After over two years of development, Project Crusade has released Super Smash Bros. Crusade version 0.9.1. This update not only brings new content but several major changes to the game’s existing characters and mechanics.
The update introduces three new characters: Dr. Mario, Shantae and Nega Shantae. Dr. Mario plays much like he does in the official Super Smash Bros. games, though he has a handful of new moves. Shantae is an all-rounder with three transformations via her neutral special. Nega Shantae is an aggressive rushdown character with strong combo game, though she lacks Shantae’s alternate forms. Instead, she briefly transforms during certain attack animations.
Alongside the three new characters, several characters have been drastically changed. Some characters, like Link and Ness, are now more in line with their incarnations in official Smash titles, while others, such as Lucas and Pichu, received unique tools that their official counterparts lack. Many of Crusade’s newcomers have also received changes, either to make them more accurate to their source material or to facilitate smoother gameplay.
The update also comes with a few variations on existing characters. Marth, Lucario and the Ice Climbers all have the option to use altered character properties. Marth has access to altered sweetspot mechanics inspired by Lucina and Roy, Lucario can be used with aura enabled or disabled, and both Ice Climbers are available as solo characters. Link and Little Mac also have two variants each - one with their specials from the official Smash titles and another with original specials from previous versions of Crusade.
Alongside the roster updates, Crusade has received six new stages. Four of these stages - Meta Crystal, Sector Z, Luigi’s Mansion and Balloon Fight - hail from official Super Bros. titles. The other two - the Hyperbolic Time Chamber and Ice Cap Zone - are unique to Crusade.
Several new game modes have also been introduced. Classic mode is now available as both a single player and co-op multiplayer mode. The update also adds a king of the hill-style multiplayer mode called King of the Ring.
Universal Mechanics and Controls
Crusade version 0.9.1 now has native support for most PC-compatible controllers, including Nintendo’s official GameCube to Wii U controller adapter and Mayflash's third-party GameCube Controller adapter. This also comes with support for analog inputs and changes to movement, shields and some attacks that take advantage of this.
Crusade’s movement mechanics have also received some tweaks. Jumping is now more in line with the official Super Smash Bros. titles, with only a short hop or a full jump. Air dodge mechanics have also been altered. While previous versions of Crusade had the option to choose between Melee’s air dodge mechanics, Brawl’s air dodge mechanics and Crusade’s original air dodge mechanics, version 0.9.1 has moved this from the global settings to individual player settings. Crusade’s original air dodge has also been changed from a fixed distance like Melee’s to one based on each character’s air mobility.
In response to criticisms about Crusade’s lackluster visuals, version 0.9.1 comes with several visual overhauls. Pikachu and Gooey have both received completely new sprites to better fit in with the rest of the roster, and most of the cast has received improved visual effects. Characters also larger in proportion to stages, and the camera has been zoomed in to more accurately resemble official Super Smash Bros. titles. Crusade’s character select screen has also been updated with completely redrawn artwork for the entire cast.
Super Smash Bros. Crusade is available for free on Gamejolt. You can follow Project Crusade on Twitter or join their official Discord server.