If you weren’t hyped over the new Super Smash Bros., the release of the Little Mac trailer probably changed that. The fan-favorite boxer hasn’t been highlighted in his own game for quite some time, but he was featured as an assist trophy in the past. Now he finally makes the jump to the full roster, and his trailer showed off quite a bit. Does he look dominant? You may think so, but from a competitive viewpoint, he’s decent at the moment.
One of the most interesting aspects about Little Mac’s gameplay is that he has his own Power Meter. It can be seen next to his damage percentage, and changes color as it powers up. When the meter is full, it changes to read, “K.O.” This is similar to his Power Meter in Punch-Out. Based on what we’ve seen, taking and inflicting damage on others fills Little Mac’s Power Meter. It will likely take awhile to charge, especially in competitive matches, but once it’s full, Mac’s standard special move becomes a one-hit K.O. We don’t know everything the Power Meter does, but it’s possible that in addition to the one-hit K.O., it may also power up his special moves.
His side special seems to be a lunge punch of some sort. It’s shown several times throughout the launch trailer and appears to have either projectile invincibility, or at least one hit of armor. Mac’s Up Smash also appears to have at least one hit of armor, so it may be a trait he has in several of his attacks. This would certainly cause other characters to be cautious any time they’re attacking Mac from close range, especially with his Up Smash having armor, given that it will be able to finish off an opponent with high damage.
Throughout the trailer, we see that Little Mac has several attacks with armor, including what could possibly be his Forward Smash. If his Forward Smash and Up Smash both have armor, it could be deadly to face him at close range. However, since he doesn’t seem to have any attacks with a lot of distance, characters with good projectile attacks should fare well against Little Mac.
We also got a chance to see Little Mac’s counter ability. We don’t know the exact properties of the counter, but it seems to counter most normal attacks. If it’s like other counters, it might counter all physical attacks, but not throws. Projectiles also seem unlikely, but it’s too early to tell at the moment.
Little Mac’s jab attack appears to be a multi-hitting flurry of punches that ends with a solid uppercut, and looking at his base mechanics, his run speed is fast and similar to Marth’s in that he crouches very low during his run. This allows him to run under some (or possibly all) projectile attacks. In the reveal trailer, we see him run under Mario’s fireball projectile.
His roll seems to have a good distance as he evades King Dedede in the trailer. In addition to the roll, Mac appears to have a unique dodge that seems even more effective than his roll. For the more casual players, his Final Smash transforms Little Mac into Giga Mac, who made his first appearance in Punch-Out for the original Wii.
The only downside we’ve seen of Little Mac is his recovery attack (upward special). It doesn’t seem to cover much range, and in the trailer we see him fall to a K.O. when it doesn’t reach the edge of the platform. We also haven’t seen any kind of spike attack, but we have yet to see his entire move set, so he could still have one.
At the moment, it seems as though Little Mac will be a powerhouse on the ground, but in the air it’s still questionable. He also seems to have difficulty getting back on the stage once he’s been knocked off. That alone could make it difficult to give him a top tier outlook. Still, he looks extremely fun to play, even if we may not see him immediately winning tournaments.
We’ll have more on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS later this year.