Fans of Super Smash Flash rejoice! The amazing developers at McLeod gaming are back and this time, they are going all out with their newest release. Version 0.9 of the sequel to one of the most ambitious flash based fighting games is out and from the looks of things, Super Smash Flash 2 will be so much more than just a sequel to and already impressive game: it will be a reinvention of everything we know about it. Right now, the demo version is already pretty close to being finalized, but there are still plenty of content missing –such as the special missions and more importantly, the already announced and confirmed multiplayer mode. Considering how much we loved the original, there is no doubt that the sequel is on top of our must-play list.
The original game did not have much in terms of an opening cinematic, but for SSF2, we get to see a wide range of the game’s playable roster featured in an opening sequence worthy of a Capcom arcade machine. The 2D sprite based characters give reference to their original shows –such as Kirby riding on a star, and the multi colored Yoshis running across the screens. More importantly, we get a closer glimpse at many of the game’s new cast –such as Hudson’s Bomberman and Bleach’s Kurosaki Ichigo.
The detailed intro video also hints at a more important thing: that the developers are truly putting a lot of effort into the game. The quality of animation in SSF2 is astoundingly impressive –with various characters featuring a wide range of moves available and even detailed animations when left standing in a single spot. Most characters even get a power upgrade when using the smash ball in-game item –unlocking even more move sets and in some cases, all new character models (most particularly, Son Goku –who not unlocks the Super Saiyan mode, but also has a third form).
The smoother animations and better character models are sure to impress fans of the first game, and it would be completely easy to miss out on another cool detail: the improved backgrounds. The stages are still 16-bit renderings of many iconic gaming locales, but the attention to detail is pretty astounding. There are also plenty of stage-related animations such as moving platforms, collapsible (and respawning) floors, and the occasional hazards. Each element has been carefully designed to fit in with the stage and more importantly, to add more depth to combat mechanics and playing tactics.
One of the first things we tried in the demo of SSF2 are the various events –in these modes, players get to play around with some interesting fantasy match ups that play to specific themes. “Gotta Catch Em All” is a Pokemon theme battle that pits a fighter of your choice against all the various Pokemon in the game. The second event is an all-swords fight between the various sword wielders of SSF (Sora, Ichigo, Link, etc). At first, we were astounded by the sheer amount of new content already available –demo version 0.9 already has the regular combat mode, several single player special stages, a fully functional training module (where you can set the presence of stage items, CPU levels, etc), and several incomplete event matches. Short of a fully functional multiplayer system –the game is pretty much close to being finalized.
Indeed, the vast number of playable modes is awesome, but it was not until we actually got into the combat did we see the true value of this game. Super Smash Flash 2 deserves support for third party controllers. That is just how in-depth and well made the combat system is. Each character has an incredibly vast amount of moves –a massive improvement over the original game. The volume of moves alone do not make up for a good fighting game however, and the well-thought-of abilities for each character shows how much effort McLeod gaming has put into creating an in-depth fighting game worthy of an online community.
Each character has his/her/its set of signature moves –drawing plenty of inspiration from the original series they come from. At the same time, there are a wide variety of charge, link, aerial recovery, dash, and even super moves (usually triggered by obtaining a smash ball) for players to learn and master. The combat against the CPU AI is already deep and challenging, but expect to see to creatively amazing match ups once the game is able to support online matches.