Mr. Game & Watch (SSBB)
At first, Mr. Game & Watch was indirectly revealed from a leaked copy of the game. However, he was officially confirmed on the Smash Bros. DOJO!! website on March 10, 2008, one day after Brawl was released in North America.
He is currently ranked as 16th on Brawl's tier list in the high-mid tier, which is a high leap from Melee (where he is currently 19th in low tier) and his best placement in the series. The largest benefit Mr. Game & Watch gained in Brawl were the physics changes, where he is significantly less vulnerable to combos, his back aerial is significantly more useful due to hitlag, and the leaning towards defensive gameplay boosts Mr. Game & Watch's strengths in general. For some of his individual traits, Mr. Game & Watch possesses large and disjointed hitboxes in most of his attacks, with his attacks being rather fast in start-up lag and the majority being quite powerful (especially his brutal smash attacks, all of which can reliably KO under 100% while none being particularly slow). Mr. Game & Watch additionally possesses amazing survivability for a character of his weight class, as his amazing bucket braking momentum cancelling gives him the horizontal endurance potential of a lighter heavyweight, while his recovery covers great distance and provides great protection against edgeguarding. Mr. Game & Watch also possesses above average movement speed and good mobility, effective tilts and aerial attacks, and a down throw that can force a tech chase opportunity on anyone at any percent. While Mr. Game & Watch's attacks are fast in start-up lag, they are particularly heavy in ending lag, with his aerials also all possessing high landing lag with the exception of his neutral aerial. His attacks, despite possessing large hitboxes, additionally mostly have poor to mediocre reach. This results in him being easily punished when his attacks are shielded, and complicates safe approaches. His projectile is also laggy and short ranged, while being mostly ineffective, preventing him from being able to outcamp most characters to cover his approaching difficulties. Additionally, he is very susceptible to vertical KO moves as his vertical endurance is among the worst (Bucket Braking is significantly less effective when launched vertically), his grab and throw game is rather poor in general (he possesses one of the shortest reaching grabs and near useless throws outside his d-throw), and his rolls are rather slow while gaining among the shortest distance. Regardless, Mr. Game & Watch's pros outweigh his cons, resulting in overall strong matchups, that are dominating against characters below him on the tier list, while being lackluster against characters above him (particularly losing to eight of the top ten characters, while countered by four of them), and he has achieved above average tournament results.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Mr. Game & Watch must then be defeated on Flat Zone 2.
Mr. Game & Watch packs a punch. In general, his attacks possess favorable hitboxes, low lag, and high knockback; however, his roll and dash attack are rather poor. Many of his attacks can hit multiple times. His erratic, instant movement makes him nearly impossible to predict in nearly anything that isn't his approach. Most of Mr. Game & Watch's tilts follow the pattern of his other attacks, being quick and powerful, while also possessing disjointed hitboxes. He has very powerful smashes, two of them hard to punish if they miss due their hitboxes having long duration, and the down smash is very fast. All of them can KO under 100%. Mr. Game & Watch's aerials are powerful, but all of them except for his neutral aerial are laggy, and his neutral aerial doesn't have as much range as his other aerials. His back aerial does large shield damage. Mr. Game & Watch's throws aren't particularly effective, save for his down throw, which can tech chase, and if the player can predict the opponent's rolls, it can be used for an infinite chaingrab (like Snake's down throw). His down throw also allows him to follow up with many moves, like an easy down tilt, a smash, or a neutral aerial (by buffering a dash into a short hop).
Mr. Game & Watch is able to negate projectiles easily using Oil Panic (although this only works on energy and electric projectiles) or simply ducking underneath most projectiles. Oil Panic can also easily provide one-hit KOs in doubles if Mr. Game & Watch's teammate possesses an energy projectile. Mr. Game & Watch does have a projectile, Chef, but it is rarely used because of its short range and random trajectory. The move Judge randomly produces one of nine attacks, doing anything from hurting himself (1) to being a one-hit KO (9). His up special move, Fire is a superior out of shield option that can be used to plank. With his Bucket Braking and directional influence, he can be hard to KO despite being the 2nd lightest character in the game (tied with Squirtle). Being both quick and a small target, Mr. Game & Watch can be difficult to hit.
Changes from Melee to Brawl
Mr. Game & Watch has been significantly buffed from Melee, as he benefits from Brawl's new physics, along with other various buffs. The introduction of hitstun canceling and momentum canceling helps Mr Game & Watch more than most characters as it not only makes him harder to combo but it also significantly improves his endurance mainly due to Bucket Braking. Other new Brawl mechanics such as B-reversing also help him out and the removal of certain Melee mechanics such as L-canceling affect him less than other characters. His shield game has been improved significantly. His shield is much larger and his sidestep is no longer one of the worst in the game.
Mr Game & Watch did receive a few nerfs however as some of his attacks are either weaker or are more laggy although he does not have any huge nerfs which significantly hinder him apart from some of his moves (including his down tilt and neutral aerial) losing their KO power in exchange for being faster.
Overall Mr Game & Watch is a much more effective character than in Melee although he still struggles against the stronger characters in the game resulting in him being above average.
All of Mr. Game & Watch's moves use objects from games in the Game & Watch series, making him the only character to have every single move in his arsenal based on a game he appeared previously before.
In competitive play
Mr. Game and Watch has a slightly positive matchup spread. He is countered by 4 characters, soft countered by 5, has 6 even matchups, soft counters 11, counters 7, and hard counters 3. Mr. Game and Watch's oddities as a character help him stand out. He can fight characters that are air based better than ground based characters in most cases, as his fast aerials allow him to beat floaty characters like Lucario. However, he has trouble in the neutral game against opponents like Marth, Diddy Kong, and Ice Climbers, however, because of his inability to camp and approach. He also can't keep up with the options Meta Knight has. Overall, however, he has good matchups.
Tier placement and history
Mr. Game & Watch was at first considered to be a top tier character, ranking as high as 4th place on the first tier list, which is also his highest placing so far. This was due to his disjointed reach, disproportionately high power, great aerial game and Bucket Braking capabilities, which made him very difficult to KO as well as edge-guard, while also being efficient on both points. His position, however, started to decline starting on the second tier list, where he was ranked at 5th place: while he possessed several advantages that made him a formidable threat, his weaknesses later became more and more exploitable. His largest tier drop occurred on the transition to the fourth tier list, dropping from 8th to 12th from the third one. He would later rise negligibly on the fifth tier list to 11th, before starting to drop again on subsequent versions. Currently, he is ranked 16th on the tier list: while he is still a relatively viable character, his notable disadvantages don't let him easily beat other top tiered characters, most notably Meta Knight, Ice Climbers and Marth, though his strengths are enough to face other top and high tiered threats like Pikachu, Lucario, Wario and King Dedede.
Role in The Subspace Emissary
The Shadow Bugs trophy description explains that Mr. Game & Watch embodies a limitless supply of Shadow Bugs inside of him, which can be extracted incessantly. Shadow Bugs are a substance which can replicate characters or even create new dark creatures. Tabuu discovered this and captured Mr. Game & Watch in the prologue, using the Shadow Bugs to build the Subspace Army.
Snake, Meta Knight and Lucario enter the Halberd's control room to discover a gang of Mr. Game & Watches are piloting the ship. Snake quickly charges at them and knocks them all out the window. They fall onto the main deck, interrupting Zelda (disguised as Sheik), Fox, and Peach's tea party. The clones then revert to Shadow Bugs and form into a giant metal monster called Duon. Snake and Lucario jump down to help, along with Falco who ejects from an Arwing. Once the robot is defeated, the Shadow Bugs float away, leaving behind Mr. Game & Watch's trophy. Fox prepares to shoot it with his blaster, but Peach revives it. Upon being revived, Mr. Game & Watch wonders where he is until Peach scolds him for the trouble he created, causing him to look down in shame. Then Peach gives him her parasol to cheer him up.
At the entrance to Subspace, Mr. Game & Watch, along with the rest of his team, prepares to attack Tabuu, but is effortlessly turned into a trophy by the Off Waves. He is later revived thanks to Luigi, Ness, and King Dedede. After that, he accompanies the heroes through the Great Maze and the showdown with Tabuu.
It was confirmed on the "DOJO!!" that the reason Mr. Game & Watch was manipulated so easily by Tabuu is that he has no understanding of good or evil, despite the fact that Mr. Game & Watch has shown moral behaviour in many of his games.
Mr. Game & Watch first appears in Battleship Halberd Bridge and then joins the player's team after, but isn't playable until all the characters are reunited with each other after the events of The Subspace Bomb Factory (Part II), where they then invade Subspace in Entrance to Subspace.
These stickers can only be used by Mr. Game & Watch or a select few including him:
In Event Matches
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