Welcome to the Smash Ultimate Character Review. In this series, brought to you by no one because who would sponsor this, Bloggin Hood will review each character in Smash Ultimate, a daunting task for anyone without a crippling addiction for Nintendo products. This series will review important topics like best costume, taunt, and the most stylish moves in the character’s arsenal to embarrass opponents. It’ll also discuss less important topics, like best moves, character strength and weaknesses, and overall play style. If you survive the boring stuff, you’ll know just how to play to be the biggest baller online with a Kill Death Ratio at -3.
This all comes from a casual player’s mindset. While I’m not a button mashing new player with no concept of the shield button and I understand what profession players are talking about, I myself am not a professional. In fact, I’m all thumbs. I can’t input a combo, a combo breaker, or even a C stick Smash. It’s not pretty. Therefore, don’t expect these to be a technical discussion, or a high level point of view.
I’m writing these for the people who follow-up their Kirby Rock Form with a second Rock Form. I’m writing to the players that go out of their way to pick Star Fox and say “Pew Pew Pew” as he slams the B button like it owes him rent money. And yes, I write to you, the heavyweight characters who spam smash attacks hoping for the best. There may be some real content in here, but only because I back doored my way into it.
Today’s character is Mario, video game icon, Nintendo mascot, and first character on the select screen.
Yes, Mario is the most basic and obvious choice, but for good reason. Mario’s considered a boring, jack of all trades, master of none type. I’m tired of the slander. It’s wrong. It’s WRONG! (With apologies to Eric Cartman).
How can anyone ever call a man who worked as a Plumber, Adventurer, Race Car Driver, Tennis Ace, Professional Golfer, Baseball Player and Judge among other things, be a bore? Also, he’s a God damn Olympian people. Do you not respect America… or Japan… or Italy?
Mhmm… What country does Mario represent in the Olympics, anyway? Based on his costumes, I’d say the good U S of A, but Hell, even being eligible for three separate countries is pretty interesting. Keep your boring slander to yourself. The only man who works more jobs than Mario is Homer Simpson.
The real troubling part about Mario is his love interest, Peach. Despite saving her about 65 times, all he’s ever gotten is a kiss on the nose. The same nose is broken and swollen after years of truama from breaking blocks with his fist and head. She’s a little too cozy with that Bowser fellow too. Now look, Peace can date who she wants, but if she’s not interest in Mario, she need to let her intentions be known. I mean, there’s plenty of fish in the sea Mario.
Actually, that’s not true. The only other women shown in the Mushroom Kingdom are Daisy, Rosalina, Toadette, and Wendy O’ Koopa. It’s quite a sausage fest in the Mushroom Kingdom. I mean, there’s a reason it’s called the Mushroom Kingdom after all. I think I understand why Mario have been chasing the princess around for so long.
Dick related comments aside,the biggest complain on Mario’s portrayal in Smash is his moveset is generic and boring. I don’t see it that way. Sure, from an aesthetic point of view, I can see the argument. A lot of his moves are standard punches and kicks (There’s a “but” coming, isn’t there). In fact, you could argue he has a generic move set because he’s THE generic video game character. How much personality does Mario really have? He’s an overly happy, kind of fat Italian stereotype that chases around a princess because he’s not trying to marry a toad. Hell, in his last main game, his hat had more personality than Mario.
BUT (There it is), this argument would be extremely incorrect.
Mario’s move set is a ton of fun and all of those “basic” attacks link together wonderfully. He has great, fast aerials, solid ground attacks, and three of the flashiest moves in the game. That’s right, you heard me. The guy you think is boring flexes on all sorts of characters. I mean, he can summon fire from his hands, and he’s not even a dragon. He is not boring. Come on Peach, can’t you see it?
No? Really? That was a good argument though. Very well then
Go back to your fire dragon then, Blondie. Mario will probably rescue you out while he learns how to be a doctor on the way…
Hold that thought for a day or two.
Character Gimmick – Since Mario is a first generation character he, like most of the OG cast, doesn’t have a gimmick. The closest he has in the cape and FLUDD, but those moves aren’t really gimmicks. They’re attacks with cool properties. Trust me, we’ll talk about the good move of the pair in a bit. Hint – It’s not the FLUDD.
One idea I thought that would fit Mario would be a brand new Down B where he gets a new power up from the main platformer series. He could rotate between the Fire Flower, and two other powers. I’d pick the Racoon Suit and the new Ice Flower. The Racoon Suit wouldn’t do much offensively (B would turn you into a statue like Kirby’s Rock Form) but would let you hover and aid recovery significantly. The Ice Flower would do exactly as you’d expect, shooting a snowball with B that freezes. It would be unique at least.
If we can’t have that, and we won’t, can’t Mario just get his damn Ground Pound? He hasn’t used the FLUDD in 15 years and nobody likes it. My opinion counts here – I mained Mario is Smash 4. Well, along with 18 other characters, but it still counts.
Playstyle – Mario is a Rushdown character. His projectile aids him in getting into close range, where he can combo the opponent, preferably from the air. Four of his five aerials are quick and combo friendly. Sadly, one of Mario’s best combos from Smash 4 – Down throw to Uptilt until you’re hands got sore -was removed. The Down Throw’s angle changed far too much to continue this. However, all his other tools remain, so while it’s a nerf, it’s nothing awful. Mario is not a one trick pony.
Costumes – In possible the biggest nerf in the history of Smash, Mario lost his fire Flower costume. What Godless world do we live in? Whoever thought this was a good idea should be covered in Bumper Stickers supporting the building of the Wall and thrown onto a college campus. Truly, a devastating loss.
On the positive, Mario still has some great costumes. He gained a Bob the Builder look as well as an all white Wedding Tux. He also has the All American Mario look for those who like to support their country from the comfort of their own couch. Finally, he can troll people with poor taste with his Waluigi Alt, though that’s mean spirited. However, even these plentiful options don’t make up for the loss of the fire flower, and to a lessor extent, his Wario alt. Truly, this lowers Smash to a 2/10 game.
Taunts – It seems super basic, but Mario’s cheesy Thumbs Up taunt is pretty nice. It has the right feeling after a flashy kill, coupled with a cheesy smile. It seems like the proper range to enrage your opponents and have them come at you guns blazing, only to be countered with a quick and embarrassing cape death. That’s what Smash is all about.
Speed & Mobility – Ok, I have to say it… Mario’s speed and mobility is average. I mean, for a guy with a gut, he moves around ok. Still, he doesn’t have a lot of mobility options to help overcome his middling speed. Fortunately, his attack speed makes up for this, but don’t expect to zip around the stage. You’ll have to play smart with Mario to come out ahead.
Projectiles – Mario’s fireball is a low-level projectile. Why, exactly, can’t you have two on stage at a time like in the games? Who knows? However, it serves its main purpose of creating openings for Mario’s rushdown. You’re not winning a long distance war of attrition, but it’s useable.
Where Mario does excel is keeping spam at bay with his cape. Cape has several interesting properties, but its main trait is returning fire. With proper timing, you can control the field without having the best projectile in the battle. Mario actually tends to control the projectile game with the threat of cape. It does acquire good timing though, so don’t expect this to come easy.
Recovery and Edge Guarding – For a man whose whole career is based around jumping, his recovery is really “meh”. Really, he only has the standard double jump to Up B option everyone has. They actually removed the bit of height that the Cape used to give, so that’s not really an option anymore, other than a brief stall. Sure, he can wall jump for a little extra height, but it’s super situational. That Raccoon suit special sure would come in handy here. I’m a problem solver.
Mario has a plethora of edge guarding tools. His fireball is slow enough to annoy those trying to recover from under the stage. His Fair is a devastating attack when hit that spikes and leaves the opponent without any soul. The Cape’s second attribute is to turn the opponent 180 degrees. When times perfect on an UP B, this is an instant KO. Finally, FLUDD is actually useful here, putting anyone using their UP B in free fall when used properly. I mean, it’s one of the best lineups for edge guarding in the game. It’s just risky when your recovery is only average.
Ground Game – Mario’s ground game took a hit from Smash 4, but it’s still pretty solid. Mario’s Jabs and tilts are all quick, if unspectacular and his smashes typically trade speed for power, with the exception of F Smash. He has a solid throw game, though his comboing from it has been reduced. The main benefits Mario has here is attack speed and pressure from fireballs but it’s not spectacular.
Air Game – Mario shines in the air, despite his attacks doing moderate damage. However, you can get so many attacks off, and each does a decent amount of damage to put the enemy into kill range. Mario’s Bair is a great attack that can combo into itself, and push the enemy off the edge just enough to get a kill. His Uair is an all around fantastic move, and his Nair combos from most attacks. Mario’s Fair is a little too slow for anything other than a bait and punish, lbut it’s good for what it does. Dair is an option, but not really. Overall, it’s a great kit and has priority making Mario’s best plan of attack to pop the enemy up and chase.
Power – Most of Mario’s attacks rack up damage to get opponents into kill range. Outside of his edge guarding abilities, which really can land some early kills, he only has two reliable kill moves in Fsmash and Usmash. He also can kill with Back throw, but need to be close to the edge. Power is not his strength.
Most Stylish Move – With respect to the Cape, Mario’s hype move is the Fair. When somebody is spiked by a full on haymaker, you can’t help feel the energy. You feel like you ripped out the enemy’s soul. There’s almost no situation where this move is safe, but there’s also no situation where you shouldn’t be using this move. It’s one of the three of four most devastating moves in the game. When you manage to hit it, make sure to revel in it. You won’t be repeating for quite a while.
5 Moves to Focus On
B (Fireball) – As already discussed, fireball opens up the door for Mario to trail the flame and attack with it. This creates tremendous shield pressure and forces your opponent to guess. Sure, they might be able to block your 2 or 3 attacks and grab you, but odds are they could have a broken shield if they try. It’s not a strong projectile, but you know what, it’s better than not having one. Against certain opponents, you can pin them down even with how slow it moves. It’s not necessarily a great move, but it’s a great move for Mario’s play style. That’s really what counts.
Up Air (Flash Kick) – Stealing from Street Fighter’s Guile, Mario attack by sweeping in an upward arc, performing a full 180 degree sweep. This move is fantastic. It has more range than you’d think, and you can combo it into Nair, or possibly even itself. The attack has a king damage window, so you may catch air dodge with it. You won’t kill with this move, but you don’t have to. It should do it’s job of racking up damage for the kill moves to clean up.
Back Air (Drop Kick) – A good spacing and approach move, Bair is a good tool to pair with a fireball. You can attack off of a rogue fireball, while staying out of grab range. It’s another versatile move as it serves a quick aerial attack, approach, and also a decent chase move off the edge. It’s stronger than Uair, but not by much. However, that slight additional boost can confirm a few kills off the edge, and that’s very important for Mario.
Up Smash (Concussion Power) – Ah. Now here’s Mario’s best overall attack. It’s a fast Smash attack and it kills off the top, which is what you want in Smash. But it’s best feature is that Mario cannot be hit from above while using this attack. It’s not super armor, it’s straight up invincibility. I guess he was packing some starts after all.
What this means is that you can charge up Up Smash, and force the opponent to dodge when airborn. The problem with this is if land in range of the headbutt from the side, they still die. That’s tough for any opponent. This is the move you want to keep fresh for killing, but it’s also a move you want to use a lot. I guess its biggest flaw is being useful? Fortunately, you get to charge it a bit while using it due to its properties. It should still finish off an opponent even if it’s not completely fresh.
Cape – There’s not much more to say about Mario’s cape. The only thing I would add is that the animation changed a bit, so the timing is different from Smash 4. You have to start the attack a bit early than you might be used to. It’s not a huge difference though, and you should adapt quickly.
Mario is the type of player that most consider a standard all arounder. Most never play the character after the first visit to training mode. But Mario deserves better than “Day 1 control test” character. He’s got a fun, if not flashy move set, and that makes his unique moves stand out more. He has some of the most detailed, and varied costumes in the series. Most importantly, he’s damn fun. He’s not as good as he was in Smash 4, but that’s ok. He’s still plenty sold. I give him a 7.5/10.
He’s probably a mid tier character, which means he’s perfect if he fits your playstyle. However, he’s not somebody you must learn if you want to go far in smash.
If he had the fire flower, he’d probably be a tier higher.