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Filed under: Editorial, Industry People, Masahiro Sakurai, Super Bros. Smash For 3DS, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Super Smash Bros. Series

Salt Vs. Criticism

salt vs criticism

Note: This is an opinion article. Disagree? Let us know in the comments.

With the announcement of Cloud, Corrin and Bayonetta being the final DLC for Smash for Wii U/3DS DLC, fans have sound off their opinion off the Internet. The inclusion of these characters is pretty controversial and has created a lot of interesting discussion. However, there is one issue that I continually see that I would like to address. That is users confusing ‘salt’ and actual criticism. Put frankly, most users who automatically resort to the salt meme are not interested in having a discussion. Therefore, I would like to take a moment to explain the difference between the two. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of times when people have been ‘salty’, but it’s over-usage in the past few weeks has killed any thought of having a productive discussion. This article will also explain to those who are salty, why they are salty and in fact not criticism.

What is ‘salt’?

Salt is slang for when someone is visibly upset and bitter about something. It’s very popular in fighting game communities, and has a widespread usage in the Smash Bros. fandom. It’s kind of similiar to “u mad?”, but slightly less antagonistic.

What is criticism?

Criticism is when someone takes something (a decision, a product, etc) and takes the good points and bad points to explain their own thoughts. The goal is not to show displeasure, but to show how it could’ve been improved, or what the author would have changed personally.


(By KneeOfShiningRest) SpongeBros are hilarious! It’s good to laugh at the situation sometimes.


Salt: More like Fire Emblem All-Stars, amirite?

Criticism: I don’t think Fire Emblem deserves as much representation as it currently has in Smash for Wii U/3DS. The game hasn’t sold as much as The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon or Mario, and therefore shouldn’t have the same amount, or more representation than those series. It’s unfair to those fans.

Salt: Corrin is stupid.

Criticism: I don’t agree with Corrin’s inclusion. If they wanted to promote an upcoming game, Sakurai should have taken the fact that Roy, another Fire Emblem character, was already added as DLC.

Salt: Greninja’s such a dumb character! Where’s Mewtwo?

Criticism: I don’t think Greninja was a smart choice, since the older Pokémon characters are more established; X & Y haven’t even been out for a year. It’d be disappointing if Mewtwo stayed cut to keep the franchise’s characters low, considering how important it is to the series.


(By VGCats) …and the tears are salty.


Essentially, criticism requires reason. If people are posting “salty” posts, they aren’t worth the time of day.

I believe criticism is essential in creating a healthy fanbase. I’ve long strived to improve the quality of the Smash Bros. fanbase by increasing the amount of information that is available to its’ fans, and to correct misinformation. However, juvenile behavior on both sides of the debate is not acceptable.

I’ve written about this before in Our Dear Leader. Sakurai is NOT a god among men. He is NOT the 9th Wonder of the World. He is NOT free from criticism. However, when it comes time to criticize or to praise it’s essential that understanding occurs. Blind faith, and blind hatred are bed twins and are not conductive in discussions. I understand that most people are not interested in this kind of learning. However, I implore others to try to bring those users out of their echo chambers (which happens all too often within this community) by leading in example. Personally, I hope that I’m showing a good example of the change I’d like to see in not just the Smash fan base, but gaming in general.

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  1. My thing is who cares if fire emblem has more characters than Zelda we have the core Zelda cast and Zelda has more overall content so yes when I see complaints about corrin I think salt which many of your article writerms have been shown having

    Markeice on December 27 |
    • The case is this: Fire Emblem cast keeps expanding with every game, adds theoretical a bunch of possible and interesting characters into the bowl of suggestions for smash fighters.
      Pokemon is nearly the same, but with generations instead. They don`t always add new pokemon, but when they do, they add a very lot of them.

      I want to be honest: I really wanted K. Rool (only missing villian of the “primary” series besides Ridley, you know, Rare was bought by Microsoft, nobody left anymore with some decent skills to take care of the donkey kong universe until Retro….). Even through I was quite dissapointed and slightly angry, I was even more angry about the addition of Corrin. I already was like “WTF, are you kidding me?” during the first seconds of the presentations as soon I saw it was about Fire Emblem.

      I havent played any Shantae game and therefore have no idea about the reasons of her popularity – would have ended as a better character as Corrin IMHO (just alone for the sake of franchise varity and some fairness, even through you can not please everybody anyway).

      Shovel Knight: Tried his game, freaking difficult, too difficult too me, would have ended as a better character as Corrin IMHO (shovel knight amiibo, beloved game and beloved character, fits perfectly into the typical smash brothers fighter formula).

      I also did read about several fans wanted to see Isaac in. Also never played his games, therefore also no clue, but from what I checked, they had good reasons to want him in.

      I could keep going with more examples but you might get what I am trying to say. Most people – I think -are pissed with Corrin, while with a realistic ballot choice however – at least several people would have been pleased instead, while the “losers” like me, who did not get their favorite character would not have ended as angry as I am right now.

      Well, unless, it was Sakurais plan to annoy the “whole internet”, that is, then he succeeded.
      Like I said: I know there are people happy with Corrin being added, it it an interesting character for sure, but it is just unfair for the sake of varity. Even through I play a lot of times with mario related characters it wouldn`t be soo good, if most DLC fighters would have belonged to the mario franchise.

      But on the plus side I THINK Corrin was the extra fighter slot being added. I think it was only about Bayonetta (looking forward to) and cloud before. So it is also possible I am “only” angry about a whole bonus character.

      mothes on December 27 |
    It’s so annoying when i give my opinion and then,a few moments later,people just say “You are a salty hater. Deal with it”
    People should take a moment of their time and see both sides of the situation.
    People are so alienated on the word “salt”,
    They think it can be used on every moment.
    When corrin got announced,i wasn’t happy at all. The oversaturation on the fire emblem series (on smash bros.) was just unecessary. When i gave my opinion on it,people just called me salty dude,fire emblem hater,ungrateful bastard,etc…
    Everybody need to chill…
    (Off topic: does corrin’s inclusion contradicts “sakurai is an artist,not a businessman” affirmation?)

    Mikael Fernandes on December 27 |
    • To answer your off-topic question in my opinion: It kinda does. I’m not part of the Source-Gaming team so only they know the answer.

      Bob on December 27 |
      • Well, Sakurai likes Fire Emblem. And can’t he be both an artists and a business man? Art is a business too. (in some occasions it is, in others it isn’t)

        Ar on December 27 |
    • Yes, Corrin’s inclusion does somewhat contradict Source Gaming’s “Sakurai is an Artist, Not a Businessman” article but it shows that Sakurai doesn’t always follow everything he says. Corrin’s inclusion does show that Nintendo equally embraces the Super Smash Bros. franchise for “celebrating” and “advertising” Nintendo related things. And once again, the target audience for the articles they translate are for Japanese readers, not us Westerners, so not every single tidbit of information Sakurai says will apply to us like they will more to those who can actually read it in its native language.

      iMACobra on December 28 |
  3. I do wish more would take both sides of the argument, or even take the time to have pleasant discussion… so it’s nice to see an article on it, but like many other things, I feel like it will sort of be ignored by the wider audience.

    Just pointing out a slight typo, I think, in the last paragraph: “He is NOT the 9h Wonder of the World. He is NOT free from criticism” Is it meant to be 9th Wonder rather than 9h? : )

    xkan on December 27 |
    • I think it’s meant to say Red Wonder, from the wonderful 9.

      Ar on December 27 |
  4. In my eyes the most saltiest of them all are the ones that are calling others salty just because they are upset about their opinion/criticism about the topic. Here’s what I’m talking about:

    Prima: I think that the last Smash Bros. Direct would’ve been better if they took at least 2 characters from the Ballot instead of 1. Bayonetta doesn’t look like that she’ll fit in with Smash, Corrin is giving Fire Emblem too much representation and is unwanted, and Cloud has barely been on a Nintendo game and is very unpopular with the Japanese FF fan-base.

    Secunda: You’re just salty because your favorite character didn’t get into Sm4sh. Be lucky we at least got a character from the Ballot. If you don’t like them, don’t buy them!

    Note that only Prima’s first sentence is how I feel about the Direct (Would’ve been better if they introduced 3 or more characters in the Direct instead of 2 IMO), but this is just an example of who I think is the most saltiest out of the group. It’s pretty much a win-win situation for trolls, sadly. I was playing a little scenario in my head that no matter who got in, the trolls will either antagonize those who didn’t get their characters in by giving reasons on why they didn’t make it or antagonize those who characters did get in by giving their intake on why the character got in. Examples:

    Prima: I don’t get it, why did they pick Bayonetta over the Inklings? Inklings has been helping the Wii U become more popular!

    Troll1: They’re already a Mii Fighter Costume, *******! Plus no one wants your loli/shota **** into Super Smash Bros.!

    Secunda: I can’t believe that they put the character that I voted for in Super Smash Bros.! I can’t wait to get Bayonetta!

    Troll2: Probably because the majority of those who voted are greasy ********** like you who wanted more *** material in their **** because Rosalina, Palutena, Lucina, Robin, Samus, Peach, Zelda, and the Wii Fit Trainer just aren’t enough!

    Note that none of these are how I feel, they’re just examples of what trolling can do. Either way, we shouldn’t take comments seriously.

    Bob on December 27 |
    • I agree that the saltiest ones are the ones who call others salty. As if, because they like it, you also have to like it or think it’s a good choice. No… just no. It’s also a way to try and piss people off because they know they don’t like that character’s inclusion and shut down any actual discussion because they’re children.

  5. Thanks for making that article. : )
    I’m not a native speaker of the english language, and I was curious to where that slang comes from, is it from “salt on the wound”?

    Ar on December 27 |
  6. Great article. I don’t mind if Corrin is chosen by Sakurai and co. Even though I’ve only played Awakening and do not consider myself to be a F.E fan. I think most of the salt from Corrin would most likely be from people who believe that Smash 4 could be the last Smash game. Development between the last Smash games takes almost 6-8 years as each entry has their own identity or uniqueness. Smash 5 would be a tough act to follow and if made, we could never see a roster this diverse. But that’s a different story. Having them choose one from their modern games is fine, I just wish it was Inkling.

    Chris.W on December 28 |
    • ” I think most of the salt from Corrin would most likely be from people who believe that Smash 4 could be the last Smash game. ”
      Not only that, but with the recent game however, most fighters got added from current and relevant games. ‘Wishfighters’ who did not appear in any game for a longer time anymore, seem even more unlikely with the next game, since Nintendo seems to keep using Smash also as an advertising plattform for the corresponding game series. So ‘we’ are angry, since the last chance is gone now.

      mothes on December 28 |
  7. My criticisms:

    Corrin who was an otherwise unrequested and unknown character from a series that has only done slightly well in the grand scheme of things and already had 5 other representatives from the franchise was a poor choice in my opinion. Other franchises should not have to suffer because Sakurai loads the game with FE characters. Donkey Kong is a series with close to 10 times the sales of the FE series and has barely received any new content since Brawl. Returns vastly outsold Awakening yet we don’t see Dixie or K.Rool anywhere even though they were both definitely heavily requested. Star Fox dropped down to 2 characters and they have a new game coming up as well. Wolf could have been made easily with the time they spent making. Kirby (while many will argue the main cast in completed) really didn’t get anything from any of the newer games in the franchise. Then we’ve got franchises like Golden Sun that have sold proportionally much better than FE as well and don’t even have a rep. Where’s Inkling who has produced one of the best and fastest selling games on the Wii U?

    I also don’t think the idea of splitting the game in two served the franchise well. For one, there was even less incentive to buy a Wii U when you can get the 3DS version and for many casual players that was enough. Secondly, the amount of content that could’ve been poured into making one jam packed full experience got split between games. The Wii U version always felt lacking to me in comparison to brawl. It feels like all they added to the game was characters, stages, and 8-player smash due to so many of the modes being lacking or simply unrefined. Compare stage builder, smash tour, target blast in this mode to the likes of stage builder in brawl, target smash in Melee, and either of the previous 2 adventure mode. It just seems like we back tracked. The 3DS got Smash Run which was probably the best new single player mode (even though it suffered from lack of customization) but imagine having all those enemies show up in an adventure mode. There seemed to not be much for the single player. We also had to compromise for the less powerful console and lost out on a character.

    SmashShadow on December 29 |
    • The problem is DK never expanded it’s cast, even removed some like King K Rool. That’s really not Sakurai’s fault. Sakurai isn’t the type of guy to shoehorn characters for no reason or a bad one. Corrin? Advertisement. An fair reason because of Roy in Melee. Dixie gets in? Becuase DK needs more reps. …. Do you know how ridiculous that sounds?

      Peridot Gem on May 31 |