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Super Smash Bros Ultimate: Update 3.0 is a Good Sign of Things to Come

Update 3.0 absolutely took everyone by surprise when released this past Wednesday and bringing along many new additions.The biggest of theses additions is clearly Joker from Persona 5 finally being playable. However the balance changes made in the patch are also a huge highlight. Smash Ultimate received smaller balance changes in previous patches, but 3.0 brought a lot, but they don’t radically affect the game. Here’s why patch 3.0 is a good sign of things to come in Smash Ultimate.

A nerf for the better

There weren’t many nerfs in this patch which is a pretty good sign of things to come in Ultimate. However, there were nerfs to the amount of shield damage done by several projectiles. This was a mostly universal nerf that didn’t target one specific character. The impact of this nerf will mostly be felt by players attempting to aggressively camp out opponents with projectiles. Other than these changes there weren’t too many to characters, including the current top tiers.

That being said of the few that were instituted they were some notable ones. Wolf’s down smash saw a small nerf, but it’s such a small change in damage and knockback that it’s not that big of a deal. Mega Man now won’t be able to cancel leaf shield by tossing metal blade. Also, Snake’s up smash has a bit more endlag, along with his Nikita receiving a slightly smaller hitbox in the air.

These were the only noticeable nerfs listed in the patch notes, but it is important to note that more changes are being found by the hour that weren’t listed in the official patch notes. Overall, these changes are the right way Nintendo should be handling balance in this game. Instead of nerfing all of the strongest characters into the ground they made a few changes that won’t drastically affect how characters play.

A buff here a buff there

The bigger changes are seen in the buffs that a few select characters received. Of all of the characters to receive Sakurai’s blessing, Mewtwo, Corrin, and Sheik got the most love. Mewtwo saw many moves get range and damage increases. His up tilt now has more combo potential, and he even got a weight increase; so now he’ll live longer. Corrin had a big portion of their moveset buffed, with increases in range and damage in many attacks. Some of their moves also saw reduced endlag. Sheik saw increases in the range of several attacks, most notably forward air. Sheik is already a character known for her long combo strings, and they just got better. She still doesn’t have a very high damage output, but her newly buffed combo potential and range should help mitigate that. Diddy Kong even saw some damage and range increases, with neutral air and up air respectively.

Some of the sword characters had their grab range slightly increased, which fixed an issue where they would miss grabs that they shouldn’t have. Other characters also saw marginal improvements, but nothing groundbreaking. These buffs address problems some characters have had, without creating a monster.

A step in the right direction

Will Little Mac become the new Jigglypuff and never get buffed?
Attack of the fanboy

While there are a few things that are noticeably absent from the update, (they didn’t even touch little mac) this was still a great patch. One thing that can ruin many players experiences is having their beloved character get completely crippled by a patch. Even though sometimes certain characters definitely do need to be nerfed if they’re overpowered. The biggest problem with nerfing a character is how it affects the competitive scene. Having several characters bread and butter combos and tactics get completely wiped out can turn a game on its head.  Smash 4 received so many patches early on; many of them completely reworked how a character played which can be very jarring. Yes overpowered tactics need to be nerfed, but a “nerf everything” mentality can severely hurt a game if adopted by the developers.

Smash Ultimate is already such a well-balanced game, that it doesn’t need to see many huge character overhauls. There are clearly characters stronger than others, but nothing feels cheap or unfair, yet. With this in mind, many fans should be glad there were no major character nerfs in this patch. Hopefully, the weaker characters will receive more love in upcoming patches. Nintendo is making great strides with these patches, fans should hope they keep it up.


Featured image courtesy of Newsweek.

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