Video Games - Rivalries and Dynamics

Video Games - Rivalries and Dynamics

Here, I'll be posting lists of rival match-ups from different games/stories, including Super Smash Bros Brawl, Guilty Gear, and maybe more.

Chapter 1

Super Smash Bros Brawl - Character Rivalries/Dynamics

I know I should probably be talking about the new Super Smash Bros instead of this old one, but since I played Brawl today, I began to think about pairing the characters up with whom I think should be their rivals. Now these "rivals" can either have/be: (1) Opposite fighting styles (2) Story-wise rivals (3) Similar fighting styles with notable differences. Below is my list of pairings and each character will only appear once. Here's what I've got:

1) Sonic vs Snake
Probably my favorite match-up in Brawl because not only is Sonic my favorite character (I like Snake too), but as you can tell, they have absolutely nothing in common! (Well, besides being the first two unlockable characters to be introduced to Brawl.) Sonic is a carefree, speedy hedgehog who relies solely on physical attacks; plus, he hails from a very light-hearted, E-rated video game franchise. Snake is a steady, spy/soldier who is not as fast, but physically strong and generally relies on explosives that can be used well from a distance; he hails from an M-rated military-esque game (which I never played before but all I can say is that it's probably the opposite of Sonic games). Their fighting styles (not to mention personalities) are meant to clash with each other.

2) Mario vs Bowser
Well duh, they've been fighting each other in their own game all the time. But whats the dynamic between their fighting styles? Quite honestly, I'm not so sure--can I really contrast an all-around character with a brute-strength character? Hm, well let's see... while both can use fire-based projectiles, but Mario's fireballs can bounce it's way across while Bowser's fire breath has very limited range... Oh, actually, here's a contrast: Their Final Smash! The "Mario Finale" is just an instantaneous attack that stretches across the stage while "Giga Bowser" simply boosts Bowser's strength and durability rather than just attack. I'm just writing my thoughts as I go... Let me know if you can think of more for this one...

3) Link vs Ganondorf
Archenemies from the Zelda universe, Link is a projectile master while Ganon is all about physical combat. Yeah, that's really all there is to say about these two. Although, Toon Link could also be paired with Ganon to add a speed contrast, but I rather just let the regular Link be Ganon's rival. I'll think of someone else to play with Toon.

4) Olimar vs Captain Falcon
They met in the Adventure Mode of Subspace Emissary and became friends, but as opponents, their styles clash. Captain Falcon is an avid physical combatant who's all about straight offense. Olimar is a summoner who sends his Pikmin to attack the enemy, by throwing them like projectiles and letting the Pikmin cling on to the enemy to add damage, making his attacks less direct.

5) Peach vs Zelda/Sheik
Yep, just had to group the princesses in their own match-up. Peach and Zelda both have a defense/counter move as their standard special move, but their recovery and their forward special are the real differences. Peach recovers by jumping and floating with her umbrella. Zelda recovers by teleporting, making the latter's more unpredictable. Peach's forward special lunges her towards the opponent--a physical attack, while Zelda's forward special shoots a fire-based projectile from a distance. And now to contrast Peach and Sheik. Now Sheik can contrast both Zelda and Peach because his (or is it still 'her') standard special is an offense (needle projectiles) instead of a defense.

6) R.O.B. vs Mr. Game & Watch
(The hardware vs the software) Mr. Game & Watch can attack more freely but relies on luck to dish out some of his better attacks. But R.O.B. is much less free because he needs time for some of his attacks, such as adjust his arms in order to fire a full laser beam (he needs to focus his attacks unlike Game & Watch who can rely on luck) and charging up a gyro. Both R.O.B. and Mr. Game & Watch, however, have an excellent recovery move, although the latter's can do damage.

7) Lucas vs Ness
Okay, not all the rivalries here will be all that dynamic. But the main difference between the two is that Ness is stronger, a bit slower, and has a more defensive PSI Magnet (wraps all around him). Moreover, while Lucas' PK Freeze is not as strong as Ness' PK Flash, Lucas' standard special can, go figure, freeze an opponent while Ness' just attacks without special effect. Also, Lucas' PSI Magnet only guards his front unlike Ness', but can deal damage to opponents. Another difference between the two is there smash attacks--While Ness can just use his yoyo, baseball bat, and bare hands to attack his enemies, Lucas' smash attacks have a PK effect that may facilitate the KO of opponents.

8) Marth vs Ike
Again, very similar fighting styles but different stats. Ike is the powerhouse of the two, relying on brute strength. Marth is more agile on relies on finesse. His standard special may not be as strong as Ike's, but it can pierce through an opponent's shield when fully charged. Ike's forward special is a one-hit wonder while Marth is a four-hitter.

9) Fox vs Wolf
Another anti-climactic pair, but despite their similarities, there is a slight dynamic. Fox has both a faster running-speed and projectile while Wolf has a better recovery move and superior defense (his reflector covers a slightly wider range than Fox). And of course, the trajectory of their forward special also differs (Fox's is straight and Wolf's is slanted). You may wonder if I could also put Falco against Wolf. However, I find Falco to be in between Fox and Wolf. Falco's blaster is a bit slower than Fox's but he's faster than Wolf of course. Furthermore, both Falco and Wolf have something called a 'Dair Spike', an effective single-jump-down-strike.

10) Meta Knight vs Lucario
Another favorite of mine. While both have decent defense, Meta Knight is more about speed and close-range combat while Lucario's got his Aura Sphere that does wonders from a distance. Meta Knight's downward special is a teleportation that can avoid attacks and then potentially do a counter attack, but the latter half of it is in the player's hands. However, Lucario's counter automatically activates when the opponent hits him while he's performing his "Double Team".

11) Kirby vs King Dedede
Of course, since I already put Meta Knight with Lucario, Kirby can just stick with his other rival, King Dedede. Both can fly/multi-jump, but the dynamic? Hm. Quite honestly, I think they're more parallel than foil. Kirby's standard special is pretty much the same as the King's only, of course, Kirby can copy his enemies' standard special while Dedede just spits his enemies back out. Kirby's forward special is more similar to Dedede's downward special in that they both involve a powerful hammer--difference is Dedede's requires time to charge and covers a greater range while Kirby can use his freely but cover a smaller range. Both Kirby's recovery and Dedede's forward special have a projectile effect--although Dedede's is a summon. Kirby's downward special is similar to Dedede's recovery in that both can stomp an enemy and do more damage, but the latter's has less degrees of freedom.

12) Donkey Kong vs Diddy Kong
This one's pretty obvious. Donkey Kong is strong and a close-range combatant while Diddy is fast and can use projectiles.

13) Samus vs Toon Link
I could easily replace Toon Link with Link but hey, Link is fighting Ganon right now so, oh well. At least right now, we already have a light-hearted vs more serious video game background dynamic. But honestly, Samus and Toon Link can be very similar. Both can charge up a powerful projectile for their standard special. Samus' missile can be compared to Toon Link's boomerang, though the latter's is less direct than the former's. Their recovery moves can both do multiple damage. Their downward specials use bombs. Samus merely drops them while Toon Links can hold his bombs and throw them like any other item. Lastly, they can both grab an opponent with some sort of tether. However, when Samus becomes Zero Suit Samus, she would be the opposite of her armored self and therefore the opposite of Toon Link. She will overall be less projectile-based and more physical (well she can still use a plasma whip but whatever).

14) Pit vs Falco
At this point, pairing these characters up is getting harder. And there is little to no dynamic between these two. Both Pit and Falco have a long-ranged projectile attack and both can reflect. Pit's mirror reflection is stronger, while Falco's Reflector reflection is faster. That aside I wondered if I should put Yoshi against Pit since these Yoshi and Pit have nothing in common technique-wise (would they clash?) and that they've fought in Subspace Emissary.

15) Wario vs Yoshi
But ultimately, I put Yoshi against Wario. Both can eat their enemies with their standard special. Both can ram into enemies with their forward special. Both can transform and become invincible in their final smash. What else? Again, not a lot of dynamic.

16) Pikachu vs Jigglypuff
You know what, they're the only Pokemon left so why not? I know, there are a lot of Jigglypuff haters out there and it's not hard to understand why. I'm also aware that Pikachu's Thunder attack makes him a bit broken. You may ask, how can the two possibly be rivals, unless the player playing as Jigglypuff is just so good with it? Before I can say why, let me just go over the dynamic between the two. Pikachu is fast, offensive, and can use projectiles while Jigglypuff is slow, defensive, and doesn't use projectiles (not to mention its best move is very close-ranged). However, Jigglypuff does have the highest defense ratings believe it or not. With its ability to float, it can easy recover and avoid damages and in midair, Jigglypuff can become a "wall of pain" with its forward special. But I digress; my point is, Jigglypuff's style can clash with Pikachu's quick and straight offense. But I'll admit, even I am a bit shaky about this rivalry.

17) Luigi vs Ice Climbers
There are similarities and dynamics between these two. For one thing, Luigi slips on all surfaces while the Ice Climbers never slip, not even on ice, go figure. Luigi's standard special shoots fireballs on the ground while Ice Climbers shoot ice on the ground, so yeah, fire vs ice if that means anything in Brawl. Luigi's downward special is similar to the Ice Climbers' forward special in that both spin the user around horizontally to attack the victim. Both however have rather risky recover as they can leave them them vulnerable upon descending. Both of their final smashes can slowly add damage, cause special effects, and cover some range. Luigi's Negative Zone covers a smaller range and keeps him in the center of the Zone the whole time and causes a variety of effects on the opponent, while the Ice Climbers' glacier summons an obstacle protruding from below that covers a sheer magnitude and freezes the opponent but doesn't keep the Ice Climbers stationed in one spot.

And all that leaves the Pokemon Trainer, the one guy who I just couldn't pair up with. But hey, that's not to say he's alone! No, just the opposite--it's because he has three different Pokemon up his sleeves, giving him three different stats to use. That makes him harder to pair up with. Sure, Zelda and Samus each have two different personas, but one can share similarities with their rival while the other persona can contrast their rival completely. But the Pokemon Trainer? Well he can just do what all Pokemon Trainers do: challenge other Pokemon Trainers! He can train his own three Pokemon to fight the other Trainers' trio (at least that's what they did in the show if I recall). If opponent summons Charizard, use Squirtle cause water beats fire. If opponent summons Squirtle, use Ivysaur cause grass beats water. If opponent summons Ivysaur, use Charizard cause fire beats grass. Not that we're talking about rivalries/dynamics anymore but I don't even care at this point, lol. Although I don't know if that elemental cycle I just mentioned applies to Brawl. Hm, and come to think of it, I'm not sure if I want to pair any character with him/her/itself. Then maybe against 'Random'? Actually, I think Pokemon Trainer may be a better match against Pikachu instead of Jigglypuff vs Pikachu.

But anyways, let me know what you all think in the comments below. Also, I can't wait until the next Smash Bros comes out. I wonder who I'll be pairing up then...

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