Look back on my on my last user blog post for a moment. I've sealed my highest scorable scores as much as I could based on the characters themselves, and I've been certain for a long while that I could NEVER topple or compete with them no matter how hard I try - whether it's for their remarkable point-racking against playable opponents, the bonus game, or even the boss, I was so sure that nothing could ever break those records whether its for all the appealing, shocking, or maybe even stupid reasons. But unexpectedly... I was proven completely wrong overtime.
A Classic Mode route shouldn't really be viewed as any different for my liking based on scoring capabilities, but rather the settings of them, especially with the playable opponents and bosses themselves - no matter how much I like or dislike the character as a fighter. For the record, I can score higher with most of these characters overtime out of shear luck, and I can actually perfect the bonus game under several circumstances (at least when it comes to grabbing each and every orb for that 5,000 perfect bonus), but now I've decided to bring up a couple characters that stand above, or in other cases, below certain scores people could normally make depending on which character they use - usually in the former sense for learning a new tactic as to earning more with less, or in the latter's case lacking the free will needed to rack up as much as possible in a five minute time limit. And for a final factor, I should say you should try to keep expectations low, if you don't want to be surprised in a disappointing or shocking manner whenever you're proven wrong when it comes to modes like Classic Mode that depend solely on a score system.
A Higher Possible Score Than Yoshi: Mega Man (Variable Weapon System: Online!)
I've mentioned before that my main Yoshi is the character who can score the highest in Classic Mode. With one YouTube user however, I've discovered that with the help of any tips I've learned and picked up from him as facts, there is one character I've managed to surpass Yoshi with (along with, to a smaller extent nowadays, Piranha Plant). The character who just so happens to find a way to stand above Yoshi is a Smash 4 veteran and Capcom's mascot Mega Man. And don't get me wrong, Yoshi is still certainly difficult to counter in terms of Classic Mode scores - his endless flutter-kicking down aerial and neutral special attack (Egg Lay) being his biggest high points with the help of the most powerful items to inflect damage upon opponents throughout his respective rounds, much less his boss Rathalos. Unfortunately though, Yoshi lacked the moveset needed to continuously multi-damage his opponents at a fast-paced rate, especially if no items (not even the weakest there are) were to appear in his route (much like Ryu for example).
Cause examining their hundreds of thousands scores to their two million point range, this all makes for a very clear difference; Mega Man could reach nearly 450,000 or even HALF A MILLION if the player (or at least myself in this case) was SUPER lucky while Yoshi only topped out close to 300,000. And while Yoshi has shown incredible mobility in racking up points what with his down aerial that puts Mario's to shame, he surprisingly can't compete with Mega Man's metal blade (taken from Metal Man and considered the best weapon of said mascot's root series) when it comes to multi-damaging their respective bosses - which in that sense makes the blue bomber's neutral special sound just as overpowered as it was in his second game in his own series against numerous opponents, and (again) Mega Man's neutral special is key to racking a score up big time against bosses. Assuming Galleom's scorable capabilities at 9.0 are largely similar to anything within the 9.5 scale, spam-attacking him with the blue bomber's metal blade along with a powerful meteor attack only for the last and smallest portion of his health to finishing him off, ALONG WITH a perfect 20,000+ bonus is equivalent to scoring up to 575,000 points (at the closest that is). Of course the final nail in Yoshi's coffin (ONLY when it comes to Classic Mode scores and not actually KOing him in Versus matches) was the fact that most of Mega Man's attacks are completely projectile-based - basically, the latter's advantage of spamming playable opponents endlessly, even without weapons to cheat with.
Recall that every special of Mega Man's other than his up recovery racks up damage in a few frames in one attack, so on that end I had to test if the blue bomber's attacks can do just enough to build up devastating blows to every opponent of his. And if you remember my facts on getting damageless perfects, Mega Man has the advantage to get just as much as Yoshi. Within every match, it's possible to avoid damage other than the Mega Man team - which for the most part, team opponents are near impossible to master unless they are at a lower difficulty (although to be fair, I haven't quite mastered Mewtwo upon Dr. Mario's defeat in Mega Man's final round either). Yoshi is the same way with every Koopaling via all of Bowser Jr.'s alternate costumes, although as I said, his flutter-kicking (more so than his Egg Lay) is his only true advantage of an increasable score, and while he has that advantage, his last physical kick makes for a launching point to launch said Koopalings offscreen in an instant. It takes up to 60,000 points on the upper score meter of Classic Mode and a perfect to earn 100,000 originally when you start the route off. To earn that much on a score, Mega Man's projectiles for each attack could make for around 5,000 to 10,000 points to rack up and his special projectiles wouldn't quite launch opponents off screen like most characters besides Yoshi could until like maybe 150% damage or higher.
If you remember how 157,560 points is the highest score possible in the bonus game, Yoshi only surpasses Mega Man in that sense by a longshot based on his better attack advantage of destroying the first tall block lowering down that could block his path to the portal at the end. Piranha Plant has had the highest score on an end boss earning nearly 700,000 in that sense, although Yoshi's only reached less than twice that amount, but comparing Mega Man's boss score to Piranha Plant's, this is the thing; Piranha Plant's poison breath racks up damage overtime, but only to an opponent that stands still in one spot, so Mega Man using his metal blade on a massive opponent racks up damage just as much as I said, but poison breath racks up slightly more damage than the moving metal blade does, and when scoring against his PLAYABLE opponents by calculations Mega Man could be just as on par with Wolf and Yoshi from around 600,000 to 700,000. In contrast, Piranha Plant might put Mega Man to shame when comes to a boss score, while Yoshi and many others could do the same slightly for the bonus game, as well Wolf giving the blue bomber a run for his money when it comes to all six rounds against playable opponents, but combining scores of playable opponents, the bonus game, and the boss at the same time rounds up to a higher advantage almost like a school GPA. This means Mega Man could indefinitely make way for up to 2 and a half million as I said if he could perfect every round but the Mega Man team (because I've never even seen one person perfect that round at a super high difficulty). Yoshi and Piranha Plant for certain will never surpass that, even with powerful items.
So while Yoshi and Piranha Plant still maintain their high points (no pun intended) when it comes to Classic Mode scores, Mega Man ultimately comes out on top when spamming opponents. And aside from Mega Man (much less Piranha Plant for the time being) surpassing Yoshi, there's only one other character who practically makes Mario's lackluster score look as incredible as the latter, much less the former. Speaking of which...
A Lower Possible Score Than Mario: Steve (Journey to the Far Lands)
Steve's appearance in Smash making way as a fighter still baffles me to this day. Minecraft is by no means a bad game, but it's one I just can't help but consider excessively overrated for reasons such as how well it sells, its monstrous merchandising across the globe, and of course how some have enlisted it as the best game of all time (above even Ocarina of Time in that sense) - WatchMojo, I'm looking at you. So it's only fitting that for how much even Sakurai admires said indie game, he includes silent protagonist Steve (along with Alex, Zombie, and Enderman for his alternate costumes), and decides to give him a Classic Mode based around the concept of his series (much like Min Min or most of the other DLC unsurprisingly). And whether or not you agree with me, his design as a fighter if not for his own series is more boring than Wii Fit Trainer's for my liking; don't get me wrong. It is a unique idea to include an indie game character for a fighter, much like how Sans and Cuphead got enlisted as alternate Mii Gunner costumes (and said costumes of which were amazing for my liking), but still... after playing as both Animal Crossing characters (Villager and Isabelle each), Steve doesn't really make way for a fighter worthy of being in Smash and is pure weak sauce, especially what with his Classic Mode.
Speaking of, how does his route play out? What's the primary strategy for completing Journey to the Far Lands? And what is Steve's highest possible score rate for trying as hard as even I can? The answers are: Just like his series, spam-attacking opponents with either his down or up ground attacks, and 1.75 Million at most. My highest I got? 1,784,070. That's literally it! Falling just short of 1.8 Million... even if I got a perfect in the bonus game (Yeah, I actually had to sacrifice that 5,000 point perfect bonus in the bonus game (meaning I was 10,300 actual points short of getting all of them) just to take home the victory of perfecting every stamina round with the exception of the final round and the two percentage rounds). And all you really have to do to get it all over with? Spam them with Magma Blocks or Lava Buckets (or both) and... that's it. All those Classic Mode rounds where you fight enemies that represent Minecraft where you have the chance at scoring big as every other fighter has, and most of your enemies end up with less than 100HP (which is what Steve has for each stamina round as well) that you can basically insta-kill in just a few quick seconds?? It feels as though Sakurai put very little effort into Steve's route and decided to make it as faithful to Minecraft as possible instead of giving Steve an actual opportunity of being on par even with Mario and Jigglypuff. In fact while I can say you COULD likely reach the heights of the latter two if you got perfects on both the bonus game and the seven opponent rounds at once, I'm kinda certain it's not even possible to reach even 1.9 Million in Steve's route.
As much as I don't like them either, I'll give the other stamina routes (Ryu, Hero, Terry and Byleth) this; at least their opponents have more HP to take advantage of in terms of point-scoring damage. But Steve is just a massive bust to Classic Mode scores, and even more so since Sakurai felt his route's concept was more important than a half decent scoring system. (So yeah, his score is so abysmal for a 9.9 rate, but the other way from how Mario barely reached the 1.85 Million scale)
Extra Analysis: Sephiroth's Classic Mode (The Chosen Ones)
This technically isn't necessary to mention here, but just cause I feel as though I should get it off the top of my head, I'll be discussing the Classic Mode of the most recent DLC: Sephiroth. As a far cry from every other Classic Mode to date, especially those routes without a boss in any round (i.e. Jigglypuff, Bayonetta, Terry and Steve each), Sephiroth's route is officially the Classic Mode equivalent to the penultimate phase of the final level in the World of Light: Adventure Mode - a complete boss rush (but without Galeem or Dharkon). For context, Sephiroth himself is known as a final boss via Final Fantasy VII, and seeing how there are seven bosses fought throughout various routes in Classic Mode (or eight if counting Crazy Hand), Sakurai said that it was only fitting that they put them all together in one route to be faced off by a character who's been a final boss in another game once before. And therefore Sep faces all of these bosses, besides both Master Hand & Crazy Hand who are fought by dozens of other characters (but not necessarily in this particular order): He faces...
- Giga Bowser like Mario (Said boss’s original form of which is the latter’s arch-nemesis)
- Ganon like Link (Said boss of which is Link’s arch-nemesis just as much)
- Rathalos like Yoshi (Both of which possess reptilian characteristics thus fitting with the theme of the latter’s route)
- Marx like Kirby (The former of which was fought more times than one in the latter's own series)
- Galleom like R.O.B. (Both of which play a major role in Brawl's Adventure Mode: The Subspace Emissary and are robots with little to no facial expressions - hence the theme of R.O.B.’s route)
- Dracula like Simon and Richter (Again, the former of which is a recurring final boss in the latter two’s series)
I've already mentioned how in some cases its possible to get as many perfects as you can, and while I've certainly made sure to rack up at least one perfect in every route via an opponent round (much less most bosses) (especially where I can nab the 5,000 bonus in the bonus game for grabbing literally every orb in said mode, whether or not I break the blocks for even more bonuses), for how you start off at only 5.0 and have to build your way up to 9.9 as usual, Sephiroth can't even match up to the boss scores of pretty much any other character based on when they are faced in said fighter's route.
In recent times, I was actually able to master EVERY BOSS before the bonus game without even the slightest form of damage thanks to how I got used to memorizing their attack patterns, and while Sephiroth falls just short of getting every point at the bonus game (where as he only lacks the ability to break the first tall block from a high distance) much like Mega Man for instance, I'd say it's virtually impossible to score a perfect on the hands (Master Hand & Crazy Hand each). Sure, I've perfected the hands with Diddy Kong once before... but with Donkey Kong for an AI partner fighting by my side (in the same way Diddy Kong inversely was in Donkey Kong's route), I'm afraid that doesn't really say much. And unfortunately, Sephiroth's score is FAR from matching up to any other characters who fight the hands just as much - whereas even Mario's score from defeating Giga Bowser makes Sep's score against the hands pale in comparison. I will say this however; Sephiroth could POTENTIALLY rack up his way to even greater lengths in getting an incredible Classic Mode score. If you've seen Sakurai's demonstration of playing Sep's Classic Mode, where he racked up more points on most of the boss rounds (barring the bonus game which he never bothered recording), I'd say that combining all of them with perfects on every boss INCLUDING the hands, by theory, would rack up to around the 2,050,000 range, which would be identical to Lucas or Young Link's scores at the very least. Looking at all four characters who don't face a boss in their respective routes, I'd say it's only possible for Terry to surpass Sep's potential Sakurai-point-racking score with full perfection of each every round no less (including all 152,560 points in the bonus game with 5,000 for its bonus) if he could score perfects on most (if not quite ALL) of his rounds (whereas if he could perfect all of his opponent rounds and the bonus game, he'd come out likely to around 2.15 Million). So while I have made some pretty decent scores even with the boss-less characters, Sephiroth has a better and likelier advantage in more ways than one. Sephiroth DOES have his high points at scoring big (especially since most of the bosses are easy to master when you get use to them at a super high difficulty), but he unfortunately can't compete with rapid attack traits like Yoshi's excessive kicking, Mega Man's metal blade, or even Piranha Plant's poison breath as I said, thus making him stupidly overpowered as he was in his challenge where you had to face him at any of three difficulties in order to unlock him before 12/22/20.
This last section here's gone on a little too long enough with me bringing up obvious points I've mentioned before no less, so I'll finish with this: Sephiroth's Classic Mode is a super fun route that's among my Top Three favorites (in spite of how flawed the "Boss Rush" cliche is), but he doesn't have enough advantages to be on par with the likes of Luigi or Richter, and at best he's only capable of the 1.95 Million range when scoring perfects on almost every round, and with the exceptions of the hands and Dracula's 2nd phase, the bosses themselves are easy to master on the highest difficulty possible (9.9) when you get used to them. So in the end, Sep's scoring could've done better, but considering how these bosses give you a greater advantage at a high score with either a multi-hitting weapon from a particular fighter or so or even fighting them on the highest difficulty, you can only expect more out of them in both of those senses - both of which Sephiroth himself literally does not possess.
If you have any other thoughts to share about my statements here, or even you're own Classic Mode scores, feel free to share, as I'm open to opinions on some of my favorite subjects, but I'd just like to get responses in some cases to amuse myself or get active in conversation...