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Melee HD Is A Monkey Paw Wish

Discussion in 'News' started by Evilagram, Jul 11, 2017.

Evilagram, Jul 11, 2017 at 2:05 PM
  1. Evilagram

    Evilagram
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    Smash Journeyman

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    419
    IMG_0327.JPG


    As Melee gets older, many people in the community have begun speculating about Nintendo releasing an HD version for the Nintendo Switch. There's currently a large number of barriers to entry for people trying to get into competitive Smash Bros. Melee. You need a Wii or Gamecube, a CRT Television, a Gamecube controller, and a copy of Melee itself. Thanks to Nintendo releasing new Smashball controllers for Smash 4, controllers are thankfully easy to find and fairly cheap, but the rest can be fairly rare and expensive, especially getting a copy of Melee. Bringing Melee to a newer platform would allow newcomers to get into the game more easily and would significantly ease tournament setup and it could potentially include an official online play mode on actual hardware, but despite these obvious advantages to a Melee HD rerelease, I think that the potential downsides of Melee HD are too dangerous to make it a worthwhile proposition.

    The most obvious issue with a rerelease of Melee is the question of which version of Melee they would use. Would they use the NTSC 1.02 version of the game, which is currently the preferred competitive standard, or would they use the PAL version, which was released later and has a number of balance changes and bug fixes? While the PAL version is arguably better balanced, most players enjoy and prefer the NTSC version of the game, because the top tier characters are more powerful and have more options, which makes them more fun to play. Given that the focus of competitive play is just the top tier characters in both PAL and NTSC, this makes the NTSC version of the game more fun for most players, where they can still spike people with Marth's down air, and the late hit of Falco's Down air, or perform Sheik's chaingrabs.

    Beyond the issue of just the version, could we trust Nintendo not to tamper with the way the game works? Capcom had a similar issue with Street Fighter 2: HD Remix and Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Online Edition. HD Remix was a complete rebalance of the game, but ended up being poorly received by the community. Thankfully the designers of SF2: HDR had the forethought to include the original version of the game, so players who were unhappy with the new balance changes could still play with the old version of the game, but ultimately players ended up moving back to older releases of SF2, due to subtle engine differences. When Capcom was considering whether to release a version of SF3 with similar balance patching, they asked the community what they wanted and we ended up with 3rd Strike Online Edition as a completely true to the original port, right down to the game crashing when you kill Makoto with Ken's Knee pummel grab. Some people like Bafael and Mike Z later lamented that such a balance patch didn't happen, but their lamentations weren't available when the game was being considered for rerelease. Changes can potentially improve a game, but would Nintendo be in tune enough to make the right changes? Would we accept changes in the first place, even if they were the right ones?

    With Nintendo put in a similar place, would they release the game as-is with no changes, or would they try to issue their own corrections? Many Melee detractors like to joke about Nintendo releasing a version of Melee HD where all the bugs and exploits used in competitive play are fixed, viewing it as just punishment for the competitive players who, in the view of detractors, play the game "wrong". While the glitch status of things like Wavedashing are debatable, other oddities such as the Invisible Ceiling Glitch are a lot more clear-cut and may be removed without regard for whether they have a positive or negative effect on the game. And unlike Capcom, who rounded up a bunch of America's top players to balance SF2 HD Remix, it's unlikely that the competitive playerbase would be consulted on these changes to the game, given Nintendo's current lack of response or support for the Smash Bros competitive scene. Balancing a game is tricky, especially without the input of high-level players. Making the right changes requires data and experience over a long period of time, which Nintendo by themselves do not have. The PAL version, while arguably better balanced, still has some erroneous balance decisions that nerf characters who don't need it, like Ganondorf and Captain Falcon. Further highlighting how tricky it is to balance a game, the PAL nerf to Marth's weight is actually a small buff, because making him lighter barely pushes him past the breakpoint where Fox's waveshine will work on him.

    Assuming they put together a satisfying release of the base game, there's still the issues of handling new features added to the game. Would Melee HD support Gamecube Controllers? Would it support control rebinding, like newer Smash Games? How would the netplay and matchmaking be implemented? Despite Smash Bros for Wii U having gamecube controller support, we don't know if this would be guaranteed for a Switch Port. The Gamecube controller converter for Smash for Wii U does not have compatibility for any other Wii U game. While it is possible that they could code drivers for it in Melee HD on Switch, they may neglect to do so because the Switch itself does not have a standard USB Port, only the Switch's dock has a standard USB slot, while the Switch unit itself has a USB-C port, which the existing Wii U Gamecube Controller Converter is not compatible with. A lot of the way Smash Bros Melee is played is connected to the Gamecube controller itself, which was a part of the controversy over the Smashbox. Losing Gamecube controller support would be a significant blow to long-time fans of the game.

    On top of that, a Switch Port would inevitably mean introducing new control methods for Melee, and with them the possibility of custom control binding, as has appeared in later Smash games. While it's a small issue, Melee up to this point has not had any form of custom control binding, and even mods such as 20XX TE have refused to implement even small rebinds such as disabling tap jump on the basis that doing so would change the way the game is played, however slightly, and a competitive mod of the game should not have any gameplay differences that would give someone an advantage, even a play-style advantage, when playing on a 20XX TE setup versus a normal unmodded setup. While this is probably one of the most minor problems, it may still be an issue of contention.

    Implementing quality Netplay has its own set of hurdles. Building a quality server architecture to support a large number of online players is a tricky undertaking in of itself, as Street Fighter V and Tekken 7's launches have shown, but perhaps more important is the implementation of the actual netcode. Fighting games require higher quality netcode than any other type of online game due to the fast speed at which actions can occur and the way in which landing an attack on your opponent can interrupt the opponent's attack, rather than both attacks completing successfully without issue. There's two general styles of netcode that are generally used for fighting games, Delay and Rollback, and history has generally shown that Rollback is the better of these two methods.


    UFGTX: How to Make Fighting Games
    If you want a simplified explanation of how these work, in the video above, there is a talk by Mike Z explaining the differences between the two methods. Rollback makes tight inputs much more consistent, and Melee has a large number of frame-perfect and generally tight inputs that are made significantly harder by Delay-based netcode. Currently Dolphin emulation uses a Delay-based netcode solution, as does every console version of Smash Bros. Street Fighter V uses a rollback netcode solution, which is a significant improvement over previous netcode implementations for Capcom fighting games, though it's not quite as good as GGPO, the current best rollback netcode implementation for fighting games. Japanese companies have not adopted GGPO due to Japanese corporate values http://beaconreports.net/the-cost-of-japans-missed-ict-revolution/, and it's unlikely that Nintendo would be an exception here, given they're already not in touch with developments in the fighting game genre. So Melee HD would probably have bad netcode, likely worse than the delay netcode already present in Dolphin, which has had a considerable amount of work put into it by the dedicated coders of the Dolphin emulator and Anther's Ladder.

    With Netplay comes the issues of matchmaking. If there is a competitive mode similar to For Glory in Smash Bros for Wii U, then will it necessarily use the competitive ruleset? Anther's Ladder has done a great job implementing this for netplay with dolphin, only using the legal competitive stages and having proper stage striking, albeit, with everyone on the honor system regarding reporting. Would a competitive matchmaking mode by Nintendo do the same, or just set every match on Final Destination? Would they even use 4 stocks and 8 minutes? Would they enforce anti-stalling rules, or outright remove elements like Wobbling? Would they allow you to play by this ruleset outside the competitive mode, even though most casual players don't even like time mode? The ranking system might be a wash too, but honestly, it is for most fighting games besides street fighter.

    Despite all of this, maybe Melee HD could actually turn out fine, or at least passable. Even if the netplay is ruined or there's a few superfluous features added, or there is no GC Controller support while undocked, we still have the base game on a modern system in HD. But lets be honest, how likely is this to happen, given we're dealing with Nintendo? Nintendo isn't exactly known for the most consistent business decisions, such as limiting the NES Classic Edition to selling for exclusively the holiday season, despite a much larger ongoing demand for the device existing. Other examples of questionable decision making would include Metroid Federation Force being their followup to a long gap in Metroid Sequels, long-held refusal to implement a more modern account system for digital game purchases on the Wii and Wii U, insistence on archaic friend codes even on the Nintendo Switch, trying to ban the broadcasting of Smash Bros Melee at Evo 2013, minor to non-existent involvement in Smash Tournaments since then, and omitting Smash Bros from their new series of Invitational Tournaments. https://twitter.com/NintendoVS Nintendo has not really made any attempt to convey that it cares about the interests of the Smash Melee community, and given all the potential vectors for failure here, what's the likelihood of a release that lives up to our expectations?

    So is it worth it? If something goes wrong, then this could mean a split in the community between the new version and the old version, which might harm the scene more than if nothing changed. We've weathered bad times for Melee before, like when Brawl came out, and this likely won't be as bad, but it's still a possibility. Given all the possible means of failure, is this something to hope for considering the risks involved? The Melee community has sustained itself for 16 years now. Technology is coming through to allow us to play laglessly on LCD Screens, thanks to low latency monitors and HDMI converters (As is the case with the Nebulous stream setup in NYC). We have everything we need to survive, and we'll continue to do so regardless of whether we get support from Nintendo. Melee HD is a nice dream, but it's unlikely for reality to turn out as pretty.

     
    #1 Evilagram, Jul 11, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2017
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Comments

Discussion in 'News' started by Evilagram, Jul 11, 2017.

    1. Xiivi
      Xiivi
      Where's Diddy?

      If it requires a monkey paw; then I'll get a monkey paw...whatever means necessary...:4miisword:
    2. pikadrewuniverse
      pikadrewuniverse
      When talking about this issue I've always brought up about how it wouldn't be melee. there's no such thing as a perfect port and there would be differences. I'd really like if it were just a virtual console with gc controller support with the switch.
    3. GaroMaster
      GaroMaster
      I don't think it's worth it to pursue a Melee HD. No matter how many things could get done right in a potential remaster, there will always be small wrinkles in the game that will cause hardcore fans of Melee to stay away from it. With so many players comes so many different opinions as to how Melee HD should be made. And don't even get me started on which version they should use.
      With that being said, I don't think them omitting Smash from Nintendo VS is a sign of them being ignorant of the success the series has seen with the community. If they already announced Smash Switch and it wasn't added to it, then I can see that, but they haven't. Plus, with Pokken and ARMS being on there, adding Smash in Nintendo VS would completely overshadow them.
      Just my two cents on the topic.
    4. 1PC
      1PC
      Xiivi, pls
    5. GothicSlenderman
      GothicSlenderman
      It just doesn't make sense to me. Why remaster a the 2nd game with only 26 characters with 6 of them being direct clones in a 5 game series with the majority having more characters? For the competitive aspect? They'd most likely change the game to make it less competitive. Also just play the original, RoA or wait till Wave Dash Games releases their platform fighter.
    6. <π
      Good article.
    7. XDaDePsak
      XDaDePsak
      This white text on black background is blinding. Can you tone down that white a bit?
    8. SiO2
      SiO2
      Even if an HD Remake were made, and it was good, I think energy would be better spent on a Virtual Console port on the Nintendo Switch. IIRC the Switch makes it easy to switch (no pun intended) between NTSC and PAL versions of games.

      Regarding @NintendoVS, I believe they explicitly said they want to keep Smash tournaments grass roots.
    9. asia_catdog_blue
      asia_catdog_blue
      (sigh) I don't get it.

      Will they be willing to stick with Melee forever?
    10. Red Ryu
      Red Ryu
      Biggest issue for me is trying to even figure out what the best compromise would be for that kind of port. What would be essential? What would be the worst things to remove or fix? Which version etc.

      I've seen people very vocal about boycotting any new version if any of the above are done not to someones liking and finding the right balance at this point is going to make someone angry on some level.
    11. YoshiGator
      YoshiGator
      Well whatever happens if its at least close to 3 frames of input lag and works as it should theres no problem for me, I mean its Melee on the Switch. Sure the if PAL nerfs Falco and Marth I will be a bit bothered but at least Yoshi gets a few buffs. I just hope they dont screw this up and decide to tamper with the game, it should be released with how it once was either NTSC or PAL.
    12. Kaze Arashi
      Kaze Arashi
      This argument really needs to stop. All I want is a good smash game fun for everyone both competitively and casually, like Smash 4. While I do enjoy PM and Melee, it's not as much since the competitive side is a bit too high for many. We need in a smash game is a good balance of competitive and casual mechanics like how Smash 4 did. Besides, there's a reason many people learned to mod.
    13. Zapp Branniglenn
      Zapp Branniglenn
      This article has some pretty out there commentary on Nintendo. What do the NES Classic and Metroid Prime Federation Force have to do with their relationship to the Melee community? And saying that Nintendo doesn't care about the Smash community's interests just paragraphs after bringing up the GC controller adapter.

      It's okay to hold such opinions of Nintendo, as they're not often un-deserving. But keep the petty insults and bias away from the factual discussion.
      The ΩS, Ryu Myuutsu and YoshiGator like this.
    14. Ryu Myuutsu
      Ryu Myuutsu
      I tried to read this with an objective mindset, but I can't help to feeling a bit of self entitlement coming from the author.
      Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
    15. DeKu Skrub
      DeKu Skrub
      I just now realized that all I need is a VC port
    16. Wazurau
      Wazurau
      yes, yes we will
    17. Wazurau
      Wazurau
      you can still just play melee casually.. its not like as soon as you start up the game, you're just forced to play competitively
      The ΩS and ThatsBullocks like this.
    18. Ryu Myuutsu
      Ryu Myuutsu
      True, however even from a casual level, Melee is still less accessible than Smash 4. I used to play Melee competitively when I was in high school and was crazy about learning everything about it. Later after not having touched it for years and playing the game again, I was a bit taken aback by the speed of the game and the movement of the camera which made it harder for me to keep going. As for Smash 4, even if I stop playing it for months I can still easily get back into it and enjoy it with no need of readjusting myself to the speed of the game.
      Kaze Arashi likes this.
    19. {CPT}OrangeLucasHedgehog
      {CPT}OrangeLucasHedgehog
      :201l::201m::201a::201o:

      i just want shaq baq.
    20. DRGN
      DRGN
      If a Melee HD was released, but had some issues such as poor rebalancing, they could be fixed, or undone to match the original, through modding. This also means that there need not be any version discussion or issue, since it wouldn't take much more work to make a mod for each version, putting the choice of which version is used right where it has always been: with the TO. For arguments sake, perhaps even a fan made controller adapter for GC controllers could be created (we already know how they work).

      IMO, as someone who has been in the Melee community since 2005, I think Melee and therefore the whole experience of the game and competitive environment could be even better if the game were slowly balanced a bit over time. (I mean by top professionals and perhaps data though; I agree with the author of the article that Nintendo most likely wouldn't do a good job of it for several reasons.)
    21. Soy
      Soy
      Even though the odds are well stacked against them, Melee fans *deserve* an HD remake. Smash Melee is one of the fathers of eSports and it not having a true sequel to it is almost a crime. I think Nintendo should stop having too many far flung plans in dedicated communities such as these, and just give the fans what they want. What do you guys think?
      ThatsBullocks likes this.
    22. Ryu Myuutsu
      Ryu Myuutsu
      I don't know what you are talking about; last time I checked, Brawl and Smash 4 are the "true" sequels after Melee. That's the general convention when it comes to sequelization of a game series in the industry, unless they've changed the meaning of that term and I didn't notice. It's not as if Smash branched itself into a spin off series starting from Brawl.
    23. tristomino
      tristomino
      Good. Melee has to be the the gen1 of smash bros: overrated, low quality, and a weird group of people think that meleeis the greatest smash ever and ALL OTHER SMASHES ARE TRASH. Really, just shut up about it.
    24. Ty Gillis
      Ty Gillis
      I don't think you've played melee then to be honest
    25. CptCalcon
      CptCalcon
      Imagine Nintendo just approaching the 20xx developers with a Switch devkit. allowing them to port it with 100% of the profits going to Nintendo. Money for developers would only be given via patreons from smashers, would it happen then?

      If the developers agreed it would be the easiest cash grab ever for Nintendo and smashers would be given the optimal port with the debug menu and the ability to swap between pal and ntsc.
    26. masterpad
      masterpad
      Nintendo just have to buy Pm with HD assets -period
    27. ColietheGoalie
      ColietheGoalie
      So basically, they shouldn't do it because no matter what approach they take Melee fans will be unhappy and find flaws? That's actually probably a valid point.
      Kaze Arashi likes this.
    28. Kaze Arashi
      Kaze Arashi
      You'd think NIntendo would just buy Project M but nope. That could've gotten them the most success.
    29. Bob
      Bob
      While Melee's status as the most competitive game is indisputable, not being able to play as a viable Mewtwo disinterests me completely. Not that Smash 4 is any better, but at least it's easier to purchase.
      Last edited: Jul 19, 2017 at 10:56 PM

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