An analysis of the characters of Smash Bros Brawl

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mr. Game & Watch

First Appearance: Ball (1980)

Mr. Game & Watch is an enigmatic figure created from a primordial substance that can take many shapes.  It is for this reason that his kind were harvested to create the Subspace Army. Mr. Game & Watch has no concept of good or evil. 

What we have here is a mysterious character with an alien mindset, and this is reflected in his play style.  

Special Moves: 

B: Chef -  As a projectile, this move does not enjoy great range, but it does serve to provide a sort of disruptive shield against air attacks.  Very useful for edge guarding.

Side B: Judge- The range on this move is very short, making it only useful in rare instances.  Most of the attacks do not do much damage, and because its random, you're almost always better served by using one of Game & Watch's smash attacks.  However, if you're feeling cocky, you can play the odds and try for number 9.  Its very satisfying when you connect with it.

1 - 2% (12% to self whether it makes contact or not)

2 - 4% with barely any knockback

3 - 6% knocks opponent behind G&W

4 - 8% knocks opponent backwards

5 - 12% (electric shock)

6 - 12% (fire element)

7 - 14% regular hit that drops an apple

8 - 9% (freezes opponent for about a second)

9 - 32% 9/10 times the opponent is KOed outright

Up B: Fire- Perhaps the best up b move in the game.  Not only does it damage people hit by it (and thus helps you break smash balls that are floating high over head), but it also keeps you up and safe when other smash attacks, hammers, or stars are causing havoc on the ground.  With this move, you can chase enemies off the edge of the level, smash them into oblivion, and float safely back to solid ground.

Down B: Oil Panic-This move has its uses, though it is very situational.  You can use it to absorb energy projectiles including PK Thunder, laser bolts, Din's Fire, the Charge Beam, etc. It does NOT work on physical projectiles such as arrows, bombs, boomerangs, thrown items, etc.  Just using this move is usually enough to discourage your enemies from harassing you with ranged attacks, especially the ever annoying Ness and Lucas barrages.  Seldom will they give you the chance to fill the bucket full of projectiles, but assuming you manage to absorb three, this move deals a lot of damage and knockback to whoever is unfortunate enough to be caught in the resulting oil spill.  The amount of damage it deals depends on how powerful the projectiles caught in the bucket are. 

Move Set Score: 3/5 

Incredible Up B, decent b and down b, worthless forward B.

Weight: 1/5  

Mr. Game & Watch might be the lightest character in the game.  His greatest weakness, it does not take much damage to take out this little guy.  Turns out that when you only exist in two dimensions, you don't have a lot of mass.

Speed: 4/5  

While not the fastest character, Mr. Game & Watch enjoys great speed, and his agility is amplified by his excellent recovery move.  

Strength:  4/5

Mr Game & Watch enjoys some powerful smash attacks.  His forward smash is a great KO move with excellent range, catching his enemies on fire with his torch.  His down smash, a pair of hammers attacks both sides at once for excellent knockback.  His upward smash is fairly useless, however, with short range. His dash attack also is fairly useless with little knockback.  His air moves have high priority, and his tilt down A (manhole) and tilt forward A (chair) are also very useful for disruption.  His grab has very short range, and should only be used sparingly.

With these moves, Mr. Game & Watch should not have any problem racking up kills.  

Final Smash: 5/5                      


Octopus- Mr. Game & Watch is very good at chasing down smash balls, so get used to seeing this monstrosity a lot.  The Octopus is best in small levels, and can be fairly useless in large levels (like many final smashes).  The Octopus lasts a long time, giving you a chance to kill enemies multiple times or at least kill them once and damage them again when they return.  The tentacles are difficult to dodge, and his double jump can help him reach great heights.  Of the Final Smashes that involve chasing down your enemies, this is undoubtedly the best.

Closing Thoughts:  

Like most lightweight characters, Mr. Game & Watch requires a bit of skill to use effectively.  The price for failure is high, and thus his learning curve is a little higher than some other characters.  

On the upside, his bizarre style can work in your favor.  Because of his low frames of animation, he is a difficult opponent to read.  Human opponents will be unable to tell what attack you are throwing at them until it is too late.  Fighting Mr. Game & Watch can be a frustrating thing...even his light weight can be turned his favor psychologically.  The thought "If I could just get one good hit on him he'd be dead!" will be running through your opponent's heads, perhaps pushing them into a hasty mistake.

Overall Score: 3.4/5

A formidable opponent, and one that is often underestimated.  His light weight, short grab range, and lack of a real projectile make playing him more difficult, but he can be devastating in the hands of a seasoned player.

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I'm a French teacher with a penchant for over-thinking things in pop culture, likely stemming from grad school. I over-analyze movies and video games because I no longer have to explicate French novels.