Monday, January 30, 2012

The Five Worst Super Smash Bros. Stages

Last time we met, I made a list of my ten favorite stages in the Super Smash Bros. series. As I’ve mentioned previously, the stages are just as big of a part of the series as the characters. Every stage has a different personality, a different familiar location from the world of Nintendo and often times, different gimmicks. 

Consider Venom number 6.
However, unfortunately, those gimmicks can sometimes be annoying. Some stages use gimmicks in very minimal ways such as the walls in Shadow Moses Island or the Banzai Bills in Peach’s Castle. But sometimes they can get a little annoying and over the top such as the Pokémon from Spear Pillar or the entirety of the WarioWare, Inc. stage. Some stages have great concepts behind them but ultimately fail to impress like Venom, 75m or New Pork City. However, many of these stages aren’t “awful” just not very good. I’m looking at the five stages I absolutely hate, nay, refuse to play on. This is my list of the five worst stages in Super Smash Bros.

5. Hanenbow 

At least it looks nice.
As you’ll likely notice with pretty much every entry on this list, I think the concept for Hanenbow is a neat one. A stage based on the obscure DS game Electroplankton? Sign me up! The stage is very unique and looks great unfortunately, that’s where the magic stops. These stage is terrible to play on. The layout is too all over the place, the leaves get in the way of actual battle because they’re constantly moving and it’s the only stage with water that you can’t swim in. I feel robbed every time I die by falling in the water considering I can swim in every other water stage. Also, the bottom leaf is just a joke. You can move it all over the place and fall off if you make it move too far in one direction. A great idea for a stage but awful in execution.

4. Icicle Mountain

The opposite of fun.
I hate this stage. In fact, it’s the only one on the list where I don’t even like the idea of it. Giving the Ice Climbers their own stage makes sense but why didn’t they just make it based on the NES game? Why did they make up some completely new area for them to explore. Okay, yes, it’s a snow covered mountain, which is the idea of Ice Climbers but it’s far too realistic for my liking. The Summit does it much better. I just would have preferred the NES style stage, like their Break the Targets. But beyond the way the stage looks, it’s also terrible to play on. The fact that it’s vertically scrolling means it’s more about constantly moving than actually fighting your opponent. You have to always be jumping to even stand a chance and just attack enemies when you get the chance. If you play on random and get a character like Ganondorf, you might as well just kiss the victory goodbye cause you’ll just be scrolled off screen. An awful stage all around. The Ice Climbers deserved better for as unique as they are.

3. Mario Bros.

It all comes down to this.
Another stage I like in concept but hate in execution. Making a stage based on the original Mario Bros. with the same basic style of the original as well as enemies walking around, it’s really cool looking and could have been a good stage. However, there is a big problem; the enemies are overpowered. Because you can attack and then hurl the enemies walking around at foes and every hit sends your opponents flying, the whole battle because less about skill and more about who can get the enemies fastest. I’m not a fan of tournament play and I play with almost every stage on, even the gimmicky ones like WarioWare but this stage is one I have turned off. It’s such a great idea but the enemies are too powerful and there’s too many on screen at once, sometimes upwards of five and it just involves no skill to be good in this stage. A great idea with a very fatal flaw.

2. Rumble Falls

Eat your heart out, Icicle Mountain.
Hey, remember how awful Icicle Mountain was because it scrolled vertically? Well, what if they took that concept and made it 100x worse? That’s what they did with Rumble Falls, based on Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat….or so they claim, I don’t see it as more than just a generic DK stage. Basically, it’s a vertical scrolling stage like Icicle Mountain but it scrolls way faster and has way more traps that cause you to die quicker. In Icicle Mountain, at least sometimes the stage slowed down or you could get to the top fast enough to actually fight, in this stage you literally have to be jumping constantly. On top of jumping and maybe attacking your opponents, you have to avoid spikes, hit switches to activate new platforms and ladders and make sure to avoid getting caught under the several hundred platforms you can’t jump through. This is a horrible stage. Easily the worst in Brawl and one of the absolute worst in the whole series. 

1. Brinstar Depths

You knew it was coming but I stand by it.
I mentioned it briefly in the intro to my last list but here it is again; Brinstar Depths is an abomination of a stage. The absolute worse stage in the series hands down. While I do appreciate the setting of the stage, it’s nice to have a Metroid stage without lava, as well as seeing Kraid in the background, this stage is so poorly designed and unfun to play on, I can’t ever be happy to see it. The stage is very small and it’s constantly rotating because of Kraid attacking the stage, so you’re always in a new, tiny section of the stage, known of which are fun to play on. But the worst part is the fact that none of the platforms or ledges can be grabbed at all. There’s no way to save yourself on this stage, especially if you’re a bad jumper like Link or Samus. You have to be lucky enough to maybe land on a ledge that may or may not be sticking out at the bottom, depending on the current position of the stage or just hope you can jump high enough to get back on the main part of the stage. It’s a terribly designed stage. I can’t imagine why this was okayed. Who thought it would be fun to play on a stage where you can’t save yourself? You get thrown off once, you’re dead. I feel bad for all two Ganondorf and Bowser players out there, man. This stage must be the bane of their existence.

There you have, the five stages I think are the worst. There’s other stages I don’t particularly like such as Venom, Pokéfloats, 75m, Peach’s Castle (The original) but none of them are quite as bad as these stages, I can at least tolerate them. The ones above are just…so bad. They suck the fun right out of the fight. Kind of like getting a stopwatch item that backfires. Anyway, let me know if you agree or disagree, what stages do you hate the most? Sound off below!

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