Wildcard Wednesday #2: Two Different People
I really should not have to make this post. It is obvious to me, and hopefully obvious to you, that Mega Man and Samus are two very different things. One is a small robot that looks like a boy. The other is a tall woman in a space suit. The closest similarity I can draw between the two is that they both feature a gun for a hand. Still, there are skeptics that feel because of Samus’s existence in Smash Bros., Mega Man’s arrival will bring nothing new to the table. Let’s examine today why that would not be the case.
Let’s start with the main argument for Mega Man and Samus’s similarities. In Smash Bros., Samus’s neutral Special Move is to charge up a shot, then fire it. What’s interesting is that in Super Metroid and later Metroid titles, Samus can move around while charging, and releasing the button fires it off. This is not the case in Smash Bros., where Samus has to remain still in order to charge, and has to press B again to fire it off. This design choice makes charging dangerous, but with the pay off of a powerful, long-range, fairly fast attack. While you can shoot off smaller shots, it is not very rapid and typically more useful to wait for the fully-charged shot.
I have never really heard people cry foul over the design change, but what if Samus was more like herself in Super Metroid? After all, Mewtwo and Lucario both have standing-charge shots as well, it would be a welcome change of pace to have a character that could maneuver while charging. Here’s where Mega Man steps in!
Mega Man is all about charging and moving. Interestingly enough, I thought about side Special Moves while mulling over this, and realized how having “shoot” be set to both neutral and side would make Mega Man unique. Not to mention the fact that Mega Man would also have the ability to change weapon types, which could also change how side Special Move functions. Furthermore, Mega Man would definitely have to have more rapid fire, to remain true to his roots.
Basically, even though both characters have gun arms that charge, it is easy to see you can still design a different playstyle from it. Having characters with similar moves done in different ways just gives players more options, without having to abandon a style completely.
Consider how Samus moves about in Metroid. She seems to run fairly fast, has very high and floaty jumps, and can roll into a small ball for narrow spaces at the cost of a much slower speed. Compare that to Mega Man, who moves slower and more precise, has a standard semi-high jump, and can slide for faster speeds and narrow spaces. If you want to feel the contrast in real time, just play Super Mario Bros. Crossover.
Besides shooting, Samus and Mega Man’s abilities do not overlap. Samus has the morph ball and bombs, the screw attack, missiles, a grappling hook, and that whole Zero Suit thing. Mega Man has weapon changing, sliding, and item/animal assists. None of these really match, which pretty much ensures that Mega Man’s implementation into Smash Bros. guarantees a very different character from Samus.
Even if Mega Man did play like Samus for some unspeakable reason, he still would not be the same. The difference in appearance is staggering, the music each game offers is unique, and any stage either of them could have is going to look vastly different. Imagine if Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy got into Smash Bros., but was a clone of Link. It would be pretty disappointing gameplay-wise, but having his character, his stage, his music, and all the other trimmings you get with a Smash Bros. character would be a pretty sweet deal for the fans.
Well, that’s all for my crazy rant. Have a happy and healthy Wednesday!
- Posted in: Misc