On Super Smash Bros.
I've been a huge fan of Smash Bros. since the original debuted on Nintendo 64. I remember the first time I saw the commercial on TV, in which people dressed as Mario, Donkey Kong, Yoshi and Pikachu beat the heck out of each other, and how it blew my mind. All those characters, in one game? My brother and I played it over and over again. It was by far one of the most fun games I had ever played. I thought then that it couldn't get any better, but in 2001 I remember walking into an electronics store where they had a display for the upcoming GameCube. Back then news about upcoming games was pretty limited to what you saw on TV or in a store, unless you subscribed to Nintendo Power (which I did not), so imagine my surprise when I saw, there on a television, the opening cinematic from Super Smash Bros. Melee, a game I didn't even know existed. I nearly crapped my pants. I stood there and watched it over and over again until my friends pulled me out of the store. Melee of course went on to be the number one selling game on GameCube at over 7 million units sold, and to me defined the system. The hours spent with that game count as some of the greatest gaming moments I've ever had. Epic showdowns between Link and Marth, Fox and Samus, Luigi and Mr. Game & Watch still rest fondly in my memory. With the rise of the internet, came easier access to information concerning games in development. In 2006 Nintendo released an unforgettable debut trailer for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and internet hype exploded. Countless fans created lists of characters they hoped would be in the game. Even today if you search "Smash Bros. Roster" on Google or YouTube you're likely to see page after page of speculation and wishful thinking. The lead-up to Brawl's release was unique in that lead developer Masahiro Sakurai knew how hungry fans were, and released one bit of new info, whether it be a new character, stage, item or piece of music, every day on the official site. Here on the east coast of the USA, the site happened to update everyday at 2 am, and I never went to bed without missing an update. Every day for practically a whole year, my thoughts would inevitably turn to Smash Bros. I was hooked on info, always wanting more, needing to know what wonderful things were to be found in the game. When it was finally released, I stayed up all night, till 8am when my local Target opened it's doors, and quickly brought the game home. Despite my unbelievably high expectations, the game somehow managed to deliver for me. A huge character list, tons of stages, a single player mode, so many collectibles, and more features than I could shake a stick at. I know that there are many purists out there who will tell you any day that Melee is better than Brawl. In fact, I know people who still stick by the original, refusing to play the sequels. But for me, it was everything I wanted it to be. Even today, more than four years after it's release, I still pop it in my Wii every few months and get addicted all over again. But now something new is on the horizon, and once again we are about to enter a new cycle of hype and anticipation.
Super Smash Bros. 4
At last year's E3, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata took the stage to reveal Nintendo's brand new home console, Wii U. After the introduction to the system, the controller, and all it's functionality, it came time to talk games, and the first game to be announced was a new Super Smash Bros., to be released not only on Wii U, but 3DS as well. They hadn't even started pre-production, and yet they took the time to ensure that we, the Nintendo faithful, knew that this was on the way. The message was clear. It was time to get that hype train a-movin'. Of course in the year to follow there was very little talk about the project, primarily because it did not even exist in any form other than a mark on a to-do list. Series creator Sakurai was busy completing Kid Icarus: Uprising and didn't even begin to think about Smash Bros. until it was released in March. Going into E3 this year, many fans were not just hoping, but expecting to see some Smash Bros. action, at the very least in the form of a logo, or title announcement, despite this being very optimistic. Of course E3 came and went, leaving many fans scratching their heads saying "B-b-b-but, where's Smash Bros.?!" Two weeks later Nintendo surprised everyone when they announced via a Nintendo Direct live stream, that the next Smash Bros. will not only be developed by Sakurai's company Project Sora, but third-party developer Namco Bandai Games as well. This was quite a shock to many fans. One of Nintendo's flagship titles that not only encompasses all of their classic franchises but is in fact a celebration of all things Nintendo being developed by someone who's NOT Nintendo??? Just what the heck is going on here?! Now, I won't go into too much detail right now as to the implications of Namco's involvement. We'll save that for a little bit later. For now I will say though, that those of you worried about Namco handling Smash Bros. should relax, at least for now. We know nothing about the game aside from who's making it, and there is no indication that this won't be a great game, or that it will suck. What we do know is that Masahiro Sakurai is still leading the development and for now we should trust his judgment. He hasn't let us down yet, and I'm sure he has no intention of doing so in the future.
Now that all that history is out of the way, where does that leave us? Well, we're left with the promise of a new Smash Bros. game, probably coming to us within two to three years. We most likely won't see anything from the game till next year's E3, so until then, we on the internet will do what we do best… speculate, predict, dream, wish and voice our opinions on what should and should not be in the game! Here I will be sharing my thoughts and predictions about characters, stages, items, game modes, features and everything in-between. I will try to update as often as I can, but I can't make any guarantees about when I'll be able to. I'd like to encourage you reading this to let your voice be heard and share your ideas. I may even incorporate them in my write-ups! I plan on starting with some of the more fundamental aspects of Smash Bros. What features we can expect to see, what exactly the connection might be between the Wii U and the 3DS versions of the game, what Namco's involvement means for the series, and so on. Then I'll move on to examining and breaking down each and every one of the fighters from the previous games, how they might change and evolve, and what chance they actually have to make it to the next round. I'll also discuss possible newcomers, what their move set might be like, and so on. Also, if you're looking for the latest news and confirmed information on the game please visit Nintendo Wiki's page here. I will personally be monitoring the net for any scrap of news that might come our way, and when I do I'll put it there. Of course this is a Wiki, so if you've found some news or want to improve the article then by all means, do it up! Undoubtedly there is a TON to talk about, and I hope you're as excited as I am. So join me as I attempt to gaze into the future and see what wonders may behold us when we finally Smash once more…
Next entry: A Different Kind of Smash / Wii U