nintendo 64

How Super Smash Bros. Helped Me

Ahh, the sweet feeling of cartoony characters pushing each other off of buildings into moving vehicles. This is a series that never gets old and it's my favorite fighting game (I don't do well with memorizing button sequences for special moves).

I sat here for a few minutes, realizing that I hadn't thought of what to write about this week. Then I remembered that I played Super Smash Bros. Melee last night with some friends for my post-birthday-dinner.

I was in the fifth grade when I first discovered this series. Super Smash Bros. was on the Nintendo 64, a console that I had asked for my birthday or Christmas. A part of the reason I wanted that system so badly was Super Smash Bros. (the other part was Pokemon). I went to a friend's house after school one day and he introduced me to the game. I wasn't very good at it then and I think he mercifully let me play on his team while I got used to the controls. (This is much nicer than what I do--a quick crash course on how to play and then I throw them into the game. Just ask my dad.) Back then my character of choice was Mario. the graphics were rather blocky and geometric, but I thought it was the best thing I had ever seen.

After a long time of playing Super Smash Bros., I got a Gamecube with my sister and bought Super Smash Bros. Melee, my favorite game so far in the series. It was a revamped version with some new characters and new stages. I moved on from Mario to Fox to Link, who is now my default pick. I played this game religiously and I still revisit it. I gradually worked up to fight Master Hand and Crazy Hand on the most difficult levels and I trained against level 9, the highest difficult setting, computer players. When this got too easy, I asked friends to come over and we played 3-on-1. These fights trained me to think faster and react as quickly as possible. Using the C-stick to fight became cheating for me and I instead chose to do things that took more skill. I trained for a few weeks, trying to hone my skills enough to dodge by rolling next to people or dodging in mid-air.

These 3-on-1 fights also taught me how to be humble. I've had a competitive spirit since I was young. I had to realize that sometimes I couldn't win every battle. Occasionally I messed up. Maybe I should have used my hookshot instead of the spinning move. Or I should have reacted faster when someone was about to knock me out. When I was young, I took every mistake personally. Unfortunately, I also chose to turn my frustration on others and I got angry at them in addition to getting angry at myself. The harder matches forced me not only to be modest, but still proud, about my winning streaks, but also to congratulate others when they beat me.

Me at 6 years old.

Then Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out for the Wii. I still have a hard time with the controls since they were changed. They weren't as fluid as they were in its predecessor. They changed the weight of some characters, as well as their speed. Link was no longer my speedy warrior--I had to change to Pit. Some of the new features were fun: the 1-player mode had a storyline, characters had awesome smashes via the smash ball, fights over that smash ball make the game hilarious, and the graphics improved tremendously.

The great thing about Super Smash Bros. is that it never gets old. I love games like Soul Calibur, Guilty Gear, and Tekken--and I still need to find a copy of BlazBlue--but I can only play them for so long before I get bored. One-on-one fights can only be fun and challenging for so long. It's the massive chaos on the field that demands your full attention and hones yourself not to think, but just do. React to those around you and use their weaknesses and strengths.

And you've got to bet that I never forget how a person plays after I've fought them.

This post has been Sonic approved.