Mr. Game & Watch (SSB4)
Mr. Game & Watch (Mr.ゲーム＆ウォッチ, Mr. Game & Watch) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. After making a cameo in Pac-Man's trailer, Mr. Game & Watch was announced during the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 50-Fact Extravaganza on October 23rd, 2014. Like in Melee and Brawl, he uses Game & Watch-esque sound effects to represent his "voice".
Mr. Game & Watch is currently ranked 40th out of 58 on the tier list, placing him at the bottom of the D tier and making him the lowest ranking mid-tier character. This is a drop from his ranking in Brawl, where he was ranked 16th out of 38. Mr. Game & Watch's strengths include great combo and air games and, despite being a lightweight, a high overall damage output on par with some heavyweights. His overall mobility is also decent, with his recovery in particular being impressive due to Fire's long-ranged distance, large edge sweetspot, and general safety. He is also good at edgeguarding, due to his recovery and moderately fast aerials. His landing lag, while not supplemented by autocancels, is actually quite low and is among the best in the game in terms of the total amount of frames in aerial move lag upon landing.
However, Mr. Game & Watch possesses notable weaknesses as well. A big flaw is his surprising inability to KO at higher percentages despite dealing a lot of damage quickly. This is due to his finishers being plagued in one way or another, including inconsistent KO set-ups (such as down throw into up aerial) and KOing options that are too sluggish or have large sourspots (such as forward and down smashes, respectively). Additionally, while he has surprisingly good range for his size due to his disjointed hitboxes, he still has shorter range than a handful of the cast, such as Shulk, Ike, Marth, and Cloud. He is also the third lightest character in the game, making him prone to getting KO'd quite easily, which is further exacerbated by the loss of Bucket Braking.
His grab game is also lackluster outside of down throw, as his pummel is one of the slowest in the game, and none of his other throws possess the same utility that his down throw does, nor are they strong enough to KO at realistic percentages. His neutral game is also lacking, due to having no aerials that autocancel from a short hop and his limited amount of safe options on shield. Lastly, some of his moves are considered to be situational, due to either needing luck (Judge) or needing the opponent to have an energy-based projectile (Oil Panic).
Overall, Mr. Game & Watch's strengths are generally on par with his weaknesses. While his tournament representation is poor overall due to his noticeable character flaws and unpopularity in competitive play, he has still achieved above average tournament results, such as Regi placing 17th at EVO 2016.
How to unlock
Mr. Game & Watch must then be defeated on Flat Zone 2.
Mr. Game & Watch must then be defeated on Flat Zone X.
Mr. Game & Watch's archetype as a lightweight slightly differs from the majority of his fellow lightweights. While he is small, has the third lightest weight, the fifth slowest falling speed, below average gravity, low jumps and is tied for the seventh fastest air acceleration, he has average walking and dashing speeds, a low short hop and above average air speed. Overall, Mr. Game & Watch's speed when moving is quite exceptional for a lightweight, but his low falling speed can be somewhat detrimental. His short size also makes him difficult to hit, especially when crouching.
Unlike most lightweights, Mr. Game & Watch has moves with disjointed hitboxes, with some of them reaching relatively far from him. His damage output is above average, and he has a good combo game, allowing him to easily rack up a decent amount of damage with few moves. His down throw is a reliable combo starter, being able to be followed by his up tilt (on floaty characters) or neutral attack (on fast-fallers) at low percents, Judge, up smash or Oil Panic from low to high percents, all aerials except down aerial from mid to high percents, and Fire at high percents. His combo game is further compounded by his great air game, with his neutral, forward, back and up aerials having good combo utility and being fairly damaging.
His neutral aerial has pretty high range above him and does very high damage if all hits connect and the last hit has moderate knockback, making it difficult to punish, as well as being rarely escaped by SDI and able to be followed up by other moves. His forward aerial has decent range and knockback (when clean), making it useful for edgeguarding, and the late hit can be followed up by another attack when late despite the moves' ending lag. His back aerial, while less damaging than in Brawl, is still pretty useful due to its disjointed range and low knockback that allows it to be followed by another one, giving it effective wall of pain ability. His up and down aerials are mainly used for KOing. His up aerial is his strongest one, but its windbox can make it difficult to connect into the second hit, which carries all the knockback. Nevertheless, its windbox can also safely space the move and juggle opponents. Meanwhile, his down aerial is an effective meteor smash as well as being a stall-then-fall, giving Mr. Game & Watch an effective move for edgeguarding, ending a stock early, and getting out of juggles.
While he has fairly damaging moves, Mr. Game & Watch also has plenty of reliable and powerful finishers for his weight class, which can put him on par with some heavyweights. The most notable examples include his forward and down tilts at high percents, all of his smash attacks, his aerials, Judge 9 and Oil Panic. Finally, his special moveset is pretty decent, albeit polarized. His neutral special, Chef, is weak but can effectively stun players, as well as work as an efficient anti-pressure option from afar. His up special, Fire, grants exceptional vertical distance and deals average knockback, as well as slows his descent down after usage, giving Mr. Game & Watch an amazing recovery that is also difficult to edgeguard. His side special, Judge, is infamously polarized due to being luck-based; its effects range from causing no knockback while damaging Mr. Game & Watch himself (1) to inflicting extremely high knockback that can KO even at very low percents (9). Finally, Oil Panic can absorb three energy-based projectiles (or one extremely powerful energy-based projectile) before unleashing a powerful attack that can score a one-hit KO depending on how much damage it has absorbed. However, it only works on characters with absorbable projectiles such as Zelda and Samus, making it very situational and generally not that useful.
While Mr. Game & Watch does have many positive traits, he also possesses many notable weaknesses. Due to his two-dimensional nature, he is one of the lightest characters in the game, which makes him susceptible to early KOs, especially vertically. He has a very short roll that is quite slow, often punishable even when used sparingly. His grab game is also very poor outside of grab combos: his grab still has very short reach, his pummel is slow and he has no useful throws other than his down throw. His attacks, despite possessing large, disjointed hitboxes that are far reaching from him, mostly have poor to mediocre reach, making spacing less effective when against long-reaching sword users (such as Cloud and Shulk). Their range was also nerfed from Brawl, with his attacks being much less wide and far. While the majority of his moveset has quick startup, it suffers from particularly high ending and landing lag in most of his attacks, allowing him to be easily punished when his moves are whiffed. Finally, some of his special moves are considered to be situational depending on the matchup, with Judge being an unsafe move in general due to its randomness, and Oil Panic being only useful when facing a character with an absorbable projectile.
Mr. Game & Watch has a few noteworthy custom moves. Short-Order Chef is weaker, but much faster, allowing him to space more easily. Chain Judge has no special effects but deals more damage the higher the number is, significantly improving the move's consistency and damage racking capabilities. Heavy Trampoline grants less distance at the cost of being stronger, while Trampoline Launch has no parachute at the cost of granting more distance and being stronger as well.
All in all, Mr. Game & Watch's pros and cons are generally even. Like his fellow lightweight Mewtwo, Mr. Game & Watch can be considered a glass cannon due to his overall damage output and his ability to finish opponents, yet being very susceptible to being finished earlier than most characters. Due to his scarce tournament representation as of late, he ranks below average in most tournaments and has very few players. However, Mr. Game & Watch's playerbase includes notable players such as KOSSismoss, Regi and Songn, who have managed to achieve decent tournament results with him.
Changes from Brawl
Mr. Game & Watch was overall nerfed in his transition to SSB4, with the buffs he received failing to compensate for the more drastic nerfs to his important abilities. Many of his moves have increased lag, such as his neutral, forward and back aerials no longer autocanceling with short hops, which weakens his options to approach or punish opponents. The changes to hitstun canceling can be considered a double-edged sword for Mr. Game & Watch: they indirectly removed Bucket Braking and momentum canceling, which were integral to his past success, yet they improve his combo game thanks to making his down throw capable of initiating highly damaging combos.
His smash attacks, while becoming slightly weaker, are still viable options that reliably KO under 100%, and some of his other moves are still strong. While Oil Panic has had its valuable Bucket Braking ability removed, it also fills faster, letting Mr. Game & Watch use one of his most situational moves more frequently. His recovery has also been improved due to his faster air speed, Fire's increased vertical distance, and Oil Panic's newly acquired jump boost mechanic. As a result, some players, such as GimR and Regi, have shown he is still a decent character despite no longer being as viable as he was before.
Mr. Game & Watch has received a small mix of buffs and nerfs via game updates. His tilts have had minor tweaks, which includes down tilt becoming more potent and up tilt less reliable. Chef's pan became one unit larger. Back air had a decent buff: its landing lag was reduced by 5 frames, which is a common aerial to land with. The changes to shield mechanics in update 1.1.1 notably benefit him indirectly; especially his moves that hit multiple times or have high damage outputs. This includes his dash attack, smash attacks, safer landings with back and forward aerial, as well as Judge 3/9 for slightly easier shield breaks in rare circumstances. However, his potential in doubles play has been significantly weakened due to Oil Panic now dealing halved damage should he absorb a teammate's projectile.
In competitive play
Tier placement and history
Since the early metagame, Mr. Game & Watch has maintained a mixed perception in regard to his tier placement and viability, due to the fact that he had been nerfed overall in his transition from Brawl. Players acknowledged his heavily damaging combos, raw power and having one of the best recoveries in the game, but also his very light weight, lackluster range and sub-par grab game. Mr. Game & Watch's results had always been rather obscure until EVO 2015, where Regi placed 13th (out of 1,926 entrants), and opinions of his potential became more positive over time due to some decent results brought by GimR as well. This led him to being ranked 35th on the first 4BR tier list.
However, Mr. Game & Watch's overall tournament results and representation still remain rather low in competitive play, even with the recent high placings of KOSSismoss and Regi's relatively higher placing of 17th (out of 2,662 entrants) at EVO 2016. Regardless, these results allowed Mr. Game & Watch to only negligibly drop to 37th on the second tier list, a drop attributable to the inclusion of Corrin and Bayonetta, due to their absence from the first tier list. Despite these traits, and the fact his tournament success have dropped compared to Summer 2016, he now ranks at 40th on the third and current tier list; while his results remain scarce, his rather high placings have allowed him to not drop significantly on the tier list.
In Event Matches
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