Super Smash Flash 2, a fan-made Super Smash Brothers tribute by Mcleod Gaming that features anime characters like Naruto and Goku alongside Nintendo heroes like Mario and Samus, just pushed out a big new beta featuring a ton of new heroes.
Many of these new additions hail from previous Smash franchises but are new to the world of Super Smash Flash. Here's the list of characters featured in the latest SSF2 announcement trailer: Isaac, Princess Peach, Bowser, Mr Game & Watch, Mega Man, Luigi, Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Pac-Man, Wario, Falco, Bandanna Dee, Luffy, Sonic and Tails. Mcleod Gaming told us that Sheik is also available in the latest build of the game and "can be accessed via Zelda's down special or by clicking her inside of Zelda's icon on the CSS". Super Smash's classic punching bag, The Sandbag, is also available as an unlockable character with its own moveset.
Super Smash Flash 2 has been in development since 2007. Its 2006 predecessor, Super Smash Flash, was also a browser-based Smash clone that took its inspiration from SSB: Melee. Previous versions of Super Smash Flash 2 more closely mimicked the style of Super Smash Brothers: Brawl, since that was the popular iteration of Smash when the game began development. In the past few years, however, the game has taken a turn towards mimicking the mechanics of Smash 4 instead.
The current beta version has morphed into what the developers now call "a Frankenstein" of Smash games: "We're smashing together a 'Greatest Hits' type deal with our engine, feel, and aesthetics, but we're also taking our own creative liberties as well."
Because the game is played on a keyboard, it hardly feels like a Smash game, even though most of the characters and levels hail from that series. Using the W, A, S and D keys to move instead of a joystick takes plenty of practise and adds a new layer of difficulty to movesets that look and feel familiar otherwise. If you're a longtime Smash fan, it will feel like an out-of-body experience. However if you'd prefer to play the game on a controller rather than learn the keyboard controls, you're in luck. According to Mcleod Gaming, "controller support is now a part of the game and fully functional in the downloadable version," without any need for installing programs like X-Padder to make it all work. The game can either be played in a browser or downloaded and played as a standalone game.
Plus, of course, there's the added challenge of running into new characters like Isaac, whose moves were invented wholesale for SSF2, along with other SSF classics like Naruto and Goku who don't have anything in common with any Smash hero.
The game's landing page has been up and down all day long, thanks to legions of fans downloading the latest beta. If you can get it to load, enjoy!