Creator and Director of the Super Smash Bros. series, Masahiro Sakurai gave players an in-depth look at how The Hero from Dragon Quest is going to play when he joins the roster, but some of the abilities for the character have players worried it will be another Bayonetta situation.
William “Leffen” Hjelte is a top Smash Melee player who has been trying to dual compete in Ultimate too. And the outspoken player has already called for The Hero to be banned.
There are a few specific points of contention made by not just Leffen but also the community as a whole, namely the clear RNG elements included with several of the character’s moves. Just the fact Hero has a move that can potentially one-shot opponents and several ways to randomize damage output isn’t what pro players want to see.
Isn’t it odd that Smash excluded critical hit elements for Fire Emblem and Pokémon, but Hero has a chance for all of his smash attacks to deal extra damage at random?
Now players have to take into account not just normal damage percents when dealing with Hero players, but also the chance a crit could happen and completely change the situation. That can really screw over characters like Shiek who rely so heavily on percentage counting to avoid getting combo’d to death.
But at least this isn’t something that could potentially break the game. With how Marth does more damage when hitting with the tip of his sword, players will eventually find workarounds for it – even if it is completely random.
Down B RNG
Every time Hero uses his Down B, a random selection of four spells will appear in a menu over the character image. Players can cycle through them and see how much MP (magic points) it will take to use the move.
MP will replenish over time and as the player deals damage, but the main point here is that several of these moves and the Down B mechanic as a whole rely on RNG.
Players can quickly cycle through the Down B menu by shielding while it is open. This will reset the menu and bring up a new selection of spells to choose from. As people get used to playing the character more, the time it takes to select a move in that menu will decrease – giving opponents even less time to prepare for something.
There are three main moves that have players like Leffen worried this character will break the game.
Thwack is a potential one-hit-kill on any character. Unlike Little Mac’s K.O. Punch, there is no meter that will call out when it is selected, so players will just have to always be on edge. It does have a high chance to miss at lower percentages, but it has the potential to be very broken.
Taking into account the chances of critical hits, using Psyche Up to “drastically increase the power of the next attack” could theoretically see one smash attack deal upwards of 70 damage in a single strike. That alone can change the entire layout of a match.
Hocus Pocus is literally a random chance at casting effects on players in the match, whether they are good or bad. Sakurai demonstrated this by using it and becoming slowed, but it is likely that other item effects like boosted stats and potentially even invincibility.
The entire argument from Leffen here is that before the character is out and top players get a chance to play him, it really looks like his abilities provide him ways to shut down every other character.
From using Bounce to safely approach Megaman to camping players by spamming Heal, this could be an issue for balance. The Developers have been pretty good about balancing Ultimate so far, but DLC has been a game-breaker for Smash before.
When Bayonetta was set for release for Smash Wii U, players thought she was going to be the best character in the game based on her combo ability and numerous ways to get out of bad situations. She ended up being the top character until the end of that game’s life and had a lot players losing faith that Nintendo could properly balance a fighting game – especially with how broken Meta Knight was in Brawl.
Leffen clarified that he isn’t sure Hero will be broken, but that things like RNG aren’t fun or healthy for competitive games. He doesn’t want the character banned before release but notes that this could be a turning point for competitive Ultimate.
He isn’t the only pro to speak up about their concerns either. Adam “Armada” Lindgren, another Melee legend who plays a lot of Ultimate also talked about how he disliked all of the RNG elements in place for the character. In his initial reaction to the gameplay, he said to be ready for a lot of Hero mains at upcoming events when he is made legal for use.