Thoughts on Transformation Mechanics

What did you think of Transformations?

  • Awesome! Hope to see them back!

    Votes: 14 22.2%
  • Terrible! Keep everyone separate!

    Votes: 33 52.4%
  • It was interesting, but I never really cared much.

    Votes: 16 25.4%

  • Total voters
    63

CaptainAmerica

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:4zelda:/:4sheik:
:4samus:/:4zss:
:squirtle:/:ivysaur:/:charizard:

So we've had some characters in previous games that allowed swapping between movesets during play.

In Melee, it was Zelda's gimmick. Nobody else had the ability, and both characters were loaded simultaneously. That meant her transformation was instant and she went from a magical powerhouse (albeit a bit light and floaty) to a speedster.

By Brawl, Samus could destroy her armor after a final smash, and get a new moveset that way. Here, characters were not simultaneously loaded, and transformations took a few moments to do. The Pokémon Trainer's 'mons had the same effect, in that they had to change every so often and took a bit to switch out. However, it was easier to select the starting form of each character.

Transformation moves were removed in Sm4sh and each form was given a unique slot.

How would you like to see transformations handled?

Personally, I thought they were awesome. I am a super casual, so I can't really speak from a tourney mode, but I loved switching out the Trainer's 'mons. Zelda and Samus I usually kept as those forms, since I'm terrible at playing the agile versions, but I sitll liked that I could switch if I wanted to.

I'd like to see the transformations back, with the ability to select the starting form on the select screen like they were in Brawl. If they did it like in Melee, where the transformations were instant, it could also be interesting for the metagame (i.e. to get Shiek's speed with Zelda's power without missing a beat).
 
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Never was a fan. It pretty much tethered characters together and made them weaker because they were all down a move.

Charizard, ZSS, and Smash For Sheik showed how much better they are apart IMO.
:061:
 
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Rocket Raccoon

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Everyone is a lot better off without their counterparts. I'm surprised how good everyone is without them.
 

FunAtParties

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I hate 'em. From a balance standpoint they make no sense, especially in Pokemon Trainer's case where you were forced to switch characters based on fatigue. Otherwise giving the character an extra slot takes literally nothing, and is a far better option as it doesn't rob each character of one move.

It was a holy **** thing back in the day when it was first introduced, but it's in the past now, and that's where it belongs imo
 

CaptainAmerica

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Fair enough. That’s actually one of the things I think they could have done with custom specials - make one set be the transformation, and then have another special for people who don’t want it.

I just would rather they had fixed it by making them instant again. I never transformed mid-match in Brawl because of it, but I did use it in Melee since you could use it. Granted, I spent most of the match as Zelda anyway, so the transformations for me were just a move I didn’t use much, it was just nice that they were there.

The one I did use was that the Trainer threw out a new mon every stock, and that made for a nice development for me. I loved playing the Trainer in a 6-stock match, and I would always play wach stock with a different mon.

The other thing I like was that transformations made characters relevant that might not be otherwise. After all, for Sm4sh, we only got Charizard back - I don’t think Squirtle has much chance as a solo character, but the transformation made him relevant. I’d say the same for Shiek since she’s really only been in one game and a spin-off, but she’s pretty well grandfathered into Smash now.
 

Arthreeteseven

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I never realized how much I didn't want transformations until the characters were separated.

It was an interesting novelty of an idea at first, but I think we're better off where we are now.
My thoughts exactly. I found Pokemon Trainer to be particularly annoying, the gimmick ruined the character for me. But Charizard in Sm4sh was awesome!
 

AnonymousMoon

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I wouldn’t go as far as to say the transformations were terrible per se — it was a fascinating idea being able to switch between Zelda or Sheik / Pokémon / Samus

But I think it’s far more advantageous to separate the characters in order to improve their playing style and make them interesting individually rather than rely on a switch mechanic.

But I do acknowledge that Pokémon trainer suffered a bit with the loss of Ivysaur and Squrtle. So there is something of a debate to be had as to whether or not their “sacrifice” was worth having Charizard as his own.

I personally think yes.
 

pupNapoleon

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I would like a single character to utilize transformations, one where in it is a big mechanic within the world of the series from which the character comes.
In theory it could go back to Zelda, but after we have seen what power she holds in BotW, it would seem to weaken her.

If the transformation went back to just one character to utilizes specially, it would be a nice unique trait. And Then they could even find a better way to balance the character.
 

Quillion

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Transformations are all right. I'm fine either way, but I think the best solution is to transform by taunt so that everyone has a full special move set.
 

CaptainAmerica

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If we only got one transformer in game, I’d be fine with that so long as it was:pt:.

I do like Zelda/Shiek, but realistically I only did play Zelda. There is no chance she’s getting cut, and I expect Shiek will hang on despite her lack of relevance to the main series because she’s on top of every tier list and people would riot.

The Trainer on the other hand worked around the transformations, not had it as a novelty. Squirtle and Ivy have nothing going for them outside of this, and the team was well done. Not every character needs to be competitively viable, and his mechanic made him lots of fun to play.

Transformations are all right. I'm fine either way, but I think the best solution is to transform by taunt so that everyone has a full special move set.
That’s...actually an incredible idea for a compromise.
 

Quillion

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That’s...actually an incredible idea for a compromise.
Some people say that taunt limits online will put a damper on this, but I don't think an exception for transformations would be too hard to implement.

Heck, I'd be fine if Ganondorf had the ability to draw his sword with a taunt until he puts it away with a taunt.
 

CaptainAmerica

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Heck, I'd be fine if Ganondorf had the ability to draw his sword with a taunt until he puts it away with a taunt.
I keep forgetting about taunts as worthy moves. This would also be a great and totally necessary addition.

Bring it all on!
 

Mario & Sonic Guy

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The problem with transformation mechanics is knowing how useless they are once you've noticed how significantly better the alternate form is. Ever since Zelda and Sheik entered the Smash scene, Sheik has always been the more dominant force, making it heavily impractical to switch back to Zelda, regardless of her longer-ranged recovery.

And then we have the Pokemon Trainer, where his Pokemon are hindered by the stamina system. The stamina system basically forces you to switch Pokemon, and that means you have to adapt to three different playstyles during a single match. While the concept seemed good during Brawl's time, it's probably for the best that it never returned in Smash 3DS / Wii U.

If you can't find a way to make the transformation mechanic be worth using, it should probably be limited to just Final Smashes.
 

Guybrush20X6

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My only idea for Transformation mechanics is to make them an option. So, for example, you could pick Charizard, Squirtle and Ivysaur separately, each with their own down B moves and there's an option to play them altogether as Pokemon Trainer. Removing stamina of course as the downside would be not having the Down B attacks.
 

Quillion

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The problem with transformation mechanics is knowing how useless they are once you've noticed how significantly better the alternate form is. Ever since Zelda and Sheik entered the Smash scene, Sheik has always been the more dominant force, making it heavily impractical to switch back to Zelda, regardless of her longer-ranged recovery.
Which has nothing to do with how Zelda and Sheik transform into one another and more to do with how Smash has always favored the Fragile Speedsters in high-level play.

And then we have the Pokemon Trainer, where his Pokemon are hindered by the stamina system. The stamina system basically forces you to switch Pokemon, and that means you have to adapt to three different playstyles during a single match. While the concept seemed good during Brawl's time, it's probably for the best that it never returned in Smash 3DS / Wii U.
Again, this has nothing to do with the Pokémon Trainer switching concept being bad. His unique stamina and type-effectiveness mechanics weren't well thought out.

If you can't find a way to make the transformation mechanic be worth using, it should probably be limited to just Final Smashes.
Solution: DON'T balance characters around transforming. All transforming characters should be treated as separate beasts before they get the ability to transform. This way, it can feel like the alternate moveset is a bonus instead of a crutch.
 

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I'd only want transformations back if I got my dream of Majora's Mask Link with mask transformations
 

pupNapoleon

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The break up of transformations in the last game always bothered me. But only because of the characters.
Sheik is only popular due to Smash and should have been Impa instead.
Zero Suit Samus is based off of very little in her own games, and shouldn't really be viable on her own compared to the armored Samus, much less better.
And then we lost two original movesets in Pokemon Trainer, including my absolute favorite Pokemon, and not just did we lose them, but half of the Smash-centric community does not even acknowledge that they were cut.
 

Blue_Sword_Edge

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I only want transformations if it makes sense for a character to do so. Eliminating this mechanic altogether for "more unique characters" is a mixed statement to say. It does give move variety, but take away from an area of character variety at the same time.

Zelda/Sheik made sense in Melee since Zelda was capable of doing so in Ocarina of Time and Melee took that Zelda game's design.

If Zelda and Sheik were to stay separate. I'd like a "for show only" thing with Sheik that tells people that Sheik is the Ocarina of Time Zelda, like what Melee's opening movie did with Sheik, for Sheik's Final Smash.

Zero Suit Samus is based off of very little in her own games, and shouldn't really be viable on her own compared to the armored Samus, much less better.
If Smash went by the games more faithfully then this statement would be valid. Samus isn't super slow when it comes to her power suit and her athletic prowess isn't entirely restricted. I do like both Power Suit and Zero Suit Samus, but I see more potential for Power Suit Samus. It doesn't help my opinion that I don't have the Zero Mission game and never play it for a long enough period of to better look at Zero Suit Samus. We are, however, dealing with two versions of the same entity and this isn't the alter ego, disguise, or reincarnation scenarios.

My opinion of the Pokémon Trainer is that wasn't the greatest example of the "transformation" mechanic. They're essential three Pokémon that essentially could stand alone without the association of the Pokémon Trainer. They weren't the same entity and seemed entirely reasonable to separate the Pokémon.
 
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BluePikmin11

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Here are my thoughts on transformation characters coming back:

I think there is a good shot of transformations being reworked. Sakurai does change his general philosophy, gameplay direction and goals on what the should accomplish for every Smash game. Among the character concepts that will likely be considered again, duo characters and transformation characters will likely be considered, especially when 3DS limitations were the main reason those kinds of characters were removed from Smash 4. Even though Masahiro Sakurai stated that transformations were left out of Smash 4 for the better gameplay wise, there is just not enough concrete information and clarification from him that would make me fully doubt the inclusion of transformations in this game.

Sakurai has further clarified on many gameplay aspects that made me assure of his sayings such as Villager/WFT's inclusion, Smash 4 game balance, Cloud's inclusion, and the Ice Climbers. But with transformations, he has only been mentioned these types of characters once in a October 2014 Famitsu column:

Q: Why were Zelda and Sheik, Samus and Zero Suit Samus separated?

Basically, it comes down to the limitations of the 3DS.
It is a portable device, and no matter how you slice it, having two characters “coexist” at once is impossible. Pokémon Trainer is three characters, so it’s even more impossible. However, there are times when limitations can work in your favor. Transformation-type fighters had some flaws where their characterization or strategies were vague, so now I think they’re much more clear.
*Even though the link to the article is a 2015 one, this is the Source Gaming translation of the October 2014 Famitsu column.

Ever since this quote was translated by other sources way back in October 2014, the response towards the removal was met with very positive reception. I understand that with this one quote and the reception, people feel assured that transformations will not be returning. But I feel you cannot base everything with just one quote even with universal positive reception of the removal from the competitive community. Even with Sakurai saying it would be for the best to focus on one character, it does not mean the same logic would apply for the next game's goals. We just do not have enough concrete information to affirm the belief that transformations will be a removal for the long term.

The way transformations were handled back in Brawl and Melee were definitely flawed, especially with Pokemon Trainer elemental weakness and stamina mechanic. But with Sakurai starting in a clean state for this new Smash game, it allows room for improvement that can be made with the transformation mechanics. Transformations can be modified to a point where it does not interfere with gameplay balance, where PKMN Trainer's elemental weakness and stamina mechanic can disappear. Instead for example, you could have all transformations activated through taunting instead of wasting it on specials, allowing Pokemon Trainer's 3 characters to have an extra special move to freshen up play-styles. Or you can integrate to where you can play as Zelda and have her immediately/briefly transform as Sheik to use a special move, acting like an assist attack in the Marvel vs. Capcom games. You can interchange between having Sheik with Zelda as assist too.

Those are easy solutions to the transformation problem. And I doubt Sakurai will be letting go of them that easy, especially when 3DS limitations prevented the mechanics from possibly being improved way back in Smash 4. With the current information we have about transformations in Smash 4 and solutions that can be made in Smash Switch, I would be open about the possibility of transformations returning. The fact of the matter is that it can go either way. It is not unlikely as people claim it to be. Sakurai has the big opportunity/talent to better integrate the mechanics in this new Smash and not let go of the concept for good. I am banking on transformations returning.
 
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Tollhouse

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When Zelda and Sheik were confirmed separate, I was open to the idea. I never missed the transformations when I saw how good they were when separated. I mean like others said, they could just do some kind of taunt combination to preserve the transformation. I wouldn't be opposed to that. My main concern was the lack of down B. That hurt Zelda in brawl especially and really hindered the Pokemon Trainer concept which was unfortunate.

I thought the Pokemon Trainer was a great idea but they didn't make good decisions. I hated how you had to cycle through them and it was bull that they'd tire out if not switched out.

I'm gonna put my money on Sakurai keeping them separate in smash 5.
 

MrRoidley

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In the case of Zelda/Sheik and Samus/ZSS, it indeed was a improvement. They all felt way better to play and I'd actually go and try playing as all four of them, instead of just often favoring one half of them in Melee/Brawl.

To me, however, Charizard just felt boring as a standalone character. Maybe it's its moveset as a whole, maybe its the character itself, but Charizard just felt underwhelming in comparison to Pokémon Trainer in Brawl, regardless if the Pokémon tired out after some time and the lack of down-b
 

MBRedboy31

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For transformations to feel fully natural and not just something tacked onto a character's moveset as an extra, the transformation needs to flow, in a way. All of the previous transforming characters had long and drawn out animations for transforming; you could only do them in a period of inaction. If the transformations are going to flow, then the Switch needs to be technically capable of holding both involved characters fully in RAM, and the transformation itself should be really fast.

Just look at tag-team fighting games in general; switching characters is often used to extend combos. Perhaps a transforming character could be actually a tag team, and one of their specials is similar in function to an assist, except that you switch to the assisting character as they finish their attack.

An example that I don't really think should happen, but kind of shows the idea: Imagine if Zelda/Sheik had Transform back, but it was like a two frame long animation with practically no start or end lag. You could transform in neutral, or in the middle of combos, or to punish something that the other character wouldn't be able to punish, ect; there would be practical reasons for using it a lot in the heat of battle.

It might be better for character switching to be a side mode rather than a specific feature of any character, though, so then you can pair up anyone you want and have fun seeing which character compositions have the deadliest combos and/or cover the most options.
 

CaptainAmerica

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For transformations to feel fully natural and not just something tacked onto a character's moveset as an extra, the transformation needs to flow, in a way. All of the previous transforming characters had long and drawn out animations for transforming; you could only do them in a period of inaction. If the transformations are going to flow, then the Switch needs to be technically capable of holding both involved characters fully in RAM, and the transformation itself should be really fast.
That's how Zelda/Shiek worked in Melee, and because of that it was easier to control. Brawl had problems with loading the transform characters (or any other times something was added or removed from memory, like during the Tag-team All Star event) so Zelda/Shiek/Samus/ZSS/Squirtle/Ivy/Charizard just ended up a sitting suck for a bit. If you played an unbalanced team battle with two Zeldas and a Shiek on a team, one of the Zeldas would be able to transform instantly since both characters (and colors) were loaded already for the match.

I'd love if Smash Switch brought back the transforms fixed so they could be used again. Sure, Samus/ZSS was irritating to be forced upon Final Smash, so I'd like that to be a hold-to-transform-or-tap-to-not deal. Zelda's not gone to Shiek since OoT (or HW), so I wouldn't miss if they just cut Shiek wholesale - maybe give the moveset to Impa so people don't lose that moveset, but Shiek is basically irrelevant without transformation now. The Trainer, on the other hand, needed that mechanic. Pokémon is all about type matchups and switching to get the best one, so that mechanic fit him beautifully. Charizard was heavy and slow, with a lot of strong attacks; Ivy had no air game, but great projectile control; and Squirtle had the mobility. It'd be nice for them to have the transformation on the side taunt so you could choose which way to cycle in case you needed a specific mon, but if the transformations were instant, the switching could be a useful mechanic.
 

MBRedboy31

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At least it didn't take as long to load as transformations on 3DS, ahaha... (since 3DS did have full transformations, just that they were for Final Smashes only. They're not all just reskins either; Giga Bowser in Smash 4 retained his Brawl moveset.)

Sheik is important because of Smash itself; as long as she's important in metagames (like Melee's at the least since she might not be good in Smash 5,) people will know who she is for her own merits and not for being Zelda's transformation. While that's obviously not a "veterans can't be cut" assurance, high/top tiers tend to have more notability in the fanbase just because of their continual use.

In Pokemon Trainer's case, it's a gameplay mechanic in every main series Pokemon game that switching gives the opponent a free hit (with the exception of stuff like the "swap" mode against AI trainers and alternate modes like Rotation Battles) so it seems very unlikely that it would be changed for him if he were to return.
 

Caravan of Noobs

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I don't like the transformation mechanics as part of a character's moveset but I would be 100% for a tag team mode in Smash.
 

Crystanium

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I find the transformation mechanic to be useless. As someone pointed out, with the option to transform, competitive players are going to settle for the better character. This is one reason I'd prefer Sheik to be Impa instead. Same or similar moveset, different skin, different name. Zelda could then be given a better moveset so she can be independent of her outdated counter-part. (Sheik is my secondary. I really enjoy the character's high learning curve and moveset.)

By outdated, I mean that Sheik isn't common in the Zelda series. Honestly, I won't complain if Sheik returns. Like I said, I really enjoy the character. She's what ZSS should have been. I feel that ZSS' debut also ruined Samus. Samus was good in SSBM, but not in SSBB. The frames for Samus in SSBM, for example, are somewhat better than in Sm4sh.
 

Sean Wheeler

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I hated how Zero Suit Samus had to run from the Smash Ball because I didn't want her armor. Even worse when I was up against someone with a dangerous Final Smash. Seeing Charizard on his own made me want to see Squirtle and Ivysaur without the trainer. And at least I can fight Zelda without her turning into Sheik. Transformations can't return. And sadly, neither can the Pokémon Trainer because while I want the entire roster to return and the alternate character costumes in Smash 4 make me want to see him as Leaf, May, Lucas, Hilbert, Hilda, Ethan, etc, the way everyone seemed to improved without the transform gimmick would be a good reason not to include transformations on the Switch. Instead, they should just make a tag-team mode for players who liked switching characters. And that mode not only let's you pair up the former transformation characters, you can also pair up any other characters no matter how unrelated they are like Sonic and Roy. And the minus button triggers the switching in that mode so that no one would sacrifice a move or a taunt. If they do bring back transformations, please don't bring back Zero Suit Samus' Brawl Final Smash. That would make a lose-lose situation for her when a Smash Ball shows up.
 

Idon

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Honestly, the transformations were always done poorly in Smash as the balance always favored one character significantly since Smash doesn't know how to balance its goddamn cast.
Separate, there could be much better scrutiny as to how to balance the two characters separately and provide effective moves to the worse counterpart.

Or give the better character some dumb flippy kill move.
 

MarineIris

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Another super casual here to say that I played transforming characters back when they transformed and barely play them now. The ability to transform and have double the moveset was the reason I played Zelda at all. It was so cool! I'm not sure why we can't provide balancing scrutiny to Zelda then reattach her to herself afterwards as a taunt move. I can't even look at Charizard without thinking of wasted potential. Pokemon Trainer was my favorite!
 

Mushguy

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I guess that would make me a casual, too, since I also enjoyed the transformations, especially with Zelda/Sheik, since it was made at will. Now that the Ice Climbers and Pokemon Trainer are returning, why not go full force and return the mechanic that was actually enjoyed by players who played the game for fun?
 
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Sean Wheeler

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I'm a casual too and I want Zero Suit Samus to be stay separated from Samus. Sure, switching between Zelda and Sheik was fun, but using the Smash Ball to change Samus was the worst way to transform. Making transformations exclusive to the guy who literally can't function without it was the best compromise Ultimate made.
 
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Never was a fan. It pretty much tethered characters together and made them weaker because they were all down a move.

Charizard, ZSS, and Smash For Sheik showed how much better they are apart IMO.
:061:
Me: being the first post of the thread^^


Me now that PT are back and switching has been biffed like crazy and stamina and types are gone: **** YEAH POKEMON TRAINER GO GET EM IVYSAUR
:061:
 

Mushguy

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I'm a casual too and I want Zero Suit Samus to be stay separated from Samus. Sure, switching between Zelda and Sheik was fun, but using the Smash Ball to change Samus was the worst way to transform. Making transformations exclusive to the guy who literally can't function without it was the best compromise Ultimate made.
In the case of Samus, why not make it an option? For example, after performing a Final Smash, you should be given the option to either keep the form, or just change it. If I'm not wrong, Zero Suit Samus changed into her Power Suit when performing her Final Smash, so you should be given the option there. In the case of Zelda/Sheik, there's the custom moves. Either that or a new button combination.

Edit: I just saw Samus's Final Smash now, and the option to change forms should be given there, too.
 
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FunAtParties

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I'm not changing my opinion, transformations was always a bad idea, and should've stayed gone. PT characters coming back is fine, but they should've kept them separate.
 

Gallowglass

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I've been pondering this idea over a Captain Rainbow moveset. I think it could be useful if it did something else besides transform. That messes up the flow of battle and kind of wastes a special move slot. So if it did something else where you could attack with it and flow seamlessly between the two I could see it being useful. With Captain Rainbow I thought of this.

Nick > Captain
Nick summons a rainbow arch over his body. If anyone touches the rainbow they'll take damage and be knocked back. This works since I design Captain as a mid ranged fighter with his yo-yo. This would help him to not be swarmed once he transforms.

Captain > Nick
Capt. curls up and glows bright yellow. Anyone near him will get stunned. Since Nick is a more unconventional fighter this will allow him to use more unusual moves or just to get distance from them.

This also allows variation in custom options too.
 
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Jexulus

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I personally thought Zelda transforming into Sheik in Melee was fine because it was instantaneous and she was the only character that could do it at the time. Brawl's implementation was poor, and I didn't like that these transformation characters didn't have a "full moveset" for the sake of transformation. I was actually stoked when transformations were removed in Smash 4, because it meant Charizard was fully fleshed out as his own character and honestly feels way more fun to play than in Brawl.

Now that PT is back and transformations are instantaneous and can be done in mid-air, that makes up for removing Charizard's Down Special in my eyes because it fixed the other problem of transformations taking too long.

And now my stupid pipe dream of a digivolving Agumon can live on for a few more months.
 

Quillion

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I know this thread is a few months old, but I would like to transfer a certain discussion here.

Over on the Shield-B thread, we've been discussing that since Inklings have Shield-B to charge their Ink tanks. So, I got the idea that maybe instead of forcing Down-B to be the designated transforming input, maybe Shield-B could work instead.

That said, I would still like Zelda and Sheik to be separate, I also want to keep Zero Suit Samus and Varia Samus separate, and I would have preferred that that the Trainer's Pokémon were all separate.

BUT, I think that Shield-B would be a great way to allow certain characters to pull a weapon to change their playstyle. Not everyone, mind you (most of the Shield-Bs I came up with for other characters were simple status buffs), but for the ones where there is untapped potential for using other weapons (Link, Kirby, Pit/Dark Pit, the Fire Emblem characters, especially Ganondorf). It wouldn't entirely change the character, but it would simply allow a way for characters to play differently without the loading issues of old transforming characters.
 

Blackwolf666

Smash Ace
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
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I liked them when they first came out but after playing sheik for a while and not being as great with Zelda... I always felt like I was down a move in melee days. so when they were separated in smash 4 I cheered.

However with Pokemon Trainer I was good with all 3 of them so I liked transforming but still felt down a move. I’m going to miss rock smash. I agree with several suggestions here about changing transform to a taunt or shield b
 
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