Project M-etagame Bowser's Revenge
Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 10:07AM
Richard Terrell (KirbyKid) in Competition, Metagame, Super Smash Brothers
Project M is a mod of Super Smash Brothers Brawl that plays almost entirely like Smash Melee. Project M-etagame is my effort to record the metagame of this competitive fighter in great detail as it develops. Find out more about Project M-etagame here.  The following data is taken from 13 video matches (playlist here) of the Bowser's Revenge tournament
C (Metagame Level)
1. Few playstyles reflect Melee.E metagame level. Blind and aggressive offense with poor follow up and control. Not adapting playstyle to the offense of the opponent. Basically, using SHUFFL tactics and simply rushing in headlong toward the opponents position. These player  typically rely on offensive pressure (due to L-canceling) rather than using smarter spacing or folding moves together for mixups

Melee.E vs Melee.F. The Melee.F metagame playstyle features smarter reads, longer combos, and tighter traps/follow ups. It takes much more knowledge of the game to play on this level. Melee.F players must know the limitations of their character in addition to the limitations of their opponents to maximize their offense and to keep the pressure going. One of the clearest ways the Melee.F playstyle is shown is with edge guarding, particularly being able to pressure the opponent well including going off the stage. Doing so reflects an offensive player that knows their character well, weighs the risks, and is able to put pressure on the opponent without dying. 

Melee.F metagame level. The Melee.F level is what most people think of as the highest level of play for Melee. It has everything most fans want; long combos, great pressure, longer matrices (a type of strategy that Smash features in spades), and reads to keep it all going. However, if you look at my Melee metagame article, there is a level beyond. The biggest difference between Melee.F and Melee.G levels is that with Melee.G the defensive strategies and techniques catch up to the offensive power found in Melee.F. In other words, players get just as good at preventing opponents from doing long combos on them and putting them into traps. Melee.G sort of evens out the "fast action" of competition, and some may find this less exciting. However, Melee.G gameplay is a lot smarter and tense because at any moment a long combo or clever play can break out of such tight interplay. I believe that all metagame levels are advanced by offensive strategies (interplay barriers) with defensive strategies to follow.
So for the Project M Bowser's Revenge tournament, players didn't have enough time to really develop character/stage specific counter strategies yet, so the metagame level mostly reflects Melee.F. 

It's worth noting that Awestin played an interesting mix of Melee and Brawl playstyles with his Ness. I should know, I've played his Ness in Brawl and some of the best Ness players in Melee (Simna). Awestin's Brawl.G style relies more on folding moves together for mixups and follow up pressure from spacing rather than offensive attacks. The style also involves using more projectiles and using those to help his hard reads with smashes (thanks to the increased utility of Ness's special moves).  Awestin also using more air dodges and spikes because of his Brawl experience.  Compare Awestin's Project M match here with his Brawl match here and this match features Simna
2. Better integrated dash dancing

3. Common recovery SDs


4. Better edge guarding/recovering all around


5. Better wave landing from under platforms


6. Some poor DI 
7. Much less vulnerable after KOs from returning players.
8. Crouch Canceling fairly common
9. Less SHUFFL based tech chase and more ground based chasing.
10. Common off guards (going off the stage to "edge guard")

11. No wavedashing up from the ledge

12. Uncommon pivot grab attempts

13. No footstools

14. No B reversing 

15. Uncommon Jab resets


16. Rare Moon walking


17.  Uncommon Hard reads attempting to land smashes (or other risky attacks)


18. No Glide toss.

19. No item catching (parrycatch or otherwise)

20. No Honor SD.

21. No DACUS

22. Rare chain Grabbing 


23. Longer Combos



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