Nintendo had a strong showing at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. Fan favorites like, XENOBLADE CHRONICLES, FIRE EMBLEM and MARIO PARTY were announced for their Switch console. But none stuck out more than the illustrious SUPER SMASH BROS. ULTIMATE, the fifth installment of the Smash series. Comicsverse had the opportunity to talk Smash 5 with two professional Melee players, LAD, and Krudo.
During the interview, we discussed all the announcements surrounding the newest Smash. One of the biggest mentions was the incredible roster that spans the entire Super Smash series, Smash 64 and up! From your Nintendo classics, like Link and Samus Aran, to fan favorites such as Solid Snake and Ice Climbers. One additional character, the long-awaited Ridley from the Metroid series, also joins the fray.
Competitive Smash Play
The main points we hit during our interview focused on how Smash 5 will affect the competitive gaming industry. Project M and Smash 4 the main Smash games in the series with ongoing tournaments, bring huge crowds and participants to tournaments like CEO (Community Effort Orlando). Both games celebrate Nintendo characters and more, brawling each other to submission, yet both are vastly different games.
Mechanically Smash 4, like Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii, is based more on momentum and flow. You have to know your combos, timing and spacing are key, with a huge range of characters and styles to choose from. Melee is all about speed and reaction. Precision in movement to create quick combos. The style really made you feel in control of your character.
Now, with the introduction of Smash 5, we have Nintendo trying to hit a middle ground between these two fantastic games. The upcoming Smash will include knock-back and aerial drop speed increase, mid-air charges and air dodges, and variations in hopping and shields. There are also changes in the spectator experience: extra damage dealt during 1 versus 1 matches, stages are picked before the character selection, allowing the loser to pick the following map.
Smash 5 & Esports
The issue with all this is Nintendo’s history of not supporting the competitive gaming scene of their own games, Smash being the largest example. In esports, Blizzard, Epic Games, and Valve have their competitive games in the forefront. Fully supporting tournaments with prize money in the hundreds of millions.
Nintendo may attach their name to an upcoming tournament, but I have yet to see a Nintendo sponsored Smash tournament. Besides the Nintendo World Championships of course, which specializes in Nintendo classics only.