Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Review

I bought Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls for the PS4 in April of 2015. My brother, in-law, and I played it to Chapter 2 in the month, but the game was dropped shortly thereafter. I think I can probably attribute the reason to the fact that Desert levels suck in any game ever. But I digress.

We picked it up again around New Year ’16 with new characters. Perhaps the character switch up was all that we needed, because this time the game was played all the way through to the end.

What kind of game is Diablo? Diablo is the king of loot. To say it made the genre what we know today is an understatement. If you’ve never played a game in the genre, you definitely owe it to yourself to at least give one a shot. For our group personally, we played a lot of Dungeon Defenders (a Tower Defense/Loot Game hybrid) when it released. A lot. So while none of us ever actually played a Diablo game until Reaper of Souls, the loot genre wasn’t entirely new. Which probably works for the better, because there is a lot of loot in this game – so much that if we didn’t already have some experience under our belts to know that not everything is worth holding onto, sorting our inventories would take metric tons of time. (So much that it becomes a tangible, weighable object).

(Image from PC version) An example of what the term "loot" means in a game of the loot genre. Dozens of items, equipment drops, and other doo-dads on screen at once is the norm. Rest assured, names are not actually this obstructive.
(Image from PC version) An example of what the term “loot” means in a game of the loot genre. Dozens of items, equipment drops, and other doo-dads on screen at once is the norm. Rest assured, names are not actually this obstructive.

Which brings me to the first thing I have to say about the gameplay. The menu system SUCKS for local multiplayer. It’s a wonderful menu! But when you have three players that want to fiddle with abilities and different builds, the global pause that comes alongside one person’s opening of the menu gets to be too much. Especially after end of chapter boss battles when multiple rare items are dropped – ones that are worth spending time looking at. It wouldn’t be exaggerating to say thirty minutes went towards menus after each big boss we took down. It would have been a much smoother experience if a.) each person was able to look through menus when the game was paused or b.) the game kept moving for the other players. I don’t want to let the negative overshadow the good, but I seriously can’t say how much I hated the blasted pause menu.

The menu system is functional and has been set up nicely, making it a breeze to navigate. But it takes the whole screen, pausing the game in the process.
The menu system is functional and has been set up nicely, making for a breeze of navigation. But it takes the whole screen, pausing the game in the process.

Gameplay is fun. It’s repetitive. It’s grindy. It’s Skinner Box. It’s fun. With lots of different abilities, combos, and gear that will further break abilities down into new things altogether, it’s not hard to spend countless hours killing things to get loot that will let you kill things faster. Sounds like horrible game design, but I swear it really is fun if you find a liking to the gameplay loop. My character was one of the Crusader class. For a bulk of my time, he used abilities that decreased the resource cost of everything, while also increasing the attack speed of everything else. This allowed him to use countless shouts that dealt damage in a large area. But just hours before then, my entire Modus Operandi was throwing Hammers and summoning spirit partners. It’s really cool being able to change up your entire gameplay by changing out just one or two skills.

The game is never hard unless you intentionally jack the difficulty way up. There’s a lot of micro-management to keep you involved, but it’s not difficult. I especially liked the ability to change game difficulty up or down in-game by one notch (out of fourteen difficulty options). We would keep it as high as possible, but if things were too tanky, taking too long to kill – aka not being fun to spend time on – we’d bump it down one peg. Once some better gear was obtained and we had at least one guy that could clear hordes out faster we’d put it back up, seamlessly.

I liked the music in the game. Mostly ambient or orchestral. The nature of the game sadly means you won’t get to hear much of the score through all the sounds of war. There were a few stand-out tracks that would play in story scenes though; ones that made me seek out the soundtrack on Youtube.

As is standard place in Blizzard games, there’s actually a lot of story. Characters are named, plot points are shared through character conversations, and a greater sense of world is built through it. Though we didn’t really pay much mind to any of it. Not to say it’s bad, but our focus was simply on the gameplay loop instead. So if you like some story in your games, Diablo 3 will not disappoint. If you don’t? You’re still in the clear, as you don’t need to take part in anything outside of the main game unless you feel like doing so. Much like how there are hundreds of hours of content beyond the main game that one does not need to play in order to get a fun experience from the title.

Partially due to the difficulty (read: time spent clearing hordes), but mostly due to the fun of others, I can’t say the game is very fun to play alone. Not for me, anyways. And the online is unfortunately riddled with hackers who can – and will – skyrocket your level up through a hundred hours-worth of play in a minute. This single-handedly destroys the intended gameplay loop. So, while I think Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls was a fun game to play through, I can’t bring myself to suggest it to anyone who plans on playing alone. If you like the idea of starting out immensely strong, or simply prefer single-player titles you can still find some fun. With friends, though? The gist of everything? Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls is a most definite suggestion if you don’t fall into the negative case of wanting to play online with random players.

Fire Emblem Fates Birthright Review

You are the ocean’s gray waves


Fire Emblem Fates marks a first in the history of the series – a multiple game split. Think the original Pokemon Red and Blue, but with the caveat that the games are actually entirely different. With two distinct titles being released to retail, and a third (fully-fledged!) title being released digitally, it’s safe to say there is a lot of content in this new entry.

But a big question at the forefront is likely this: what of the quality?



Fire Emblem Awakening, released 2013 in the West, was a large success that pulled in more new fans – and sales numbers – than any previous game in the series

Fire Emblem Fates Birthright, the easiest of the three and the version geared the most towards the players who started with 2013’s excellent Fire Emblem Awakening, was the first version of Fates that I played. Partially because I wanted to ease back in, and partly because I had heard Conquest, the second, harder path, had a much better (but equally harder) game design. While I chose Hard in Awakening AND Birthright, my early verdict was that Birthright was already harder than Awakening ever was, but in a very good way. Put simply, Awakening could be broken into two very early on through abusing a central gameplay mechanic. That mechanic still exists in Fire Emblem Fates, but it has been refined to where I can not see much wrong with the new form.

This mechanic is called Pair-Up. It involves placing two units together granting them the ability to move as one and assist in battles. In Awakening, both units fought, you gained extra stats, and there was a chance of the backing-unit to block attacks on the forefront unit. This along with a few spells that granted the ability to heal after combat meant you could send out one Paired Up unit and beast entire chapters. In Fates this is not the case, as there are two “forms” of Pair-Up. The original, where two units take the space of one, is now known as ‘Guard Stance‘ and it will grant a (predictable, workable into strategy) chance to block an enemy’s attack. The other form is known as ‘Attack Stance‘ and it involves placing two units adjacent each other. This will cause them to fight together, both dealing damage in any battles they get in… with one restriction – if a team is in Guard Stance, they can NOT receive attacking assistance from any adjacent units. Basically, there’s more strategy to be found in our Strategy RPG. Great, no?

If you’re not liking the sounds of the above paragraph, be it that it sounds too complicated or you simply want to enjoy a laid-back game, worry not. Fire Emblem Fates has you covered in all difficulty compartments. Adopting the ‘Casual Mode’ from Awakening, players are given a way to remove the series’ trademark permanent-death feature if such a thing doesn’t sound enjoyable. But this time you can go even further with a new feature known as ‘Phoenix Mode‘ – a truly easy way to make for a more casual experience. In Phoenix Mode, losing a unit means very little as they will spawn back in at the end of the turn. While I never played with either of these, I can definitely see the appeal. Not everyone wants to stress out over their time spent with games, or waste their time resetting a failed run of a Chapter. Some just want to follow a story (though I will speak more on that a bit further), or enjoy seeing characters interact. On the other end of the difficulty spectrum, you still have ‘Classic Mode’ which involves permanent character death, Hard difficulty, and the aptly named Lunatic difficulty. All of these carry their own challenges, and they’re rewarding to play through.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Fire Emblem Fates Birthright carried over with it another remnant of Fire Emblem Awakening, one that will be more upfront than the more technical Stances or rather standard difficulties. And that would be the same win condition in nearly every map – Rout the Enemy. Or in common English, kill all the bad guys. I was always under the impression that Awakening was so easy and… bland – which is the wrong word, as I loved the game, but I’ll use it in this case to make my point – because the objective was always to Rout the Enemy. That’s not actually true at all. The issue which lied with Awakening that has been fixed quite a bit in Fire Emblem Fates is Map Design. I spoke on this a bit in my early impressions of Fire Emblem Path of Radiance, actually. (Link will open in a new tab.)

The maps in Fire Emblem Fates Birthright are all excellent. With very few exceptions, I can say that I always had fun playing through them. Strategical choke-point filled areas, open fields, map hazards, races against a clock for extra rewards and lots more; there is a large amount of Map Design variety on offer. All balanced, too!

I believe a large part of the over-all game balance also falls to another change in the series aside from the maps. The removal of weapon uses (well, except for Healing items). All weapons are now unbreakable, and instead grant their own bonuses or even drawbacks. This means that you’ll want a few weapons for each member of your army to cover multiple situations – as opposed to the days of old where you would never want to use a Bronze Sword when you have this Silver Sword that is better in every possible way. It’s incredible how much more engaged I was with Fates.



What makes things all the more incredible is that I was not playing this game for a story. Reasoning being that the story is… well… it’s bad. It’s really bad. The A to B plot points are weak, the character interactions (in the story – important distinction made on this in a second) are lousy, and the over-arching plot is laughable. In other words, this title managed to hold my attention for five dozen hours without any worthwhile story. A true testament to the quality of the gameplay, if I do say so myself.

Some of the Birthright cast, showing a distinct Eastern flair taken from their land of Hoshido

The characters on show in Fire Emblem Fates Birthright are a likeable enough crew. I wasn’t too fond of the cast early on, and was yearning for more of what I remembered from Awakening. But with time and more acquaintance with the new characters, I ended up liking them quite a bit. I don’t think they reach Awakening’s cast as whole, but they were fleshed out enough in some excellent Support Converations to where I can look at the box arts and name them all. Not because I played the game with them in it, but because I feel at least a bit invested in them as a character.

Speaking of Support Conversations, said feature is something that was very present in Fire Emblem Awakening. While on the battlefield, certain units can grow closer to each other. Between chapters to be accessed on the menu is a ‘Support’ tab. This is where you check when anyone grew close enough in the last fight to share a “Support Conversation” between one another. This is where your characters will be fleshed out. Not in the game’s story itself, but in hundreds of lines of dialogue between other characters. This also loops back around into the gameplay, as you can wed your units. Doing so will grant you access to entire Paralogues (side-chapters) in which you recruit the children of any two wedded characters.

When not reading Support Conversations or taking part in a strategic battle, you will likely be spending your time in a new sort of “hub area” known as ‘My Castle‘. Here you’ll find all sorts of small things to do that ultimately loop into the gameplay. Different items to collect for use in forging weapons, a chance to speak to your units for a multitude of things (like obtaining random weapons, items, or raising affinity/stats), or building and re-arranging your Castle’s buildings to make your own map that you and others can do battles in online. There’s also smaller things that you can do which have no effect on the game itself, but are simply cool additions to have.



The overall visuals of Fire Emblem Fates are rather great for the hardware. Like all other Fire Emblem games, each battle transitions you into a different view than that of the overhead 2D map. In Fates, you get an actual 3D view of the area you’re battling in – even going so far as to show things like Ballistas in the distance if there is one on the map near where the fight is taking place, or rubble if you’re fighting where a building once stood. This is much more consistent than what Awakening had. Also characters have feet now. This sounds like a strange point unless you played Awakening. But it’s very real. Trust me.

Fire Emblem Awakening (pictured above) had character models that showed a distinct lack of feet…

Musically, Fire Emblem Fates Birthright is drastically different from the bombastic style of Awakening before it, and even Conquest alongside it. The more eastern-influenced region with whom you side with in Birthright – Hoshido – carries with it a very Japanese-sounding soundtrack. Lots of flutes and strings. It was certainly a joy to hear initially, but without any “set-piece tracks” I find it just wasn’t as memorable as Awakening’s. It was not bad, either, I just prefer the different styles found in the other games/paths.



So, after playing through Fire Emblem Fates Birthright and taking some time to put thoughts together, what is my final verdict? Get the bad out of the way first as to end on a positive note: The story is bad. The characters in Birthright are likable, and Support Conversations are still excellent. The game as a whole is an absolute must-play for 3DS owners. The gameplay is, plain and simple, fun. It’s engaging.  The quality in the game is high, even with there being three game’s worth to buy, you can tell no effort was cut in an attempt to maximize sales.


I can’t recommend Fire Emblem Fates enough if you’ve any interest in the Strategy RPG genre. Fire Emblem Fates Birthright also makes one of the best entry points if you’re not certain on how you like the genre. The challenge is variable, and even tweakable to an extent halfway through the game. The game can be enjoyed by anyone without fear of hurdles or challenges to overcome just in learning. And if you like what you play? You can try playing on the harder, challenging modes. You don’t want to miss out on this one.



Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright can be purchased physically or digitally for $39.99 MSRP, or downloaded as an additional path (as an add-on to Conquest) for $19.99 through the in-game shop.

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance Early Impressions


Fire Emblem Fates comes out in just a little under four weeks from today. To get back into the “flow” of the series, I decided to take my copy of what is often considered one of the best Fire Emblem games to date out of the old collection/backlog. Well, best one that got localized, anyways. The Japanese exclusive Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu, aka Fire Emblem 4, is the most commonly regarded pinnacle of the series. I don’t understand Japanese, so instead I speak of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.

Being the sole entry on the (commercially failing, bless its poor soul) Nintendo Gamecube was likely enough to get the developers to give it their all in the creation of this title.

The game started out with a sort of… early-3D anime opening. It may have looked cool in 2005 when the game first released, but I’m not going to lie, it definitely looks out of place now. Thankfully for us in 2016, the animations are short. The voice acting in the animations is also worth noting, as it really isn’t too good. Between general poor voice work and even worse sound balance, I found myself turning my TV up quite a bit to hear what was being spoken. (This issue came up even worse in a later cutscene that tried to be serious.)

Graphically, the game gets the job done. It’s pretty muddy, and going from 2013’s Fire Emblem Awakening (or even the Gameboy Advance titles with their beautifully animated pixel art) to this may feel like a drastic leap. But it’s honestly not offensive. I am also playing on a large flat-screen HDTV; something I’m sure will take a toll on the video quality since the game wasn’t made when such things were relatively common. On an older (smaller) CRT television I’m sure it would look a bit nicer.

Visuals and opening out of the way, the gameplay is exactly what one would expect from the Fire Emblem series: A fun turn-based strategy RPG, controlled via grid. Though if you’re like me and the only experience you’ve had with the series is with Awakening, you’re also in for a treat known as game diversity!  The very first mission of Path of Radiance introduces you to a ‘Seize’ mission — Something that you would never even know existed if you only played the latest in the franchise! The goal of this particular mission type is to defeat an enemy sitting on a particular tile and then seize control of said tile by moving your commander onto it. It isn’t until the second mission that you are introduced to the mission type “Rout the Enemy.”

(Quick diversion here: Fire Emblem Awakening was roughly 90% ‘Rout the Enemy’. The map design was also littered with open fields, making for a game experience that had some series veterans up in arms. As a newbie with nothing to compare to, I quite enjoyed my time with Awakening. It remains one of my favorite 3DS titles. But after just a short amount of time spent with Path of Radiance, a game that was only two titles before Awakening, I can see where the complaints came from)

Seizing and Routing aren’t the only missions, either. Thus far there have also been two other modes: ‘Escape’ and ‘Defend’. In the former you must get your Commander to specific tiles where you can select the option to Escape the field and complete the mission. ‘Defend’ is rather self-explanatory, you defend specific tiles (typically the entrance to a building) from enemies for a set amount of turns.

With all of these different goals, the game feels consistently varied and is more fun for it. Makes me even more excited for Fates next month knowing that the developers put more variety back into the game’s missions!

The story is… okay? It’s not top-notch, but I am at least invested in the characters enough that I know their names after I’m done playing for the day. The over-arching plot boils down to bad guy sends army into good guy’s territory unprovoked, and now good guys mercenaries have to help good guy princess get to another kingdom but oh no bad guys are also in the other kingdom in an attempt at world domination! Or something of the sort. The characters holding their own stories, struggles, and personalities carry the narrative part of the game far more than the story at large. And that’s fine with me, but I suppose it depends from person to person on what is passable.

Let’s talk game balance here for a second before I finish. I hear that it’s a common thing for these games to hand you one unit in the beginning that is basically god of the battlefield. These characters are, I presume, a way to give new players a taste of what’s to come as well as an ace up their sleeves. The boss is about to kill your team? Send in your trump card and wipe them in a single hit, easy. The tradition has held true for the three games I’ve played, but I don’t think they even tried to balance their super-unit in Path of Radiance. For a game so commonly praised (and for good reason) I’m astounded that I didn’t hear more about this game’s battlefield Queen: Titania. Let me say this in terms that anyone can understand: if your starting team is Level 1 and the enemies are to match, Titania is something like Level 20. But Fire Emblem is (was) unique from other RPGs in that you can’t really grind units. Experience points are limited, as you jump from each battle to another with no real breaks in-between to just level people up. With that said, it is insane how easily you can break the entire game AND ruin your other characters by using this unit since they will hog precious experience from the others. I know better — that she’s a “trap” character — so I haven’t used her for anything more than a meatshield, soaking hits all day while taking no damage in the process. But I can only imagine how annoyed I would be if I got, say, four hours in and suddenly realize everyone on my team but Titania dies from a single hit of any enemy. You’re sitting at a pretty poor balance when the best way to work things is to purposefully go out of your way to ensure you play “the right way.”

But I speak too much on an issue that is easy enough to avoid if you know beforehand. As a whole, Path of Radiance has been a joy to play. A game getting me to play over seven hours in a week as well as pull me away from my mildly obsessive play of Splatoon? Now that’s a winner. It’s just such a shame how expensive a copy is online, as well as the hardware to play the game on being rotated out from many homes. (Though it is funny to think just how many Nintendo Wii’s you could buy for the price of one copy of this game!) as I would suggest it to a lot of people otherwise.

Splatoon — Blaster Breakdown


Read up on fresh tips,
and get to know the Blaster!

Why Use the Blaster?

  The Blaster; one of the lesser used weapons in online lobbies. Between their low fire rate, short range, and less-than-stellar ability to cover turf, it’s easy to see why many players choose other weapons. But I’m going show you why you should give the Blaster a fair shot by making it’s advantages clear. I will also tell you its disadvantages,           so you can take the knowledge to battle and use it turn the tides on any pesky enemies utilizing this explosive weapon.

 First, a quick rundown of pros and cons before diving into the finer details:


Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U Preview


The games have been given rough release estimates. Summer 2014 for the 3DS Version, and Winter 2014 for the Wii U Version!


Ridley? Palutena?

No Ridley? Footage was shown of a very Ridley-looking shadow flying over a new stage. Sakurai, the head Director of Smash Bros. is known for messing with people, so what this means could be anyone’s guess! New character, or relegated to stage background?

Palutena (from Kid Icarus: Uprising) was also teased. In a “Trophy Quiz” held during the Direct, a Palutena trophy was shown from behind, only to be turned around revealing “False Palutena.” This has led many to believe she will be a character due to proposed “leaks” that spread across the internet months past. (In case you haven’t yet seen them:

Rumored leak
Rumored leak



For Fun — For Glory

The above phrases being the name of two new modes. Anyone who played Brawl probably knows that the Online mode wasn’t up to snuff. Between the insane lag (which Sakurai even brought up, telling people to give a thought to using Wired internet for more stability!), the difficulty in even finding a match, and then how people would join your battle but not play — instead turning to “Taunt Parties” — it was almost like Online wasn’t even a thing.

Well, these two modes look to amend the last two issues on that list. The Wii U’s better internet should help the first one.

For Fun mode is a mode where all items are on, the stage is random (with an exclusion of Final Destination), and only Wins are recorded. You have nothing to lose here. Though don’t Taunt Party or sit there all round – systems have been put into place to prevent things like this which my hamper the experience of others!

For Glory mode is where you want to go for Competitive matches. Between Final Destination being the only stage allowed, all items off, and 1v1’s being possible, everything is set in place to allow the more serious players a better environment to play. Oh, and that whole Final Destination only thing? Well, only kind of. Because every stage in the same now has a “’Final Destination Form” which turns the stage into question into nothing more than a flat battlefield. This allows for a change in music, and background while still holding a viable stage to fight evenly on!

Both of these modes have a Skill Matchmaking, but it is behind the scenes. So you should only be pitted against players close to your skill level.

Also shared with both modes is Global Smash Power. This is the game’s Leaderboard, so to speak. Instead of having a flat board where someone’s #1 and below them is #2, etc., everyone instead has a Smash Power. This is a value that says how many players you are above. Instead of being #1 in a group of 100, you have a Smash Power of 99, showing that you are above 99 other players. Personally, I find this to be a cool system.


New Items!

I haven’t kept up with all of the pictures Sakurai posts daily, so some of these may have been seen in picture form already. However this is the first time we’ve seen any of them in action.

POW Block (Mario)

It appears that the Pow Block acts as a damaging spring in an area-of-effect, if that makes sense. You throw it, and wherever it hits on the ground, any enemies near will be hurled upwards.

Beetle (Zelda Skyward Sword)

You throw it forwards, and it will latch onto the first enemy it comes across, before flying them upwards. It appeared to carry them pretty high up!


“How can we put Fire Bars into this game”


“That. Is genius.”

Is the only way I can assume things went down before this item was put in. It’s literally a sword. Made out of Mario’s Fire Bars. It starts out long with a few fireballs, and loses fireballs (and thus length) per hit.

Back Shield (Kid Icarus Uprising)

It follows your back and shields any projectiles that may have hit you from behind.

Bombchu (Zelda)

Those Mouse bombs from Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Remember those? Well they’re in Smash Bros. now. You throw them, and they will travel forward, even along walls, until they expire or hit someone, resulting in an explosion.

Fairy Bottle (Zelda)

A new healing item akin to the Heart Container and Maxim Tomato, it seems.

Ore Club (Kid Icarus Uprising)

A slower, more powerful Beam Sword that can throw tornadoes if you charge it up enough.

X Bomb (Kid Icarus Uprising)

A bomb that sends out an ‘X’ (or +) shaped explosion when it blows.

Hocotate Bomb (Pikmin 2)

Olimar’s Rocket Ship from Pikmin 2 flies into the sky before crashing back onto earth. Seems a lot like the Warp Star.

Rocket Belt (Pilotwings)

A jetpack you can pick up to allow for better air mobility. So. Much. Yes.

Steel Diver (Steel Diver)

Take the Ray Gun. Now give it a slower, more powerful missile instead of green shots. You have the Steel Diver.


Assist Trophies

Skull Kid (Zelda Majora’s Mask)

The Skull Kid from Majora’s Mask appears and turns the screen dark, before flipping the entire stage in an upside-down chaos. Just speculating here, but I’m thinking he may be able to turn the world into more angles than just upside-down, as a later Pokeball Pokemon later shown does basically just that.

Mother Brain (Metroid)

Metroid’s Mother Brain charges up her beam to unleash on any unlucky enemy near her eye. Unsure of how long she lasts or how many beams may be fired. Perhaps she’ll fire off her circle shots found in Metroid games as well?

Midna (Zelda Twilight Princess)

Zelda Twilight Princess’s Midna uses her hand… hair to grab and toss enemies. It also appeared that she could teleport. Not sure on if that’s the only thing she can do or if there’s more to it.

Ashley (Warioware)

Warioware’s evil little witch girl appears and summons a puff of smoke. This shrunk down the enemy caught in the cloud. Perhaps other things may happen as well?

Dark Samus (Metroid Prime)

Dark Samus will appear to pummel your enemies. She can fire off a rapid stream of phazon shots, or summon dark energies from below your foes. What other tricks does she have up her sleeve?

Chain Chomp (Mario)

The Mario series’ very own Chain Chomp! Once summoned, the Chomp will be anchored down wherever you stood. Any enemies who dare get near will be targeted and leaped at.

Isabelle (Animal Crossing: New Leaf)

Another Animal Crossing rep in Smash! Isabelle will throw healing fruit at whoever summoned her, keeping them in tip-top shape!

Elec Man (Megaman)

Megaman isn’t the only… uh, man… here! Once summoned, Elec Man will fight against any enemies in his way. He appeared to have many electric attacks matching those of the attacks in his proper game.

Color TV-Game 15 (Uh… Pong?)


It’s Pong.

The ball being bounced back and forth will hurt and knockback anyone whom it touches.



New Pokeball Pokemon

Along with the Pokeball, this time the Mater Ball also makes an appearance as an item. This is guaranteed to give you an exceedingly rare Pokemon. It is unknown if rare Pokemon still appear in normal Pokeballs or not.


The legendary Arceus spoken of in stories from generations ago sends out pulse waves, meteor smashing any enemy touched. It was not said if it actually damages foes or not.


Remember the Starfy Assist Trophy in Brawl? It’s looking like that’s what Eevee is. This is most likely a replacement/reskin more than a full-blown new Pokemon.


It’s not Smash Bros. without a Fire-type Pokemon from the latest Pokemon games! Fennekin will spit out small fireballs that go upwards ala Ness’ PK Fire in Brawl upon impact. It is unknown if it always goes upwards, or if that is only if a target is hit.


The singing Pokemon Meloetta sends out two purple music notes that ricochet off of walls, damaging enemies it comes into contact with.


YOU CAN RIDE IT. It was not shown if Gogoat itself has any moves, but dude you can ride it. It’s like everyone has Wario’s Bike from Brawl now!


Palkia’s back from Brawl! But this time he’s not stuck on one stage. Nope, now the gravity-defying menace can haunt you anywhere. Also shown was him flipping the stage upside-down. It was also shown using the Spacial Rend attack, which acts like a vertical slash.


Kyurem fires out cold gusts of wind to his sides, freezing any enemies caught in the blow. It wasn’t shown if we’re looking at an area-of-effect here like Suicune in Melee, or long-range blasts.


Victini flies upwards and makes a star. Uh… Not sure what it really does. Going to guess it deals damage, but there’s no way to know for sure. Maybe it fires the star? Crashes it down? Spins it around, and moves around?


Keldeo uses it’s trademark attack, Sacred Sword, flinging anyone a good distance in front of it flying. Presumably damaging them quite a bit as well!


The mascot legendary from Pokemon X uses it’s signature move Geomancy, causing the floor around him to glow. Does the glow damage, or is it just charging up to attack?



No more form changes! Characters are one character only — the one you chose! This means that Samus doesn’t turn into Zero Suit Samus,  Zelda can’t become Sheik, and the returning Charizard isn’t a part of two other Pokemon. Rest assured, the other forms of these characters return! Zelda’s former transform attack not summons a Phatom from Zelda: Phantom Horglass  that lunges forward. Sheik received grenades (and a new acrobatic move) to make up for the loss. Zero Suit Samus, while not exactly losing anything in this change, also received rocket boots to make up for her previously weak power.

As for new character’s and their movesets:

Rosalina and Luma

  • Luma can be separated and attack independently, much like the Ice Climbers
  • Side Special is Star Bits, a projectile attack which originates from the Luma
  • Up Special is Launch Star, an attack which sends Rosalina upwards in a spinning motion
  • Down Special is Gravitational Pull, which is a gravity-bending aura that pulls in items, as well as disrupt projectiles
  • Final Smash is Power Star, which summons one Grand Star that fires off hundreds of smaller, damaging stars

Little Mac

  • Power on ground is extremely high
  • Can “shrug off” attacks, preventing his own attacks from being cancelled
  • In air his power is very weak, and his recovery ability is terrible
  • Has a K.O. Meter that builds up when he attacks or gets hit, once full gives a one-try OHKO move
  • Neutral Attack is a Straight Lunge
  • Side Special is Jolt Haymaker, which is a jumping lunge attack
  • Up Special is Rising Uppercut
  • Down Special is Slip Counter, a counter attack with a fancy name
  • Final Smash is Giga Mac, a monstrous beast of a Mac
  • Wireframe Mac is an alternate costume available to him that gives me the same look found in the Arcade Punch Out! title


  • Neutral Special is Pocket, which allows you to grab oncoming projectiles and pocket them for later use
  • Side Special is Lloid Rocket, which spawns a Gyroid you can fly on towards the enemies
  • Up Special is Balloon Trip, which — fittingly — gives you the ability to fly a bit, just like on Balloon Fighter
  • Down Special is Timber, a three-part attack which consists of planting a seed, watering it into a tree, before cutting it down causing massive damage and knockback to anyone it hits
  • Final Smash is Dream Home, which summons Nook and his Nooklings to build a house on your enemy

Mega Man

I am unsure what exactly makes a “strong” attack, but it is what was given in the Direct

  • Strong Down Attack is Sliding across the ground
  • Strong Up Attack is Mega Upper, a powerful uppercut
  • Dash Attack is a Top Spin
  • Front Air Attack is Flame Sword, which swings a burning sword in front of him
  • Back Air Attack is Slash Claw, a powerful swipe with claws made of metal
  • Up Air Attack is Air Shooter, which sends a strong gust of wind upwards, sending anyone above hurling into the air
  • Down Air Attack is Hard Knuckle, which fires a metallic fist downwards, Meteor Smashing anyone it comes in contact with
  • Side Special Attack is Crash Bomber, which shoots a sticky explosive forward that latches onto the first enemy it hits
  • Down Special Attack is Leaf Shield, which summons leaves that spin around you to be used as a shield, or to be hurled
  • Up Special Attack is Rush Coil, which summons your trusty sidekick, Rush, to be used as a spring
  • Grab is Super Arm, giving Mega Man super strength to hold anyone above his head
  • Neutral Smash Attack is Metal Blade, which hurls a blade across the stage
  • Side Smash is Charge Shot
  • Up Smash is Spark Shock, an electrifying attack fired above his head
  • Down Smash is Flame Blast, which sends powerful pillars of flame upwards from both sides
  • Final Smash brings all the different versions of Mega Man together to fire a giant beam

Wii Fit Trainers

  • Notice the ‘S’ there? Male Wii Fit Trainer is an alternate costume
  • Down Special is Deep Breathing, which causes the next attack to be more powerful
  • Side Smash is Sun Salutation, which fires a projectile forward
  • Up Smash Attack is Hula Hoop, which spins the Trainer spinning upwards along with Hula Hoops


  • Now has Hammer Flip, which is much like King Dedede’s Charge Hammer from Brawl
  • New Final Smash is Ultra Sword, a giant sword swung forward


  • Only throws Gordos now, no more more Waddle Dees


  • Stronger Aura attacks
  • Aura Charge system now powers up every thing Lucario does, including his Recovery move, causing difficult to control recovery moves
  • Can Mega Evolve, if this is his Final Smash was not said


  • Can only have three Pikmin at once now
  • Pikmin are plucked in fixed order, Red, Yellow, Blue, White, Purple
  • Recovery Move is Winged Pikmin, which summons Winged Pikmin to fly you to safety


  • No more Gliding Mechanic
  • Has been given more power than before
  • Power of Flight, his Recovery Move, has been changed into a directional dash attack instead of just giving you the ability to fly
  • Final Smash is now Three Sacred Treasures, which gives Pit a super-powerful suit to fight with for a short amount of time


  • Now stands upright, changing how he moves


  • Can now Roll


  • Now has a jumping lunge attack


  • Has a new jump


  • Along with being separate from Pokemon Trainer, Mega Charizard X also makes an appearance. Final Smash, perhaps?

So maybe that’s not enough for you. Maybe you just need more. Look no further than Custom Move Sets! Not many details were given other than the fact that you can change how characters moves behave. Kirby Hammer attack the freezes people? Why not. Mario shooting giant Fireballs? Sure! Donkey Kong unable to be phased while he charges his punch? Sure!

Smash Run is a new 3DS exclusive mode that was shown, which is a LOT like City Trial Mode from Kirby’s Air Ride. Up to four players explore an dungeon full of randomized enemies (some of which were shown to include Bulborbs from Pikmin, Kremlings from Donkey Kong Country, and Stalfos from Zelda, among others) for five minutes. When defeated, these enemies will drop power-ups (consisting of extra speed, higher jumps, more powerful attacks, more powerful Smash Attacks, more powerful items, or more defense) you can pick up. During these five minutes, special events may occur, such as everyone becoming faster, or a barrage of homing bullet bills appearing out of nowhere! At the end of the five minutes, the power-ups will be tallied, and you will be thrown into an event to compete against the other players you were competing against. You can even choose certain items to take along before starting!

Welp. That’s it. Well, kind of. Not really.

Greninja is a new playable character!


Its attacks weren’t shown in detail, but what I could see, he has the ability to use Water Swords, throw Water Shurikens, and pop a substitute, causing a Poke Doll to appear in his place before he sneaks behind the enemy for an attack. He’s very agile, and stays low to the ground while running.

And that’s it! For real this time. Jeez that took longer than expected. And my hands hurt from the two hours of typing. Whoops.

Who else is excited for Smash Bros. for Wii, and Smash Bros. for 3DS?!