News Article

Feature: How A Team Of Dedicated Fans Is Fixing Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Posted by Daniel Starkey

The inside story on Project M

Super Smash Bros. Melee was a love letter from Nintendo to the company’s legion of fans — a fighting game packed to the brim with songs, stages, characters and art from the storied history of the Japanese game company. It’s an accomplishment quite unlike and unmatched by any other. Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the third game in the series, was by many accounts slower, looser. Creator Masahiro Sakurai had worked to make the game more welcoming to newcomers, but in so doing had sacrificed the precision necessary to foster a competitive fighting game community. For many fans of the series, Brawl just didn't quite feel right.

Since Brawl’s release in 2008, a dedicated group of volunteers have been crafting their own take on the Super Smash Bros. series, and in those years it’s been honed to become one of the most polished fan mods around. The team now thinks their game is on-par with a retail release and is their ultimate tribute to a franchise that has already given gamers countless hours of entertainment.

With just over four years of development, Project M — the 'M' stands for Melee, in case you were wondering — has become an absolutely massive undertaking. In 2012, it was reported that there were over 50 people were working on the project with whatever time they could spare. To date, most of them have put in over 1,000 hours apiece. It’s a labour of love, to be sure, and one that comes with its own unique challenges.

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For most, modding a game is strictly within the realm of a PC. Consoles aren't just harder to mess with — most manufacturers put in safeguards and security features to foil pirates. Project M, however, only requires a copy of Brawl and an SD card that can hold less than 2 GB. Even so, getting out the word that the project even existed was the first major obstacle.

“Upon becoming more and more popular with the mainstream Smash scene, we were reminded of a very important and humbling fact about the nature of Super Smash Bros: its genre versatility," says Adam Oliver, a developer on the project. "We also want to stress that we earnestly believe in the ideal that Super Smash Bros. is a series that is meant to be enjoyed by a wide audience. With so many options to choose from, Smash games can be played as both competitive fighters and party games. We truly believe in the creed that there isn't a right way to play Super Smash Bros., only a way that is right for you. It is an important distinction that we take to heart when developing Project M. When we say that we've taken heavy inspiration on Super Smash Bros. Melee, it is partially because it adheres to these standards.”

By all accounts, if Brawl had one critical flaw, it was that it seemed to miss that focus on inclusivity. In talking to professional Smash players and to the Project M team, it became clear that Melee — while exceptional at building a strong following of high-end players — was just as welcoming to newcomers. To this day, Melee remains a staple party game and the top-selling game ever released on the GameCube. For many fans, Brawl seemed to discourage tournaments and high-level play by design. For the folks that spent years learning the ins-and-outs of Melee, it came as a harsh surprise. That, according the folks behind Project M, is what drives them.

A simple, straightforward set of goals is necessary for such a loose project. From the beginning Project M was designed to be more fast-paced, with natural movement that affords players a greater sense of control and rewards technical proficiency. Most of these targets are in direct opposition to some of the mechanics of Brawl. Tripping, for example, is a random occurrence that can disrupt games and cannot be turned off. At the very least, no matter how good any one player gets in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, they can't overcome those types of basic obstacles.

Close interaction with the community, especially for a project driven exclusively by dedicated fans has been the team’s bread and butter. “We're all making a game that we want to enjoy with friends, and as we make the game it’s very satisfying to picture other groups of friends experiencing the same game, learning the ins and the outs of characters while uncovering our little bits of fan service," says Oliver. Fans, though, have taught the Project M team a few lessons of their own. After all, the professional community that has grown up around the Smash Bros. series only ever existed because a handful of players managed to dig through the game and uncover all sorts of secrets and tricks that a good chunk of which the original development team wasn't even fully aware.

“It’s extremely satisfying to conceptualize an attack, animate it, rig it up in game, polish it tirelessly, and then see community members not only passively enjoying the attack but actively analyzing and discussing it," continues Oliver. "This level of engagement is great, and when the community uncovers nuances that we didn't even think of before it really surprises us in the best of ways. They may be thankful for our work, but we are just as thankful for their unrelenting support.”

With that support, however, comes pressure. “Our only real frustration is that we can't get this out the door faster,” Oliver says. “We know that the fan base is always hungry for new content, and we desperately want to give it to them as soon as possible. However, they rightfully expect polish from us and we have to take the time to make that content work as flawlessly as possible.”

Their goal is to create a finely-tuned, expertly-crafted product. Competitive gamers — by their very nature — are spectacularly talented when it comes to finding all of the cracks in a superficially perfect game. As with the discovery of the subtleties of Melee such as float-cancelling, L-cancelling, wave-dashing and more, the Project M group is trying to engineer and control those elements as much as possible instead of keeping them as a smattering of idiosyncratic pieces throughout the code. “If we want Project M to be viewed as a serious proposition — a truly professional experience — then we must try to adhere to the same standards that a professional company would,” Oliver says.

Extreme attention to precision aside, they do have a few regrets. Game design, as any professional will tell you, is an iterative process. Your first build will always be the scaffolding upon which you construct the rest of your game. Because of that truism, it’s easy to make some choices early on in development that will hinder your future products. “The greatest regrets mostly stem from the fact that as we get later and later into the life span of Project M releases it gets harder and harder to change anything without a rock-solid justification to the community,” Oliver comments. “There are a small number of mechanics and character decisions that we wish we could go back and improve before they'd become so well established, but in some instances it’s simply too late.” While the inspiration for Project M may well have been the oddities of Brawl, it’s hard to not wonder if Sakurai and his team at HAL laborites ran into similar problems.

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It’s been just over four years since the Project M team started work on their conversion of Brawl. In that time, an entirely new console has come in the shape of the Wii U and an entirely new entry in the series has been announced. For these fans, though, this is a once in a lifetime experience. Whatever the new games hold, the Project M folks probably won’t be trying to modify them.

“A lot of us are getting older and just don’t have another 1,000 hours to give to a new project," Oliver says. "Brawl was really a perfect storm of some players liking the new content but looking for something a little tighter, faster, more offensive, and an active Wii homebrew community with eager coders ready to pump out the toolsets and programs necessary to realize something like Project M. Once we've made the game that we've wanted to play with Project M, it’s hard to imagine us throwing ourselves at modifying Smash 4 with the same freshness and enthusiasm.”

With Nintendo’s recent announcement that it is shutting down the Nintendo WiFi Connection for some of their older titles — including Smash Bros. Brawl — the fact this is a project clearly bound by aging technology has never been clearer. Though the team won't be able to keep online multiplayer going for Project M — nor are they likely to work on the upcoming Wii U or 3DS titles — they stress that their work isn't complete. After a well-received third version release, there are still a few more characters to add and a bit more polish to coax out of the now aging Brawl engine, but beyond that the future of Smash Bros. fan mods are uncertain. All of the signs of a cult classic are here, however it may well yet come to rival its predecessor and chief inspiration for ubiquity. For now, though, there’s more work to be done.

“Project M has reinforced the idea to respect any and all smashers. Seeing all of these smashers from different scenes play our game made us meet many different people with different opinions. In the end, we came to the conclusion that no matter where we come from, we are all bound by a love of Smash... Our greatest hope is that Project M will be played and enjoyed by many [people]. It is being played in many homes and our fanbase is on a steady increase. We hope that this tendency will continue.”

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User Comments (137)



Kaze_Memaryu said:

The competitive fanbase of Smash Bros. is really stunning at times. Considering the sheer amount of work they've put into Project M, and the genius modifications used to break the limits of Brawl's coding, the outcome is, while being insanely balanced and fast, kinda sad, since it will inevitably fade into obscurity once SSB3D/SSBU are out.
If only my Wii could still read discs, I'd get SSBPM instantly and play until my fingers bleed!



siavm said:

I personal find this sickening. They the game is great as is. Sure it is not as good as Melee in some ways but I trust the guy who made it. I am not screwing all the work he put into. Something like this should be like its own game somewhere else not some fan crap that messes with a game I love. If you like Melee play Melee. Don't bring the uniqueness of this game down to say this is better. Luckily with the new games crap like this won't happen again.



ItalianBaptist said:

Really like both project m and brawl+. Idk if "fixing brawl" is the best choice of terms though because the pmbr goes out of its way to not come off as "brawl sux we can do better" trolls. As a future fan studies scholar I believe there is a place for fan games like this as a complement to the official ones, not a replacement. Because you need a copy of brawl to load project m, this seems like the perfect compromise to me.



Mecha_Boo said:

Fixed Super Smash Bros Brawl? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Project M, but people need to stop acting like Project M is a new Smash and Brawl was just a bad rap. Brawl is a great game on it's own and it dosen't need a glorified mod made to make it more like its predecessor. I only use it for the cool looking costumes anyway. When I get bored looking at them i'll go back to regular brawl because it crashes alot less



Usagi-san said:

Should have sunk those hours into making their own game. I don't even see the differences.



KeeperBvK said:


I personally find your post sickening. According to your logic, why can't you just play Brawl if you love Brawl? Just don't care about this project as it doesn't affect you or the game you love at all.



Swiket said:

@siavm Must suck if knowing that an optional mod exists is literally ruining your own experience with Smash Bros.



f00had said:

I love Project M... it takes all the best bits of Brawl and tweaks them so all the characters are more powerful, better balanced and have new tools. I just hope they can restore Final Smashes to Squirtle, Ivysaur and Charizard. It's restored my interest in Smash Bros while I wait for the new game on Wii U



Jllanos22 said:

@siavm I agree with u. I played it ones and they end up overpowering a lot of characters. If u like melee then play melee.



TeeJay said:

I'm actually kinda surprised you guys made an article about this. It's welcome of course, but you guys are usually so strict about this mind of thing.



MussakkuLaden said:

I more or less agree with Mecha_Boo. Personally, I never much enjoyed Brawl and I cannot even say exactly why. Probably because it never felt much different to me and thus, after having played Melee for hours and hours, the concept had somehow lost its appeal. Therefore, making it even more like Melee to me goes into the very wrong direction and I hope that SSB WiiU will play very different from all the others.
I surely know that it's tiny differences which can make all the difference for professional players seeking a deep competition, and therefore I understand the aim of Project M and I have nothing against that. It just seems wrong and even unfair to me, to call it "fixing" a game which was the way it was for a reason, I suppose (although that doesn't mean it was perfect even on objective ground, of course).
But I would also say that Melee was in fact the more accessible game from my experience with many, many ignorant players. It may have been more difficult to defeat a pro in Melee than it was in Brawl, but at least you seemed to be in control of what happens. Friends of mine got easily into Brawl, but just as quickly got bored of it, because all fights seemed somewhat random.

As an aside, even though I never noticed that personally, as Brawl, unfortunately, seemed even more chaotic to me than Melee was, I think that one of the best changes made to the game was to made it slower. All the hardcore-SSB-fans among my friends found Melee way too fast and chaotic and continued to prefer the strategic N64 original anytime. The more time passes, the more I tend to agree with this view. The only problem that prevents the title from entertaining as many hours as Melee is the small roster.

Finally, I almost totally agree with siavm. I find it sickening that players tend to demand (or make existing games into) the games they wish to have, the type of games that fit their existing tastes instead of appreciating the vision of the producers. They complain more and more, even if a new game merely comes with a different control scheme - Oh no, why can't I change the controls to the scheme of game XYZ! - not to speak of
No wonder that game developers lose confidence in their work and in video games' ability to realise dreams in general, and that their polished, consumer-oriented products bear more and more the mark of sheer anxiety.



Starwolf_UK said:

I'd have loved to try it only there was never a patch made for the European version of Brawl (no idea why, isn't this just patching files on the disc to be read off the SD, and when unofficial "how to get Project M to work on European Wiis" guides include the step "download the NTSC Brawl ISO" that is not making it work but just ignoring the problem).



Rafie said:

Wow I didn't know this existed. I have to say that this is quite impressive. I mean wow this game looks incredibly good. It's well polished versus the originals and seems to play great. Those costumes though. WOW! I wish Nintendo would have came up with those.



SebCroc said:

@siavm Easy for you to say when you're just a bystander. Yes, you are screwing all the work they put into it! It makes me sick that people who have no experience in this kind of skilled programming think they can just come and post crap about it like they have authority over everything. I'm sorry for sounding like a jerk, but I've seen far too much of this absent-minded judgmentalism in just about everything that requires time and skill. Please, a little respect is the least you can do.



ZurrrrBlattTron said:

Ehh the mod feels more like the MVSC series than it feels like melee it's cool but way to fast Smash Wii u AND 3ds will knock this out the park :3



Marioman64 said:

@siavm i also find your post sickening. these guys worked hard to bring the precision and gameplay from melee into brawl. as much as i love brawl, it's just not as tight, fast, or balanced as melee. and saying they should just play melee is like saying "hey i know nintendo let you down by messing up a lot of core mechanics and ruining serious tournament play, but i'm having fun with the game so screw you and go cry about it" there's nothing wrong with customizing something to make it more enjoyable for yourself. if you disagree with that then i doubt you are human



dAvecaster said:

People who spend that amount of time improving something deserve recognition. Respect to the team. As for "fixing" it I'm not sure it was broken but, like anything it could have been improved.



unrandomsam said:

Maybe they can do a better job with the online. (Nintendo did an awful job even before it was axed.) Even the new one looks to have not enough effort put in with the online. (Everything else looks great) .



ueI said:

This feature fails to mention that Project M is MISSING content from Brawl. I'd like Brawl to play like Melee too, but not if I have to sacrifice my favorite stages. Mecha_Boo is right in that people are ignoring Brawl's merits, and I find that alienating.



ZurrrrBlattTron said:

@Marioman64 it's still however you put a sick idea, if I was Sakurai I would had felt insulted half of the mechanics wasn't even put in melee on purpose in the first place, if you like melee play melee don't take something that developers put so much time into and change it up completely just cause you didn't like. Say I did a drawing and I colored the dress pink, someone then takes that same drawing and edits it to blue cause "they didn't like pink" I would be quite pissed



AugustusOxy said:

Not fixing it so much as gutting it to make it play like Melee.

Its an okay cause, but I think Brawl was a fine game on its own. Unlike ninety percent of common opinion spewing sheep out there, I feel like it was superior to Melee.

Melee had a lot of problems and nostalgia goggles makes it hard for fantards to see that.



Swiket said:

Some of the jadedness in the comments section here is really sad. It would be really disappointing if every game developer felt personally insulted whenever someone modded their game.



Janfeae said:

As someone who has been hacking brawl for years, know that there have been 2 huge advancements recently. Number 1, you can now use any GB SDHC card with a file patch code.

The biggest new breakthrough....There is now a clone engine which creates a total of ONE HUNDRED CHARACTER SLOTS!!!!!

For those asking why you would need so many customizable slots, if you didn't know already, there are many custom textures, and best of all, model swaps, which you can now play as standalone characters without replacing existing ones.

Want to play as a legitimate Cloud Strife? You can do so. Want to play as Shadow the Hedgehog with his own moveset, model, custom voice clips, and animations like skating as opposed to running? All very possible with brawl.
Here's an example.

Even if you have no interest in attempting this as it is a hack after all, I'd check out what people have done with the game over the years just for kicks. There are many characters from Nintendo franchises, and many others available to use in brawl with a little modification. Another short preview (Not the best stuff lol do a little digging by popularity)



chaos_ said:

Most people that don't like this mod are just upset casuals that only like 4 player item matches (which are fun). Sorry but many people like myself felt that brawl was a huge let down in the competitive department and didn't deliver in the technical department like melee did, which made this game perfect for anyone wanting that technicality back. This mod is better than brawl itself and I hope sakurai takes notes from this and melee (which he may have after seeing yesterday's direct)



Azaris said:

"fixing" no fixing would imply brawl was broken. random tripping is the thing that needed to be fixed.



ueI said:

@chaos_ With Project M preaching "inclusiveness," I expect the mod to have enjoyable 4 player item matches.
@Janfeae I'll have to check that out.



Yosher said:

Good. Now localize it for Europe, guys. Then we'll talk Project M, maybe.

Can't beat the original though.



Trikeboy said:

@Usagi-san You don't see a difference? The game is faster, you can combo to your hearts content and loads of other additions. Did you not see new characters? A new character select screen with more characters that what was in it originally? They put a lot of work into this mod and it shines like that first beam of light after a storm.



AlternateButtons said:

"Fixing" was the wrong word to use Nintendolife. Brawl is perfect as it is ans doesn't need to be "fixed". What a shameful headline. That said, Project M looks really cool and I'll probably try it out just to play as all the cool character skins.



Gma-X said:

@siavm Dude, it's not replacing Brawl, it's just a mod you can play when you like the melee style. Your entire message literally doesn't make sense, I doubt you even thought it through before you hit the keyboard. Don't say non-logic cr*p if you have nothing to say.



dahkuToby said:

I was a big fan of Smash 64, and I still play hardcore Melee to this day; it's easily among my favorite games of all time. While I respect other folks loving Brawl, sadly to my personal preference it was a skip-worthy game that, after giving it fair time with friends, I never considered purchasing. I've been curious about Project M for awhile now and may eventually pick up a copy of Brawl just to try it out, so I'd say "fixing" is an appropriate word for some players.



EverythingAmiibo said:

@Guitardude7 @whoevermadethisarticle yeah, come on guys! Brawl was AMAZING!! Just because some people prefer melee for competitive reasons doesn't mean Brawl (with it's larger roster, non-nintendo characters, heap-loads of extras and a real story mode) is inferior or in need of 'fixing'! Sakurai would be ashamed!



Dark-Link73 said:

"For the folks that spent years learning the ins-and-outs of Melee, it (Brawl) came as a harsh surprise...."

I'm sorry but those folks need to move on and adapt. Making Brawl be like Melee is not "fixing it". Overall, there's nothing wrong with Brawl. Do the Project M people want to "fix Brawl"? Fix the online lag. Then you can say they're "fixing Brawl".



Aceboss100 said:

I wouldn't say "fixing". Maybe more like making appropriate adjustments to satisfy competitive players nostalgic need. Over all, the team did a better job on it than most mods that I've seen and for that they deserve some level of recognition.



Zobocop said:

There's a large feature on this in the current issue of Nintendo Force magazine. For anyone here not picking it up, you should definitely consider it. Great magazine.



FJOJR said:

Might give this a go on the Wii U. Brawl really did open the door for modders and even I dabbled in it with some texture mods like what my avatar has. That will be missed in Smash U/3D.



Megumi said:

....Yeah I tried talking about this thing before in the forums, just a general discussions...but the thread just gets silently deleted. And now this shows up. :/



JayceJa said:

to everyone complaining about this, you clearly are not the intended target of this mod, so dont download it, and just let it go

as far as a high level fighting game goes, brawl DOES have significant issues and draw backs compared to melee, so on the high end competitive level they ARE fixing it by taking back some of a lot of negative changes from melee to brawl



PrincessEevee9 said:

@KeeperBvK At first this was a nice distraction. But the amount of hype surrounding it and playing through it myself it's just trying to make Smash mroe like a 2D and not staying true.



CaPPa said:

Project M always seemed counter productive to me. The premise seemed to be to make Brawl more like Melee because Melee was a better competitive tournament game; but modding Brawl means it could never be a real tournament game because it's modded. So in the end it's just a fun little mod but its not actually 'fixing' anything.



birthgirth said:

Just so everyone knows...Brawl was actually a broken game. From a coding standpoint, it was a mess. Being developed by like 10 different studios really messed things up. There were models that were actually broken and incomplete. Misplaced hitboxes. A lot was wrong with the game. I understand that people love, I was the same way. I played and loved Brawl for 3 or 4 years. Then I went back to Melee and realized how much more you could do with it. Combos blew my mind. Couldn't wait to get my hands on Project M, and it did not disappoint. They've done an incredible job to make it was it is. Once you go back to Brawl after playing these games you realize just how slow it is. You can say I am part of the "competitive" crowd now, but I'm a convert. I used to be all about Brawl.

From a coding standpoint, yes, they are "fixing" Brawl. Anyone who denies this or claims that "Melee fanboys" are just being babies is silly. That is just some "Casual Brawl Baby Fanboy" defensive talk. There is no need to claim fanboyism. The game is actually being fixed. There are plenty of unused bits leftover in the game that they've utilized as well.



birthgirth said:

^^Having said all of that,
I am extremely excited for the next Smash. While it does not look as "Fast" as Melee, it does look like a lot of fun. Its certainly faster than Brawl. This time around Sakurai seems to be doing a lot of the work himself, meaning less of the multi-studio hands being put into a mess, which is good. I think Sakurai realized the messiness of Brawl and there is no chance of that happening with this one. I expect great things, the game looks marvelous.



unrandomsam said:

@birthgirth And the fact that stuff like this exists increases the chance of us at some point getting online back not just for this but for Mario Kart as well. (Think there is a similar thing to fix Mario Kart). Starting now with no experience would be totally different.



Handy_Man said:

The amount of negativity in the comments is really pathetic. I've been playing Project M since Demo 2.0, and it's a great alternative to Brawl. Not a replacement, an alternative. Plus, even though it plays like Melee, the metagames are still very different between Melee and Project M, and they have a completely different feel and presentation from each other. You don't play Project M to play Melee on the Wii, you play Project M to play Project M.



DarkKirby said:

This is what I want from Kirby in the upcoming Smash.
And for the record Wolf is considered top/high tier and Kirby mid tier.



warvad said:

The amount of people here who actually think Brawl is a good game makes me sick.

Project M has tons of support and is actually already in tournament settings; at Apex 2014 there were more Project M entrants than Brawl entrants.



AkinaChan said:

I heard this mentioned quite a bit in yesterday's Gamexplain discussion on the Smash Brothers Direct. :3



gamerphil07 said:

@warvad Oh, shut up about Apex. Nobody cares. Brawl is better than this mod crap, and it's better than any game you'll ever play. (Until the new one is out.)



gamerphil07 said:

@PvtOttobot Lol, have you seen what he's doing with the new online mode? He put those over competitive flops in their own game mode so we won't have to deal with them! LOL



WaveGhoul said:

I remember being so butt hurt the moment i fired up SSBrawl...
The slower controls, floatier physics, random tripping and gimped/broken air dashing crippled my first impressions. It eventually grew on me only because i grew used to it, but the moment i dived back in Melee i was reminded just how much better it actually plays.

Nice to hear that Sakurai has struck a balance between the two for SSB U, although, i wish he'd just resort back to Melees fast and furious, more precise combat. Heck, at least add in a Turbo mode!



Gridatttack said:

Yes, brawl needed to be fixed (hi balancing issues & random tripping). Its just fanboys that cant see whats wrong with brawl :>

Anyway, this is a nice mod. I dont play brawl anymore. This mod proves to be great and its not as slow as brawl :>



Senario said:

I am surprised at the amount of hate from people who aren't part of the competitive scene. What we do doesn't ruin your experience.



Shining-Void said:

My God, some of these comments are hurting my brain. If you don't like project fine, but that doesn't give you the right to sh*t all over their hard work. It may be hard to believe, but just because YOU don't like something that doesn't mean everyone else has the same opinion.



siavm said:

@Marioman64 wii modders ruin games. Especially since the wii is not a modding system. Hacks like these led to online games being unplayable. So there hard work means nothing compared to the man who made this game.



unrandomsam said:

@siavm It messes with a deeply flawed game not sure whether it achieves what it sets out to because I only have a PAL copy of brawl. Either way modders are great. The good stuff they do far outweighs any of the minor negatives that occur due to their work.



Gma-X said:

@siavm I don't entertain myself by trying to understand something that doesn't make sense. "Good" is subjective, you think the game is good as is, others don't. So they created a mod, a very impressive one at that, and they play it. Not in your house, not on your Wii.

The Wii was released more than 5 years ago and Brawl about 4 years ago. The WiiU is out for over a year, the Wii is losing it's WiFi abilities, Nintendo and the maker of Brawl have both gotten as much as possible out of it.

Furthermore, I believe a game maker should be happy to see fans so invested in their game that they're showing what they would like to have improved. Now the maker knows what was lacking for some players and can use that to grow as a gamemaker and deliver an even better game the next time. Plus, this mod will make sure that the Melee lovers who didn't like the game go play it again. It's a perfect compromise: They get what they want and the overall idea + story of the original maker is kept intact. He should be happy that now even more gamers will get to see his game.

Look at it from more than one angle, man.

@unrandomsam Exactly that.



SecondServing said:

Excellent mod. It's pretty apparent that Sakurai is taking notes from the competitive community with Smash 4. It's seems like there is a greater focus on precision, combos, and balance in this new Smash. Which makes me freaking happy!



LztheQuack said:

@siavm: If something truly doesn't affect the way I play a game, I don't let it bother me. No one has to download this mod and no one is forced to use it. I'd rather just ignore it and let others have their fun.



Wonder_Ideal said:

I know this may seem irrelevant, but the Master Sword in the silhouette at the top of the page is wrong. The wings on the hilt are upside down. e_o



chaos_ said:

@everyone that said brawl was perfect or fine the way it was. That just shows that you don't play competitive or look into game mechanics because Brawl was far from perfect, it had many flaws. Here's just a few: infinite chain grabs with ice climbers, chain grabs with Faldo, DDD.... META KNIGHT, and thats just a few of the many flaws. Now that's not to say brawl was a bad game, because it wasn't. It's just it had many unbalances that sakurai decided to ignore, and that's one of the reasons project M was made and became a big success among the smash community



Senario said:

@WaveBoy Typo, you mean melee. To me it is less about playing like melee and more about having a good set of mechanics that allow the game to be played as a competitive fighter in legit tournaments. For example, EVO. I do want a new smash game to be as competitive because all other fighting game series do update to newer things. I want smash to be a game that can be played for fun but also competitively for many years after release up until the new game. Brawl kinda ruined that and I am skeptical of Sakurai but in the worst case scenario, I just continue playing melee after getting tired of the new game within a month.



ZurrrrBlattTron said:

"Project M balances characters" is that why in Every smash tournament people use Fox,Falco,Shiek,Wolf,Meta Knight or Peach?



JaxonH said:

So this is just like that Newer Super Mario Bros Wii mod then, huh... I might have to check it out. Nothing like a good fan mod to change things up and make them feel fresh again. I liked the NSMBWii mod- I thought they did a pretty good job building upon the original game.



Senario said:

@siconlol Not even going to accurately look up what characters are used are you? Or recognize that brawl lacked nearly all competitive aspects that it could have had. It doesn't matter what people play in brawl because it wasn't a good competitive fighting game.



BearHunger said:

Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the third game in the series, was by many accounts slower, looser. Creator Masahiro Sakurai had worked to make the game more welcoming to newcomers, but in so doing had sacrificed the precision necessary to foster a competitive fighting game community.

This is exactly what I love about Brawl. I loved Melee too (and played it about as much ), but the controls were a bit too sensitive and the gameplay a bit too fast for my tastes.



luckybreak said:

This mod is really fun and enjoyable for people who like to play competitively. The game is really satisfying, mainly because the increased ability to spike/meteor mash with most characters, as well as tighter combos and more juggling ability. It is much more fast paced than brawl and generally more exciting. I still like brawl but once you go back to it you realize the floatiness is hindering among other things.



Arminillo said:

People like Melee, people like Brawl, people like Project M. But remember that series evolve and change, it's unfair to the developers of Smash to be forced into making the same game and not allowed to make their own changes to their own game.
Brawl is great for what it is and I feel is a better party game than Melee. Melee is great for what it is and has a better competitive aspect. Also, it's rarely ever the case that the most recent installment of a fighting game is the best one yet. SFII Turbo, MvC2, KoF 98, are all entries that arguably better than their newer counterparts.



retro_player_22 said:

It's interesting that this mod had Zero Suit Samus, Sheik, and Charizard as separate character before the SSB4 ND. Though I like this mod, I kinda support the idea that Brawl had for Charizard, Squirtle, and Ivysaur. Seems that the only 3 characters missing from Project M are Young Link, Pichu, and the Pokemon Trainer. Young Link and Pichu I could understand but missing the Pokemon Trainer just isn't right.



retro_player_22 said:

@Suicune I agree except I think MvC1 is better than MvC2, the second one had some really boring soundtracks and matches are more of a spamfest than actual combat. Also Onslaught is a much better boss than Abyss anyday.



grimbldoo said:

@ueI #26
That's as ridiculous as being alienated because someone told you the old bench you were sitting on could use a fresh coat of paint.

@siconlol #27
No, its more like somebody copied your art but used blue instead of pink. And what greater honor is there to an artist than to have his artwork mimicked?

@Nintendude789 #28
They hardly have to be angry and anger alone would most definitely not suffice as motivation for thousands of hours.

@ChoppedLiver #35
It requires a legal copy of Brawl and it is a free mod. The only thing is that Nintendo service will blame you if something happens to your system.

You've been waiting for more than 4 years for SSB4, regardless if you recognized that or not.

@CaPPa #52
Just because these developers aren't in a large building means that their creation is illegitimate? It can and will be a tournament game if it is found to be fair and balanced enough.

@gamerphil07 #61
That really doesn't make any sense. How can it ruin your game if you don't download it?



Senario said:

@Suicune Well yeah, they are arguably better but the key is that the new versions of the game are still considered good enough for competitive fighting. As a smash fan, I want the next game to be like this. Where the new version may not be the best, but it still is the most used because it is great for competition. Think ultimate marvel vs capcom 3 at evo rather than mvc2



KeithTheGeek said:

Doesn't really surprise me to see a lot of anti-modding sentiment in these comments. Though I do feel using the word "fixing" in the title was a bad choice and bound to stir up trouble here.

I love PM. I play PM just about every day. And the reason why is because I loved Brawl, but I wanted Brawl to be so much more. And I got so much more with PM. It's to the point where Brawl is nearly unplayable for me now. Besides, I don't want to play Melee. I don't want to play Brawl. I want to play Project M. Telling me to go play Melee, or worse, being one of those people who think competitive Melee is the same as Street Fighter....that just shows how ignorant you are and unwilling to see the other side.

For the record, I don't care if you like Brawl. Brawl was good. That's your own personal preference...and that's fine. But please don't go hating on the people who wanted to take that in a new direction. That's the reason why the fandom is this divisive in the first place.



DiscoDriver43 said:

Not sure why people are so much against it. If you don't want to play it, don't play it. Besides, it isn't like you suddenly don't have Brawl anymore. Anyway to be quite honest to me. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom was the better Wii Fighting game. Replaying Brawl and replaying melee kind of made my opinion of Brawl lower down.

So, anyway, How is Competive Marvel 3?



hylianhalcyon said:

Only got to play it once, but it was fun. Amount of work they put in and what they managed to accomplish with it are quite impressive.



Zombie_Barioth said:

I'm curious, just how many of the haters are also against PC mods? Do you guys also hate games like Half-Life, Team Fortress, and L4D, seeing as they started as mods themselves? Most developers tend to be supportive of mods, and mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery after all. Its big enough that if it bothered Nintendo they'd have shut it down by now.

I've been meaning to give it a look myself. Just how easy is it to "revert" back to Brawl? Does it need to be uninstalled or is it as simple as "unplugging" it and letting Brawl load normally?



1upsuper said:

I don't know why I read through these comments, but I did, and I'm much worse off for it. The negative reception here is even worse than when NL posts a great speedrunning video and it's bombarded with salty people who have no idea what speedrunning is and how it works. I took the time enlightening them on that, but it's just not worth my time to explain things to the ignorant NL masses anymore.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@1upsuper That may be the case but one must also look at the fact that the title is hardly the most appropriate one out there. That title seems to be there just to stir up the hornets' nest. Seems to be a pretty common occurrence nowadays on this site.

Personally I enjoy mods and being a programmer myself it seems like it wouldn't have been particularly easy to do. These people definitely have dedication to do this.

I really hope the writers on this site actually remember what they've been taught in writing school (especially in regards to "communications") before they decide to write another article.



Marioman64 said:

@siconlol you're making it sound like they're trying to replace brawl. there's nothing wrong with people making mods so people can play with new and different features. everyone literally mods every single game, i've made my own super mario world levels. that doesn't mean I hate super mario world's original levels, it means I want to explore the game more, see what I can make, and just have fun creating things, I'm definitely in no way trying to replace super mario world
@siavm cheaters ruin online play when they play online with people who do not have those same cheats available to them. modding a game and playing it offline with friends is fine

also one more point, the argument that people shouldn't mess with content the developers made means you are against any concept of a level editor, which insults me a bit. People get mad when a "sequel" is just more levels, so how else are people supposed to get more gameplay out of the games they love without making more levels?



Senario said:

@DiscoDriver43 Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is pretty crazy and as you might expect from marvel it has a huge skill ceiling. What is most important is your characters work well together obviously.

The game centers around pretty much locking down your opponent so they can't do anything if you get a hit and really good players will be able to do this. Teams like Morrigan, Doom, and Vergil make for extremely strong teams because Morrigan can steal meter and is very strong early game with shadow blade and soul fist. All of the above characters have either a loop or an infinite so there is that. Zero may cry is also popular, Zero, Dante, and Vergil with Zero being crazy with loops and Dante being a great second character when you let a skilled player with meter play him.



ueI said:

@grimbldoo That's not what I'm complaining about at all. I don't mind a fresh coat of paint, but I won't let anyone confiscate my bench simply because they don't like it.



TySoN_F said:

I like the idea of Project M and also applaud the time it took for these guys to create something awesome that caters to that particular crowd. I also love the extra effort they did into reinserting old characters and adding new costumes!

But, in all honesty, I feel like Project M is the community saying they can make a better game than Sakurai did. I especially hate how people rag on Brawl for not being Melee enough and point to Project M like it's the savior of the Smash series. While I have no qualms of Project M's existence, I do just find the hate for the source material unnecessary.

With that being said, I've only been in a couple local Melee and Brawl tourneys. I enjoy Capcom/SNK/Namco fighting games a bit more when it comes to the competitive scene! So you can take anything I say with a grain of salt xD



Retro_on_theGo said:

@Siavm you're an ignorant monkey, pal. Don't be upset when someone trashes you for your college major because it's different from theirs. Hope that helps you realized how dumb you sound.



BAGBOY said:

I really don't get tourney fanboys and their obsession with melee, yeah, it was a hell of a game, I love it, but brawl was such a great game on its own right, flawed yes, but there weren't the usual tourneyfags obsessing towards it, that's why I love the wii sequel, it's a complicated game with its own merits. That's the crappiest part when you create a masterpiece, everybody expects more of the same instead of innovation or something different. Don't have anything against project m, but it isn't my cup of tea staying in melee mode forever.



Aerona said:

Thanks for bringing this to my attention, I've been looking for an excuse to play Brawl.



Maxime said:

Love the article, but I want to address some of the backlash.

Nowhere in this article did we ever say that we were "fixing" Brawl. We did not choose that word choice, the writers did. The people who like Brawl can continue playing Brawl. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. In fact, there are a few in the backroom who play both game, or even Melee, Brawl, Project M and Smash 64 equally.

Some of us do not come from the competitive scene, but have skills they can contribute to the project. There are also a small subset of competitive Brawl players who have begun to share their ideas with us and even join our ranks.

For those asking whether this is legal, we need to differentiate between modding and piracy. Piracy is stealing someone else's property, something we do not endorse. Modding is modifying an existing product, not profiting from it. We offer patch files to play the game differently, but ultimately, you need an original copy of the game to play it in the ways we distribute the files. Game Genie left a court precedent about gaming modifications, rendering the act of modding video games legal. We've heavily researched this because we love and respect Nintendo and want to stay on their good side.

FInally, remember that this is our policy: "We truly believe in the creed that there isn't a right way to play Super Smash Bros., only a way that is right for you." We strongly believe in this.

We've made great strides to add content for both competitive and non-competitive players, even adding a new item, the turbo booster. Competitive players want to have fun as well, but their way of having fun may be different from yours. Having options to choose how to experience that fun is what makes smash a truly inclusive experience. Some people like to play Free for all with all items on high, others like to play neutral stages like Battlefield and Smashville with no items. Some want a more chaotic party experience, some want a more direct test of abilities. There's really no superior way to be a smasher, and sometimes that competitive smasher will want to play an items match as a change of pace. The key element here is that you're having fun, and instead of either side wishing for the other to burn, I think that it is better as a community if we can instead support each other. I really don't get the whole competitive gamer hate that people direct toward me on a constant basis. I mean, I'm fine with people playing differently than me, I even play items matches if people are so inclined. I get a lot of hate when I'm being warm and polite. There's this sort of angry knee jerk reaction when I say that I participate in Project M (and formerly participated in Melee) tournaments. I think I'm speaking for the average tourney people here when I say that in general, we're pretty cool dudes. Of course, the jerks are those that get remembered the most, but they are just a very vocal minority. Believe me, I slap my forehead every time I see someone making fun of party smashers. It's immature and stupid. With this in mind, while it is unfair for competitive gamers to be jerks, I'm not sure it's entirely fair to label us all as elitists. There's good and bad people in every scene. There are elitist tourney goers, just as there are cool, laid back people in that scene. On the other hand, there are cool, tolerant party smashers, just as there are equally elitist party smashers who would tell us that we're playing the game wrong when really... we're just playing it in a way that best suits our sensibilities. The idea is mutual acceptance. Smash can be played both ways, no camp is hurting the other. On the contrary, the series benefits from this versatility.

I also avoid the use of the word "casual" to describe party smashers, because who can be very into smashing non-competitively. I think this is a misnomer.

I also wouldn't consider the M in Project M to mean "Melee". While it is a heavy influence, we've made some departures from Melee, improving some of its weaker aspects. While Brawl's balance has some issues, so did Melee. No game is perfect, and that includes our own. We can only strive to get better with playtester and community feedback.

Anyhow, please try Project M if you have a chance. We take every and all feedback. With balance shaping up, we have been looking into improving party elements and aesthetics. The reason I wrote this long-winded post is because I feel that these things needed to be said.

  • Vigilante, PMBR.


noctowl said:

I always get a good laugh when people talk about being "skilled" at a video game, like it's on level with skill on a instrument or some kind of artisan or pro athlete. Hate to break it to you, but there's no skill involved sitting in front of a tv pushing buttons.



Maxime said:

Not to burst your bubble or anything, but there are many skills involved in video games as an e-sport. Honing your reflexes, reads, improving your game knowledge, being able to anticipate several moves ahead, etc...

The fact that someone who practiced for a long time will almost always win against someone who did not... yeah, at both high, medium and low levels, there is skill involved.

As long as there's the concept of "mastery" and the ability to "improve", by definition, skill is factor. Unless you would say you have not improved since you first picked up a controller. I'm pretty sure that my brother who has never been into video games has never even come close to beating me, personally. Cool dude, just not his thing.



WolfManZylo said:

Long time reader and first time commenter, after being inspired by the comments made on the article. The tl;dr of my comment is this: PM has introduced me to a community of great people, and has caused me to go from despising competitive fighting games to loving them.

My experience with the game (PM) has been a very interesting experience. I've always hated fighting games (i.e. street fighter, tekken, etc.) for various reasons, but the last six months have really widened my perspective. A little before 3.0 came out, I was introduced to the mod by some friends over Skype. They would talk on and on about this great mod for brawl, that brought back the melee feeling, and they would go to local tournaments that started incorporating it in to their line up. So being curious and just wanting to get in on the conversation, I downloaded the mod. Now being a smash player since 64, I felt pretty cocky. "Competitive smashers are just a bunch of tryhards taking themselves too seriously, right? I could probably show up to a tournament and place pretty well. I can beat all my friends no problem. I'm better than the casual player".

I was wrong.

After going to one of these tournaments, I learned first hand three things:
1. I was still a casual player regardless if I had thought otherwise.
2. This was not a room filled with a bunch of tryhards.
3. I was having fun losing.

Getting completely demolished at the tournament should have killed my spirits, but every single person I played in matches were so welcoming to a new (and by "new" I mean to competitive smash) player like myself. They would offer advice and tips on how to improve, explained techniques like wave dashing and L-Cancelling, were patient when explaining rules and stage banning (and by the way, it's not all on final destination), etc, etc. What surprised me the most, was it wasn't just melee or project m being played. 64, melee, brawl, and PM were all on scene with large attendance, with a diverse group (and I mean diverse: we're talking otaku to skaters to stoners to thuglife, colors, sizes, hell my buddy even met his girlfriend at one of these things) unified by a common passion.

This went on longer than I wanted, but the point I'm getting at is that project m brought me in to a community I didn't think possible. I've started to get in to more fighters (currently learning BlazBlue:CP), and met many new interesting people because of it. I don't they are trying to fix brawl and make it like melee.

I think they are trying to bring everyone together. Bring the hype for smash 4!



Maxime said:

It's pretty much what we're aiming for, WolfManZylo (great story BTW!).

We wanted to provide an alternative so that everyone would be happy. By the way, have I seen you around the PM forums?

I'm Vigilante, the Roy main from Quebec



WolfManZylo said:

@Maxime Glad you enjoyed it!
I don't really go to the smashboards very often, save to lurk and download the occasional brstm.

Zylo, Ike and Roy main from Arizona, currently living in Florida awaiting CEO



Senario said:

@noctowl Well if you believe that then go play Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Street fighter, Blazblue Chronophantasma, Smash Bros Melee, and so on with good players. In Ultimate Marvel I can almost guarentee you won't be able to take down even ONE of their three characters unless they pick the worst characters in the game.



Maxime said:

Arizona huh? I don't travel much for tourneys anymore, but if we ever meet, don't be shy and say hello, WolfManZylo.

On the other topic:

And as Senario said, highly skilled fighting game players will never lose to an unexperienced player, even on a bad day (although to slightly worse players, but in the same league that could happen).

Still, the point is that some people find enjoyment at getting better at the game. By competing with other players, they can gauge how much they've improved. I have rivals that are a bit better than I. When I get closer to or simply defeat them, I feel good about my achievement. If I lost, I still had fun and learned a lot from it.

I'm sure you're also having fun playing the game in a more party-ish manner. I personally like playing a bit of both ways.



birthgirth said:

@Maxime So you're part of the Project M team?
I just wanna say, I was very impressed by the level-9 AI in PM. The fact that they use advanced techniques and actually offer a good challenge makes them great for practice. Although it's not equivalent to PvP because you can't necessarily read them the same, they are very capable practice opponents for improving skill. I practiced for quite a bit with the level-9's because there's only about 5 or 6 guys in my town who are competitive smashers and we don't get together all that frequently. But I was very shocked to see in a matter of days how much my improvement transfered over to real-world PvP use, especially tech skill. And the skill transfer to melee is almost directly 100%.

So well done on that!



Maxime said:

Thanks buddy, thought he main AI guys are Bero and KingClubber, I'll tell relay your words to them. They really don't get the praise they deserve sometimes. They're amazing.

Also, thank you for supporting us. I know it might sound like I'm just doing PR to look good, but it really is a big motivator for us to know people are enjoying the game.



ItalianBaptist said:

@Maxime I definitely appreciate your doing all the legal research (so I don't have to . Why did the team add stuff from castlevania though when there wasn't a precedent for it like the other stuff you changed? Don't get me wrong - I totally dig dracula's castle, I just don't wanna see u guys in hotter water than necessary



Kirby_Girl said:

Wow so much work put into this! Coding seems like a nightmare. I've never played a modded Brawl game but the changes are interested to see. I liked all the smash games growing up but I happened to like Brawl more than Melee because Kirby felt so nerfed in Melee. I mean if I can't even play as my own favorite character and have a good fighting chance than that sucks. Rather at least play Kirby in Brawl. I don't want to choose Fox when I don't want to. However this mode makes him even more formidable in Brawl where he was better but still missing something.



Maxime said:

TheItalianBaptist: The Castlevania stage in kind of a gray area, but we know that Konami has a history of being more tolerant about user-created content. If it so happens that they wish for us to take it out, we can always reskin it.

I'm actually pretty sure that Nintendo knows about Project M. They've been reacting to its mention on Miiverse, in fact. The fact that they let it exist for so long means that they won't do anything to remove it.

Nintendo_Ninja: I respect that some like Brawl. My reason for nto being as enthralled with it was because that it felt rather sluggish to me. Moves were slower and advanced technique were removed one by one. Balance was pretty abysmal, where the difference between the to and worse character in the game was wider than in Melee and Smash 64. It also had a lot of glitches, some that permanently messed up save files and music for example (we fixed these problems, so you can't get these permanent problems with Project M).

I,m not exactly sure I agree with competitive gaming not taking some physical toll. You play for an extensive period of time, and the average high level smash player makes around 7 inputs a second. It requires peak concentration levels, and over long periods of playing, your sense can begin to dull, and your ability to take pressure is tested. There are players who react better to pressure, and who are better at maintaining and managing their energy. Mental condition is also tied to your physical condition. At least, that is my personal experience.



Saxophoneoftime said:

I also want to give a huge shoutout to the PMBR. They've made one of my favorite games of all time (if not my favorite), and they helped make my first tournament, the Big House 3, better than anything I've ever experienced. Getting bodied by and meeting a good amount of people from S@X that I've watched ever since I can remember, and playing Roy and Mewtwo before thousands of people, was beyond cool to me.



Maxime said:

Thanks Saxophoneoftime. Your praise means a lot to us.

Even being part of the PMBR, I was hyped when Roy was shown off publicly for the first time. I had been keeping the secret for months, wanting to play him against people other than just my closest friends, XD.



R_Champ said:


I wasn't going to put it so bluntly, but yeah, I think you're on the right track there. Not to say it isn't impressive programming, but I considered Brawl to be its own game that doesn't need to be fixed, just accept for what it is (whether you like it or not).

Project M is like Harry Potter fans re-writing the last book so Harry gets married to Hermione.



ItalianBaptist said:

@Maxime Thanks for responding. I wish I knew who was and who wasn't more tolerant of fanworks. The way I see it, it's not stealing if they've basically said its ok



KeithTheGeek said:

I want to mention that I'm going to my first tournament this weekend (PM and Melee), that being Civil War VI in Virginia. Definitely expecting to get bodied, especially after watching some top level play last night and seeing how badly I'm outclassed...but I want to experience this, at least once. PM has easily been my most played game over the past year and the half, and it was something I've been playing on and off since the first public demo. I dunno if Vigilante is coming back to the comments or not, but I personally LOVE the game. I sure do miss Dedede's silly meteor smash on his forward smash though.



EverythingAmiibo said:

@grimbldoo I recognise it all right! An HD, new modes, huge new roster, new platform, local play, online and all round way better version of brawl, YES! But an 'upgrade' of brawl to melee... um, no.



Twilight_Crow said:

@R_Champ Well, yeah, that is called fanfiction, there are tons of it on the Internet and it can be really great. Take the characters you like and put them on different situations, creating alternate universes, it is fun.

And guess what? Mods, fanfiction, fan art, none of that stops you from enjoying the things you like. The original works are still there, no one is destroying them or kidnapping them or forbidding you to experience it as the original creator wanted.

All kinds of fan content is just people taking something they like and doing something different with it, in some cases really great things come from fan made stuff, and, unless they profit from it, is perfectly legal.

All Smash Bros. games have been good, none have been perfect, and not everybody likes everything about them. These guys did a fantastic job, I really don't care to play PM, but man that is some hard programming, honor where honor is due; and mods can't affect you unless you use them. For example If someone wants to grab Brawl and, I don't know change all the characters to ponies... wait that, would actually make me really happy, bad example... If someone grabs Brawl and mods it to make it even slower because they really like slow games, does it affects the original game? Does it affects me? Nope, If it is what they like fine with me.



Maxime said:

Twilight_Crow: I will not attempt to convince you to play Project M. The choice is ultimately yours. However, I do want to commend your open-mindedness. It is refreshing and much appreciated.



WinterWarm said:


Oh, shut up. You have no idea what you're talking about.

These people worked for years on this, while you wrote your idiotic comment in 30 seconds whilst you took a ****.

Play Brawl if you want, but don't for no good reason, blatantly and unjustly attack someone's passion for something. It's pathetic, childish, and immoral.

If you think you can just talk crap like that, you're wrong, you're a pathetic, stupid moron with no respect for talent. Hope your Wii breaks.



XeNoUsernameHere said:

I love this mod, even though I haven't done much with it. x3 (Though I waited until just now jump in, I should hate myself for that xP ) Especially that Melee Link, Ness in his Pajamas and Masked Man Lucas are alternate costumes of their main characters while Roy and Mewtwo are in this mod!



Starchaser02 said:

I wish the casual side of the smash universe stop being so damn closed minded with project m and even for glory in smash 4. Sakurai can enjoy both high level/ casual play i don't get why people can't respect that. I love project m it has extended the life of my wii i just wish there was a way to play online that isn't dolphin netplay.



Onion said:

I feel like a lot of these comments are caused by the fact the title says "fixing"... Poor choice of words that creates a sense of irritation to Brawl fans the moment they read it, and sets the tone for the rest of the article and comments.

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