Smash Brothers: Gamers Want Customization

Noah Glaser

 

Ever since the success of the first Smash Brother’s on the Nintendo 64, each entry in the series has introduced new features and a higher degree of customization. With Brawl being the first installment to offer online play, though severely limited, and Nintendo’s supposed commitment to the online experience for the Nintendo Wii U, it is time for a new degree of customization to be made available for all gamers.

The generic model for the playable characters in Smash Brothers is that each character gets a physical and special attack for all directions of the control stick. We understand this concept and it works well with controllers, but why can’t they introduce a leveling up of sorts or the option for the characters to learn different moves? Pokemon allows only 4 moves, but you can choose which 4 moves they are. Apply this same concept to Smash Brothers Wii U and you’d be looking at a new degree of fighting where freshness in each match is still felt after the 100th time.  Mario has been in near every circumstance gaming could put him in throughout his long history, why not make this fact a function in the game? His right B move could be a fireball, a hammer, a soccer ball, a tennis ball, a water shot from FLUDD, a turtle shell… whatever you chose it to be from Mario’s history. The same could apply for Link. In past installments, the down B was a bomb. Why not let us choose between a bomb, a shovel, a boomerang, a hook shot, a minish cap, a mask, a hammer, a fairy or any of the other large selections from the franchise? Customization gives gamers a reason to keep on playing, plus a revenue stream for Nintendo by offering paid dlc.

Smash Brother’s Wii U needs to also offer legitimate stage building. The other entries have offered it before, but the process was grueling, extremely limited and rarely resulted in anything worthwhile at all. If they cannot offer a sufficient effort to give us the ability to design full sized stages, then at least offer downloadable stages either for free updates or additional paid content.

Another feature that Smash Brothers Wii U would benefit from would be fully embracing Nintendo’s long history. How many variations of Mario do we need. Mario, Luigi, Doctor Mario… like suggested above, let the player choose how to customize Mario, but there is no reason to have clone characters so often. There are hundreds of Pokemon, but we only see terrible ones like Jigglypuff? When MewTwo was introduced they made him the weakest in the game. That makes sense. There isn’t a real reason that Nintendo should not give us the ability to unlock, download or purchase additional characters that spans the entire history of the company. Animal Crossing, Mario, Metroid, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Kirby, Wario, Fire Emblem,  Pokemon, Star Fox… all of it. Don’t just offer one character from each series, but give us as many as we’d like so we can play as who we want instead of settling on someone. Some character balance might be nice as well so that wins and losses are based on skill as the character we love instead of playing as someone we dislike but for some reason was vetted as the strong character this time.

Gamers want customization and they want options. Opening up and making these among other options available to us will ensure the longevity of the game upon its release, continued revenues for the company and another successful installment in the franchise.

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