Super Smash Bros. Wii U – Fox Demo Impressions

Will the Star Fox characters be as powerful as they have in the past? We have some early thoughts.

The Star Fox characters have almost always been a force in the Smash Bros. series. Fox was top tier in Smash 64, Falco and Fox were dominant in Melee, and while Fox took a bit of a dive in Brawl, Falco was still one of the better characters in that game. We spent some time with Fox in the latest demo of Smash Wii U, and it looks like Fox may be about the same as he was in Brawl, or slightly worse.

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One of the biggest noticeable changes is that Fox can now attack after his side B special move. In laymen’s terms, this means he can now do Illusion and Fire Fox during his recovery, which is a significant buff to his recovery options. This alone should greatly improve Fox’s standing on the tier list and make him more fun for casuals. No longer will you be limited to a less than stellar recovery, losing stocks while other characters easily make it back from farther distances.

If we break it down even further, Fox can perform basically any attack after Fox Illusion aside from a second Illusion. In addition, Fox’s forward Smash is slightly faster, but many of his other attacks were nerfed. His up air attack doesn’t have anywhere near the impact it used to, and his Shine also took a hit (for the competitive players, it can no longer stall the way it did in Brawl).

One of the biggest nerfs to Fox is likely the fact that his Laser Shot can no longer be canceled when he lands. This drastically hurts his ranged game and makes it difficult to camp from a distance. To some players this may be a good thing, but Fox as a whole is already nowhere near his status in Melee. With these additional nerfs, even the buff to his recovery won’t be enough to make him a superior character compared to how he played in Brawl.

On a lighter note, while his defensive abilities are virtually gone, he is faster. The additional speed will help him move around a bit better, but it may not be enough to make Fox even as good as he was in Brawl, which was only a fraction of his prowess in Melee. There’s still time for changes to be made before the retail release of the game, but right now, Fox should remain right about mid-tier.

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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.