Hello there world! Yeah, I’m still alive. Apologize for the lack of updates, life has been pretty busy…have some cool topics in mind in the upcoming weeks, if I can get myself around to it, but…
Enough about that! E3!! E3!!!! Oh my God!!! … …
Well…perhaps that’s how I used to feel. This year? Eh…”meh”? Nothing interested me at all from Sony or Microsoft. And Nintendo didn’t exactly reveal any earth-shattering surprises, but…I mean, come on…
That’s really all I need guys! With rumblings of Smash Wii U possibly resembling closer to Melee than Brawl, life couldn’t be better. So when it was announced that Best Buy would hold an event to demo both the 3DS and Wii U version at stores during E3, I had to go and see for myself. For a list of participating stores, check here: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/games-promotions/nintendo-smash-fest/pcmcat332400050002.c?id=pcmcat332400050002&DCMP=rdr122474. There is another event scheduled for Saturday, June 14th at Noon.
As someone who played the original and Melee almost every weekend for over a decade, Smash Bros will always remain one of my favorite games series ever. There just isn’t anything that can compare with the level of fervor that comes from a new Smash Bros release.
So couple with the chance to play the latest Smash Bros as well as a limited edition pre-order item would only be available by coming out and seeing it…SOLD!
Unfortunately, like most things in life, it never works out like you’d hope. It didn’t go so well…
Here are my impressions of the Best Buy event itself, and how to get the most out of it. Again, if you want and go and see for yourself, another event following the same format will be running Saturday, June 14th from Noon to 5pm at participating locations (don’t assume your local Best Buy will have it).
- Be there early if your goal is to play the game.
I’m talking an hour or more in advance. The Thursday event started at 4PM. I got there around 3:30PM. I was number 78 in line, and as the day wore on, hundreds of people showed up. I didn’t play the game until about 6:15PM. The only reason I endured such a wait was for the damn coin! A special limited edition coin was promised at the event, but…
- Pre-order bonus? Yeah, Nintendo/Best Buy pulled a fast one.
According to the event notes, one was supposed to be able to get a special edition coin for simply going to the event and being one of the first 70 in line to pre-order. Since I was #78, I figured I had a good chance if 8 people didn’t preorder (good odds, right)?
Yeah, not how it worked. It seems like they did have coins available, but they were little first come first serve, no pre-order required (but I never saw one, just heard people in line say that). So, I got screwed. I later found out after leaving that you could pre-order at the customer service kiosk and everyone would get a coin upon picking up their purchase. What a waste of time…
That’s not what I was led to believe, and I’m pretty damn angry! I waited in line for three hours with the expectation of being able to get something that I had no chance of obtaining. Live and learn…
So instead, I ended up pre-ordering, and afterwards had buyer’s remorse considering…that the Best Buy that held the event was 30 miles from my house. Which leads me to…
- Doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of Best Buy’s holding the event
There was only one Best Buy within 100 miles that was participating. One that I’ve never heard of. I know the retail sector isn’t doing so well, but I was kind of shocked that some of the bigger Best Buys in my area didn’t have the event. It honestly seems like they had them in smaller markets ones? I don’t know, seems like a real missed opportunity.
- How the event was structured
One Wii U system, 4 Wii U Pro Controllers. One large line. Each player gets to play 2 games that are 3 minutes apiece. The time variable here is that you have unlimited time to pick a character and choose a stage. So, in the end, after loading and such, it’s like 10 minutes every 4 people. If I had known that from the start, there’s no way I would have stayed!
The one nice thing was that they had a couple roaming Best Buy employees tethered with the 3DS version of the game. Which I did get to play! I’ll talk about the game itself in another section.
But, that was one of the few highlights. They could have at least set up the line to face the system / players. That would have been fine to pass the time by watching other players! Maybe this was a YMMV thing, maybe yours will do something different. But, there’s just something really disappointing about not seeing what’s going on for hours and then figuring out you get to play a game for 3 minute intervals…
Afterwards, you are directed toward a table to grab various swag (some of which I believe was gone by the time I got there). If they had coins (which sounded like they did), they were gone when I got there. Which really sucks, because it sounds like people who did not wait in line could just go to the table and grab one. Infuriating. I ended up getting an Mario Kart 8 racing flag and some Pokemon promotional book. Not exactly thrilling stuff…
- Tips for the event
If you intend on going…bring a chair, bring as many 3DS systems as you have (to streetpass / pass away the time), bring a friend, and some food / beverage. You’re going to be there awhile. Honestly, the only saving grace was the dozens of streetpass tags I got! It had a Nintendo Zone as well, so I ended up getting a crap ton!
However, the best tip I can give you is…don’t actually stand in line. If you’re just interested in seeing the game, go hang out near the kiosk and just watch people. Just want the free stuff? It sounded like you can just go to the table and ask.
Just want to play the 3DS version? Ask an employee! Literally no one seemed to be interested and everyone wanted to play the Wii U version.
OK, OK. Yeah, yeah…bitch, bitch, bitch why dontcha? What about the game man! OK, OK. Here are my impressions of both the 3DS and Wii U versions.
- 3DS impressions
This was the first version I got to play and actually did so very early on. I was in line maybe 15 minutes when a tether lady came by and offered to let people play. So what was it like?
The controls were awkward. This is probably just because I’m so used to a Wavebird (used it for both Melee and Brawl), but jumping was weird. X/Y buttons are in such a weird place compared to a Wavebird that I wasn’t jumping right the whole demo. I was continually looking at the system.
I played as Kirby and fought Wii Fit Trainer in the Battlefield stage (I saw some other guy play on a Nintendogs stage). The physics seem much closer to Melee than Brawl; which is a huge relief. Having been an absolute master at Melee, Brawl was a huge step backwards. Gone are the floaty physics, the non-damaging smash attacks, and slow gameplay. It’s not quite as fast as Melee, but it’s a huge improvement. If you’re in the Melee >>>> Brawl camp, this will make you happy.
Didn’t get a chance to use a lot of new items, but did use the Beam Sword, Bat, and Banana Peel. Couldn’t tell if Beam Sword changed by who used it, but it was satisfying to use (always loved the Beam Sword). Smash attacks felt nice and Kirby could actually kill this time. As being demoted to useless the last two games, Kirby feels a little bit stronger. However, his B moves are still junk.
The demo does give you unlimited time to just screw around punching the sandbag (like in the Brawl online mode when waiting for a game to start). So, if you really want to stretch your time, just stay here awhile and test the entire moveset of the character you pick. Unfortunately, the character select is pretty limited, but I recall about 15 or so choices. Including the perpetually useless Donkey Kong…ugh…
Overall impression? Control issues aside, it was pretty solid. I’m just going to have to get used to jumping, but everything else was OK. Well…take that back, rolling and grabbing seemed weird. Air dodges are there…crap, didn’t check if ground dodge is back! Unless I’m mistaken, they took that out of Brawl, didn’t they? And if I recall, you could only use one button to shield. I also didn’t check to see if there’s still L-cancelling! Argh, I’m useless…Hopefully there will be some control customization?
Graphics were pretty impressive and had no opinion on sound as I couldn’t hear anything. No opinion on AI as I don’t think AI has ever been challenging in Smash (outside of the rigged Arena type stuff that Brawl had), needless to say I won the match. It was a 3 minute 1-on-1 fight.
Playing the 3DS version was a good opportunity to see an early build of the game. I’m just really disappointed that Peach wasn’t in either version. 🙁 She’s my main in Melee, and was incredibly nerfed in Brawl. Don’t do it again Sakurai!
- Wii U Impressions
Pretty much the same impressions as 3DS. Game looks good. Through the magic of Random, I only played on the Fire Emblem Coliseum stage twice. It was an evolving stage (it looked like) much like the old Pokemon Stadium from Melee, but flat. I tied for 2nd with Marth the first time, and won with Fox the second.
Marth and Fox had the same movesets they’ve had since Melee. I could find no differences at all. Fox’s Up+A kills…whew! Pretty sure I was killing people at around 80%, so that’s great to see! Didn’t do so great with Marth, apparently I wasn’t getting any tips. Oh well!
Little Mac appears to be what Ike was in the original, a noob bruiser. He seemed really, really strong with quick attacks. Other than that, I don’t recall anyone else standing out. I fought against a Gre-ninja…whatever the heck that Pokemon is called, and nothing else caught my eye. Do you know how hard it is to take mental notes while playing a 4P Smash match? It’s insane…
Wii U Pro Controller was actually very uncomfortable. I’ve never used one before, and thank heavens for the GC adapter, because I”ll be switching to that as soon as humanly possible!
Well..that’s it! Not much else to say. Enjoyed the game, but knowing what I know now…no way in hell would I ever do that again. Really botched event by Best Buy / Nintendo. Not enough event sites, not enough games! One kiosk for hundreds of people?! Come on! They either severely underestimated demand (heck, I did…who would have thought there’d be that many people at 4pm on a Wednesday? Damn kids…school must be out) or they did it on purpose to hype it (which they are famous for).
If you’re going to go, just find the 3DS version, most likely it should be easy to track down. That will give you a good idea of the game!
Looking forward to both games, can’t wait! Now…bring on the online enabled Melee Nintendo! So that I may finally prove that I am the best Peach player in the country! Yeah, you heard me. Peace out!