What will Smash for the Switch be?

The Nintendo switch has already been a very successful console for Nintendo and it hasn’t even been out for a full year. This is due to a strong library of games and the convenience of being able to switch (pun definitely intended) from playing on the TV to portable play. This prospect of being able to play your favorite console quality Nintendo games wherever you go has definitely attracted gamers to the platform. The Switch has received many ports of Wii U games up to this point, but one particular game still hasn’t gotten the port treatment; Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. This makes us wonder, what version of smash will the Nintendo Switch get?

To port or not to port?

Ports are nothing new to the Switch library and while Smash 4 would be a welcome addition, there are concerns with this idea. The Wii U ultimately failed because the library wasn’t expansive enough to justify buying the console.

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The Switch has received a generous amount of ports from the Wii U. (Courtesy: Nintendo Enthusiast)

This was the biggest fear people had about the Switch leading up to release. The Switch has already sold better in less than a year than the Wii U did in four years, so that fear is mostly gone. People seem to love being able to play some of their favorite Nintendo games on the go. The problem is that people don’t want this to be all the Switch has to offer.

There are already great non-port games on the switch but it seems like more and more ports are being announced each month. Simply put, people don’t want the Switch to be known as a port machine. Another concern is that if Nintendo ports Smash 4 to the switch, we’ll have to wait longer for the next Smash game. Smash 4 released in 2014 so a new iteration this early is pretty unlikely. Early signs point to Smash Switch being a port of Smash 4, but is that what the Switch needs?

Portable play

Portability is one of the Switch’s biggest assets, but how will this work with Smash? The GameCube controller is one of the most iconic input devices, especially for Smash Bros.

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Will gamers give up GameCube controller support for portable Smash Bros? (Courtesy: Cultured Vultures)

 

Using them with the Switch docked should be no problem, but portable mode is another story. With no USB type A ports on the Switch itself, where would you plug in your GameCube controller adapter? As it stands, a new adapter would have to be made to fit the Switch’s USB type C port.

The problem with this is that the Switch needs that port to charge which could bring up an interesting trade off situation. Scarier even would be the possibility of no GameCube controller support in portable mode. The GameCube controller and smash go hand in hand so controller support is crucial for players. Only being able to use them in docked mode seems like a small gripe, but it can go a long way.

The rumor mill

Smash rumors circulate every time a new Nintendo console releases. The Switch is almost a year old now which means the rumors are definitely beginning to circulate. Nintendo introduced a new online service which will require Switch owners to pay for online. This is the first time Nintendo will make players pay to use online services. Needless to say players weren’t particularly pleased with this idea. The service will be much cheaper than the competition which is great. But a big question is if players are willing to pay for online to play Nintendo games. Rumors are spreading that Nintendo plans to release a slew of games to promote the online service. A Smash 4 port being one of the titles that could release.

Other rumors include an announcement being planned for E3 this year, and new characters and stages in the port. There was also talk about a trademark for several games including smash late last year.

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Fan depiction of Smash Switch Port (Courtesy: Imgur)

The trademark didn’t provide any details but it definitely got fans excited. All of this is speculation of course but it looks like a port could be coming soon. Whatever the case may be, switch owners and smash fans alike cannot wait to see Super Smash Bros. on the switch.

 

 

Featured image courtesy of gonintendo

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The future of competitive Smash: A hopeful outlook

As the year comes to a close, now is as good a time as any to discuss the future of Smash. Last week, we discussed the concerns and troubles that competitive Smash has experienced throughout the past year. This week, however, it’s time to have the second part of that conversation. While there certainly continues to be concerns regarding the financials and growth of Smash as an esport, there’s more positive and hopeful aspects of competitive Smash to talk about.

One of the most powerful things about the competitive Smash community is that, no matter how little money and coverage surrounds Smash Bros. in comparison to other esports, the community remains as loyal and dedicated to the games they love. This past year is proof that the Smash community is as alive as ever. What helps prove this was the abundance of incredible tournaments throughout the year, in addition to the growing diversity of represented players and characters in tournaments. Can we hope that these trends will continue into 2018 and beyond? What should the Smash community strive for as we look to the future of Smash as an esport? Let’s talk about it.

2017 as an example of the future of tournaments

The health of any esports community can be measured by both the quality and quantity of major tournaments. Smash is no different. Thankfully, this year has seen the prevalence of high-quality Smash tournaments throughout the year, and a large contributor was 2GGaming. Throughout the year, 2GGaming provided viewers with more Smash tournaments than they had provided in any year before. Tournaments such as Civil War and the 2GG Championship provided highly competitive, exciting tournaments for viewers.

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Leonardo “MK Leo” Perez won the 2GG Championship, the tournament that capped off the 2017 2GG Tournament Series. Image: Twitter

Additionally, they were organized, structured and presented in an incredibly professional way. This professional presentation goes a long way to allowing Smash to provide positive impressions to non-fans. In the coming year, if more events have the high-quality production values that 2GGaming exemplified this year, then we could see Smash begin to garner many new viewers, and gain more attention as an esport.

The 2GG Championship Series kept major tournaments at a consistent pace throughout the year. This series also allowed viewers to more easily stay up to date with high-level players. Over the past few years, Smash has struggled to have a consistent stream of content for viewers to keep themselves busy with. This year’s 2GG Championship Series serves a good blueprint for what other tournament organizers can accomplish in the years to come. Nevertheless, continuing to organize tournaments consistently and professionally will help Smash grow its viewer audience, something that certainly needs to be done.

The variety of Players and Characters

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Eric “ESAM” Lew’s win against Elliot “Ally” Carroza-Oyarce at 2GG Civil War was considered by many to be one of the highlights of the entire year. Image: YouTube

2017 was the first year in Smash 4’s life to not see the arrival of any downloadable content or patches that affected the balancing of characters. As such, this year saw some stabilization in the competitive Smash community. Now that the dust of new characters and rebalancing of old characters has settled, players have used this year as a chance to finally grow used to how characters perform in tournament, without having to worry about the possibility of patches affecting balance.

This caused some experimentation within the community. This year, we saw many well-known players pick up new characters. A good example of this was when Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios began using Lucina in tournament to accompany his trademark Diddy Kong. In addition, we also saw the continued main and secondary use of characters that aren’t considered top tier, such as with Matt “Elegant” Fitzpatrick’s Luigi and Eric “ESAM” Lew’s Samus, among many other examples. Tournaments throughout the year brought viewers a more diverse pool of played characters, which kept tournaments exciting and diverse to viewers.

I hope that the variety of characters and playstyles that we saw throughout 2017 continues in future tournaments in 2018 and beyond.

Looking to the future of Smash

Smash has always been at a disadvantage as an esport. Unlike many other esports, Smash doesn’t receive much financial backing at all from its creators. This makes it difficult for competitive Smash players to make a full-time career out of their love for the game. And yet, this year, we saw so much passion and camaraderie among Smash players. This year served as a reminder of how much competitive Smash players love the game that they play.

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Competitive Smash continues to be played at large events such as EVO. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of Smash. Image: Twitter

I feel that the future of Smash, though certainly having some legitimate issues and concerns, is a bright one. A large reason for this is the competitive community for the game. The players that we see in major tournaments – their personalities, their playstyles, and their presence – they keep us coming back. While the competitive Smash community itself certainly has flaws just as any community does, it’s clear that all competitive Smash players are determined to keep providing viewers with great sets at great tournaments for years to come.

With the rumors of a Nintendo Switch port of Smash 4 still up in the air, along with so many great major tournaments in recent memory, it’s hard to see competitive Smash going anywhere. This year was a year of growth for competitive Smash. If we continue to see this level of growth, professionalism and diverse playstyles and characters, then we could see Smash become even bigger.

Nevertheless, it’s an exciting time to be part of the competitive Smash community. With that said, what do you think? Do you think this year was a good year for Smash? What do you think the future holds for the competitive community? As always, join the conversation and let us know!

 


 

Featured image courtesy of DBL Tap.

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