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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Monday, April 23, 2012

I WISH I COULD QUIT YOU. Or, let's talk about Super Smash Brothers... (Part 4: Project M)


I tried to swear off of video games, but then somebody had to POST A LINK TO PROJECT M on my facebook. Thus, the addiction rose like a phoenix from the ashes. I play games once more.

Project M is the brainchild of a number of dedicated and passionate fans of that one game, Super Smash Bros. Melee. While Brawl was considered a total experience that had great replay-ability, accessibility, and content, the diehard fans of Melee considered the game a step back. The physics and mechanics were altered heavily, and Brawl was a much more "floaty" game. In all, Brawl was less of an expert's game and more of a party game- something where unexpected fun and silliness happen often. But rather than see this as a positive thing, many people were angered and annoyed with it. To that, I say- well, I don't really care. I enjoy Brawl because the characters play differently from the way they do in Melee and I believe its technical game is just as interesting to master as Melee is. But it's not without its flaws. Some of Brawl's characters are extremely broken from their previous iterations, and some new characters are ridiculous, which can be taken either way. Meta-Knight's too good, Sonic's too bad... it's rough all around.

But that's what Project M is all about. Originally an attempt to reproduce Fox and Falco's original movesets and physics with the Brawl graphics, it turned into a bold attempt to return all of Brawl's characters to Melee physics- and alter them to fit in the environment. That means all the characters were given buffs and debuffs to their movesets, including new character animations and moves, altered hitboxes, and generally great fun. Essentially, it turns Brawl back into the hyper-competitive, technical beast that Melee was, so your mileage may vary on how enjoyable that is. For the most part however, it's a really cool game. The air dodges have been returned to how they worked in Melee, and L-cancelling and Wavedashing make their return. Brawl characters like Wolf, Wario, Ike, and Sonic are drastically changed, improving and changing their play styles, while characters that were from Melee either have their physics restored, but also have moveset changes as well. Overall, it's an attempt to make every character playable and enjoyable- though at the sacrifice of some individuality. Pokemon Trainer no longer exists, his partners split into their own characters, so the Pokemon change mechanic is no more, and Fox and Falco have essentially the same character animations. But Lucario is no longer a "Mewtwo clone" and features a combo-based fighting style. Toon Link and Link are now two different beasts with very different character animations that make their only similarities their appearance. Then there's cop-outs like Jigglypuff, Ness, Marth and Shiek, who are just Melee clones with little-to-no changes. But if you want to see them with prettier character models, Project M is for you.

The game is currently in Beta, which means that not all of the characters have been updated yet- Kirby, Yoshi, Samus, Zero Suit Samus, Meta Knight, Diddy Kong, Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Ice Climbers haven't been modified yet. But the characters that are in there are really cool and very varied, aside from Fox and Falco. It gives a cool new feel to Brawl and will make you want to try out all the new opportunities. However, the downside is that the "mains" of Melee, Fox, Falco, and Marth essentially, are back and just as annoying as ever. It turns the more free-and-easy, fun-loving Brawl into a harsh fighter once more, where priority and character speed mean everything. It's a far more competitive game, and your mileage may vary when you take that into account.

However, if you're not looking to master the game and want to have fun, a lot of the character's have great new movesets, so it's worth a playthrough. But if you know anyone who took insane glee from playing as the top tier characters from Melee, just remember they're back in force. See, some people need to realize that games change and are different for a reason- by the end of Melee, I was so burned out by how technical the game was that Brawl was refreshing and most importantly, fun. Melee is different from the original, because the game needed to fit the target audience. Smash Bros. should be a game for everyone, not just technical madmen. Everyone wants to play as their favorite Nintendo character and we shouldn't have to learn crazy move combos or techniques to do so. However, all that aside, the physics of Melee were really nice- but the ridiculous technicalities make it a tough game to play.

Maybe I'm just rambling here, because I understand the love for Melee but I also have so many qualms with how competitive of a game it is. If you learn the techniques you'll be able to do a lot more damage than someone who can't- and the whole POINT of Melee is that the controls are supposed to be easy to pick up and play. A game can be tight and fun without being over-complex.

Whatevs. More to come, on other subjects.

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