This week, it felt good to be a competitive Smash Bros. fan
For the first time in the series history, Nintendo has released a complete list of character changes to accompany the 2.0.0 patch for Smash Ultimate. The patch went live on the last Tuesday of January and, in addition to tweaking 50+ characters, it added a new one: Pirahana Plant.
While there hasn't been enough time to gauge the strength of Mario's second most iconic enemy (Goomba is #1 -- or is it a Koopa Troopa?) initial reports are positive and many players have already developed creative combos and edge-guard techniques using Pirahana Plant's unique moveset.
However, the hype surrounding Pirahana Plant seems second to the most groundbreaking newcomer Smash series. Patch Notes, a rare competitive minded gift from Nintendo, have indeed entered the fray:
Nintendo, once more, is delighting Smash Bros. players with their slow (but significant) embrace of competitive play. Detailed patch notes are very likely ignored by the huge majority of casual Ultimate players, but their inclusion this time around is a huge message for competitive players who have, for years, been forced to either data-mine the game for hints at what was changed or personally catalog changes through tedious and rigorous testing.
The question "why doesn't Nintendo just release patch notes?" has always lingered around the competitive community and, for the first time, it doesn't need to be asked.
Still room for improvements.
All that being said, the patch notes aren't perfect. They don't provide specific frame data and often use vague language like "Reduced vulnerability" or "Increased power": phrases that would be laughed at and memed to no end if they were about any other esport.
But criticism of how the patch notes were delivered is few and hard to find. Overall, the competitive community is thankful for Nintendo to finally acknowledge the importance of patch notes. In this acknowledgment, it feels like one more bullet point in the long list of positive concessions Nintendo is making to better appeal to their die-hard competitive community.
Here are some of the most notable changes at a glance:
- Huge buffs to Mii Brawler
- Significant Buffs to Jigglypuff's aerial attacks.
- Nerfs to King K. Rool
- Buffs to Incineroar (including to his off-stage recovery)
- Buffs to Rosalina & Luma
- Buffs to Bowser (and already strong character)
- Buffs to Luigi and an unsuccessful attempt to nerf his popular 0-to-death combo (it still exists)
Warcraft 3 is my one true love and I will challenge anyone to a game of Super Smash Brothers Melee.