Smash Bros. Might Have A Little Mac Problem (For Now)

Smash Bros. Might Have A Little Mac Problem (For Now)

Ever since the release of Smash Bros., I’ve consistently seen players complain about the same thing: the character Little Mac, especially when it comes to the competitive 1-on-1 For Glory mode. Apparently, some people claim, the mode is swarming with Little Mac players.

I see people complain on Twitter:

Folks on YouTube make fun of Little Mac’s prevalence:

(Note the title: For, as if to say this is the essence of the mode itself).

(Title: little. fuckin. mac. Description: ‘this game is a good game.’)

I see lots of complaints on forums like Reddit:

(Most of this thread on Smash Boards — one of the leading Smash communities online — goes on with people agreeing that Little Mac appears a ton in the mode.)

When asked about pet peeves about Smash, people seem to bring up Little Mac a lot:

Some people apparently see Little Mac so much in Smash, they joke around about killing themselves when they come up against him — just to make it end:

And YouTube has a rather healthy selection of videos that teach people how to deal with little Mac:

Still, the question remains: is it true? Are there too many Little Macs in For Glory? When I polled people on Twitter, responses seemed mixed — some had indeed seen some Little Mac, but not in absurd numbers. At least one person responded who mained Little Mac, and was, on his own, the source of around 100 Little Mac For Glory matches. Personally, I thought that I saw a pretty diverse selection while playing For Glory — and I’ve spent the majority of my Smash time (24 hours) in For Glory.

Regardless, just to test it out, I started counting characters in matches. Obviously, my findings are limited as far as sample size, but they are interesting. Here’s what I found:

1 Mega Man

1 Marth

1 Sheik

1 DK

1 Zero Suit Samus

1 Diddy Kong

1 Rob

1 Robin

1 Jigglypuff

1 Captain Falcon

1 Lucina

1 Zelda

2 Luigi

2 Nesses

4 Little Macs

Most characters appeared once. The second best characters, Luigi and Ness, appeared twice. Little Mac appeared twice as much as those characters, making up a total of 20 per cent of my encounters. Given that the cast includes over 50 characters, that’s a significant rate of reappearance — and this is that I think I got lucky, and didn’t find as many Little Macs as other players claim to.

That said, I think something else is going on here, too. Even before Little Mac was playable, I remember some of the Smash community discussing whether or not Little Mac would prove to be a problem in For Glory. The character excels in ground-based combat, after all, and For Glory’s entire schtick is that you play on a flat stage. That’s the sort of environment a character like Little Mac excels in. That, in combination with the fact Little Mac is strong — some people would go so far as to say he’s overpowered — make Little Mac seem like a good choice for newbie players to pick up.

What I’m saying is, Little Mac has stigma. It’s entirely possible that people aren’t encountering Little Mac that much, but they will certainly remember matches against Little Mac — or at least, that’s the case for me. I often find myself frustrated when going up against the character, and I suspect the same is true of other players. Hell, as a random example, I found myself irked while watching this “MLG Little Mac” video — all I could think was, boy, Little Mac players sure are the worst, huh? I know that’s not fair, and it’s far from the truth, of course. I’m just being honest. It’s hard not to get a little salty sometimes, especially when the character in question can pull off bullshit like this.

Of course, some people will see this particular situation in Smash as an overreaction, evidence that people clearly need to ‘git gud.’ If indeed Smash is being overrun by Little Mac, then that means players can equip themselves with knowledge on how to fight against Little Mac. Already, the common understanding in the community is that Little Mac is useless in the air and on edges, so your best course of action would be to pressure him in those positions:

The supposed Little Mac terror might be endless now, but after a while everyone will know how to handle him — and inevitably, Little Mac players will move on to other characters. The situation reminds me a lot of the infamous time in vanilla Street Fighter 4, where the online component was overrun by Ken Masters players for a little while. That’s definitely no longer the case, so I have high hopes for Smash and its For Glory mode in the future.


  • I guess I’ll say the same thing I’ve been saying elsewhere: Little mac is a character that forces you to play around his style. You can’t let him draw you into his zone: a close-quarters ground brawl.

    Some would say that makes him OP, but to me he’s just by far the easiest character to pick up and do well with, so naturally he’d be picked by a lot of newbs. Once people figure out how to counter his style, he won’t be seen as OP. Gimps, juggling and projectiles, that’s how you take him down. Smash is no joke!

  • He’s the gateway character, he bridges the gap between traditional fighters like SF and the more vertical/vector combat of SSB. Of course we’re going to see him often at the start!

  • damn I geeked out when mac was announced because I’ve been a fan of punch out since the original was released. .. one of my very first miiverse posts was “little mac 4 smash bros!” and when he was announced I was stoked like I’d somehow convinced Nintendo to put him in the game. .. of course I didn’t but it was a nice thought 🙂 a little upset he is getting hated on now 🙁 he’s a great character.

    • Plus one. Punch-Out rocks, I was so happy that he made it in. About time he starts getting a little recognition!

  • People who whinge about this obviously have no friends to vs. It’s much more fun when you know who you’re fighting. And if they’re getting beaten by little mac, they’re obviously not good enough yet.

    btw, I play as Marth, and I don’t play online…

  • Little Mac is deemed OP because of the fact he has such prevalent launch resistance which is something that almost goes against the very basics of Smash. While launch resistance or super armour is not new in itself or even unique to Mac, it’s never been implemented to more than a few frames or to such extent. Hell, I was caught off guard at first when I first played against him with an AI. Once you realise which moves have super armour and start playing around it (ie don’t charge in thinking you’ve got him), you can easily abuse his weaknesses. That said, a good Mac player will play with that in mind and that’s when the games get interesting.

  • This is reminds me of the Yun Army that flooded the online scene in When Super Street Fighter 4 came out. 6 Months later, we all felt stupid for calling him OP, knee jerk about the unknown will do that though I guess.

  • Had an awesome game of 4 player Little Mac last night, spent the whole match laughing my arse off

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