I’m half way through listing my 10 hopes and dreams for the upcoming Super Smash Bros. games coming to Wii U and 3DS. You can read the first half of the list here.
Before I get to the second half of that list, I want to break down just where I see the traditional Smash Bros. components going. I see the majority ending up in both, and in identical forms, but with certain key modes being varied, and others being limited to just one experience or the other.
Shared in identical form between both games: Stages, Custom Stages, Characters, Classic Mode, All-Star Mode, Boss Battle Mode, Multi-Man Brawl, Home Run Contest, and Target Smash. Wii U only: A unique solo mode (a la Sub Space Emissary), unique Event Battles, Trophies, and CDs. 3DS only: another unique solo mode, another unique set of Event Battles, Stickers, and character leveling.
With that cleared up, let’s get on with the fantasizing.
6. Less Tripping, More Running
In a move apparently designed to help out less skilled players and even the playing field a little by adding a greater element of luck, the decisions was made to include tripping in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Without warning, characters sometimes just fall over. That decision has warranted constant complaining from the competitive scene since launch, and rightfully so. Casual Smashers can have plenty of random craziness in their matches with items, the competitiveness of the new games need not be brought down by bringing tripping back.
Since these Wii U and 3DS games will be the first Smash titles in a long time not designed around the GameCube controller layout (Melee and Brawl both were), I think it’s a fine time to mix up the controls a little. Don’t get me wrong, I love the way moves are carried out in Smash, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s just one thing: having to slam the control stick to run is tedious and doesn’t always work. These games need a run button. This became especially evident in the Sub Space Emissary campaign of Brawl, where running became a major factor of play. Give me a run button! Having two jump buttons is wholly unnecessary, use one of those!
7. The Campaign
Despite the complaints of many obsessive Smash players who considered Brawl‘s campaign mode, known as the Subspace Emissary, a waste of development resources, I had a blast. I think there’s plenty of potential for more (especially with the aforementioned control tweaks), and I want more. So much, in fact, that I think unique campaigns should be designed for the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game.
The overall style of the SSE can certainly remain as well. The epic cutscenes, absurd mix-matching of video game universes, it all works.
8. More Events
Melee and Brawl both had Event matches.These modes, essentially wacky single level matches in which the player must tackle a different combination of enemies under abnormal circumstances, were my favourite parts of both games. I want more. A lot more.
Is there any reason there can’t be 100+ unique Challenges in each of the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game? They seem incredibly easy to make, since they rely entirely on elements that are going to be there anyway. Bring ’em on. As many as possible.
9. Other Solo Modes
Again, no reason the likes of Classic, All-Star, and the various Stadium modes can’t make their return in new Smash Bros. games.
I think the great strength of the Smash Bros. series is that it takes a rather small, but infinitely fun, piece of gameplay design, and gives players an incredible number of excuses to perform it over and over again. The more modes in a Smash game, the more excuses there are to replay the same awesome thing.
10. Deep Competitive Online Experience
Here’s another one that gets Smash players talking. The prospect of online play held such promise when it was announced for Brawl, but that mode was so egregiously minimal that all it did was upset anyone who tried it.
Smash Bros. games have developed a serious competitive scene. Nurturing and growing that scene with a deep online multiplayer component with all the stat tracking, leader boards, friends lists, and matchmaking associated with the biggest online FPSes would be of such a service to Nintendo’s most loyal followers that it can’t not be done.