Super Smash Bros. Characters Then and Now: Kirby - Prima Games

Super Smash Bros. Characters Then and Now: Kirby

by Bryan Dawson

Kirby is one of the most unique mascot characters of the classic gaming era. He clocks it at a mere eight inches in height, and his main ability involves eating foes and absorbing their powers. While his height was adjusted for the Super Smash Bros. series, his primary special power remains the same. Kirby started as one of the best characters around, but he’s had a rough time since the original Smash Bros. In Melee, he was one of the worst characters, and while he improved in Brawl, it wasn’t by much. Hopefully he ranks a little higher when Smash Wii U and 3DS arrives later this year.

Super Smash Bros. 64

As one of the best characters in Smash 64, Kirby excelled in virtually every category. He has one of the best recovery abilities in the game, with five mid-air jumps and his Final Cutter special move. He also moves faster in the air than any character aside from Jigglypuff. On the defensive end, he’s difficult to combo but relatively easy to KO. He also has very good combos and can rack up the damage on almost any character with ease.

There’s little Kirby can’t do in Smash 64, but he does have a few troublesome match-ups, mainly Pikachu. Overall, Kirby has all of the tools he needs to beat down any challenger, and his combo ability is a great asset in team matches. A skilled Kirby player is a tough opponent to defeat, but it can be done with patience, especially if you’re playing as Fox or Mario.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Basically everything that was good about Kirby in Smash 64 was extremely nerfed in Melee. He lost a lot of damage on his attacks, his movement is below average, his recovery options were toned down a bit and he lost most of his combo ability. Despite his nerfs to recovery, Kirby still has one of the best recovery options in the game. Having five mid-air jumps makes a big difference, but his last two jumps do not move him very far.

On the plus side, Kirby gained the ability to move around after inhaling another character. This allowed players to coin the term “Kirbycide,” which is when you use Swallow to inhale an opponent, walk off the edge of the stage, then release the opponent low enough so they can’t recover, but high enough so Kirby can make it back onto the stage (using his superior recovery options). This is basically the only thing Kirby has going for him, which made him one of the worst characters in the game at competitive levels.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

In the original Smash Bros. Kirby was one of the best. He was toned down considerably in Melee to become one of the worst. In Brawl, he was evenly balanced to be right in the middle (although a little closer to the bottom than the top). He gained a bit of power and speed to help compensate for the nerfs he received in Melee. He’s not amazing like he was in Smash 64, but if you play carefully, you can hang with most of the characters in the game.

Overall, Kirby’s Smash attacks are more powerful, he has faster horizontal air speed, which improved his recovery abilities, his side special move (Hammer) was improved all around, Final Cutter is faster and more useful and his throws are more difficult to avoid. On the flip side, his ability to Kirbycide was drastically reduced. Still, his significant improvement from Melee to Brawl more than made up for the toned down Kirbycide.

Super Smash Bros. Wii U

One of the main changes to Kirby in the new Smash Brothers is the fact that his Hammer special move can now be charged. The new Hammer Flip special move can be charged up to inflict considerable damage on an opponent, something Kirby has arguably lacked since Smash 64. Overall, Kirby appears to be improved over his Brawl incarnation. He received some buffs, but a near equal amount of nerfs. It’s going to take a considerable amount of play time with the little pink puffball to determine if he’s better than he was in Brawl, but for the time being, it doesn’t appear he’s any worse.

You may also like