Super Reach Brothers Brawl

This topic is about the discussion of how the fall of competitive play in both Super Smash Brothers Brawl and Halo Reach are directly related to the inclusion of random elements.
First off, before anyone pulls out the old, “SSB isn’t competitive with items on”. While this is not necessarily true. It removes elements of randomness that otherwise hindered it from being a truly deep game. This is a reason that the MLG playlist often varies from the default games of the series for Halo. There are plenty of games that require modification from their default form to make the competitive. While SSB is one of the only fighting games to have this, it is because it was a beautiful mistake.
Before anyone argues that Melee wasn’t supposed to be competitive, my argument is: neither was Street Fighter 2. But because of all the advanced techniques in the game, and the fact that the company decided to embrace it rather then getting rid of it in later installments, the Street Figher series birthed most of the competitive fighters of today. So in my opinion, while there is still debate as to whether L canceling / Wavedashing are glitches, and there is some degree of proof in both categories, I believe that since these “glitches” are not gamebreaking, and instead provide depth, that they should be embraced and not have that depth undermined. The same could be said of Halo 2. If in either of these games you strived to get better, these techniques were available to be learned through online tutorials. In both cases, the depth is there.
So in that respect, any argument about whether or not the games depth is legitimate is not what I wish to discuss. The depth is there, and if some misguided sense of pride prevents people from utilizing it that is their problem.
Onto the discussion.
When you compare Super Smash Brothers Melee to Super Smash Brothers Brawl, from a features standpoint, Brawl is far superior. More characters, More stages, More items, being able to decide which songs play on which stages, etc. It is hard to argue that Melee is in any way superior, save perhaps sound effects but that boils down to opinion and is a moot point. The graphics in brawl are better, the stages look better. In those ways, Brawl is superior.
The unfortunate thing about Brawl is what was changed with the core mechanics of the gameplay. When you bring both games to their peek competitive level, what Brawl suffers from is a lack of options. The characters are a lot more “floaty” in brawl, meaning doing anything in the air is a much higher risk, and this is combined with the fact that L-canceling no longer exists so aerials are a bigger risk. Lack of wavedashing makes movement more restrictive. Dashdancing was removed. Tripping was add just to add an element of random to the game. Lack of hitstun and hitlag, combined with a reusable airdodge makes combos near impossible if you aren’t Metaknight. At top level play, camping away is how the game is played, because there is very little reward for being agressive. This is also the main reason that instead of 4 stock like in Melee, 3 stock is now the standard.
Melee gameplay has an incredible variety of options that stem from advanced techniques. It rewards agressive gameplay with good spacing, and having your L canceling down is extremely important and adds to the skill gap. Put simply, there is more going on, and everything going on with your character is under your control.
So now, moving on to Reach. Just like Brawl, it has more features, better graphics, etc. etc. But lets talk about what counts. The gameplay.
Although I personally feel that the AA’s are unbalanced within themselves, this is not something I wish to debate. So to make it more relate-able to Brawl, for this example I am going to view them in the same way I have items, and assume that they are removed from the game at the most competitive level.
Now what is interesting about Reach when you take it and strip it down to it’s highest level of gameplay, the game is so much less about who can shoot better then other Halo games. It is almost always pointless to confront someone to have a head to head DMR. Now, for me personally, it is for the fact that 1) If I lose the skirmish, it is frustrating and often due to the other person spamming. 2) At close range, when both players are spamming, this is basically a coin toss. In both cases, I don’t feel that either kill is satisfying.
This is why kill times are so huge when grenades are not involved. Because if I am being shot at, instead of turning to face my opponent and attempting to outplay them, I can not rely on my skill to aim, and instead must rely on spamming. It is often better to run then to confront, and since even MLG (what I consider to be the most competitive playlist) has sprint, running away is pretty easy.
Now, some people don’t consider this a bad thing, as it increases the amount of teamwork necessary to compete, reducing the amount of bloom reset that would otherwise have been helpful (at some ranges). I somewhat agree with this. But I also feel that in the other Halo’s, this option wasn’t necessary for teams that wanted to go out on there own, and that what this does is discourages people from searching outside of teams out of fear of being matched up with a full team. What I’m saying is, the ability to Lone Wolf was greatly reduced. I find this as a negative aspect and if you think it is positive you are welcome to your opinion.
Movement speed is another hindrance, making strafing virtually useless, grenades very hard to avoid, map movement is slowed down, etc etc. There are custom options to fix this, but it is a big problem in default Reach making grenade spamming to useful.
Another important aspect of Reach is the maps. Without going at to much length about it, I feel that the Halo maps have been going downhill since (imo the best maps of the series) Halo 2. And Reaches maps are either symmetrical maps with dynamic spawns, or Asymmetrical maps that strongly encourage camping and/or give one team a major advantage. MLG corrects a lot of them and it is why I play that playlist most.
I was going to go into length about how the other Halo games are superior in a lot of aspects to Reach, but I am running out of characters and feel like I listed most of what has changed since the other Halo’s and you can get a grasp of what I’m saying if you’ve played them. The stuff I wrote about Melee was for the benefit of those who are unaware of the competitive aspect of it.
The difference between Reach and Brawl is that Reach can be helped along with a lot of the custom settings, while Brawl really cannot. It is a shame because I have been competitive with Melee since 2005 and haven’t been able to play because of how shallow at is. At least in Reach’s MLG playlist everything flows better then in default Reach. In conclusion, I think both Reach and Brawl ultimately failed at being sequels. I think it shows a sort of mainstreaming of these games, and how many of them are designed to be easy to master for this generation that is focused on instant gratification. If you would like to take my points and discuss them, I would be glad too.

I, at first, thought that competitive players basihng Reach were frikin stupid. But as time went on , I think I would have prefered their way then what we got, though I do still love Reach. But to say it fails as a sequal is definitely a matter of opinion. I think it excels in areas but does fall short in others. Reach did go more mainstream but it doesn’t seem to really be instant gratification, like CoD. I’m waiting to see if 343I releases a TU and if they don’t then I’ll just wait patiently for the next game.

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Here’s the thing, I’ve never viewed SSB as a competitive fighter, only a popular and broken one. Sooo the opposite of how I understand competitive games to play, but sooo inline on how I believe pop-culture allows things.

I’ve never viewed Halo as a competitive shooter until Reach either.

Both have to do with the competitive communities I grew up with would scrub weapons that polarized gameplay. If the intended diversity cannot be maintained at the competitive level, the game is broken. That simple.

It’s ok if the gameplay polarizes due to choice but not due to necessity. The difference being most players choose a certain weapon/character because it really is just the most fun or easy to use style of play. Where as out of necessity, a game polarizes into 1 or 2 weapons/characters because if you don’t choose them, YOU WILL LOOSE.

Either scrub the imbalance or create “house rules” to handicap the imbalance. And by scrub or create “house rules,” I don’t mean ones that revolve around the imbalances, that is lazy at its finest.

But of course Counter Strike, SSB and Halo are competitive communities that seem to prefer the exact opposite. (They aren’t the only 3)

So believe you me I understand what it is like to be in a minority. An old and dying one… Perhaps it will make a comeback some day.

I wonder if there is a competitive community or 2 out there right now that feels the same way or at least similar to how I have felt since Halo2? I mean as though their views of how things should be is no longer the popular view and it feels like the world is just getting worse… :smiley:

Of course that is just silly. A sane person must either accept that change is inevitable and go with the flow or remain where they stand knowing their position is no longer the popular one. Of course the best is probably a compromise. Say a tether to one’s original position, a marker or waypoint of origin one relates to while swaying yet not completely moving with the flow.

> Here’s the thing, I’ve never viewed SSB as a competitive fighter, only a popular and broken one.

You have no idea about smashbrothers, then. There is no fighting game without a tier list. The good thing about Melee is that anything on the tier list has a fighting chance, and anything c tier and up have won national tournaments.

That said, to say that the crowd i’m from prefers games that are unbalanced and shun games that are balanced is dumb. Look at Brawl; It is FAR more unbalanced then Melee, and I’m sitting here bashing the heck out of it.

When I say it these games failed as sequels, I mean that in a very personal sense. Because while all the other games in the series’ were meant to cater to both the casual AND competitive crowd, the more current iterations were much more tolerant of making it fair for everyone and not making people work (nearly as hard) for there success. I think if we were looking if the games lived up to the quality of there predecessors in any areas aside from competitive gameplay, then they definitely succeeded. But that isn’t what i’m talking about.

Tiers exist yes but God tiers are often banned not embraced. As I said polarization out of necessity is bad. Polarization out of choice is a good thing.

And honestly I find your 2nd last sentence ironic. Not insulting, observing. As I hear things, vets want to be rewarded for their time by not having to learn anything new while new players are suppose to be at their mercy because it is the 4th game in the series and so by default, their skills transfer over without recourse. I find that kind of thinking counter-competitive.

> Tiers exist yes but God tiers are often banned not embraced. As I said polarization out of necessity is bad. Polarization out of choice is a good thing.
>
> And honestly I find your 2nd last sentence ironic. Not insulting, observing. As I hear things, vets want to be rewarded for their time by not having to learn anything new while new players are suppose to be at their mercy because it is the 4th game in the series and so by default, their skills transfer over without recourse. I find that kind of thinking counter-competitive.

I’m not insulted don’t worry.

The fact of the matter is, the reason that Brawl is unbalanced is because the fighting game itself is completely shallow. There are not enough options. When faced against, say, metaknight, you are screwed. Every move you make is high risk low reward, because you (basically) can’t combo in Brawl do to a lack of hitstun, something that was designed to make it more user friendly. The inbalance in Brawl doesn’t come from the fact that it’s “new”, or that the veterans can’t “adapt”, it’s that the game doesn’t have the skill gap to become proficient. There is nothing to learn, and no tools to increase your skills. The game is what it is. All there is in Brawl is spacing and prediction. These tools are not enough.

Fox and Falco are what I think you are reffering to? These characters are far from broken. I’d go into more detail about their specific matchups and weaknesses, but it is kind of a moot point. Your analysis doesn’t apply to Melee. It is a stigma that came from god knows where. And I don’t mean to offend you by saying this, but please do research if you are going to make that claim.

What you are saying is that no matter when a player starts, they should be on equal ground with players that have been playing for years? Improving in skill is something that adds enormous replay value to a game. If I have nothing to show for it and still get bested by newer players, what is the point?

That said, Smash 64 and Melee play COMPLETELY differently. Brawl plays like a watered down version of Melee, but that is a moot point since it’s irrelevant to what you are saying. Yes, I think that games should remain similar enough to where skill is transferable, but still be a new experience where learning can be done by vets and newcomers alike.

What I DON’T think should happen is the game being watered down to cater to people who don’t want to take the time to learn it. The great thing about Melee is that it was enjoyed by everyone. If you wanted to play casually you could do that. Heck, the same could be said of most games. There is no reason to alienate the people who want to use their time to become proficient at it. When you do that, you are left with a shallow game, one that the more casual players will move away from when newer games come out.

Should NASCAR be forced to drive slowly simply because my vehicle can not keep up with them?

Also, I’d like to say that this being my first time on the forum, I am extremely pleased to have a discussion about this. So far, this forum is light years beyond that of B.net. I don’t think I’m ever going back there v_v

> The fact of the matter is, the reason that Brawl is unbalanced is because the fighting game itself is completely shallow. There are not enough options. When faced against, say, metaknight, you are screwed.

I don’t think you realise how much of an agreement we have.

> What you are saying is that no matter when a player starts, they should be on equal ground with players that have been playing for years?

When a new game comes out, yes. But that isn’t to say the previous experiences shouldn’t be tossed away either. Ryu and Ken shouldn’t stop being slight variations of each other. Nor should their move sets change much, if at all, from game to game. What does change is their timing, speed and damage. Both old and new have to relearn the the nuances of the moves but the experienced player of course is familiar with the overall gameplay and movesets/styles, so of course takes much less time to learn said nuances than a new player. The reason being as new things/characters are added/tweaked, the other stuff must snowball with change, if even slightly.

The NR and DMR are variations on the too good compared to its competition BR. As the most used weapon in Halo3, both should be quickly learned by vets but still learn-able for new comers on a somewhat equal footing as the tactics associated with the weapons has changed. The BR was too good compared to the other non-power weapons because of its usefulness across all ranges compared to the other weapons. Now the DMR and NR, which both function very similar but still different to the BR, are controlled via bloom to create effectiveness-ranges as to prevent them from being too good at any one time if other weapons are available.

> Should NASCAR be forced to drive slowly simply because my vehicle can not keep up with them?

That is the point of stock car racing btw. Every car is meant to be equal and it is the skill of the driver in using the competition and most importantly, the Pit Crew (I salute you, you have more skill than the drivers :)) that win the race. It isn’t the car that wins, it’s the driver + crew. Now of course NASCAR and skill… that’s another debate way off topic. Road courses yes, the ovals, no. Road courses are rarely driven.

> > The fact of the matter is, the reason that Brawl is unbalanced is because the fighting game itself is completely shallow. There are not enough options. When faced against, say, metaknight, you are screwed.
>
> I don’t think you realise how much of an agreement we have.
>
>
>
>
> > What you are saying is that no matter when a player starts, they should be on equal ground with players that have been playing for years?
>
> When a new game comes out, yes. But that isn’t to say the previous experiences shouldn’t be tossed away either. Ryu and Ken shouldn’t stop being slight variations of each other. Nor should their move sets change much, if at all, from game to game. What does change is their timing, speed and damage. Both old and new have to relearn the the nuances of the moves but the experienced player of course is familiar with the overall gameplay and movesets/styles, so of course takes much less time to learn said nuances than a new player. The reason being as new things/characters are added/tweaked, the other stuff must snowball with change, if even slightly.

I never said that I wouldn’t be fine with that happening so I’m not sure that I understand what point you are trying to make lol. I agree that things should change. I just don’t think entire gameplay mechanics should be altered and made shallow, ala Brawl.

For another example, Reach introduced bloom, reduced movement speed, etc etc, you can read the OP and see what I’m talking about. These changes are not automatically good simply because they change things up and require you to “adapt” to them. That is why I get frustrated when people shout “adapt” at me when I have adapted. Adapting to something doesn’t meant that since it took some degree of effort on my part to adapt, that it is good for competitive play.

> Adapting to something doesn’t meant that since it took some degree of effort on my part to adapt, that it is good for competitive play.

Agreed. I would say to that; Competitive gameplay manifests itself from the overall game. It isn’t created, it simply comes to be. And the more depth a game has, the longer the manifestation takes. A game can take years to figure out if it has enough balanced depth. If a game has very little depth, it will imbalance out quickly with gameplay polarizing to a few moves/characters/weapons.

The previous Halos are on varying levels competitive-balance with me (if I was to be specific on feelings). On a LAN game, I’d consider the final version of Halo2 balanced because of the diversity of maps that cater to all the weapons and styles (but the first 2 years were not too great in my eyes)… except when you take into account button-combos. Suddenly every weapon but the Snipers are useless compared to the BR. Thankfully the Snipers can be rapid-fired. And that right there, is no choice for me. A dilemma is not a choice.
Halo3, again it wasn’t until the Mythic Map Packs that I felt the game had enough map diversity to justify the BR’s “power.”

I believe so many “competitive” players feel Reach is random is because there is a lot more depth than they are used to. Yes powercombos can be made with AAs and certain weapons on certain maps, but that is part of the game. My problem would be if it was the same powercombos dominating the same way on every map.
Sprint+Sword is great when entering a base or running around a corridor-based map. It sucks when running between bases without cover or to cross the middle of say Pinnacle or Hemmorhage. Having a DMR, NR or AR out and being run at by a Shotgun/Sword/Hammer is meant to likely end in the recipients death. Having the Pistol out is meant to give a better chance. Of course the range at which the Shotgun/Sword/Hammer attempts to ambush determines the effectiveness of the Sprint+weapon too.
So with so many variables to consider, I see depth not randomness.

> > > The fact of the matter is, the reason that Brawl is unbalanced is because the fighting game itself is completely shallow. There are not enough options. When faced against, say, metaknight, you are screwed.
> >
> > I don’t think you realise how much of an agreement we have.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > > What you are saying is that no matter when a player starts, they should be on equal ground with players that have been playing for years?
> >
> > When a new game comes out, yes. But that isn’t to say the previous experiences shouldn’t be tossed away either. Ryu and Ken shouldn’t stop being slight variations of each other. Nor should their move sets change much, if at all, from game to game. What does change is their timing, speed and damage. Both old and new have to relearn the the nuances of the moves but the experienced player of course is familiar with the overall gameplay and movesets/styles, so of course takes much less time to learn said nuances than a new player. The reason being as new things/characters are added/tweaked, the other stuff must snowball with change, if even slightly.
>
> I never said that I wouldn’t be fine with that happening so I’m not sure that I understand what point you are trying to make lol. I agree that things should change. I just don’t think entire gameplay mechanics should be altered and made shallow, ala Brawl.
>
> For another example, Reach introduced bloom, reduced movement speed, etc etc, you can read the OP and see what I’m talking about. These changes are not automatically good simply because they change things up and require you to “adapt” to them. That is why I get frustrated when people shout “adapt” at me when I have adapted. Adapting to something doesn’t meant that since it took some degree of effort on my part to adapt, that it is good for competitive play.

I love that last paragraph.

As I mentioned in my OP, I didn’t want to get into a huge debate about AAs, but you seem to be pretty level headed so I’ll talk about them.

I feel that Armor Abilities are manifestations of skills that previously needed to be honed, which can now be done with the push of a button. Let me explain.

Jump height was nerf for an incentive to use jetpack. Speed was reduced for an incentive to use Sprint. Camo and Overshield were both taken off the map, previously requiring spawn attention just like weapons on the map, in favor of Armor Lock and camo. The fact that if I don’t have sprint people can move faster then me, if I don’t have jetpack people can fly above me, if I don’t have camo people can be invisible around me, if I don’t have armor lock people can survive anything but not me… To me this is random.

There is no way (aside from jetpack) to really know what kind of AA your opponent has when you face them in battle. To make matters worse, being able to change your AA off spawn makes them inherently random. I have no idea what I am going to face, so it become a rock paper scissors with AAs, when in Halo 3 you had to work for your equipment / advantages by knowing there spawns. I certainly think if Armor Lock was tweaked to be closer to the other Armor Abilities, and that they were made pickups on the map that you had to work for, then they would be absolutely fine. While I’d still prefer the old Halo 3 way of doing things, having to work for your advantage/disadvantage, shouldn’t be a rock paper scissors.

I think Armor Abilities are a great idea if they were done right. I don’t think that they should have sacraficed player speed and movement to accommodate them, but I’d be happy if I had to work for them. To me how they are now is a sign that sometimes simply throwing more variables into a mix doesn’t give something more depth.

> I feel that Armor Abilities are manifestations of skills that previously needed to be honed, which can now be done with the push of a button.

I believe they were added in because they are part of the Haloverse and because all of the other more important Haloverse elements already present, it was time to add the final piece of the vision.

As far as how they transfer into skill and competitive play, that’s up to the competitive-system to balance out. If jump height or movement speed increasings are what the competitive community wants for their play, that is cool. But it should not be because that is how it used to be. It should be because Jetpacks and Sprint are AAs that seem silly compared to increased movement speed with jump height that are removed to create a more symmetrical combat experience (as well as prevent Jetpack map-breakers). And given the choice between AL or Evade, I’d say Evade is the best choice to maintain a quick-paced game while still promoting the ability to avoid incoming heavy attacks that can’t have their damage zones changed.

But that is besides the point of default playing as it is.

> > I feel that Armor Abilities are manifestations of skills that previously needed to be honed, which can now be done with the push of a button.
>
> I believe they were added in because they are part of the Haloverse and because all of the other more important Haloverse elements already present, it was time to add the final piece of the vision.
>
> As far as how they transfer into skill and competitive play, that’s up to the competitive-system to balance out. If jump height or movement speed increasings are what the competitive community wants for their play, that is cool. But it should not be because that is how it used to be. It should be because Jetpacks and Sprint are AAs that seem silly compared to increased movement speed with jump height that are removed to create a more symmetrical combat experience (as well as prevent Jetpack map-breakers). And given the choice between AL or Evade, I’d say Evade is the best choice to maintain a quick-paced game while still promoting the ability to avoid incoming heavy attacks that can’t have their damage zones changed.
>
> But that is besides the point of default playing as it is.

Your point of Armor Abilities being added due to canon, IMO, isn’t relevant. Campaign and multiplayer should only be loosely attached. Another result of canonizations (holy crap can’t believe that is a word) is the non bleed through shield system. I mean no disrespect to those who enjoy the Halo storyline. But I think that

That said, I wasn’t saying it should be like this because it was like it in Halo 3. I was saying that in Halo 3, these abilities were there to be accessed by everyone who was willing to work for them. And you didn’t have to worry about your opponent having a massive advantage over you because they got lucky and you picked the wrong armor ability for that particular situation.

I agree with your opinion about evade.

That said, I’m heading off to work and won’t be back for like 7 hours lol so this will be my last reply for a bit. Feel free to respond and I’ll reply when I get home.

I like having discussions with people who aren’t 10 v_v

> And you didn’t have to worry about your opponent having a massive advantage over you because they got lucky and you picked the wrong armor ability for that particular situation.

Then why bother having starting weapons and weapons with range dependencies? And how is it the other player is lucky if their plan/strategy succeeded?
I have a good Penny Arcadecomic for you. It fits the idea we are revolving around perfectly.
Now if the competitive community doesn’t like the idea of a Knifing Commando, it’s up to them to prevent it from being in their tournaments. But as far as it being in game and breaking the balance, there are other OPed characters that can be created using different weapons that are earned as one gains experience. So balance is achieved. What makes MW2 so bad is the programming itself. It’s got more than just a few missing semi-colons. The gameplay works, the game doesn’t, as weird as that is to say.
Have fun at work, I’m out for a bit myself.

> > And you didn’t have to worry about your opponent having a massive advantage over you because they got lucky and you picked the wrong armor ability for that particular situation.
>
> Then why bother having starting weapons and weapons with range dependencies? And how is it the other player is lucky if their plan/strategy succeeded?
> I have a good Penny Arcadecomic for you. It fits the idea we are revolving around perfectly.

You replied quick enough to give me a chance at one more reply.

Every player has the same starting weapon. They have to work for other weapons on the map. Most maps SHOULD give both teams equal opportunity for weapons. I’m aware that a lot don’t, and also have some problems with the map design in this game, but that is another topic entirely You actually bring up another good point; What if every person had a different starting weapon as well? You wouldn’t know which weapon your opponent would have. You can assume based on their location on the map, weapon spawn times, and weapon location, that they may have a particular weapon and act accordingly. This is something that requires skill and experience. You can eliminate options by saying, “my team has the sniper”, or “the shotgun didn’t spawn yet”, or “this weapon won’t do much for them based on my positions/weapon/whatever/”. You can’t do that with AAs, because they can select it off spawn.

When I say they got lucky, let me give an example.

Let’s say that someone picking jetpack happens to stumble upon rockets while I have sprint. I look up and see the jetpacker over me. If I knew for sure that there was any way he could fly above me with jetpack when I had sprint, I would have chosen Armor Lock to survive. But if I had just automatically compensated for him maybe having jetpack, what if he doesn’t? It is all guess work, and there is no right answer. If I knew a jetpack spawned up there, and that he most likely has rockets and his best option is to take the jetpack and fly above me, that is something else entirely. He outplayed me. But because I didn’t compensate for the possibility , I got screwed. This is why I think AA pickups would be a far superior method. There are many other examples I could name. My point is, having to compensate for something that may or may not even be a variable when there is no guarantee it is even valid is random.

Also, I lol’d at that comic.

I would say that the answer is as simple as Batman’s is to the Riddler in Batman Forever. I exist as both, not because I have to, but because I choose to.

Default Halo is about situational rock-paper-scissors. MLG Halo seems to be about doing rock-scissors. By that I mean default Halo is meant to have weapons that differ in capabilities so that situations can be stacked in a player’s favour (but therefore appear random). MLG Halo is meant to have a weapon that limits most situations so that the actions become symmetrical (but therefore predictable) and its both the speed and conciseness of said actions that determine the winner.

I think both philosophies are correct. It’s just that you can’t have it both ways.