Super Smash Bros. Inspired Indie Fighter Gets Knocked Out

By Eugene . March 29, 2014 . 12:30pm

While the Age of Indie has generally been a fruitful one so far, there are always some that have to call it a night, and in this case it’s the developers of Air Dash Online, the Super Smash Bros-inspired indie fighter. The game’s developers say the project is on “indefinite hold,” despite its promising characters.



The news comes a long while after the game halted its Kickstarter campaign and then went dark—despite an unoptimized proof-of-concept demo they had online (the site is now closed) and a promising pitch. In a response on Facebook to one of many “Alive or dead?” posts, Christopher Emerson, who worked on the game as its graphics programmer, responded with the below quote:


I’d say indefinite hold. One team member may come back with something similar, but as for myself, I work for Sony at Bend Studio now.


So, not entirely dead, but not exactly alive either. Sony’s Bend Studio is the development studio behind Uncharted: Golden Abyss on the Vita as well as some of the Syphon Filter series.


Emerson also went on to add that the platform fighter genre “is an easy genre to second guess your efforts in”, adding that while there is “potential”, getting that across to investors and the paying/playing audience isn’t quite that easy. One reason, he added, was due to “lots of conflicting presumptions” on the secret sauce necessary to turn such a game into gold. This “makes it very difficult to narrow down an approach and keep development on track,” Emerson said.


Air Dash Online was to have graced the PC as an online brawler game.

Read more stories about & on Siliconera.

  • You can see her entire ass

    • TheBlackRabbit

      wut? an what do you think of this? had promise? or no?

    • And this is bad? These things need to take a breeze once in a while you know

      • You mean farts?

        • why yes. did that need to be cleared out? (no pun intended)

          • A cool breeze can do wonders to an ass on a hot day

    • Mnstrzero00

      What where? Who are you talking about?

  • Spirit Macardi

    I think it’s kind of obvious why this is going under: The entire point of Smash Bros. is that it brings together a bunch of well-known game characters. An indie game can’t really do that.

    • GameTaco

      That’s honestly how I’ve felt as well. I mean, an indie game certainly can *make* their game characters well-known, just look at Skullgirls. You need a certain kind of style to pull that off though. Super Smash Bros. without the Smash Bros. as it stands is not a lot on its own.

      With proper fleshing out though, maybe a sequel, I could get behind “Soul Calibur style with a 2D platform fighter twist.”

    • AuraGuyChris

      Ha ha, no. It’s like saying a normal fighting game should have crossover characters. Smash helped to make a new genre altogether.

      • Spirit Macardi

        New genre…? You mean 2.5D platformer? Sorry, but Klonoa and Kirby 64 beat it to that punch.

        Smash’s gimmick was that it had well known characters come together in a 2.5D platformer with fighting game elements. Clearly you can ape the mechanic, but the inherent appeal is much harder.

        This wouldn’t be a problem normally, but the people making this were openly trying to get the same appeal as Smash, which simply can’t be done without having some recognizable faces in the roster. Yeah, that’ll probably appeal to people who are into the mechanics purely (said people are likely also Fox-only Final Destination players), but it will not draw nearly the same mass-market hype.

        • Theob Vious Choice

          Klonoa and Kirby 64 weren’t fighting games, your argument is invalid there largely. 2.5D platformers are an individual genre, however; 2.5D free-roam side-scrolling fighting games are a subgenre of their own. You won’t have the same experience playing a game like Tekken or Street Fighter as you would playing Smash Bros. I feel more companies should try this. While admittedly Smash Bros is largely fun for the character roster (which is why I’m pissed about the roster being diminished by the developers for the new game to set up a tournament-based game that the actual people who play in tournaments don’t even like) Smash Bros has always been quantity over quality, it’s a party game; but it can also be hardcore.
          While games like Playstation All Stars Battle Royale have tried this, they utterly failed to replicate it because they deviated from the idea too much and felt it was necessary to give everyone ultimates.

          I do feel more companies do need to experiment with different gameplay styles. 2.5D Fighter does not have to be synonymous with crossover. Other 2.5D Fighters which did it right are the Jump Stars fighting games for the DS, while they were just plain 2D, they still managed to replicate the feel of Smash more-so than Playstation All-Stars did.

          It’s supposed to be hectic, and it’s largely fun because it’s a fighting game that 4 players can play at once. Most fighting games are tuned for 1v1. My main argument against Smash is that the whole “crossover” thing is being shit on lately. Yeah, bring in Mega Man and Sonic again…. interesting to some extent. If you want to go for impact, throw in like 10-20 more characters into the roster, I don’t care if half of them are clones. Crossover fighters are supposed to be massive, not nitpicky about slipping and ledge-grabbing.
          “But u don’t play tournaments i dun want to play broken game.” who cares if it’s broken, it’s fun.

          TL;DR: Smash Bros isn’t the be all and end all of 2.5D fighting games. 2.5D fighting games =/= crossover games all the time.

          • ishyg

            “While games like Playstation All Stars Battle Royale have tried this, they utterly failed to replicate it because they deviated from the idea too much and felt it was necessary to give everyone ultimates.”

            My opinion is that PSASBR failed because of the lack of support and the lack of love. The idea is good enough to stand on its own, but the game felt like an advertisement rather than a celebration of Playstation Heritage (lack of other key 1st party characters, 3rd party characters that do not resonate with the PS brand). IMO they thought that maybe including big shots like Big Daddy or Raiden would boost the title, but they don’t really identify with the brand. Bioshock is a timed 360 exclusive, and Revengeance is a multi-platform. Fans were requesting for other 1st party characters not named Crash and Spyro (because they’re not Sony’s anymore), but Sony didn’t listen. I was satisfied with the gameplay, but I really didn’t feel like it was a homage.

        • Who says anyone into Smash’s actual gameplay is only in it for the ultimate hardcore BS? It doesn’t matter what your roster is if the mechanics fall apart, and likewise a strong fighter will usually pull through by its own merits.

          The genre AuraGuy is referring to is whatever you want to call games like Smash, PS All-Stars, Digimon Rumble Arena, that TMNT attempt… Smash is the most successful (and by and large the expectation of how mechanics will work, which is why I find other entries’ near-unanimous employment of traditional health meters sort of odd), and certainly a good part of that is the branding in question, but the gameplay is good enough to imitate without turning it into puritan one-on-one trash.

          The people doing one-on-one no items Final Destination are missing the point. A flat arena with two opponents is every other fighting game on the market, and dismisses the elements that make Smash unique and, to most players, inherently appealing. The items, platforming and stage hazards throw curve balls into the game, and some characters the madly hardcore would call “bottom-tier” in “perfectly balanced conditions” excel in different situations. To most players, the roster is a piece of familiarity that provides an entry point to spark interest, but the game wouldn’t be hitting a fourth iteration if that was all there was. The different stages and hectic environment make the game feel different from anything else one would traditionally call a fighter, and for a lot of people “gameplay inspired by Smash Bros.” is a completely valid selling point because of that.

    • Judgephoenix

      I liked the characters I saw for the game. I just don’t like the feel/gameplay style.

    • Guest

      That’s the point of Smash yes. Being inspired by something gameplay wise does not mean it has to share its same main goals. People love Smash for its gameplay in general. I have only just heard of this so I don’t know if they actually believed they could grab

    • Repede91

      An indie themed Smash Bros. style game featuring notable characters and environments from well known indie games seems like a cool idea to me. Braid guy and Bit.Trip guy vs. Super Meat Boy and Gomez! Think of the potential!

      • Thori Ikolsen

        Fire emblem themed. Pokémon themed. Capcom only only featuring more old characters than new. Each game with a different system to set it apart. Teams, evolution, weapon based, a fine tuned item system, one two or three attack button. Simple or deep defense mechanics. All exclusive to the Wii u. Better use of rev time then porting gba titles to the Wii u

    • Xerain

      While it’s not what this was, an indie smash bros feature a whole bunch of unknown characters from indie games does sound interesting…. You’d have like Lameza vs Meat Boy, etc. Though to make it work you’d have to go with quantity over quality, and I think the problems with making a good, balanced, game under those circumstances are obvious and inherent.

  • leeorv

    Some indie dev should put the gloves on and make an “Indie Bros. Battle Royale” featuring Gomez (Fez), Captain Video (Beat Trip), Meatboy (Super Meatboy), Isaac (Binding of Isaac), Tim (Braid), Kai Tana (Velocity Ultra/2X), Nameless Boy (Limbo), etc’

    Wouldn’t that be extremely cool? :P

    • otakumike

      toss in “You” from lone survivor and i’m game. Indie characters are actually quite memorable, now that I think about it.

    • Mugiwara

      Wow. This idea is so awesome! I would certainly buy this.

    • God

      Never Played the videogame Fez, so when i first read your coment, i was thinking on something entirely different… and to be honest i liked it better when i was mistaken.

    • Thori Ikolsen

      I’d say just as important as that is a deep system. The gameplay is a major factor and the care and detail. Its kinda what hindered rather than helped psasbr. There was a lot there but it felt thrown in the pot, not cooked into a great dish

  • Damn I remember playing the ‘beta’ they put out.

  • Awww =(

  • Hopefully, my grandchildren will be able to play this game.

  • MaskedHero99

    Ppl arr into smash cus of your fav characters of nintendo and its impossible to not have fun

  • Tails the Foxhound

    Aw this is a shame. I love me a good “smash clone” and this looked above and beyond that.

  • RunningWild1984

    Most of the characters looked too silly anyways imo. Hell 3 of them all share the same color scheme.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    This looked better then sony all stars :/

  • Well that’s rather unfortunate.

  • Paul Rodriguez

    This is the first I am hearing of this game. I like the art for some of the characters and would have liked to see a fighting game with a non-established cast of characters.

  • Thori Ikolsen

    This can work with original characters and a good system. Examples of a good system are smash. Examples of a ?? System are psasbr

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos