Who do you feel are the most well designed fighters in the game?

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#1
Basically, title. I want to stress I do not mean BEST, but most well designed. Bayonetta was the best fighter in the last game, but you'd be hard pressed to find anyone saying she was well designed. I think even now she is rough around the edges lol.

But I want to know what people think are the best designed fighters in the game, and WHY (if you can).
 

channel_KYX

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#2
Mario, because he flows well and feels like him.
Bowser, because he really is that huge, scary monster coming at you.
Link does feel like straight out of his games.
Ridley, because he feels brutal and ruthless; as he should.
 
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#3
Being the Metroid fan that I am, I'd have to say I'm pleased with Dark Samus' and Ridley's design. When Ridley was first announced, I was surprised how he looked. I described him as looking like Death. His eyes were designed pretty well so as not to look silly. His body is covered in an exoskeleton. His wings don't look too small, but maybe that's because he's crouching most of the time. His up taunt looks and sounds great because it demonstrates his ferocity and might. Even his Meta Ridley/Ridley Robot appearance is interesting because he has some muscular tone that's smooth.

Then there's Dark Samus, whose movement is fluid. Her armor received a nice update. I also like how she's non-chalant about charging her Charge Shot and Super Missile. I believe it's her up taunt, where she generates a Phazon aura that surrounds her as she swirls. That looks neat. Even the color choices are awesome. I prefer the pink one the most, although the black one (I call that "Extra Dark Samus") is pretty neat as well.
 

Xelrog

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#4
Well, uh... I could tell you about fighters I think AREN'T well-designed. I can't think of any that stand out to be as especially well-designed in this game, as I think that's just kind of the baseline.

I like Megs, though. :ultmegaman: I remember thinking it was so strange when he was revealed and had the pellets as his standard attack, but after playing him a little bit he grew on me. I love the variety of moves he has and how many different weapons from throughout the series are represented--and I don't even like Mega Man games.

On the opposite extreme, you have :ultsonic:, everything about whose moveset and representation in Brawl felt to me as if Nintendo had only the most fundamental knowledge to work with after playing the first level of Sonic 1 for about five minutes. What an overwhelming disappointment he was.
 
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#5
Well, uh... I could tell you about fighters I think AREN'T well-designed. I can't think of any that stand out to be as especially well-designed in this game, as I think that's just kind of the baseline.

I like Megs, though. :ultmegaman: I remember thinking it was so strange when he was revealed and had the pellets as his standard attack, but after playing him a little bit he grew on me. I love the variety of moves he has and how many different weapons from throughout the series are represented--and I don't even like Mega Man games.

On the opposite extreme, you have :ultsonic:, everything about whose moveset and representation in Brawl felt to me as if Nintendo had only the most fundamental knowledge to work with after playing the first level of Sonic 1 for about five minutes. What an overwhelming disappointment he was.
Nice answer, but I meant more of gameplay wise, rather than accuracy to source material.
 
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#7
Then wouldn’t you say all the top tier characters have the best design?
Would people say Bayonetta is a well-designed character in Smash 4 simply because she's the best one? I have yet to see it. Pretty much everyone I've seen talk about Bayonetta's design as a fighter say that she isn't well designed. So no, top tier, doesn't mean "well-designed".
 

Rhus

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#8
I think all the space animals :ultfox::ultfalco::ultwolf: are well designed in that they fit the archetype of the series well - fast, precision gameplay that is optimized by speed and movement, very similar to the Star Fox games, and heavily punishes minor errors. I think :ultfox: has always represented this incredibly well.

:ultrobin::ultduckhunt: - I think personally that these characters are amazingly built, probably the best in the game. :ultrobin: uses his series' core mechanics in interesting ways, notably his usage and how it plays into a strategy game of resource management and thoughtful planning. Further exemplified by his ability to grab his used items, two sets of aerials, four different projectiles in one move etc.

:ultduckhunt: is simply genius. He's got some of the most interesting toolsets in the game and his projectiles have distinct counterplay and ways to play around them., but also enable lots of flexible play on :ultduckhunt:'s part. I'm working him into my main roster because he's just so neat.

:ultolimar: - So faithful to his games and tons of interesting mechanics. Olimar is incredibly difficult to play well and requires a ton of forethought and playing as him means using his colours in the most optimal way possible - very reminiscent of the boss fights in Pikmin. There's also a lot of ways to play around him as he has a discrete set of weaknesses - even if lots of people don't like fighting him.

:ultwario:- I don't play him but I do love the character. I think they have now reached a good balance of his Warioware and Warioland identities and changed his animations more to match his quirky personality. Gameplay wise he has discrete weaknesses to play around, namely small hitboxes and poor ground speed, and can actually be gimped now. He has a fun advantage position, combos, and a good cohesive gameplan. I'm not entirely sure if the fart is a good design or not - on one hand it gives him an exciting comeback mechanic to use, and can be hugely detrimental to his set if he misses, but also definitely feelsbadman to be winning against him and be on your last stock each with Wario at 150% and you at 35% and he just farts and you die.

Poorly Designed Characters

:ultlucario: - Aura is a terrible mechanic and in my opinion should be entirely reworked. personally think Lucario is the weakest design of all characters in smash - his base moveset feels bad when you're in the lead (low %) and makes the opponent feel bad when they're winning. Unlike other characters with comeback mechanics, Lucario's boils down to "don't get hit" which is not suitable counterplay.

:ultzelda::ultlucas: - I don't inherently think these two are badly designed per se, but moreso lack a cohesive gameplan. Zelda is a immobile character who seems to be geared toward a zoner variant, but only has her DownB which actually zones as Din's is far too vulnerable on stage and doesn't control enough space to truly "wall" someone out. She doesn't have a lot of good retreating options sans Nayru's love for a "get off me" attack, and as such has trouble covering herself as a zoner. Lucas has somewhat similar problems - I still don't know if he's supposed to be a zoner or some zoner/mix up hybrid but it just seems like his gameplan doesn't compliment him well. His PK Fire and Zair cover his zoning potential but he has no real traps like Duck Hunt, Pac Man, or Robin, but his edgeguarding is really strong - but he is often pretty far away and not fast enough to get the most optimal follow up. Lucas seems like he's a lot of things without the tools to seamlessly blend them together. I love Lucas as a character, but I just cannot wrap my head around how he plays. I think Zelda is in more need of an overhaul than Lucas, however.

There are other characters that I think are somewhat poorly designed from an options standpoint, in that their gameplan focuses super heavily on linear, and/or flowchart-like gameplay, such as :ultyoshi::ultike::ultpalutena::ultrob:, or by ignoring lots of valuable source material (:ultyounglink::ulttoonlink::ultganondorf:) but that criticism is a little different than the ones I have for :ultlucario::ultlucas::ultzelda:.
 
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#9
I think that :ultshulk::ultcloud::ultrobin::ultrobinf::ultlittlemac: are very well designed characters from a faithful standpoint. They all feel like the characters they were in their original games.

I like the way :ultyoshi: is designed because he feels as fast as he was in Yoshi’s Island and he has the same moves, but now he has a bunch of tail, kicking and face attacks. If there was a beat’em up portion of Smash Bros Ultimate, Yoshi would be a lot of fun to use. :ultsimon: feels like you are actually playing Castlevania and as a cool 80’s action hero. Finally, :ultfalcon: may not be the most loyal fighter to his franchise, but he has the coolest moves in the game from Falcon Punch to The Knee of Justice. I have always been fond of the way these three characters are designed.

My absolute favorite designed character however is :ultpacman:. Seriously, everything about this character is awesome from the ghost smash attacks, the power pellet side B, the Namco references in his taunts, and the fruit for his neutral special. The way he was design felt like a love letter to Pac-Man fans, and it is one of the reasons why I love playing as the yellow chomper so much.

As far as poorly designed characters go, I really do not like how :ultchrom: looks in this game. I was looking forward to using him as a fan of Fire Emblem Awakening, but I just prefer Roy’s fire to whatever affects Chrom has. :ulttoonlink: had potential to be a really cool character, but they made him into a lame and inferior regular Link clone. The worst of them all in my opinion is :ultdoc:. He is a boring version of Mario and I already don’t really care that much for Mario. He is not even meme worthy like Isabelle nor does he have interesting mechanics like Olimar. He is just incredibly dull to play as and to watch in my opinion. No offense to Doc mains.
 
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JiggyNinja

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#10
:ultsnake: Explosions! Explosions everywhere! He has such a versatile and powerful array of weapons that really brings him together as a character. Combined with his powerful CQC and he is dangerous at every range.

:ultsimon::ultrichter: Everything they have is oriented toward mid to long range combat. It makes them weak to CQC, but they have a definite theme. When I saw the range on that whip in the trailer I was smitten.

:ultmarth::ultlucina::ultroy::ultchrom: Very good basic characters without a lot of frills. There's just a few too many characters trying to fit this style IMO.
 
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#12
I second that the opinion that the Star Fox characters in this game are well designed. They engage with the physics well like in Melee, but they're much easier to pick up and have Ultimate's more fluid controls.

Personally, I know that Wolf is better, but I favor Fox's fluidity just a little more.
 

Rhus

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#13
I second that the opinion that the Star Fox characters in this game are well designed. They engage with the physics well like in Melee, but they're much easier to pick up and have Ultimate's more fluid controls.

Personally, I know that Wolf is better, but I favor Fox's fluidity just a little more.
Even though I clearly have bias, I think Fox's gameplan in the most well fleshed out, and doesn't have much frontloading in his kit (that is to say, all his tools are useful, without a specific focus on one or two tools). Wolf's kit is frontloaded onto his blaster at the moment (which is fine, but it makes his gameplay less diverse than Fox's) and Falco's Fair is slightly frontloaded as well.

To be clear, frontloading is not inherently bad so long as it doesn't completely stagnate the character. Characters with frontloaded kits are like :ultkingdedede::ultpiranha::ultrobin::ultpacman::ultduckhunt::ultrob:, but these aren't too bad overall, as they are still variable enough with diverse options, which is clearly a major philosophical decision in the character balancing in Ultimate.

:4metaknight::4mario::4bayonetta::4cloud::4corrin::4zss: Were examples of bad frontloaded kits in Sm4sh.
 
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#14
Even though I clearly have bias, I think Fox's gameplan in the most well fleshed out, and doesn't have much frontloading in his kit (that is to say, all his tools are useful, without a specific focus on one or two tools). Wolf's kit is frontloaded onto his blaster at the moment (which is fine, but it makes his gameplay less diverse than Fox's) and Falco's Fair is slightly frontloaded as well.

To be clear, frontloading is not inherently bad so long as it doesn't completely stagnate the character. Characters with frontloaded kits are like :ultkingdedede::ultpiranha::ultrobin::ultpacman::ultduckhunt::ultrob:, but these aren't too bad overall, as they are still variable enough with diverse options, which is clearly a major philosophical decision in the character balancing in Ultimate.

:4metaknight::4mario::4bayonetta::4cloud::4corrin::4zss: Were examples of bad frontloaded kits in Sm4sh.
Weren't most of the viable characters in Smash 4 "frontloaded" as crap, though? (personally, I'd just use the term "linear playstyle")
 
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#15
Weren't most of the viable characters in Smash 4 "frontloaded" as crap, though? (personally, I'd just use the term "linear playstyle")
And that's why the transition to Ultimate for a vast majority of fighters involved one or two key things being nerfed while buffing almost everything else. To use a TF2 term, it was turning "specialists" into "generalists". DK is the biggest example right now. Used to be all about Ding Dong combos and was unviable otherwise. Now his moveset is overall usable. This is one particular part of what I would call a well designed character, at least in a fighting game.
 
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#16
And that's why the transition to Ultimate for a vast majority of fighters involved one or two key things being nerfed while buffing almost everything else. To use a TF2 term, it was turning "specialists" into "generalists". DK is the biggest example right now. Used to be all about Ding Dong combos and was unviable otherwise. Now his moveset is overall usable. This is one particular part of what I would call a well designed character, at least in a fighting game.
I see that there's a lot of push for characters to have lots of options. So I would like to ask this question:

What is the line between "all characters have useful options" and "all characters feel the same"? To put it in a more fun way, how do we avoid this situation?:


It may sound silly, but it's something of a dilemma I have. Where would the variability come if everyone has good combo moves? If everyone had good kill moves? If everyone had good recoveries? If everyone had good reversals or good "keep away" moves?

I know it's good for characters to have options, but I'm a little wary of the game getting homogenous if they have the tools for every situation. I want characters who are bad at comboing. I want characters who are bad at killing. I want characters who have bad recoveries. I want characters with bad spacing. How do you do variety if everyone has tools for every situation?
 
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#17
It may sound silly, but it's something of a dilemma I have. Where would the variability come if everyone has good combo moves? If everyone had good kill moves? If everyone had good recoveries? If everyone had good reversals or good "keep away" moves?

I know it's good for characters to have options, but I'm a little wary of the game getting homogenous if they have the tools for every situation. I want characters who are bad at comboing. I want characters who are bad at killing. I want characters who have bad recoveries. I want characters with bad spacing. How do you do variety if everyone has tools for every situation?
The answer is that these universal options and tools are not of the same quality. Some have better keepaway than others, some have worse. Some have better combo starters than others, some have worse, etc. "Bad" in this context simply means "worse than the median" rather than what bad usually entailed in past Smash games, which was "ineffective in basically all circumstances".

That's the difference between well and badly designed fighters to me. And it's why Ultimate is so much more balanced than the other games without losing uniqueness between characters, because there are far less completely useless and ineffective moves and fighters.
 
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#18
The answer is that these universal options and tools are not of the same quality. Some have better keepaway than others, some have worse. Some have better combo starters than others, some have worse, etc. "Bad" in this context simply means "worse than the median" rather than what bad usually entailed in past Smash games, which was "ineffective in basically all circumstances".

That's the difference between well and badly designed fighters to me. And it's why Ultimate is so much more balanced than the other games without losing uniqueness between characters, because there are far less completely useless and ineffective moves and fighters.
Ah, good answer there. I suppose in a way moving towards a bit of homogeneity was necessary to make the characters balanced.

They still have a long ways to go, and they could certainly rework the engine itself to help this better (especially with tailoring hitstun to each move), but I definitely agree that they've made longer strides towards well-designed balance than they did in the past.
 
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#19
I think that :ultshulk::ultcloud::ultrobin::ultrobinf::ultlittlemac: are very well designed characters from a faithful standpoint. They all feel like the characters they were in their original games.

I like the way :ultyoshi: is designed because he feels as fast as he was in Yoshi’s Island and he has the same moves, but now he has a bunch of tail, kicking and face attacks. If there was a beat’em up portion of Smash Bros Ultimate, Yoshi would be a lot of fun to use. :ultsimon: feels like you are actually playing Castlevania and as a cool 80’s action hero. Finally, :ultfalcon: may not be the most loyal fighter to his franchise, but he has the coolest moves in the game from Falcon Punch to The Knee of Justice. I have always been fond of the way these three characters are designed.

My absolute favorite designed character however is :ultpacman:. Seriously, everything about this character is awesome from the ghost smash attacks, the power pellet side B, the Namco references in his taunts, and the fruit for his neutral special. The way he was design felt like a love letter to Pac-Man fans, and it is one of the reasons why I love playing as the yellow chomper so much.

As far as poorly designed characters go, I really do not like how :ultchrom: looks in this game. I was looking forward to using him as a fan of Fire Emblem Awakening, but I just prefer Roy’s fire to whatever affects Chrom has. :ulttoonlink: had potential to be a really cool character, but they made him into a lame and inferior regular Link clone. The worst of them all in my opinion is :ultdoc:. He is a boring version of Mario and I already don’t really care that much for Mario. He is not even meme worthy like Isabelle nor does he have interesting mechanics like Olimar. He is just incredibly dull to play as and to watch in my opinion. No offense to Doc mains.
Actually, I might argue against Mac's faithfulness. Why? Super armor. They guy kind of gets slung around when he takes a hit. He was about not getting hit and punishing openings. That is still somewhat true I suppose, but armoring through really wasn't in his gameplan in Punch Out.
 
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#20
:ultpeach:
I think Peach and Daisy are super well designed. The way float works in this game is perfect and having those movement options really shines in Ultimate

:ultness:
Biased opinion but I think Ness is super well designed in this game. Giving him arguably the best directional air dodge in the game strongly mitigates his old main weakness which is recovering. What they did with yo-yo was awesome and the PSI Magnet changes make a world of difference with Ness. His kit is just cohesive and intuitive giving him a strong and versatile gameplan options that overall make him a very solid character. He can kill really well, he has all the combos he needs to rack up damage very quickly, PK Fire and PK Thunder are probably both to ten projectiles in the game (PK Fires end lag buff really helped it), Magnet is a great movement and mix up tool (also a combo extender with confirms), and he can actually recover now due to his phenomenal directional air dodge (basically a third jump). He pretty much has no wasted moves and everything in his kit has a purpose, even PK Flash has its uses. Basically Ness has never felt better in a Smash game and he thrives I Ultimates engine. They did a really good job with him

Some other characters I think are particularly well designed in Ultimate are :ultpalutena::ultlucina::ultyounglink::ultmegaman::ultgreninja::ultwario::ultsnake:. Notice a trend here? All high or top tier characters and from a fighting game character design standpoint all or them were done right. They have cohesive kits that make sense that they can build a game plan around. I’m also not saying these are necessarily the best characters in the game, but they’re all top 20 imo. Of course there are characters just as good or even better than them that I left off this list

Some characters I think are poorly designed:
There are two that jump out at me other than Little Mac but they have something in common with Little Mac, they’re broken and not in the good way. They don’t work. Those two characters are Bayonetta and Shiek. Both of them need a lot of help and in Bayonetta’s case she may need a mini overhaul
 
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#21
Actually, I might argue against Mac's faithfulness. Why? Super armor. They guy kind of gets slung around when he takes a hit. He was about not getting hit and punishing openings. That is still somewhat true I suppose, but armoring through really wasn't in his gameplan in Punch Out.
Also, I don't really know why they came up with the "not an air fighter" thing. And given how Smash is very air-based, it doesn't really make sense from a gameplay standpoint.
 
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#22
Actually, I might argue against Mac's faithfulness. Why? Super armor. They guy kind of gets slung around when he takes a hit. He was about not getting hit and punishing openings. That is still somewhat true I suppose, but armoring through really wasn't in his gameplan in Punch Out.
That makes sense. I just thought he was faithful because he had all punching moves, no good aerials (which makes sense because he is a boxer), and the KO punch, which is similar to the special punches in Punch Out for the Wii. But yeah, Little Mac didn’t have armor through his opponents in Punch Out. I still think his representation in Smash is about as loyal as to Punch Out you can get, but I can see the argument against it.
 
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#23
Also, I don't really know why they came up with the "not an air fighter" thing. And given how Smash is very air-based, it doesn't really make sense from a gameplay standpoint.
A character being overly faithful to their game can be a death sentence in Smash. Yeah boxers aren’t allowed to jump, that’s where it’s time to suspend disbelief, with no air game your half a character

Yes I do like when characters are faithful to their games when possible but honestly I’d rather have them make **** up and fudge it a little than make a terrible half finished character because it’s “faithful” to their series. Smash characters aren’t models of their original characters, they’re momuments. If a character is in Smash and not functional then what’s the point of them even being in the game? I’d rather have a game with creative fighters and well balacned metagame than having characters be faithful to a fault. That’s bad game design
 
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#24
Yes I do like when characters are faithful to their games when possible but honestly I’d rather have them make **** up and fudge it a little than make a terrible half finished character because it’s “faithful” to their series. Smash characters aren’t models of their original characters, they’re momuments. If a character is in Smash and not functional then what’s the point of them even being in the game? I’d rather have a game with creative fighters and well balacned metagame than having characters be faithful to a fault. That’s bad game design
Yeah, this is why I want Bowser's Melee/Brawl animations back and Ganondorf's elbow and big kicks back. Their new moves just aren't fun to watch.
 
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#25
A character being overly faithful to their game can be a death sentence in Smash. Yeah boxers aren’t allowed to jump, that’s where it’s time to suspend disbelief, with no air game your half a character

Yes I do like when characters are faithful to their games when possible but honestly I’d rather have them make **** up and fudge it a little than make a terrible half finished character because it’s “faithful” to their series. Smash characters aren’t models of their original characters, they’re momuments. If a character is in Smash and not functional then what’s the point of them even being in the game? I’d rather have a game with creative fighters and well balacned metagame than having characters be faithful to a fault. That’s bad game design
Because you can still have a lot of fun playing him? Seriously, I think Mac's fun to play. Would I pick him in a tournament? Probably not, but he's still fun.
 

nirvanafan

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#26
I really appreciate how well any character without a lot of material to work with have been designed for smash, retro reps are note worthy but wii fit trainer and piranha plant stand out the most to me
 
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