Welcome to the newest recurring feature on the site: Koop Calls It, where our ever-confident editors duke it out by predicting what we’ll see at gaming’s most anticipated press releases and scheduled news events to see who has the superior sense of foresight.
This time we’ll be taking a look at Nintendo’s upcoming Nintendo Direct, which will be centered on the upcoming Smash Bros. on Wii U and 3DS slated for release later this year. With tons of characters and features yet to be seen and a solid release date still not announced, the presentation is sure to answer a smash ball’s worth of questions. Without further adieu, here are Jack’s five biggest predictions for the event.
For Pete’s predictions, click here.
1) Smash Bros. to Release This Holiday Season
I’m not particularly thrilled to believe it, but first and foremost I don’t think we’ll be seeing a specific release date come Tuesday evening, although things could really go either way with this one. We’ve seen Directs dedicated to games like Pokemon X & Y where we were given an immediate global release date. However, we’ve also seen games like Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which despite being one of the 3DS’ most anticipated titles did not receive an official US release date until months prior to its release.
I’m basing my prediction on the hype behind the game, what we’ve seen (and haven’t seen) so far, and the development delays Brawl faced. Nintendo needs this one to be a smashing success (pun shamelessly intended,) so I don’t think they would throw a summer release date at its audience so suddenly. Likewise, we’ve still only seen five newcomer reveals to date and there are many veteran fighters yet to be confirmed as returning. While I do think Nintendo will stay true to the game’s 2014 release date, I think it will find its way towards the very end of 2014. Smash Bros. this holiday season. You heard it here first.
2) Two Newcomer Reveals
Yep, I’m going big with this one. We’ve seen Rosalina and the most recently announced Little Mac be revealed during the last two Nintendo Directs, both of which were showcased in short animated videos. With the entire Direct being focused on Smash Bros. this time around, it only seems natural that Sakurai and Nintendo up the ante. Personally, I think we’ll be seeing the reveal of one new Nintendo character and one third party character, much like the format of last year’s E3 trailer reveal.
As for predictions, after Wii Fit Trainer and Megaman made the cut my guess is as good as any. I’m just hoping that the employees of Namco working on the game keep the Tekken series far away from the roster and that Sakurai didn’t get any hints from April Fools’ Day.
3) No Veteran Fighter Reveals
While I think that Tuesday’s Direct is undoubtedly the time for Nintendo to really show us what it’s got, I don’t think they’ll take up time to announce the return of any of the franchise’s previous fighters. Sakurai updates the Smash Bros. site regularly with screenshots and occasional character reveals, and personally I think that’s the best way to slowly announce who made the cut and who did not. Despite the number of fans sitting on the edge of their chairs to find out if they’ll be Falcon Punching their way into the next Smash, there is a time and place for everything. Sakurai won’t waste our time during this momentous event to show us characters we’ve already played.
4) Hilariously Broken Item Reveal
I may fear it, I may despise it, I may uncheck the option to have it in my game faster than I can rage quit, but come Tuesday I’ll still sit in naive amazement while Sakurai announces the next blatantly overpowered item to make its way into the game.
Despite the massive competitive scene the Smash Bros. series has created, it is, at its roots, a casual game meant to be played with close friends. Sakurai kept this is mind while developing the balance-busting juggernauts such as the final smash ball and golden hammer. Smash balls were an insanely heavy focus when marketing for Brawl began, and there’s a reason for it; they’re flashy, they’re powerful, and most importantly, they offered promises of expanded and more intense gameplay.
Although I personally play Smash Bros. with items turned off, I’ll be the first to admit that the reveal of the smash ball had me beaming with anticipation for the game’s release when it was first shown off all those years ago. I’m not sure which hellbent tool of destruction will be announced this Tuesday, but I do know that I will take the bait like a starving puppy and tell myself “Hey, this one actually looks kind of neat.”
5) Streetpass, Streetpass, Streetpass!
Love it or hate it, Streetpass has always been a big focus with major releases on the 3DS. No matter how minor or major of a role it plays, I wholeheartedly believe Nintendo will take 10 minutes to explain to us what will happen when the little green LEDs on our 3DS’ light up in Smash Bros.
We’ve seen some cool stuff with the 3DS exclusive feature, such as the ability to fight other people’s “Shadow Link” when you walk by their 3DS in A Link Between Worlds. We’ve also seen some not so cool stuff that nets us little more than a dull collectible. There is a ton of potential with the Smash Bros. series, but none that would be particularly easy to accomplish or implement. For the sake of not getting my hopes too high, I’m going to say that the Streetpass feature of Smash Bros. will have something to do with obtaining new trophies or collectibles when you walk by someone else with the game. It would be easy to execute, and trophies have always had a substantial presence in the Smash Bros. franchise.
The Nintendo Direct will take place at 6PM eastern time on Tuesday April 8, and can be watched directly from Nintendo’s website (among other places.) Be sure to check back after the event to see which of our editors came out on top!
Have any predictions of your own? Let us know in the comments below!