The newest edition of Super Smash Bros. left a number of characters cut from the playable roster. Star Fox nemesis Wolf and Mother representative Lucas were among the few cut, as well as third-party guest Solid Snake and two of Pokemon Trainer’s three team members Squirtle and Bulbasaur. And, as misfortune would have it, a certain parka-clad pair will also not be returning to the fray.
In Sakurai’s latest bi-weekly column in Famitsu, the Smash Bros. creator confirms the details behind the cut of the Ice Climbers, the only character (well, characters I guess) to appear in two Smash Bros. games before getting the axe.
Many feared that the limitations that come with having Super Smash Bros. on a portable console would prevent the Ice Climbers from appearing in the new games. As it turns out, this is exactly the reason. Sakurai mentions that the Ice Climbers functioned on the Wii U, but because they aren\’t a high priority as a series (being an old series without a new game in an absurdly long time), the Ice Climbers got the can when they gave the 3DS issues.
Later in the column, Sakurai talks about the release dates of the two games. The Wii U and 3DS versions were not released simultaneously due to debugging. The Wii U version likely needs a longer debug phase than the 3DS version. Sakurai is confident that if both games shared a release date, neither game would have hit shelves until 2015.
Interestingly enough, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U removed the ability to \”chaingrab\” opponents, a common tactic by Ice Climbers players. Chaingrabbing is achieved by being able to grab an opponent out of a throw, allowing you to chain grabs together. In previous Smash games, chaingrabs were frequent against heavy characters and fast fallers, who wouldn\’t be knocked away too far from a throw. Certain characters, like the Ice Climbers and King Dedede, could chaingrab opponents indefinitely due to their unique throws.
The Ice Climbers can chain grab because they are able to re-grab opponents using the other Ice Climber immediately out of the primary Ice Climber’s throw. However, in the new games, all characters are unable to chain grabs together because the game forces players to wait before they can even grab again – if they try too early after the initial throw, they\’ll whiff.
It’s sad that, in the end, the games that the Ice Climbers could have avoided their bad reputation as the ultimate chaingrabbing machine are the same games they got cut from.