Nintendo overhauling Pikachu's iconic thunder attack for new Super Smash Bros. on Wii U and 3DS

Pikachu's best-known attack will now start off with a thundercloud and then progress to a combo where enemies are flung upward.

Pikachu's iconic thunder attack is getting a major overhaul for the upcoming Super Smash Bros. game for Wii U and 3DS. Game director Masahiro Sakurai published a screenshot of Pikachu's new move today on Miiverse and explained how it's different from the last time we saw it in 2008's Super Smash Bros. Brawl for Wii.

"Pikachu's Thunder now starts off with a thundercloud that deals a Meteor Smash! From left to right, you can see this combo starting with Pikachu throwing the opponent upward, Meteor Smashing with the lightning strike, and then directly attacking," Sakurai said. "Foes can dodge, of course, so the attack won't hit consistently, but when it does, it sure feels good!"

Pikachu's well-known thunder attack was fairly straightforward, and deadly, in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Upon performing the B Down attack, lightning came forth from the top of the screen to inflict damage on anyone caught in the path. It was a quick and relatively easy move to pull off, but it now seems substantially more involved; we'll have to wait and see to learn how it affects balance and gameplay.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS launches sometime in 2014, though Nintendo has not announced a more specific release date yet.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

51 comments
19James89
19James89

I cannot wait for this game to release, it's going to be epic.

Cherubas
Cherubas

I don't think this article name is accurate. From what I see and what the quote says it sounds like the move just sends them downward. The hit in the last panel looks like an unrelated move used to show off some potential, not a mandatory continuation of the move. Like how in melee it was pretty easy to use Fox's down throw straight into an up smash. They weren't one move, just easily connected.

Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

That's all well and good, but I think there were quite a few characters that needed changes before devs started tinkering with Pikachu's Thunder.

JoInfo
JoInfo

Pikachu's always been an overpowered little rascal.

cboye18
cboye18

So anyone have any idea if the game would be more Brawl or more Melee? I do hope the latter

purity2004
purity2004

Oooh, maybe this will nerf people who just spam this move. 

Vexov
Vexov

W/e, bet this time Smash bro's doesn't go so well. Focus less on combat polish and balancing instead for a bit more detail to graphics and dumbing it down so 6 year olds... maybe add in killstreaks (hahaha... thats right CoD it was aimed at you, or drop a mech down... hahaha Titanbear).

LtReviews
LtReviews


"Pikachu's Thunder now starts off with a thundercloud that deals a Meteor Smash! From left to right, you can see this combo starting with Pikachu throwing the opponent upward, Meteor Smashing with the lightning strike, and then directly attacking," Sakurai said. "Foes can dodge, of course, so the attack won't hit consistently, but when it does, it sure feels good!"


Sakurai does not know what the word "combo" means...

Marky360
Marky360

I just hope it doesn't slow the move down any because I remember Pikachu's Lightning strike being a real fast move you could spam a couple times in a row to get out of a tight situation

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

Yeah it's not really a downgrade, it's more like a side-grade. Originally, you could smash your opponent in the air and then just do this attack to kill them. Now you can't do that, but since it does a meteor smash, you can probably use it to bring them back down to you, and then send them back up, and maybe juggle with them a bit. It opens up a lot of possibilities for sure.

SavageEvil
SavageEvil

They need to nerf Lucas cheap ass, that idiot has way too much priority and range. He's the same size as Ness but all his moves are considerably cheaper except for the PK Thunder. If you have ever played against a Lucas player you know exactly how overpowered that cheeseball was in SSBB and on top of that Ness was nerfed to hell. I wonder what the hell these guys are thinking when they add in a new character, almost all the new characters in Brawl were slightly overpowered aside from Sonic's cornball ass and all the returning characters were nerfed to an extent but interestingly enough Pikachu was not touched at all. His size and agility made him a force to be reckoned with along with him being so quick that he could score knockouts relatively easy and that thundershock takes the cake for unearned kills when opponents are sailing through the air.

I wonder if they'll give us the original Mario from Melee, I hate that sunshine water gun toting idiot. What about Dr. Mario he was such a beast albeit heavier but still a cool Mario to use. Link got styrofoam bombs that barely go anywhere when thrown, Ganondorf was made to move even slower, Capt. Falcon was accelerated to the point of being out of control and his Falcon dive was nerfed big time. Loads of other nerfs, let's hope they figured out all the other stuff this time around and not go adding owerpowered new characters and weakening established characters.

arrow2thekneeXD
arrow2thekneeXD

(what would Pikachu have to say about this?) PIKA!!!PIKAA!!!!!PIKAAAAA!!!!PIKAAAA!!!!PIKAAAAAAAAAaaaaaa...CHUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!

EasyComeEasyGo
EasyComeEasyGo

Iron Tail and Electric Ball is all I want to see Pikachu in new SSB. Thunder was soooo 1999.

cboye18
cboye18

wtf sakurai, why the nerf? The old characters are already balanced in attack moves, why the stupid nerf? 

sanchango
sanchango

@Cherubas  Correct, Sakurai is implying you can now combo into another move after using pikachu's down b attack

sirkibble2
sirkibble2

@Cherubas  I think the last picture shown is what happens when the opponent connects with Pikachu. Like in all other Smash before it, if you're in the vicinity when the Thunder strikes Pikachu, it sends sends you flying. 

Xenro4
Xenro4

@thissonicboom You and everyone else. I can't count how many times I've fallen for that.

LtReviews
LtReviews

@cboye18  

There are competing forces that are pulling it in either direction.


Namco Bandai is involved, and they have fighting game experience that may make the game more competitively viable like Brawl.


At the same time, Sakurai doesn't like the idea of the game being played competitively at all, and actively removes elements useful to competitive play, even if they were at no cost to casual play.


Given the two forces, I'm assuming it will be somewhere in the middle, though closer to Brawl-  not as floaty.

The removal of tripping was a big symbolic gesture. Tripping hurt casual play at the expense of Sakurai's campaign against the competitive scene. It was a realization that you can't take away competitive elements without hurting even casual play, and if I'm going to be optimistic, I'd say this at least means the game will be more Melee-ish than Brawl was, at least competitively.



LtReviews
LtReviews

@purity2004  

The problem wasn't that the move itself.

It was people not good enough to avoid a move that was easy to dodge.

People wouldn't spam it as much if opponents could actually learn how to get around and punish it.

LtReviews
LtReviews

@Marky360  

You could never safely spam this move in Brawl. Using it for anything other than edge-guarding was usually a bad idea.


TriggerManX97
TriggerManX97

@cboye18  If it wasn't for the tripping I would say that Brawl was Actually better than Melee or the N64 game.

Marky360
Marky360

I wouldn't say Crap per se it definitely wasn't as good as Melee but none of the SSB games were crap.

LtReviews
LtReviews

@SavageEvil  

You are certainly wrong about Lucas being cheap, and Ness being nerfed to hell. Both are considered mid-tier characters.

Lucas is certainly not OP. His Aerial game is notoriously weak. He was given strong ground-to-air attacks to help him fend off enemies jumping in, because he has very limited options when engaging them in air-to-air.


The trick is to force him into the air with a ground assault. Never throw Lucas to the side, ALWAYS throw him up and then start playing volleyball.


Ness was changed from melee, buffs and nerfs, but the total is a net character improvement. Remember how I said Lucas' weakness was a bad air-game? Well Ness has a very good air-game in comparison. It's an interesting contrast from Lucas. Ness air-game is meant to be good enough to discourage the opponent from going air-to-air with him, and allowing him to jump in on grounded enemies- especially throwing his PK Fire for combo and grab followups.

As suggested below- you should try out Project M. Though if you think Lucas is overpowered, you may not be very happy to see he was buffed quite substantially.

gameroutlawzz
gameroutlawzz

@SavageEvil  Buy a less than 2gb SD card for $7 at best buy then download Project M from your PC,put the files on the card and insert the card in your wii/wii u (when on the wii menu) then enjoy the real,true SSB Brawl. Every characters have been finely tweaked,addition of new amazing stages like Skyloft from LOZ:SS and draculas castle in Castlevania and they re-introduced every Melee characters like DR. Mario, Mewtwo and Roy with the addition of many new Special skins for each characters. Pokemon trainer is now 3 different characters where each pokemon has been tweaked with amazing new moves like Solar Beam for Ivysaur, Charizard can jump high by pressing down B and then glide for a lonnnggg distance to come back into fight, Samus can now switch between her normal fire-gun to Ice-beam attacks by using the right/left arrow taunt on the d-pad etc. (those are just a few of the many amazing additions).

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@EasyComeEasyGo Yet most people gave up Pokemon after that. For a game that rides on nostalgy being retro is pretty important. There are those Lucarios and such for people who still follow Pokemon

WllDan7
WllDan7

This is less nerf more a better change. The attack was at times too powerful. This kills it some what but opens new doors up for combos and air attacks over open spaces. And in the hands of someone like me this will be upgrade that leads me to better games.

LtReviews
LtReviews

@justinka777 @LtReviews 

Nope.

Combo means you string together hits while the opponent remains in hit-stun. Thus making the hits unavoidable. Hence the multiple hits act as a "combination" of hits, or "combo"

If you can dodge out of it, you are no longer in hitstun.

He can refer to it as a frame-trap, or a setup, but it isn't a combo.

SavageEvil
SavageEvil

@gameroutlawzz  This sounds interesting, I'll have to get a more information on it but it sounds daft.

cboye18
cboye18

@gameroutlawzz  I just wished they left the stages intact; they're all too plain and boring now. 

Trev9421
Trev9421

They did? And I thought it was the biggest handheld series ever. Silly me

Marky360
Marky360

Theres no such thing as a move to powerful I hate it when ppl say that about moves or guns in shooters I mean why the hell would you want a move or gun to be weak?

sanchango
sanchango

@LtReviews @justinka777  he's implying that if you dodge the initial thunder, once you get hit, you are stunned and pikachu can combo into a move.

LtReviews
LtReviews

@cboye18 @gameroutlawzz 

Now that they're done with all the characters, they'll probably be adding in more stages.

They still have fun stages like Big Blue, Pokemon Stadium, Rainbow Cruise, Pictochat etc.


Their goal definitely wasn't to remove all the random casual stages, so you can expect they may add some stages like PokeFloats down the road.



Tiwill44
Tiwill44

@cboye18 Ehh, most people found the stage hazards annoying in SSBB. I actually hope there will be more "standard" stages in SSBU, since I want more alternatives to Battlefield / Final Destination.

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

@Marky360 ...For balance. I don't think anyone would enjoy a game where every move kills in 1 hit.