With the recent release of Project M Demo v2.1, we're going to have a look at a handful more of the characters who have benefitted from the physics changes and the creativity of the Project M team. We'll revisit Lucario in a more technical sense, as well as some of the other Brawl newcomers in the coming weeks. The Brawl newcomers are a bit more interesting to look at as the team has taken more creative license with them; the Melee vets were very much treated to a "re-meleeing" process, although some of them have reaped rewards, such as Link. The Project M team has treated Link very well. In general, his attacks have gotten buffed; some in speed, some in range, some in power, and some in multiple aspects. Let's start with him.
Nothing categorizes Link in Smash Bros like his projectile game. With Project M, Link's ranged game is better than ever. His bow is stronger and charges significantly faster, which will afford the opportunity to move about the stage, short hop and fire off arrows to keep opponents at bay and dole out that oh-so-precious damage. A charged arrow has effective knockback for a projectile; hitting an opponent who's already off the stage with one could be that little nudge needed to keep them off the edge. Learn the trajectory, learn the timing for a full charge - you'll learn to love it. Bombs, while not hugely different, still deal decent damage and can be used to mindgame people into positions advantageous to you. The unique part of the bomb is its classification as an item. There are things you can do and games you can play with the bomb that you simply cannot do with a normal projectile. You can pull one, short hop and drop it to leave a trap or you can litter the sky with them to create an obstacle course, forcing an opponent where you want them to be and to fall into your new and improved up smash.
|Boomerang and arrows - keep them flying|
Then there's the boomerang. The gale aspect of it is gone; this is back to the hard-smacking boomerang you know and love. Down tilted throws for short hop attacks, up tilted ones for fakes and long distance hurls to come back and hit the opponent once you close in and grab or combo them. I personally feel you should have your boomerang flying around the stage as much as possible, as often as possible. Though not a projectile, Link's spin attack is back the way you love it - A strong initial strike and a useful way to end combos on the ground. The end of the spin still gives that semi-spike trajectory, so don't be shy about using it at the edge. In fact, do so with vim and vigor.
|Every bit of damage helps|
As for Link's regular attacks, you'll notice a healthy speed increase. You'll be able to move faster out of some of these attacks, such as the down smash, and some are just outright faster, like forward tilt. While some of these are minor changes, veteran Link players will notice a huge increase in speed between what they could accomplish in Melee vs what they can do in Project M. Up smash may be one of the most important changes; the three strikes now combo into one another far more effectively, allowing more damage to rack up and a much better chance of the third strike to send them flying. Don't be afraid to run at an opponent and go right into up smash; you stand to deal great damage. This can be all the easier with a boomerang looming...
Ultimately, you've got a character with a good air game, a good distance game and a formidable close range game; put these puzzle pieces together and you can land some great combos. And let's be honest, it's always fun to toss your boomerang, grab your opponent and just wait for it to come back and bop them one. Link has long been a fan-favorite among Nintendo fans in general, and with the changes seen in Project M, I see him being a lot more popular amongst smashers as well.
Have a favorite rush down with Link? Perhaps a combo video or a good match with him? Let us see in the comments! Next week, we take a more in depth look at Lucario and his new combo capability.