At the Smash Invitational during E3 2014, Greninja held his own and impressed the crowd. As a brand new character, we didn’t get to see his full potential, but what we did see was a good start. Playing as the character definitely brings up similarities to Lucario, but Greninja is still his own brawler with a lot of potential to be very good when Smash Wii U finally arrived later this year.
First, Greninja’s counter ability works extremely well. You have to pick and choose when to use it because a skilled opponent will easily punish Greninja if the counter misses. However, when used with proper timing it’s very powerful and has good knockback and KO potential. Looking at his Smash attacks, forward Smash has good range, but comes out a little slow. His down Smash is also a bit slow and can be difficult to connect with (possibly due to a small hitbox). This only leaves his up Smash as the go-to attack. While it’s not a bad Smash, it’s not amazing by any means.
Greninja’s up air and back air are probably his best aerial attacks. Back air has very good range, executes quickly and will likely come in handy when attempting to edge guard. Up air is arguably one of his best follow-up attacks. It works well as a combo after throws and other attacks, which will add to his damage output. His forward air, like his forward Smash, is a bit slow but has good range. His down air looks like it has good chaining ability, but it was difficult to properly test in the demo.
On the ground, Greninja’s forward tilt has good range and executes quickly, but you can’t use it unless you’re sure it’s going to hit. If it misses, Greninja is left vulnerable for a decent amount of time. It won’t be difficult for a skilled opponent to punish Greninja if his forward tilt misses. Most of his throws allow for guaranteed follow-up attacks in many situations, which should lead to some interesting combos once we’ve had more time with the character.
So far, Greninja looks to have good potential, but it’s a bit too early to say if he’ll be a good character or fall somewhere in the middle of the pack. At the very least, he’s fun to play and has a wide variety of attacks that should excite the causal crowd and the competitive crew. Stay tuned to Prima Games, as we’ll have more information on the new Smash Bros. in the coming weeks.