It’s official! Nintendo has listened to our prayers, disregarded naysayers and finally acknowledged the existence of competitive Super Smash Bros. players. Ever since the very new Super Smash Bros. trailer appeared, fans have been awaiting Nintendo’s exclusive news system known as “Nintendo Direct”, where fans have been able to get screenshots of the new Super Smash Bros. game for weeks now. But it wasn’t until Nintendo released a trailer last month, a trailer that had fulfilled our expectations quite nicely.
Now if you don’t understand what Super Smash Bros. is or how it works, it’s a unique high octane crossover fighting game that only really works for Nintendo. Why, you ask? For one thing, it features a percentage meter instead of the traditional health bar. The higher the percentage, the more of chance you have of being K.O. ed. As characters rack up damage against you, a character can “smash” (See where the name comes from?) you into the air and send you flying off of the stage.
(If you do not know anything else about the Super Smash Bros. games and its mechanics, I suggest you view the following link: http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Super_Smash_Bros._Brawl/Controls)
Other fighting games also feature their own set of characters, living in their own universe set within the game. For example, the Mortal Kombat fighters all exist in their own continuity. Many other games have crossover games, such as the Marvel vs. Capcom games. But for Super Smash Bros., all the characters come from Nintendo’s different games. Nintendo has a wide variety of characters, all of them having no affiliation with each other outside of the Super Smash Bros. universe. Despite their differences (and believe me, there is a LOT), the characters all seem to mesh nicely because they represent their own various games.
This allows them to expand on this idea largely, as the characters would fight each other on stages from different games, usually different locations within each of the respective character’s games. Super Smash Bros. even allows Nintendo to add characters into the game that you would never see in a fighting game. What other game would have Mario fight off against Snake from the “Metal Gear Solid” series, Sega’s mascot Sonic or even a strange little robot named R.O.B.”, a failed game controller peripheral Nintendo made back in the ’80s.
Yesterday, Nintendo held its very first Super Smash Bros. invitational tournament, where competitive Super Smash Bros. players duke it out in Los Angeles during this year’s E3. Nintendo even released a Gamecube controller adaptor for the Wii U, noticing the buzz over its competitive use in the Super Smash Bros. community. But for those who weren’t able to come to this year’s E3, Nintendo has decided to stream the entire tournament on Youtube and Twitch.
The audience saw old favourites in Super Smash Bros. like Mario and Link fight off against newcomers like Megaman, Little Mac and even the Wii Fit Trainer. Announcers Wynton “Prog” Smith, Bobby “Scar” Scarnewman and D’Ron “D1” Maingrette worked alongside host Geoff Keighley, keeping up with all the spontaneous action during the tournament.
Megaman, a Super Smash Bros. newcomer faces off against Mario, Nintendo’s iconic mascot in a boxing ring.
The tournament was a single elimination tournament. The Quarter Finals had four players per match, and each player had four lives each. There was also a five minute time limit in order to avoid prolonged games. The top two players of these matches will advance from each match to the Semi-Finals and then so on. As players advanced further and further into the tournament, fewer and fewer items will appear. The Grand Finals was an eight minute battle to the end, with the two remaining players having four lives each.
Also, the audience of the tournament were given “Fan Favourite” cards, which will be used during the Quarter Finals and the Semifinals. These cards were used to vote for players that they believed had immense heart and style during their battles. Using these cards, an alternate winner would get the chance to be the Fan Favourite, and get a Fan Favourite trophy at the end of the tournament.
As said before, Nintendo invited competitive Super Smash Bros. players to showcase their popular fighting game. From all over the world, each player had their own style, just like the characters in the Super Smash Bros. series.They chose their characters based off a random number selection. Due to the lack of players, four of the characters released in the game were not played. Their character choice stayed the same throughout the whole tournament to ensure the use of certain characters.
The full list of players and their character choices include:
Daniel“LiquidKDJ”Jung: Rosalina and Luma
Neha“Lilo”Chhetri: Wii Fit Trainer
Juan“Crs. Hungrybox”Debiedma: Kirby
Kevin“EG PPMD”Nanney: Fox
Dakota“TheRapture”Lasky: Little Mac
Masaya“aMSa”Chikamoto: Olimar and Pikmin
Gonzalo“CT ZeRo”Barrios: Zero Suit Samus
A full list of the sixteen players Nintendo invited to the Super Smash Bros. Tournament.
Kicking off the first Quarter Final, Greninja, Little Mac, Olimar and Zelda duked it out in a fast paced match. Even though “Crismas” fought hard, Zelda was the first to be knocked out of the tournament. With a quick attack, “aMSa” got first place, and advanced into the Semi-Finals. “TheRapture” won second place with Little Mac, also advancing into the Semi-Finals. Unfortunately for Zelda, Greninja was pushed forward as the Fan Favourite and would move onto the Fan Favourite tournament.
Greninja, the fully evolved form of the Pokemon Froakie, uses his signature move “Water Shuriken” .
The second match of the Quarter Finals featured Bowser, played by “DJNintendo” against Zero Suit Samus, played by “CT ZeRo”. A legend from the Melee community, “LiquidKDJ” chose Rosalina and Luma as his character choice. Fox, the star of the Star Fox series (see what I did there?), was played by North Carolina native “EG PPMD”.
“LiquidKDJ” showed Rosalina and Luma’s abilities effectively, using Luma to distance himself away from other players. As the last few minutes of the match passed by, “DJNintendo” landed two more Final Smashes, allowing him to demolish both Fox and Bowser from the match. Two players had tied in terms of K.Os, allowing the audience to choose their Fan Favourite to win. In the end, Fox had advanced to the Semi-Finals.
The third Quarter Final took place in the Fire Emblem Colosseum, and included “PewPewU”, playing as Nintendo’s mascot Mario. Arizona’s very own “Lilo” made a fitting choice in using the underappreciated Wii Fit Trainer, while the legendary “LiquidKen” had chosen Marth. Lastly, “Toph” had chosen the high-flying angel Pit. Everyone managed to increase their game, making quick jabs at each other to land damage. But as the players dodged and weaved in the chaos, Pit wasn’t able to enough to keep up and was the first to be eliminated. With only ten seconds left, Wii Fit trainer shoots Mario up into the sky, almost getting another point.
They enter Sudden Death Mode, and Mario finished Wii Fit Trainer off. However, both “PewPewU” and “Lilo” advanced in first and second place. The fan favourite of this match was Marth, played by “LiquidKen”.
Marth shown from two different sides in the new Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U.
In the last Quarter Final, “PeachyHime” played with Animal Crossing’s Villager against the lightning fast Pokemon Pikachu, played by “milktea”. “Crs. Hungrybox” planned to eat up the competition with Kirby, while “HugS” was ready to blow some minds with his skills with the Blue Bomber, Megaman. With these powerful players on the field, sparks definitely flew across the stage as Kirby landed an early Final Smash. Megaman was the first to be eliminated, leaving Villager and Pikachu to deal Kirby’s solid lead. Unfortunately, time ran out of the match and Kirby advanced into the Semi Finals. PeachyHime” landed a close second place with the Villager. As a Fan Favourite, Megaman shot past Pikachu and went into the Fan Favourite tournament.
With four Fan Favourites chosen, it was time for a change of pace. The four players nominated would have the chance to gain the Fan Favourite trophy, depending on how well they did in the game. In this first round, it was a five minute match with no lives, and the winners would be chosen in terms of score and popularity. Greninja, Fox, Marth and Megaman darted towards each other, each player playing very safe. Megaman’s smash attachs proved to be very powerful, as “HugS” gained points left and right. With sheer strength, Megaman and Fox advanced into the Fan Favourite Semi-Finals.
Mario narrowly dodging one of Fox’s kicks in the new Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U.
An unexpected “Media Rumble” took place during the tournament, where four journalists from around the world ended up fighting each other in the new fighting game. IGN’s Fran Mirabella GameInformer’s Ben Reeves, David Kepler from Germany’s Gameswelt and Japan’s Basara Sato took the stage with much appeal. Despite the other journalist’s efforts, Basara Sato took first place with Greninja.
Meanwhile back in the normal invitational tournament, the first Semi-Final was began. Little Mac, Zero Suit Samus, Olimar and Rosalina and Luma fought off on the all new Pilotwings stage. Olimar had a huge lead, surviving with all of his lives until the three minute mark. However, Zero Suit Samus was able to pull ahead of Olimar and get in first place, with Olimar coming in at a close second.
The second Semi-Final included Mario, Wii Fit Trainer, Kirby and Villager playing on Castle Wily. Mario survived for a long time, using the stage’s hazard to his advantage. Wii Fit Trainer managed to stay in first place for the first half, using her speedy mobility to survive. Having a very close match, Kirby gets the grab on Wii Fit trainer and defeats Wii Fit Trainer, allowing “Hungrybox” to enter the finals. However, Wii Fit Trainer also advanced in second place.
Captain Olimar and his Pikmin in the new Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U.
The Semi-Finals of the Fan Favourite Tournament continued, with Rosalina, Mario, Megaman and Fox in the Boxing Ring. The interesting thing about this stage is that the ceiling lights can be broken, and can send players flying. Regardless of the stage hazard, the players were flying around the stage like balls in a pinball machine. Although everyone took hard hits from each other, Fox was able to pull ahead of the competition and win the match. The fan favourite of this match became Megaman.
The Fan Favourite Tournament Finals had Fox heading off Megaman in a one on one match. As Fox attacked aggresively against Megaman, “HugS” managed to hold his ground and survive. However, Fox unleashes an assist trophy, and gets the point against Megaman. Fox soon gets knocked out due to the stage’s hazard. However, Fox landed a Final Smash and gets another point. Although “HugS” fought well, “EG PPMD” put too much offensive pressure against Megaman led to Megaman’s downfall.
Chile’s Gonzalo “CT Zero” Barrio, Japan’s Masaya “aMSa” Chikimoto Florida’s Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma and Arizona’s Neha “Lilo” Chhetri played in the tournament’s finals. In the Boxing Ring, Wii Fit Trainer immediately took a great deal of damage from other players. Kirby decided to play it safe, trying to dodge Olmar and Zero Suit Samus’ attacks. Losing his first stock to Zero Suit Samus, Olimar started to put pressure on Kirby, the player with an obvious lead. With only thirty seconds left in the match, Kirby kept his lead and gains first place in the Finals. With second place ending in a tie, Zero Suit Samus was chosen by the audience to advance into the Grand Finals.
A “Celebrity Rumble” ensued during the tournament, featuring Keegan Allen from “Pretty Little Liars” as Bowser, Zelda Williams (Daughter of Actor Robin Williams) as Greninja , Steven Lunsford from “Teen Wolf” as Link, and Erin Sanders from “Zoey 101” and “The Young and the Restless” as Kirby. Like the Media Rumble, this match did not have the competitors play a stock match. In the end, Keegan Allan’s held first place as Bowser.
Keegan Allen, Winner of the Celebrity Smash Bros. Round.
The Grand Finals ensued, and with over a million people watching on Twitch alone, the pressure was on both players to win. Gonzalo “CT Zero” Barrio with Zero Suit Samus and Juan“Crs. Hungrybox”Debiedma with Kirby were ready to fight. Fighting on the “Battlefield” stage, Zero Suit Samus starts off using her whip to distance herself from Kirby. At the same time, Kirby is trying to distance himself away from Zero Suit Samus with air attacks. Using Kirby’s powerful throws, Kirby builds Zero Suit Samus’ percentage very high. With one smash attack, Zero Suit Samus is skyrocketed into the air with a kick. As Zero Suit Samus pressures a heavily damaged Kirby, he is eventually knocked into the top right corner of the stage. Zero Suit Samus’ mobility proves to be one of her strengths as Kirby can’t seem to land a grab on her. Allowing Kirby to swallow her, Zero Suit Samus is now vulnerable to Zero Suit Samus’ paralyser pistol. However, Kirby still loses another life from a quick kick. Kirby tries to play it safe, but the suitless bounty hunter zones out Kirby. Kirby and Zero Suit Samus quickly lose another life each, making it an even closer match. As Zero Suit Samus moves faster and faster, she starts to get sloppy and allows Kirby to get a grab on her. As the time runs out, Sudden Death becomes more and more of a possibility. As suggested by the announcers, the match enters Sudden Death. With a swift grab and throw, Kirby is K.O.ed and Gonzalo “CT Zero” Barrio comes out on top as the winner.
At the end of the tournament, Reggie Fils-Aime handed over a trophy to Gonzalo “CT Zero” Barrio, recognizing him as the very first winner of the Smash Bros. Invitational Tournament, and hands another trophy to the Fan Favourite Kevin“EG PPMD” Nanney. The tournament concluded Nintendo’s presentations at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, but the Smash Bros. hype train didn’t end there. The release date for the 3DS version Smash Bros. has been confirmed for October 3rd 2014, while the Wii U release date is still during the holiday season.
If you can’t wait to play the Wii U version of Smash Bros., you can demo the game today (In North America) at BestBuy on June 14th. To find out more about the Smash Bros. Wii U demo, go to the following link:
Nintendo’s E3 2014 coverage can be found on their Twitch stream: http://www.twitch.tv/nintendo