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Broken Base / Super Smash Bros.

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To briefly describe it, the fanbase has been divided on several aspects: which game is the best of the series, and whether the games should be played casually or competitively, which leads to divisions regarding the use of items and which stages to play with, creating Character Tiers, and of course who should be on the roster. Many unofficial Super Smash Bros.-themed boards and forums, such as Smashboards or /r/smashbros, generally have a large divide between casual and competitive players, with the most vocal being seen as the stereotypical fans.



  • Zero Suit Samus: She was Brawl's darkhorse for her interesting moveset, and added more variety to Samus' playstyle. As the game's most famous example of Ms. Fanservice, her beautiful looks and serious but alluring personality also won over the hearts of many fans. However, a separate, large faction despises her for being a much better character than Varia-suited Samus (which completely violates Metroid canon), attracting people uninterested in the Metroid games, and giving Samus too much of a reputation as a "sexy blonde chick" rather than a powerful warrior — a debate that spills over to the Metroid fandom. There's also the issue of her alleged oversexualization in 3DS/Wii U largely due to her Combat Stilettos; she retains them in Ultimate, but complaints around her reduced ever-so-slightly by turning her into a genuine Amazonian Beauty and toning down her Ms. Fanservice assets slightly.
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  • Lucina: As one of the most popular modern Fire Emblem characters, she was added to the game as a Moveset Clone of her ancestor Marth. Her fans enjoyed her addition as a cool-looking female swordfighter, especially those who liked her character in Fire Emblem Awakening. Detractors lambasted her for allegedly adding to the Fire Emblem "overrepresentation" in the game, much like with Dark Pit and Kid Icarus.
  • Cloud: His announcement was met with a huge "Holy Shit!" Quotient reaction, and he became a very popular character to download and play for the sheer Rule of Cool factor in pitting him against Nintendo's greatest — especially his longtime unofficial rival Link. However, Cloud's addition was also found to be insulting for many, because instead of a character from one of the Final Fantasy games that were on Nintendo consoles, Smash gets a character from Final Fantasy VII, the game that marked the point where Final Fantasy became more associated with Sony than Nintendo. There’s also the fact that Final Fantasy VII in general has been the subject of Hype Backlash-induced Broken Base for a long time. This died down significantly in Ultimate when Final Fantasy VII was finally announced for release on the Nintendo Switch, which some attribute outright to Cloud's inclusion in Smash.
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  • Chrom: As another Fire Emblem character, this reaction was inevitable. As the face of the most popular game in the franchise, some feel his inclusion is welcome, while others find him to be an insulting addition. Even among Fire Emblem fans, some find his inclusion to be indicative of favoritism to the 3DS era of games. On the flip side, some find him to be a harmless addition, given that he's simply an echo fighter of Roy rather than a full-fledged newcomer.
  • Incineroar: Fans of Decidueye believe it would have made a better "rep" for the generation, and others felt that Pokemon characters were already too excessive (much like the Fire Emblem examples above) and didn't need another. Even among fans of the character, there are many who believe that having him be the final base-roster newcomer to be revealed was underwhelming. On the other hand, its fans find it to be a fun, unique character due to its over the top heel wrestler persona, bringing a brand new archetype of fighter to the series.
  • Piranha Plant: Is it a fun, quirky addition that manages to be the type of completely unpredictable and objectively ironic inclusion the series is known for? Or is it a lame novelty that wore out its welcome shortly after its reveal and stole a potential spot on the roster for a far more popular and requested Mario character? Its status as a low Tier-Induced Scrappy does not help matters in the slightest.


  • Perceived Over-representation: Multiple franchises have been hit with periodic outrage, arguing that they have too much focus on them, while smaller series languish from a lack of content. The fans of those franchises are similarly vocal in their pleasure that their series is receiving so much love, and point out how it's the right of the developers/publishers to decide what's most deserving of a push or not.
  • Swordfighters: The idea that there are too many characters who fight with swords is a recurring point of mockery for a major chunk of the playerbase, deriding how it makes several characters feel similar and especially how the games insist on adding Fire Emblem sword-users when the series has a variety of weapons to choose from. The other side argues it is a needless complaint, especially when taking into account how a similar number of characters fight with their hands/feet or with guns and that in a series with multiple types of weapon, such as Fire Emblem, it's customary for the main character (i.e. the one with the best chance of being featured in a large-scale crossover like Smash) to use a sword as his/her Weapon of Choice.
  • Professional Play: Easily the oldest conflict in the fanbase is whether or not the games should be played or treated competitively. Proponents note how the uniqueness of Smash as a game makes for a competitive experience that cannot be found elsewhere, and that the banning of certain in-game supplementaries (items, chaotic stages) are necessary for reducing cheesing/randomness, to ensure a more skill-driven game. Detractors state that the pro-scene's existence is a major insult to Sakurai's vision for the series — a fun casual game for friends to party around with — and that they are refusing to the play the game the way it was meant to be played. Accusations of elitism, Scrub-ism, and overall non-pleasantries are thrown abound, and even after Sakurai openly decided to design the games with the pro-scene in mind, it shows no signs of ever stopping.
    • Advanced Techniques: A core part of the division between the aforementioned groups is whether or not certain exploits/glitches — usually dubbed "Advanced Techniques" — should be used. (Whether any given technique even counts as a glitch has also been subject to debate.) Those in favor argue that they add new levels of depth to gameplay that can't be offered elsewhere. Those against argue that since most ATs aren't part of the game, they shouldn't be used at all, as they weren't part of the game's design philosophy, and thus throw the balance out of whack. The addition of complexity has its own subset — is the extra mechanical skill good for showcasing talent, or bad for increasing the skill ceiling to an unwittingly high level that most can't hope to achieve?
    • Banning Meta Knight: In the Brawl competitive scene, Meta Knight outclassed every character in the game, causing an over-centralized meta-game involving playing Meta Knight and trying to beat him. One party wanted him banned out of fear that he was making the game too stale and that viewership/entrants would die out due to his overt presence, as well as annoyance over how dominant he was. The other party, consisting of the people who played him/liked him, were against it, as he was ultimately in a boat to the similarly powerful Melee Fox, where despite being so dominant, he could still be fun to watch/play, and removing a player's main from the game would gimp too many people. The test of time reveals that the former group had the right ideanote , but only after the conflict became so vicious that the Brawl competitive scene died from the fire.


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