Sunday, June 9, 2013

Smash Brothers Brawl

Last week, I did the unthinkable. I took my 10-year-old Smash Brother's Brawl save and deleted it. It had everything unlocked and a good chunk of the trophies earned. Something in me said I needed to earn all the unlocks once again. Something told me that enough time had passed that my 20-year-old self had earned things that my almost 30-year-old self didn't deserve.

Well I stare at Marth and Jigglypuff as my only two unlocked characters right now, and I think I made a mistake.

I remember seeing this commercial as a kid and freaking out. This premise was just too much for me.

I couldn't decide if this was an elaborate joke or if it were real. I knew Nintendo protected their first party creations, but then again they did allow the CD-I version of Mario and Zelda.

I did not own a Nintendo 64 and when I found out this was a real thing, I was jealous. I'd heard rumors that Sony was developing a similar 4 person fighting game involving ninjas, but like most things in this first 3D generation, it was an idea that never materialized.

It wasn't until several years later, when the Gamecube was released, that I finally got to play a Smash Brothers' game. It... was... glorious.

It was one of those Mountain Dew and pizza fueled game sessions that lasted seven hours. I was hooked. As the night went on, we unlocked most of the secret characters and levels, and we just kept going. Around 4 a.m. my buddy rubbed his unblinking eyes and went home. We repeated this several weekends in a row never getting sick of it.

Eventually I would go back and play the Nintendo 64 version. (which was just as enjoyable) I was never big into fighting games but something about the quick sessions and heavy hits had me hooked.

It was a fighting game that required some skill, but you could also win with luck and some good button mashing. It was the ultimate level playing field. (Don't get me wrong, I recognize when someone has talent.)

There was magic in seeing the Mushroom Kingdom, Donkey Kong Country, and Starfox themed levels rendered. The music, the art, and the power-ups were all deliciously Nintendo for something that on paper was not Nintendo. Had you come to me in 1992 and said, "Someday, you'll be able to beat the hell out of Mario while being Link," I would've told you to shut the hell up.

I remember when the Wii version was coming out, how excited I was watching the website update with new characters, levels, and power-ups every week. I could not wait to see what other achieved games would be tapped.

There aren't many games that bring out that excitement in me nowadays. I know with E3 coming in the next days, we're due to hear about the next Smash Brothers' entry. Again, I find myself without a Nintendo console. I'll be on the outside looking in, until maybe 5 years from now when I can revisit

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