On January 25, Nintendo announced patch 2.0.0 for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Normally, patches drop further down the game’s lifespan, but this offers an opportunity to fix some of the game’s current issues.
Balancing is not a critical issue, as this is the most balanced Smash game ever at release. Tournaments have quite a variety of characters, proving that top tiers aren’t here to dominate the metagame. Some characters are in need of buffs to compete, but only a few things need nerfs at the moment.
Here, we will go over what deserves changes in this patch, and how it could possibly be improved.
Quality of Life Changes
Having to select a character after every match slows the pace at which players grind. On a first look, it may seem pointless, but after long sessions, it becomes more of a nuisance. There is some room for improvement in this department.
Fixing online play is another issue that deserves Nintendo’s full attention. When players pick the desired ruleset they sometimes are met with free-for-all battles and some other environments they don’t want to partake in. This is unacceptable, and players that seek competition should be able to find an environment that meets their demands.
This time around, the balance team has done a great job at creating balance within the game. However, there are some elements that need improvement. Some characters feel very underwhelming compared to the rest of the cast, and there is one particular move that needs toning down. Buffs will help the metagame evolve while nerfs will severely hurt characters. Nerfs should only be executed when a character has overly powerful options. Now let’s go over some of the characters that desperately need some help.
Samus / Dark Samus
This bounty hunter has never gotten proper treatment in a Smash Bros. game. In Smash Ultimate, her kit is as mediocre as ever – her whole playstyle feels very slow and players need to severely outplay their opponents to stand a chance. The balance team should help elevate her game and make significant changes to improve on what they have built. As an example, her up smash whiffs when she is next to a character, something that makes no sense when taking the hitbox under consideration. Giving her a combo throw would also add a lot to her metagame, but the definite room for improvement is reducing lag on down tilt and hopefully fixing her jab so it combos into itself.
Donkey Kong’s up-special needs some serious help. In its current state, it’s very easy to spike. Moreover, this move’s verticality feels underwhelming. If the balancing department lends a hand, then maybe he can climb the tiers and achieve some significant placings. At the moment, he possesses a great neutral and combo game. His only major flaw is his recovery. If this patch fixes this issue then he would be a character to fear.
Captain Falcon got a complete change of kit from Smash 4 to Ultimate. The change strengthened his neutral game but left him lacking in many departments. He is now as easy as ever to edge guard because they reduced his aerial drift from Smash 4. His raptor boost also whiffs sometimes even when it visibly hits. This causes Falcon to be punished for landing a move. Also increasing his initial dash speed would make sense because he should inherently be a fast character.
Bowser Jr. is a character that got nothing out of the transition between games. His kit is as underwhelming as it stood in Smash 4, and he needs some serious help. Increasing the utility of his mecha koopa, and buffing the consistency of his multi-hits should help level up his game. Also buffing his damage output would help secure his resurgence from the depths of the metagame.
At the moment, Incineroar possesses great combos off down tilt, a solid command grab with Alolan whip and the frame data to fight top tiers; yet his lack of mobility grounds him at the mid/low tier of the game. If his movement speed gets buffed, he could possibly step up and compete with the big boys.
This boxer needs some serious rescuing. His kit didn’t translate very well with this engine, and his recovery is as awful as ever. A lot needs to change for this character to actually become usable at high-level play. At the moment, he doesn’t feel like a Smash character because he lacks any sights of an aerial game. He is arguably the worst character of the game and needs some serious changes to be able to compete. Giving him combos is a change that would make him significantly better, and changing his recovery would help.
The Great King of Evil got substantially buffed after Smash 4, but this time he just needs some fixes to his hitboxes. As an example, there are times when his forward smash won’t hit opponents and the sword goes straight through them. This is completely unacceptable and punishes the player that made a hard read on the opponent. As a nice addition, he could also get an increase in aerial mobility aiding him in both the punish and recovery department.
This witch cursed everyone while causing chaos in Smash 4, and in this game, she was given a horrid treatment. Her kill options are lacking, making her seem like a husk of her former self. Her forward tilt at times doesn’t combo into itself, and her nair has a really hard time killing. Buffing her kill moves would take her to a good spot in the metagame. Also by adding some knockback to nair, and taking care of her unusually long landing lag would lend a hand to the witch.
As a character, Kirby struggles in most departments. His kill options are horrendous, and he lacks the aerial mobility to capitalize on what could be amazing combo opportunities. His damage output seems underwhelming compared to the rest of the cast. Overall damage buff to his moves across the board should help him elevate his game.
Hands down the best kill option in the whole game. Getting hit by roller buries the player in the ground leaving he or she helpless for a long period of time. The bury mechanic needs some adjustments because in the current metagame it offers too much reward for a small risk. It’s very sad watching tournament sets, and seeing players dying out of a roller setup almost every stock.
Several reworks could help characters succeed. Instead of buffing characters like Little Mac that have a smaller chance to become competitive, it would be easier to rework the character to fix his critical issues.
It has been done in a ton of other games, never a fighting game, but Smash always likes to do things out of the box. Maybe this time around, some characters could get their kits fixed by completely changing the moves.
As an example, reworking Little Mac’s recovery could help him in some way. Maybe replace his side special for a move that has no hitbox but traverses a longer range.
Patch 2.0.0 is here and sure to make some waves within the community. Feel free to write your predictions down at the comment section and let us know what you think about this patch.
Featured image courtesy of Event Hubs
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