Posted by: metinahurricane | August 6, 2009

The Grey Area — Takamaru

Takamaru Wizzerd



So here we are again, and now I have a Wiz set on my hands. My favourite of yours… I don’t really know what that might be, actually. In fact, your improvement is so apparent with this one that I wonder how anyone can prefer Tingle or Krow to Takamaru.

Basically, this is a great set for two major reasons. One, it has neither traps (unless you count the magical flying katana) nor a mechanic, yet still manages to remain creative throughout; hats off to you, as this is the rarest thing in MYM. Two, it’s a creative moveset for a rather generic samurai who doesn’t have much to work with except a sword and a handful of props. And a few elements, I guess.

But 128-word reviews aren’t too popular these days, so let me delve further and see if there’s actually something I could criticize.

To get the obvious out of the way, the set is very nicely organized. I mean, it’s that same Kawasaki style that most everyone uses, but the choice of symbols is very good indeed, and the simple monochromatic color scheme works. I do wonder why green is such a fitting color for him when he’s dressed in red, blue, and white, and has access to fire and lightning attacks, though.

I don’t remember whether it was to you or somebody else that I advised breaking up of paragraphs for increased readability, but either way, you got it right here. Takamaru is supremely easy to read, despite the slightly awkward phrasing and run-on sentences peppered throughout the moveset. I’d advise less use of commas, but what you’ve done, really, is crammed most of the boring things – the stats – into the first sentence, so that you could have more space for the interesting things, the stuff we’re all here for.

Now, balance… I hate talking about it, because it’s one of those things nobody actually goes back to improve, so just feel free to skip this part. It’s been said already, Takamaru is rather underpowered. You claim that his attacks have generally good speed but I see quite a few that are either laggy or have severe drawbacks. In the pressure v pressure matchups Takamaru tends to force, I see him having a difficult time trying to keep up. He seems more like he wants to camp, what with all of the ways he can use his katana to attack from afar and the attacks that need time to build up – aside from the obvious two specials, Down Smash also comes to mind – but he apparently can’t because of a lack of reliable projectiles that can stall the foe. He’s like a speed character with a defensive character’s moveset, or something, and it’s all quite weird and tough to gauge.

On the flip side – and much more importantly – this makes his playstyle quite unique. Basically, to compensate for his unfocused advantages, he has to constantly be on the offensive. This is the definition of a ramping character who gets stronger the more he attacks – and he’s good at it, too, with chasing options like a dash into shorthopped Forward Aerial, a set of excellent throws, and solid turnabout options in Parry and Stealth Cloak. The thing I don’t like here is the occasional seemingly random prop attack, which, creative though it may be, doesn’t really fit into this image of his playstyle. I’m looking at Pipe, Nunchaku, Lightning Rod, the last of which seems to have been inserted only to add one of those move interactions which Warlord is so fond of nowadays.

There are a few places where I don’t really understand what’s supposed to be going on, most blatantly in the Up Aerial; he holds it above his mouth, then drops it. One would assume it falls into his mouth, but apparently it somehow circumvents it and falls straight down instead? Hmmmm. There are a few more minor examples of this, and it’s just the price you pay for having uber-creative, hard-to-envisage attacks.

Lastly, I think, I just want to give you some sort of accolade for thinking up a few actually interesting sword-based attacks. Something like Forward Smash is just incredibly intriguing and quite impressive, on the whole.

Now for the obligatory wrap-up, I can safely say this is your best work yet and that it finally shows just what you’re capable of. I don’t even remember your first set, but I do remember being quite fond of Bundt; the difference between that and this is astronomical, up there with the improvement of Chris, Daddy, and Kibble. A job well done, and I’ll be looking forward to the slew of retro characters you’ve got planned (especially Urban Champion, how does one make a moveset for that?).


  1. Yay!

    I’m glad you like the organization. Strange little tidbit about it, when I originally posted it the symbols looked like sideways S’s but since then I got a new computer and it looks like backwards S’s… hm.

    Anyway, I’m glad that the originality was a success. I managed to come up with all of them while I was away, so I kind of got a head start.

    I like green.

    Yeah, I have an awkward writing style. It’s something that’s hard to fix.

    Whee underpowering. Hey hey hey, he’s a fast character, so he has to automatically be top tier!

    I’ve never understood what the definition of props is, except that I use them too much. Could you enlighten me?

    Playstyle! It helps to be thinking about the playstyle for every move like Junahu advised in his guide, useful tip and it paid off.

    Pshaw. Sakurai’s just blinded us with his various bland sword attacks- all of Marth’s are basically identical. And it’s a katana!

    My first set was the Goos, remember that? And you might be happy to know that Urban Champion is the character I’ve decided on to make next. I’m planning to establish a personality as a immature kid. For his Side Tilt he laughs at the opponent.

    Anyway, thanks for the review, and I’m glad you like my username. =D

  2. coughPichucough

    Props, basically when a character pulls out a random item for one attack and then puts it away again. You don’t overuse it TOO much, but hey, I need to criticize something, right? 😉

    The Goos, of course! Well, yeah, there you go. Huge improvement right there.

    And once again, if you manage to make an interesting moveset for Urban Champion, I will bow down before you. =|

  3. That makes sense! Thanks.

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