The release of a new Super Smash Bros. means the time for glory and boastful victories among friends is at hand. But here’s the problem: this is your first Smash. You’re going up against people who’ve been smashing since the days of N64. They’re throwing out fancy terms like: Dodge rolling, air dodges, smash attacks, and one person won’t shut up about something called Project M. You have your work cut out for you, but with this handy guide, you’ll be a Smash pro in no time.
Choose your weapon wisely.
First and foremost, we need to find you a character, or “main” as Smash players call them. This is the character you can always rely on as your best. With 49 characters total, and more on the way, this first task seems like a daunting one. Ask yourself one question: which playstyle do I prefer? Close-quarters brawls, long-distance attacks, or a healthy blend of the two? For Smash players who want in on the action right away, there’s no better choice then Mario. For long-distance smashers, I recommend Samus (she’s a damn fine brawler as well), and for those seeking a healthy balance of the two, Link.
Again, this is just a suggestion for those looking to pick their first fighter. Feel free to choose anyone who catches your eye. But there’s a reason why these fighters have been in every Smash game.
Don’t want this to happen to you? Guard!
Now that you’ve got yourself a character, you must learn to guard. Triggered by one of the shoulder triggers on the controller, a guard will place your character inside a protective bubble that shrinks in size every time it’s hit. If the bubble pops, you end up dazed for a few seconds and susceptible to a brutal attack. If you get dazed, there’s a good chance you’re getting knocked out. Luckily for you, the bubble can take quite a bit of damage. By guarding properly, you allow yourself to withstand a KO-inducing attack, and opening up your enemy to a counter attack of your own. But be careful! Some attacks in the game are so powerful, they’ll pop your shield in one strike. These moves usually take some charging up, and if you see that, then you should take advantage of the next move: the dodge.
Dodging both saves your life and makes you look like a badass.
The dodge is an invaluable technique that’s easy to learn but difficult to master. It comes in two forms: the ground dodge, and mid-air dodge. The ground dodge can be done when you guard and hit down on the analog stick (or d-pad, for you wiimote heathens). Doing so will cause you to dodge in place. This move is perfect for avoiding a combo you’re stuck in, or about to receive. Also great for dodge items at ground level and life-ending smash attacks.
For those of you who like to get aerial, the mid-air dodge is an absolute must-learn technique. To pull one off, all you have to do is hit the guard button while you’re in the air. This technique will help you pass through a Smash player who’s being a total ass and air-juggling you. The mid-air dodge is also great for avoiding thrown items.
Another variation of the guard is the dodge roll. While guarding on the floor, move the analog stick either left or right, and your character will roll accordingly. This move is great for ending up behind your enemy and finishing them off. Careful though, heavy dodge-rollers tend to roll predictably, and experienced Smash players will pick up on this.
Practice, practice, practice!
You all saw it coming, but it’s true; Practice makes perfect. You will lose when you play a game of Smash, it’s inevitable. Practice really is better than any guide out there in the internet. If you have a chance, play through classic mode or the event mode. These game types help you learn the limits of your character. It gives you a chance to practice with characters you’d never play as. Practice all the skills you’ve learned and learn some new ones. Smash is a game of skill that just about anyone can pick up on.
Oh, and one final pro-tip: Try and study your opponents. New players tend to watch only their character onscreen. This is a deadly mistake. By watching your opponent, you can find holes in their playstyle. Learn their pattern, and adjust accordingly.