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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Pray Away the Distance Demons From Super Smash Bros.

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Way too many long hitboxes.

Once upon a time, characters with short ranges dominated the tier lists and metagames of Super Smash Bros. games. Part of the reason for that is that long-ranged characters didn't really exist. There's Samus's Grapple Beam, sure. You had Marth, sort of, in Super Smash Bros. Melee, but his grab range was more imposing than his Falchion. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, there was a major problem with Snake's Up-Tilt being way too good and having a hitbox that goes far past where his leg actually goes.

Then the character design philosophy began to change a lot in Super Smash Bros. 4. Everyone was competing for the longest forward-smash. There's Shulk. Then Corrin came along. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Simon Belmont and Richter Belmont came with their massive whips. There's the most recent addition, “distance demon” Byleth.

And now the next character will be someone from ARMS, which guarantees another long-ranged character with extendable arms. I'm a bit concerned about what that implies for their grab range!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Simon Belmont forward smash whip Samus Aran grapple beam grab range
Will Fighter from ARMS have a forward smash that goes farther than Simon Belmont, and a grab that goes further than Samus Aran?
...All with the speed of a punch? If they're true to ARMS, they will have a lot of end lag on their moves.

Earlier games tried to balance short-range vs. long-range characters by giving longer-range characters worse frame data, meaning it takes them longer to use their moves and/or longer to perform another action after they send out their move. With Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, they improved the frame data for everyone across the board, and that includes drastically reducing the frame advantages between the short-range characters and long-range characters.

That just makes things really difficult for short-range characters, and they keep adding these distance demons going for a disjointed hitbox cold war. They aren't going back and revamping the existing short-ranged characters to give them farther options, either.

There are other ways to differentiate characters...! Of course, they could just not have a character from ARMS at all.

Ludwig just wants to feel like a victim because one of his mains is Jigglypuff, and she can only fight with her stubby arms and legs. It's hard to approach characters with massive amounts of range, and they can usually do things like neutral air or Screw Attack out of their shield if you do end up too close.

Ludwig is not only jealous of the range on an ARMS fighter, but also of their music.
Jigglypuff will also lose to lots of other characters for lots of other reasons, especially in online play.
The character from ARMS has absolutely massive range, dwarfing every other character's.

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