Super Smash Bros. Wii U – Little Mac Demo Impressions

Little Mac made a huge splash as one of the strongest characters in the Smash Bros. demo!

Nintendo impressed fans at E3 2014 with Super Smash Bros., with the Wii U version playable on the show floor. On top of that, the company hosted an invitational tournament featuring some of the best players, and Smash was playable at quite a few Best Buy locations around the U.S. While none of these venues are as good as having the game at home to dissect, we scored valuable info about the characters.

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Our focus today is on Little Mac. There was a considerable amount of buzz when Little Mac was first revealed, and his showing at the Smash Invitational was phenomenal to say the least. His lack of aerial mobility didn’t seem to hinder him too much against some of the best players in the world. Of course it’s still early, and more time needs to be spent with the game and Little Mac as a character, but so far he seems to be a powerhouse in the right hands.

Even when his Power Meter is full, the KO punch isn’t a guaranteed one-hit kill. There were numerous occasions where a KO punch was at the ready, but the result wasn’t the instant KO we expected. If a character has a low enough damage percentage, it’s not overly difficult to avoid a KO. In fact, from zero percent, the KO punch only inflicts about 40 percent damage. This was probably a balancing issue during development, given how quickly Little Mac’s Power Meter builds.

Speaking of the speed of the Power Meter, the fact that it builds so quickly means that Little Mac is almost always a threat. Even without a full Power Meter, he can really dish out the damage in the right hands. Once the meter is full, you have to keep a close eye on Little Mac or you risk a near-guaranteed KO. It’s a huge advantage over some other characters who can only KO well with a Smash, spike or some other attack that may take longer to execute or setup compared to Little Mac’s KO punch.

Of course, that’s not to say the KO punch is easy to connect. It’s faster than a Falcon Punch, and definitely useful in competitive play (based on early testing), but you need to set it up. A smart opponent can bait the attack and punish it heavily, so you can’t just throw it out there. For the casual players the KO punch is devastating in a four-player free-for-all battle. There’s so much going on that it’s hard to keep an eye on Little Mac and his Power Meter. As soon as you get distracted by another player, say goodbye to one stock.

While Little Mac definitely performs better on the ground, his lack of air mobility isn’t a huge issue. He has great ground speed and the power to more than make up for his aerial deficiency. Just don’t get knocked off the stage, as his recovery ability is probably his weakest aspect. You need to play cautiously with Little Mac, but once you have him down, he is a force to be reckoned with.


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Author
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.