The greatest mascot affray aims to fix the one definitive feature that is usually a standout mode with all fighters? Umm..tell that to Brawl.
Remember all the forehead slapping moments we had during Super Smash Bros Brawl’s online functionality? Recall the lag? The shotty connections? You get the point, well gladly this is all being taken more seriously in the next installment in the Smash series. The director himself said so.
“The idea of Brawl's 'carefree brawling' motto was to get rid of as many restraints as possible and allow people to choose whatever play approach they liked.” Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai said in his Famitsu column, responding to a reader who expressed frustration over online players that never initiate attacks, nor use items. “I'd like people to take some freer approaches with their gameplay, but the sort of battle style you describe in your letter is not interesting or fun. That's why I'll probably be thinking of a way to deal with that in the next game. We've learned a lot about net play since Brawl was released, after all, so a lot more is possible.”
I’ll take it from there Sakurai, online options to filter fighting styles is a good place to start. The communities aspect in Mario Kart 7 is a great example of this, however, with Smash Bros - needless to say - there needs to be some hefty expansions implemented.
With an option-heavy filter, it creates the perfect opportunity for coexistence between competitive and recreational players. Imagine a refined online system, with match listings like, “pure fighting”, “big-mode only” or “1 smash ball”. Setting up public or friends-only will be a standard affair, I assure you. As far as game mechanic tweaks to streamline fights and bring back the Melee flow of fighting, tripping tops my list for “things Smash 4 needs to scrap”, but don’t go all in on that bet, just cross your fingers.
Regardless of what happens, we can expect something different and magnificent. Even Namco’s co-development should be taken as an fortuitous scenario. At this point, Smash Bros 4’s online will be a godsend compared to Brawl’s offering when it releases in 2018.