Project M is a hack for Super Smash Bros. Brawl designed to make the gameplay more closely resemble that of Super Smash Bros. Melee mainly, and also Super Smash Bros. to a lesser extent. The development team is partly descended from the original developers for Brawl+, now known as the PMBR, or Project M Backroom. It has members from over ten countries, though as of now, only an NTSC version has been released.
Project M has been featured as a prominent event at several national tournaments, such as GENESIS 2, the Zenith series, and is on the game lineup for Apex 2014.
The actual version of Project M has two versions: Full Set and Wi-Fi. The former has Stock Control and Input Assistance as new features, which allow newer players to use advanced techniques better and have a stock advantage over experienced ones. However, Replays and online play won't work properly; the latter can glitch since it still detects players with unmodded Brawl games, causing the game to freeze. A similar thing happens to replays; if a Project M replay is viewed on the regular Brawl, it may cause malfunctions when beggining a match, possibly because of the stage replacement. The Wi-Fi version allows these two things to work properly, though it doesn't contain the new battle features, likely because Stock Control would have caused potential griefing within online matches.
Both versions alter the original Brawl gameplay to be more resemblant to that of Melee, along with other changes to make the game more competitive in general, while keeping other Brawl beneficial techniques such as crawl, wall cling or DACUS. These changes include:
Default match type is 4 stock with an 8-minute timer.
The following mechanics have been altered to match their Melee forms:
Air dodging applies a directional boost and causes helplessness, implementing wavedash techniques. Like in Brawl, however, they instantly grab nearby items during the first frames.
L-canceling halves landing lag when a shield button is pressed 7 frames before landing, and characters will flash white if performed correctly.
Dash dancing's timing has been reverted, and characters can shield during one.
Altered camera that behaves similarly to in Melee's Camera Mode, as well as being capable of zooming out indefinitely, and rotating around the entire stage.
Hitstun canceling has been removed.
Random tripping has been removed.
Grab aerials cause helplessness if they miss a ledge, but can be used after an air dodge with the shield + attack combination, like in Melee. They still act as tether recoveries, though they won't restore a character's midair jumps if they drop from the ledge. They are now also more efficient since they ignore edge-hoggers; characters will still grab the ledge without affecting them, and when pulled up they perform an automatic jump get-up.
Characters now grunt instantly when hit by a strong attack, while in Brawl, they did a second afterwards. There are also medium-damage and high-damage groans as well, with most characters using unused voice samples from the Sound Test.
If an already-struck character gets hit by something else, the new knockback either replaces the old knockback (if the gap between the attacks was 10 frames or less) or has its direction and power combined with the old knockback (after 10 frames). (In Brawl, whether to replace the old knockback is based on the relative power of the two attacks, and no merging is performed.)
For the Full Set version, players can now turn on Input Assistance which implements a 3 frame buffer window to help newer players master advanced techniques, replacing the "Damage Gauge" option. Wi-Fi version instead has a different Buffer option that replaces handicaps, from 1 to 30, with these numbers being the respective amount of buffer frames.
Stock Control added (Full Set version), replacing handicaps. Players can now control the amount of stocks each player starts with before battle, from 1 to 30 stocks for each individual character. A Crew mode has been added in which the game keeps track of stocks retained after battles.
Stage selection menu modified to include built-in stage striking control.
Super Armor has been removed. Standardized knockback resistance system categorizes armor as Light, Medium, or Heavy. Some characters feature color overlays to indicate such armor, with more opaque overlays generally indicating stronger armor.
Special Brawl's "Curry Mode" is replaced by "Turbo Mode," in which all moves can cancel into any other move or action on hit or on shield.
Timers and Starmen are removed and replaced with ordinary stickers, even for Training mode. Superspicy Curry is replaced with an item that activates "Turbo Mode" on the spot. Other items remain unchanged, though.
Melee veterans should be assumed to have been reverted to their Melee moveset and properties and have been changed from there. This includes special and normal moves, properties such as gravity, weight, run-speed, air mobility but does not include sound effects, textures, or vertexes. However, some characters, due to having poor attributes and movesets in Melee (such as Ness, Kirby or Zelda), had some elements recycled from Brawl and Smash 64 or have been given entirely new buffs.
As of version 3.0, the Curry effect is replaced with a new one - Turbo. In Turbo mode, players are able to cancel any successful attack, upon hit or shield, into any other action except the same attack. However, certain moves, such as Farore's Wind, consist of multiple actions and can be cancelled into themselves. Turbo Mode has been compared to the Marvel vs. Capcom series, because it enables skilled players to perform extensive combos.
Numerous alternate costumes for several characters added, including Dr. Mario.
An April Fools' video announced that 3.0 would contain a universal gameplay change where all moves can cancel into any other move or action on hit or on shield. While the change being universal was a joke, it will be available for play as "Turbo Mode" in Special Brawl, replacing the "Curry" option. Project M 3.0 will mark the first version to contain the entire Brawl roster, along with Roy and Mewtwo. 3.0 will also feature Dr. Mario as an alternate skin for Mario, akin to Wario's biker and plumber skins. Other confirmed skins are Melee Fox, Shadow Queen Peach, OoT Link, Dry Bowser, Party Hat and Pirate Hat Pikachu, armored Mewtwo, Mr. L, Virtual Boy R.O.B., Outset Toon Link, Pirate Wolf, Boxer Donkey Kong, Pajama Ness, Masked Man Lucas, Fire Peach, Melee Falco, and Concept ArtMeta Knight.
Playtesters: Historically, the PMBR has had playtesters such as Hungrybox, Mango, Lucky, KirbyKaze, Amsah, and many more. The current playtester team consists of Gimpyfish62, TheReflexWonder, Fuzzyness, Professor Pro, Fly Amanita, and Jolteon, among many, many others.