Smash Theory: The Problem with “For Glory”

Rob gives insight into his love/hate relationship with Smash 4!

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Smash Bros. 3DS has been out for a while now. After blasting through the single player modes, I found myself drifting toward the somewhat-ranked competitive online play referred to as “For Glory” mode. You are randomly placed on an “Omega” stage and have only two lives (referred to as “stocks”) to best your opponent with. I’m going to come right out and say that I absolutely despise the fact that every stage is an Omega form. Why these Omega Stages are problematic in competitive Super Smash Bros. play will be the focus of today’s article.

Omega stages, being flat with no platforms, gimmicks or obstacles, impede your ability to string together combos and/or follow-ups. Omega stages also give a massive advantage, in my opinion, to projectile-wielding characters; defending characters can only block or dodge incoming projectiles. There are no advantageous ways to get out of the way of an incoming projectile in “For Glory” mode. Allow me to demonstrate with some visual aids.

Smash-WiiU-FD01

Above, we have Final Destination from the Wii U version of Smash Bros. in all of its splendor. The area that I’ve colored red is relatively unsafe for you, if you’re facing an opponent whom has projectile-based attacks (Samus, Link, Mega Man, Pitt, Dark Pitt, etc., etc.) as you can easily be forced to play defensively. You have no platforms to jump on for safety, thus you have three options: block, dodge, or jump out of the way of an incoming projectile. Jumping will put you into the area I’ve colored yellow. I chose to color it yellow because it’s not very safe either, as so many aerial attacks now have a massive amount of animation lag or landing lag. Powerful aerial attacks in Smash Bros. 4 are high risk, high reward. Essentially, Final Destination (and any Omega level) hinders the ability to play aggressively due to the limited options to approach an opponent. Even if you manage to close the distance on an opponent, they can simply run away from you and repeat their projectile-spam. It’s not impossible to win these kinds of matches, however it’s certainly annoying to get beat down by somebody who continues to spam projectiles and you’ve got nowhere to run for safety.

You might think that I’m upset with For Glory mode because I’m looking for something to blame my losses on. I would estimate that my skill is above average, and I have about 400 matches in For Glory mode with an average win/loss ratio of 70%. I win matches often, but against opponents who throw up a projectile wall I’m left scratching my head. This is the solution I propose to Nintendo: add non-Omega neutral stages to the For Glory rotation.

Smash-WiiU-AC01

Here we’ve got one of the Animal Crossing stages that will be available in the Wii U version of Smash Bros. I’ve highlighted the caution areas when approaching a projectile-based opponent, and the green areas represent areas that you can use to retreat or vary your approach. You aren’t immune to being hit in these green areas, but having the option to jump to them completely changes the dynamic of a match. This is why counter-picking maps and characters is commonly seen in the competitive scenes of previous Smash games. Certain characters have an advantage on stages that have platforms, lower ceilings, or tighter sides. Being able to have the option to choose a level with platforms in ranked play will bring out the true potential of For Glory mode, in my opinion.

What are your thoughts on For Glory mode? Let us know in the comments below! We want to know if competitive Smash Bros. is something that interests you, and your thoughts about the game even if you’re a casual player!

Smash Theory is a new biweekly column that will focus on Smash Bros. as well as analysis of strategies used by high level players in the Smash community.