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Pokemon Stadium 2: Full Analysis, Gameplay Implications, and a really fair stage

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If you are a TO, if you go to tournaments regularly where PS2 is banned, if you are influential in your community, and you support this guide, legalize PS2 in your tournaments, turn people on to the idea, propose it to your TOs, and educate people on this stage, one of the most fair, most skill-intensive stages in brawl.

There are a lot of very, very common misconceptions about Pokemon Stadium 2. This can be evidenced alone by the fact that the stage is banned in most regions.

I won't go into the specifics of how the stage works, that's what this thread is for. I'm here to talk about the effects of the stages on gameplay.

Why the stage should not be banned on a transformation by transformation basis


Let's start off easy.

Ice


The effects of the ice transformation are:
-Traction lowered (luigification) on every character except the ice climbers, who do not slide on ice
-Tripping rate raised (not sure by how much, but it's enough to make a difference) (again, ICs are uneffected)

Beyond that, it's an FD clone with two small platforms on the sides (and not in a manner that provides especially broken gameplay). So in short, a typical Flat+plat, with the destinction that you slip around a little more.

The complaints:
-Messes with dashing, a strong strategy with several characters, and makes it hard for them to compete
-Makes characters able to slide around, messes with things like smashes, gives characters extra options/makes them harder to control

Why the complaints are invalid/not strong enough to restrict the stage:
All right. First of all, to understand this argument, you have to accept that adapting to stages is a good thing. It is a positive thing to the game when we force players to adapt to a stage being "different" from others, as it makes them learn more about the game. If you do not agree with this concept, then you find the ideal stagelist to contain one stage (usually Final Destination), for if there is no benefit to forcing adaptation, then why have more stages? In fact, I've written long essays on this, and I'm not getting into them here. But in short, it comes down to adapting.

The first complaint may be legitimate. It gives the stage a matchup-influencing concept. However, remember-this is, at most, two 50-second segments in an 8-minute match. And additionally, the game already punishes characters who enjoy dashing/dashdancing a lot-you can trip no matter what. The fact that the risk on dashing is raised on this stage is hardly a legitimate complaint when you are, in fact, voluntarily putting yourself at risk every time you dash anyways. Just spend less time dashing.
Or, you know, keep on dashing, and rely on the slippery nature of the stage to get you out of trouble. To be clear-when you dash and trip at close range on another stage, your opponent (let's say, luigi) gets anything this side of charged fsmash. When you dash at close range and trip on the PS2 ice transformation, you have a long slide to get you out of trouble-luigi gets maybe an upB if he has an amazing reaction time, otherwise he has to chase you across the stage or try for a bair.

Tl;dr: So it's not only a fairly uncommonly-active inconvenience, it's actually not that bad in the first place. It just requires you to slightly revise your playstyle.



Imagine a flat stage.

Now add a platform.

"you can't espect us to lrn2deal!! we haz to dance around the plat and it gives depf and stragety! noooo"

Fox only, no items, Final Destination?
Playing on only hazardless stages is soooo 2008.
You have to realize that the transformation does not destroy (or even negatively impact!) gameplay, but simply changes it. In fact, some would say it enhances gameplay. The number of safe offensive options is raised by the slipperiness, new ATs envolving smashes/etc. come into play, and you can get away with more due to shield push. It's slightly different, but every stage on smash has different gameplay, and this is a rare case where the gameplay is legitimately more agressive. There is nothing wrong with being forced to get used to slippery terrain. Especially not for between 50 and 100 seconds in an 8-minute match.

Ice is not a problem. At all. This transformation, on its own, would be considerable for starter status; the only thing holding it back (as in, this stage alone as neutral) would be how it slightly hurts running chars. Oh and that it's more or less an FD clone.

Next.

Ground


Ground is a still not a huge issue of a stage, but it is less easy to explain than Ice.

The non-positional effects of the transformation are:
-None

The complaints:
I honestly don't know. What are the complaints on this one? I'm honestly inclined to skip this one for now. I feel that a lot of the complaints are the same as for PS1 Fire (strong camping spot under the wall, wall infinites), but less extreme. I need to test this transformation out more, see how the wall and the slope interact with chaingrabs, etc, but I am going to post a cop-out for now saying almost all the problems on this transformation are exactly the same on PS1 rock and fire, just that they are more combatable here. I'll get back to this one, I promise-if anyone wants to help me out, feel free.

Ground is a WIP; someone help me out here. I need to know how the wall interacts with chaingrabs, and in general take a closer look at it.

And now this gets iffy.

Electricity

The non-positional effects of the transformation are:
-Treadmills slightly offset from the stage's center up to the ledge that move

The treadmills move towards the edge of the stage with a speed on par with most characters' walking speed.

The complaints:
-Ledgetrapping made too strong; people on the ledge can never get back onstage
-Center is too strong of a camping spot/Treadmills make approaching the center too hard/Camping overall an issue on this spot
-Transformation is gay, not fun

Why the complaints are invalid/not strong enough to restrict the stage:
Let's start on the last two arguments.
First of all, a stage being "not fun" is not an argument to ban it. In fact, it's never an argument to ban anything. Ever. If you use this as an argument, then you should do what I recommended you do if you object to the ice stage-stop talking about competitive gameplay. Even if an overwhelming majority of the community dislikes the stage, it doesn't matter.

Second of all, camping is an issue... when the transformation is, at most, up for under 2 minutes a match (and usually closer to 1 minute, if that much)? I suppose that it is an issue that it forces camping during this time, but it is, again, very similar to the fire portion of PS1. Fighting is possible, but it is fairly stupid when you can force the temporary (no) risk/(high) reward situation of camping under the tree. Here, Fighting is possible, but fairly stupid when you have two positions that are very hard to assail. Essentially you can have:
1. P1 camps the middle, P2 camps the ledge (and vice-versa)
2. P1 camps the middle, P2 tries to approach and steal the position (and vice-versa)
3. P1 camps the ledge, P2 tries to approach and steal the position (and vice versa)

In situations 2 and 3, P2 is putting himself in a very poor position. We know this already. However then there's this...

4. P1 camps the middle, P2 camps the platform on the left and baits attacks from there (and vice-versa obv)

This is perhaps more effective? I don't know, and somehow doubt it. It is, however, worth looking at.

If this transformation was the whole stage, it would probably need to be banned. It provides obscenely strong defensive positions for both players, in which regaining a lead is simply not feasible against a strong and smart camper. However, when you realize that the broken tactic is stalling the clock, and that it is, again, up for around 50-100 seconds each game... It's simply not a large issue. Incredibly strong camping spots that exist only temporarily are seen on several levels. Pokemon Stadium is the prime example (and it's a very common starter!), but Rainbow Cruise, Castle Siege, and Piazza Delfino (among others, including some fringe stages like Distant Planet, Onett, and Luigi's Mansion) can also be cited. A strong temporary position cannot be effectively used to stall unless it persists over an extremely large portion of the game.

The Center being too strong of a camping spot ties in with the above. If your opponent is in the center, don't be an idiot and stand around on the treadmills while they throw stuff at you, or try to approach them there-you usually won't get anywhere. Retreat to the platform on the left side or either ledge (left side is better) of the stage and camp there. The ledge is, as usual, a very strong spot defensively.

Now. Ledgetrapping... Is actually way less of an issue than most people think.
Well, okay. It IS a big issue if you're trying to get off the ledge and your opponent is pressuring you. In short, if you're bad. Every character will have issue getting off the ledge. Rolling onstage, normal ledge getups, and get up attacks all are pushed back by the treadmills; IIRC, none of them work normally.
However, the ledge is a very safe place to camp, as long as you wait until the transformation is over to get off. And, in fact, I'm reminded of a few posts by shaya...

Actually guys...

GUYS.

PS2's treadmill section gives characters MORE options.

This is my selling point on PS2 in general.
They don't inhibit play like PS1 does, they actually extend it.

Let me talk about treadmill options.
1. Any movement you do to get back on stage can then be "ledge cancelled" into something.
If you do a standard get up attack, or get up most of the time you'll be pushed back onto the ledge. However, holding down allows you to by pass instantly grabbing the ledge and you get yourself a free aerial. Get up attack + fair on marth; uber legit unless your opponent outranges it.

2. Commitment in edge guarding on the treadmill results in a general reset.
What's super gay about being on a ledge against MK? Personally... it's forward smash.

From my playing on the stage in general, mk's edge guarding options are pretty much just down air. Anything else requires commitment that you can take advantage of to get back on stage.
Slightly abridged to fit this section of the post.

Tl;dr: if you're so worried about ledge trapping and get stuck on the edge, just camp the ledge for 30 seconds until the transformation ends-it's not a smart idea to approach you on the ledge at all.

And now... the hardest one of all.


Air

The non-positional effects of the transformation are:
-Aerial push from below

Every character's gravity is lower, along with their gravity and max falling speed. Fall speed on stall-then-fall moves like Sonic's Dair, Sheik's dair, and Ganon's DownB are not affected. Vertical kill moves are slightly buffed.

The complaints:
-Snake is broken on this transformation!
-MK is broken on this transformation!
-Sonic/Sheik/Ganon is broken on this transformation!
-Jigglypuff/Fox/basically anyone (seriously, the list of people who AREN'T claimed to be broken on this transformation by someone seems ridiculously small, something like Diddy, Falco, and... Um...)
-Gravity changes destroy gameplay
-Characters can stall

Why the complaints are invalid/not strong enough to restrict the stage:
All right. First of all, get it out of your head that any character is broken on this transformation, until you have good, solid video proof. And then try to apply that proof that a character is busted on this transformation to the whole stage of PS2 when you remember that you will be here between 50 and 100 seconds each match, and see if you can still say that it's broken.
Second of all, let me go down some of the more usual suspects.

MK is not broken on this transformation. Seriously. His uair is great, tornado is wonderful, but get this-MK's fall speed is average, his air movement speed is ridiculously poor, allowing you to just get out of the way of him and he can't catch you any more, and if he tornados and doesn't kill you, if you fall faster than him or have a move like ganon's DownB, then he is in specialfall, above you, for quite a while. In fact, MK taking to the air is rather dangerous. MK is not only not broken on this stage (inb4 someone cites uair->nado), but he's actually fairly poor on it (at least, against an opponent who knows what they are doing on the stage).

Snake is not broken on this transformation either. Another excerpt from shaya's awesome post on this stage:

Air transformation is one that is ultimately sketchy in that regard.
But do you realise that the air is still good on it? Not even if you can stall!
During the air transformation you fall slowly everywhere; You always have the option to move backwards, ALWAYS. There isn't a limit to how far you can be pushed back in the air. Air transformation actually extends how much commitment a player can have in their movements; the "danger" time is whilst you're naturally rising from your first jump from the ground, someone in the air is outside most character's ground range completely (really, sh with a character, no ones up tilting you or upsmashing you once you reach the apex.. mk shuttle loop is like... the only move... and the move is outright impossible to gimp you on this stage anyway). It's why sonic is really dangerous on this transformation, he can move anywhere in this transformation faster than ANY OTHER CHARACTER. Down, up, left, right; in the air, on the ground. No you're not "optionless", but my god if you aren't scared against sonic on this transformation you're not playing dem sonics.
You can always move back. You ALWAYS have room. Your ability to recover low is buffed too. And snake's best camping is shooting **** at you from onstage... Maybe nikita? I seriously doubt it though. Unless you have an air speed like Metaknight's. :p

Then there's the group of fast characters with good uairs who have stall-then-fall aerials. Sonic, Sheik, Ganon, ICs... It's strong, I'll give you that. Their ability to reach the ground really fast (comparitively) on this stage is really, really useful. Is it broken? Well, think about it. Can they consistently outplay you, read your airdodges, and **** you that hard in 30 seconds? It's one part of the stage where they do well. And not even excessively so-airdodge correctly and they can overshoot, putting them in a poor position.

The last group is something I have never really heard of, and that I find slightly implausible. Jiggs (rising pound), Fox (jump->fair twice, then shine stall), and a few others (?) who have ridiculously long stalls on this part of the stage. Well... honestly, how long can they stay up there? (especially once air ends) I have to look into this...

However, besides that last group (potentially), no-one has been convincingly shown to be broken on air. So stop saying that "X is broken!".

EDIT:
Inconsequential?

Here's a team friendly i played during the summer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fch66F9uufs


going by the time on the in-game timer,


7:10 Wind formation starts
6:58 This is when i start traveling upwards. My second jump is also wasted.
6:38 The stage returns to Normal. At this point I am airdodging so Pit's arrows don't kill me. If it was a character that couldn't reach me with something, DB1 can still be used to stall for longer.
6:30 I'm visible on screen


Let's assume that there's some point above the blast zone where I can not go any higher. Some sort of limit. So it will always take 8 seconds to be visible on screen again. If i had started at 7:10, i would still be up there for 40 seconds, until 6:30. Assuming i use DB1 to stall for longer, let's give it an extra 5 seconds. And then not wasting my 2nd jump, an extra second. That's 46 seconds of being 100% safe and assuming there is no limit above the blast zone, i can stay up there for longer, since i lost 12 seconds of rising, plsu the amount of time it would take to fall that extra distance. If a match is something where my opponent is above 150% with 45 seconds to go, or i have a 50% lead, i've already won the match. Snake can cut a 50% lead down to nothing in less than 10 seconds on any of those 3 stages you listed, or any other legal stage for that matter. That should never happen.

You asked how long they could stay up there in your thread, here's your answer for marth.

Don't say it's inconsequential though.
This is from Almo on AiB, useful info. I would not count it heavily against the stage due to its heavily situational nature (as in, it's only useful in a very rare set of circumstances), though.


The last real issue is people saying that gravity ruins competitive gameplay on the stage. I went through this on ice. Yes, it's different. Please, get over it. Every stage is different. Even your precious final destination. And if you "don't like it" and want it banned because of that, I really suggest that you stop acting like you care about more than your own personal bias.




PS2 as a starter

So once you have established that Pokemon Stadium 2 is a legitimate stage for competitive play (or rather, have established that any currently disqualifying complaints are faulty; we don't have to prove that a stage is good for competitive play but rather that it is necessary to remove it to have competitive play), now you try to see how it fits into the stagelist.

PS2 is clearly not a starter stage if you subscribe to the school of thought that neutrals should be as interaction-free as possible. I have fought against this several times, and in my eyes, I have refuted it quite effectively.

If you believe that what matters most to a starter stage is how "fair" it is in a matchup, then PS2 is ideal. Now, "fair" is an odd term when it comes to stages-if you think that there is no "default" stage the game should be played on, and therefore all stages are equal, how do you determine what is fair (in my eyes, a starter list is necessary above all due to time constraints; you cannot strike from the whole legal stagelist because it just takes too **** long at tournaments)? The criteria I have been using, which seems fairly reasonable, is to look at the legal stages, and see which stages have the least matchup polarization. Or, in laymans terms, you review every matchup, and the less matchups where you say "I would strike this stage early/at all", the better the stage is as a starter. (Worth noting: FD is definitely not a starter by this method, it's where it belongs-as a hardcore counterpick).

Now how does this tie in with PS2?

Well, I have offered many people the chance-name me a few matchups where PS2 would create a matchup imbalance to the extent where someone would strike or ban it. So far I've gotten answers mostly involving MK (which, as I have mentioned, have yet to be remotely proven true and have fairly solid theory against them), and can imagine a few with sonic, but not enough to make a real difference.

What does this mean?

It means that PS2 is one of the most balanced stages in Brawl. The number of matchups with close to fair matchup representation here is astoundingly high. As such, I would consider it for inclusion even in the most brutally conservative starter lists (alongside BF and SV, for example, in the 3-starter list), taking up the spot traditionally held by FD as the "best neutral".


Regardless of your philosophy with the starter list, PS2 is a ridiculously fair stage with no excessive randomness or game-breaking factors, and should be a counterpick, if not a starter stage. To quote shaya again:

Actually guys...

GUYS.

PS2's treadmill section gives characters MORE options.

This is my selling point on PS2 in general.
They don't inhibit play like PS1 does, they actually extend it.

I've played on this stage a lot recently.
I used to have it banned purely because I and many in my scene found it annoying/didn't like it, etc

I've put a ton of hours playing, researching, and building strategies for this stage. Because of the extent of skill sets needed to play on this stage, it's use as a counter pick is 'silly', you have a noticeable advantage against someone who doesn't know how to use this stage. When you have two players who know how to use it well... I see it as nothing more than one of the most neutral stages in the game.
I feel like the physics changes on PS2 can be akin to "skilled usage" as platform cancelling is on SV and Lylat.
None of them mean stupid insta death at all.

Dedede is probably the only character who can do silly things on it... but as a starter... just strike it. Like you would YI for DK and Sonic.
(Treadmill inhale to exhale understage reverse bair/suicide; down throw to dsmash on some characters on the ice, cg against wall on the earth section; however... the first one should... honestly never happen, last two may happen but are unlikely to, ice one only costs you a stock if you're at kill percent... I don't think it works on heaver characters though).

The physics changed can be used by different characters skilfully, and because of that I believe players can learn to handle them and use them effectively.
Worst case scenario is, you camp on the transformations.

I really can't think of anything the stage forces you into that drastically changes the result of the match.

Air transformation is bad for MK
Treadmill transformation is bad for MK.
Stage is large, larger than PS1. MK doesn't like that.
Has large horizontal blast zones; but a lower roof in comparison (even though it is a larger roof than say; FD - as Marth i've survived fresh snake utilts at final percent of 130%; but that's more of the horizontal blast zones than the roof).

Ice transformation at worst requires you to walk on it. There are also platforms available.
Wind transformation doesn't get you freely ***** at all by anyone on the ground (bar ... like... sonic :()
Treadmill has so many tricks and strategies on it, it's ridiculous.

All transformations last 30 seconds. In an 8 minute match there will be 5 transformations, 3 will be unique, 2 will show up twice (but not before all the others show up too).

Air transformation can be "stalled" at the top off screen (but they're gainin 1% a second for it) by the likes of Fox, Marth, ROB. Fox is probably the worst here, he can stay up there after the transformation goes for a pretty long time. People should strike this against fox.

I will update with new info/a better update on ground when I have it. Thanks to Shaya for the two awesome posts, and to Serebii for the images.

EDIT:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n3PgqzTBaE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zbel7gLfJY8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVTP2z1Oz1Y

Videos courtesy of Raziek. Demonstrating normal gameplay on the stage between players who, due to the setup of his region, actually know the stage. Take note of how shockingly normal it is.


EDIT2:
http://allisbrawl.com/forum/topic.aspx?pid=1656674#p1656674
[collapse=mirrored here]

Pokemon Stadium 2: Arguments

In favor of keeping PS2 legal:

1. Stages are, inherently, legal until proven anticompetitive.
If a stage cannot be proven anticompetitive to the momentary stand of the metagame, then it should be legal. If you want to go against this, you'd have to set up criteria for the stage to be legalized, at which point the discussion becomes ridiculous, as you can craft the criteria however you want, with little to no competitive reasoning behind it. Asking us to prove that the stage should not be banned is like asking us to prove you don't have superpowers, or asking us to prove that god doesn't exist-first of all we can't because it's completely impossible and/or arbitrary; second of all we don't have to because you are the ones making the claim, specifically "this stage is not competitive". Additionally, saying "we tried this stage and it was busted" is a very poor argument; as said, it has to be broken in the current metagame, not the May 2008 metagame.


This firmly lays the burden of proof on those who wish to ban the stage; i.e. "prove why this stage is broken". So:


Arguments in favor of banning PS2 and counter-arguments

1. "Changes in physics are anticompetitive and/or transform brawl into a completely different game".
The first half of this argument is commonly touted, but the first and the second parts essentially have the same backing; the physics changes make the game not worth playing competitively/something totally different.

The first half is the most legitimate one, but that says more about the second half. Claiming that the physics changes make the stage anticompetitive is very far away from the truth (I'm going to, for the heck of it, count electricity as a physics change). To look into why this is the case, you have to go deeper into the complaints.

1.a.) "Ice causes increased tripping, which messes with many characters' gameplay. Additionally, the sliding is bad for some reason."

First off, ice. Ice does not even remotely make the stage anticompetitive. You claim to be slipping and sliding around like a drunken idiot on a skating rink... That only happens if you are an idiot. I'll be fair, it takes a little bit of skill to deal with. However, once you figure out how the lowered traction works, you learn that sliding smashes, tilts, and even jabs (I've found that MK's jab, after the slide you get from ending a dash on the ice, is in fact a fairly potent pressure tool that can combo into dsmash very easily due to it being harder to DI out of. The lowered traction really helps make approaches safe on shield, and tends towards more aggressive strategies. It's only really a problem if you haven't adapted to it.
As far as tripping goes... Yeah, the raised tripping does mess with the gameplay of some characters. HOWEVER!
First of all, tripping is a part of the game. Chars who rely on dashing a lot are already at a basic disadvantage due to their character's setup; the ice merely enhances this slightly.
Second of all, dashing becomes more powerful, if more risky while on the ice due to the massive slides.
Third of all, when you slip, you really go flying, making it far harder for the opponent to effectively punish you.
Fourthly and finally, the transformation lasts for 40 (or 80) seconds during the entire course of the game. This is a big deal, as it makes it essentially a non-issue almost no matter what change it is. A simple traction change and upping the trip rate? Does not make a difference.

1.b.) "Electricity leads to excessive ledgetrapping and extreme defensive positions"

The problem with this argument is not that its essence is wrong (indeed, electricity does provide a very, very strong defensive position). It's that it's simply not enough to ban the stage on. Compare to Delfino which has several transformations where you will have trouble approaching like on Electricity (any part with a straight walkoff, most parts with walls, especially on the tower thingy...). Compare to PS1, which is far more infamous for its stalling; you CANNOT approach on fire or ground. Compare to Castle Siege with its temporary walkoff... The fact is, this transformation is up for 40 seconds, with a 50% chance of getting another 40 seconds of time. 40-80 seconds out of 420. Not a huge deal, especially when compared to other stages.
Regarding the issue of Ledgetrapping, people who claim this are, for the most part, wrong. Yes, you may be stuck on the ledge for a while. However, your options to prevent people from assailing you while you're there are raised (almost everything is safe because you just drop back off while invincible). It is a very strong stalling place, even if your planking isn't on par with, like, MK's.

1.b.s.) "Marth's dancing blade glitch on electricity has anything to do with the overall stage's legality"

Marth's dancing blade glitch, for those of you who don't know, happens whenever marth hits a ledge while moving and performing dancing blade. He flies off the side of the stage and dies. This is not an issue. Ganon and CF can't use their sideBs while under the stage... Yeah, okay, lousy comparison. However, even if dancing blade was all marth had going for him, him not being able to use it on one small portion of 1/8th or 1/16th of the approximate time span of the stage... Well, if that's you're argument, you've REALLY hit the bottom of the barrel.

1.c.) "Air leads to:
I-Anticomeptitive stalling
II-Ridiculously potent aggresive strategies
III-all-around anticomeptitiveness"


I. Well, it's kind of like with electricity, honestly. You have this part of the stage that you can stall quite effectively on (some chars, like fox and jiggs, have ridiculously powerful stalling possibilities; I won't deny this), but the tactic is not broken because it's not there long enough to matter. Stalling on the air transformation is not reason to ban the stage due to its inherent short duration. Furthermore, this explicitly clashes with point II, which appears fairly sensible as well.
II. Now this would be reasonable ground to ban the stage if it was really busted. While incredibly potent stalling over small periods of time are not broken due to the nature of stalling, short-term aggressive spurts can be a hassle. However, most chars can stall out the stage very effectively. A few chars, like Sheik, Ganon (yeah, ganon), and especially Sonic can have very potent offensive games on the air transformation. However, extensive playtesting in varous regions have shown that these are not really as good as many thing. Furthermore, before anyone mentions MK, MK is actually fairly limited by the lowered gravity; he dies far easier, has a terrible air speed, and ends up floating around a lot.
III. Define competitive? Why would this be anticompetitive? The person who is better will still win; it's just that extra criteria are added to "better". And this by the game itself.

1.d.) "Overall, physics changes are anticompetitive."

Why should it be? Perhaps it is by your definition of competitive, but your definition is likely heavily flawed. Changing the physics of the game more often than not raises the skill level required of players and the skill sets needed to perform well. The better player still wins, the bar is merely raised slightly.

1.e.) "The physics changes transform (competitive) brawl into something else."

This is one of the most silly arguments against the stage. First of all, brawl, as is, contains these physics changes as a part of the stage. It contains Pokemon Stadium 2, therefore you can assume that it was intended for people to play on the stage. These physics changes are an internal part of the video game, and belong there with good reason.
Furthermore, every stage transforms brawl into something else. Gameplay in virtually every matchup is extremely different even between FD and SV, which you can call two of the most similar stages in the game. This variance is one of the things that makes brawl a great game.
If you'd like to invoke the "competitive brawl" argument, see below.

2. "Overall, the stage lends to stalling too much to be realistically legal."

This argument was touted by Falln from AiB. (This, plus several other posts of his in the thread) He's probably the only person debating against the stage who even pretended to have an idea what he was talking about, and instead of dealing with meta-issues such as "this stage isn't a part of 'competitive' brawl", he cut to actual problems that the stage could cause in competitive brawl. Specifically, he claimed that all 4 transformations, and with them about half of the stage's duration, was extremely conductive to stalling, and that this was reason enough to ban the stage.

Now, the real problem here is that the theory that Ice and Ground (hell, even electricity) lend themselves excessively to stalling has simply not been proven. The issue here is, as usual, bad theorycraft. The main issue with this argument appears when you point to places like Texas, Ohio, and Nova Scotia who run this stage without any problems. In fact, various people, including a top-3 player in NS who is also the main TO of the region (Raziek) and a fairly popular Australian TO (Shaya) have stepped up and claimed that this not only doesn't happen in their tournaments, but also that the stage is ridiculously balanced and does not lead to many Time-outs. There is no proof of this whatsoever, especially when you realize that Falln comes from a place where PS2 has been banned since the game came out.

From my experience, and from the experience of many other tournament players and TOs, this "issue" is like the Terror Babies scare-it just doesn't happen.

3. "This is a broken stage for MK"

LOL. First of all, no. Smashville is a stronger counterpick for metaknight. Yoshi's Island is a stronger counterpick for meta knight. PS2 is NOT a counterpick for MK, in fact, in a reasonably balanced starter list, he would either start there or strike it after removing some other stage he dislikes more. He is genuinely BAD on air (people keep saying "one tornado = death"; this trick DOES NOT WORK. Stop saying it does.), decent on ice, decent on electricity, and fairly good on ground. The overall setup is worse for him than SV and YI. It's not a good MK stage.
Second of all, is it better than RC? Brinstar? Yeah, didn't think so. MK being "too good" on stages has never stopped us before.


4. "PS2 Disrupts Normal Gameplay/Is bad for competitive brawl."

This is not an argument. This is a horror show.

First of all. "Normal" gameplay. You have no idea how sick I am of dealing with this argument. "Normal Gameplay". Ugh, it's disgusting. You should stop using that term right now, because "normal" gameplay is not what you think it is. It's not "1v1 flat+plat no items". It's "Whatever the game demands of us at this moment". A stage cannot interrupt normal gameplay because normal gameplay becomes what that stage demands. If the stage demands you to play with lowered gravity, then that is normal gameplay on that stage. If the stage demands of you to learn how to deal with temporary walls and walkoffs, that is part of the normal gameplay on that stage. Saying that PS2 changes the "normal gameplay" is a senseless and valueless statement because every stage does. And even then, what is normal gameplay? 1v1 on FD with no random elements? Under what qualifications? FD is the only stage in the game with only one main platform, and is one of the 3 or 4 with no movements or hazards and one of the maybe 6 with no randomness in the entire game; why should this be the default mode of gameplay? The game certainly does not recommend it like that.
As swordgard said:
People don't seem to understand that sv/bf/fd is not "normal brawl", its "omg we want flat stages only brawl". Normal brawl actually includes the full stage list. The you remove whats broken. Not the other way around. If you start the other way around by adding stuff from nothing, then you can add any rules to balance the game because from the beginning you decided you are making your own version of the game, not trying to play the actual game you were provided with.
Because it's how "competitive" brawl is built? "Competitive brawl" is a fully arbitrary term. You could do 4-way free-for-alls and call it "Competitive brawl". If you want to give this term any value, you have to provide reasonable criteria for it. Like, for example, "the most consistent, skill-intensive version of brawl". And no matter what definition, you're going to have trouble keeping it reasonable as a THE competitive version of the game and excluding PS2. Why would you ever want to if you're looking to maximize the skill required? Compared to many other stages, PS2 is ridiculously consistent, fair, and advocated.


5. "I don't like the stage."

If you even have to consider this argument, then... well, I'm sorry, you're a scrub. There are serious problems with this argument, which I have gone over more than often enough. The main issues with it are that you can justify banning anything this way with enough support, and that the competitive version of the game should not care what you like, only what is most competitive. Would the game be a more competitive game if we banned FD? Because I want FD banned. Yeah, let's ban FD.

Beyond that issue, which is a pretty big deal (seriously, imagine you're suddenly in the minority and players who ONLY want interactive, highly potent counterpicking stages hold a solid majority. With this logic, they could easily push a ruleset banning FD, BF, and SV), there's also this.

The concept of "don't get any random in my Brawl" is really a moot point, in the long run. Let me ask you, are you a game designer? Have you crafted a game, in any form, before? I have experience making small text games for programming assignments, but other than that, I don't, and I'm willing to bet that most of the pro players in Brawl haven't, either (if they did, they wouldn't be playing; game design takes a LOT of time). Why is this important? Because we, as players, don't have PERSPECTIVE. We are looking at the game from the inside, out. We see the game as it is happening, and we have a goal, and we want that game to allow us to achieve that goal. For US to modify the game, necessarily, demonstrates a conflict of interests between us and the game; in theory, we could modify the rules so much so that we ALWAYS achieve a win state, couldn't we?

We, in essence, are screwed from the start.

Now, why does this matter when it comes to random chance? Let's look at the critically-acclaimed and award winning board game, Settlers of Catan. In this game, the win state revolves around resource collection. It's actually a very cerebral experience. However, the game board AND the resources collected, revolve around cards drawn and dice rolled. Now, we, as players playing competitively, may say, "Even the inkling of random chance means that I have less of an effect on how I win the game. Random = bad". However, we're saying this from the inside, out. Our objective is to win, and as good players, we want to do anything in our power to do that... even if it means degrading the game! Our allegiance isn't to game integrity, it's to OURSELVES. As such, we are biased. Players, necessarily, CANNOT MAKE THE RULES to a game they play, because of this essential conflict of interest. The game, in essence, is OUR ENEMY.

The designer, however, has no personal stake in wins or losses. His job is to design a game where there is a discreet win state and an objective way to achieve it. Sometimes, such as the case of SoC, random chance is A NECESSARY COMPONENT of the game, in order to create the necessary rules AS A COLLECTIVE that allows for a discreet win state. We, as players, will NEVER know this. We have to trust that the game is not out to get us, that there is a discreet win state, and that we can achieve it.

How does this apply to Brawl? It applies to ALL competitive fighting games in the mantras "don't ban until gamebreaking" and "ban as little as possible". Why is this? Why ban at all? First of all, no designer, however good, is perfect, and no game is either. Oversights happen, especially in video games, and sometimes those oversights (such as the IC freeze glitch in Melee) have to be corrected after the fact or else the game loses its discreet win state (and thus, its integrity). However, the reason we should only ban the most egregious offenders is because we, as players, are BIASED AGAINST THE GAME. If we allow one change to lead to another, and another, and another, we can destroy the integrity of the game without knowing it. This is personified BEST in Brawl with stage bans.

By banning stages preemptively, we remove elements from the game and CHANGE IT INTO ANOTHER GAME. Brawl, in its native state, is about multitasking. It's about juggling many different opponents (in whatever form) at once and coming out on top. Sometimes your opponent is a foe, sometimes it's a stage hazard, and sometimes it's an inanimate object, just as a Waddle Dee or banana peel... but, IN ITS NATIVE STATE, Brawl is a game about multitasking. Now, is our CURRENT game about multitasking? Most of the interactive stages are gone. Items are gone. It's 1v1.

We, through overuse of bans, have literally changed the win conditions of Brawl.

Because we are PLAYERS and not DESIGNERS, we have NO IDEA whether what we are doing is helpful or not... all we know, as players, is that our changes allow us an EASIER time of achieving our (now modified) win state, and that we, as players, enjoy the game more... but as to whether the game has its original integrity, we cannot say, because we lack PERSPECTIVE.
That's a post by Jack Kieser which sums up why banning things simply should not be an option to us players. Read it, it's worthwhile.
Not liking something is a terrible reason to ban something. If you are a TO and all of your players object to the stage, try to warm them up to it by showing them this list. Remind them that banning the stage is scrubby, and that in general there is no reason to do so. Try to convince them, show them this thread and others.

Further reading material:
http://allisbrawl.com/forum/topic.aspx?id=159692&page=1 <- Me arguing for it in the wifi ladder
http://www.smashboards.com/showthread.php?t=285744 <- Thread going in depth about the mechanics of the stage, plus further debate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n3PgqzTBaE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zbel7gLfJY8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVTP2z1Oz1Y
^three matches by top players in nova scotia on PS2

Here ya go. If the ladder mods continue to ban this stage in tournaments, then I want to hear a damn good reason, or I want them to publically admit that they are scrubs and will bow down to the pressure of bad scrubby players. Furthermore, I'd like for them to look into banning Snake and Metaknight, as several groups have demanded.[/collapse]
 

lilseph

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First!

Also this is fantasic, i'm going to have to show this to a lot of people to open their eyes to what PS2 really is. PS2 is for sure a neutral stage.
 

-LzR-

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Really god read, you outdid yourself BPC.
I agree with this fair part. This stage is "neutral". Absolutely no character is good on ALL THE TRANSFORMATIONS. Even sir MK can suffer from few depending on the MU.
 

teluoborg

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Ok so let me TL;DR it :
-anti PS2 want it banned because they don't want to learn new strategies
-pro PS2 want it legal because they don't want all the time they spent finding new strategies to go to waste.

amirite ?
 

MikeKirby

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Awesome read. I've started playing on this stage a lot more a while ago and I gotta say, I really like how you really have to think and strategize on this stage.:)
 
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Ok so let me TL;DR it :
-anti PS2 want it banned because they don't want to learn new strategies
-pro PS2 want it legal because they don't want all the time they spent finding new strategies to go to waste.

amirite ?
Did you read it?

While the TL;DR is more or less accurate, I have to throw in that the "pro-PS2" crowd does not only support it because of that; it supports it for the most part because there is as much reason to ban PS2 as there is to ban Smashville, Battlefield, or Final Destination.

(Also, if what you are saying is true, then pro-PS2 has a legitimately more competitively correct statement than anti-PS2 and anti-PS2 is against further metagame development, preferring to not learn how to be better at the game.)
 

Cloud9157

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I really think the Ice+Air parts are what make me iffy on this stage.

This should be a CP at worst. I won't be surprised if this becomes a Starter though, and I'll embrace it either way.
 
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Cloud, after what I said there, why does Ice make you iffy? The physics changes, again, do not destroy or even limit gameplay-they raise it. They increase the risk on dashing but decrease the reward of capitalizing on a trip; IMO a fairly neutral trade-off. They make moves safer on shield, and in general lead to more offensive options and a few new ATs (reverse retreating sliding fsmash, anyone?).

Air is indeed the iffy part. But it's only up so rarely, and no character has a sure-fire method of capitalizing too hard (agressively) on it. At least, not that I know, and not that Shaya (who has done a lot of research on the stage in her area) claimed to know.
Capitalizing on it defensively is hardly a realistic tactic due to the rarity of the transformation; I need to look into how long Jiggs and Fox can stall up there (Fox has foxcopter twice to shine stall which will last a while, jiggs has rising pound), but I really doubt it's enough to be dangerous (and, in fact, without a stock lead, it's rather silly because they will constantly be taking bubble damage).
 

The Filth

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You have never been to a tournament or placed well, your argument is invalid.

I may be willing to listen after you get some skill, as well as stop trying to get the glorious master race of tournament players to play on this drivel.

Enjoy never being good.
 

Heartstring

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sorry, but the air stage throws this off to the ban list along with temple and skyworld.
the air stage is just so far from fair its not even funny, yeah no-one in particualr is broken there but it completely changes gameplay and any kind of vertical k.o moves becomes too efficient and air planking becomes a legit tactic even for d3
good work for all the research though, but there is a distinct lack of numerical evidense that makes it all jsut look like one big opinionated article
 

xatm092

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You have to realize that the transformations do not destroy (or even negatively impact!) gameplay, but simply change it.
This is the main flaw in everything you've said. Changing the gameplay at a physics level is bad. The game is Brawl, and the physics work a specific way. When you mess up the way people move, the way then run, the speed at which they fall, you are changing the game. It is no longer Brawl.

I feel no need to discuss whether or not any character has an advantage or disadvantage when the main issue is that the stage changes Brawl to something else. One of the main reasons we still play Brawl in tournaments and not Brawl+ is because of the physics changes. One of the main reasons there are arguments about which is better between melee and brawl is the physics. And PS2 is one of those stages where the whole metagame is changed by the stage.

Whether or not it is as balanced as FD assuming everyone knows how to play the physics changes inside and out is nullified by the fact that there are physics changes period.

 

Luxor

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The air stage is just so far from fair its not even funny.
Yeah, no (space) one in particular is broken there.
I think you contradicted yourself right thar.

This is the main flaw in everything you've said. Changing the gameplay at a physics level is bad. The game is Brawl, and the physics work a specific way. When you mess up the way people move, the way then run, the speed at which they fall, you are changing the game. It is no longer Brawl.

I feel no need to discuss whether or not any character has an advantage or disadvantage when the main issue is that the stage changes Brawl to something else. One of the main reasons we still play Brawl in tournaments and not Brawl+ is because of the physics changes. One of the main reasons there are arguments about which is better between melee and brawl is the physics. And PS2 is one of those stages where the whole metagame is changed by the stage.

Whether or not it is as balanced as FD assuming everyone knows how to play the physics changes inside and out is nullified by the fact that there are physics changes period.
Changing the gameplay at a physics level is bad.
random value judgement is random
QQ moar

Why are the physics changes bad? They are
1. Few and far between.
2. Not at all imbalanced character-wise.
3. Relatively small- it's not like hitstun is 100x the normal value. So you slide around more- that could very well make a more competitive game.
4. @"it's no longer brawl :whine:" It's not like the game suddenly turns into Tetris or anything. You still have to play safe, approach, camp, and everything just like always. It doesn't "take away" anything. It merely adds another layer of gameplay. Most conservative scrubs don't like this added layer or added layers on ANY stage. Fact is that added depth= better game; see my quote in the OP. There's a reason chess is better than checkers, and an occasional air/ice transformation can not only be equal to but perhaps even superior to "standard conservative Fox only FD" play.

The stage is balancederest than everything and is in Brawl. Read that sentence again. Balanced stages are good. The only reason it's not a starter (and it's way more balanced than most starters) is because people think starter = flat w/ (or w/o) plats and nothing else. Yeah, let's just ignore the fact that those stages may be imbalanced as MK in a low tier tourney, they don't do anything so they must be good. PS24Starter4Life.
 

Heartstring

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im just saying, by no one is particualrly broken there, i mean in my terms in which case absolutely nothing is broken ever. but certain characters have unfair advantages over others (for example, jiggly has jsut spent the past minute keeping my ike from gettign back to the stage and i'm abotu to die off the bottom when suddenly, it goes to the air stage and im back onstage again.
plus lightweight will die at like, 50% to strong vertical moves here, it jsut aint right
 

Heartstring

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unfair advantage being that the jiggle has worked to get the gimp, and then the ike has gotten a lucky break because the stage changed to air type and the ike can now get back due to increased jump height and floatiness.
as for orpheon, you can get avoid going over to the right, where here, the wind is kinda everywhere.
it would be ok if it stayed the same throughout the brawl, but its not the case
 

Luxor

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1. Don't get Usmashed in the air transformation. Really, having your Usmash buffed for a few seconds a match doesn't break the stage.
2. Orpheon has an edge that nerfs recovery. PS2 has a phase which helps it. Clearly the Ike intelligently conserved his second jump knowing that a transformation was on the way (since it runs on a timer) and used the air state to his advantage. Still not gamebreaking imo.

Also
random value judgement is random
officially my new catchphrase
 

Heartstring

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ha, well we have different opinion's, i live in a country which wont ever allow it so im fine
 

xatm092

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It doesn't "take away" anything. It merely adds another layer of gameplay.
You can use the same argument about items. It is a MAJOR influence on the game, rather than the minor influence of the legal stages. Starter stages especially are not supposed to "add another layer of gameplay". :ohwell:
 

Luxor

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Are items bad all of a sudden? The depth they add is great. The randomness and the totally broken items? Not so much. If Brawl came with ISP settings out-of-the-box, we'd be set.

And besides, every stage affects gameplay. FD, SV, BF, and PS2 all change things. Every stage's plat layout adds a new dimension of gameplay. When a new dimension of gameplay is "too much" is completely subjective and where we disagree. Some people think any platforms at all is too much (lol Fox + FD), I think PS2 isn't too much, and you're in the middle.

Would I really like the whole stage to be the Air transformation? No, that would be too game-changing even for me. I'm fine with it being a short transformation that can be waited out.

As to your "starter" point, we have another philosophical disagreement. Some people think a starter is "a stage with minimal interference to the match." I and many others feel a starter is "a stage with minimal interference to the matchup," AKA a balanced stage, a stage neither character is particularly strong on. PS2 fits the second definition perfectly, but the first one... not so much.

I understand we'll probably never agree, but that's my stance.
 

BSP

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You have never been to a tournament or placed well, your argument is invalid.

I may be willing to listen after you get some skill, as well as stop trying to get the glorious master race of tournament players to play on this drivel.

Enjoy never being good.
This is a joke right?

Anyway, good work BPC.
 

Inferno3044

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I feel like you missed some things about why PS2 is ban worthy. I used to think that this could be a legit CP and was proven otherwise. This is all unbiased

On the ice stage characters can slide around and charge up safe smashes (eg. MK's Dsmash and Fsmash). It also messes up characters by disrupting their spacing and heavily increasing shield push making tons of things that shouldn't be safe on block be as such. This also gives ICs a solid advantage because the ice doesn't effect their movement and doesn't mess them up at all.

Ground stage you can't really complain about. There's a temporary wall infinite but it's legal.

Electric and fire are not the same and shouldn't be compared. Anyways, the electric stage just really interferes with standard play. A ground based character like Snake's only option is to center camp. Shaya's point is mostly wrong as well. It doesn't give you more options because most of your options bring you back to the ledge. Basically he's saying that the best thing to do is plank (which not all characters can do, much less well). It also interrupts edgeguarding which is a big part of this game.

Air. This is where I'm really upset at this. You did not at all address the problems of the air stage. You basically said that people think X character is broken and said "No. You're wrong." The biggest trouble with the air stage is that it's ridiculously easy to juggle and rack up damage. Everyone falls ridiculously slow so it's really easy to follow your opponent and punish whatever they do if you're below them. They can't air dodge because you won't fall past your opponent and get *****. Anything else can be easily followed and punished once they got hit. Some characters are really good at punishing airdodges and here it makes it all the more worse. You don't have to be airborne to juggle the **** out of them btw. You can just be on the ground and punish their landing.

As a whole stop thinking that we are just being babies because we don't wanna "get over it." We know that not all stages are the same. The standard 5 neutrals all have different pros and cons. The reason that those are considered the "neutral stages" is because they are the stages that were seen to have little or no gameplay change (stage control isn't included). The reason people see PS2 as banworthy is because the transformations significantly interrupt standard gameplay by having to go through all of these obstacles. You basically have to rely on taking advantage of the stage to play well here. That is not good for competitive play.

A change of MU percentages are not a reason to ban a stage. I can't think of a character that heavily benefits from Wario Ware but that's still banned. Why? Because there are random factors in the game that interfere with competitive play. Although I wouldn't consider PS2's changes to be random, it is definitely game changing and messes people up.

Did you read it?

While the TL;DR is more or less accurate, I have to throw in that the "pro-PS2" crowd does not only support it because of that; it supports it for the most part because there is as much reason to ban PS2 as there is to ban Smashville, Battlefield, or Final Destination.
LMAO! I really hope you aren't serious with this.

(Also, if what you are saying is true, then pro-PS2 has a legitimately more competitively correct statement than anti-PS2 and anti-PS2 is against further metagame development, preferring to not learn how to be better at the game.)
Although I know where you're coming from with this, it isn't a valid argument. Just because some people abuse strategies on certain stages doesn't make it legal. I'll give some examples of learning strategies that are reasons to ban any stage with permanent on stage deathlines such as Bridge, Green Hill Zone, etc.

1. I'm a Dedede, Pikachu or Yoshi . I'm just going to camp until my opponent approaches and then grab the opponent and kill them with a walkoff. Repeat 2 more times. (Note: there are very few characters that don't get chaingrabbed by at least one of these characters)
2. I'm Olimar. I'm gonna get you to about 40% then deathline camp and kill you with Bthrow (preferably blue pikmin). This also works with any other character with a good grab and Bthrow.

Those are strategies that would only work on those kinds of stages, but are reasons to ban it.

I also want to say that I know this from experience. I was at a tourney and Ninjalink was talking about stages I said that PS2 should be legal. He knows that actions speak louder than words so we went to PS2 and he was able to heavily take advantage of me on each transformation because of the stage itself.

TL;DR version:

 

BSP

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Air. This is where I'm really upset at this. You did not at all address the problems of the air stage. You basically said that people think X character is broken and said "No. You're wrong." The biggest trouble with the air stage is that it's ridiculously easy to juggle and rack up damage. Everyone falls ridiculously slow so it's really easy to follow your opponent and punish whatever they do if you're below them. They can't air dodge because you won't fall past your opponent and get *****. Anything else can be easily followed and punished once they got hit. Some characters are really good at punishing airdodges and here it makes it all the more worse. You don't have to be airborne to juggle the **** out of them btw. You can just be on the ground and punish their landing.
Don't forget its stalling potential, and how it hurts some characters' air games since the air mechanics mess up jumping mechanics. I think you got everything else.
 

xatm092

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The reason people see PS2 as banworthy is because the transformations significantly interrupt standard gameplay by having to go through all of these obstacles. You basically have to rely on taking advantage of the stage to play well here. That is not good for competitive play.
THIS. At least in my view, the stages are there to cause for a small amount of variety in gameplay, and allow a small amount of mathcup advantage through counterpicking. NOT to be a major influence over the way the game has to be played.
 

BSP

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THIS. At least in my view, the stages are there to cause for a small amount of variety in gameplay, and allow a small amount of mathcup advantage through counterpicking. NOT to be a major influence over the way the game has to be played.
Don't bother arguing with BPC or Raziek then, you guys will probably never agree.
 

Luxor

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But I think PS2 only has minor interference in gameplay. Aren't opinions great? Let's all stop arguing, be friends, and smoke some weed while listening to Bob Marley.
 

Inferno3044

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So you only play on Final Destination?
I never said that. A stage is banworthy if the stage has factors in it that either disrupt you enough to make it a hassle (PS2, Wario Ware, other gimmicky stages), a certain strategy can be easily centralized to win there (anywhere with an on stage deathline, Temple and Spear Pillar for circle camping), have permanent walls (Shadow Moses, Corneria) or certain other reasons which can't really be broadly catagorized (Skyworld heavily being based on recoveries). Minor factors that won't heavily change the flow of the game is fine.

It's funny that a lot of people single out FD as the "most neutral" stage. A lot of players that I know consider SV to be the most balanced and I personally think BF is. Has a nice length solid floor and 3 nicely placed platforms. Promotes both ground and air game.
 

BSP

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Inferno, I read your points, but are you considering how long each transformation lasts? Isn't it like 20 seconds each? Some of the transformations influence gameplay, but do they really overcentralize/skew the matchup enough to be banworthy (especially considering that they last about 20 seconds and transformations don't repeat until the stage cycles through all of them?
 
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