Category Archives: Switch

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – The Ethics of Time Travel

As avid Animal Crossing fans probably know, time travel has been incorporated in each main series title since the original on the Nintendo GameCube. Its premise is rather simple: by changing the system’s time and date, players can skip ahead to speed up their town development, move out villagers, or access certain holidays or events in advance.

The release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch has once again created something of a split within the community: those who time travel and those who don’t. As somebody who has played the game both ways, I have an important question to answer today: is time-traveling worth it in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

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Should you take amiibo training seriously?

Probably not. Wait, what? If you’re new to the amiibo training community, that answer might surprise you. After all, our metagame is just as complex as any other (maybe), so doesn’t that make it worth taking seriously? In my opinion, not really. That being said, amiibo training in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate still has a lot to offer! Let’s take a look at some core components of the competitive scene and why taking it too seriously could be bad for the community as a whole.

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The problem with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Ness amiibo

It’s no secret that Ness’s Figure Player is one of the strongest in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He has one of the best movesets in the game, a variety of kill options, and solid tournament results. It’s well established that Ness is a top-tier threat, but he still has his weaknesses — and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today.

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“You’ll never see it coming”: a summary of attacks amiibo AI never sees coming

The best characters in Super Smash Bros. 4 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate have attacks that abuse the poor perception of AI opponents. In the competitive amiibo scene, perception is reality — and some characters had moves so strong they were entirely banned from tournaments. Today, we’re going to take a look at all of these attacks (across both games) and what you can (or can’t) do to counter them.

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Incineroar has been banned from the Exion amiibo metagame

After Bowser was removed from the Exion amiibo metagame last December, amiibo trainers worldwide collectively sighed in relief; no longer were tournaments dominated by a single character. But now, it’s February, and tournaments are dominated by (arguably) an even stronger character: Incineroar. Due to reasons we’re about to discuss, Incineroar is officially banned from the Exion amiibo metagame.

  • Incineroar is one of the heaviest characters in the game, making it resilient and difficult to KO
  • While Incineroar’s recovery is not great, it has a chance of taking the opponent down as well (as Cross Chop meteor smashes its victims)
  • Incineroar has several powerful kill moves, including forward smash, up smash, and especially down smash (at the ledge)
  • Its side special, Alolan Whip, is incredibly strong; Incineroar’s AI always times the lariat perfectly and opposing amiibo often make no attempt to dodge the move
  • While Incineroar does have soft counters (Mii Gunner and Ridley among the few that can contend), none of them are surefire wins

In explaining Incineroar’s ban, we would like to place a special emphasis on its side special, Alolan Whip. The best Incineroar amiibo only use Alolan Whip (with a bit of down smash sprinkled in), making the fighter rather easy to train. Furthermore, Incineroar has dominated recent tournaments, and has shown stronger results than any other amiibo character in history (and this includes records from Smash 4). Please note that Incineroar is now banned from the Exion amiibo metagame. This means that our Discord server will disallow Incineroar, but tournaments that are not affiliated with Exion may still allow the character.

P.S. The amiibo tier list has been updated alongside the release of this post to reflect Incineroar’s explusion. You can check that out here. Thanks for reading, and happy training!