvements, he seems to be good in almost every regard. Speed, knock back, setups, recovery - Pikachu is good, not great, in all of these areas.

Ike



Alright, now let’s move onto one of my favorite characters from the demo. Generally speaking his animations are wonderful, the way he moves, his final smash, his taunts and his throws are really cool visually speaking, and his final smash is awe inspiring.

But enough about the visuals and animations, let’s move onto the actual game play of Ike. Some of you readers saw my initial exaggerations of Fox’s nerfs and thought perhaps I was doing the same for Ike – read on to see if that’s true or not, but don't get your hopes up to much. Let me start with this. Ike is strong, and when I say strong I mean STRONG. He KO’s at much lower percentages than Bowser does on average, only a few moves of Bowser’s seemed to compete with Ike’s power. Ike’s smash attacks are all HUGE disjointed hit boxes of raw power. If you can for a moment picture Marth’s hit boxes, but regardless of what point of your sword you hit them with it’s a tipper, those are Ike’s hit boxes. That was just an example, Ike really doesn't have a move set that is anything like Marth’s whatsoever, I was just comparing hit boxes sizes and knock back. For those of you who haven't read a thing about Ike, he plays absolutely nothing like Marth/Roy in melee (but then, nobody really plays quite like their melee counterparts).

Alright, so now we know. Ike is a serious powerhouse, the strongest character BY FAR (at least in the demo) but he has some pretty intense drawbacks. As a player who uses the “slow but strong” character in Melee well I can see the limitations of another “slow but strong” character pretty easily as far as potential goes. Bowser in melee was slow but strong, and so was Ganon. I play both of those characters (although only Bowser in tournament). Ganon is CLEARLY the better of the two for multiple reasons. Now – for a moment – let’s compare Ike from Brawl to the Ganon/Bowser “slow but strong” character setup. Ganon and Bowser both have several moves that activate quickly or have a lot of shield stun or have a large amount of range or can grab from the air. They both have some manner of safety in their approaches or have at least some manner of speed in their character. Ike on the other hand seemingly has none of these positive factors. Ike is much, MUCH slower than either Ganon OR Bowser. I realize that this is a new physics engine, but he is VERY slow when compared to the rest of the cast. I'm trying to put the least amount of bias in this update that I can. I really wanted Ike to be good after seeing him played, and I honestly didn't believe that he was as slow as people were telling me; then I played as him. His aerials are ALL slow, his tilts are slower than most smashes, his smashes are almost the same speed as his tilts. He really, REALLY lacks in speed. After watching some of the videos of Ike I find myself doubting that he is really as slow as I recall. Visually some of the startup of his moves is actually hidden; he appears to be much faster than he really is in the videos. Let me make another thing clear. Ike is NOT very laggy. Ike does NOT have a large amount of lag after his aerials, he just has slow activation time on them, which is MUCH more difficult to get around on a competitive level of play. If there is a Nintendo representative reading this somehow I implore you, please DECREASE the activation or startup time of SOME of Ike’s moves. He only needs some manner of safety or a move to combo into his ridiculously strong moves at very least.

Moving onto some of the other aspects of Ike (after again stressing, which I can't stress enough, that Ike is VERY powerful)… Ike has a neutral b move that is similar to Marth and Roy’s neutral b. It is chargeable until it is an auto kill (if you charge it all the way you receive a ten percent penalty just like Roy’s), and seems to do an awful lot of knock back initially; this may legitimately be one of his fastest moves – and no, unfortunately, it isn't very fast. Ike’s side B seemed to be one of his better moves. You can move across the stage quickly with this move and it’s a nice powerful strike (think of Pika/Pichu’s over b in melee, but much more useful and less laggy). This move can also be used as a recovery due to the new sweet spotting mechanics, however, after you use this move one time in the air, you cannot perform any aerials or air dodge, it is just the same as using his up b, so it is NOT like Luigi’s over b recovery. Ike’s up b is pretty good on the stage. It has a nice chunk of super armor in it (super armor means that you take percentage, but no knock back) is fairly fast, and has quite a good amount of knock back. His up b looks visually very similar to Kirby’s, but as a recovery move it is noticeably worse. Unfortunately you gain ZERO horizontal distance when you use this move. You cannot move to the left or too the right, you can only go straight up and straight down, which is a major blow to his recovery. Ike’s down b counter comes out relatively fast and lasts for a fair amount of time, this move does more knock back than Marth’s counter did, but I'm unsure whether or not it has the same effect as Roy’s did in Melee.

Overall Ike doesn't look like he will be an effective character in the competitive scene unless we see some buff’s for him, or we find out things we couldn't in a 4 day period with a demo, which is of course likely. Obviously we didn't get much time with Ike or the demo, but with all of us competitive players racking our brains to try and think of a way to get this character playable we couldn't find a way.

Don't get me wrong, Ike at the demo was doing very well. Ike is a complete BEAST in four player games because of his massive killing potential, and he may very well be a decent team’s partner for doubles matches in the competitive scene, but at this point he seems to not have much competitive singles potential due to an overwhelming lack of speed and a completely horrendous recovery when compared to the rest of the cast. One of my favorite characters from the demo; let’s all cross our fingers on this one.

Donkey Kong



Donkey Kong was not the subject of a lot of attention this weekend. People wanted flashy characters with cool moves and they wanted to see overly effective easy to use Final Smashes. Donkey Kong is not flashy, his moves haven't changed much (visually speaking) and his final smash was absolutely horrendous, not just in application, but it just wasn't very fun to watch. With that being said, we did try our best to get some DK info.

First off let me say this. Donkey Kong CAN cargo up throw up air in this game. This throw combo appears to be intact, which is very good. His up air has seen IMPROVEMENTS oddly enough; it seems to kill at lower percentages than it did in Melee, which is odd because most characters live longer in this game on average. DK has mostly the same move set, and is mostly the same speed. The reason we didn't spend much time on him was… well… he’s pretty much the same character in this game. This might not sound like a bad thing, but when you look at the physics of the other characters and the overall “floatiness” of everyone you'll notice that DK’s combos are mostly reduced to only a couple hits. DK’s cargo up throw up air DOES work, but there isn't really a big heavy character that falls quickly so it only hits with the up air once in the actual “combo”. However, it seems like once DK is below an opponent, he is more dangerous than he was in melee because of his improved but very familiar up air. Most of his aerials act the same was as they did in melee. Back air up air neutral air forward air and down air – almost all of them have the same effects. You might be expecting changes in his forward air as far as the speed of the moves goes, but no, it seems to mostly be the same thing speed wise, but with a little less range. His tilts and smashes are also mostly the same thing from what I saw, though most of his moves did have reduced range.

Moving onto Donkey Kong’s Special moves it seems like these have all remained basically the same as well! Donkey Kong is easily the character who saw the smallest amount of change in Brawl from melee, but doesn't expect him to play exactly the same; this is a new game folks. Donkey Kong’s up b has the same traits. I didn't see many people landing this move while he was on the ground however. There weren't a lot of natural DK players who had the instinct to get that to work, but if I'm remembering correctly it works almost the same way in this game as it did in melee, but unfortunately weaker. DK’s side b seems to be a little bit buffed. It comes out faster in Brawl, and the applications of it are far nicer. Rather than keeping them grounded while you pound on them, this basically gets you a free smash attack or charged punch, knock back and all. Just think of the new grounded characters system as working like M2’s disable. DK’s down b looks to have massive buffs in damage; it seems like it’s just generally better and will have more applications. A little bit faster to start, a little bit faster to finish, and it does a lot more damage. The most unfortunate change to me, because I really like this move, is the small nerf that went into Donkey Kong’s Giant Punch. Unfortunately, DK’s giant punch just doesn't have the knock back you would think it would. It kills at higher percentages than in melee, and it also has a lot less range. That coupled with the inability to turn around your neutral b removes a lot from your giant punch game, and it is really a shame.

Overall DK is very similar to the way he was in Melee, at least, as similar as a character can be during the transition between games. This seems like it would be a good thing, but overall it seems like it makes Donkey Kong a little worse because of the new physics system in this game. Sorry guys, but maybe things could change a bit by the time that the game comes out. Also I'd like to note that, with the unfortunate exception of Ike, all of the characters seem usable at this point to an extent for the singles game, it appears to be less broken this time around (at least as far as we got in our 4 day demo experience).

Yoshi



A lot of people stayed away from Yoshi after they realized he lost his treasured double jump cancel. Before I actually begin talking about Yoshi I'd like to point out that we were NOT playing THIS Yoshi correctly. We continually tried to double jump cancel and do the things that were effective in melee instinctively rather than try out a lot of new things because this is a new Yoshi. That being said, Yoshi saw some nice changes outside of the loss of his double jump cancel in Brawl... But he still can't jump out of his shield.

Yoshi seems to run at a pretty average speed, he isn't very fast, but I wouldn't describe him as slow. He has some power, but not too much power. Yoshi seems to have some pretty decent combo potential in this game, even forgoing his double jump cancel. His buffs were actually pretty apparent, but people had trouble getting around the lack of his DJC. Yoshi DID keep his super armor during his double jump, and also received a nice and very welcome change in his up b this time around.

Yoshi all around has definitely seen a range buff, but maintains his strength from the old games. Yoshi’s aerials saw a nice improvement in the transition from Melee to Brawl. His down air was the most noticeably improved, it acts far more similarly to the 64 predecessor than its melee counterpart. I'm unsure if the damage output is quite as high, but the move is certainly improved from Melee in this game. His forward air seemed to be a little bit faster and setup nicely for almost all of his smash attacks at lower percentages. Yoshi’s back air has MASSIVELY increased range this time around and does a good amount of damage. Yoshi’s up air is still pretty strong, is a nice setup, and also has increased range.

Yoshi’s specials saw some changes as well, but mostly minor. His side b does noticeably more damage and knock back, and seems to have less startup time with more priority – although I personally don't see many ways to apply it in a singles match still. Yoshi’s neutral b works the same as it did in Melee and in smash 64, it didn't see very many changes. Yoshi’s down b also didn't see a lot of change from Melee to Brawl. It’s still more or less the same move, you can still grab the ledge with his down b as well. Yoshi’s nice healthy change was in his up b. Yoshi can use his up b and actually gain some height in the air with it. And what’s even better is that you can use it multiple times (you don't actually gain height from doing it over and over, think Samus’s bomb jumps from melee, but not quite as high). Because there is no longer a directional air dodge, this one is a lifesaver for Yoshi because he can grab the edge while doing this move. Otherwise this move is the same, with a SMALL improvement in knock back from what I remember.

Overall Yoshi seemed like he should've been much better than he was being played. We were trying to do our old tricks with this character, and that’s simply not how this new Yoshi works. We are going to have to learn something very new with this one! Yoshi has enough of everything, but not an excess of anything. He has enough speed, power, combo ability, knock back, and recovery; this makes him a decent, but not great character overall from what we saw.

Sonic



SONIC IS IN BRAWL! Pretty cool I suppose, he's a good fit. But how does he play? Well I'll do my best do describe that right now. First off, Sonic runs very, very fast. Sure, we all could've seen that coming, but compared to the rest of the cast he runs way faster than any of us could've guessed. Compared even the fast characters from the demo to sonic and they might as well be crawling. Sonic was one of the hardest characters at the event to actually control. Because of his amazingly fast running speed we had trouble at first almost just running past characters and missing with moves. Sonic's speed is a little bit awkward, he is an unwieldy character. Sonic's grab range seemed to be really high while dashing because of the amount of physical space he covers mid grab. His throws seem to have a fair amount of combo potential as well. He runs so much faster than any of the characters did in Melee comparatively to how the game works, his dash dance is incredible. Think of captain falcon's dash dance but faster and further. Did i mention how fast Sonic runs?

Let's move onto the rest of Sonic, since we've already talked about his incredible running speed. Sonic in the air isn't quite as fast as he is on the ground. In fact, in the air he's pretty average. Sonic RUNS the fastest, but I doubt I'd end up describing him as the overall fastest character. Sonic has some nice aerials, his forward air is like Pikachu's on steroids, he has an up air that acts a lot like Fox's old up air, his back air has a nice amount of knock back on it. One of Sonic's aerials had some really abnormal traits. Sonic's down air acts like moves we've previously associated with down b moves like Yoshi Bowser’s or Kirby's. Regardless of momentum, Sonic stalls for a brief moment, then shoots downwards foot first. Yes, this move DOES spike, and no, this move does NOT continue down until landing, it goes a certain distance and then stops. You can use this move to spike somebody off the stage and then recover, but the move goes down very far so you can't do it unless you are pretty high above the stage. This move is impossible to L cancel due to its bizarre characteristics. All of Sonic's aerials have decent rage and decent startup time, they aren't quite as fast as you would expect, but he does have enough power, he isn't the super fast but weak character some people expected.

I really liked Sonic's smash attacks. They all seemed very useful. His Up smash is a charged up spin attack that goes straight up and catches people, then releases them with quite a bit of knock back. It seems to have an awful lot of priority and can catch people out of a lot of different moves. Sonic's fsmash is a charged punch, it doesn't have an absolute ton of range but it's knock back is good. While charging sonic spins his arm around in place, its a humorous animation. Sonic's down smash has a lot of range and quite a bit of power, it's pretty similar to his up smash, but it hits on both sides. It has quite a lot of range and a good amount of power. Sonic's smash attacks aren't exactly the quickest, but they have a lot of power, priority and range.

Sonic's specials are almost all very similar visually speaking. All three of his b moves aside from his up b are all spin attacks. All of these spin attacks look and sound very nice. One of them is a homing spin attack with a large amount of startup time and a large amount of lag afterwards, one of them works like jigglypuff's old rollout without as much knock back, but it pops them up for a free aerial at some percentages. The other up b is more like Yoshi's Egg Roll but with more knock back and effectiveness since you can cancel out of it quicker. Sonic's Up B is a very peculiar move. Sonic's up b covers a lot of vertical distance, and it takes you a moment to gain your horizontal momentum back, so you wouldn't want to use it until you were pretty close to the edge. Sonic's up b is one of the only recovery moves that doesn't allow you to grab the edge in the middle of the move, you cannot grab the edge on the way up, only after you start your descent. Another notable difference between Sonic's up b and the rest of the cast is that after you use his up b you are still free to do aerials and some moves. Note that I said SOME moves. It appears that you can't do most of his b moves after this fall, or at least i couldn't get it to work, so using his up b then using his homing spin attack to get yourself to the stage seems to be impossible, you can however air dodge or do any aerials you want, which is a very nice option to have after already using your recovery.

Overall Sonic is a very good character, one of the best at the show from what we saw. He has a LOT of ground speed with some good throw setups, some interesting specials, good combo ability and plenty of KO potential, but he is going to take a lot of getting used to.

Mario




Mario is back and is better than we've ever seen him in smash before. Most of you have probably already heard, Mario is very good in Brawl from what we experienced. Mario has got all the combo potential he had in Melee and more. His range overall seems increased, his speed is definitely above average, his killing potential has gone up and he's got good throw setups on every character that was in the demo. But with all of these buffs and improvements, what area does Mario now struggle in? Well, to be perfectly honest, there wasn't really any area that Mario could've used much help in. Mario in most games is your all around good but not great kind of character, well this time, Mario is your all around great character. He really seems to have it all this time.

Mario's combo game is very familiar, it's very similar to Mario's combos in Melee. Down throws, up airs, up tilts, up smashes and the like to keep them up, with neutrals and smashes as some of the finishers. Mario has a good air game. He seems to have more range and priority this time around. His combo moves are basically the same, but they seem to be even easier to combo with. His airs have more hit stun than most moves did from what we saw in the Brawl demo, his neutral appears to have more range and a bit more knock back, his back air is just like Mario's was in Melee. Mario's forward air received a nice change. When Mario's fist is above him and moving forward it does a lot of killing knock back, similar to Doc's forward air from Melee, but after it goes past the horizontal mark and starts moving down it acts as a spike. This is a nice feature to have, one of the problems that Mario used to have was that he didn't have a lot of options when it came to kill moves, but this among other things seems to really help with that. Mario's down air changed a lot in this game. His down air is Mario's old down B from the other games. The moves has some nice combo potential and pops them up at the end, it also has almost no lag whatsoever after it is done. This does NOT help your recovery though, it doesn't change your momentum in any way, you cannot do a rising tornado anymore.

So Mario's air game is just as combo oriented, but how about his smashes? Well, obviously they are still good, its hard to find a bad quality about Mario at this point. His down smash is virtually the same, it does similar knock back at more or less the same speed, but it seems to have a little bit more range. Mario's forward smash does the same knock back and seems easier to sweet spot, or maybe there is not actual sweet spot to the move anymore, I never saw it land a weak hit at least. Unfortunately this move seems to be a little bit slower, and doesn't have quite as much range as it did in Melee. This may be the ONLY thing about Mario that was nerfed. I'm unsure if Mario's up smash actually has invincibly frames in Brawl, but it sure seems like it did at times. It may just have a good buff to priority in this game. At lower percentages this move seems to combo well, but at higher percentages its a good kill move. The knock back seems to scale really nicely on this move.

Mario's special moves have seen a few changes. Mario's up b has been improved for a few reasons. First it seems to do more knock back and it hits with every strike of the up b more often so its safer. Second this move has a LOT less land lag. When Mario does his up b and lands on the ground he lands on his back then just pops himself back up quickly and you are ready to go. Much less land lag, and that is very useful for his recovery. Third the move just seems improved in general because of the new sweet spot mechanics. Mario can grab backwards and even mid jump, which is GREAT for his recovery, which some people considered to be one of his weaknesses in Melee. Mario's cape is back yet again, it does help his recovery, but it fades after the first use in the air, just like in Melee. The cape has the same "turn around" feature as it did in Melee as far as I remember. Mario's down b move has changed into something completely new. A lot of the competitive players saw a lot of potential in this move when it was announced. There is no hit stun and it can be aimed, so we figured it would be an amazing edge guard. When E for All actually came and we got our chance to play our opinions on this move changed. The move (at least in our four day tests) seemed to not have any kind of realistic applications. FLUDD does no damage, and does no "real" knock back. Think of the wind effect in Melee and 64, that is essentially what this does; it simply pushes the character a small distance. This move can be charged and do more pushback, but we simply didn't see the need to apply it or see any possible uses for it. FLUDD will require more time to understand its possible uses, but for now it seems almost useless. FLUDD can be used in the air and you can keep it out for as long as you want from what we saw. The last special move is Mario's fireballs. They work a lot like they did in Melee, but it looks like they come out a little bit faster, otherwise they mostly the same.

Mario has it all in Brawl. He is plenty fast; he has great, effective, and easy combos; he has a lot of KO potential; he has good edge guarding; he has a reasonably good projectile of his own, and he is difficult to edge guard. Mario, from what we saw, was likely the best character shown at the demo - at least, at the level we were playing the game. He also has an awesome new Fire Mario costume, one of my favorites. Mario fans rejoice, he is better than his Melee counterpart in every respect.
 

Gimpyfish62

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Samus



Alright, it's Samus's turn now. There hasn't been a lot of Brawl Samus talk compared to that of most of the rest of the characters, even if we include Zero Suit Samus. The character model for Samus is MUCH larger in Brawl than it was in melee. She received some nerfs and some buffs, and wasn't really a stand-out character overall. Zero Suit Samus wasn't exactly the Sheik of Brawl like some people expected either, we really didn't get a lot of playtime with her, but she didn't seem to be anything particularly exciting. Before I begin I'd like to state that I am really lacking information on Zero Suit Samus. There will NOT be a separate Zero Suit Samus update as we really didn't get much playtime with her at all. Sorry for the overwhelming lack of Zero Suit Samus information I have compared to the rest of the characters, but feel free to ask specific questions about her in this topic and I'll do my best to answer. Any ways, let's dive right into the Samus information shall we?

Samus is just about as fast (or slow) as she was in Melee. Her overall abilities have changed a bit, but not too drastically. A few of her moves act more like their 64 counterpart than their Melee counterpart (which is good), and a few of her moves are just plain worse. Samus's grabbing game is essentially the same thing in Brawl as it was in Melee, with her down throw being her main combo oriented throw. Samus seems to have more priority on a lot of her moves in general - and Samus already had good priority in Melee. Her power seemed to be reduced on some of her moves, most obviously on her missiles and charge shot. Her short hop actually seemed to be significantly shorter, but Samus herself was much larger, so perhaps there wasn't much of a difference in the actual height of the jump. Her tilts haven't changed TOO much, but they have changed. Her up tilt has a lot more killing potential, but it seems like it has less range, her forward tilt seems to have a small amount more power and a little less lag afterwards, and her down tilt seems to be mostly the same thing as it was in Melee.

Samus has a LOT of priority in the air. Her neutral air acts mostly in the same way. The move doesn't seem to be as quite as powerful this time around, but it's still very useful. Her up air has seen a few changes, it seems like it is harder to land in Brawl. This move also now has some killing potential, it still sends the opponent in the same direction as in Melee, but much further. You can use it in combos at lower percents, but it may even become one of her combo finishers at higher percents, though there are stronger moves she has in the air. Her down air is mostly the same in Brawl as it is in Melee. Her strongest killing move in the air is easily her back air. This thing has a lot of knock back and it seems to not have a sweet spot anymore. Landing the move seems to be easier overall and has a LOT more killing power. Her back air is one of her strongest moves overall. Her forward air acts almost exactly the same in as it did in Smash 64, which is great. This move now has a whole lot more priority and has a whole lot more combo potential. Easily her most improved air from Melee to Brawl.

So far Samus sounds pretty good, but her biggest nerfs happened in the special moves category. Samus's projectile game just didn't seem to be cutting it this time around. Let's begin with her obviously different missiles. The missiles aren't just different visually, as I'm sure you've all seen. You can still shoot two different types of missiles. The homing missile, which acts almost the exact same in Brawl as it did in Melee, and the non homing super missile, which received some definite nerfs. The super missile doesn't do any horizontal knock back anymore, its all vertical, and it doesn't kill at the percents that missiles could in the other game. You can still kill with these, but the missiles no longer hit you off the edge and setup for things like edge guards, they kill off the top, which seems less useful. Samus's charge shot was another move that received a big nerf. This move isn't nearly as powerful, it doesn't kill until higher percents. This might be a nerf, but this might just be everyone in general living longer, but it would be nice to have more power on this move. Her bombs act a little bit differently in this game. The bombs do almost the same thing damage wise and do minimal knock back. You can still drop a bomb on the stage and do a shorter short hop in Brawl like you could in Melee. Bomb jumping for recovery is actually still in, but it's much more difficult to control this time around. Her tether recovery is EASIER but worse in Brawl. The fact that you cannot shoot your grapple straight out towards the stage, and you also cannot do a rising air dodge makes the tether much less useful overall. It is still useful, especially for invincibility stalling, because you can let go of the edge and grapple sweet spot over and over again without touching the ground, which can be nice for avoiding poorly timed final smashes. Her up b was actually buffed up from Melee, which seems odd. Samus already had a very useful up b in Melee, especially out of her shield. Well in Brawl, this move seems to have a larger initial hit box and is much harder to DI out of. It also has a nice amount of knock back at the very end and a little less land lag, so it seems to be less punishable. The move also goes significantly higher in Brawl than it did in Melee.

Samus's smash attacks in Brawl saw some change, but it's hard to label the overall change a buff or a nerf. The only one that didn't really receive any change was her forward smash. It is still nice and quick, and is a strong and fairly safe killing move. Her down smash no longer hits you backwards like it did in Melee, now it sends your opponents straight up. This move doesn't seem like it will be less effective overall than it was in Melee, but it does have some killing potential still. Her up smash was really improved in this game, it acts very similarly to the old 64 up smash. The priority is great, it's much harder to get out of, and it does good damage. This move isn't really a kill move, but it has a lot of priority above you.

Overall Samus saw quite a few changes, at the demo nobody but Hugs was really using Samus very effectively. It's hard to say that Samus overall got nerfed because back in the early times of Melee Samus didn't really seem that great either. We will likely just have to learn a whole new style of Samus this time around (not surprisingly) so be prepared to re-invent your character, Samus mains!

Pit



Alright it's time for Pit. Easily one of the most requested characters for me to review in this thread. Pit moves pretty quickly, has some good disjointed aerials, is pretty quick up and down, has one of the most useful projectiles in Brawl and has a great recovery. Pit has a little bit of trouble when it comes to actually getting his kills though. There is also a mostly unexplored property with Pit that I think will be pretty big in Brawl, but I could be very wrong on this one. Any ways, let's dive right in.

Pit has a decent amount of combo potential, his combo moves don't do a lot of knock back so they can combo at some of the higher percents too. Pit's moves have a very quick startup and they aren't laggy either, but he does lack a bit in the power category. He does have a few killing moves in his down smash, forward smash, and back air; those are his primary methods of killing. Even though these moves don't really kill until a higher average percentage than most characters were killing at they still get the job done and he still has a lot of other really good properties. Pit does have his kill moves, and also has a lot of disjointed range. Pit can also jump up to 4 times in the air and also has an incredible recovery with his up b. His projectile is probably also the one of only ones that can reasonably be spammed and he also has two special moves that cause him to reflect projectiles back at opponents. Pit has got a lot going for him in Brawl.

Pit's has a pretty unique set of special moves. His down b was a very curious move, it can reflect projectiles if they come in contact with the mirror, but it also acts as a second, unbreakable shield for regular attacks as well, you can hold this shield for as long as you want. Please note, only the actual shield blocks attacks, Pit can be grabbed out of this stance and can be hit from behind. Pit's side b causes him to launch forward slightly and spin his bow in front of him. This move does moderate damage, but also has a reflecting property, you can also change the duration of this move based on how long you hold the special button but this one can't be held forever like the down b. Any projectile that hits his bow while he is spinning it is reflected. Pit's other two specials seem like they will be very important to how Pit plays. Pit's famous Palutena Arrow is one of the most useful projectiles in the game. This move has a lot of properties that make it special. This move fires very quickly, but once you press the special button you can hold it for as long as you want. Once you've pulled the bow back you can change directions, you can point it straight up left or right. This is the only neutral b move currently in the game that can be turned around quickly before the move starts, which gives it inherent camping abilities even without discussing its other wonderful properties. After you fire the move you can quickly angle it up and down (or left and right if you are shooting it straight up) which is bound to be very useful once mastered. This move not only fires quickly but has almost no lag afterwards. The move does about 5% per shot. It is a great all around move. Pit's up b has some wonderful potential. Pit's up b grants him the ability to fly freely for a short time, but some moves can actually cancel his flight. During the matches that I played as Pit I used the up b as a miniature short hop, almost like Peach's float for Pit because you can cancel out with his aerials. There are many possible applications for the canceling of this move, but I'll leave that up to your own imagination!

Overall Pit is pretty unique, he has a great deal of disjointed priority, he is very quick, he's got a good projectile game, a wonderful recovery. The only thing Pit is lacking is a little bit of strength, but he is still a good character because of all of his other good properties.


Peach



Oh... Did I win? It seems like Peach will likely be saying this even more this time around, because overall peach got several buffs. Peach is one of the characters that actually felt similar to her Melee counterpart because of her floating mechanics. Her double jump was DRASTICALLY reduced in height, but otherwise her movement is mostly the same. Peach is overall faster in Brawl while still maintaining most of her priority and most of her KO potential. Peach seems to have everything going for her, but her recovery may become far more easily punished this time around. Any ways, let's get down to business.

Peach is overall much faster than she is in Melee. Her moves come out faster, she runs faster, and she still has float canceling so eliminating lag after aerials feels very familiar here. Peach is one of the few characters that feels a lot like their Melee counterpart. Most of the competitive players adapted to Peach much more quickly than they adapted to any other character. Peach's tilts all combo better than they did in Melee, they all setup nicely for an aerial at the lower percents and they all activate faster than their Melee counterparts as well. Her forward tilt isn't nearly as laggy in this game, and it comes out a little bit quicker. The down tilt seems mostly the same. Her up tilt is faster, has better combo ability, and less lag after it. Peach's dash attack has changed in this game. Rather than being a wall of priority that can combo fast fallers this move is now a combo move on pretty much everyone. The move hits two times now, the first hit pushes them into the second hit, which sets them up for an easy combo. Peach's grab game seems to be just as dangerous in Brawl as well. Her down throw is one of the best comboing throws in Brawl, and her forward throw was the only throw that we saw killing. The knock back of her forward throw isn't necessarily increased, but it seems like the DI on throws isn't nearly as effective, but perhaps we just weren't DIing it correctly.

Peach's Specials were never really anything to be amazed by. Her turnips were always one of the best things about her though. She still pulls them just as fast in this game, and can still pull out beam swords, bob-ombs, Mr. Saturn, and the death turnip. Turnips are easier to catch in this game (along with all items) and can be caught during aerials, so that could lead to some pretty cool potential Peach combos or shield pressuring tactics. Toad was only useful in certain cases in Melee, and it seems to be mostly unchanged in this game. Her side b in this game seems to be improved a lot. It's now a legitimate kill move, it starts up much faster and hits a lot harder, it also has drastically reduced lag at the end of the move. Instead of a standard explosion like in the last game it now has the animation of what I can best describe as a "heart" explosion. A lot of hearts and "pink" explode out of the point of impact when this move lands now. Peach's up b is more or less the same move in this game, but with Brawl's new physics it seems like it will be much easier to punish. Peach's up b falls down MUCH slower in this game, she can stay up for a long, long time, but the problem is the fast fall. When you fast fall in Melee with peach out of her umbrella you would fall pretty quickly back to the ground, it's great for tricking people into missing an edge guard. Well in Brawl when you fast fall you fall just slightly faster than Melee's normal umbrella fall. It's still very slow and it looks like it would be easily punished.

Peach's smash attacks received a few nerfs, but overall are still very good. I'll start with the obvious big change. Peach's down smash has been fixed. Well, I suppose the right word is nerfed, but you know what I mean. Peach's down smash does significantly less damage overall, it still does a lot of damage if everything hits, but this isn't a 50+% combo in one move anymore. The move does roughly 30% if every hit lands, and has much lower knock back. This move doesn't even kill in sudden death. It still is a pretty solid move because of the low startup time and the fact that it can still eat away at shields. Her up smash seems to be mostly the same, but possibly has more range this time around. We are unsure if the move still has invincibility frames, but it has a lot of priority at very least. Peach's forward smash is a GREAT killing move in this game. It still varies between the frying pan, golf club, and tennis racket. The move comes out a little bit faster than it did in Melee and seems to have great killing potential regardless of which variation you get. This move is very strong and seems like it is hard to punish.

Peach's air game remained mostly the same. Still a lot of high priority moves, some with good combo ability, and some with good killing power. Her up air still does mostly the same thing, good for some comboing at lower percents, and can kill off the top at some of the higher percents too. Her down air is pretty much the same as well. Peach's neutral may have slightly less priority, but it's still great and does a lot of damage. Her forward air is noticeably faster and still has good killing power. Peach's air game is really solid in Brawl, just like in Melee.

Overall Peach has got it all. She's pretty fast on the ground, she has a lot of killing potential, she has a great projectile, and she's got great combos. She seems like she will die at more or less the same percents in this game, she is still light in this game, but everyone lives to higher percents now. Peach was one of the best characters from the competitive point of view.


Link



Link is one of my favorite video game characters, and he's likely one of yours as well. Link didn't really change too drastically from Melee to Brawl, but I like most of the changes quite a bit. Link seems to run faster in brawl, and most of his moves activate faster. Overall Link got a nice speed buff, but his up b saw an unfortunate nerf. His projectiles also have a few different properties. Link's overall speed has increase, he seems to have kept his priority, and he may even have more range on some of his moves.

Link's speed has been buffed, which is a very good thing. All of his tilts on the ground are faster, and in general simply better. Namely his forward tilt, it maintains the power and range of the Melee counterpart but the move is much faster. His up tilt still has just as much range, but it starts up a little bit faster in Brawl. In addition to his speed boost, some of his moves in Brawl act more like his 64 counterpart. His up smash is a great example, in Melee this move wouldn't often hit with every strike because it's easy to DI out of, in Brawl this move sort of sucks you in, if the first strike hits, all of them hit.

Link's projectile game seems to be less effective, but only because projectiles in general didn't seem as effective. Link's gale boomerang has some interesting properties. Before I actually used it my head was stuffed with ideas about how there could be some really cool tricks with this move. When the gale boomerang returns it has a pushing effect similar to Mario's FLUDD. It doesn't do any damage or knock back, but it pushes you in the direction the boomerang is traveling. This happens even if you are shielding. The boomerang itself can be controlled just as much as Link's boomerang can be controlled in Melee and has mostly the same properties. Link's Arrows come out a lot faster this time around, and they can't be held forever like they can in Melee, they will automatically be fired when they are fully charged. Link's bombs act pretty much the same in this game as well, but they are more powerful. Link's bombs even kill in sudden death! Link cannot do the bomb recovery in this game, he doesn't hit his own bombs - they can damage him if they explode while he is in the hit box, however. They last about the same amount of time before exploding in this game as in Melee.

Link still has some power in this game too. His forward air is still plenty strong, and is a little bit faster as well. His forward smash is quicker, and both swings are back. Link's down air is still just as good as a kill move, but it still has quite a lot of lag (unless you l cancel it of course). Link's up air is more powerful this time, so you'll likely be getting more kills through this move as well. Link's down smash is still powerful, but not really faster. It acts mostly the same in Brawl as it did in Melee. Link's up smash saw some improvement as well. I already mentioned how if one of the hits lands all of the hits should land in this game, it acts more like its 64 version than its Melee counterpart. It keeps the range of the Melee move as well. This move actually was given a lot more lag after it, as opposed to the very small amount of lag it had in Melee. One of Link's nerf's in this game was unfortunately his up b. Link's spin attack is now chargeable, but that feature is mostly useless. This move doesn't kill at the percentages that it killed in Melee, it has just as much lag after it, and it also lost its semi-spiking features.

Overall Link has been generally improved form his Melee form, but not by much. Almost everything Link has is faster, a lot of his moves seem to hit easier than they did in Melee. The fact that his spin attack isn't as powerful and doesn't semi spike anymore is definitely a nerf, but overall Link just appears to be faster in general. Almost all of his moves has increased speed but with the spin attacks lower knock back it may be harder to get your kills overall.



Metaknight



I used to tell people "if Metaknight is in Brawl, I will main him". Obviously that's not true because of Bowser, but the point remains, Metaknight is one of my favorite characters. Metaknight is just plain breathing awesome, something about his character is very cool. In Brawl Metaknight is one of the fastest characters and he has great combos but please do not let people tell you he is overpowered. Based on what we experienced he wasn't necessarily the best character there, but he was certainly one of the best. Metaknight was without question the easiest character to pick up and play well, he has got a lot of really fast disjointed attacks.

Metaknight has certainly got some speed. His moves all have next to no startup time, and next to zero lag after them. He's on the faster end of characters movement wise, but I wouldn't necessarily call him "fast" when it comes to movement. Metaknight has got a lot of combo potential due to the speed of his moves. Even if they aren't necessarily comboing together, because of his multiple jumps and lightning fast aerials, he can simply chase you down in the air to get more hits. Metaknight's air game is great because of his multiple jumps and large disjointed hit boxes.

Metaknight actually shows some amount of similarity to the Melee Kirby, but far, far better in ever area. Metaknight's throws act almost identical to the Melee Kirby, every throw is very similar. Metaknight can actually combo out of almost every throw he has because of his quick striking moves. His multiple striking moves are similar to Kirby's old forward air, although all of Metaknight's moves are faster than any of Kirby's old moves.

Metaknight's special moves are all useful. His side b sends you flying horizontally, and you have a lot of control over whether you give yourself height or lower yourself down. This move has ridiculous priority, a fast startup time, and does upwards of 30% if all of the hits land. After this move you automatically go into a glide, and you can't up b or do any moves after you break the glide, so be careful on this one. Metaknight's down b is a short teleport and strike, sort of a counter attack that you have to aim manually. This move can be used in the air over and over, you can get as much height out of this move as you can with Jigglypuff's rising pound in Melee, so you can likely use it to stall. Metaknight's neutral b creates a small tornado which does some good combo damage but almost no knock back. You have full control over Metaknight while you do this, you can control him up down and all around. After he uses this move he cannot do anything but fall helpless to the ground, it acts as if you've used your up b. Metaknight's up b is a back flipping slash, it is one of his strongest KO moves. This move can be done out of shield and activates pretty fast, after you do the full back flip you are put into an auto glide, if you break your glide you cannot do any moves until you land. All in all Metaknight has a lot of useful moves.

Metaknight does have one drawback that most people overlooked. Metaknight has an awfully hard time killing other characters, especially the heavy ones. Almost every kill that Metaknight got was from the items based on what we were seeing. Metaknight is a force to be reckoned with, but he doesn't have a variety of kill moves. One of his strongest moves was his up b, that one seemed to be getting some kills as well. His smashes did knock back enough, his forward smash would still kill, just at higher percents than most characters were killing. Metaknight can still deal with this lack of a kill move based on the rest of him. He is so quick to strike and has such a small amount of lag, moves that can be easily aimed and strung together, that getting the other characters up to the percents he needs to kill them doesn't seem to be all to dangerous or difficult.

Overall Metaknight is just plain awesome. He's a really cool character with some really cool animations, he also happens to be have lightning fast moves that string together very easily. He may struggle in lower percentage kills, but Metaknight has got a LOT going for him. He isn't broken like you might have heard, but he's definitely the easiest character to just pick up and play. Metaknight has few drawbacks overall, he is fast, he has great combos, he has a seriously amazing recovery, a good set of specials, and comboing throws with a good grab range. Metaknight has a very good move set, and is a great character in Brawl.




Bowser



I saved this one for last, Bowser is obviously my favorite character, and I don't mean just in Smash. I'll try and keep the bias out of this impression as much as I can, but I'll likely sound more excited about everything I'm writing here. Bowser was so bad in Melee he was nearly unplayable. He was too slow, too laggy, and wasn't strong enough to compensate for his speed. This is NOT the case in Brawl. He has received MASSIVE buffs to the speed of his moves, although his run speed isn't much faster, that was never his problem in Melee. Bowser has some spots of super armor here and there, which is a nice new addition. You have all likely noticed how much bigger Bowser is, when I first saw this I was upset because Bowser's size was one of the worst things about him in Melee, but this time he sports a huge amount more range in every attack he does, and is much heavier. Bowser lives for a very long time in Brawl. Bowser still isn't exactly the BEST character, but he's certainly playable, and is much better overall. I also have an overwhelming amount of information about this character stored in me, so I'll be going even more in depth with this one.

Bowser's speed buff is obviously the most important factor about him in Brawl. His forward air comes out and finishes very quickly, so you can actually do one full jump and you can finish two complete forward airs before you hit the ground. His back air is a little bit more difficult to land this time around, but it seems to have more range and is obviously much faster on its startup and finish. This move still has its semi spiking properties if you land it correctly as well. Bowser's up air is VERY fast in Brawl. It was one of Bowser's slowest moves in Melee, this time it's very quick, but has a lot less range unfortunately. This is one of the strongest moves in Brawl, it kills at very low percents. Bowser's neutral air doesn't seem to have quite as much priority in Brawl, but it ends quicker, so you can free yourself up from this move faster now. Bowser's down air is still not very good, it has very small priority, but it still sends out that little shockwave of knock back upon landing.

Bowser's ground game is more threatening in Brawl then it ever was in Melee. Bowser's new forward tilt has ridiculous range. When i say ridiculous I mean ridiculous. When Bowser does his forward tilt in Melee he simply sticks out the knuckle. In Brawl, he leans his much larger body forward, extends his arm outward, and then his hand actually magically grows to about twice it's normal size for the hit, this move still does significant knock back, but is also fairly laggy on it's start and finish. Bowser's up tilt is much quicker in Brawl on it's finish, it's probably just as fast to start. This move does a lot of knock back in Brawl as well. Bowser's down tilt is much faster, has much more range, and is MUCH stronger. This is now one of Bowser's best killing moves. Bowser's tap seems to be improved on speed on his first hit, and the second hit still does good enough knock back to get yourself some breathing room. Bowser's getup attack from the ledge also doesn't have nearly as much range as it did in Melee, but is still fairly good.

Bowser's grab game didn't see a lot of changes. His throws are still visually pretty similar, although his down throw isn't useful for tech chasing anymore because of the new physics engine. No character from the demo landed before being able to do a move or jump out of the tech. Bowser's other throws have just about the same amount of knock back as they did in Melee. Bowser's dash grab range has been cut almost in half, which was disappointing, but his standing grab and shield grab seem much more effective.

Bowser's smash attacks were all improved drastically in their range, but what about knock back and speed? Bowser's up smash was good in Melee for hitting people who are standing on a platform above you, and it also had a good little duck at the beginning that can actually be used to avoid certain attacks. In Brawl, Bowser's up smash is improved in both of those regards. When you are standing below a platform in Brawl and you up smash, literally the entire platform is covered by Bowser's massive shell, this move has got a TON of range, and he still does duck down at the start of the move. It isn't any faster, or stronger in Brawl, but the move is overall a lot better. Bowser's down smash actually has got a lot more range in Brawl than it did in Melee. It still sucks you in if it hits any part of you like in Melee, and it does even more knock back this time. This is a great killing move. Again, this move is no faster on the start or finish, but it is a largely improved move. Now let's move onto one of my favorite moves in Melee, Bowser's forward smash. This move has got more range than anything I saw in Brawl BY FAR. Bowser still has the nice lean back feature that he can use to avoid attacks, and also has a small amount of super armor on the charge, but this move does a lot less knock back, it doesn't kill until about 20% higher than it would in Melee on average.

Bowser's special moves saw a lot of changes too. Bowser can still fortress out of shield (that's his up b) and it's mostly equally effective in Brawl. The fortress doesn't do quite as much knock back this time around, so it isn't going to be killing people very often. This move was easily one of the best moves in Melee, and in Brawl it actually saw a lot of nerfs. The damage and knock back of the move was decreased, canceling it onto edges isn't as useful (but still is possible). On a side note, Bowser can no longer instantly fortress cancel on edges that are slanted downward. The worst part about this move now is the land lag. If you do this move in the air when you land Bowser stalls for a bit before you can do anything, it stalls for just about as long as Mario would stall in Melee after using his up b on the ground. In Melee this had no land lag, which was great for his recovery, now he seems like he will be easier to edge guard in general. Bowser's down b is faster to start in this game, it still has a lot of lag after it but it was cut almost in half, so it's a lot less lag. This move does a lot more knock back, and has super armor on the startup of the move. The Bowser Bomb might not be completely useless in Brawl on the stage this time around. This move can still be used to grab the edge this time as well. I had mixed emotions about Bowser's new klaw. Bowser's klaw was my favorite move in Melee, I loved his back and forward throw, and in Brawl I was expecting mostly the same thing but with an up and down throw as well. I was clearly mistaken, in Brawl Bowser's Klaw is very different. The new klaw has almost no startup lag, and has literally no lag after it. This move can be done in very rapid succession if you miss. The move has less range than the Melee klaw, but the speed is certainly better, missing this move doesn't really seem very punishable. This time around when you get somebody with the klaw you don't have the option of biting, Bowser immediately leaps to the sky and does a really cool looking suplex. You have complete control over Bowser's horizontal movement, and you can actually go surprisingly far with this move, it's great for suicide kills. This move does an impressive 17% and at lower percents you can actually string two of them together because after you land from the suplex, Bowser suffers no lag. You can do other moves as well, but stringing two klaw's together just seemed to be too awesome. By far my favorite improvement about Bowser is his new fire breath. This move starts up really fast, and has very little lag after it. If you get caught in the fire breath you can still DI out, but the move does damage a LOT faster this time. The fire breath in Brawl actually doesn't ever die down, it seems to be on a recharge timer, you can hold it for longer if you use it less often. My personal favorite part about this move though is the fact that you can actually angle it up and down. You can walk over to the edge and use fire breath and actually point it straight down. After you start the move pressing left or right on the c-stick aims the fire breath up and down. This is actually useful to stop other character's approaches because of how quickly it starts up. I saw a Pikachu jump at me for an aerial approach and I activated my fire breath and pointed it upwards. I caught him in the flames then pointed it back down, and the fire dragged him to the floor, it was very cool.

Overall Bowser is playable, which is a HUGE improvement from his Melee form. He is much faster in almost all of his moves, has more range, and has some patches of super armor. Bowser kills at lower percentages than everyone at the demo (other than Ike) and lives the longest percent wise by far. Bowser is my favorite character and I absolutely love the way he turned out, nobody will be disappointed by Bowser's changes. Kudos to you Sakurai.
 

a-mar

Smash Cadet
Joined
Feb 23, 2007
Messages
52
Location
T-town, california
#4
before this thread gets bombed,

i just wanted to say thanks to you gimpy and everyone else that spent time playing the game all day and instead of just chilling out and sleeping that you are taking the time to inform the rest of the community of your findings and inital impressions, just so you know it means a lot for the people that could not get down to L.A.

you guys are the people that make smashboards a great place!!

so thanks, a-mar
 

Elen

Smash Lord
Joined
Nov 11, 2006
Messages
1,206
Location
USA
#6
Hope you had a good time Gimpy, thanks a bunch for doing this.

*Sits down and braces for all hopes and dreams to be crushed, re-crushed, etc.*
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2007
Messages
642
Location
Chicago
#9
we've made a few advanced tactic discoveries and things like that
This gives me a huge boner.

Also, do you see Brawl being as competitive as Melee was and how fun do you think it is compared to Melee? Do you see the tournament scene lasting as long as Melee's did?

And the most important thing: Does Brawl have the comboing potential that SSB64 and Melee did or is it just going to be a "clunky" game like some people have been saying?
 

Ekaru

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
Messages
184
Location
Minneapolis MN
#11
I was about to go to bed, too... Oh well, it's not a school night! (MIA weekend!)

But hey, thanks for this! *sits down, waits, and hope they made Bowser not as sucky, and maybe improved Yoshi a little also... But mainly he hopes for a Bowser improvement, since he likes playing as Bowser*
 

Zankoku

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#13
This makes me a sad man :(
Can't handle a couple of tricks? It's not like anybody's forcing you to use them. Just play however you feel is the most fun. But don't impose your thoughts of gameplay on me, seeing as how I'm not doing so to you.
 
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#15
This makes me a sad man :(
If you're talking about my boner making you sad, then that's okay. It makes my girlfriend sad too sometimes (zing!).

But if you're talking about my excitement for advanced techs making you sad, then I say shut the hell up before you start something. It's in everyone's best interest. Listen to Ankoku. He seems like a pretty smart guy.
 
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#16
EDIT:

Wow nice update, but it's still incredibly hilarious how many people got in a fit today because "MY PRECIOUS AT'S ARE GONE, WAAAAH".


From the sounds of it the game is seemingly more balanced, and less bugs to exploit.
 

GOTM

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#17
i really appreciate this gimpy...and cant wait to read it. i hope its up before i go to bed!!! actually it wont be, cuz im going now...work at 9....ill read it tommorow :)
 
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#18
Can't handle a couple of tricks? It's not like anybody's forcing you to use them. Just play however you feel is the most fun. But don't impose your thoughts of gameplay on me, seeing as how I'm not doing so to you.
Lurk moar, your post is MADE of complete and utter fail...

Notice how I ONLY QUOTED THE BONER PORTION.....

THAT'S what made me sad...

Don't try to start **** with me...
 

kilroy

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#20
thanks gimpy, and all you guys for the effort.

i'd also like to ask, because i'm not seeing this in the reports from you guys: what are your first impressions of brawl? positive? negative? can you see yourself playing this game for years?

i understand it's VERY early to make such assessments, and if you want to withhold judgment for now you certainly can, but i'd like to know what you and/or the others really do feel about Brawl at this juncture.

thanks for listening!
 
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#21
If you're talking about my boner making you sad, then that's okay. It makes my girlfriend sad too sometimes (zing!).

But if you're talking about my excitement for advanced techs making you sad, then I say shut the hell up before you start something. It's in everyone's best interest. Listen to Ankoku. He seems like a pretty smart guy.

What the hell man, you can quote my post, but you can't READ WHAT'S ABOVE IT?

Jesus Christ in a hand bag...

 

Zankoku

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#22
Lurk moar, your post is MADE of complete and utter fail...

Notice how I ONLY QUOTED THE BONER PORTION.....

THAT'S what made me sad...

Don't try to start **** with me...
I'm a little amused by your improper use of "lurk moar."

If that's all that made you sad, well, the poster made his reply to that. :)

I don't start ****. I'm just making sure you don't start **** with the world like I've been seeing so much of lately. Since that wasn't your intent (amirite?) disregard my post. Unless you really are trying to make a fight out of it, in which case I'll just disregard yours. ^_^
 

SirroMinus1

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#25
I'm typing it up now, this thread is going to be very very large and very very informative, it's got most every question you'd have answered after just day one, but we are still working hard on it.

we've made a few advanced tactic discoveries and things like that as well, I just got back so I better get to typing now, thanks for your patience.
woohoo tyvm buddy (even though i dont know you)
 

Kenpachi

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#28
I echo the thanks of my fellow smashers. College + Chemical Engineering = Thermodynamics & Fluid Dynamics and the inability to go anywhere.

I look forward to the info that is to come!

~Kenpachi
 
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#29
K, guys i'll give you something to entertain while this is being imputed. Wadashing in the natural sense is not in brawl. But you can waveland and i was the one who did it the most while i was there (over 5 times),but i'm not sure how it works. I think it may involve doing an aerial.

I'm pretty good at finding out good techniques and surprisingly found plenty which gimpy will talk about, that are quite interesting.

Also, gimpy is the best brawler atm, lol.
 
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#30
I'm a little amused by your improper use of "lurk moar."

If that's all that made you sad, well, the poster made his reply to that. :)

I don't start ****. I'm just making sure you don't start **** with the world like I've been seeing so much of lately. Since that wasn't your intent (amirite?) disregard my post. Unless you really are trying to make a fight out of it, in which case I'll just disregard yours. ^_^
Same here. :laugh:

You can't blame me though, every post in every thread I seemed to make, was always a brooding flame war...

It aggravated me that you quoted my post, without looking at what I quoted, and proceeded to start flicking the lighter so to speak....

Don't worry, it's all good...

but seriously, jut take a few seconds to make sure you gathered all the relative info from the post before you make a conclusion.
 
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#32
I saw you there, I actually talked to you even. In fact we might have played each other (though don't think so, I don't recall fighting bowser)
 
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#33
What the hell man, you can quote my post, but you can't READ WHAT'S ABOVE IT?

Jesus Christ in a hand bag...

I thought you were talking about the boner at first but Ankoku's post made me think it might have also been the whole advanced techniques comment.

Either way, I covered both bases (if you read my post) so no need for being offended.
 
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#34
I thought you were talking about the boner at first but Ankoku's post made me think it might have also been the whole advanced techniques comment.

Either way, I covered both bases (if you read my post) so no need for being offended.

but STILL man...

I quoted what I was referring to. There was no inbetween the lines...

You disturbed me with your sexual inclinage towards the technique...age... :p
 
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#37
but STILL man...

I quoted what I was referring to. There was no inbetween the lines...

You disturbed me with your sexual inclinage towards the technique...age... :p
I am a link main in melee, and played him 3 times today. I can maybe answer some questions (note: not a tourney player and didn't mess around trying to learn stuff just played)
 
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