Posted by: MarthTrinity | May 17, 2009

Envy This!! — Ryuk

Ryuk by MasterWarlord

Ryuk

Run, run as fast as you can...

So we have another anime based set by the master of all warlords, MasterWarlord himself, based upon his second most recent anime addiction, Death Note. Now…I’m quite the anime nerd as I’ve mentioned before, so I know Death Note quite well…heck, Light and Ryuk was my only placing moveset in MYM3 albeit my personal least favorite in that contest. Let’s see how two MYM’s later can improve Ryuk who seems to be riding Light-less.

So like most of your other sets, this one kicks off with an explanation on who the heck this weird bug-eyed flying being is! Now that we know who Ryuk is, let’s move on to the special mechanic so I don’t have to make a new paragraph for it, shall we? Alright, this is actually my biggest problem with the entire set and don’t get me wrong, it’s not your fault at all, it’s just kind of something that COULD potentially make Ryuk absolute garbage tier. If any opponent gets ahead when it comes to stock at any time in the match, Ryuk is essentially screwed. I mean, if he gets ahead, he’s way overpowered considering he can just cause absolute chaos with his insane attack power and speed, but if he gets behind, an opponent needs to get hit once by Ryuk then leap off the edge. Due to Brawl’s broken scoring system, it’d count as a KO for Ryuk that in turn would have him obliterated. Granted this only really matters if the opponent gets ahead of Ryuk…but if that happens, you’re done for pretty much.

The other special mechanic is fairly useless (which you seem to admit slightly), making Ryuk invisible until an opponent hits him seems like a really unnecessary mechanic considering you’re likely to know that Ryuk is simply across the stage from you; run up and jab him once and his entire mechanic is down the drain. It is exceptionally in character, but its kind of just a random little add on. Ryuk seems to be kind of screwed over once again with your last mechanic: after taking 30% without damaging a foe, he loses his only (viable) KO move. Now while this WOULD normally seem pretty hard to accomplish…I mean it IS 30%…Ryuk seems like the kinda guy who’d get hit with combos like crazy. Once the opponent pockets the Death Note from Ryuk, Ryuk’s game turns from distract the foe until the Death Note timer expires into try and knock the foe around a bit without knocking them around TOO much. Overall, the special mechanics really don’t do a WHOLE lot to benefit Ryuk…the whole Death Note being the only allowable KO move is kind of rough but true to character. The invisibility is semi-useless but also very true to character, and the klutzy nature of Ryuk is also very true to character, but also very detrimental as well.

Stats now! Well Ryuk’s quite the big guy right, so you got that one. He appears painfully slow unless using the Up Special which also increases his size and potential to be combo bait (Ack! Special mechanic screwing Ryuk over again!). Alright, good thing that Ryuk has some weaker attacks to pepper foes with without KO’ing…although his power’s also kind of detrimental to his mechanic. Another “mechanic” revealed in the attack speed section but I’ll get to that later…nothing really jumps out at me as spectacular in the priority, range or speed section…just kinda average. Alright! Ryuk’s got some good jumps! But only with his wings out…and he can only glide with them out too…hmm. Recovery seems great…but only with wings out…I’ll have to go into this in more detail later…

Briefly mention animations since there’s nothing wrong here, all looks good and orderly…so actually, I’ll mention that here! As far as organization goes, I’m obviously a fan since your style was what I modeled both Hyatt and Azumarill after. The header images are a great idea but they seem a tad bulky…not your fault at all obviously, just how the image itself shows up on SWF’s. Specials first, good, good, that seems to be more and more popular now. Some nice little extra pictures put in too also help spruce up the moveset a fair bit too.

Now back to the moveset itself, specials more specifically! Neutral B IS Ryuk’s real one and only KO move…at least so long as when he’s trying to take the lead. 1.5 second start up is reasonable enough…then Ryuk plays the waiting game…for forty seconds. At forty seconds, your opponent keels over and dies instantly, right? Wrong. They shoot upwards which could prove a problem in stages with overhangs over part of the stage such as Luigi’s Mansion, Temple, Spear Pillar, etc. The fact that they can spot dodge it makes me feel a tad uneasy…it’s like the moveset requires Ryuk to play aggressively, but also punishes him for playing TOO aggressively. If your opponent isn’t distracted, congrats, you just wasted 40 seconds of the match trying to KO an opponent in vain. And I absolutely hate the last part of this move with every fiber of my being. While it is INCREDIBLY true to character, the fact that a laser happy Fox could become invulnerable to Ryuk’s main KO move simply by getting lucky and interrupting Ryuk while he’s writing makes me feel uneasy…I mean, once they’re invulnerable to the Death Note, what do you do from there? KO them and hope they don’t KO you first?

Phew, now for the rest of the specials! So, he has a different Neutral Special without the Death Note…creating a new mini-moveset for crackhead Ryuk is a clever idea indeed, I actually really like it. Not sure how often I’d use it really though considering it makes him essentially brain dead; reducing his speed dramatically and increasing his tripping is not really a positive to me. The side special while certainly an incredibly interesting move in its own right seems almost detrimental to Ryuk. It doubles their damage (meaning they’ll be at least over 100%) and gives them the potential to use Ryuk’s own Death Note to kill him. The move can’t be used to double damage again (making it nothing more than an alternate command for the grab button). My complaint about the doubling of the damage is that it could easily end with the Ryuk player being punished by the higher up death gods because the opponent figures they may as well just die right after gaining the Shinigami eyes. Basically, they get a deadly weapon against Ryuk, if they work it right they simply lose their 100% damage stock, get a new one and also have Ryuk punished, losing a stock for him too. Up B is really good…I don’t see the added size and potential to be combo bait as a major enough drawback NOT to use these all the time.

Another paragraph break since these specials are monstrously long! Down B is the special I really love, excellent mindgame potential captures the entire Death Note feel spectacularly. Great job there, Warlord. Flight of the Notebook leaves me with a few questions, is Ryuk mobile during this attack? If not, it’s another move that leaves Ryuk incredibly vulnerable, especially considering how slowly it returns to you…

Standard attacks, let’s see how these turn out, shall we? The neutral A I love, more mindgames = a happy MT. It captures the essence of Death Note’s mindgames perfectly. The neutral A in withdrawl form is simple enough but I like how it adds the “eating” effect of most other biting moves. One thing this brings to mind, while you do explain what Ryuk looks like while in withdrawl, it could be somewhat difficult to imagine…I haven’t watched the series in ages, but if there’s any pictures of that it’d be a nice touch. Dash attack I could see as hazardous, it’s a slower yet mobile version of the Up B. You admit that you need some runway, but it’d seem kind of hard to use. No opponent is just going to let you run across the stage growing wings, it just seems that Ryuk’s overall recovery is one that is INCREDIBLY easy to gimp but just constantly being aggressive. The dash attack in withdrawl I like, it’s creative and seems like it’s actually a faster mode of movement than normal walking.

Tilt time! Forward tilt is nice and I like how you made it so that it couldn’t simply be spammed. The withdrawl version is an interesting concept but spamming it makes him even more vulnerable than he already is…seems like the entirety of Ryuk’s playstyle is give and take. Up tilt is honestly the most useless move in the set being only viable in team play providing you have a VERY good partner guarding you. I like how you added the whole Shinigami Eyes/team attack strategy in though, it clearly shows what you were planning when you made the set. In withdrawl mode, the up tilt becomes a very spammable move with some good combo potential, which I like lots. The withdrawl down tilt is an interesting concept too, adding to Withdrawl Ryuk’s insane combo potential.

Now, I need an entire paragraph for the sheer genius that is the normal down tilt. I freakin’ LOVE this attack and think it’s absolutely insanely well thought out! I mean…essentially, it reminds me of one of the attacks that Cackletta uses in the end of Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, it’s so simple in concept (a rotating fireball, joy…) but so genius in execution! THIS is where the strategy comes in! Opponent tries to spot dodge your Death Note heart attack? No chance, you knock them back onto the playing field with this baby and watch as they launch into the air! The sheer fact that you made such a strategy to use against Pokemon Trainer of all characters shows exactly why you’re one of MYM’s powerhouses, just the sheer consideration of every factor, it’s nuts, but in a good way!

Now from there I go to the smash attacks. The forward smash had me worried at first, only does damage and stun to an opponent facing you? How useless…but once again, you were a step ahead on that one, making the side tilt easily flow into a side smash which easily flows into a down grab which flows into…heart attack! Up smash is great, I love how whether you miss or not effects the attack…and sometimes you WANT to miss, the missed version of this sounds almost better than the normal version! Lots of little glancing hits plus it wards off his withdrawl form…actually canceling it so you don’t have to worry about it if you’re trying to play normally. I like the down smash, it seems like it could also be used really well when it comes to strategy…it also more than makes up for Ryuk’s apparent inability to retrieve the Death Note from opponents once it’s been snatched away.

The neutral air certainly is a unique concept, but maybe instead of just vanishing if you go too far away from the maximum distance, it would just stop creating invisible wall…and I noticed you added a nice little helper for D3 in that move too. Nice touch. The forward air is simple enough but it’s nice that the Up B wing growing helps reduce the lag. A chargeable aerial attack? What kind of witchcraft is this?! Very unique and very cool witchcraft, keep it up. I like the up air a lot, it’s certainly clever especially being usable with a fake Death Note, just not sure how often I’d use it considering the whole death from above affect of killing a foe physically. The down air is also really cool to me, another one of Ryuk’s high risk moves…he can guard his Death Note with it, but if he’s not careful, he could very well end up with a burnt book not fit for writing names in.

Grabs and throws are up now…the pummel is basic but…yuck when it comes to the forward throw. Creative and all but yeah…then again this is coming from the guy who made an entire set revolving around blood vomiting so…yeah. A chargeable throw?! You mad man! No, in reality I really like this idea, simple but well done. Up throw is pretty good but besides the extra stun, it’s kind of bland. Meat Shield is an exceptional move to use while waiting for the heart attack as you obviously planned it so it’s good to me.

Finally! The Final Smash allows you to, GASP, actually…use Ryuk’s attacks to KO people! Simple in concept but it’ll leave players agreeing that it’s about damn time you could finally KO someone besides with that stupid book.

The playstyle is what REALLY made this set a wonder for me. You basically admit that Ryuk is going to suck TREMENDOUSLY when a newcomer uses him, you admit the drawbacks and the advantages and all that, and you show how to counter it. Despite everything I may have said earlier in the review, I knew you’d pull this off in the end; completely change something as crippling only being able to KO with one move into something that could be done without too much trouble. As much as I’d admittedly hate to main Ryuk in Smash, you make it ENTIRELY clear how one would go about doing so, it’s brilliant how well thought out this all was in the end. All doubts I had about Ryuk’s usefulness were laid to rest by the time I had read the entirety of the set, my hat is off to you good sir, I am very impressed.

Situational attacks? Bleh, not my forte but you have them at least so you gain points with H_R and Plorf there. My only complaint is that you used the attack name “Boot To The Head” twice.

Extras are nice, taunts are all pretty fun as are the win poses. Icon makes sense and the Kirby Hat actually serves a useful purpose besides just giving Kirby something funny to wear. I hope Snake doesn’t just lose if he makes that codec though. The Assist Trophy I also love, brilliant use of the character and brilliant adaptation from the anime.

Overall, while I may have been a tad harsh on it at the beginning of the review, a good bit of what I said was true. If you want to main Ryuk, you better be damn well ready to put some effort into getting good. If you get behind, you’re toast. But you countered these feelings with a perfectly executed playstyle description and wonderfull original moves. All in all, I think this is the absolute pinnacle of the MasterWarlord movesets and easily your strongest in this competition. With just the sheer amount of original ideas all executed exceptionally well, this will be up there as one of the movesets to beat for MYM5, and as a personal goal, it’ll be an exceptionally difficult moveset for you to surpass.

~MT

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