For fighting games, I usually prefer speed over strength as the focus of my characters. It’s all about the fast, frenetic movement of pinpointing your shots and timing them perfectly. Sure it sacrifices power, but with speed a character can whittle away at the opponent until they’re weak. Once the opponent is weak and vulnerable, it’s only a matter of time until sending them off into oblivion…especially against those who are built more for power than speed. In fights like these, speed-based characters have more room for error and can handle looser. For this reason, I prefer to use Lucina when playing Super Smash Bros.; her build is a little more based on speed, but with hardly any strength lost. Once you time her shots right, you have a pretty good formula for winning.
That’s not to say power-based characters are bad choices; in fact, that lack of speed can be used to their advantage. Characters like these can take extensive amounts of damage without feeling the effects until much later. Also, they deal out a lot of damage with hits regardless of what type of move is used. What’s even worse? Power-based characters can use the moment an opponent hits as an opportunity to dole out some damage back because of the opening it leaves on the opponent. Like a great trap, the enemy could be the one ending up losing their life.
This week, fans of the series who bought and registered both the 3DS version and Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. received a new character to play as; Mewtwo. While I didn’t buy both, I was given a chance to try the character out for a few matches. Here are my impressions of the character:
Here’s a brief impression of the new fighter based on a couple hours of matches.
Since the franchise’s birth, I’ve hardly ever used Mewtwo: the character always felt hard to master, control and understand. Sure, the shots Mewtwo could deal were powerful, but the lack of speed resulted in having to be really precise in landing hits and strikes. It gave less room for error and was unforgiving, resulting in challenging and frustrating matches. Trying to dodge, roll out of attacks, or chase enemies felt hard to do because of Mewtwo’s speed feeling slower than a segway. Overall, my experiences with Mewtwo were nowhere near as much fun as controlling Fox or Pikachu.
For the Super Smash Bros. (Wii U) Mewtwo feels a lot more balanced in terms of control and learning curve…but still retains the power over speed build. Most of the attacks in your arsenal deal a great amount of damage that can have crippling consequences for enemies. Timing and landing them perfectly result in not only your opponent being badly hurt, but with Mewtwo having a great advantage in winning the match. The ‘direction’+’A’ buttons (aka melee attacks) feel strong and powerful; this is especially true in the timed charging attacks from holding down the direction+A buttons. There were numerous times where it felt like a battle wasn’t going my way until landing a few of those directional shots to keep me still in the match. While they aren’t as strong as your ‘B’ attacks (aka energy attacks), they’ll be important over time.
Speaking of which, the charged standard ‘B’ shot is incredibly powerful. In the multiple games I played, I couldn’t tell you how many enemies I destroyed with landing my shots on opponents perfectly. This was especially amazing when knocking out enemies with 60-70% damage. Mixing up some of the ‘direction’+’B’ attacks with melee hits lead to fun and satisfying matches.
Mewtwo’s grab and throw also feels really powerful too. After grabbing an opponent, the forward throw sends enemies hurtling in the sky followed by telekinetic projectiles piercing them. The backwards throw is not only the more powerful of the two, but also results in enemies getting his with dark energy before being thrown off the stage. If you’re worried about dying and want to survive as long as you can, aim for doing the backwards throw over the front throw.
Overall, Mewtwo feels powerful in build which was a lot of fun…until you realize speed and defense were sacrificed.
The biggest problem I had with Mewtwo was durability; normally, power-heavy characters are built with high durability so as not to die fast. Instead, the damage dealt felt it had as much impact on Mewtwo as characters who’re balanced in attributes. Sure, I was able to kill off quite a few enemies…that doesn’t change the fact that I was also running for my life just as much when I was in the 90-105% of damage. This made the damage baiting hard to handle and accomplish and took away from how Mewtwo feels as a character.
Also, Mewtwo still feels pretty slow for someone hovering over the ground; pursuing enemies who are weak and running results in Mewtwo being left behind. Conversely, anyone chasing after a weakened Mewtwo have a pretty good chance at catching up to finish the job.
Finally, and probably the biggest risk playing as Mewtwo, is how easily countered attacks can be. There were many instances I felt I had timed an attack just right…only to be the one on the receiving end of damage. Especially in close fights, this was a deciding factor on the outcome of the match. This could be something that affects all characters in Smash, but my only time experiencing this phenomenon has been with Mewtwo.
In the end, Mewtwo is a character with a high-risk, high-reward build; the attacks are powerful and can give you an edge in battle…provided they’re timed and accurate. Otherwise, be prepared to learn how to roll, counter, or dodge really well.