Posted by: The Stadium | July 17, 2009

Against The Black Knight- Jade Curtiss

Ah, it’s been a while since I’ve done this. The end of MYM4 to be exact. Let’s see if I’m up to the task.

How about some Black Knight related music?

http://serenesforest.net/media/fe9music/17%20-%20Against%20the%20Black%20Knight.mp3

Alright,  now that we have the intimidating music, let’s get to the hopefully less intimidating review.

I very much consider Tales to be my second series and, despite not getting to play Tales of the Abyss, Jade is definitely one of my favorite characters. Any bias I have that supports this character will not find it’s way into this review, however.

Since you are a relative newcomer to the contest, I am including this paragraph on what it takes to succeed in Make Your Move. First, is completeness, which you have. Second is creativity- punch, punch, kick is simply not going to cut it. Third is detail- the reader should be able to know everything important, such as beginning and ending lag, reach, priority, knockback, damage, hitstun, and anything else that you may consider necessary to include. Fourth is playability- sure a character could have a bunch of completely interesting moves, but do they flow together to make a character that people can actually play in Smash? Fifth is balance- let’s just say Metaknight, Snake, and King Dedede do not qualify. And finally, readability, the ability of the set maker to wrap it all in a nice, readable package. Do not assume that by my listing of these elements that I am accusing you of not using them, as I have not yet read your set as I type this section. I am merely trying to give you a good introduction to what our contest is about.

Starting with organization. The headers are all ok. The set has enough color to make it readable. The attacks are grouped together well. The only thing that I really don’t like is the arrangement of sections. Why would the Grabs/Throws be between the Tilts and Smashes? Typically used arrangements include Normal Attacks, Tilts, Smashes, Aerials, Grabs/Throws, Specials, Final Smash, with Situationals usually considered as optional. Personally, I use Specials, Normals, Tilts, Smashes, Aerials, Situationals, Grabs/Throws, Final Smash.

Now on to the stats. There is nothing particularly broken about Jade’s stats. Jade’s power and reach is balanced by his apparent lack of speed. His other stats are all average or above average, but not really enough so to cause worry.

Ok, the Neutral A is a spear swinging combo. Judging by the number of spear moves in a set for an elemental spell user, this definitely qualifies as generic. There is also a lack of detail, as I cannot tell the reach and/or hitboxes of the attack- for all I know, Jade’s spear could be wielded shorthanded, limiting the reach- or the beginning and ending lag. Those were just the most important stats- you also failed to include priority and hitstun. This combo also seems to be questionable in the balance category, as 5%, 5%, 7% is quite a lot for a Neutral A combo. Typically, a character might be expected to do more along the lines of 3%, 3%, 5%. The balance of this attack cannot be properly judged without lag details, however, as this attack would have to be slower than other Neutral A’s to be balanced.

What makes the dash attack really worth using when it works the same and is weaker than the first hit of his Neutral A? This move is generic, underdetailed, and underpowered. An average dash attack can be expected to do 6-8%.

The Side Tilt is another spear swing, though atleast it isn’t another vertical one like the previous four spear swings have been. The attack suffers from the same genericism and underdetail as other attacks, though it’s rather average or just above average damage makes me think of it as balanced (it is not possible to truly tell balance without detail).

The Up Tilt really seems more like a dash attack than an Up Tilt. The whole jumping spear attack was the first small burst of creativity I have gotten from the set thus far. Unfortunately, it still lacks in the detail department.

The Down Tilt is probably the best move so far. While it isn’t exactly creative, it isn’t generic when compared to any other attack in the set up to this point, with the exception being the Up Tilt. While it lacks in detail, it is the best attack in this category so far, as you have actually described a use of the move- to spike under the proper circumstances.

The Grab and Pummel were worded in a confusing way. “Jade grabs the enemy, his right hand still in his pocket. Jade removes his left right from his pocket and punches his opponent in the jaw. Does about 2% damage.” From what I can ascertain, Jade grabs them with his left hand and pummels them with his right. Though the wording of the pummel is rather awkward. The throws aren’t anything special, though some of them, especially the Down Throw, show a bit of creativity that was sorely missed in his Normals and Tilts. Unfortunately, the effects of the throws are lacking creativity and detail. One particularly blatant case of needed detail was the back throw. The foe is knocked away from Jade. That is nice and all, but what direction are they knocked in? Just because this is a back throw does not mean that I am to assume that it knocks them behind Jade.

The Nair is far from creative in appearance, but it is a bit better in function, as you describe a sweetspot (in front of Jade) and a sourspot (behind Jade). This attack suffers the usual lack of detail.

The Up Aerial has a bit more creativity than a simple swing, it combining fire with a spear stab. The wording of the attack could definitely use some more clarification. A fireball usually implies a projectile rather than a simple fire, but no projectile is described. 15% seems like a bit much, but lack of detail keeps me from judging balance.

So the Fair is a multi hitting electric attack coming from Jade’s spear. That’s got some creativity to it. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record when I say that these moves lack detail. So the lightning travels the length of Jade’s spear… that would be great if I knew how long Jade’s spear was. Perhaps you could compare it to the length of a sword?

Jade’s Bair is about as generic as a weapon-based character’s Bair can get- a backwards weapon swing meant as a killing move. The lack of detail further hurts this move. While I cannot know for certain due to a lack of detail, I can compare this to the very similar bair of Ike in terms of speed and reach. Using that as the comparison, 13% damage is a good bit too much.

Jade’s Dair is by far the most creative move in the set thus far- a projectile Dair that creates a special effect upon hitting the stage. This type of Dair was frequently used in MYMs 3 and 4, particularly by me, but they died out. Still, seeing this type of thing in a non-veteran is quite nice. As a projectile, some additional details- flight speed and maximum distance- are necessary.

The Forward Smash isn’t the most creative thing, but atleast it isn’t a simple spear swing. This attack also has a crucial detail that isn’t present in many of Jade’s other moves- knockback. Unfortunately, it lacks lag, reach, priority, and hitstun.

Ouch. The Up Smash sounds painful. 33% if hit by all 3 Stalagmites is a bit much. On top of that the move is Jade’s best killing move having high knockback. I really really hope that this type of move is slow, but you don’t include necessary details such as lag.

The Down Smash has plenty of untapped potential. As a wind-like move, it seems like it could be used to cause knockback without damage, much like Mario’s FLUDD. On top of the usual lack of details, you did not describe whether or not the foe is capable of being hit by both the spear spin and the energy waves.

Ok so the way Fonic Artes work is very intriguing, quite possibly the creativity that this set needs. Hopefully, these artes are slow enough to warrant their auto-targeting.

The Neutral B is simply one of my least favorite moves in the set. A Tilt, Aerial, or Throw may have some excuse to be generic, but not a Special. Specials are supposed to be, well, Special, afterall. This attack is a simple spear combo, except one that seems wildly overpowered if both hits connect, and doing good damage even if only one connects. Of couse, it is lacking in necessary details.

The Side Special is the first Fonic Arte in the set. Does it live up to my hopes of Fonic Artes? Probably not, as it just seems like a targeted version of Pikachu’s Thunder. And 15% + 4%(5) = 35% damage, which is very painful. It had best be quite slow to compensate for this.

The Up Special is essentially just a lower damage, high knockback variation on the Side Special. The use of it to recover could have been handled more creatively, but atleast it works as a recovery. Please do not use feet as a measurement, as there is no way to know feet in Smash. Commonly used measurement terms in Make Your Move include SBB’s (Stage Builder Blocks- be sure to specify whether the block is small, medium, or large) or more commonly and less controversially comparing the distance of the move to that of another move or to the length of a stage or platform.

Wow. That’s quite a casting quote. The Down Special really just seems like a medium damage, medium knockback variation on the Side and Up Specials. It has all of the same issues as said attacks.

Ouch… The Final Smash deals way to much damage. Even if this was able to be sidestepped, a Final Smash rarely deals more than 30-50%. Seriously, tone it down. The Final Smash is certainly beautiful visually, and I don’t blame you for simply using a video to describe it, but it’s effect is really straight-forward- not that the Final Smash ever really kills a set.

In summary, this set suffers from problems in creativity, detail, and possibly balance.  The character is certainly playable due to being so straight-forward, but he is simply too straight forward to the point where it harms creativity further. Another thing hurting this set is the lack of a playstyle section. While playstyles have only been a major thing since late MYM4 or MYM5, they really help establish your character as something more than just a random selection of moves put in the same list. Jade is very straight-forward, so his playstyle would be much more simple than most. To provide a helping-hand, I will give you a sample Playstyle for Jade.

Playstyle

Jade Curtiss is a character largely based on damage racking through the use of his far reaching spear moves and then finishing the foe off through the use of his Bair, Up Smash, Down Smash, or Up Special. Prime moves for damage racking include his Neutral A combo, Side Tilt, Down Tilt, Nair, Fair, Bair, and Neutral Special. His Down Throw is also a significant source of damage.

Once the foe’s damage has been racked through the use of these moves, Jade has several options. He can attempt to finish his foe with a quick Bair, much like Ike. This can be accomplished either by straight-forward aerial usage, or through a RAR. Being his fastest killing option, this is probably the most preferred method by competitive Jades, but it is not his only way to score a KO. Jade also has two powerful smashes- his Up and Down Smashes. The choice of Smash is really based on the situation. Jade’s Up Smash is more suited for anti-air, as it strikes above him. His Down Smash is a much more defensive and anti-approach option due to it striking on both of its sides and having a considerable disjointed reach. Jade can also attempt to camp and rely on his Up Special to KO foes from a distance. Jade isn’t limited to just straight-forward KOs, however. He also comes with a projectile spike in the form of his Dair and a edge-guarding move in the form of his Down Tilt. His Fonic Artes can also be used to gimp, albeit conditionally. When used properly, these powerful moves provide Jade with a way to score early KOs.

Jades Throws are far from the most powerful, but they are by no means bad. His Down Throw is probably his best for its earlier mentioned use in racking damage. You can potentially rack about 14% or more by combining this with his Pummel.

Overall, Jade is a well-rounded character, pretty good in the air and great on the ground. He comes with a great ability to rack damage and KO, a pretty good recovery, a spike, some gimping options, camping options and some of the best, if not the best, anti-camping abilities. Jade doesn’t have a terribly high learning curve and mastering him is very rewarding, as he performs well on all levels both casual and competitive, despite not being a natural combo character.

End of Playstyle

The set could have definitely been better, as Fonic Artes could have been much more common and varied, but this is by no means a bad set for someone who is new to the current level of competition. It could easily fit into MYM3 or perhaps even MYM4, but you will definitely need to learn from the works of others and step up your game to be a contender in this contest. I recommend MasterWarlord’s Sloth as a perfect example of how even a rather generic character can be made into something great.

And on a Final Note, the Other Badassedry made me lol.

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