Smash Bros 4 Going All The Hell Out
Smash 4’s after-market roster additions have been a true mixed bag; catering for the Melee players by bringing back the likes of Roy and Mewtwo, while venturing into the great unknown beyond franchises that truly made it big with the Big N with Street Fighter’s Ryu and Final Fantasy VII’s Cloud, had everyone anticipating the next Nintendo Direct’s big Smash reveal. And boy, was today’s season finale a doozy.
First, the good stuff:
Ever since Bayonetta 2 was released exclusively for the Wii-U, Smash players have been clamouring to see the Umbra Witch make it to their game, and despite series lead Hideki Kamiya’s irritation at these fans, finally it’s all paid off.
Bayonetta has some pretty neat tricks, too. As expected her standing game involves whips of her quad-wielded pistols, Love Is Blue, all of which can be held down to unleash rapid-fire bullet hail follow-up attacks. Her Smash and Tilt attacks all involve Madama Butterfly, reinforcing Bayonetta’s own attacks with giant demonic fists and stilettos, and her Final Smash summons the elephant-sounding dragon head Gomorrah to happily chomp down on the enemy.
What might evoke a bigger response is her unique gimmick, Witch Time: dodging an attack with perfect timing will apply a speed debuff on all nearby enemies, allowing Bayonetta to deal with them at her leisure. This has potential to make her ridiculously powerful; not only a popular addition to the roster, depending on how this mechanic plays out she’ll also overpower a lot of the established tournament-worthy roster.
The fanservice doesn’t end there, though. Like Ryu and Cloud before her, Bayonetta will be coming with her own stage, based on the original Bayonetta introduction scene. This is up there with some of my all-time favourite moments in gaming, so I’m delighted to see it’s getting this sort of love. Another strength of the franchise is its music, and I’m hoping to see this stage come with a strong selection from Bayonetta’s soundtracks.
Overall, Bayonetta was a terrific move by the Smash team; highly desired and well executed, it’s sure to get even more people excited to play Smash.
But before the Smash world imploded, we got some guy/girl called Corrin, whoever that is.
I know people who will (possibly literally) fight me for saying this, but what even is Fire Emblem? The games come out in the West with such major localisation delays and so little fanfare, it’s not a stretch that the only brand recognition the franchise has is through Roy and Marth’s appearance in Melee. To Western fans without a masters’ degree in weeaboo, Fire Emblem’s always been that Nintendo fantasy brand that isn’t Zelda.
And now somehow this franchise has churned out eight playable characters for Smash 4; that’s more than Mario Bros., more than Zelda, more than Pokemon. I can’t be the only person that finds it hard to get excited for yet another youthful pretty guy/girl with a sword, unless it’s Cloud.
And with those two, the book is closed on Super Smash Bros. for Wii-U. But, powers forbid, if Nintendo goes back to the well for more characters, or even if it’s Smash 5 on the new platform, and I get buried by endless Fire Emblem characters again, I will raise my head to the sky, open my voice to the heavens, and shout:
“HELP ME, MARINAAAAAA!”