Yeah yeah I know. There was no Dojo Day article last week, a blasphemic fact that has probably sent all three of the people who read this column into unstoppable withdrawal seizures. This week is the last Dojo Day article before Brawl weekend, when Super Smash Bros. Brawl will finally release to the North American market. Can't wait? That's what I'm here for, ranting about Nintendo's smash hit (see what I did there?) fighting game franchise. This week I'll be talking about R.O.B. and everything I missed for the past two weeks. Welcome to Dojo Day.
Don't Mess with This R.O.B.ot:
So, I've heard a lot of complaints from friends of mine about this whole R.O.B. business.
"He's another character from Starfox?"
"He's too powerful!"
"I don't even know who he is. Why is he in the game?"
So, I feel that it is necessary to--how do I put it--enlighten some of you Brawl fans in regards to the story of a certain Robotic Operating Buddy.
R.O.B., short for Robotic Operating Buddy, began its life not as a video game character per se, but as a peripheral added to the NES. The little one-foot tall gray plastic robot served as an add-on playable with two games for the NES, Gyromite and Stack Up. His duties consisted of throwing up small plastic discs and catching them, and while playing the (admittedly terrible) games, you would have to balance the action both on-screen and right on the floor in front of you.
More importantly for you video game fans, R.O.B. served as the primary reason why the NES, by extension Nintendo, and by extension video games as we know them even exist. After the death of the 1980's video game boom, nobody thought that games could sell any more. Nintendo, who couldn't sell their Nintendo Entertainment System to anyone in America, decided to use R.O.B and the NES Light Gun as ways to sell the console to places like Toys R Us. After all, it's a "toy," not a "video game," right?
Soon, Nintendo was selling millions of NES's, and had dropped the Robotic Operating Buddy altogether. Video games were back in business. Years later, R.O.B. made his first reappearance, as the pilot of the Great Fox in Starfox 64. He would become playable for the first time as a secret character in Mario Kart DS, before joining the cast of Brawl.
So next time you're complaining about the inclusion of characters in Brawl, remember what R.O.B. did for video games.
After all, doesn't he deserve his chance to beat a certain pretentious fat plumber around a little?
[Thanks to Gamespy for providing historical information for this section]
Luigi's Mansion: While we already knew that this stage existed, what we didn't know was that it can be broken down when players knock down the foundations of the house. However, this ghost house quickly rebuilds itself, restarting the cycle.
Falco: Fan-favorite Falco flies in for some fast fighting. (phew!) While Falco's main special moves (including his Landmaster Tank FInal Smash) remain the same as in Melee, he has new Smash attacks. For example, he can perform a "spinning 100-slash attack" wihle running at an enemy.
Meteor Smash: I'm not sure if this was in Melee (can anyone confirm or deny that for me?), but here's the rundown: While in the air, you can hit your opponent downward and create a "Meteor Smash" that will immediately smash them down instead of to the side.
Captain Falcon: He's back, and now he's got a new way to perform a Falcon Punch. If you're winding up your punch, you can now reverse the direction at the last minute, adding a little damage and eliminating the longtime problem of the Captain's vulnerability during the windup. In addition, Captain Falcon's FInal Smash calls in his "Blue Falcon" racecar, knocking around opponents who get in the way.
Master Hand: Yes, Master Hand and Crazy Hand are both in the game, and they're pretty much the same as always.
Samus: Special Moves: This is all just Samus basics, except for her new missile. By holding the special move button after performing a missile attack, you will launch a green super missile instead of a purple homing one.
Clear %: For every time you play through Subspace Emissary, you will be given a percentage representing how much stuff you have collected. To increase this percentage to a 100%, enter every door in the game (Kirby-style), clear every stage, collect the mysterious "orange cubes" (they contain items), and collect all the character trophies.
Lucario: So, he is in fact quite a bit different from Mewtwo. Most interestingly, Lucario's attacks become more powerful the more he gets damaged. His special attacks include an "Aura Sphere" nearly identical to Mewtwo's "Shadow Ball," a quick, adaptable-range side-special called "Force Palm," and a counter move called "Double Team" for the down-special.
Spear Pillar: Wow, there actually were stages that were not revelaed in that initial list? Anyway, Spear Pillar is from Pokemon, and features a staggering amount of dynamic effects. The stage has a sort of Battlefield-like ruins structure on the top, but also contains caverns beneath. Depending on the color scheme of the stage (Diamond or Pearl, chosen at random at startup), either Dailga or Palkia (both Pokemon) will appear. Dialga will tilt or flip the camera, causing the stage to change view while characters stay on the ground. He can also make the whole fight occur in slow-motion. Palkia will crumble parts of the stage or send beams of energy at the players.
That's it for this week everybody. Next week I'll either be out at midnight waiting for my copy of Brawl or sleeping at home so I can have some rest for when I pick it up the next morning. I'm not sure what will happen with Dojo Day next weekend, but be assured that I'll have something for you guys. See you all next week, and good luck getting your hands on Brawl![via Smash Bros. Dojo]