Super Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct: the power and the passion

Friday, 11 April 2014 07:58 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Tuesday’s Super Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct set the internet alight. Rocket-heels, standing dinosaurs, delays and gender-bending – will the fighter’s fanbase ever recover? Brenna recounts the dramas.


I’m only partially on board the Smash Bros. train, but you can’t be a video game journalist and just pretend Nintendo doesn’t exist (although the Wii U’s making a spirited bid to change that oooooooooh yeah I said it). The amount of hype Smash Bros. produces is intense; it’s no wonder Sony tried to get on board with the sadly received PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (good work putting out an update on Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct week, Sony).

Watching every new reveal from a slight outsider perspective is amazing. Nintendo fans are notoriously outspoken but every little drip of Smash Bros. news causes tidal waves of ripples across the internet as we all go mad howling with delight and/or rage; which appears to depend on the phase of the moon, or possibly which direction the wind is blowing.

If you missed the Super Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct, I encourage you to watch it below – but here are my highlights, recapping the drama and passion of the hour the internet held its breath.

3DS version to release soon, Wii U pushed back to Christmas

This is one of those heartbreakers. Of course you want Nintendo to take as long as it takes, and given Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai’s chronic injury, delays are easily forgiven. But this is one of the games Nintendo fans have been waiting for since the Wii U was first announced, and given the console’s fortunes in the interim, it’s no wonder the further wait has produced reactions from quiet dismay to roaring rage and every extreme in between.

The 3DS version is looking really great, though, right? The exclusive Smash Run mode looks like a lot of fun, and Sakurai’s assurance that the game runs at 60FPS – except for the trophy assist cutscenes – is more than welcome, especially given the fighter’s stereoscopic 3D support. It’s going to have full multiplayer support, too, although Sakurai’s plea that you find a decent connection suggests Nintendo’s well aware how flaky network support can be killer.

The official release windows are northern summer for 3DS and northern winter for Wii U; Super Smash Bros. Wii U might just be one of these year’s hottest holiday titles, which will be a good boost for Nintendo. Meanwhile, with any luck the Super Smash Bros. 3DS hype will carry Nintendo through E3 season. There’s an upside, see?


Zero Suit Samus
If you were anywhere near gaming this week you probably heard the news: Nintendo has put two forms of Samus on the roster, and one of them wears high heels.

The reason Samus appears twice is because characters no longer change forms mid-battle. “So where has Zero Suit Samus gone?” Sakurai asked, or something very like it.

“Away forever?” I asked hopefully. “Since her existence is a stain on an otherwise impeccable franchise and the things Team Nina did to one of our most beloved female protagonists still make many hardcore series fans deeply uncomfortable even as they acknowledge the qualities of the game in general?”

No such luck, alas. She’s now an entirely separate fighter.

“Sakurai, apparently unaware that it is 2014, argued that without her powersuit, Samus isn’t strong enough to fight off her opponents.”

This is where shit gets kind of ridiculous. Sakurai, apparently unaware that it is 2014, argued that without her powersuit, Samus isn’t strong enough to fight off her opponents. (In the world of Nintendo, the idea of women being as powerful as men is still so far-fetched and fantastical that it simply cannot stand, despite the fact that one of the other cast members is a pink blob that swallows things and appears to have no skeletal structure. A male blob, by the way.)

So in order to make Samus a decent rival to her many foes, Sakurai’s shoved her in jet shoes. This is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous even before you notice the shoes have high heels. The heels take it from “ridiculous over the top video game nonsense” to “okay, now you’re just being offensively silly”.

Well, on the bright side, you know – two Samuseseseses. Your opinion re: Samus’s heels has now become a dagger-drawing matter, but please comfort yourself with this charming illustration from Bee & Puppycat creator Natasha Allegri on the subject.


More highlights from the Super Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct on the next page.