Is Nintendo Announcing a Smash Demo?

The stars seem to be aligning for a Smash Ultimate demo to be dropping on Switch soon… now don’t get your hopes up to high! But in the video we’ll lay out the evidence, and you can decide for yourself.

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Hands-on with Smash Bros. Ultimate!

Simeon and Scott are back from PAX West 2018, where they got to go hands on with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! Impressions of the new and returning characters are here. We also got off-screen footage of the game running, so enjoy this exclusive first look!

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: 3 Things to be Excited About

After this year’s E3 video presentation, the consensus among the Crew here at TBC is that, as a whole, it was a little disappointing. There were very few “surprises”, and, though we were excited to see Smash Bros., we felt like the amount of time they spent showing us what they showed us was not wisely used. You can see our in-depth E3 reactions here.

Even so, Nintendo can’t present a game for a half-hour at E3 and not show anything to get excited about (don’t. Just… Don’t). In the spirit of contented mess, I wanted to draw attention to three things about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that should get us excited.

#1: Port-Like Qualities

This may sound like something to gripe about, but I see so many advantages to all of the similarities between Sm4sh and Ultimate. First, some minute balance issues aside, Sm4sh was a fantastic fighting game. My hopes for the upcoming title were that it was either a totally new direction for the series (ala Marvel Vs. Capcom) or a tweaked port, and it looked like the Big N granted my latter wish. Do we really need major “improvements” when what we have is already great? I do not think so.

Second, porting a game with slight changes should take less time and cause fewer problems at the game’s release. For Sakurai’s sake, I hope this is the case. The man’s tireless dedication to his work is legendary, and he needs some sleep.

#2: Attention to Audience

Super Smash Bros. has evolved a lot over time. It started out as a fun new foray into the crossover fighting genre. Melee made the game more competitive. Brawl fleshed out the single player experience as well as made the game more accessible to newcomers. Smash for 3DS and Wii U fleshed out previous imperfections, making it clear that, though party elements are still very much present, it had grown into a well-balanced fighting game.

With the last entry, especially, we saw a shift in the developers listening more to the competitive fans. Even in the simple gesture of placing the stage select before the character select, we see that Ultimate will continue this tradition. They are piecing elements of what made each of the previous entries great and unique together to make happy a crowd that has wanted to see this series taken seriously. Sakurai shaking his head at imbalances, roll staling, ”easy” character unlocking, and more keep me excited for release.

#3: Everybody’s here!

So what if “Echo Fighter” is just an attempt to avoid calling characters “clones”? The fact that every fighter from all previous games is playable right out of the box has me stoked! The fact that Sakurai stated that there will be few new characters does not have me concerned for a number of reasons. First, the amount of free characters is more than any previous game in its final state, and we do not have to pay extra to have that. Second, Sm4sh had a large enough roster as it was. Throwing in more characters makes the game more and more difficult to balance. Lastly, I think Sakurai is not quite being honest with us. The DLC support for the previous game was extensive, and, though the initial bundle might not be teeming with new characters, I am sure we will see more newcomers after first release.

Nintendo’s Direct this year might not have been knock-your-socks-off great, I think there are plenty of things for which to be grateful. I think ultimately (see what I did there?) what I am trying to say is that people who are complaining about the lack of Animal Crossing need to grow up and realize they got a game every year for the past three.

5 Characters we Need in Smash for Switch

You knew this was coming! In the lead-up to the Super Smash Bros. debut on Nintendo Switch, we’ve been sharing our wish-lists. It was only a matter of time until our top character requests were revealed! Let us know if you agree in the comments.

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5 Ideas for Smash Switch Controllers

Super Smash Bros. Brawl announced “4 Ways to Play,” and Smash 4 outdid that amount. We’d like to see even more options and variety for the 5th entry of the series!

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5 Ways Smash for Switch Can Win E3

Nintendo has a huge opportunity to blow the collective socks off of E3 this year. They’re headlining their show with Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch! Simeon and Scott outline a 5 step plan to steal the show.

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5 Ways to Fix Smash’s ONLINE for Switch

Smash Bros. has never had very good online connectivity or modes. It’s time that Nintendo stepped it up and made an experience more comparable to their competitors. Let’s do this! Smash 5 is coming out this year. Let’s get it right, Sakurai.

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5 Ways Smash for Switch Should Be the SAME

Last week, Simeon and Scott outlined a handful of ways that Super Smash Bros. needs to change things up on Nintendo Switch. This week, we’re examining the other side of the coin: what should stay exactly as it is right now?

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Post Tournament Distress Disorder

“Oh, there’s a Smash Bros. tournament? I’m totally going to win—I beat my friends every time!” said many newcomers to competitive gaming. The rude awakening swiftly followed, as the wide-eyed casual was introduced to brackets and tournament organizers and double elimination and commentators and fist-bumps.

eSports is an entirely different world from the living room rivalries of old. A world where most people lose.

I’ve been losing in Super Smash Bros. competitions for the better part of decade now. I attend tournaments, get beaten, learn a few lessons, and wake up the next day experiencing post tournament distress disorder, a phrase that I coined to describe how it feels inside the crushing cycle of defeat.

Clearly, I must be getting some enjoyment out of these events or else I wouldn’t keep coming back for more. I’m not a glutton for punishment—am I?

After talking to many fellow competitors, it’s safe to say I’m not alone. “I should just quit this game.” “I’m not coming back next month.” “I’m such a scrub.” “This is just a big waste of time and money.” All fairly common remarks to be heard as setups are unplugged and venues packed up.

PTDD normally dissipates in the weeks between big tournaments (or “monthlies”) as Facebook events are created, alliances are formed, top-ranked players make travel plans, and hype rises. But the funk waits to greet you at the threshold of your next elimination. And the cycle repeats.

Expectations Matter

If you are looking to curb the nasty effects of Post Tournament Distress, there are some techniques you can employ. Adjusting your expectations is a good place to start. Realize that your odds of winning the whole thing are slim, and remind yourself that winning isn’t what it’s really about.

Look for ways to improve. Don’t lose hope when your name is called along with someone who outclasses you; be in a constant state of downloading information. See if you can take more ground in the second match, even if you just 25% extra damage.

Set smaller goals. Over three tournaments, you can improve your overall rank if you maintain the right attitude and keep learning.

Choose your Battles

My miniature claim to fame was Ranked 7th best in Eastern WA. It was a lot of hard work to obtain that position, and I was proud of it. But you know what? It was even harder to keep it.

Players in my region really stepped up their game. Multiple weekly practice sessions sprung up all over, and the serious competitors were dedicating half their evenings to invest in their Smash skills.

I decided that this wasn’t my battle to fight. I had gotten married young, accepted a full time job, started side-projects like a daily YouTube channel and writing my own novel. In order to minimize the effects of PTDD, I had to realize that I simply can’t match the effort these other guys are putting in. Their situations are different than mine. I could practice as much as them to try and claw my way up to the #1 spot, but I’d be sacrificing other things in my life that I’m not willing to give up.

Fun on the Sidelines

It’s amazing how much I enjoy everything at the tournament… except for the tournament. The main attraction isn’t the most attractive to me anymore.

Oftentimes there will be crazy side-events, like Crew Battles or Smashketball (a weird mash-up of Smash Bros. and basketball using a custom stage) that are way more fun. These things cost $0 or $1, so the pressure is off and it’s easy to get into the team spirit and cheer people on.

Commentating is also a blast, especially when you’ve built a rapport with your co-host. Sometimes, it’s actually a relief to get booted out of bracket so you can sit down with a headset and help make an awesome live-stream.

If you want to be the very best (like no one ever was), it’s a long and hard road and I wish you good luck.
Otherwise, find every opportunity to release the tension, lower the stakes, and enjoy video gaming for what it is: a reprieve from the grind.

LABO in Smash 5: Character? Items?

It seems like a given that Sakurai and co. will include LABO in the new Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch… but how? Will LABO be a playable character, or simply a stage? Will it be kept to only an Assist Trophy, or could the carboard Toy-Con actually appear as items?

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Smash Bros. as a Service Scott’s Thoughts

I expected a port of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U in 2018. Smash development cycles are too long, and we would never get new entries this close together… those were my thoughts entering into the March 8th Nintendo Direct.

I was wrong; it’s a brand new game.

There are still skeptics, or fans who are simply being cautious not to jump to conclusions. But Nintendo laid it out plainly for us:

  • The game has a working title (not simply “Super Smash Bros. for Switch” in the Smash 4 branding.)
  • Nintendo chose to forgo the transition used at the beginning of every Smash 4 trailer
  • has been completely started over from scratch
  • The trailer shows only vague outlines of a cast with fewer than 20 characters, not the entire Smash 4 ensemble waiting to welcome the Inklings

It’s really happening. It’s a new console generation, a new Smash Bros. website, a new series of character reveals (who’s staying, who’s leaving, and who’s arriving?)—friends, it’s a new Super Smash Bros. game.

And the cherry on top? 2018.

It seems impossible. How would Nintendo have time to develop a new title from the ground up? The Wii U and 3DS entries only came out during the tail end of 2014.

The answer: The developers probably didn’t start from scratch. For one thing, this new game could very well use the Smash 4 engine. They finally struck the perfect balanced formula that resonated with casual players and eSports alike (not easy), so Sakurai and his team won’t be quick to abandon the engine.

Smash 5 likely won’t launch with a beefy lineup of 50 characters, either. I think the group of brawlers shown in the trailer was deliberately small.

Super Smash Bros. could easily be sold to us as a service. Think of all the popular games these days that add content gradually—the “Splatoon approach,” if you will.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Smash launch alongside Nintendo’s paid online service in September to help promote the program. I also would not be surprised if Smash, in September, feels like a half a game.

Sakurai could keep the hype train of character reveals steaming along the tracks for—well—years!

P.S. Why didn’t Nintendo save this bombshell announcement for E3? Because it’s going to be the central theme of their booth, and booth decorations are literally impossible to prevent from leaking. We knew about Breath of the Wild and Odyssey before Nintendo decked out their corner of E3 in previous years, and the same will go for Smash this time. The lid is going to be absolutely blown off this game at E3 2018, only months ahead of launch!