Super Smash Brothers: The History and the Players


Staff member
Super Smash Brothers. The History and the Players
by @Wing Zero

Fighting games are one of the most recognized games out there. Very one knows about Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter. These games are very easy to pick up and can get complex as the player explores the possible strings of commands. However, games like these not appeal to new players if they can not win all the time. Then Nintendo’s famous fighting franchise came.

Masahiro Sakurai along with Satoru Iwata created Super Smash Bros. in their spare time. Originally the game was called “Dragon King: The Fighting Game.” The game just had no distinctive characters in place and just had plain green models. Sakurai had an idea. What if they added Nintendo characters? The idea was approved and the game we now know as Super Smash Bros. came over seas on April 26, 1999. Originally it was set as a Japan only title but the game was an instant hit and was available world wide.

What makes Super Smash Brothers different from any other fighting game? The game took a different approach to the fighting genre. In a fighting game, the goal is to drain your opponent’s health bar until the character can no longer fight. In Super Smash Bros. there is not health bar. In place of the health bar system there is a percentage which represented the amount of damage that the character sustained. The goal is to knock your opponent off and out of the stage called a Knock-Out. To knock a character out depended on how much damage you inflict. The higher the damage, the easier it is. Each stage the character fights represents a world from the Nintendo franchise. There are traps that are familiar to many players that periodically appear. Items also spawn to turn the tides of battle. What made this game fun was the fact anyone can play and have fun no matter the player level. However, can a game like this escape the trend fighting games have? Not entirely.

Super Smash Brothers Melee was available for the GameCube on December 03, 2001. The game’s graphics where upgraded immensely. More characters were added with the final count of 24 including the original 12 from the 64. After 2003, the competitive side of the game emerged. The IVGF NorthWest Regional Gaming Festival and Tournament held its first Smash tourney. Soon this trend followed and great names were established like Ken Hoang who won over $50,000 in prize money. This higher level of play consisted of very restricted and controlled play. The goal of the rules was to eliminate any possibility of randomness. Items for example could be abused or the game can be lost when a random bomb appears next to you as you set up your attack. Any Stages that causes any damage are also banned so that a player would not lose due a random event. What also propel the game were glitches or anomalies in the game engine called “advanced techniques.” Some of them existed in the original version for the 64 like L-Cancel, which made your character execute their attacks faster Wave Dashing is a popular anomaly that made the player execute their attacks better. Melee was a very competitive game when it came out and these techniques destroyed the easy play for the common player.

Super Smash Brothers Brawl was released in on March 9, 2008. Before the game many of the professional/competitive players expected the game to be Melee version 2.0. However they were wrong. Sakurai made sure this incarnation was like his original game for the 64. He removed wave dashing and L-Cancel as well as fixing anything that made Melee “competitive.” Majority of the community were also outraged at the thought of using items when Sakurai announced that the new Smash Ball item was the only way to use Zero Suit Samus (It was later reviled that ZZS could be playable by holding a button). This caused a tiny war between the casual players and the competitive players which still goes on today. Majority of the complaint came from the loss of the techniques that they believed helped made Melee competitive. As a result some players never made the move. The rest moved along slowly to the switch over. Brawl was not free from glitches. However these glitches don’t do much harm but rather make the character do things they normally can not. As the weeks go by people accepted this game as a replacement. The completive scene grows slowly and hopeful that they can make another Melee.

It is unknown how popular Brawl will be in the competitive scene. Many Players are trying to make what’s most of it exciting as possible like Melee. There needs to be more time until we know what will happen to Brawl and what is in store for the players. Some of them resorted to hacking the game so they can get the lost techniques back. Others just stayed back. Whatever the outcome is Super Smash Brothers will remain a game for everyone. For Both the Competitive side and the Casual side.