While Link may be one of the most popular heroes in Nintendo’s large stable of mascot characters, he has never faired all that well in the Super Smash Bros. series. Young Link is the preferred version of the character in Melee, and even he wasn’t all that great compared to the top tier characters. In Brawl, Link lost a lot of power in his Sword Spin special, and so far feelings are mixed on the character in Smash Bros. Wii U. Let’s take a look at what we know about Link from playing the latest demo of the game.
Let’s get some of the negative stuff out of the way first. In Smash Melee, Link’s Sword Spin special move (up + B) was powerful and arguably one of his best attacks. This was completely changed in Brawl when the damage and overall power and usefulness of the attack plummeted. Unfortunately, his Sword Spin in Smash Wii U is about the same as it was in Brawl, although it does move Link upward quite a bit more than it did in the last game, when used in the air. This should give Link better recovery after being knocked off the stage.
On the positive side of things, Link’s Boomerang attack has seen some improvements. It executes a bit slower than before, but after the attack Link can move much earlier than he could in previous games. This means that he may be able to follow up a successful Boomerang with another attack to combo. Given the improvements on some of his other attacks, this could easily setup some KOs for Link when used skillfully. You can even combo two Boomerangs together (one after another) if you hit the attack just right.
Link’s running speed is considerably faster now, and his dash attack has improved range. When you combine these two improvements, it means that Link is more mobile and has better range when rushing in from a distance. The power of Link’s dash attack has also been increased to give it a bit more of a punch.
All of the jab combos in the game have been improved so that they connect a little more consistently, and Link is no exception to this. His jab combo also has decent knockback, but so far it seems as though Link’s biggest improvement comes in the form of his new up air attack. The aerial attack has a new animation and packs quite a punch. It could easily become Link’s new favorite KO attack as it executes quickly and inflicts considerable damage and knockback.
Overall, Link is an improved character. His jump height has been increased, and his rolls are better as well. His throw range has been increased, although he still has considerable delay if you completely miss a throw. This is essentially Link from Smash Brawl, but more powerful and with a few key improvements. It may not be enough to propel him into the top tier of characters, but at the very least he should be a formidable opponent in the right hands.