Tales Of Smash (onia?) Bros.

There is one game I hold above all games. To me, it is not just a game: it is a digital sport. It requires skill, a complete understanding of the governing laws, a foreknowledge of events, and of course, luck.
That game is Smash Bros.

At this point in time I refer to Smash Bros Brawl. I think it is important to move along with this series as it progresses. I will address Brawl, but first here is what I think about the previous versions:

The 64 Version:

 

 
There are factions of Smash players who insist that: “Dude, the 64 one is the best. I rock at that game!” First of all, the game is simply okay. I know that is shocking to hear, but come on. Think about it. It isn’t all that great. What drew you in and kept you playing was the amazing concept. Secondly, the 64 version requires little to no skill to succeed at. This again may be shocking for you to hear. But the truth is that the 64 version relies far too heavily on grabbing and throwing for there to be much skill involved.

If the 64 version is your favorite version of Smash Bros., it is because of one of these three reasons:

1. You are overly nostalgic.
2. You are a girl
3. You suck at video games

The Melee Version:

 
I recently went back and played this game, against my will and much to my chagrin. I was worried that playing it would screw up what I had mastered on the Brawl version. What I found was much more shocking. I was barely able to adequately move my character (Link) around. Gravity seemed ultra-powerful and constantly pulled me off the screen. I had a tough time remembering that you had to come to a complete stop and then pick up an item. (I then realized how a tiny tweak like the ability to pick up an item while moving really improved the gameplay in Brawl)

Something was just off about Melee. I couldn’t do it. And this was the game I used to consider myself one of the best at. Going back to Melee was a shocking demonstration of how different (and better!) Brawl is. I don’t know how I used to be so good at this game.

If Melee is your favorite version of Smash Bros., it is because of one of these three reasons:

1. You haven’t tried Brawl yet
2. You have ‘mastered’ Melee and have struggled to do the same in Brawl
3. You are nostalgic, but not enough to be stuck at N64

Now for Brawl! What can I say that you don’t already know? At this point, Brawl is the quintessential version of Smash Bros. The graphics are near-perfect, the level selection is vast, and the physics work perfectly. (And yes.. you can pick things up while you move!) I have only one gripe with Brawl: I hate tripping! But if you can overlook that tiny prank by the developers, Brawl is the perfect fighting game.

If you can find someone who is at an equal or slightly better skill set than you, playing Smash Bros Brawl can be one of the true delights in video games.

And let me just say, I don’t believe there is a soul on the planet who can beat me at Smash Bros Brawl- even those mythological Japanese master kids (I’ve never met one, but they exist in my mind. I’ve been assured that they do indeed exist). My mastery of Toon Link has its kinks and I tend to be repetitive and sometimes predictable, but I can usually come out on top. I am the best….

…But everyone who plays feels that way, right?

(Go ahead and challenge me, I dare ya!)

Here are my other thoughts about Smash Bros:

-My favorite way to play: one-on-one 3-stock, limited items (the non ‘cheap’ ones). Best of 7 series with a 1 stock battle beforehand to determine home-field advantage (who picks the level first). You can’t get it wrong with that.

-Some people won’t play with weapons. I can see that. But they are a part of the game and fun to master. I think weapons (if you are turn off some of the more unfair weapons) are the way to go.

-Link really fell off from Melee to Brawl, didn’t he? His Up-B in Melee was deadly, but useless in Brawl. I consider him one of the worser characters in Brawl.

-Gamecube controller. Can’t do it without it.

-Never met someone who was amazing with Meta Knight. I hear he’s outlawed in some Smash circles. I can see the potential cheating with him.

-How about bumpers? Are they awesome or what? God, I love them.

-I know Sonic is really fast, but did he really have to be so weak? He isn’t a formidable character as he is now. Fix this Smash people!

-My long-time nemesis, Fox, was significantly downgraded from Melee to Brawl (thank God!). I always thought he was unfair in Melee. An instant kill with an upkick at 70%??? Not anymore.

-Can Ike or Ice Climbers get a new game already??? I’m waiting for my new Kid Icarus game! How about instead of re-vamping the Legend Of Zelda, we get Kid Icarus a huge adventure game instead?

-Wolf shouldn’t have been in the game. Instead, Krystal should have been in there. It would have helped get a bigger mix of gender(Ok, so I don’t really care but it would have). More importantly, she would have been badass. Can you imagine her dominating as she twirls and whirls with her staff?

-Yes, I have TMNT Smash-Up. It was made by the people who made Smash Bros and is fairly similar. The game is pretty bad and it borders on unplayable. How in the world did they screw that up? Let’s hope they don’t screw up a future Smash Bros game this way.

-Online must be fixed next go-round. I should be able to play strangers with the settings I want, not be limited to a measly 2 minutes. Ganondorf/Bowser/Dedede are favorites to win everytime.

-No Mario, I won’t play you until you get rid of that stupid water blaster.

-Characters I think are useless: Olimar, Yoshi, Lucario, Jigglypuff. It’s a bold statement, but I feel pretty confident in mentioning these guys. The worst character? Wario. By miles. Wario is horrible. He has no redeeming qualities. And no, he’s not funny either.

-My wish list for next time: Pac-Man (he’s in Mario Kart Arcade so why not), Megaman, Knuckles, Sora and/or Cloud.

 Lastly, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Brawl will be the only Smash Bros available on Wii. The next system (who knows when that will be) will probably have a Smash Bros game right away, a lot like Gamecube had.