Super Smash Bros. for Wii u Articles RSS Feed | Super Smash Bros. for Wii u RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Is Nintendo Finally Embracing The Competitive Smash Scene? Fri, 22 Jun 2018 12:39:04 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

Now that the dust has finally settled from Nintendo's E3 presentation and the curtain has been raised on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, we're finally getting a sense of what we can expect from Nintendo's flagship fighting game series when it launches this December.

And oddly enough, the new features, changes, and additions seem different this time around. For a company (and a creator in Masahiro Sakurai) that are infamous for refusing to listen to input from fans, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sure seems like it has been inspired by the competitive community.

Nintendo's History (or Lack Thereof) with the Competitive Smash Community

Ask any competitive Super Smash Bros. player about Nintendo's support of the community, no matter what their game of choice is, and you'll likely get the same answer: They don't care.

And that has held true ever since the original game came out. Nintendo has positioned the Super Smash Bros. series as a casual fighter meant for parties, and has historically been very resistant to the concept that it can be played in any kind of codified professional way. 

Nintendo never hosts official Smash tournaments outside the occasional invitational event. They rarely sponsor major fighting game tournaments either. Nintendo's relationship with people who play Smash competitively has been tumultuous at best, and at worst, outright hostile.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl probably represents the worst of this. After years of refusing to provide financial support to tournaments that featured Melee, Brawl released and was incredibly well-received, but the addition of random tripping and lack of patching meant that Brawl would never be as accepted by the competitive community as Melee was. This was by design. To Nintendo, playing these games competitively was playing the game the wrong way. 

This even continued through the last generation of games. Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS featured online play, sure, but the For Glory mode of play seemed like an afterthought, seeing as team battles were restricted to time mode, and the only legal stages were Final Destination clones.

Adding to this is the fact that Nintendo seemed hell-bent on denying that the Melee competitive scene even existed until the Smash Invitational last week, save for a few grudging (and awkward) appearances from select pro players. It was jarring to see so many Melee players featured in Nintendo's intro video to the Smash Invitational last week because they've avoided the scene until that point.

Fan Complaints

The competitive scene for Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS remains strong to this day, but as a competitive game, pro players have a lot of gripes with it. The game rewards defensive play, staying in shield, and waiting for your opponent to move first. If this sounds boring, that's because it can be.

There are plenty of other complaints too. There are very few stages that are suitable for competitive play, and as more characters got added to the game, that list got whittled down even further by tournament organizers. DLC characters caused controversy as well, even before Bayonetta witch-twisted her way into the top 8 of every tournament. Nobody liked playing against Cloud because of Finishing Touch (which was nerfed, but still). There were tons of arguments about "toxic" characters, and certain regions banned Bayonetta from play altogether, much like Meta Knight was banned in Brawl.

At first, Omega Stages seemed like a concession to the competitive community, but turning a stage into Final Destination didn't really prove to be all that much of a boon unless the normal Final Destination stage gave you eye strain.

In a lot of ways, the Wii U entry in the series seemed like a half-hearted concession to the competitive community. They look like they're going to go the whole nine yards for the Switch entry.

Times Are A-Changin'

All this is to say that Nintendo finds itself in a precarious situation leading up to the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They don't want the skill barrier to be as high as it was in Melee, but they want to reward the competitive community that has spent years learning these games. 

What they've come up with so far seems to be toeing that line beautifully. The return of directional air dodges is a great concession to the Melee community, who will be waiting with bated breath over whether or not wavedashing will be a viable mechanic in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They've made short hop aerials, a popular approach advanced technique, a whole lot easier to perform. They've not only added Omega Stages back, but they've also added Battlefield variants for each stage, and included the ability to turn off stage hazards. (This is already a sticking point for many tournament organizers -- what happens if there are too many legal stages?)

The change that has Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS fans salivating is that they have added a significant penalty for rolling and dodging. They want to foster a more aggressive style of play which will, ideally, lead to more stunning and exciting moments (which will now be highlighted with a short slowdown cutscene). 

Now, of course, time will tell whether or not this represents a change in strategy for the company. There's no guarantee that Nintendo will suddenly start sponsoring local tournaments or hosting their own. Hell, there's no guarantee they'll fix Bayonetta. 

But for now, competitive Smash fans are feeling like Nintendo has given them everything that they've asked for. 

Well, everything except for Geno.

A Complete Guide to DreamHack Atlanta: Events, Schedules & Where to Watch Fri, 21 Jul 2017 10:43:42 -0400 Lydia M

2016 was the inaugural year for DreamHack in the States, with the first breaking ground in Austin, Texas. And while the American counterpart to the largest digital festival in the world probably won't be as extreme, you're bound to find something you enjoy as DreamHack sets its sights on Atlanta, Georgia this weekend.

Big-name eSports tournaments,  cosplay contests, musical performances, and so much more will be at DreamHack: Atlanta. And below, we've got your full schedule for all major events throughout the weekend.

eSports Tournaments

CS:GO DreamHack Astro Open
  • Prize Pool: $100,000
  • Teams:
    • Team EnvyUs
    • Heroic
    • Hellraisers
    • Misfits
    • NRG
    • Godsent
    • Binary Dragons
    • Renegades

You'll be able to watch this tournament on the CS:GO DreamHack Twitch channel. The match schedule is as follows: 

  • Friday, July 21:
    • 12:40 PM EDT - Pre-Show
    • 1:00 PM EDT - First Match (Group Stages)
  • Saturday, July 22:
    • 10:00 AM EDT - Groups Elimination Matches
  • Sunday, July 23:
    • 10:00 AM EDT - Semi-Finals
    • 5:00 PM EDT - Grand Final
H1Z1 Elite Series - Team Event
  • Prize Pool: $150,000
  • Teams: 
    • Counter Logic Gaming
    • Obey Alliance
    • Denial eSports
    • World Best Gaming
    • Luminosity Gaming
    • + 7 teams from onsite qualifiers

You'll be able to watch this tournament on the official H1Z1 Twitch channel. The match schedule is as follows: 

  • Saturday, July 22:
    • 2:00 PM EDT - Team Qualifiers
  • Sunday, July 23:
    • 12:00 PM EDT - Team Tournament Finals
H1Z1 Elite Series - Solo Event
  • Prize Pool: $100,000
  • Players: 
    • Radek
    • Gorany
    • Gasrunner
    • H00Wy
    • Flamehopp
    • Pineaqples
    • Inboxes
    • Splintexify
    • VivaLaBAD
    • Sweetdrear
    • AladdinLTD
    • Avdren
    • Jordyx3
    • Yt2taps
    • Illuos1iion
    • Bom1n
    • Ninja
    • + top 40 players from onsite qualifiers

You'll also be able to watch this tournament on the official H1Z1 Twitch channel. The match schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, July 21:
    • 2:00 PM EDT - Solo Qualifiers
  • Saturday, July 22:
    • 9:30 PM EDT - Solo Tournament
Halo Champions Series Pro League Summer 2017 Finals
  • Prize Pool: $200,000
  • Teams:
    • North America
      • Splyce
      • Optic Gaming
      • Team Liquid
      • Evil Geniuses
      • Luminosity
      • Team EnvyUs
    • Europe
      • Vexed Gaming
      • Supremacy
      • Invictus
      • Team Infused
      • + Six teams from Open Bracket

You'll be able to watch this tournament on the official Halo Twitch channel. The match schedule is as follows: 

  • Friday, July 21:
    • 12:00 PM EDT - Open Bracket
  • Saturday, July 22:
    • 10:00 AM EDT - Open Bracket + Championship Bracket
  • Sunday, July 23:
    • 12:20 PM - Championship Bracket
Dota 2 DreamLeague Season 7 Playoffs
  • Prize Pool: $175,000
  • Teams: 
    • Team Secret
    • Team Liquid
    • Vega Squadron
    • Planet Odd

You'll be able to watch this tournament on the official Dreamleague Twitch channel. The match schedule is as follows: 

  • Saturday, July 22:
    • 11:00 AM EDT - Upper Bracket
  • Sunday, July 23:
    • 12:00 PM EDT - Lower Bracket Final
    • 4:15 PM EDT - Grand Final
Rocket League DreamHack Championship
  • Prize Pool: $50,000
  • Teams: Open registration - 32 teams max

You'll be able to watch this tournament on the official DreamHack Rocket League Twitch channel. The match schedule is as follows: 

  • Friday, July 21:
    • 12:00 PM EDT - Day 1 Matches
  • Saturday, July 22:
    • 12:00 PM EDT - Day 2 Matches
  • Sunday, July 23:
    • 11:00 AM EDT - Quarter Finals
    • 4:00 PM EDT - Semi Finals
    • 6:30 PM EDT - Grand Finals

DreamHack Hearthstone Grand Prix

  • Prize Pool: $26,500
  • Players: Open Registration

You'll be able to watch this tournament on the official DreamHack Hearthstone Twitch channel. The match schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, July 21:
    • 11:00 AM EDT - Rounds Begin
  • Saturday, July 22:
    • 11:00 AM EDT - Rounds Continue
    • 5:15 PM EDT - Round of 16
  • Sunday, July 23:
    • 11:15 AM EDT - Round of 8
    • 5:15: PM EDT - Grand Final
DreamHack Super Smash Bros for Wii U Tournament
  • Prize Pool: $10,000
  • Players: Open Registration

You'll be able to watch this tournament on the official DreamHack Smash Twitch channel. The match schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, July 21:
    • 2:00 PM EDT - Doubles
  • Saturday, July 22:
    • 10:00 AM EDT - Single Pools
  • Sunday, July 23:
    • 10:00 AM EDT - Top 8, Semi Finals, and Finals
Dreamhack Super Smash Bros Melee Tournament
  • Prize Pool: $10,000
  • Players: Open Registration

You'll be able to watch this tournament on the official DreamHack Smash Twitch channel. The match schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, July 21:
    • 2:00 PM EDT - Doubles
  • Saturday, July 22:
    • 10:00 AM EDT - Singles Pools
  • Sunday, July 23:
    • 10:00 AM EDT - Top 8, Semi Finals, and Finals

Other professional eSports events will also be running on the fighting game circuit. The schedule of games for fighter fans includes Tekken 7, Street Fighter V, and Injustice 2.

Collegiate AVGL eSports Matches

In addition to professional eSports, DreamHack will be hosting some tournaments at the collegiate level, courtesy of the American Video Game League (AVGL). Several universities will be facing off against each other in big-name games like League of Legends and Overwatch

All collegiate matches will be broadcast on the main DreamHack Twitch Channel. The tournaments are as follows:

League of Legends
  • Friday, July 21
    • 10:30 AM EDT - University of Georgia v. Georgia Tech
    • 1:00 PM EDT - Georgia Southern v. Georgia State
    • 3:00 PM EDT - University of Mississippi v. Clemson
  • Saturday, July 22
    • 10:30 AM EDT: University of Mississippi v. Clemson
    • 12:30 PM EDT: UNCC v. NC State
    • 2:30 PM EDT: Georgia State v. University of Georgia

Other DreamHack Events

Despite mostly being known for the holding the biggest eSports tournaments in the world, DreamHack will also be home to the biggest PC LAN party ever, cosplay contests, a dedicated tabletop area, virtual reality, and so much more. There will also be an expo filled with exhibitors like Astro Gaming, Meta Threads, Hyper X, Intel, Oculus Rift, and so much more.

Cosplay Contest

There are three "tiers" of contests with different skill levels. Each have cash and trophy prizes for the top three participants. The schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday, July 22:
    • 12:00 - 3:00 PM EDT -- Pre-Judging
    • 6:00 - 7:45 PM EDT -- Main Show
    • 7:45 - 8:00 PM EDT -- Awards
Live Music

Rapper Waka Flocka Flame will also be making an appearance to put on a concert for DreamHack attendees on Friday, July 21 at 10:30 PM EDT.

Whether you're there for the eSports tournaments, cosplay contests, shopping for the latest in gamer gear, or all of the above, you're certain to find your niche at DreamHack Atlanta. As DreamHack has successfully extended to three American states this year, there's a good chance it will continue to expand in the coming years.

It's not too late to attend! Tickets are still available for as low as $20 on the DreamHack website.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for eSports coverage and cosplay roundups from the show as it runs over the weekend. Comment below if you'll be at the show yourself!

5 Great Fighting Games For People Who Are Bad At Fighting Games Mon, 21 Aug 2017 11:58:22 -0400 Greyson Ditzler


That wraps up this list of fighting games that are perfect for beginners who are trying to learn. If there were any other titles you felt should have been featured, or if you've got an opinion on the games we've included here, leave a comment below! There's always more room for discussion on beginner-friendly fisticuffs. 


Happy grappling!


Skullgirls 2nd Encore

Xbox One, PS4, PC, iOS, Android, etc.

I'll try to keep this one simple. In my humble opinion, Skullgirls 2nd Encore is, simply put, the absolute best game to start with if you really want to get into fighting games. This female-dominated, 2D, hand-drawn, 1-on-1 fighter stands tall among the fighting game classics that it imitates (such as Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes and Street fighter III: 3rd Strike)


Skullgirls 2nd Encore isn't a sequel, but it rather the completed vision of the original Skullgirls with loads of updates and bonuses. It features a wonderfully balanced roster of characters and bonus content that is perfectly made for a first-time fighting game player. The game uses the intricate stick-and-button combos that most fighting game enthusiasts should be very familiar with by now. But it also features an extremely extensive set of step-by-step tutorials that are meant to help newbies understand everything from the basics up to spectacular blockbuster special moves.


The game does a fantastic job of explaining things to you if you go looking for help, and the added training mode (as well as six different difficulty options in most modes) makes for a true fighting game experience that's not just accessible, but very enjoyable even to scrubs (like me). It's fun to play even if you don't know what you're doing -- and if you do know, there's some seriously amazing high-level techniques to pull off, and the game is happy to teach it to you if you're willing to take the time. 


A lot like DivekickSkullgirls was made by people who not only love fighting games, but also enjoy all video games. The game is bursting at the seams with both visual and audible references to classic games, other fighting games, anime, classic cartoons, internet culture, and tons of other things.


The alternate costumes are a feast for the avid geek-culture junkie, because you're bound to recognize more than a couple familiar color schemes and outfit designs from your own childhood. This game that manages to have it's own identity while also paying homage to countless others. 


For that extra cherry on top, it's also got a series of standalone (but still interwoven) plots in its story mode, a jazz-heavy soundtrack that's catchy as hell, and absolutely beautiful hand-drawn artwork for every character and background.


Skullgirls 2nd Encore is an excellent fighting game that has lots to love. If you really want to get into fighting games and you don't where to start, there simply isn't a better game than this one for getting your feet wet.



Nintendo Switch

Arms is an odd game. Of all the games on the list, it's one of the closesy to a typical 1-on-1 fighter. But since this is a Nintendo IP, it couldn't make it through development without a smattering of oddness and innovation, and thus we have the long-distance competitive boxing game that is Arms.


In Arms you play as one of a number of springy-armed, masked combatants. You must maneuver your stretchy arms and use both your unique abilities and the various environments to your advantage so you can outwit your equally elastic opponent.


Every character handles similar, but they all feel different in their specific mechanics. Each character has an appropriate stage to match them -- each of which also provides extra dimensions of strategy in the way each match plays out.


Then there's the most variable feature of Arms: the various equippable arms. Every character has three sets of signature arms, all with different attack properties and after-effects that can be swapped into various patterns between their left and right hands to craft a vast array of tactical combos. Add on tons more arms to unlock, and you have a chemistry set of a game to toy around with for hours.


The learning curve with Arms is kind of steep -- but at the same time, the barrier to entry is fairly low. It's a great example of "easy to learn, hard to master", and pretty much anybody can pick up play it without needing to learn any intricate combos or dealing with limited movement. They just need to know the basic controls, and from there it's up to them.


Arms is a fun, quirky, and unique take on competitive fighting games that anybody can play. Give it a shot! 



PC, Mac, PS4, PlayStation Vita

Some people may argue that Nidhogg isn't a typical fighting game, but more of a fencing simulator. But I say that if it's got two characters up against each other, utilizing movement techniques and dodging in conjunction with context-sensitive and input-specific moves, then it's a fighting game. Plus, you could just as easily just call it a sword-fighting game.


A lot like Divekick, Nidhogg is equal parts mind-games and brute force. You must pass your opponent -- killing them over and over again if necessary -- and make it to the other end of the stage in order to win the right to be eaten by the Nidhogg. 


You can low thrust, mid thrust, high thrust, throw your sword, jump, duck, roll, and even rip your opponent into gooey shreds with your bare hands if need be. There is only one character in this game, and there is no time limit -- so if two players of equal skill face off, the game can go on foreverAnd there are only three stages to pick from -- but if you want the most even playing field, you'll want to pick the castle. 


Nidhogg is a great game to pick up and play for a few quick matches and gradually get better at. There aren't many bells and whistles that go with this bicycle, but it's a sturdy bike all it's own (and you can pull off some pretty sweet tricks with it). 


The sequel, creatively named Nidhogg 2, is also a good time. It added a number of new weapons and environments, though, so it may not be quite as accessible to beginners. Both games are worth your time -- but if you want the purest and most simple experience of the two, then pick up your rapier and take a stab at the first Nidhogg.



PC, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One

Divekick is both a great fighting game and a great comedy game. It's about as simple as a fighting game can get without being mindless (or being Evil Zone). There are no combos, no complex six-step inputs, and not even a movement stick. You have two buttons in total, and all you can do is dive and kick -- just like the title implies.


This unique fighter aims to keep the depth of a conventional 1-on-1 fighting game, while boiling down the gameplay to its purest essence -- encouraging players to rely more heavily on mind-games, spacing, and predicting their opponent's moves. Divekick manages to make the meta aspects of fighting games very easy to understand, and its beginner-friendly gameplay has just enough depth to be enjoyable at a higher level of play.


Despite its basic mechanics, Divekick features a large cast of characters that all play differently from each other -- with special moves that you'll need to become familiar with. There isn't a ton of content to explore, but odds are you'll enjoy the base game enough to not let that bother you. Just focus on getting better at dancing back and forth and psyching people out.


In story, themes, and mechanics, Divekick is a love letter to the inner fighting game community. It's loaded with inside jokes, direct parodies and references, and delightful (if baffling) amounts of fighting game lingo. It's a game for people who truly love fighting games, but it's also very accessible to newcomers.


Super Smash Bros.

Nintendo 3DS and Wii U

Smash is like a second language. Whether you're breaking it out at a sleepover, entertaining your cousins young and old at a family reunion, or part of Smash tournament on your college campus, practically anyone anywhere who loves video games is down to play some Super Smash Bros.


While every game in this series is great, and most of them would be decent places to start if you wanted to get better at fighting games, I think that the most recent installment released for Wii U and 3DS is the best entry for beginners and newcomers. 


Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS is the most recent installment in the series, so it's likely the one most people are playing it at the moment (next to Melee, anyway). It also has the most fluid controls, and is the easiest game in the series to pick up and play. Because there are so many characters that behave so differently, the average person is bound to find at least one out of the nearly fifty fighters that suits their preferred play-style.


Last but not least, this game is just fantastic. It's got an enormous amount of content and variables that make it fun and easy to play for hours (if not days) at a time. While very complex -- with a tier-chart that stretches as high as the sky -- Super Smash Bros. is fun to learn and get better at because it's so satisfying to play. 


The only catch to Smash being on this list is that, as good as it is, it's also the least like a normal fighting game of any title on this list. Smash definitely has an enormous and active fan-base, and playing it enough will teach you more about fighting games -- but it's also in a league if its own, like all games in the series.


Choose your controller, choose your fighter, and settle it in Smash.


Fighting games are one of the most intriguing genres that gaming hasto offer. They boil down the action game appeal of engaging combat into a smaller-scale scuffle that -- when it's at its best -- is based just as much in skill and strength as it is in tactics and complex mind-games.


While this is one of the qualities that makes fighting games awesome, it also means that the specific skill-set required to play most of them is so different from other games that it makes them inaccessible to lots of people -- and that's a shame.


Luckily, there are some fighters out there for those who are looking to get into the genre, but can't seem to "get good". They're perfect jumping-off points if you want to hone your fighting game prowess beyond mere button-mashing. 


Five fighting games fit this bill perfectly, and we've collected them here. So without further ado, it's time to select your fighter!

E3 2017: Nintendo Predictions Thu, 08 Jun 2017 13:20:08 -0400 Curtis Dillon


Well, there you have it, our predictions for Nintendo's E3 2017 Spotlight. As has become customary, Nintendo will not be hosting a live showcase like Sony or Microsoft, but a Direct video that will come to us at 12 p.m. EST on June 13.


The E3 Spotlight will be followed by a Treehouse stream, in which Nintendo will showcase the games coming in the near future. This could be a huge E3 for Nintendo; the company will look to give Switch owners plenty of reasons to be excited for the next 6-12 months, and also give potential buyers a reason to dive-in and see what all the hype is about.


The E3 2017 briefing will focus largely on Super Mario Odyssey, which is going to be Nintendo's big fall game. That alone is reason enough to get excited about E3, but we should be getting at least a few more announcements.


Let us know in the comments your wildest dreams and what you think is actually going to happen! Don't forget you can find more of our E3 predictions on GameSkinny by following the links below:


Metroid On Switch


Nintendo has said this current E3 will focus on games coming this year, but I expect one surprise to come at the end -- and that's a new MetroidMetroid is one of Nintendo's longest-running and most mishandled franchises. Some gamers will argue that point but the fact of the matter is Nintendo has neglected the iconic series and it's struggling as a result.


Of course, we know Metroid doesn't sell well. Every time you hear someone question why we don't get more Metroid games, the reason is pretty simple: it doesn't make enough money. Contrary to popular opinion, Metroid is not as big of a franchise as people think, at least not in regards to sales numbers. The highest-selling entry in the franchise is Metroid Prime on GameCube, which sold 2.82 million copies. Wii Music sold better.


All that being said, I do think there is ample reason for Nintendo to make a Metroid game on the Switch, and I believe the company has been doing just that. Nintendo isn't deaf and the company heard the community the second it announced Metroid Prime: Federation Force at E3 2015. The backlash to the 3DS title was severe and, if they hadn't already known it, the bigwigs at Nintendo would've quickly realized how beloved the series was.


With that in mind, it seems inevitable that Nintendo would have commissioned a full-blown Metroid title for the Switch. This is a perfect opportunity for Nintendo to shed all of the baggage that comes with Metroid and make a fresh start; a new story, a new setting, even a new protagonist.


Of course, that's just one idea. The new Metroid could also be a sequel to Other M or Prime 4.


Xenoblade Chronicles 2


Xenoblade Chronicles released on the Wii in 2011, and it received critical acclaim. The pseudo open-world RPG blew expectations out of the water and proved itself to be more than just a Monster Hunter/Final Fantasy clone.


A follow-up wasn't expected when it appeared back in January when the Switch was revealed, especially considering Xenoblade Chronicles X only released two years ago on Wii U. To say the least, it was a nice surprise.


Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was also a sight for sore eyes because it was another huge open-world title for gamers to look forward to after Breath of the Wild. Beyond Zelda, there haven't been a lot of big titles for Switch gamers to sink their teeth into, but Xenoblade can give them exactly that. 


I would expect Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to sell very well on the Switch, so Nintendo will want to heavily promote it. The game is due for release sometime this year, so we should be seeing a lot more of it at E3.


SNES Classic Mini


Another poorly held secret, the SNES Classic Mini seems destined to be fully revealed at E3 and released later this year.


Last year, Nintendo revealed the NES Classic, a mini version of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, equipped with 30 built-in games. The system was marred by constant demand issues -- whether real or manufactured by Nintendo -- before being discontinued after five months and selling 2.3 million units. The system was not only a complete shock to everyone but quickly became the most sought-after toy of the year!


With all that in mind, a follow-up seems inevitable. Pretty much the second the NES Classic Mini was announced, gamers were calling for the Super Nintendo to get the same treatment. An SNES Mini -- surely with a longer controller cable or even a wireless controller -- could also come with 30 built-in games, including Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, A Link To The Past, Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country, Final Fantasy III, and Super Mario Kart. That short list of games alone would be worth the price tag!


We can expect a reveal of the SNES Classic Mini at E3, along with a price tag, release date, and hopefully a lot more stock than the NES Mini.


Super Mario Odyssey


Super Mario Odyssey came as a surprise to many when Nintendo revealed it back in January. Not because we weren't expecting a new Mario title, but because the setting took everyone off-guard: New Donk City, pitting our hero in a realistic location for the first time.


Seeing Mario run around a New York-style city was weird but awesome -- although it was jarring to many. But that was only part of the reveal, which then showcased a variety of beautiful locales, including a vast desert and a lush forest, keeping with the theme of real-world inspired locations.


Odyssey is the first open-ended, exploration-based Mario game since Super Mario Sunshine way back in 2002! That's incredibly exciting because both Sunshine and Mario 64 are two of the best video games of all-time, and it's been far too long since we've gotten such a Mario game. 


This is Nintendo's next big game, and we can expect it to take center stage during the E3 Spotlight. We will hopefully get a lengthy gameplay demo as well as a specific release date!


Wii U Ports


Before Nintendo gets to the big guns, I believe the company will announce a few more Wii U ports. Since the Nintendo Switch released, it has become a haven for overlooked games seeking a second life. Many games released on the Wii U to zero fanfare, no matter how good they may have been.


One such title I would expect to see is Xenoblade Chronicles. We're getting a spiritual successor to the 2011 Xenoblade on Switch, so it only makes sense for the majority of the Switch adopters to get a chance to play the original.


The same could be said for Super Mario Maker, Yoshi's Wooly World, Bayonetta 2, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. There's a lot of games that Nintendo could justifiably port from the Wii U, not to mention older titles like Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2. So don't be surprised if a chunk of thNintendodo Spotlight is devoted to games you've already seen or played!


Mario x Rabbids: Kingdom Battle


Now for the worst kept secret heading into E3 2017 -- well, not counting Assassin's Creed: Origins.


Mario x Rabbids: Kingdom Battle had been rumored for several months before it was leaked back in May -- and it is a dead lock for E3. The game, which is being developed by Ubisoft, supposedly features turn-based combat, two-player local co-op, and, predictably, a ridiculous sense of humor. Also, despite what the title suggests, Mario won't be the only playable character, as you'll also get to take control of Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, and Rabbids dressed as the aforementioned icons.


Mario x Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is reportedly coming this fall to the Nintendo Switch, making it one of Nintendo's biggest holiday releases. With that in mind, we can expect a full reveal, with gameplay and a release date, during Nintendo's Spotlight. This will likely be a fun title but not the Mario game everyone is desperate to see.


Breath of the Wild DLC


This one is a no-brainer. We already know that DLC packs are coming (we even know what's in the packs), but it seems obvious that we will get a real look at them here.


DLC Pack 1 will come with new armor, a new challenge mode titled Trial of the Sword, a hard more, Hero's Path Mode (which allows you to track your path throughout the world), and a Travel Medallion that allows fast travel. I wouldn't be surprised if this was briefly discussed, then announced to release then and there.


The second DLC Pack is the more interesting of the two, as it comes with a new dungeon and new story content. Nothing more is known about this DLC pack as of now, but following the release announcement of DLC Pack 1, I would expect a trailer for DLC Pack 2. This would give fans a reason to go back to Breath of the Wild, as well as stay excited for the title for the remainder of the year.


Our E3 2017 predictions are rolling on today, with the focus on Nintendo!


Nintendo has seen an amazing turn in fortunes and public perception this year with the release of the Nintendo Switch. Even though the Nintendo Wii sold insanely well at first, its sales also basically fell off of a cliff around 2008/2009, meaning the company had almost a decade of negative mindshare and poor sales. There was even a worry amongst gamers, myself included, when the new system was revealed at a terrible event that had all the hallmarks of old, stuck-in-the-past, stubborn, Nintendo.


All of that changed, however, when the Nintendo Switch released. Once gamers finally had the hardware in their hands, it no longer mattered what silly things Nintendo's reps said or did at a press conference; the tech was fantastic, and we had Breath of the Wild to go with it. All was well in Nintendoland for the first time in too, too long.


So, with all this momentum and good will, Nintendo will look to capitalize and produce a memorable E3 showing. If everything on this list comes to fruition, Nintendo will stand a good chance of winning E3, as it were. So, let's put on our hype hats and get started!

Melee Pro Hungrybox Talks About the Game's History, Future, and Going eSports Full-Time Sun, 26 Feb 2017 16:42:31 -0500 Bryant Pereira

Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma is a veteran Super Smash Bros. Melee player and almost unanimously considered to be the best Jigglypuff player of all time. Sponsored by Team Liquid, he currently sits at the #2 spot on the international Super Smash Bros. Melee Rank. Having quit his job as an engineer in October in pursuit of a full-time career in eSports, Debiedma's now prepping to fight for that #1 spot in 2017.

After suffering a minor fracture in his index finger, Hungrybox had his Genesis 4 seed placement moved from second to fifth. This movement placed him in a more difficult bracket, but the resilient Smasher still rounded out at 4th place in the tournament. 

Hungrybox spends most of his off-time streaming for his fans, but I managed to snag an hour of his time to talk about the community's future, Genesis 4, and Nintendo's "new" direction.

Bryant Pereira (BP): Melee is only getting more popular. The scene is getting bigger, the prize pools are growing, and the players are getting better. What specifically sets apart Melee from other eSports games -- and what will make it last another 15 years?

HungryBox (HB): I think Melee’s history is going to determine its future. It’s a rare game, it’s highly competitive, it has massive depth to it, and it was never intended to be played online in the first place. So when old school players wanted to compete against each other and see who was the best, you couldn’t do it behind a screen. You had to go in person and compete in an actual venue and meet your opponents face-to-face. There was a very human aspect to that in terms of getting better and supporting one another.

Of course, there’s always rivalries and shit talk and all that, but what’s cool about Melee is the fact that the players themselves organized the events and it was grass roots to start with...created an environment where people feel welcome, for the most part, and where people desire to improve on a massive basis. They want to be acknowledged for their skill by their peers, and it becomes a very fun climb to do so.

Because Melee isn’t exactly a game that you can master in a day -- it takes
years to master -- and that’s what makes it so interesting. That something can be as intricate as chess but as entertaining as, you know, watching UFC. What makes Melee unique from the other Smash games is that speed, that ability to move however you truly want to move and how you want to express yourself in the game.

BP: Unlike other major eSports, Melee doesn’t get any patches or updates, so players can only keep digging deeper into what they already have. Where do you see Melee down the road in terms of unlocked potential?

HB: Well, Melee was patched only once -- officially between NTSC and PAL. It was mainly nerfs that they did, and it was an attempt to do it. I think if they kept releasing a new version every year we would have a very different Melee than there is right now. But you’re right, [the] NTSC version has been unpatched for 15 years. So now, we started discovering new things, new aspects of the game that people didn’t know existed. Shield dropping is a good example that was discovered a couple of years ago, but it wasn’t utilized until recently.

It’s like [the developers] put all these very unique aspects of a fighting game without releasing it into a guide or telling people how to do it. It’s as if they knew the game would exist this long and eventually people would discover it and figure it out. But it took a community this large and with this much passion to actually delve that deep into the game.

Now we have frame data for everything; data diggers who go into the game and count the individual frames and pixels a certain move has. All this data allows a brand new player to improve much faster than when the game first came out. So, we have a lot of up and comers now who are able to go toe-to-toe with even top players, Syrox is a good example.

The biggest new resource -- and the evident indicator that this is one of the most passionate communities for the game we play -- is that members of the community created online Melee. Anther was a player who created Smash Ladder, a website that allows you to match make other people, and then the entire Faster Melee and Dolphin community created an emulator that not only emulates it perfectly but also so that you can play against other people around the world. That is a massive undertaking and shows you how incredible the community can be.

BP: So let’s get this out of the way -- people were worried about your finger injury from dodgeball, and even with a more difficult seeding, you were able to prove that this was nothing but a minor setback by placing 4th at Genesis 4. How do you feel about tournament organizers changing seeds for participators? Not only in your own situation, but for other players as well?

HB: I’m gonna show you this first. [*lifts plate of soup with fractured index finger*] I couldn’t do that five weeks ago. It’s a very small fracture that healed very quickly, as I’ve told it would. Was I playing perfect with the broken finger? Maybe not, but there’s no way to tell because even though I had to switch to my middle finger grip, it was a whole new undertaking.

I had to relearn a lot of movement options...shield dropping, L-cancelling, wavedashing, that whole thing. When I was in the bracket ,I only lost to Mang0...and Mang0 again. I lost to Mang0 twice at Genesis 4 and he got 2nd place. So at the very worst, I still think I deserved third seed, which is what I said I should have gotten. I also 3-0’d Plup that tournament, which I haven’t done in I think a whole year.

My point is that results in brackets aren’t proper indicators of how well someone is playing because of an injury. Melee at the top level is so variant that you can lose because you got outplayed, not just because you’re playing with a style you’re not familiar with. I made sure to practice with it and made sure that I was as close as possible to par, and at the end of the day, I was.

I still do think that I was seeded unfairly, and I’m hoping that these tournaments will continue to keep my #2 rank, which is what I think it is now. Granted, at MVG I got fourth place, losing to Wizz, and third to Mew2King at UGC, but that was fresh off the finger break. I’m pretty sure if I fought either of them at Genesis I would have beaten them, and now I am fully back to form.

Summit has thankfully given me the #2 seed, which is really nice, and if I still do badly there I will agree to being seeded lower. If I hadn’t said anything online on Twitter, I would’ve been seeded second. So now, I’m less encouraged to be honest about my playstyle...because now if I have an injury or something holding me back I’m not going to mention it.

BP: What do you think about the direction Nintendo is taking with the Switch and the Smash Community in general?

HB: The Switch, I think, is going to be a massive success in the consumer market. I’ll always compare it to the DS Lite, which was so much cooler and so much slicker than the DS. The Switch is like the Wii U Lite. It’s a much more sexy, efficient, well put together Wii U that is more suitable for an environment like today. This has the potential to be the first true mobile console.

With Smash, I don’t know why they wouldn’t put a Smash game on there. There’s rumors about them porting Smash 4, about a Virtual Console release for Melee. Sure, I’ll use a tiny Joycon, I’ll use whatever they offer me. I just want to be able to play my favorite iteration of my favorite game on Nintendo’s new premiere console.

BP: What are your thoughts on the future of the Smash 4 community? With the Wii U going out of production, do you feel like fans will have to wait until the inevitable Switch Smash to come out?

HB: I’m not too worried about that because CRTs were a fad that was supposed to die when flat screens started coming out, and we still have them today. Enough Wii U’s exist and enough players have bought them, so even if they don’t release Smash on the Switch, it will still be huge for a while.

However, what would kill the current iteration of Smash on the Wii U would be if they released a brand new Smash for the Switch. All the players would move to that because it will most likely be similar to Smash for the Wii U, but Melee will never be affected by that because there isn’t a new iteration of Melee. Project M was the only thing that ever came close. The Smash 4 community is essentially the Brawl community plus a bunch of new people. It’s a lot more well oriented, a lot more rigid, the game is better, a lot better than Brawl. I think the game will be similar to Melee and last another 10-15 years.

BP: Mods like Project M were major successes. With Smash 4 already getting texture and costume mods, how do you feel about a potential Project M-like Mod for the Wii U?

HB: That would be an extremely interesting game to play, and I would play the hell out of it. PM, I think, is the most recognizable fighting game mod of all time. I think it would be a really cool thing to see, as long as it's not so amazing that it tears the Melee community apart.

BP: What impact do you think a Melee VC or remaster would have on the community?

HB: I think the best possible scenario would be for Nintendo to officially re-release Melee on the virtual console. They would add an online capacity on it, where you would pay each month for good, crisp, online. It would have to be emulated very properly, with minimized input lag.

New characters...maybe...but the moment you add a new character, Melee, our current version, becomes obsolete. That’s scary...I don’t know if we want that. What we want are two identical versions of Melee, NTSC, that we can play on the Switch and new best. Having new stages would be cool, but even having that could make the current version of Melee obsolete.

So it comes down to what version of Melee will continue being Melee. How many changes can you add until it becomes a new thing? It’s hard to tell, the more I talk about it the less I want it. What Nintendo has to do for Melee is acknowledge it again and release it exactly as is. Exactly. As. Is. Give us a controller adaptor, virtual console, no touches. Online mode at best, but no changes that would affect a tournaments results as they would have been.

BP: Who do you see as your biggest competition this year in Smash?

HB: I think that right now, Armada is at the top, but I was the last person to be above him. So he’s my rival right now. My entire year is going to be dedicated to beating him, more than anything. I want to beat him more than anything now. Mang0, I always enjoy playing him. When it comes down to it, me and him lose to each other if one of us lacks the discipline. If Mang0 is being impatient, he loses. If I feel like I can go toe-to-toe with Mang0’s speed, I lose. If we both play to our strengths, that’s when we have a great set. So we have to respect each other, acknowledge each other's strengths, and play to our own strengths and not try to be someone we’re not.

Leffen’s really good. I think playing against him is like a mix between Armada and Mang0 that might be a little more antsy. Playing against Mew2King is...annoying because he plays like a robot, like a computer, but every computer program has a way to beat it. Honestly, any of the top guys right now are a big threat. I can’t say I’m definitely going to beat this person anymore. I don’t think any of us can say that anymore because we know each other so well at this point, it’s not about past knowledge, it’s about who can improvise jazz best.

BP: Looking back on the past few months where you pursued eSports full time, what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned and what do you hope to achieve in 2017?

HB: It’s been an enlightening four months. I’m learning a lot of things. When you quit your job to do your passion because you can live off it, you want to make sure that you’re not making what you love labor. You want to make sure work is passion -- not labor. I’ve become very close to accidentally making Smash labor in the past couple months because I thought it was everything I needed.

I gave up an engineering job when I was up in Alabama and Georgia, and I learned a lot of things from that job. It was a great experience. When I realized that I wanted to see Melee to it’s fullest, it was a bit of an off-season, I had a lot of free time, and I would stream. Streaming can be really good, but it can be a lot of work too. You’re always questioning yourself whether you are doing everything you can to maximize your audience. You’re questioning if you’re entertaining enough, if people are liking you enough, if you seem honest or fake.

It’s funny because I wanted to be an anchor when I was younger, and I realized I’m kind of doing it now as I speak. A lot of it is being yourself and having fun, but it’s not always easy to have fun when you have an expectation of what you want to be. The best way I’ve found to do that is to not care about that...but to simply enjoy what you’re doing.

I started a coding boot camp because I want to be constantly learning. I think when you’re not learning a new thing, and focusing only on one thing, it hurts you a lot. It would hurt my Melee abilities. I think because I’m now exercising my mind constantly, my Melee stays fresh.

I’m setting up another net for myself. I sort of cut the hinges off one safety net, which was my job, and now I’m in the process of making another one for myself so I can be more comfortable and so I can play Melee for Team Liquid with the least obtrusion possible. So outside life mimics your life in Melee, it mimics your playstyle, it mimics your movement. How someone plays Melee can tell you a lot about what they’re going through in life and it’s another example of how the game is timeless.

Hungrybox will be participating in Smash Summit over the weekend of the Switch's release, but he said he will have the new console waiting for him at home when he returns. Before parting ways, we spoke about his most anticipated title, ARMS, and the music festival circuit across the nation this year.

I'd like to thank Hungrybox for taking the time to come out and meet with me. After running into him at a local restaurant, he eagerly agreed to speak with me minutes after my e-mail. You can follow him on Twitter @LiquidHBox and on Twitch

5 Wii & Wii U Games You Need to Play Before the Switch Takes Over Wed, 22 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Rob Kershaw


There are plenty of other wonderful games we could have listed here. In truth, both the Wii and Wii U were home to a number of excellent titles, and some of the best ones -- including Mario Kart 8 and Rayman Origins -- will be getting a deserved re-release on the Switch.


However, we're hoping that Nintendo's new console fares better than the last one, and that third-party developers get on board early. The dearth of software that sounded the Wii U's death knell is completely avoidable. Nintendo know the mistakes that were made, so there's really no excuse to repeat them on the Switch. But in the interim, take a look at the last decade of releases -- you'll be surprised at how many gems you'll find.


What were your favorite Wii and Wii U games? Do you think the Switch will become home to similar classics? Let us know in the comments!

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

One of the darkest entries in Link's canon, Twilight Princess HD took the original Wii game and gave it a coat of high-def paint for Nintendo's follow-up console. Along with the graphical upgrade, the Wii U version added extra support for Amiibo, a new dungeon, and a super tough Hero mode.


However, the real benefit came from the gameplay tweaks, as Nintendo addressed many of the criticisms of the original, such as fast-switching to the Wolf version of Link, increasing your wallet, and streamlining a couple of the tougher side quests to make them easier.


For fans, it remains as divisive as ever, but for those looking for a more mature vision of Hyrule, Twilight Princess HD is hard to beat.

Super Smash Bros. (Wii U)

Following up a critically acclaimed game like Super Smash Bros. Brawl was never going to be an easy task. Yet the Wii U was the perfect console to host this party brawler, doubling the amount of possible players to eight, and offering up a staggering 51 characters to pick from (with another seven available to download). The eight-player Smash could have been a disaster but it actually worked perfectly, with the screen panning out to ensure that none of the mayhem was lost.


What could have presented itself as an incoherent mass of characters actually turned into a tactical triumph of mini-battles, each player working singly or with others to pick off potentially weak fighters, before turning on each other. Ferocious, colorful and always manic, it was also released on 3DS, but the Wii U version remains the one to pick up.

Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

The plumber had a number of fantastic outings across both consoles, but Mario's first 3D foray on the Wii remains one of the best in the series, as well as one of the best 3D platform games ever created. Super Mario Galaxy took everything you knew about the characters and the world they inhabited, and ported them into space. The result was a dizzying and spectacularly well-designed platformer, spanning 42 galaxies, with no fewer than nine different power suits to aid you in your task (collecting stars, obviously).


The level design was near perfect, the pacing sublime, and the graphics stretched the capabilities of the Wii, but without any loss of fidelity or frame rate. The use of gravity added a new dimension which bolstered everything great about its mechanics, but without making it confusing. A technical triumph, which the sequel built on even further.

Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)

While the Wii U spent much of its life churning out iterations of classic Nintendo franchises, it also managed to score a few great exclusives. Bayonetta 2 was one such title, and PlatinumGames followed up their wacky original with a hack 'n' slash that cranked everything up to frenetic levels of madness.


Better still, they addressed the criticisms of the first game, resulting in a seamless mesh of slick fighting, ridiculous combos, and a combat system that needed significant mastering to fully appreciate the attention to detail on show. It didn't shift the number of units needed to help the Wii U, but that didn't stop Bayonetta 2 from becoming one of the best reasons to own the console.

Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)

It was a toss-up between the 2011 original and its Wii U follow-up, but Xenoblade Chronicles edged it thanks to its sheer wow factor -- no-one was expecting the open world extravaganza that arrived on the Wii in its ailing years.


That it was a JRPG which proved to be huge and accessible took gamers by surprise, and while its graphics paled somewhat in comparison to the other consoles at the time, it was still lovely to look at and also boasted a killer soundtrack. It proved that the Wii was capable of more than just party games, but it unfortunately came too late in the console's life to cause a surge of similar titles. It was re-released on the 3DS in 2015.


We're less than a fortnight away from the Switch release, and a new generation of Nintendo games. But before we say farewell to the Wii and the much-maligned Wii U, it's worth looking back at their respective catalogs and reminding ourselves that, yes, there were actually a number of decent games on both systems.


So, dust off your consoles, and take a look at the games we'd really recommend playing before you move into the Switch era.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Wrapping up the Legacy of the Wii U Mon, 30 Jan 2017 11:00:01 -0500 Bryant Pereira

The Wii U is well on its way to the video game console graveyard, where the Sega Dreamcast and original Xbox lie while reminiscing on times where they had their glimpse of popularity in the spotlight. Nintendo replaced all mentions of the Wii U on their official website with the upcoming Switch, while keeping the older 3DS systems on the page. Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime even told Polygon that the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be the last first party title on the system.

Nintendo may have given up on the Wii U, but it will be remembered for years to come for its unique games, bizarre marketing, and lack of focus on current gaming trends and direction. The creators of Mario never abided by the books and approached creating systems with the sole philosophy of fun. Nintendo fans have been through a lot these past four years and the numbers may not show it, but there’s a lot to talk about when it comes to the Wii U.

The Good

Like the Wii before it, Nintendo approached the design of the Wii U with the mindset of creating a unique experience. The Gamepad screen, although not widely utilized, had the potential to create some of the most compelling ways of playing. The launch title Nintendo Land is a great example of all the different ways the Gamepad can be used in multiplayer, with some of the mini games pitting players in 4v1 scenarios. Designating players different roles with disparate styles of play is something unique to the Wii U. Another good use of the Gamepad is in Wind Waker HD, where the HUD was removed and the menu was on the tablet, making a huge quality of life improvement.

The current generation of consoles does not promote local multiplayer very well. There are very few reasons to have two, let alone four, PS4 or Xbox One controllers. The Wii U, on the other hand, has nearly a dozen first party Nintendo titles that are pivotal examples of how local multiplayer should be handled. Mario Kart 8 is the best in the series, Super Smash Bros. supports up to eight players, and games like Pokkén Tournament and Hyrule Warriors give each player their own full screen to play on.

Talking about local multiplayer ultimately leads to praising the Wii U’s dedication to the platformer genre. Of course, Nintendo has been the king of platformers for decades now, but in an industry where shooters and open world games reign supreme, they’ve shown they are still dedicated to their craft. Games like Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze, Yoshi’s Wooly World, and Super Mario 3D World are all a blast to play and hilarious with the right group of people. Donkey Kong specifically has some of the best level design in any game, while Wooly World is one of the most aesthetically pleasing games on the system.

Although a single player title, no one can deny the genius of Super Mario Maker either. Creating your own Mario levels is something that gamers have yearned for years now, and the Wii U Gamepad is the best way to do so.

Aside from Nintendo’s older established franchises, the Wii U lead to some unique and unexpected games as well. Nintendo’s newest IP, Splatoon, became a huge success instantly, with a sequel scheduled to release on the Switch this year. The Nickelodeon-esque arena shooter redefined the genre of multiplayer competitive shooters. Sticking to their all-ages demographic, Splatoon looks like a kids game but plays like a hardcore e-sport. Nintendo even tried targeting the older audience by publishing Bayonetta 2 from Platinum Games, and developing a sequel to the popular Xenoblade Chronicles.

The Bad

Nintendo wasn’t really sure how to market the Wii U. I still meet people today who think the Wii U is a fancy controller for the Wii. Right from the start, the naming of the system was awkward and confusing. The preview videos didn’t even show the console and focused mostly on the gamepad itself. This ultimately lead to too many people skipping on the system because they simply didn’t understand it.

Nearly every first party Nintendo game looks phenomenal and runs at a steady framerate, but due to the Wii U’s weaker specs, it didn’t get a number of third party titles. Developers started finding that porting games or making exclusives for the system just isn’t worth it, and decided to either skip the system entirely or cancel a game in favor of the upcoming Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo systems were never the best for third party developers, but systems in the past had a good enough number of third party exclusives to coincide with the Big N’s games. Nearly every game mentioned above is a Nintendo title, either developed or published by them. The Wii U was supported almost entirely by Nintendo themselves, but even they had a few hiccups along the way.

Being a Wii U fan was tough. If it was your only system, you could wait months before the next big title came out. Sure, games like Mario Kart and Super Smash. Bros. have terrific replayability, but the droughts were worse than on any other system. Some highly anticipated titles like Star Fox: Zero made the prolonged absence of games even worse when they didn’t meet expectations.

It almost seems like Nintendo isn’t really sure what their fans want. Star Fox 64 is by far the most popular title in the series, and yet Nintendo still can’t seem to make a proper sequel. Shoe-horning in motion controls to utilize the controller completely ruined the experience for many people. Mario Party 10 repeated the mistakes of the game before it too, and the lack of a new Metroid or a real Animal Crossing for the home console are huge missed opportunities.

The Ugly

Nintendo’s history with online services and account management is not the friendliest. Between friend codes, locking purchases to systems instead of accounts, and laggy gameplay, Nintendo systems are an entire generation behind in the online department. With the announcement of the Switch, Nintendo was quick to announce there won’t be friend codes and downloadable games aren't tied to the console.

The most impactful negative thing about the Wii U is the sales. Other than the forsaken Virtual Boy, the Wii U is by far the worst selling system in the company's history. The system sold less than half the software as the next best selling system, the GameCube. These poor sales impact Nintendo in a number of ways, including their support from investors and their overall reputation. Once the king of video games, Nintendo was brushed aside for bigger fish in the recent generation.

The Wii U may have been a commercial failure and a disappointment for many, but the games released for it were unique and fun enough to be remembered fondly years down the line. As much as I struggled as a Wii U owner, I had some of my best gaming memories on the system.

What are your experiences with the Wii U? Were you a die-hard supporter of the system? Did you buy the system in hopes of a brand new Zelda, only to find out it’s also coming out on the Switch? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

EVO 2017 Line Up Revealed, Extra Entry Available via Fan Vote Wed, 25 Jan 2017 08:40:34 -0500 Jeffrey Rousseau

Yesterday, it was revealed which games will be headlining Evolution(EVO) 2017. The announcement was made by event founder and organizer, Mr. Wizard. He gave fans the full rundown of the nine games they'll see at the event -- which represent the most up-to-date, competitive, and active fighting games of today.

Here are the games that are getting featured: 

Street Fighter V

This is arguably the most popular and most played fighter around right now. The franchise has been the main draw of the EVO tournament since its inception. Although the title has experienced its share of bad press, it can't be denied that it has an active community. It's also the face of the Capcom Pro Tour.

Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2

Arc System Works has craved a niche within the fighting game community. The series is known to be flashier, more vibrant, and nuanced. Among fans and critics, it's agreed that Guilty Gear Xrd is one of the most well-designed titles. The game is considered to have a high level of entry for fans and newcomers alike. 

Super Smash Bros. (Wii U)

The fourth Super Smash  Bros. title continues the series' popularity. Among professional players, it's considered to be second only to its Nintendo GameCube counterpart. However, the game it still one of the most technical fighters on the market. The large cast and new characters has added some much needed freshness to the game as well. 

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Even 15 years after its release, this game has been recognized as the best Super Smash Bros title. It boasts high-intensity gameplay involving control space and damage output. Characters also have a wide array of playstyles. Before Melee became an EVO regular, the community donated in record numbers for years to have the game featured at the event. Those efforts and the level of competition it offered has made it a regular attendee at EVO since.

Injustice 2

This yet-to-be-released title from NetherRealm serves as the sequel to Injustice. The game features gameplay inspired from Mortal Kombat starring popular DC heroes and villains. The sequel features newer characters  and improvements.

The first Injustice was a tournament regular for years. The second entry in the franchise was added to EVO's roster in anticipation of how much attention the upcoming game will receive.

Blazblue Central Fiction

Another series created by Arc System Works, this fighting game has been recognized as "anime fighter" -- a term used to describe titles that are mostly 2D, feature a diverse cast, and boast gameplay that favors fighting game veterans.

The Blazblue series is quite different from similar titles like the Guilty Gear series. It's a much more fast-paced game, and requires intricate knowledge of the cast to be proficient. 

Tekken 7

The newest title of in this 3D fighting series will be featured at EVO as well. The game has been showcased over the years for player testing, and each time has been meet with positive reactions. It will see a full release on consoles this June, but it's seen success in Japanese arcades since 2015. The Tekken series continues to be a fan favorite for 3D fighters.

King of Fighters XIV

The newest entry in this series was very well-received upon release. The title marked a return to form for developer SNK, with impressive roster of fighters and robust gameplay.

The game has found itself featured in a number of smaller events to date. Fans agree that KoF XIV is balanced well and offers an interesting series of comeback mechanics. This version will be an update, featuring two new fighters, and is releasing in the Summer.

After announcing these 8 titles, Mr Wizard went on to mention that a 9th game will be present. But the 9th game will be determined via donation drives by players.

The games up for vote are:

  1. ARMS 
  2. Killer Instinct 
  3. Mortal Kombat XL 
  4. Nidhogg 
  5. Pokkén Tournament
  6. Skullgirls
  7. Super Street Fighter II Turbo
  8. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
  9. Windjammers

Players can vote via donation here. The title that gains the most donations will be an offical showcase game.

EVO 2017 is set to take place July 14-16 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino.

RUMOR - Final Smash Bros. Amiibo to Launch Beside Switch Port of Smash Bros. for Wii U Wed, 09 Nov 2016 06:44:41 -0500 Unclepulky

According to a source which has supplied reliable information about the Nintendo Switch since before its announcement, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will be getting ported over to the Switch. While the port will NOT be available the day the Switch launches, Nintendo is hoping to release it within the first six months of the Switch's lifespan.

For collectors, the best part of this rumor is likely that we will finally be getting amiibo figures of fan favorite characters Could Strife and Bayonetta.  While it is somewhat disappointing that we still have to wait a long time for them, this is at least (possible) confirmation that they're still going to be made at all.

The port of Smash 4 will be serving as something of a "Complete Edition" as it will include ALL of the DLC from the Wii U version of the game. This includes: all of the DLC characters, stages, and Mii Fighter skins.

Are you going to be buying the port of Smash 4 for Nintendo Switch? Excited for the Bayonetta and Cloud amiibo? Let me know in the comments!

9 of the Coolest Alternative Controller configurations Mon, 19 Sep 2016 17:07:23 -0400 Joshua Harris

With the evolution of gaming came the ingenuity and innovation of controller technology. However, players have found new, exciting, and strange ways to use controllers that are far from their intended purposes. These nine alternative setups show the genius of the human mind. 

1. DJ Hero Turntable

YouTube user  WhyBeAre uploaded a video last month of his DJ Hero dual turntable setup to play Overwatch on the PC. It works surprisingly well; he has mapped the left wheel to move forward and backwards while the one on the right controls the aiming. The green button on the right table is assigned for the regular firing, the red button is attached to the alternate fire, and the blue button for the special fire.

Interestingly, the crossfader is perfect for switching up Lucio's alt fire from heal mode to speed mode (and vice versa), but for now the speed mode option will automatically move players forward in addition to this ability. And, finally, the euphoria button activates Lucio's ultimate with an added red glow on the controller itself signaling its use. 

At about the 1:30 mark, WhyBeAre shows that the DJ Hero turntable can be used (against bots) and is actually functioning and playable Overwatch matches. Although, it would take extreme dedication to master this setup for PvP play. 

2. Drum Souls


Next is "Drum Souls" by YouTube user gbbearzly. As if Dark Souls was not hard enough, he has setup up the Rock Band drum set act as his controller. The red and yellow drums act as the left and right aiming, which would otherwise be used by the right analog stick. The blue pad is used to roll while the green pad is mapped for attacks. To complicate matters, gbbearzly can only move forward with the drum pedal, forcing him to make precise movements with the red and yellow pads either by furiously drumming on to rotate his character extremely fast, or by alternating both to navigate the terrain. The only "normal" buttons used are the menu and select buttons, which are present on the drum set as well. Given how difficult the game usually is, I do not think I could even beat this with a regular controller. Kudos, gbbearzly!

3. Hands Free Since '89

I thought it would be best to showcase one of the more serious alternative controllers because this one deserves the utmost recognition. The only available information on this national treasure seem to come from either the Houston Press or Kotaku.

Dubbed the 'Hands Free,' this controller was strapped to the player's chest and would allow quadriplegic players to use a long black stick with a pad at the end for their tongue, which would effectively act as the D-pad. The A and B buttons were controlled by a straw and would be controlled by a sipping- or blowing-breath action. The Hands Free was released in 1989 and was available to order through the customer service line. Kudos to Nintendo for getting ahead on accessibility for all players. 

 4. World of Dancecraft 

Prominent Twitch and YouTube gamer Rudeism took on World of Warcraft, reaching level 100 using only a pair of Dance Dance Revolution game mats. The button mapping is absolutely crazy, and I am thankful he uploaded the graphic showing exactly where he had to dance in order to survive. I cannot begin to wrap my head around the amount of patience and memory needed to survive an undertaking like this without losing my mind. 

5. He's Still Alive

From the brilliant man who reached level 100 in Warcraft, comes the massive undertaking of an age classic, Portal, with a twist. Rudeism, known for his adeptness with alternative controller setup, also defeated GLaDOS using only a Guitar Hero guitar. Using Xpadder, his configuration was set up with the whammy bar in charge of forward and backward movement, the strum bar for looking left and right, and tilting the guitar for looking up and down.

The color coded keys controlled the portal gun itself: red and yellow buttons were mapped to strafe left/right, the blue button to the blue portal, the orange to the orange portal, the start/power/back buttons for picking up objects, and finally the left button on the D-pad for crouching. The game is playable and Rudeism managed to defeat GLaDOS within the time limit, so we know that Portal can be beaten using unconventional methods. Don't tell him about the cake though. 

6. The Infamous Twitch Controller 

The enigma, known as the Twitch controller, has to be the most difficult setup in beating ANY game. Unlike physical controllers, such as the drum set, guitar, or turntable, the Twitch controller has no physical means by which a player can interact with the game. Keywords were mapped to certain text commands relayed from the Twitch chat to the computer hosting the game, which would in theory would be great if it was a single person playing the game.

But, thousands of people were in charge of coordinating certain commands in order to get through the game, proving to be one of the largest social experiments of all time. They managed to beat Pokemon Red in 16 days and 7 hours, which goes to show that people can cooperate long enough to beat all 8 gym leaders, the elite 4, and make it past the Pokemon champion. 

 7. Super Kongo Brothers 4

If you have rhythm, you can take on the "For Glory" mode in Super Smash Brothers 4 like YouTuber PJiggles. Because the Wii U allows for the GameCube peripheral adapter, he was able to integrate the bongos from Donkey Konga, and essentially map each of the GameCube's original buttons to the bongos. 

If you skip to the 45 second mark, PJiggles showcases the final product of his button mapping. Various actions allow him to use the character's grab ability. Tapping on the edges of the bongos will incur punching, shielding, and jumping. True to spirit, PJiggles takes on "For Glory" mode as Donkey Kong. The downside, however, comes into play in the actual fighting. The character can only face one direction, cannot move, and incurs idle messages during almost every match. I commend PJiggles for having the patience to map the controller and take the bongos out in the Smash ecosystem. 

 8. Too Epona Too Furious 

After picking up the N64 V3 Racing Wheel at a thrift shop, YouTube Gamerdudemat decided that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time deserved to be played through with the wheel (3:04 is when he starts playing it). Walking around proves to be difficult, but it appears that riding Epona works perfectly with the controller. Stepping on the gas pedal will use her carrots, and the wheel can be used to aim the bow while on horseback as well. Interestingly, it also works perfectly for the fishing mini-game in Lake Hylia. 

9. Dancertale

Another Twitch streamer and YouTuber, PeekingBoo, took on the Dance Dance Revolution controller challenge as well. But, this time, he went all out on playing Undertale on the actual, full-sized machine. The arrows on the left control the direction of the player in both the battle sequences and overworld.

However, the arrows on the right control the actions. The left arrow is used for canceling, the right for the menu, and the bottom for confirm. Given that Undertale is a bullet hell game, PeekingBoo demonstrates just how difficult it is to dodge in the battle sequences. Showing that to survive, absolute coordination is the key to mastering this Dance Dance Revolution and Undertale hybrid. 


People enjoy a good challenge, and, by introducing a new method of gameplay, they are able to make a name for themselves in gaming history. One way to do that is through alternative controlling systems, such as the DJ Hero turntable or Dance Dance Revolution dance pads. Seeking other modes of gameplay is not just an ode to developers, it is an exercise in creativity, and it shows the lengths that gamers will go to just to show how dedicated they are to their livelihood. I think we owe these people a round of applause for sticking to their guns and showing us that alternative forms of gameplay are viable and commendable. 

Why It's Totally Worth Going to EVO as a Spectator Wed, 20 Jul 2016 18:12:05 -0400 Megan M. Campbell

Just last weekend, I went to EVO for the first time. However, I didn’t go to compete—I went to spectate. Now, I’m sure you’re thinking “How is that any different from watching EVO via livestream?” or “Why did you go if you’re not even competing?” Heading to Las Vegas to experience the convention myself was really exciting and here are a few reasons why it’s worth making the trip to spectate the world’s largest fighting game tournament.


Exclusive Panels

One thing that the livestreams don’t cover are panels. There weren’t many panels with only 4 on Friday and 4 on Saturday, but it allowed con-goers to know firsthand what’s happening in the gaming industry. I attended the Capcom/Street Fighter V Panel on Friday where Capcom developers came all the way from Japan to talk about new costumes, Cinematic Story Mode, and an exclusive stage (which made an appearance during the SFV Grand Finals) that would be released in the future.

Twitch also hosted a panel where livestreamers and other staff from the website gave advice about how to get sponsored by the company. Current livestreamers and those who were interested in livestreaming were able to get advice from employees and also learn about future improvements to the website that might come in the future.

Merch Booths

These are common at every convention, but getting merch at EVO is fun if you’re a fan of fighting games or just want some cool EVO merch. If you do end up going next year, I suggest getting EVO merch the first day -- the second you get into the convention center. I had to wait in a line that reached the opposite side of the convention room for 2 hours before I was finally able to purchase my EVO gear. Since players are trying to win their pools, none of the merch will be sold out…yet. Just be sure you get there early.

Aside from official EVO merch, you can get cool gaming merchandise such as shirts, prints, keychains, and perler bead charms (which sold really well since almost everyone had one on their lanyard). For those looking to get into the competitive scene, there were also a number of booths that sold custom controllers and custom arcade sticks. They are a bit expensive (usually $300 - $400) so if you’re looking to get one, save some money.

Free Play Areas

Even though EVO is a fighting game tournament, there were still plenty of free play area for spectators. They even had some arcade machines for Street Fighter II, Killer Instinct, and more! They had a small Smash Wii U setup where I played a few matches with a Meta Knight player. Despite getting destroyed, I still had fun because I got to meet a fellow fan of the game and he showed great sportsmanship. Despite what we hear about the fighting game community online, it just goes to show you can meet some great people.

All Hype. No Salt.

Watching the best of the best compete is the main event of EVO. It was awesome to see Kamemushi beat zeRo 3-0 firsthand in Smash Wii U. Surrounded by all the fans, it was exciting to see everyone rooting for their favorite player (most were rooting for Kamemushi). During the Smash Wii U grand finals, all of us were on the edge of our seats (even though I was standing) waiting to see who would take the final stock. It was an extremely close match between Ally and Kamemushi, but once Ally took Kamemushi’s last stock, everyone jumped out of their seats cheering for Ally. Everyone was super excited throughout the entire match and since I wasn’t competing, I had no reason to be mad about how the match turned out. We were all there intently watching the match as fans of the game.

Sure, the commentary on stream is pretty exciting, but it doesn’t beat thousands of people cheering throughout the match.

Source Images[Header Image, Street Fighter V, EVO 2016 merch, Arcade Setup, EVO finals]

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: Mario Guide Wed, 06 Jul 2016 10:38:16 -0400 Joe Passantino

Ah, it's-a he, Mario. Arguably the flagship character in the Smash Bros. franchise (and certainly of Nintendo as a whole), yet often one of the most innocuous. Some players might be surprised at how good Mario can actually be with some knowledge of the dos and don'ts of his moveset. That's where this guide comes into play.

We'll be covering how to win with Nintendo's famous plumber by using fire, water, tornadoes and other elements to your advantage. Oh, and don't forget the one-time Jumpman's jumping prowess.


Whatever you do, do not mistake this for an attack. It's not (at least not on the default setting). It does no damage and can sometimes slow you down. So why use it?

F.L.U.D.D. has a very specific purpose in preventing opponents from returning to the stage. It only works well when timed properly, so make sure you know what you're doing before you use it. Otherwise, it could leave you open for attack.

If you would like your F.L.U.D.D. to serve as an offensive maneuver, you can employ the Scalding F.L.U.D.D., which burns your opponents with hot water. Alternatively, a move to the High-Pressure F.L.U.D.D. creates a stronger push on opponents, but will push Mario back as well.

Sliding Kick

You can perform this move by running and hitting the A (or 2) button. Pretty simple, but I would strongly recommend it for whenever you need to get an opponent off the ground. This one will do the trick nine times out of ten. Once they're flying through the air, the possibilities are endless.


The Fireball is a solid long-range attack, almost guaranteed to hit if you're within a reasonable distance from your opponent. Be aware that it does not do a whole lot of damage, so you'll have to chuck a few of these for them to have a real effect. Going heavy on the more intense attacks could get you in trouble, though, so this is a good one to keep in your back pocket. Keep a bit of distance from your opponents as they duke it out, and this will serve you well.

You can also customize the fireball by way of the Fast Fireball, which is quicker but does less damage, or the Fire Orb, which is slower, but larger, and can hit multiple times.


This move is great for finishing off opponents or at least sending them flying upwards. Positioning is key here, as you have to be standing pretty still for it to work. This means that if you are too obvious about it, your opponent could beat you to the punch (or headbutt, as it were) with an attack of his or her own.

This goes doubly for when you want to charge the Headbutt, which takes even more time. Of course, when done properly, this is very worth it and should send your foe zooming up and off the screen. Amazing what a plumber's cap can do.


This technique has a couple of uses. It can work as an attack and harm your opponent, though this is probably not its best use. Like the Fireball, it does limited damage, and unlike the Fireball, it requires close proximity to the opponent. Where the cape really shines is its ability to deflect opponents' attacks. This works well in countering moves like Samus' Charge Shot and Link's Hero's Bow, harming those characters with their own specialties.

The Shocking Cape will create an electrical effect and do more damage, but the ability to deflect opponents' attacks is gone. Meanwhile, the Gust Cape provides, well, a gust, which actively pushes opponents but is less effective damage-wise (and speed-wise, for that matter).

Palm Thrust

This is Mario's forward smash -- and alongside the Headbutt, is his best means of finishing off opponents (except, of course, for his Final Smash). This one can be a bit tricky to pull off, but when it works, it really works. Again, the trick here is to avoid overuse and pull this out of the bag when you know your opponent is truly vulnerable.

Super Jump Punch

Mario's recovery move serves that purpose quite effectively. Like many recoveries, though, players should beware of using it too soon and missing the platform. It also works well as a straight-up attack, as Mario can use it to get out of tricky situations and quickly alter his opponents' positioning. This is a move that it might be okay to use frequently, so long as you're making sure you're not going in the wrong direction. If you do, you probably won't like what happens next.

Interestingly, you can customize this move by removing the punch entirely and making it a Super Jump. The other option is to focus on the damage and make the punch more explosive with the aptly-named Explosive Punch.


The tornado works well for a reset -- if you don't like how things are going and you want to attack someone from anywhere on the field. When used well, it can surprise opponents and give the player an opening to hit more powerful attacks.

The flip side of this is that the tornado's power is limited, and it is easy for an attempted tornado to backfire if the opponent is waiting with something stronger. Basically, a tornado into any kind of sharp object is not a great idea.

Final Smash: Mario Finale

Mario's Final Smash sends a huge swarm of powerful fireballs at the opponent. This is one of those Smashes that is very effective when used well, but easy to use poorly.

First of all, make sure you're facing the right direction or it will do nothing. Secondly, make sure that opponents are in your path and are close enough for the move to do damage. Ideally, you want to get two or three people with this one, but that is not always possible based on stage and positioning. What you don't want to do, though, is perform the move from a far distance and have it fail completely.

Another note is that you might want to execute this when your opponents' damage percentages are fairly high -- because if not, the move is unlikely to result in a kill.

Ultimately, the Mario Finale is a good balance between Smashes that require precise positioning and those that work anywhere on a given stage. It requires thought and some precision, but its range is fairly good and a proper use of it can wipe out the field.


Mario is a good character for beginners, but he also can do more than many people think with some practice. He has a nicely varied set of attacks that will come in handy in many different situations.

I would hardly call Mario overpowered in any sense, but the phrase "easy to learn, hard to master" comes to mind with our Koopa-kicking hero. Taking the time to master Nintendo's flagship star can serve Smash players well in both "For Fun" and "For Glory" styles of play.


Cape: Smashpedia user DerpyDoodle

Super Jump Punch: GameSpot user gajan-k

Video game speed dating: Finding the best fighting game franchise for you Wed, 29 Jun 2016 11:27:20 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

Do you ever feel... stuck? Bored with your current relationship? Has the spark gone away? Are you getting frustrated with things that you once found charming and unique? Maybe the game you once saw as the best fighting game ever just... isn't anymore. If so, it's time to move on.

Fret not. Breaking up is hard to do, but you'll be happier for it. If you've answered yes to any of the above questions, it might be time to find a new fighting game to call your own.

In that spirit, we've compiled this brief overview of most of the major fighting game franchises with active competitive scenes, rated for game speed, friendliness to new players, and how active the game's competitive scene currently is.

Welcome, folks, to Video Game Speed Dating.

Super Smash Bros.

New-player-friendliness: 5/5
Game speed: 2/5
Activity: 4/5

Ah, yes. Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U. Even though the last bit of DLC has already dropped for the game, the scene continues to grow, thanks in no small part to the fact that the game is fairly easy to pick up and play at a relatively competitive level. Of all the titles on this list, Smash 4 is probably the best fighting game for newcomers to the genre.

Unlike Super Smash Bros. Melee, this version of the game is slower and more methodical. While there are advanced techniques like dash-dancing, pivoting, and foxtrots to learn, mastering fundamental play is more about mindset than twitch reaction times.

Success in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U comes from being able to read opponents and predict, based on their tendencies, what they'll do next. Oh, and by the way, if you want a guide on how to level up your Smash 4 game, we have one right here.

A great match for:

Methodical gamers who can appreciate a zero-to-death combo as much as a good prediction, and who don't mind memorizing strategies for a, frankly, insanely expansive character list.

Skip it if:

You get frustrated by campers, or have trouble dealing with projectile characters in fighting games. 

Super Smash Bros. Melee

New-player-friendliness: 1/5
Game speed: 5/5
Activity: 3.5/5

Perhaps more than any other fighting game on the market today, Super Smash Bros. Melee simply looks different when professionals play it. It's frenetic blink-and-you'll-miss-it action.

Being at all competitive in the insanely-fast-paced world of Super Smash Bros. Melee requires mastery of advanced techniques like wavedashing, as well as split-second reactions to what your opponent is doing.

All that is to say, the barrier of entry here is high, but if you're able to clear it, you'll be rewarded by entering a scene that has played host to some of the best moments in fighting game history.

A great match for:

Gamers who don't mind devoting months to mastering techniques, knowing that they are necessary to even compete at a basic level, and who then won't mind spending more time mastering character specific combos and honing reaction time.

Skip it if:

You thrive on instant gratification

King of Fighters

New-player-friendliness: 3/5
Game speed: 3.5/5
Activity: 2/5

The King of Fighters series has always been one of the more niche fighting game franchises currently running, especially when compared with the bigger franchises like Super Smash Bros. and Street Fighter

Despite this, the modern King of Fighters games are about as close as gamers can get to an older school 2D fighter like Street Fighter Alpha, or to a lesser extent, Marvel vs. Capcom. This is probably the best fighting game series out there for gamers that grew up mastering cancels and long combos, and who are a bit alienated by the slower, meatier direction the Street Fighter games are taking.

Time will tell what King of Fighters XIV brings to the table when it is released this August, but with Street Fighter V disappointing many fans of the series, there's no time like the present to explore other options.

A great match for:

Gamers who miss sprite-based 2D fighters of the late 1990's and early 2000's, but who are alienated by the additions made by 2D fighters like Guilty Gear.

Skip it if:

You don't like having 75% of your health bar destroyed by one combo

Mortal Kombat

New-player-friendliness: 3/5
Game speed: 2.5/5
Activity: 3.5/5

Chicago's Netherrealm Studios, the brains behind Mortal Kombat, have been hard at work these past few years. After partnering with Warner Brothers, the Mortal Kombat series of games (and, by extension, the Injustice games) have become huge, cinematic affairs with expansive character lists. 

The great thing about the growth of these games, however, is that the mechanics of the game have largely stayed the same throughout its existence (well, the weird 3D games excepted). Mortal Kombat's combo system has always been juggle based, rewarding players who are patient with their button presses with long combos that easily eat through opponents' health bars.

Yes, the developers have added advanced techniques and gameplay elements to the title throughout the years, but the meaty, bloody combat of Mortal Kombat X will be familiar to gamers, even if they have not played a game in the series since Mortal Kombat 2.

A great match for:

Gamers willing to workshop their own juggle combos and resets in an effort to find a zero-to-death combo.

Skip it if:

You don't like having 100% of your health bar destroyed by one combo

Guilty Gear

New-player-friendliness: 2/5
Game speed: 4/5
Activity: 3/5

With the recent release of Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator, the Guilty Gear scene has been infused with some much needed life. Unlike King of Fighters, Guilty Gear prides itself on complicated gameplay that requires careful meter management and in-depth knowledge of a burst system to string together combos. 

That said, for players that loved the more complex elements present in the later Marvel vs. Capcom games, Guilty Gear scratches that itch very nicely. Players will need to completely immerse themselves in the game's mechanics to succeed, mastering burst types, dust attacks and aerial rave linkups, all the while attempting to avoid one-hit-kill special attacks.

There's a lot to think about here, and the action gets very intense and hard-to-follow at the highest levels of play, but for connoisseurs of the 2D fighter genre, it's hard to find a game with a higher skill ceiling, even if you count Guilty Gear's similar-but-more-combo-focused cousin, BlazBlue. The best players out therewill find a lot to love in this fighting game franchise.

A great match for:

Gamers who don't mind learning and mastering unfamiliar mechanics.

Skip it if:

You don't want to have to practice in lab for, like, a year to be competitive. 

Street Fighter

New-player-friendliness: 2/5
Game speed: 3.5/5
Activity: 4/5

Despite Street Fighter V's rocky launch, and all the issues that came from Capcom releasing what was, in effect, an incomplete game, Street Fighter V is a mechanically sound fighter that follows in the footsteps of Street Fighter IV as another fighter where you really have to pick your moment to attack.

Though the removal of focus attacks in favor of character-specific V-skills and V-triggers has sped the game up considerably, combos in Street Fighter games are (generally) not as long as they are in other 2D fighters. This means that matches are more of a push-pull affair, where one mistake doesn't necessarily mean the end.

Because of this, it's generally easier for new players to pick up Street Fighter V and learn it, since they have more time to identify and try to learn from their mistakes. While the skill ceiling is high, the barrier for entry is low.

A great match for:

Fans of Street Fighter IV, gamers who prefer to learn by playing instead of by spending time in the lab.

Skip it if:

You don't want to fight hundreds of people online who main Ken

We hope that this has been helpful! Again, we know that it is sometimes scary to try something new, but it can also be exciting and fun. So next time date night comes around, light a few candles, dim the lights, put on some music, and pop the fighting game that is best for you. Really, you can't go wrong with any of them. They're all knockouts.

Panda Global Gaming Picks Up Another Smash 4 Player Wed, 22 Jun 2016 15:36:54 -0400 Ian Ilano

Since its development, Panda Global Gaming has become a notable professional eSports team sponsoring some of the most prolific competitive fighters around. Recently, the organization expanded its Super Smash Bros. Wii U roster by picking up Trela, a Smasher hailing from Cypress, Texas. 

Albert "Trela" Miliziano, who is currently ranked number one in the Houston Smash 4 Power Rankings, is considered to be the best Ryu player in the world. And with numerous 1st place winnings under his name, he's grown to become quite a threat. Fortunately for the organization, he will be joining other high profile competitors in representing Panda Global Gaming at future Smash 4 tournaments.

Panda Global Gaming's current Smash 4 roster is the following:

With the next big Smash 4 tournament, CEO 2016, coming up just around the corner, it's good that the team managed to find another talented individual to don their banner. So Trela fans, prepare yourselves. Get used to the following chant:

Panda. Panda. Panda.

The Best Types of Smash Bros. Items for Chaotic Party Play Mon, 20 Jun 2016 10:09:16 -0400 Joe Passantino

Okay, so I can't speak for everyone, but most gamers I've encountered love to get a good game of Super Smash Bros. going. It's the perfect party game: everyone picks their favorite character and battles it out, hopefully with more laughs than ruined friendships.

Many Smash players, though, prefer to play with the items off. They think items ruin the game and remove any semblance of skill involved. My perspective on it is a little different. I appreciate the "For Glory" style and how it tests true Smash prowess. When it comes to a casual night with friends, though, Smash is at its best when characters and objects are flying around as much as possible.

Items, of course, aid in the chaotic process. While I certainly encourage playing with all items on, there are a few types of items in particular that you might want to look for. Using these as your battle boosters will ensure that your smashing is up to par -- even if you had to use a little help along the way.

Helping Items

These are items that you can use to summon characters, who will help you by attacking your rivals. There are few things that shake up the game, like putting a temporary ally on your side. And some can do damage to many opponents at once.

Perhaps the most famous example is the Poké Ball, which contains a Pokémon with a unique ability. You might find an Abomasnow to freeze people or a Staryu to trap them in a line of rapid-fire attacks. Snorlax is my personal favorite: there's nothing like watching the big lug squash whoever happens to be in his way. My only other advice is to hope you don't get Goldeen.

Of course, the Master Ball serves a similar function, except that it summons legendaries, often the very best Pokémon available. If you really want things to get crazy quickly, put these on high and let Mew, Kyogre, and company take over the battle.

Those acquainted with recent editions of Smash will know that they can call upon more than just Pokémon. That is where the highly coveted Assist Trophy comes into play. These were introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and are perhaps even more unpredictable than Poké Balls. They can do everything from flip the stage over to block your field of vision. Might make the game harder to play, but results in plenty of "What the?!" moments.

Exploding Items

Yeah. Explosions are cool. And they're certainly cool in Smash, where they can net you a nice few kills. The series features several types of bombs, and even a box, all of which have been designed to blow the unlucky victim to smithereens (or at least off the stage).

Some bombs, such as Bob-ombs, explode on contact. Other bombs latch onto either the ground or even a competitor, and additional contact or time results in their activation. When you want to nail a few foes at once, you can't go wrong with the Smart Bomb, which triggers a huge, expanding explosion, or the X Bomb, which shoots fire in, well, an X.

Then you have the Blast Box, not a bomb by name, but not an item to kick around too much if you plan on surviving.

Rest assured -- if it explodes, it will explode on you (and your friends) at some point. I'd say be careful with them, but that would defeat the purpose of this article. So I'll instead advise that you use bombs as carelessly as possible and hope you come out on the other side.

Bonus: Cucco

This particular fella is only available in the Wii U and 3DS editions of Smash, but man, he is so worth it. Cucco is a chicken-like animal who minds his own business, walking across the stage without doing much to disrupt things. How is that chaotic, you ask? Try disrupting him and see what happens.

If you decide you want to pick up Cucco and throw him at an enemy, it will summon a whole herd of Cuccos to ruthlessly batter that enemy. They come fast and furious, so this is one of the best items to use if you want to really ruin someone's day.

Of course, there's a fine line between hitting A to pick up a Cucco and to kick one, depending on your positioning. If you do the latter, they come after you. So yeah, don't do that. Unless you like being attacked by a herd of angry chickens. I'm not here to judge.

There are many other items that can cause real damage to your opponents. But if you stick to the ones I've laid out, you are guaranteed to have the Smash game of your life. Not in terms of masterful skill, but in terms of having crazy things happen left and right.

None of these are quite ideal for tournament play, but for a fun night with your crew? Bring out the chickens.

Images: Super Smash Bros. Official Website

4 Tips to Help Improve in Smash 4 for Wii U and 3DS Tue, 21 Jun 2016 05:13:17 -0400 Megan M. Campbell

With Evo 2016 just around the corner, many fighting game fans are excited for the event. Participants in tournaments have been training to crown themselves champion. Super Smash Bros. is one of the most anticipated games of the convention, and the most recent installment has the largest participant count ever this year. So, if you want to improve your skills for Evo or just to get better, here’s a few tips to help you improve your Smash 4 game.


Duck Hunt using one of                  Fox performing his Neutral 
his projectiles                                                 Attack

Figure out your playstyle

Do like getting in your opponent’s face to deal massive damage? Or do you prefer playing from a distance, dealing damage with projectiles? Figuring out your playstyle is a key part of improving -- because once you learn how you like to play, you can figure out which character can benefit from your playstyle.

Pick a Main

For those who don’t know, a Main is, well, the main character you play in Smash. With 58 characters to choose from, you have many choices when it comes to picking a Main. Now that you have figured out your playstyle, you can pick a character that fits your playstyle.

If you prefer a rush down type of playstyle, characters you can consider include Captain Falcon, Fox, or Roy. If you like using projectiles or playing from a distance, characters you can consider include Duck Hunt, Olimar, or R.O.B. If you find yourself liking a mix of both playstyles, you can consider characters like Link, Sonic, or Marth.


Note: The first move in each of these sections are the default moves. The others are custom moves, which have been banned from competitive play. 

Know Your Main’s Move Set

Now that you’ve found the perfect character, you need to learn the character inside and out. Learn their special moves, tilts, aerial moves, smash attacks, and grabs.

For example, Roy’s Neutral B has the power to K.O your opponent and is practically lagless. While it is a good move, it’s pretty predictable -- so use it only when the situation allows it. Roy’s aerial moves, specifically his neutral air, provide a lot of coverage to deal damage and are great combo starters.

These are the type of things you will want to know for your character because it will determine whether you win or lose a match.


Practice. Practice. Practice.

I cannot stress this enough. As with all activities, practice makes perfect. You now know your character inside and out and the time has come to test your skills. Whether it’s against CPUs, friends, or players online, play against others to practice your new moves. This will help you learn the best matchups, worst matchups, and even matchups against your character.


I hope you found these tips helpful. Good luck finding your Main and in your matches!

[Image sources: Header Image, Duck Hunt Wild Gunman, Fox Up Close and Personal, Character Selection Screen, Mario's Moveset, Captain Falcon Meme from this video,  Gaming Icons Battle]

Lupe Fiasco Wants To Play ZeRo, Arguably The Best Smash 4 Players, At Evo 2016 Tue, 14 Jun 2016 16:28:42 -0400 Captynplanet_8219

If you followed the release of Street Fighter V, you might have seen the exhibition between the rapper Lupe Fiasco and Daigo Umehara, who considered a legend in the Fighting Game scene. Lupe ended up winning the set in what was most likely a staged match to build up hype for Street Fighter V and is looking to get back on the wagon at this year's Evolution Fighting Game Championships, which is the biggest fighting game tournament in the world.

Lupe recently tweeted at Team Solo Mid's ZeRo, who is commonly regarded as the best Smash 4 player in the world right now, asking if there was a possibility that an exhibition could be set up. ZeRo tweeted back and showed interest in making the match happen.Seeing Lupe Fiasco get back in the ring with another one of the Fighting Game Community's top players could provide for an interesting spectacle. Lupe's match against Daigo spawned a flood of memes with his victory, and while the match will probably end up being another publicity stunt, it might turn out to be an entertaining one.

Evo 2016 is taking place from July 15 - July 17in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  (Credit to Deladeso on Tumblr for header image.)

Evolution 2016 Is Going To Be The Biggest Super Smash Bros Tournament Ever Mon, 06 Jun 2016 07:47:07 -0400 Captynplanet_8219

The Evolution Championship Series is the biggest fighting game tournament in the world. Since Evo's inception back in 2002, the tournament has been growing steadily larger every year -- and in 2016, Evo will set the record for most entrants into any Super Smash Bros tournament ever.

Evo's Twitter account announced that entrants for Super Smash Bros Wii U just surpassed last year's number of 1,926 registered players. With only a month left until Evo, this number is undoubtedly going to increase, and the entrants for Super Smash Bros. Melee will bolster the numbers even further.

The Smash scene has been growing rapidly over the past few years, and it's really awesome to see the community get a share of the limelight that was once reserved for games like Street Fighter and Marvel vs Capcom. And it's not just at Evo that Smash is breaking records -- it's at CEO as well.

Evolution 2016 will take place from July 15 through July 17 at the Las Vegas Convention center and the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. For a tournament that was hosted in the ballroom's of hotels for years and years, these venues are a huge upgrade in terms of quality.

If you're interested in participating in any of the games being played this year at Evo, or just want to learn more, you can register here

Luigi Beats Every Level 9 Enemy By Doing Absolutely Nothing Wed, 18 May 2016 13:04:23 -0400 Chris Cooper

In sports there's this thing called "beating yourself" when you get in your own head or make too many of your own errors and mistakes. The same can happen in video games but it's typically just a human player issue. Apparently Smash Bros. contains some form of this as a feature in their AI. 

Someone set every enemy AI to 9 and began a little test. What happens if you place a level 9 AI in front of Luigi and do nothing? Don't press a button. Don't move a stick. Just do nothing.

Well, as it turns out, the AI starts to make more than just a little fool of itself. 

Super Smash Bros. Has A Bayonetta Problem Mon, 16 May 2016 10:17:21 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

The Bayonetta honeymoon was incredibly short. It only took about a day after the character's release for competitive Smash Bros. players to realize not only that she is one of the strongest characters in the game, but also that she has safe combos that can KO opponents from 0% damage.


ESAM was probably the most notable player to draw attention to this, discovering Bayonetta's insane witch twist combos while the rest of the scene was preoccupied with how powerful the witch time counter was.

Soon, a deep rift in the Smash 4 competitive scene was created.

"Getting Carried"

As Bayonetta rose up the tier lists, more and more competitive players decided to learn the character. Because she is such a strong character, and because her moves are difficult to punish effectively, these players quickly started placing higher in major tournaments. 

People started noticing.

Players who put in countless hours practicing with more difficult characters like Shiek and Diddy Kong were understandably frustrated by being beaten by players who put in less time learning Bayonetta's combos and mechanics.

Tensions flared between Bayonetta mains and the rest of the Smash scene, with players dismissing the skills of Bayonetta mains, claiming that they were "carried" by Bayonetta, and would not be placing nearly as highly if the character were nerfed or banned.

This backlash caused more backlash when people realized that no matter how true those statements might be, no matter whether or not these players were getting carried to greater heights by Bayonetta, it's kind of a dick move to point it out publicly.

Bayonetta Banned

In April, tournament organizers started seriously discussing the possibility of banning Bayonetta from competitive play. The argument was that Bayonetta was as strong, if not stronger, than Meta Knight was in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, so to protect whatever competitive balance was left in Smash 4, Bayonetta must be banned.

Spain's scene was the first to weigh in, saying that they were seriously considering banning the character (though as of yet, no official ban has been put in place). Since then, two competitive scenes in the USA (Tampa and St. Louis) have banned the character, with many more giving a ban serious consideration.

Many regions, Spain included, however, are presumably choosing to wait and see what happens. Balance patches for Super Smash Bros. 4 have been fairly regular, appearing about every 2 or 3 months since the game's release. Most tournament organizers seem content to wait for the next one, hoping that it solves many of Bayonetta's inherent issues.

The Argument Against The Ban

Obviously, not everybody thinks Bayonetta should be banned. A recent video from ESAM has shown clearly how most of Bayonetta's kill confirm combos can be avoided. In essence, this means that the combos that made Bayonetta a problem in the first place are weaker than previously thought, and players have tools to deal with them.

Further, many people believe that banning a character in Smash 4, no matter who it is, will lead to the death of the competitive scene in general, making games seem less authentic since players' options are being limited arbitrarily.

Top Players' Opinions

ZeRo, the consensus best Smash 4 player in the world, has come out against the ban (for the time being, at least), but his opinions on the character are telling.

In offering strategies on how to beat Bayonetta, ZeRo gets at the heart of the Bayonetta issue. ZeRo suggests playing a very slow, campy, and defensive game to counter a Bayonetta player, and the simple truth is that this is not fun.

Many top players around the world have been calling Bayonetta "toxic." Before reacting to that claim, it is helpful to explore what exactly "toxic" means in this context. The term is used in reference to the Smash 4 scene in general. Top players hate playing against Bayonetta not simply because they lose more often, but also because the effective strategies for dealing with a Bayonetta are not fun. Given this fact, the more people pick up Bayonetta, the less fun everyone else has.

The tricky thing, and the thing that many Smashers don't bring up, is that there's no guarantee that a nerf will fix this. The general strategy for defeating Bayonetta will not change too much if her kill combos are taken away. Unless massive changes are made to her ending and landing lag frame data, players will still need to camp Bayonetta out. 

As of now, we're all in the same boat, waiting for what Sakurai's next patch will bring. At that point, the hammer will likely fall one way or another. But until that time, it doesn't appear as if this controversy is going anywhere.