Ness (SSB)/Forward smash
Ness brings out a baseball bat and swings it. This attack deals 18% with high base knockback but low knockback scaling. This makes Ness' forward smash rather powerful at lower percents although it is rather weak at higher percents. It has a decent amount of start-up lag, coming out on frame 18. It is the weakest overall forward smash in the game. It cannot KO Mario at the center of Dream Land until around 118%, making it tied with Luigi's forward smash as the weakest in the game at the center of Dream Land. It does KO earlier than Luigi's at the ledge although Luigi's is stronger when used far away from the horizontal blastzone. The attack is unique among forward smashes as it can reflect projectiles when timed correctly. If a projectile hits Ness during frames 16-21 of his forward smash, the projectile will bounce back and deal 1.8x more damage. This does give Ness' forward some some extra utility although it can be difficult to utilise.
One positive Ness' forward smash does have is that the move is safe on shield at +2. This does make forward smash a slow but safe spacing option when using on the ground (especially since it is disjointed) and Ness can potentially pressure his opponents if they shield his forward smash. Forward smash can even lead into a jab grab on shield if the opponent is close enough.
Overall, Ness' forward smash is not too spectacular as while it is disjointed and safe, it is also rather weak and its reflector is situational at best. The move comes out slowly and it cannot be comboed into easily, making it difficult to land. Ness' is usually better off using his down smash to score KOes as it is faster, stronger and it covers a lot more space for a much longer time. Up smash is also faster, it can potentially set up a combo and it can KO earlier depending on Ness' stage position. While it is not a bad move, it is not particularly amazing either.
In the Japanese version, Ness' forward smash is noticeably better, dealing 2% more damage and noticeably higher knockback. It can KO Mario at the center of Dream Land at 100%, giving it above average knockback at the center of Dream Land. Its higher damage also makes it even safer on shield, having 5 more frames of shieldstun, making it +7 on shield. One thing which was inferior about Ness' Japanese forward smash though was that it had a lower reflection multiplier (1.5x rather than 1.8x) although the move's higher power more than makes up for it.
- Damage (20% → 18%).
- Knockback scaling (67 → 65).
- Reflection multiplier (1.5x → 1.8x).
* Rounded up to the next whole number