Project M – A Community Mod For Super Smash Bros. Brawl

A community-made mod that reworks the physics of Super Smash Bros. Brawl to make it more fast paced like its predecessor, Super Smash Bros. Melee. It also adds new codes that allow players to use a wider range of technical skills to control the characters in an accessible way.

It gained a large and adoring following, achieving over three million downloads and playing a major role in many professional Smash tournaments. However, Nintendo interfered.

Development

The Project M team worked hard to improve the game, incorporating advanced techniques from Super Smash Bros. Melee such as wavedashing and l-cancelling, and also reworking certain characters to make them feel more true to their games of origin. The mod was popular enough to be featured at national Smash tournaments, but Nintendo never gave it its stamp of approval, and Miiverse policies were strict enough that simply mentioning the name of the mod could result in a ban.

On December 1, 2015, the PMDT announced that Version 3.6 would be the last release of Project M and that the team was moving on to other projects. The team denied that this was due to a cease-and-desist threat from Nintendo, though one member later stated that the decision to stop development was made to avoid legal issues.

The team’s efforts were not in vain, as Project M helped inspire several successors that further improved the game. In addition to its gameplay improvements, the mod added new stages and reworked character designs.

Characters

The character roster in Project M is based on the characters of Super Smash Bros. Melee with some tweaks to make the cast more diverse and technically interesting. Many fighters that did poorly in Melee saw large improvements to their tier placements, including Mewtwo and Captain Falcon, while some of the highest tiers were nerfed.

The mod also adds Zero Suit Samus, Sheik, Charizard, and Ivysaur their own slots on the character selection screen while adding Knuckles from the Sonic series, Lyn from Fire Emblem, and Isaac from Golden Sun to the unused roster. A leaked development build showed that four more newcomers were planned for inclusion:

Project M is legal to play on NTSC Wiis without hardware modification or longterm software hacking, though Nintendo’s policies suggest they do not approve of the mod. As a result, the project’s creators do not recommend streaming PM at tournaments sponsored by Nintendo. They have cited the fact that emulation of the mod uses copyrighted material to justify their decision.

Stages

Project M is a gameplay modification for Super Smash Bros. Brawl that adds new stages, improves existing ones, and restores several Melee-specific features to the game. Its development was led by a group of tournament-style players known as the PMDT (the Project M Dev Team, previously the PMBR, or Project M Back Room). The team consists of members from over ten countries.

In addition to the new stages, the PMDT added a variety of other improvements to the mod’s interface and gameplay. This included a shortcut to edit a player’s controls without leaving the stage selection menu and a feature that shows DI lines when a player hits an opponent.

After the conclusion of the project’s development, PMDT formed a separate group that continued its work as the Legacy TE and Project+ (which is built off of Legacy TE). Though these are not spiritual successors to the original Project M, they do carry some of its legacy and cult following.

Community

The community that rallied behind Project M, both on and off the screen, was strong and vocal. Many dedicated fans poured their time into the mod, which was featured in tournaments and was even a part of the competitive scene for some players.

When PMDT announced that they would be shutting down the Project M team with version 3.6, it was met with anger and sadness from the Smash community. People were angry that Nintendo had supposedly slapped them with a lawsuit or banned their streaming of the mod, and saddened by the ambiguous reasons the Project M team gave for the decision to stop development.

It didn’t take long for someone to leak 3.61, and while the leaked files were a bit unstable and contained some viruses, it inspired others to pick up where Project M left off. One of the Project M developers, a player known as Omni, began a new project with his friends called Wavedash Games and recently revealed a prototype for a platform fighter featuring Sonic the Hedgehog.

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