Gamers across the globe were shocked on July 13 with the announcement of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, and for Super Smash Bros Ultimate players, what stings extra hard is how much better that game’s online will be.
Smash Ultimate’s online play has been the bane of many players’ existence since release. Lag, poor connections, a lack of options, and a completely lackluster competitive environment have left a lot to be desired.
While Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl’s announcement has been mocked by many as just being a Smash clone with cartoon characters (and perhaps as many SpongeBob fighters as Smash has Fire Emblem) it does have some big things going for it.
For instance, the game will actually have wavedashing, a mechanic prominently featured in Melee, but removed from other games in the Smash series.
It’s also being co-developed by Ludosity, the devs behind Slap City – a popular platform fighting game.
The most crazy thing, however, is that according to the devs, on select platforms, the game will feature rollback netcode which should make for smooth matches online, something Smash notoriously lacks.
Needless to say, the community and many pro players were not happy that a Nickelodeon game of all things is planning to have better online play than Smash Ultimate.
I think the fact that an indie nickelodeon based fighting game has rollback and one with worldwide famous video game icons and is a triple A title doesnt is pretty damn embarrassing
— Riddles (@Riddlesmk) July 13, 2021
“I think the fact that an indie Nickelodeon based fighting game has rollback and one with worldwide famous video game icons and is a triple A title doesn’t is pretty damn embarrassing,” wrote Michael ‘Riddles’ Kim, one of Canada’s top Ultimate pros.
William ‘Leffen’ Hjelte responded to the news by claiming Nickelodeon was putting “Smash with its 12 frame input delay online on blast.”
“The Nickelodeon platform fighter having rollback netcode has to be one of the most depressing things as a Nintendo or Smash fan,” Ramin ‘Mr.R’ Delshad added. “What a timeline we’re in.”
All of this comes nearly one year after Nintendo shut down The Big House tournament for featuring a modded version of Melee so the game could be played online – further damaging the relationship between the company and its esports scene.
The nickelodeon platform fighter having rollback netcode has to be one of the most depressing things as a Nintendo or Smash fan LOL what a timeline we're in
— Ramin (@Mr_RSmash) July 13, 2021
Despite Smash creator Masahiro Sakurai seemingly being “interested” in improving netcode and even speaking with Tekken’s Game Director Katsuhiro Harada about it, nothing significant has changed.
With global health issues forcing tournaments online for over a year, the problems with Smash’s inferior online plagued the community and its esports legacy for much of Ultimate’s lifespan.
Now, as Smash Ultimate’s DLC run ends with Challenger Pack 11 in December, it will be amusing to see if any of the game’s top talent jump ship to Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl.