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.
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.
And then Namco Bandai was announced to be part of the development team of Smash Bros 4. Considering Namco's trackrecord with Fighting Games in the past, this could probably turn out to be a VERY good thing. Not to mention the fact that this opens up more possibilities for 3rd party characters.
New info will be revealed at E3. It's a good sign that Sakurai and his team are opening up on their progress on the game, and that they're willing to release more information.
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).
Among enemies fans noticed 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 since 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 will be playable.
Three words: CUSTOMIZED MOVE SETS. What's more, they're not allowed in random online matches, meaning if a Game Breaking combination ever comes up, online multiplayer will be safe.
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 100,000 people).
In a move fitting the seasons the games will be released in, the release dates' windows have been announced: the Wii U version is due Winter 2014... while the Nintendo 3DS version is due summer 2014! This means the series' handheld debut will be pushed forward (Summer Rushed worries aside)!
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.
Another character seen in the whiteboard drawing released by Sakurai◊ has been confirmed to return: Marth. Which pretty much means we can expect Meta Knight, Mr. Game and Watch, Wario and a MOTHER representative by now.
The Assist Trophies are back, with some new characters and features!
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 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!
And speaking of Zero Suit Samus, her new design◊ is made of pure awesomeness.
Some of the stages from previous games are back, like the Battleship Halberd.
And the first retro stage shown for the 3DS version? Jungle Japes from Melee!
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.
They've brought back the Bumper?
Look at that Badass redesign of the Motion-Sensor Bomb!