And a few months later, after enduring years of waiting and April Fools Jokes about his appearance in Melee, Sonic the Hedgehog joins the fray complete with Crush 40's Live and Learn blaring in the background, allowing players to pit Sega's iconic mascot against his long time rival. There's a reason why that screenshot from Brawl is on the main video game page.
A more subdued moment happened when it was revealed that the character-specific battle introductions from the original Nintendo 64 Super Smash Bros. came back for Brawl.
Brawl's Stage Builder.
Shortly before the game's release, the full soundtrack was leaked. The internet practically squealed like 5 year old girls upon learning about (and hearing) the remixes of King Dedede's theme, King K. Rool's theme, Pokemon Red's Route 1 song, and the final boss theme from Golden Sun, among other songs that can be seen in the Awesome Music page.
And then Namco Bandai was announced to be part of the development team of the games. Considering Namco's trackrecord with Fighting Games in the past, this was seen as a very good thing by most fans. Not to mention the fact that this opens up more possibilities for 3rd party characters.
There's a new game mode for the 3DS version called Smash Run, where players travel a giant stage to power up their characters before duking it out, just like the City Trial in Kirby Air Ride. What's more, instead of mostly using original characters like the Subspace Emissary, existing characters from many of Nintendo's franchises appear as enemies, including enemies from Mega Man (the Mettaur) and Namco (the Pookas).
Two words: CHARACTER CUSTOMIZATION.
Every character's special move has three variations, or in the case of Palutena and the Miis, three different moves altogether.
Players can use parts to customize their fighter's attack power, defense power, and agility, sometimes with additional effects.
Oh, and these features are only allowed in battles with friends, so you don't have to worry about Game Breaking combinations showing up online.
On the other hand, Nintendo considers custom characters tournament legal, and many local tourneys have allowed them as well, meaning that even characters who are somewhat underpowered normally may still have competitive viability with customizations.
For records in the solo modes, the game uses a ranking system called "Global Smash Power". Instead of ranking people the traditional way (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.), it ranks people based on how many people they outscore (100,000 would mean you outscore at least 100,000 people).
When the Nintendo 3DS version was announced to come out in Summer 2014 instead of Winter like the Wii U version, some fans were worried that the 3DS version was being Summer Rushed. Then it was announced that the 3DS version would be delayed to October for North America, Europe, and Australia, while Japan gets it in mid-September. Not only does it show that the developers are taking more time to polish it, it also shortens the release gap between it and the Wii U version.
The announcement that a demo of Super Smash Bros. would be playable at certain Best Buy locations during E3 was met with an uproar of positive feedback. Not to mention that Nintendo would also be holding an Invitational Tournament involving some people that are big on the tournament scene.
The main menu for the 3DS version is just as stylish as Brawl's, with the bottom screen being used to showcase artwork and whatnot. This is shaping up to be as great as anyone who's been waiting for a portable Smash has imagined.
You know how Meta Knight had a different victory theme (which is still kept in SSB4) than Kirby and Dedede in Brawl? Well in SSB4, Bowser and Bowser Jr. also have a rock remix of the Mario victory theme. Awesome considering it differentiates the villains from the Mario characters. Other examples include Dark Pit, who has a remix of his theme, and Rosalina and Luma, who use the title theme from Super Mario Galaxy.
The fact that a demo has been released to American audiences two weeks before the official launch (3 weeks for Club Nintendo Platinum members and 3 of their friends) is very awesome, as people have a chance to play the game and get ready for the real game. Even though only five characters and one stage are playable, it gives people a chance to play as two newcomers: Mega Man and the Villager.
Stage Builder returns! Unlike Brawl, where customization was limited to blocks, this time players can make stages with any shape imaginable by drawing on the Wii U Gamepad. Want to make a stage that looks exactly like the Wii Fit Trainer? Now you can.
A Wii U stream popped up on October 23, showing 50 things that aren't in the 3DS version! It actually shows 54 things. It's also narrated by the announcer in all his hammy glory.
The Wii U version has an exclusive mode called Smash Tour. It's a board game where you compete with each other by collecting as many fighters as you can, with the final match being a stock battle where you use all the fighters you collected. Like Smash Run, you can also collect items to power up your characters.
Like the 3DS version, the Wii U version runs at 60 frames per second...in 1080p.
The Masterpieces are back in the Wii U version, with the added convenience of having links to the eShop if you want to buy them immediately. The selection of demos is much larger than the one in Brawl, including EarthBound and Mega Man 2.
Here's a minor one, but you can play with the DK BongoDrums if you have a Gamecube Controller adaptor. Hilariously enough, this means you can perform Donkey Kong's Final Smash with it. (in an extent, this worked in Brawl too). Doubles as a crowning moment of funny as the NES Zapper Adaptor isn't compatible with the Wii U version (hilariously pointed out in Duck Hunt's trailer).
For players who were burned by the previous games' lack of balance, especially Brawl, producer Sakurai has mentioned that he may involve the other members in his staff with balance.
One annoying tactic players could use in previous games was to hog the ledge so another player couldn't grab it. Now, anyone that attempts this will get the ledge taken from them by a recovering player.
Now you won't lose a match just because the opponent went off in a Twinkle In The Sky and died after the time limit! Instead, after a certain point in a timed match, Star KOs stop occurring!
Notice that it said "random tripping", stuff like Diddy's banana peel and weaker Wario Wafts can still cause your character to flop over themselves.
Remember in the previous games where if you played a team battle, all of you had to either be red, green, or blue? Well in this game, you can choose to be any color you want regardless of what team you're on - the outlines/Player symbols will let you know what team you're on.
Thought the outlines in the 3DS version were the only indicators? Well the outlines are still there in the Wii U version as well!
Coin Battle returns in the Wii U version!
Four-player Smash not hectic enough for you? The Wii U supports up to eight players at once (locally), with specially oversized stages such as Palutena's Temple and Great Cave Offensive to accommodate the extra fighters.
Certain stages are only playable in Eight-Player Smash due to the sheer amount of chaos and action involved, but what about for five and six people? No need to worry, as there will be more stages available for those amount of people.
Clearing stages will net you a prize on a roulette wheel, either coins, trophies, or custom parts.
Beat Master Hand and Crazy Hand at a high enough difficulty? They transform into Master Core, a shapeshifting black mass that gains more forms the higher the difficulty is, ranging from a giant humanoid that can lift the stage, a giant scorpion, five blades, and a shadow version of your character.
For Nintendo 3DS:
You can now choose between branching paths, with rewards like trophies visible on the map.
Master Core has an additional form called Master Fortress, a being so huge that it's actually a labyrinth you travel in.
All-Star Mode is back with a few changes.
All-Star mode will now be made available to play from the beginning, barring a few restrictions (only the characters you have unlocked will appear at first).
All-Star Mode is now based on the order of when the characters debuted! Unlike Brawl's All-Star mode, which grouped characters based on the debut of their entire series, this incarnation groups characters based on their individual debuts, meaning you can fight characters from different franchises at the same time.
In the Wii U version, it is reversed. You fight the newer fighters first.
One of the problems that plagued Brawl's online multiplayer was Griefers doing anything they could to ruin everyone else's fun, like doing nothing, deliberately antagonizing just one person, self-destructing repeatedly, dropping in the middle of a match, and cheating. Now, anyone that tries to do that will be temporarily banned, with the bans becoming longer the more they do it. It also discourages people from baselessly reporting others by penalizing them.
Online multiplayer has two separate modes: "For Fun", which removes Final Destination from the map list and only tallies win count, and "For Glory", which adopts the "No Items, Final Destination" format, tracks wins and losses, and has a variety of Final Destination-like stages based on the standard stages for aesthetic variety. Both sides of the casual-hardcore spectrum were very happy.
There's a matchmaking system that groups players based on their skill levels.
Not only is Bowser now standing upright like he does in the Mario games, he's been given some MASSIVE buffs, to the point that the final match in the first tournament for the 3DS version was a Mirror Match between two Bowsers.
Yeah, it's great having all these shiny new characters, but what's really great is to have a blast from the past, and what better way to do that than with a dinosaur? Yoshi's back, and appears to be standing completely upright! This pits all of the original eight (non-unlockable) characters against each other once again!
Unlike the previous games, there won't be a mechanic where characters can change forms in the middle of battle like Zelda and Sheik. So instead, they are now their own separate character! This includes Zero Suit Samus!
Much like Link being animated in Palutena's reveal trailer, Captain Falcon looks amazing in Fire Emblem Awakening's 3D art style.
According to screenshots, Captain Falcon's Final Smash from Brawl is returning.
Meta Knight comes back... Now with metal gauntlets! He has also been considerably adjusted for Smash 4. He's nowhere near as overpowered as he was in Brawl, but he's still a solid character, meaning even those who loathe him as a Tier-Induced Scrappy have a reason to be excited.
Players worried about Ness, Jigglypuff, Falco, Ganondorf, Mr. Game & Watch, Wario, and R.O.B. were put at ease when it was confirmed they are all back. Some competitive players were also happy about the return of Dr. Mario after his absence from the previous game.
Ganondorf can use his Sage Sword as a custom special move!
Mewtwohas returned at long last! Anybody who owns both versions of the game will be given access for a free download, unlocking the psychic powerhouse for the 3DS and the Wii U simultaneously!
This guy's reaction pretty much summed up the fandom reaction. Even better? Sakurai himself re-tweeted said reaction video.
And in the trailer for the Wii U and 3DS installments, who would be introduced? None other than MEGA MAN! Absolutely everyone shat bricks in pure, unadulterated joy at this reveal, starting with the audience at E3 collectively roaring in approval.
The female trainer from Wii Fit was met with much surprise. The fandom was split between "loved her from the very beginning for being a weird pick and/or being another female fighter" and "have grown to love her".
Rosalina and Luma confirmed as newcomers! And Rosalina has her own puppet master playstyle rather than being a clone of Peach.
Miis. Ever wanted to see yourself and/or celebrities fighting alongside or against all the other Nintendo characters. There ya go!
Palutena CONFIRMED, with her "challenger approaching" trailer going against the norm of the other characters with a sequence animated by Studio Shaft.
Ever wanted to see Link animated by said studio?
There's a short cameo of Dark Pit at the very end, which viewers assumed was a hint at him being an alternate design + voice for Pit, like the Male and Female Wii Fit trainers. As it turned out, it was Foreshadowing for him being his own character.
You wanted Lucina? How about Lucina and Robin? Oh, and we got trolled by Sakurai again, almost making us think that Chrom was sitting this one out. He isn't a character proper, as he just shows up for Robin's Final Smash, but it's still good to see he's getting some recognition.
There were a lot of Fire Emblem Awakeningfans who wanted to play as Robin/Avatar/My Unit in Smash because the character both represents the player and is a unique Magic Knight, which is a huge departure from the other Fire Emblem characters in Smash all being sword users. Many of them thought that Robin never even had a chance of getting into the game because s/he was a customizablePlayer Character and wasn't popular enough. It turns out that all the people that were secretly rooting for Robin were the Silent Majority when Sakurai picked Robin over Chrom. You can even play as a female Robin too!
The ESRB leak brought about a lot of excitement, but what increased the excitement was the fact that it ended up being real after all. The following characters were confirmed:
The Duck Hunt dog (and duck) is a part of the roster. The fans' longtime dream of beating up the very thing that mocked their failure and haunted their childhood is about to come true officially! As for its moves, the dog's attacks include nods to the other two major NES Zapper Light Gun games, Wild Gunman and Hogan's Alley. The mocking laughter is also a usable taunt, excellent for infuriating other players if you choose to play as it. They even get their own newcomer trailer, in which they are challenged by other NES-era characters, namely Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, Bowser, and Pit.
Remember how Dark Pit was teased at the end of the Palutena trailer? Sakurai delivered. However, unlike Bowser Jr and Duck Hunt, he will probably not have his own trailer.
Bowser Jr. makes his debut in this game, and he's riding around in the Koopa Clown Car! His trailer is even more awesome.
Costumes and Alts
While the first game gave you four colors for each character and Brawl gave you six, this game gives you eight!
You get a choice of either a Female or a Male Trainer, and multiple variants for each gender.
Among Little Mac's alternate looks: the wire-frame version of him from the original Punch Out arcade game and his pink jogging suit! The Wire Frame version even has 8 different palette swaps including the jogging suit, meaning Little Mac has a total of 16 costumes.
Fans of Fire Emblem Awakening will be pleased to know that all of Lucina's alternate costumes are based on the other playable female characters in the game.
Prefer the original Koopalings over Bowser's actual kid? You can play as all seven of them as Bowser Jr.'s alts! They even have their own names, voices, and announcer chants as well! Also, unlike Robin's trailer, the Koopalings were actually shown in this trailer instead of a "P.S." at the end.
Miis are not confined to just different costumes, they can also cosplay as different Nintendo stars such as Meta Knight and Samus.
The Assist Trophies are back, with some new characters!
Among the enemies fans noticed in Smash Run were the Kremlings, which took nearly everyone by surprise. Kremlings haven't been seen in the Donkey Kong franchise since Mario Super Sluggers (a Mario spinoff game from 2008), and if you want to take it even further in the mainline series, since Donkey Kong 64 (which was released in 1999). This led to increased hopes that a certain Kremling King would be playable. It's also surprising considering the post-RareCountry games didn't feature any instances of the Kremlings.
Beat shows up as one of Mega Man's custom Up Special moves.
Ridley may not be a playable character, but he still shows up in the Pyrosphere stage as a "boss", but it is similar to Magicant's Flying Man, as the first person to hit him will have Ridley fight for that player. KOing Ridley even gives someone points.
Metal Face makes an appearance as a "boss" in the Gaur Plains on the Wii U version.
On the Wii U version's Garden of Hope stage, a Red Bulborb and a Peckish Aristocrab show up to wreak havoc. Groups of Pikmin, including Rock Pikmin (the only kind to not appear in Olimar/Alph's moveset), also appear in order to build upon the stage, rebuilding a mosaic, a bridge, and a stick.
Tired of the same old Final Destination? Now, almost all of the stages have a Final Destination form, like Gerudo Valley.
Certain stages will feature bosses that players can fight in the middle of the battle. Whoever lands the final blow will be granted an advantage of some sort. The Yellow Devil on Mega Man's stage is one such example. Should we be cheering due to his reappearance or trembling in fear?
Wily's Castle appears in both versions of the game, a nighttime version for the Wii U, and a daytime version for 3DS, both with the Yellow Devil. It's nice to see one of the most hyped stages in the new Smash title made available in the portable version as well, as it might pave the way for other Wii U stages going portable and vice versa.
The Boxing Ring Stage is a stage that appears in both versions, and has a Smash Bros version (shown since the debut trailer) and a Punch Out version (shown when Little Mac was revealed). The Wii U version has several awesome visual effects that make it aesthetically different from the 3DS version. One of them? The giant screen in the stage re-enacts the multiscreen effect from the original Arcade Punch-Out. Guess what? IT HAS ALIASES FOR ALL OF THE CHARACTERS POSSIBLE! (Donkey Kong's is "King of the Jungle" while Samus is "Bounty Hunter Extraordinare). Way to make an already awesome stage even more awesome! Here is a video that shows all of the aliases.
For Nintendo 3DS:
Gerudo Valley is confirmed as a stage. Pretty awesome considering that only the theme existed in the previous game.
N's Castle is a stage where either Reshiram or Zekrom appear to wreak havoc. Unlike Spear Pillar, there's a lot more space to fight, and their attacks are easier to avoid. This is great news because after the reveal of Greninja and 2 Kalos based stages, many fans were wondering if the 5th generation was going to be skipped.
The 3DS version gets its own take on the NSMB series, namely a New Super Mario Bros. 2 stage: enter Golden Plains, complete with NSMB2's emphasis on coins! Yeah, coins are everywhere here as well, and can be collected: now everyone who gathers 100 coins first will get a golden form, as opposed to just Mario and Luigi! Becoming a "Gold Fighter" gives players a significant buff in power.
There's 3D Land, a stage based on Super Mario 3D Land. Futhermore, this stage is a scrolling stage, but has a more interesting take on it.
Pac-Man's stage is a very spacious version of his usual maze backdrop, complete with wandering ghosts!
One of the stages is Magicant, a location from the original MOTHER which serves as one massive homage to both it and Earthbound, and is absolutely filled with tributes to the series, not to mention the fact that it's just plain beautiful.
Mute City appears as it did on F-Zero for the SNES, in all its Mode 7 glory.
For Wii U:
There's a Kid Icarus stage that's even bigger than Temple from Melee. Also, remember Snake's codec conversations in Brawl? Pit, Palutena, and Viridi will gossip about the various fighters on this stage.
Alongside Sonic's announcement, his home stage appears to be none other than Windy Hill Zone.
The Super Mario Galaxy stage is cool and all, but people might be wondering where is the classic Mushroom Kingdom iteration (Mushroom Kingdom in SSB, Kingdom in Melee, Mushroomy Kingdom in Brawl). Fear not, as the WiiU version gets yet another awesome exclusive stage: Mushroom Kingdom U, representing, you guessed it, New Super Mario Bros. U! Even better, Sakurai revealed this stage just in time for E3, where, you guessed it again, it will be playable!
The Wii U version has a stage based off of the Gamer minigame from Game and Wario.
There's a stage based on The Great Cave Offensive from Kirby Super Star. It's a massive stage filled with Danger Zones, a hazard that either damages players, or instantly KO's them if their damage is over 100%. Additionally, it is one of the largest stages in the game, being on par with Palutena's Temple and even larger than the Temple from Melee.
Not only is there a stage based on Donkey Kong Country Returns, it has two "layers" to it! Barrel cannons will blast fighters from the foreground to the background and back again.
The Wii U version has a Mario Circuit stage that seems to be based off the one in Mario Kart 8.
The Wii U version will have a stage based on Miiverse. Players will be allowed to submit artwork to cheer for a specific character, and then that artwork will appear randomly in the background when said character fights on that stage. Draw a picture of your favorite fighter, and who knows? Somewhere out there online, your picture may well be cheering him or her on to victory.
The first new Pokémon stage for the Wii U version is the Kalos Pokémon League, and it is based on the chambers where the Elite Four are encountered. One of the songs for the stage is a medley of Cynthia's encounter and battle themes.
The November 5th Nintendo Direct revealed a stage based off of Duck Hunt, complete with 8-bit visuals.
Is that Flat Zone 2 as a familiar stage for the Wii U version? Wait ... there's a picture of Flat Zone 1, could it be Flat Zone 1's return along with Flat Zone 2's appearance in the Wii U version? Nope! It's both of those stages combined in Flat Zone X! Kind of a good nod to the Melee version that didn't appear in Brawl or the 3DS version.
For Nintendo 3DS:
The first retro stage shown for the 3DS version? Jungle Japes from Melee!
Brinstar and Corneria are in!
Then we get Green Hill Zone from Brawl for the 3DS version, meaning the 3DS won't be limited to Melee stages (and the Wii U version won't be limited to Brawl stages, either). Here's hoping for more!
Other returning Brawl stages for the 3DS version include Mushroomy Kingdom, Distant Planet, Yoshi's Island, and WarioWare Inc.
For Wii U:
Some of the stages from previous games are back, like the Battleship Halberd.
The next revealed returning stage for the Wii U version? Castle Siege!
The Wii U version will have a massive music library like Brawl did. Many of the composers from Brawl have been confirmed to return with new tracks, as well as several new musicians. How massive? Try at least437 pieces.
For those who like to jam the headphones on and turn up the volume, there's a Sound Test to enjoy. Present and past songs will be included and will play in sleep mode so it can be used as a music player. Nintendo has also created a specific music section on the official Smash Bros website for people to peruse in preparation for the game's release.
Many of Xenoblade's most popular songs, whose soundtrack is already pure Awesome Music, are making an appearance, such as Gaur Plains (in two flavors), You Will Know Our Names, and Mechanical Rhythm.
For those who feared that trophies were the only representation that The Wonderful Ones were going to get, fear no more. Evidence has been found that the final boss music is in the game, although on the Super Mario Galaxy stage instead of a true Wonderful 101 stage.
There's even a trophy from the independent gaming scene. Hint: I AM ONLY A MAN.
Having trouble getting a specific trophy? Because now you can just buy them with in-game currency or Play Coins, and they even have discounts sometimes.
Trophy posing from Brawl is back, now with the option to resize individual trophies.
The 1.0.4 update for the 3DS version addressed some complaints people had about some of the characters, giving buffs to underpowered characters like Meta Knight and Ike and nerfs to overpowered characters like Rosalina and Greninja. It also nerfed the Bowsercide, which was a common KO method on a character that is already considered overpowered.