Very interesting week. Officially, we’ve seen more of Mii character customization, Classic mode and the official reveal of Shulk. Unofficially, we’ve seen a leak that confirms multiple characters and is backed up by Shulk’s reveal. This has everyone buzzing and we’ll find out for sure in about a week how much of that leak was true.
Monday the 25th – Classic, Total Classic
Classic mode is back. Fight an opponent, be it a normal one, a giant one, a metal one or three of them. Advance along to a climactic final battle… with Master and/or Crazy Hand. Sakurai brings along the scale mechanic from Kid Icarus: Uprising (a recurring theme, really) so instead of just trying a harder difficulty level, you can wager your in-game currency on your own success to maximize returns. Classic mode is, well, classic and I think we all assumed it would be back. The Fiend’s Scale adds a nuance to it and will encourage players to come back and play multiple times.
Tuesday the 26th – Spectate this
Spectator mode is very “Nintendo”. Watch other people play the game you paid to play and bet fake money on it. Most people wouldn’t even know it, but this was in Brawl too. This is the type of feature or mode that makes you go “this time was better spent on literally anything else in the game”. I don’t see a benefit and I don’t see why anyone would bother with this.
Wednesday the 27th – Challenging
The Challenge Panel in this Smash iteration is more like the challenges found in, you guessed it, Kid Icarus: Uprising but isn’t new to the series. Brawl had a wide screen spanning list of challenges to trump, sometimes rewarding a stage or an audio track for use in game. The 3DS one appears to be a pretty small list from the image shown, but I have a strong feeling it’ll expand or be multiple pages.
Thursday the 28th – Character Customization
The demonstration is done with Mii Fighter, but keep in mind this can be done for every character in the game. You’ll outfit characters with stat-boosting equipment, change special attacks and choose Smash Run powers. As part of the Nintendo Direct from Japan on Friday, we now have insight into Kirby’s alternate special attacks as well. You can switch his standard inhale to classic ice breath or a leaping chomp/inhale that will be great for people who enjoy “Kirbyciding” with their friends in tow. Stone appears to switch to a larger form, which probably has huge end lag on it or one that buries opponents on impact. The custom moves have allowed the developers to stretch a bit of creative muscle, as well as potentially changing up some characters pretty significantly.
Friday the 29th – Mii Fighters and Shulk
Friday morning’s daily update indicates that, for Multi-Man battles against the CPU, the wireframe enemies we’ve come to know and bash will be replaced by costumed Mii Fighters, drawn from your system’s Mii menagerie. If you have a bunch of Miis of friends, this could be a fun distraction.
Friday Bonus! – Nintendo Direct
More importantly, a 3DS focused Nintendo Direct took place and revealed Xenoblade Chronicles’ Shulk as a playable character. This is important for two reasons. One, yay another newcomer. Two, this is strongly backing up the validity of the recent leaks. Shulk’s gameplay, attacks and animations all line up with the few short clips that were uploaded and very quickly taken down (which is another indicator of them being legit). Shulk comes in toting the Monado sword from his game, and is able to change his stats on the fly by changing through the Mondao Arts. He can increase jump or speed at the loss of power or defense, or increase damage output at the cost of launch power. Logically, this means early in a stock you use the increased damage or speed arts to get the advantage then switch to the increased launch power art to seal the deal. If you’re able to switch in mid air to Jump or Speed to maximize your recovery, that would be a game changer. Shulk seems to have great range on the Monado and isn’t restricted to just sword swipes like Marth – We’ve seen him punch and kick as regular attacks too.
Shulk’s presence means we’re likely to see a couple more characters according to the leaks – Bowser Jr and Duck Hunt Dog. Duck Hunt Dog was only seen in stills, but the art style, the fonts and everything else seem to line up, not to mention he was shown in a similar leak to Shulk. Bowser Jr is hard to deny, considering we’ve seen footage of him alongisde Shulk. When people hypothesized BowJu as a playable character, most saw him as a tiny and nimble clone of Bowser or running around toting his paintbrush from Super Mario Sunshine. Personally, neither of those really appealed to me. What we get is Bowser Jr in a suped-up Koopa Clown Car. He rides along in it constantly and uses it directly to attack. The KCC can throw punches with extended arms, lick opponents and is adorably expressive when taking damage. We know that it has a cannon in the mouth that shoots a slow but likely powerful projectile, and this is probably the Side-B. For recovery, BowJu abandons the Clown Car in explosive fashion. The Car falls down in a firey storm and the little Koopa gets blown upward from the explosion and gets a new Car upon landing. Considering the Clown Car is an upside helicopter, I wouldn’t be surprised to see BowJu have a hover mechanic similar to (Mama) Peach.
The Daily Update summaries will be coming to a close rather soon, what with the game releasing. Soon enough, we’ll be taking some deep dives into character special move options and the possibilities those bring as well as general views of character strategy. Anything you’d like to see in character gameplay profiles? Let us know in the comments or over on Twitter.