Super Smash Bros. 4: the RosterSo here we are. It's 2014. A brand new Super Smash Bros. game has finally been released, and it seems like everyone and their grandmother has a copy. Online battles, offline wars, and terror-filled Classic mode trials have been undertaken by about 2.7 millions players. For me, one of the greatest joys of this franchise is the roster. A virtual museum of Nintendo history awaits me at the beginning of each match. This game challenges me to learn dozens of different move sets and eventually master each one after tireless smash battles with friends or against the CPU. This time around, the roster is bigger and more diverse than ever before. Looks like there's a lot of work ahead for us Smash Masters out there. Below is a list of every character in the new Super Smash Bros, both the 3DS and Wii U editions. I suppose the spoiler warning is in place for those of you wishing to find the new fighters on your own. But at this point, doesn't everyone know? In order to best understand these characters, I have played through both Classic Mode (on 5.0 difficulty) and All-Star Mode (on Medium) with each character. I have also compiled a few thoughts from other Rare Gamer members to add to my own.
Mario: Some things never really change. Mario is such a staple in this series that to seriously change him would remove one of the most balanced and basic fighters in the game. He plays just as he does in Brawl, F.L.U.D.D. included. Although, I think this Down Special may have some more distance than before. It also seems like this Down Aerial also has more capturing power than before. You know, his Mario Tornado.Donkey Kong: DK feels lighter to me this time around. His Standing B is still powerful. His Forward B still has some serious downward launching power. His facial expressions are a lot more varied, and in general he is more animated than before. Even his Up Special spins DK in a less lateral way. Link: The Hero of Time's mobility may be a little confusing to long time Legend of Zelda players. I mean, he actually has a jump button. Wild, man. In Smash Bros 4, Link's bombs won't hurt him if the bomb connects with an enemy. Was it always like that? Not really sure. A notable difference to me is Link's arrows. I think they're more damaging. His Down Aerial still does great hurt to your enemies, and his Up B still has that extra oomph at the final swing. Samus: I have detected no differences to Metroid Hunter First Class here. Just remember that using her Final Smash Zero Laser doesn't transform her into Zero Suit Samus anymore. And what a good choice that was. Forcing the player to switch to another character mid-match isn't in the best Nintendo spirit. Pikachu: Everyone's favorite electric rodent now has a Down B lighting bolt that goes through platforms. Several times I've gone to grab Pikachu while it was summoning a bolt underneath a Battlefield platform, thinking I'd be safe. I also think the cloud that shoots the lightning bolt is lower, making it more difficult to finish off opponents you've knocked upwards with this attack. Other than that, Pikachu moves the same and the electric attacks seems just as strong. Its Backward Aerial spins Pikachu around in a way that captures enemies and does nice damage. Make sure to try that one out. Kirby: Outside of Kirby's new Final Smash, I don't think much as changed for the Pink Wonder. I mean, he has more transformations than ever before. That's a plus. Has anyone tried sucking up an enemy, jumping off the stage, and spitting them out before flying back up to safety in this game? Does it still work? Fox: I'm not huge on Fox's new voice. Sure, that's not a serious complaint. But when think of the leader of the space mercenary team StarFox, I don't think of such a nasally, Midwestern voice. After all, Starfox is like the Top Gun of Nintendo. Eh, whatever. The only real change I think Sakurai made to the narrator of my childhood was his Upward Aerial. To me, Fox's upward air kick has that launching power similar to the N64 Super Smash Bros. His sideways kick barrage from Brawl is still there, and that's nice. Yoshi: Did you notice any changes? Because I didn't. I mean, besides adding a rainbow to his egg throw. Luigi: As much as I enjoyed the Negative Zone, Mama Weegee's ghost vacuum Final Smash is a much more fitting choice. I have not tested his Forward Special to see how often the random Super Green Missile happens. Jigglypuff: Honestly, I never played much Jigglypuff in other games to know if they changed much. I've been put to sleep from a farther distance by Jigglypuff's singing, and I stayed asleep for longer. Long enough to actually get attacked. Captain Falcon: Yeah, the Falcon Punch is a pain to get hit by, but such a pleasure to hit with. It's always been a good feeling in your gamer belly to connect a Falcon Punch on rapidly-moving enemies. His Knee of Justice (forward aerial) is just as powerful as ever, as is his downward aerial. As Rare Gamer member BanjoFreak12 points out, "I really feel like he has been upgraded from Brawl. I think his animations have sped up and his character speed has been increased (undoubtedly to rival Mac) because he is practically my main right now. If you can master the timing of his moves, Falcon will destroy anyone in his path." Ness: His PSI Magnet looks larger to me. And his stupid friend Lucas isn't here to take all his Mother spotlight.
The VeteransPeach: My main gal from Melee and Brawl still works for me here. Her floating works the same, too. You can still crouch while flying to do several aerial attacks while moving left or right. It's just difficult to use on the 3DS, so I bet I'll dominate with it on Wii U. Her upward Smash Attack and aerial have a broad reach instead of being pointed attacks. Her sideways Smash attacks also regularly alternate between frying pans, tennis rackets, or golf clubs (not necessarily in that order). Bowser: The Koopa King remains largely untouched from Brawl. But he feels heavier to me. He's not as fast as Melee, yet not as airy as Brawl. Then again, Smash Bros 4 is not as airy as Brawl over all, so it's tough to say. Zelda: This member of Hylian royalty can no longer transform into her alter-ego Shiek. This grants her a new Down Special, a Phantom summon. Hold Down B to charge up a giant sword swing by a ghostly suit of armor. (Because people played Spirit Tracks.) It's decently powerful. As is her Din's Fire. Did it always have such a good blast radius? Shiek: Now that Shiek can't transform in Zelda, our beloved ninja warrior has a snazzy little jump attack. Press Down B to an (invincible?) jump to safety, and press B again to jump kick backward. Another addition is the Gravity Bomb. Instead of a useless string attack, Shiek's new Forward Special is a tiny, tiny bomb that sucks nearby enemies inward and explodes. It's not incredibly powerful, and is more about area control. I also think Shiek's Up Special has more launching power in the explosions. Toon Link: I have noticed no changes to Toon Link. I still love how the bombs explode in colorful plumes of smoke. So awesome. Ganondorf: The slow and unwieldy King of Evil still doesn't use that sword in battle, and must resort to demonic punches, kicks, and sideways grabs. Strong as hell, but just as clunky as you remember. I've met some people who use Ganondorf's slow speed very well, and boy I'd get destroyed. Marth: There's nothing like a sleek, androgynous swordsman to add a little diversity to a fighting game with fighting animals and plumbers. Our mainstay Fire Emblem rep is still your basic, light sword-user like always. Ike: This may not be a popular opinion, but I always thought Ike was broken. His insane launching power, highly damaging attacks, excellent range, great horizontal and vertical recovery don't seem very balanced to me. I mean, he can grab on to ledges with his Up Special JUST WITH HIS SWORD! He's invincible during some of his attacks and has a very good Final Smash to boot. In SSB4, his Standing B glows blue. Nice to hear he still fights for his friends. Meta Knight: Speaking of OP characters, Meta Knight was "nerfed", to use fan-made parlance. Dreamland's anti-hero doesn't have nearly as much launching capability as Brawl, and he can't spam his main sword attack ad nauseum. His gliding ability was removed for a still decent upward recovery swipe. King Dedede: This weird, blue penguin king is still a bizarre addition to the series. Since throwing Waddle Dees and Waddle Doos was useless, his Forward Special throws only spiky Gordos now. He's also much heavier. Sakurai also changed Dedede's Final Smash to Dedede Burst, an attack combo that inhales enemies, hammers them, and then bombs them. His facial expressions are priceless. Pit: Remember Pit's spinning sword Special from Brawl? Well, thank the heavens that's been removed. In its place is the Upperdash Arm, similar to C. Falcon's Raptor Boost. Pit's Final Smash has been replaced with a Three Sacred Treasures combo. Say good bye to that gliding, too. Zero Suit Samus: Sakurai's addition of a pair of jet boots for Samus is a nice aesthetic touch that justifies buffing her kicking attacks. Her new Up Special is a Boost Kick that's much better at attacking and recovering. It doesn't seem like her whip is as powerful as in Brawl. Unlike Brawl, Zero Suit Samus actually has a proper Final Smash since she doesn't have to transform back to normal Samus. She brings in her space ship and basically does Snake's old Final Smash. Charizard: Now that this Pokemon has its own roster space, it gets its own Down Special! It's Rock Smash. This replaces Charizard's previous Forward Special with Flare Blitz, a fiery dash that inflicts damage to even Charry. Its new Up Special does not allow you to glide anymore, but instead has a strong final hit to launch your foes skyward. Charizard also has a unique Final Smash that lets you transform into Mega Charizard X. In short, you become super awesome amazing and shoot fire blasts and fly around the stage. Lucario: In Super Smash Bros 4, Lucario's aura powers (the blue stuff, I'm assuming) increase more quickly with damage. That's to say that reaching 100% damage will give you more of a psychic power boost in SSB4 than reaching that damage in Brawl. This can be seen in Lucario's Standing Special Aura Sphere and Up Special Extreme Speed. Lucario has a new Final Smash in Mega Lucario. This boosts aura power significantly. Diddy Kong: The only noticeable change I've seen is that the rocket barrel Up Special can now launch horizontally. Tj from Rare Gamer notes that Diddy can only have one banana peel at a time. Peel spamming has been 86'd. Olimar: The most obvious change to this intrepid explorer's play style is his army. Olimar can only command three Pikmin at a time instead of six. These Pikmin bud and flower, too. How and when they do this is still unknown to me. They throw farther, and are plucked in a consistent order (red, yellow, blue, white, purple). Olimar's Up Special has been replaced with a Winged Pikmin recovery flutter. But anyone who's anyone wants to play as Alph. Don't you want to be one of the cool kids? Sonic: I can't find anything new or special with Sonic in SSB4. I noticed his downward Smash attack is a splits kick instead of a rolling attack. Falco: The aptly named Falco Phantasm no longer leaves Falco vulnerable when it's done. That's much appreciated by an avid Falco player like yours truly. However, his downward Aerial has noticeably more wind up time before it spikes enemies down. That's not so appreciated. Wario: Chowing down on items now heals Wario, however slightly. In Brawl, Wario's Waft gained power over time, in SSB4, I think it charges up by eating items instead. Dr. Mario: The Doc's Up Special punch connects with one strong hit, unlike Mario's string of hits. The Down Special (Dr. Tornado) is really useful for pulling in multiple foes and giving damage. I also love the noise made when megavitamins hit. His Final Smash is almost identical to Mario's. Mr. Game & Watch: You know that Judge hammer special? Turns out that wasn't always random in other games. It would go through all the numbers before repeating a number again. That's been changed now. Besides that, Mr. Game & Watch's Standing A jab attack has a finisher at the end. It seems like a lot of characters have that, come to think of it. R.O.B.: The Forward Special of our Robotic Operating Buddy now has a powerful final hook at the end. However, it seems like the Down Special spinning top is still only rarely useful. R.O.B.'s Final Smash has been replaced with an Uber-Johnny-Five laser beam.
The NewcomersVillager: I haven't gotten the groove of Standing Special Pocket yet. I've been finding more use in the Lloid Rocket and Timber. Keep in mind that his/her down Smash buries opponents into the ground instead of launching them. The forward Smash bowling ball is insanely powerful, and can be dropped off the edge onto unsuspecting enemies trying to recover. Heh heh. Wii Fit Trainer: I could never trust yoga instructors. And now you see why! Trainer's attacks are yoga poses with severe consequences for nearby onlookers. The timing of the Down Special Deep Breathing (temporarily boosts attack power) has timing that I still have to perfect. His/her jab can also bury opponents. I hope I'm not the only one laughing at all the voice lines of yoga instruction. Rosalina & Luma: A few of us on Rare Gamer have talked about how we're having trouble adjusting to Rosalina's style of fighting. I think I'm beginning to learn. It's weird controlling one person (Rosy) and depending on another for the bulk of your damage output (Chiko). A Rosalina with a dead Luma is nearly useless. Luckily, the respawn into a variety of colors. I've actually been getting great use of her Down Special Gravitational Pull. The Luma Shot (Neutral B) packs a serious punch if you can learn how to land it. Little Mac: This scourge of online matches plays exactly as he's advertised. A wonderful ground game, but awful aerials. Personally, that's just not my style. I'm all about mobile aerial attacks. As BanjoFreak12 says, "his speed allows for easy dodging and his punches pack so much damage that it's hard to lose a match. I didn't like the concept of his KO meter, and I still don't appreciate a free knock out punch, but I'll still use it if i have it." Did you know Little Mac can wall jump? Greninja: This ninja frog can crawl AND wall jump! Everything from its water shuriken to counter to upward water spout dash are servicable and easy to control. Assuming you can handle Greninja's high jumps and fast runs, you should be all set. Its Secret Ninja Attack Final Smash is awesome to watch, too. Palutena: Personally, I prefer my Smash Bros without any Oedipus Complex. But if I HAVE to feel sexual admiration for a mother figure, she'd better have decent Smash attacks. Luckily, Palutena does. Her counter and barrier Special work just fine. I just question how useful the Auto Reticle is in combat. I guess this just compensates for how over-powered her Black Hole Laser Final Smash is. Geez, that's OP. Robin: Your player avatar from Fire Emblem: Awakening made his/her way into Smash Bros! Your biggest wish you didn't even know you had came true! Neutral B will let you charge a nasty Thunder tome. Down B will let you cast Nosferatu on a foe (even though Tacticians can't wield dark tomes but who's counting?) There's some decent recovery potential to Elwind (Up Special). And keep an eye out for that Levin Sword. Powerful yet temporary. Lucina: At first glance, Lucina is a mere clone of her great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Marth. For the most part, that's true. The tiny difference is in damage output. Marth's Falchion does extra damage at the tip of the blade. Lucina's Parallel Falcion, on the other hand, does damage evenly through the blade. Does this detail justify a different slot on the roster? Can you even feel this difference in combat? You decide! Shulk: Even after a month after Smash Bros 4's release, I still can't believe that the Wielder of the God-Slaying Sword actually made his way into a Smash Bros game. It seems unreal. My deep love for everything Xenoblade has rendered this reality into such a fantasy that no reveal video or roster square will ever cement this fact into my head. Shulk is multi-faceted. He's suitable for pretty much any situation. Have some high platforms? Activate the Jump Art. Need some extra defense? Activate the Shield Art. Need to finish off a pesky enemy? Monado Smash is your answer! Plus he has a counter and a great upward recovery. The Monado's blue interior has some impressive launch power, so look out! Duck Hunt: A surprise entrant into the foray, to be sure. The sooner that you can wrap your mind around how weird the Duck Hunt Dog and Duck are as fighters, the better. The Clay Pigeon Side Special and Trick Shot Standing Special both have explosive power. Much more than the Down Special Wild Gunman. Duck Hunt's Smash Attacks have good coverage above and around the animals. Duck Hunt is your mammal combo for area control. Mega Man: To the shock of everyone, the Blue Bomber (a Capcom property) has finally Shanghai'd himself into Smash Bros. How? Stop asking questions! Most of Mega Man's projectiles don't seem very useful to me (leaf shield and metal saw?). At least Rush is carries his weight. Rockman's Smash Attacks are pretty killer, but I still wouldn't rank him high on any tier lists. Nice to see his orb explosions when he is KO'd. That's a nice touch. Pac-Man: Co-developers Namco finally got the chance to pat themselves on the back with the inclusion of Pac-Man. His Forward Special covers some good distance and does nice damage. It's just weird to use it in mid-air. The Fire Hydrant and Bonus Fruit are more useful (and powerful) than I thought at first. The true pièce de résistance here is Pac-man transforming into a yellow ball in various attacks to nom nom nom on enemies. That alone makes Pac-man enjoyable for me. Mii Fighers: Have not explored nearly enough to comment on. So far, I think it's a brilliant concept. I just need to play around with the stats and specials more. Dark Pit: Sakurai's incessant need to remind us that he made Kid Icarus: Uprising is starting to get a little old. Why the heck is Dark Pit a separate roster choice? Only having unique taunts, a different Final Smash, and arrows doing ONE PERCENT MORE DAMAGE isn't a good enough reason. This is the only complaint I have about this roster. Dark Pit isn't different enough to be anything more than a palette swap. So there. UPDATE: Rare Gamer member Tj informed me that Dark Pit's Forward Special launches enemies at a different angle than Pit's. Woop-dee-doo. Bowser Jr.: BanjoFreak12 agrees with me that Bowser Jr. is a very creative choice that not only invents a vehicle-based character, but also lets us plays as all the Koopalings! What's not to love? The Standing Special Clown Cannon launches a damn powerful cannonball. The Down Special Mecha Koopa is a decent projectile, as is the exploding cart in Bowser Jr.'s Up Special Abandon Ship! Definitely a figher I'm going to try to improve on. And there we are! All of the current fighters available to you in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS! With the Wii U version coming later this month, you'd better get cracking at learning these new physics and specials before the real competitions begin. This article was based on my own observations and those of other members on Rare Gamer. If you notice anything incorrect or unclear, let me know with a comment below or a PM. This list is ongoing and will probably be added to as I find more details to point out. Thank you for reading!