Smash Bros 3DS Live Blogging

Here we are at launch day for Smash Bros 3DS. Yes yes, I know some people got the game ahead of time and streamed it, while there was also demos, but even though I’ve tried several different versions of the game before, I’m still excited to finally be able to play the full version without any restrictions (aside from my poor Japanese skills). Also, as someone who gets stuck at work and can only read so many current event articles and linguistics papers before I go a little batty, I’m sure other people at work with little to do can appreciate written text over videos.

Join with me past the cut as I update this post live starting sometime soonish for the next few hours about my thoughts and feelings on the game, plus give a special gift to the first reader looking to try out the game.

First, a little background. I’ve played the E3 demos for both the 3DS and the Wii U. The lack of a C-stick and other control limitations certainly make the 3DS version more difficult for me. Also, for some reason, my hands get cramped up a bit playing on the 3DS like this. No other 3DS game does this to me, so it’s something of a personal concern. The first reader to put the following code into their eShop’s code redemption area can try an unlimited demo of the game and see if they feel the same: A05V8R3P05EBFCST (If you claim the code, please mention it in the comments so other readers know it’s been taken). For other readers, note that there will be a 30-use demo code available for the game starting September 19.

From the past demos, I really like Mega Man and Villager. Mega’s got some great smash moves and aerial moves, but it’s hard for me to control him quite as well as I did at E3 on the Wii U. I’m still debating on how I feel about him though. The Leaf Shield doesn’t seem to do a lot as either a shield or a projectile unless someone shoots a small projectile; don’t try to use it to protect against bombs! Mega’s throws aren’t so great, but his down A slide attack is a nice way to move around a bit and deal some damage. However, his forward, down, and up A smashes are all quite powerful and don’t have too long of a delay. What’s most interesting to me, though, is his Up A and Up A aerial attack. The aerial especially is good at moving people up, but they really need to be directly above you. His B and side B attacks, while useful, feel better for some light ranged damage or fooling people into leaving themselves exposed for a larger attack, like your side-A buster smash.

Villager’s got some good recovery moves in both his lateral side B which allows him to ride a gyro like a rocket, plus his balloon fighter helmet that lets him fly like Kirby for a bit. The kid’s got a good mix of utility with her pocket grab (B), ranged net, and is a well rounded toon in general, but his/her most powerful moves are usually kind of short range: side smash’s bowling ball really needs to be close, but it’s powerful. The item literally falls, so you can drop it on people below you. and the character’s  quite light, so you’ve got to be careful. However, the tree/axe move (Down B) does nothing in the air unless your tree is fully grown (planting can only happen on the ground but watering acts like Mario’s FLUDD) so that kind of sucks. I played the heck out of these two characters on the demo, so I think I’ll be trying out other character first, like Palutena or Pac-Man.

For returning characters, Pikachu’s aerials A attacks aren’t quite as electric, so players don’t go flying across the screen, but move in a more floaty way. They’re forceful still, just not like they used to be from what I recall.

Mario feels the same as he did in Brawl, but Link is a bit different now. His running dash is sort of a jumping slash now. You’re a little open when you jump, but the hit is more powerful, so while it’s a bit less reliable now, those who master it will find it more useful I think.

As for new items, the beetle claw we got in Zelda: Skyward Sword is nice for getting what feels like a nearly guaranteed kill. Wind mechanics come up with a few new items, which are nice because while they don’t deal damage when blowing at you, you’re still fighting their force. The steel diver’s like the laser gun with a different kind of “dance” needed to avoid it’s shots since they start slow then pick up speed. The beehive and cucco are similar, in that they deal damage but it’s more of a light annoyance that something to really worry about. The raccoon ears and and jet pack should be nice for super casual players who might not be very good at triple jumping (like my little sister!). Finally, we’ve got a nice canon you build out of parts: Day Breaker. Big damage and force if you can hit with it. I find it more fun than the Kirby glider we got before. Finally, for old items, the super scope’s bullet is less round now and more, um, blurred I guess.

If you’re reading this before 6pm PDT, I’m probably sleeping or getting ready to grab the game as soon as my local game shop opens. For some reason, Pokemon X‘s release (from my first live blog) was big enough for them to open the doors early, but for some reason, Smash isn’t.

Pre-Release Update: Anyone with the Japanese demo, good news! The local play option is region free, so you can play with friends who have the demo (at least, between NA and JP versions). What’s nice is that the training mode gives you tips about how to use various moves for your character. Like the last version, players vote on which stage they want before the match begins. The host chooses when the game begins, but you can’t pause games.

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