EDIT: It's been over eight (8) months since I last edited this opening thread! Throughout the entire thread, you will see debates and discussion on what "broken" really means, or if it should just be called "overpowered". The whole 50% majority concept is also clarified throughout the thread for those of you who have read any of it already. Overall, it is a very interesting and vital discussion to Brawlers and any competitive gamers alike, because the overall concept itself applies to any game that encounters such a problem of having a broken character. Feel free to comment; don't just view it, if you're actually interested say something about it, whether you agree or disagree.
Wow I haven’t written something this long since my “Misconceptions About the Wii” passage lol. And yes, these are all my own words.
For those of you interested in this topic, you will probably find yourself enjoying what I have to say. For those of you who were hoping for a quick read, just skim through everything that I wrote.
In my humble and unimportant opinion, Meta Knight is a broken character.
Broken: A fan-made word, it’s basically an adjective used to describe a character that is unbalanced, where the advantages overwhelmingly and unreasonably outweigh the disadvantages of that character. It is important to note this very simple concept that requires some thinking: A character can only be broken if the majority of the people (over 50%) believe that he or she is broken. If this is the case, the character is automatically deemed “broken”. If there was nobody to say that a certain character is broken, it does not necessarily mean that they are not broken, but if more than half of the players believe that the character is indeed broken, he or she is definitely broken, because you are dealing with two choices, where a unanimous vote applies. Thus, claiming that a character ISN'T broken after this fact is deemed invalid.
First of all, my purpose is NOT to attack to any MK user. I'm just venting some of the issues that have forced me to believe that MK is absolutely broken. Also, I'm open to a healthy discussion on the issue.
First of all, let’s break down the elements of a character in Super Smash Brother’s Brawl. Chances are, you know what these are already, but reviewing them in my context will help you to better understand my point. Besides their Final Smashes (as these do not matter in a no-item match and are generally not allowed in standard matches), characters are defined by their:
Power: The amount of damage each move deals
Strength: The actual knockback of the move, which determines how far the opponent will go when hit. The weight of the opponent also influences how far he or she (the opponent) will go when hit.
Weight: Known as “defense” to some RPG fans, the weight of a character determines how far they will go when hit by a move. A heavier character can generally be comboed easily due to little movement at low percentages, and racking up damage is generally easier. Lighter characters are generally more difficult to make contact with, as they are usually physically smaller and move faster.
Horizontal Recovery: The potential for a character to move (in air) horizontally (left to right or vice versa).
Vertical Recovery: The potential for a character to move vertically (up).
Run Speed: How fast a character moves on land
Air Speed: How fast a character moves in the air
Attack Speed: How fast or slow an attack takes to use. Some moves have a lot of start-up lag (Ness’s forward smash) while others have virtually none (Kirby’s or Marth’s forward smash) and can therefore be unleashed quickly. Also, the time allowed in between attacks. Some moves lag at the end while others can be unleashed in a flash. (Fox, Lucario, or Wolf’s forward smash)
Throws: The ability of all characters to grab, hit, then throw an opponent, throws are characterized by their reach, power, strength, and most importantly, strategic usage. Many throws are designed for strategic purposes alone (Pikachu or Sonic’s throws, none of which are strong or powerful).
Projectiles: The ability of a character to use moves that travel away from the character and harms the opponent if proper contact is made; mainly used for racking up damage from afar or to temporarily stun the enemy by knocking them back for strategic purposes.
Range: The “reach” of a character’s moves; determines how close or far the character has to be in order for the move to make contact. This includes dashes and throws.
Priority: The ability of a move to literally pierce an opponent’s move and attack them rather than cancelling out the move altogether. Certain moves have higher priorities than others, and certain characters can have a general high priority with all moves (Meta Knight)
With that said and out of the way:
Now, we all know that if you couple certain characteristics to a character, a deadly and unfair combination can ensue. For example, your heavy characters are generally powerful and strong (and cannot be KOd easily, hence being heavy). This advantage however has to be balanced by something else. If you have a character who is hard to kill and has moves that kill at low percentages if contact is made, he or she has to be slow and getting those hits in should be made more difficult (generally by increasing the lag time and making them more predictable and dodgeable). Take Bowser for example. He is the heaviest character in the game, making him the hardest to kill at higher percentages, but he has the poorest vertical recovery, can be effortlessly comboed, and is very slow. Making a character heavy, strong, and powerful along with excellent vertical and horizontal recovery is nothing short of a horrible mistake (Snake fits all this criteria, but he’s another topic).
Now let’s take this concept of, in short, “coupling certain characteristics to make an unrealistic combination” and relate it to Meta Knight. Meta Knight: is very fast both on land and in the air, has unheard of priority, has lots of range which also helps to keep him away from damage, maximum vertical and horizontal recovery--all of them damage-inducing (and are therefore still subject to MK’s great range, priority, etc.), a long-range grab that deals good damage and has an excellent strategic standing, as well as a long dash, both conveniently supported by a high running speed, and finally, MK has decent power and strength. But wait! Meta Knight is a light character! Okay…so he reaps the benefits of being light by not being combo-able and being fast, SO what. His mixed advantages make him the hardest-to-hit character in the game, anyways. Oh! My apologies, I didn’t even touch on that yet.
Edgeguard? I don't think so. Not with his up B that will send you flying to the other side of the screen if it hits you. And if you manage to avoid it, he can still glide (giving him virtually infinite horizontal recovery), then attack at will without a penalty and a high chance of hitting you (as it has disgusting range and will pierce most of your efforts to attack him in the air). Or maybe MK will use his side B and pierce through any attack that you decide to throw at him on the edge.
"But Meta Knight is very weak, he can hardy kill anyone". At first, I thought this was true. But it isn't and is far from so. Meta Knight has enough kill moves, more than sub par character like Sonic. They are fairly decent when it comes to actual strength and power, but certainly not weak. The problem here is the fact that MK almost always hits you with them—and with little effort, thanks to his unheard of priority and range. His B moves also act as excellent recovery tools that will also almost always hit you thanks to their again unrealistic speed, range, and priority. Due to his great flexibility in the air, he can kill you at low percentages whether you are high in the sky or semi-close to the edge, even when you are air-dodging and being very careful (semi-close meaning off the stage to the left or right in Final Destination, for example).
And even if that doesn't kill you, this small sphere of doom can chase you pretty easily through the stage and knock you out with one of its multiple jumps (thanks to his maximum recovery, air speed, priority, and moves with high knockback in the air that can kill you at low percentages and leave heavy characters immobile and in MK’s complete control off-stage).
Finally, MK’s lack of projectiles does not make him any worse. With his unrealistic range and priority, his lack of projectiles actually help him by not taking up a B move—all of which are excellent recovery tools and are damage-inducing. I personally find the Mach Tornado (B) and Up B the most unbalanced advantages in the game, being both for recovery and easy damage with very little chance of penalty (taking damage) for MK, as you can rarely bypass it. The Mach Tornado is the closest to an unblockable/undodgeable attack in the game (with exception to Final Smashes of course, which I am not concerned with at the moment).
I alluded to this before, but here’s the main point about MK and his “broken-ness”: Speed+Priority+Range, and MK has them in ALL of their aspects (read my personal descriptions of each of these for all the aspects of them again if you need; for example, range in general is how far your moves can hit from where you are standing/floating, but can also include dash and grab range, which are those included aspects I was talking about), is a deadly combination and is a mistake to put in this type of game, where your goal (in general and almost always) is to rack up enough damage and send your opponent off the edge to the end. You need to be extremely careful in order to avoid being hit and comboed by MK. It requires careful planning and spacing. On the other hand, you can play MK with little to no concentration, even recklessly, without much penalty.
How can you put a character in the game who has more priority and range alone than most the other characters in the whole game? Now add speed to that already unrealistic equation, and you get all the more broken. You get a bad mistake. Something that should have never happened, a rigged match from the beginning even when the players are equally experienced, because the makers messed up on this character by giving him too much of a certain “trait” if you will, one that is incomparable to any of the other characters and therefore “unfair/uneven”. Before I go, I want you (the reader) to just imagine how a little mistake of going overboard can make a character very broken in an instant. I’ll help you through my example: Imagine Mr. Game and Watch just one weight class up: a mid-weight character instead of the 2nd lightest in the game. He would immediately be the most broken character in the game, wouldn’t you agree? The makers knew not to make him any heavier than they did, or he would easily be most unfair, cheap, and unbalanced character in the game. Not to mention everyone would find themselves picking this unrealistic mess. The truth is, not all characters in the game are made equal, and the one that has been especially overworked is clearly Meta Knight (and a few others, but that’s another story: in short, I feel Snake is far too heavy for what he is overall, and Ike is too powerful for his overall speed).
The other thing I wanted to bring up was the “recent voting AGAINST the banning of Meta Knight in Tournaments by Smash Back Room (SBR)”. You know, the people that “really matter”. When people bring this up and try to shut up all opposing arguments by saying “that’s that, no matter how you look at it”, it doesn’t work. There’s a reason why the makers of the game didn’t want the character they messed up on banned. Who would be willing to admit that they messed up on a character giving them unrealistic advantages on their game and that they should be “removed” from matches that involve sacrifices (most tournaments are in essence a form of gambling, as you are risking your money). Apparently, 30% of the voters, which is a huge amount, believed that Meta Knight was indeed a mess up, that he should not be allowed in tournaments. The other 70% had the more “proper”, defensive mindset when voting. Remember, when 50% or more people believe that a character is broken, that is the end of the discussion: that character is definitely broken (has unrealistic advantages over all other characters in the game).
Edit: To dumb it down by the furthest possible means, Meta Knight has unrealistic features that enable to him punish with extreme ease, and at the same time, punishing Meta Knight is made the least possible (again, thanks to those unrealistic features he was mistakenly given by the makers). Ever try edgeguarding an experienced Meta Knight (meaning not a new user) and succeeded? How often does an experienced Meta Knight take damage or give damage? How often does Meta have the means to grab and dash attack you "from afar"? How often are you in automatic danger just because you're off the field, even when you've taken little to no damage (especially as a heavy character)? And how many times has Meta Knight's recoveries failed him? Not a single character in the game can attest to all of the positive responses as Meta Knight can give to such questions. Finally, Speed+Range+Priority=unrealistic deadly combo not fit for the game when you compare how advantageous it is compared to all other aspects of the game.
P.S. This took me only about an hour and a half to write, and I don’t usually write long passages about anything that has to do with video games. I just felt this was necessary, as I didn’t find any clear or straightforward “essays” written about this topic. Also, I don’t feel I waste my time writing about this stuff because I have underlying messages in them: this one seeks to show people to see the truth and to be reasonable when judging certain things and criteria. I know I will get a lot of stubborn MK mains aggressively trying to counter my claims. This does not go to say that I feel I am always right and better than everyone else. I also want people to look into things with an open mind and to not accept everything at face value. Also, people in general love to take the easiest way out of things and sometimes those "desperate attempts" are met by unjustified means. It would be nice if people could rethink their methods and have them be more legitimate as well as fair instead of trying to get the very best out of everything in a selfish way.