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Filed under: Editorial, Review, Super Bros. Smash For 3DS, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Super Smash Bros. Series

December Smash DLC Review

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The team gives their review of the newest Smash DLC!

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Sakurai has finally got me to buy a costume. When I saw Geno’s costume in the reveal trailer, I knew that I had to support Geno’s inclusion in Smash. I’m very happy, especially for Geno fans. The Chocobo hat looks cute! I don’t have a deep connection to Square-Enix, so this mini-wave of DLC didn’t pique my interests as much as the previous DLC. However, I did enjoy playing Cloud, and I’m very happy with his inclusion in Smash. I’m a little bummed at the lack of Final Fantasy music, as Midgar has the least amount of songs of any stage. I believe there were licensing issues at play, which prevented Final Fantasy’s infamous soundtrack being available. I also wish that Cloud came with a Sephiroth or Tifa trophy, but again I think politics were more to blame than Sakurai’s desire. The potential was really there.


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Having done everything on both versions with Cloud I have to say that I do enjoy him but not a whole lot. He took some getting use to but after a while i began to enjoy using him. But after this initial run i probably won’t stick with using him like i do with the June characters. Cloud’s recovery is appalling and i find the added pressure of not wanting to waste your limit break to not be enjoyable. On the other hand I like Midgar as a stage. It’s got a simple layout but the gimmick is very cool and does not happen too often in my opinion. It’s no Yellow Devil that’s for sure. However the music choice is pretty much non-existent, as are any additional trophies. Both Ryu, Corrin and Bayonetta got additional trophies but Cloud gets none, not even Sephiroth. I did not buy the Mii Costumes myself but the Chocobo one is just a hat and looks a bit boring. Geno is pretty cool though.

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2.3439020879/5 (I hate number ratings :P)


First, Cloud is pretty fun to play with. He is a bit faster than Ike or Shulk, but he doesn’t have the same power that they do. His Limit Breaks are also an interesting mechanic, though not an impressive one. It’s the worse when you get hit and get the limit break, only to have to use it to recover, and since it takes so long to charge, you’d rather avoid using up-B or B and instead use his side-B and down-B, both powerful attacks. The Midgar stage is interesting, although not as exciting as I first expected. I noticed by friends were a bit confused by what was going on, and it is very easy to miss the summon materia if you are not looking out for it. The stage can be daunting. The Geno costume was also a nice touch, but I wish that the team took the time and get some music from Super Mario RPG as well.

The major issue with the DLC is lack of very odd things. Cloud does not have English lines despite having an English voice actor, and the Midgar stage has no new music and no new songs. It’s a huge missed opportunity because it would have been perfect to showcase some of the music from other Final Fantasy games, including those on Nintendo systems. Overall, the DLC feel pretty average. Cloud is fun but the lack of certain things makes the experience feel cheap.



Cloud is so fun to play! As an Ike main, he feels like a natural progression. The Limit Break actually charges much faster than I expected, and despite his awful standard recovery, I anticipate Cloud to be one of the better characters in the game.  It’s nice that Sakurai recognizes Geno as being important to a lot of Smash Bros. fans, and used this unique opportunity of working with Square Enix to be able to get an official reference to the character as a Mii costume.  That’s the best thing the fans of him could really hope for.

As mentioned from several others above, I’m confused by the amount of content that seems missing: Mii costumes, voice acting, music, trophies.  Similar to how Street Fighter’s Smash content is lacking Chun-Li, it feels as though a Sephiroth reference is one of the bigger missing things from Final Fantasy’s representation. The Smash Bros. remix of Ryu’s theme is my favorite song in the game, and as much as I enjoy the two new songs with Cloud, I would’ve loved to hear a remix of one or both of them.  Midgar is an awesome stage, and I’m surprised we didn’t get any trophies of it or the summons.  It makes me curious if the Final Fantasy content is actually limited due to licensing issues, time constraints, or just the fact that the developers have been working on it for 3-4 years and are over it.

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I’m both satisfied and disappointed with December’s DLC lineup. On one hand, Cloud feels so fresh and Midgar is an awesome stage. On the other hand…it’s the extra content that makes this wave feel a bit lackluster. Midgar having two songs only is criminally understating FFVII’s wonderful score, most notably(for me) the absence of One Winged Angel, which I fully expected to be in and would be a wonderful song to Smash to. The Mii costumes are fine, I completely expected Geno after Cloud’s reveal. No additional trophies in the vein of Ryu is also a disappointment. But I can’t be too mad, Cloud alone is satisfactory.

The match up we've been waiting for.

Overall Average: StarFullStarFullStarFullStarEmptyStarEmpty

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Like most of you say, I think the most underwhelming part of the December Update was the lack of new remixes (and in fact, the non-remixed music are only two tracks)… At least he has a special fanfare (a looped one).

  2. 4.5/5. Cloud’s fun, Midgar is cool, and I like what I paid for. While some more music would’ve been nice, I do like the tracks that are there, and I can’t say that I’m bothered by the lack of trophies etc (especially since I’ve not played a FF game).

    Munomario777 on December 19 |
  3. After maining Marth since Melee, I feel like Cloud is my new main for Smash 4. Speaking from a purely gameplay perspective, he fits my style perfectly. His aerial game felt a bit weak to me, but he totally dominates on the ground. My perceptions may be a bit skewed from a purely non-competitive standpoint, but there’s no doubt he is very unique.

    His alternate costumes are pretty awesome too, and his original outfits actually reference other SOLDIER ranks (1st class = Purple(FF7) / Black(CC), 2nd = Red(FF7) / Purple(CC), and 3rd = Blue.) I also like that his “Cloudy Wolf” outfit has both the sleeved and sleeveless version with the Aerith memorial armband. <3

    I didn't play on the Midgar stage too much, but the little I played was fun.

    The costumes are another story… I'm glad Geno got a costume, but the fact that it doesn't match any Mii skin tones is bothersome. Compared to the official QR code, my Geno is shorter (to have the cape cover more) and has the next darker skin tone, which matches SLIGHTLY better, but still not enough for my standards. The Chocobo hat is much larger than I originally thought, which makes it look weird on my Chocobo Knight Mii (the hat is adorable, though.)

    I'd give it four out of five paws… mostly because of Cloud.

    Winturwulf (@winturwulf) on December 19 |
    • Strong on ground but weak on air…that makes me wonder he may be another type of Little Mac but uses swords.

      zoniken on December 19 |
      • With the addition of the Limit Break Gauge, yeah, it kinda seems like it… but while Little Mac is speedier, Cloud seems to have a bit more balanced stats.

        Still, landing any of the Limit Breaks is just as satisfying as landing a Mac K.O. :3

        Winturwulf (@winturwulf) on December 20 |
  4. “That’s the best thing the fans of him could really hope for.”


    I love how they had to glorify Geno and the Chocobo hat to try and gloss over there only being 2 Mii costumes in this wave.

    Going to be negative and give this a 2/5. The lack of Mii costumes is substandard, and Cloud and FF7 did not get the same love as Ryu and Street Fighter.

    Igiulaw on December 19 |
    • I’m with everyone else and thinking that licensing issues barred more FF7 content from appearing… after all, every newcomer DLC has come with a trophy, at least. It’s a shame, really, because FF7 has such a great soundtrack, and Tifa and Barret Mii Fighter costumes would’ve been perfect, in addition to any trophies. My suspicions lie with Sony and the Final Fantasy VII Remake that’s gracing their console first. Considering that’s in development, it’s a miracle we got Cloud and Midgar at all.

      Winturwulf (@winturwulf) on December 20 |
  5. Back in the 64 days, I’ve always dreamed of Cloud being in Smash, but of course that wouldn’t be true because it’s my own fictional imaginations. However, after the reveal trailer of Cloud’s inclusion, I was stunned by it as my dream and imagination became true! I thought it was impossible due to Nintendo and Square-Enix’s relationship, and due to my mistaken belief of characters not being in a Nintendo platform, but I was ultimately wrong and I’m glad I was.

    As I first tried playing him through 3DS, I admit it…he was so great. Although he’s equipped with a heavy sword like Ike, Cloud was more faster than him. Well, that doesn’t mean he’s flying like in Dragon Ball Z style, but that’s how it works in the FF universe. He was also more powerful than Ike as I expected, and I really enjoyed playing Smash Run using Cloud as well too! But I wouldn’t rely on the Limit Charge since it takes too long to charge up, so I’d just rely on attacking and damaging to automatically charge the meter. I also liked the Midgar stage too. Although it’s another Battlefield-like stage, I knew it’s not the same because of the gimmick. The summon monsters were as cool than I thought, and it’s effect was astonishing! And for the Mii costumes, I might plan to buy the costume someday, but Geno’s costume was a surprising one. As I was talking to a friend in Japan through chat, he predicted of having Geno as a costume, and I’d agreed on it…and he was right, I was right, we were all right…it became true!! Although I’m not much of a Mii costume collector, I think I’ll think about purchasing it.

    But there are some disappointment I had with this DLC. I know I’ve wrote this in the previous article before, but I think I should repeat myself if anybody wouldn’t mind. First is the musics…I do like both battle musics, but it was disappointed that nobody made the remix of those songs. I was expecting remixes of them, but it never happened. This was the second time nobody made a remix of that franchise’s song, while the first is Sonic excluding Angel Island Zone. I could’ve also wanted more songs from FFVII whether to be original or remixed, which I was expecting One Winged Angel and J-E-N-O-V-A. Or I could have possibly hoped for other FF musics too, like FFV’s Big Bridge and FFVI’s Decisive Battle, or maybe Super Mario RPG’s Beware of the Forest Mushroom. (lol) Also the lack of trophy was something I was shocked. Ryu had Ken while Bayonetta have 3 characters, but Cloud had none. I was hoping for having Sephiroth for the iconic villain, and Tifa or Aerith for iconic heroine. And for the Mii costumes, there was just only Geno and Chocobo. There was no other Square-Enix costume other than that. I was hoping for Sephiroth, Tifa, Dragon Quest III’s Loto, and Secret of Mana’s Randii. It was really disappointed we had less amount of Square-Enix related content, but I guess that’s because there were licensing issues or time constraints, which something Sakurai couldn’t go against it.

    But either way, just like Cloud said, limits are meant to be broken. And Sakurai did break those limits. Although there’s tons of lacklusters, I still think this DLC was a great (too early) Christmas present for us Smash, FFVII and Square-Enix fans. Thank you Sakurai! Now I’ll just have to wait for Corrin and Bayonetta!

    As for my rating: 3.5 stars

    zoniken on December 19 |
  6. I think freaking Cloud Strife in Smash alone warrants at least 4 stars. XD

    MaskO' on December 19 |
  7. Cloud himself is cool and unique, but midgar is a rip off. Only two songs? Licensing issues or not, this is the only thing keeping from giving this a higher score. Geno costume is pretty neat as well, as he was my most wanted for brawl.


    cmbsfm on December 20 |
  8. Normally, I’m not much for echo chambers, but it seems like most of us feel the same way about this batch. Cloud’s inclusion is still mind-blowing and he’s both fun to use and looks to be pretty good competitively. The Midgar stage is well done and never feels as intrusive as Wily’s Castle et al. Geno getting a Mii costume is awesome. But despite that, the dearth of Square Enix costumes and trophies is disappointing, the fact that Midgar inexplicably only has two music tracks equally so, and Cloud only having his Japanese VA is a strange creative decision.

    Overall, it’s not bad, but it just feels like there’re so many obvious ways it could’ve been better. 3/5 sounds about right.

    delzethin on December 20 |