SUPER SMASH BROS. … WIIIIIIIIIIIII!!11one
This video is of a very cool animation I saw months ago and still wish to show now.
Btw, much love for Flint from Mother 3.
Ok, so it was indeed inevitable. I could not go long without talking about Smash Bros. I mean, really it would be a travesty simply if I didn’t. Let me just say here and now that I love Super Smash Bros. and even moreso Super Smash Bros. Melee.
[more more more smash brootheeerrrrrrrrrsssss]
Yes, love, literally, love. It’s easily my favorite multiplayer game, and almost my favoritest game of all time and I will play it forever… yes, even after Brawl is released (much like I still play Smash 64 despite the existence of Melee). But coming upon the topic of Smash is a fearful prospect because it is a topic I have ventured upon many many times, with many many people, in many places… but alas, it would be a wrongdoing to myself to not venture there once more, especially in a time that was so pivotal, with people that I consider to be closest to me, in the place I consider to be my home.
So, Smash Bros., what exactly is Smash Bros. for those of you that might not know? Well, Smash Bros. is a fighting series, more specifically it is Nintendo’s fighting series. Amidst a world of 2D fighter clones, and a world of boring, terrible, 3D fighter clones, came a genius and new 2.5D fighter from Nintendo called Smash Bros., but I digress… for now. In the world of 2D fighters from Capcom in the Street Fighters and Darkstalkers and the half a dozen or so franchise 2D fighting games I’m not thinking of, and the cusp 3D fighting game boom came Smash Bros. for the N64. A game that was clearly a strong evolution of the original Mario Bros. arcade game (yeah, that’s the one with the POW! block in the middle), providing an incredible blend of Mario Bros.-esque platforming, combined with button/direction combos and timing of fighting games, with combat mechanics that had incredibly deep layers of depth.
Before I go into the combat mechanics and fun of the game, I’d like to give a bit of history about it. Super Smash Bros. for the N64 was created in 1999 by Masahiro Sakurai, one of my now-favorite developers. The man is, quite literally, a genius and a god… Anyhoo, the initial depth of the combat mechanic was to add four players to the mix into the then traditional idea of only 2 players (but that was more of a revolutionizing concept of the N64 itself rather than just the game), give everyone full control of the characters including moves, combos, strategy, etc., jarring the concept of life-bars and instead creating a clever blend of level design impacting combat and the ring-out system to earn kills, as well as add tons of fun items and easter eggs into the mix to just further develop the fun of Smash Bros. But this was simply the first step.
In 2001 came Super Smash Bros. Melee, the official sequel to Smash Bros. for the GameCube, released close to the launch of the system itself. While Smash 64 was popular, it’s easy to say that Melee is strongly the reason the game has such a HUGE following now. Developing every idea in Smash 64 from the item depth, to the level designs, to the easter eggs and collectibles, to the unlockables, to the menus, to the insanely developed combat mechanics and development of the psuedo-psyche-level of strategy and precision of the combat and control, Melee was, nay, is fantastic. And when I say ‘is,’ I mean, ‘is.’ People to this day, yes 6 years later, discover new tactics and strategies as well as new means of balancing characters, and in a world of patches and downloadable fixes and such, a game that is offline and has had no such thing, that is no small feat.
It wasn’t as popular for these reasons initially though. I’d say quite easily, I along with almost everyone else that played the game, played for random fun. Sure, we played to win, but it wasn’t competitive and we did all suck. We did stupid stuff, we lost control of what we were doing, we didn’t know what to do, we didn’t have strategy. We didn’t have combos, we didn’t have character play styles, we didn’t know how to kill someone. Well, thankfully, now is a different story. It is interesting though. Smash Bros. created, or creates, such an interesting environment. You’re looking at a game that almost every gamer has played, or at least heard about… a game that most people at least know how to move around in, and, a game that is almost intuitive, unlike most fighting games. And then you look at the deep deep deep levels of competition for this game, and the layers upon layers of skill that players have and the clear gaps that can define these layers of skill. I can say easily that no other game has a network of gamers like Smash Bros.
I can say this because I am in this network; you may have seen our logo for our crew on the right of the page. We call ourselves “Smashers,” and we do so because it is what we do, we play Smash… seriously. I mean, it is fun, and it is for fun, but we take it seriously. We play to get better and we play to win, sure we make lots of friends all over the world along the way and we have a blast doing it, but we will never say that we aren’t in it for the competition as well. It’s funny because, while most of us could walk into any locale and beat 99% of people that play the game, we choose instead to play with the 1% that can beat us, thereby causing us to never ever win despite our high levels of skill, but alas, so is our gift and so is our curse. I have never once regretting being a part of the Smash community and I forever condone myself to be one with it as well.
Being a part of the Smash community has taught me so much, that I feel I must save the writing of that article for another day, and for now I think I should instead go back to my writing about the game itself, and about my anticipation of Brawl… along with everyone else. I suppose I mention the community and my part in it to simply give understanding of my dedication and knowledge of the game, as well as understanding in the fact that there is a community of hundreds of people that feel similarly, and then another million or so people who are looking forward to Brawl about a tenth as much as we are.
So, what is Brawl? Brawl is the sequel to Smash Bros. Melee. It will be out for the Wii, and I hope to GOD, that it will be out this year. To say that this is my most anticipated game is probably an understatement, and to say that this is my most anticipated occurrence is perhaps only a slight overstatement. What can I say about Brawl that hasn’t already been said though? The truth is, nothing. Everything has been said, the kind of new characters people want to see, the new moves, the new depth to the combat, the new levels, the new items, the new stages, the new menus, the new, literally, everything!
And this is what scares me and makes me happy all at the same time. I along with thousands out there, want the game to only evolve, not change. I don’t want something more simplistic and intuitive, I’d be happy with something harder, more skill based. Hell, I’d be harder with more stages more characters, more everything, and then another layer of complexity and that’s it. To be honesty, I don’t want much Wii control at all. And you know what? I think that’s exactly what Nintendo will deliver.
This is what I forsee: Smash Bros. Brawl will be everything I just described but more. They will release a special White GameCube styled controller that plugs into the bottom of the Wiimote (similar to the VC Controller). It will have rumble and everything, and otherwise, be a GameCube Controller. This will allow you to have Wiimote-wireless, as well as Wiimote motion control of menus and such, and perhaps even some crazy items or stages, or camera or whatever that needs to/can be done while not into the thick of the fray. Otherwise, we will see new characters, more moves, more characters, more items, more stages, and less of everything too just to make Melee not outdated. I think there will even be new complexities in combat and such.
In case anyone hasn’t noticed, if you go to smashbros.com you can clearly see that there is (from the time of this posting) 4 days till the launch of the new website. As discussed on the forums, while I don’t think anything monumental in nature will be revealed, the fact that there will be new info is undeniable.
I can’t wait, I know you can’t either. Woo, here’s looking forward to Brawl!