Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Thinking Out Loud: Am I my Brothers Smasher?

For a number of dull reasons, I decided to pick myself up a Nintendo Wii-U for myself for my birthday this year. As well as Mario Kart 8 and Rayman Legends, I got my hands on Super Smash Bros Wii-U, which is what I've been playing mostly. I've owned every version of Smash Bros, excepting the 3DS version and I've parted with Brawl (though I may pick it up again if I see it cheap), and I love the combination of a simple combat system and a cross-brand fighting game. The Smash series can be a fun game with friends or a majorly competitive experience, depending on opponents and dedication; there is no move memorisation, combos or combo-breaking. Basically, the games can just be a bit of fun if you want, which suits my gaming mindset just fine. Getting into the new (Wii-U) version has got me thinking (of course) about just what the franchise is to me and how it really works. So, bad news, expect a few Smash related posts though the next few months, especially as my gaming time dries up whilst I finish Post-Grad. 

Now, it's probably worth mentioning that I have, essentially, no intention of playing competitively at any point. Yes, I can beat most of my friends pretty consistently, but there's something of a major gulf between that and the tournament scene. No, for me, it's just about the fun I can have beating the hell out of Charizard with a pink marshmallow named Kirby. Although I never got good at any of them, I do, conceptually, enjoy the Marvel Vs Capcom games, because the characters featured aren't limited to fighting game staples on the Capcom side; yes, it would be better if there were the occasional Exile, 2099, 1602 or Ultimate character on the Marvel side, but can't have everything can we? What's great about the Smash series is the combination of characters, especially in the latest iterations, the Mario, Kirby, Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, Fire Emblem and many other series are represented, some which I know or care little about, but I'm glad to have them there. Think about it like having my huge array of supers, even if no one uses Ted Kord Blue Beetle all that often, would you really be without him?

The one thing I feel that is missing from the latest versions of Smash is the Adventure mode, first featured in Melee, but actually perfected in Brawl, of all versions. The Brawl adventure had a gripping narrative in which all of the characters must eventually team up to battle the Master Hand and the dark power behind the games' boss; it had epic music, odd little team-ups and some very cool moments of video to lead in fights and tell the story. It was so good, and feels so lacking from the new games, that I'd be tempted to pick it up if I ever saw it cheap, just to play through again. As I've mentioned before, I'd love a range of 28mm-ish Smash Bros collectibles for gaming, but once Super Mission Force hits, I'll pick up some Amiibos to run demo games for people to learn that superhero miniature wargaming doesn't need to be about expensive lead men and huge city tables. 

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