Smash Bros. Wii U – Kirby Demo Impressions

One of the few members of the original cast has seen a few changes in the latest Smash title.

Kirby has been in every installment of the Super Smash Bros. series, but he hasn’t been a top tier character since Smash 64. He has seen some minor changes in the new Smash Wii U, but it doesn’t quite look like it will be enough to propel him any higher on the tier list. Still, he’s a lot of fun for the casual crowd with one of the best recovery abilities in the game.

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With a mix of nerfs and buffs, let’s start with the good stuff. Kirby’s shield is larger, which bodes well for his defense in general. In addition, his back air attack executes faster, and hits harder than ever before. His forward air is a little speedier, and the Final Cutter has increased damage and knockback, but the shockwave that follows isn’t nearly as menacing.

His jab series now has a proper finisher, which knocks an opponent away. This allows him to be a little bit safer when using this basic attack series. His forward Smash is also slightly faster as well as his Inhale, which makes it easier to copy special moves from other characters. Unfortunately, there’s more recovery time after the attack, which will likely make it easier to punish.

On the down side, Kirby’s back throw is much slower now, but he does recover faster after the throw. Unfortunately, the recovery isn’t fast enough to be able to follow it with any kind of guaranteed attack. Kirby’s Stone special move is also a little slower in the new Smash although after the initial start-up it seems to be the same speed. Kirby’s Hammer is a bit better in that you can move around while charging it, but overall it seems to hit slower and be less effective than it already was. Finally, his down air attack is a little bit harder to hit with, presumably because it now has a smaller hitbox.

It’s been a long time since Kirby was considered “good” in a Smash Bros. game, and at the moment it doesn’t look like that will change in Smash Wii U. However, we still have some time before the game releases so it’s possibly Kirby will see some additional changes. For now, stay tuned to Prima Games as we bring you more Smash Bros. impressions.

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Bryan Dawson
Bryan Dawson has an extensive background in the gaming industry, having worked as a journalist for various publications for nearly 20 years and participating in a multitude of competitive fighting game events. He has authored over a dozen strategy guides for Prima Games, worked as a consultant on numerous gaming-related TV and web shows and was the Operations Manager for the fighting game division of the IGN Pro League.