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Ness: The Defensive Wonder - by StarmanBeta

Ness: The Defensive Wonder

I played a lot of SSBM over my Christmas break, and one of my favorite characters to use was Ness. At first, I used him simply because he is Ness and he is the only playable Earthbound character. I was actually pretty bad with him. Ness is one of the characters who was changed the most from SSB to SSBM. Over time, though, I found myself getting better with Ness. SSBM's Ness requires entirely different tactics than SSB's Ness. SSB Ness was an offensive character. SSBM Ness is more defensive. This style change means that many old fans will not like the new Ness. He actually isn't my kind of character anymore, but I still like to use him because he is Ness, and I've become passingly good with him. This is what I have found to work for me.

Ness's running A and his forward in the air attacks were both knockout attacks that didn't send characters very far in SSB. I was not very fond of them. The SSBM Ness is no longer like this. What he does have in his forward in the air and running A attacks are some attacks with amazing priority. The forward in the air attack is especially useful for jumping down at opponents and surprising them. Even if your enemy does attack at the same time, Ness's attack will usually go through. The forward in the air attack is a good move to use over and over again to rack up damage. On the other hand, Ness's back in the air is a far-hitting attack. It remains similar to its SSB counterpart, but it requires more precise timing than in SSB. Once you have the timing down, though, it is every bit as powerful, maybe even more powerful. Of course, Ness's up in the air is still an amazingly easy way to send people out the top. Because of Ness's very good jumping skills (the same as in SSB, but faster) he is an excellent arial character.

On the ground, though, Ness is no slouch. The PK Flash move is kind of slow, but it is an amazing attack to use in a three or four person battle. If your opponents are distracted by each other, then they will be open to PK Flash. There is nothing quite so much fun as manuvering a slow PK Flash into a group of people and sending them all out the top of the screen. PK Flash is also the third most damaging move in the game at about 36%. (It comes in after Roy's fully charged B for 50% and Mr. G & W's bucket filled with 3 PK Flashes for about 167% or some ungodly high number). PK Fire can be done much faster in this game thanks to less recovery time, and it is an effective way to build up your opponent's damage. It even seems to have a bit more reach than it did in SSB. PK Thunder is faster and more powerful, making it a projectile you might actually want to use on people sometimes. Unfortunately, the body slam is weaker. I haven't missed the loss of distance in the move (there's less space between level edges and out in this game) but I do miss the power. It is still a somewhat powerful move, and can be a useful edge clearing device. PK Magnet is also faster in this game, so it's easier to use.

Ness's forward smash is as good as ever. It's still quick and powerful. If you want to, though, you can also throw people out with Ness's forward throw. It is the most powerful forward throw in SSBM, just like it was in SSB. Ness's up throw is very good too, it is perhaps second only to Mewtwo's. Unfortunately, Ness's back throw was weakened a whole lot and is not so healthy, but it can still send people a ways (and just compare it with Link's or Roy's!) Ness's up smash is about as powerful as last game, but it's harder to hit with. If you want to send people straight up, use his up A. Ness's down smash has lost power and range. It is unfortunate.

Ness was tied with Luigi for slowest runner in SSB. In SSBM, Ness has moved up a couple of places and is no longer abysmally slow. Another interesting change is that Ness has gone from being a lightweight (4th lightest in SSB) to being a middleweight. This fact, along with Ness's still excellent recovery and his ability to float around in the air, raining down attacks every once in a while, makes Ness a survivor in SSBM. In SSB, Ness was a power character who hit hard and was did not need to leave the ground very much. In SSBM, Ness is a more defensive character who can and should spend plenty of time in the air. He actually reminds me a bit of Peach. Both of them are good ariel characters with a lot of jump and they both have many moves that rack up damage plus a few knockout moves. My strategy with Ness is to fly around a lot and tack on lots of damage before sending the person flying with a charged smash, a head butt, back in the air, or PK Flash (if the opportunity presents itself). Ness's forward in the air and PK Fire are the two safest (you're least likely to get hit) moves. Thanks to his speed and maneuverability in the air, I don't get hit a lot. Thanks to his weight, I last a long time. Ness may not have as many knockout moves, but he still has some good ones.


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StarmanBeta Ness: The Defensive Wonder
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7/31/06 0.00
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