A Smashing Ole Time: A Personal Super Smash Brothers Retrospective Part 2 (Super Smash Bros.)


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BIFF

This is a multi-part editorial about my experiences with the Super Smash Brothers series and the importance it played in my life. Click here for the introduction.

Side-note: You know, even though this is the first actual entry for the editorial series (aside from the intro), it’s kind of hard to figure out a proper place to begin. I could just delve straight into the first Smash Bros, but I believe I do need some build up before I get to that. I apologize if the next paragraph or two seems out of place or feels like filler.

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In the introduction, I said that I got my start with video games with arcade games. But the place where I played the most was at home. I started off if a Sega Genesis, since the local Blockbuster Video Store had one set up to try out games. I only owned two games for it: Toy Story and Sonic 3D Blast. But every weekend, I’d rent out a game from Blockbuster. Of course, being about 5 or 6 at the time, I really had nothing to go off on in terms of selection except for what I saw on TV, which was why a lot of the games I rented were games based on TV shows or movies, like ‘Ren and Stimpy’ and ‘Ninja Turtles’. I really didn’t get much too many of the big Genesis games aside from the Sonic games and Vectorman. Same thing happened when I got my next console, the Playstation(I got the Crash Bandicoot demo kiosk at KB Toys to thank for that.) Hell, I didn’t even have a memory card for it. But thankfully, I believe I had a fuller console experience with the Nintendo 64, especially since game saves don’t need a memory card.

The Nintendo 64 had a quite of bit of first for me. Aside from my GameBoy, it was my first Nintendo home console. I didn’t have Super Mario 64 (though I rented it) or Ocarina of Time (since I didn’t even know what it was at first), but I did get a well rounded experience with its library. I played games like Mario Kart 64, Mario Party 1-3, F-Zero X, Donkey Kong 64, Goldeneye, Kirby 64, Paper Mario(still need to beat that), and so on. It was really the first time I really enjoyed multiplayer on a home console as well. Many of those games mentioned before were memorable because of the appeal of 4 player multiplayer. For me, I played multiplayer N64 games with my friend, Pat, and his two brothers at his house. If we weren’t outside playing basketball or on the trampoline, it would be video games. I would like to say that we were evenly matched…but that just might be me repressing memories of constant losses(nowadays, there’s too many to count). But after a certain game came out, the level of competitiveness reached a whole new level between us. Furthermore, this game helped tighten the friendship Pat and I have, since has been going for almost 18 years now (I’m currently 22 now). To put it in simple/relevant terms, we are Smash Bros.

Of course, no article about Super Smash Bros for the Nintendo 64 would not be complete without that commercial. Just seeing the Nintendo characters that I was able to recognize at the time, all in the same frame no less, was mind-blowing. Pokemon was still huge at the time, so even just seeing Pikachu was awesome. Finally, a Nintendo fighting game? I’m in. I played Tekken 2 and Marvel Super Heroes quite a bit at the arcade (OK, more like button-mashed). I was never amazing at fighting games (I’m still only decent now), but since it’s a fighting game I can actually practice whenever, it could be cool.

Although I didn’t get the game until my birthday, which was 6 months after the game was released, I did get very familiar with it at Pat’s place. It became a staple of our hangouts. We’d all have our main characters; I typically used Pikachu and Mario, while the brothers would rotate between Kirby and Samus. We’d play it until my dad came to pick me up. Once I got my hands a copy of the game, I got a much better look at the game, aside from the Multiplayer mode. I’d do speed runs of the game without a timer just for fun. I learned the movesets of all of the characters. I’d do 1-on-3 matches against computers just to see how I fair (still can’t win against three level-9’s). I’d go to Training Mode to see how much damage I can deal out with the fan without KO’ing the CPU player.I’d look at the character profiles to learn the backstories of the characters I wasn’t familiar with and made note to check out their games. That last part really helped me familiarize myself with Nintendo’s franchises. I honestly don’t think I would have checked out any Kirby or Legend of Zelda games if it wasn’t for Super Smash Bros.

But my initial love for Smash Bros didn’t stop there. At school and at summer camp, I wouldn’t shut up about it with my friends. I would ask how to get unlockables, the best way to speed through single player mode, whose the best character in the game is, and so on. It even led to a semi-creative project that a friend and I worked on. One year, I spent a summer at a different summer camp than the usual YMCA day camp. This camp was held at the campus of a college, so many of the activities we did took advantage of that, like the bowling alley and the Olympic-sized pool. But the coolest thing there, and I apologize if this seems lame, was the computer lab. I didn’t have a home computer until 2004, so I didn’t spend too much time on them except from at school. The lab instructor encouraged used to work on creative projects like making birthday cards or banners with computer programs. I did remember working on a door hanger, since I didn’t have much of a clue on what to work on. However, two guys in my camp group were showing everyone what they worked on. It was a Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time card game. It kind of played like the Pokemon TCG, except without the evolutions or energies. After playing it a few times, I asked how they did it. It was actually rather simple. They made the cards in PowerPoint. They switched the orientation of a slide to portrait (taller rather then longer), and add things like a picture, health, and attacks to the card. Then they printed out the cards in groups of 6 per page, so the cards came out at a decent size. On top of that, the lab instructor offered to laminate the cards as well, so the cards came out very slick. Impressed and slightly jealous that I didn’t think of doing that sooner, I turn to my friend said asked “You know what video game would be perfect for a card game adaption?”

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This was the background used for the back of the cards. Everyday, for a while now, though, I regret not keeping them in a place where I’d know where to find them.

Of course, being around 10 years old, and realizing that you were actually suppose to play with Pokemon cards, not just collect them, the Smash Bros cards had no sense of balance whatsoever. I think Sonic, you know we had to have had a Sonic card, was overly powered, due to his dodging ability and quick attack. But nevertheless, I was ecstatic that an idea of mine became something tangible, as in I can actually hold and show people what I made. However, we literally had the cards printed out and laminated at the last minute/day of camp. So we did one or two quick rounds before we got picked up. But since we both had a set of the cards, along with the template saved on floppy disks, we both decided to make new cards ourselves and play each other next summer.

Nowadays, when it comes to playing Smash 64 in its purest form (as in being played on a console connected to a television), that is something that occurs occasionally. Currently, my video game backlog is quite overwhelming, so it doesn’t get as much playtime as it used to. If I got friends over, we’d opt for Brawl, since it’s the most accessible game in terms of controllers and gameplay. Although now, thanks to smartphone technology, I’m able to play a quick round or single player run on an N64 phone emulator if I’m waiting on a line or something. Every time I boot it up, I however, I can’t help but be amazed that I’m able to play a game that defined my childhood at any time, any where. Sure, there are some things like graphical issues and touch screen controls that slightly damper the experience, but I’m appreciative, nevertheless. In fact, I’m appreciative of all the ways I can enjoy Smash 64, whether it’s on a couch, on a phone, or on a computer, being played online. That last part, though, is a writing entry for another time.

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In a sense, the next two parts of this editorial series branch off of Smash Bros 64, due to both parts being intertwined. The next part is obviously Super Smash Bros Melee. However, the part after that is a revisit of Smash Bros 64, but now with online play. Online Smash Bros 64 is something I feel is significant enough to warrant its own part, since it brought an new element that would change the future of my gaming experiences.

Until next time, smash on!
(I’ll get a better sign off phrase for next time, promise!)

Some New Info on Smash Bros 4: No More Tripping, No DLC Planned, Simultaneous Release Unlikely


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Got some reports on details about the new Smash Bros games for ya. First off, Masahiro Sakurai got a lot of feed back in regards to ‘tripping’ on Twitter. Tripping, for those who don’t know, was an annoying mechanic which caused players to randomly trip while fighting. So Sakurai confirmed that this will not be featured in the two new Smash Bros games.

Next off, Sakurai has also confirmed that there are currently no plans for DLC. Here’s a quote from IGN:

“At the current time we have no plans. I consider my job at this point, and my main responsibility, to make the Wii U and 3DS versions the best and the fullest experience possible. That said, once finished, it’s the type of thing we could take into consideration, but for now, you could consider DLC as not being in the cards.”

One of the aspects that makes Sakurai’s games great is that they are jam-packed with content. It will take you a while to find and unlock everything the game has to offer, which, in my opinion, is part of the allure of his games. But having the option for DLC characters, stages, and more would be great. An ever evolving Smash Bros game would make this an enticing game for any Smash fan.

Finally, Super Smash Bros for the Wii U and 3DS may not be released at the same time due to some technical challenges. According to IGN, this issue is “particularly with the 3DS facing some challenges in terms of how to accommodate characters that incorporate more than one fighter, such as the Ice Climbers.” I’m not trying to start a rumor or something, but note that they were referring to characters, not only the Ice Climbers, meaning we might be seeing other playable duos. Don’t quote me on this, I just may have been looking too much into that.

Sources:
http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/06/13/smash-bros-wii-u-3ds-might-not-release-at-the-same-time
http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/06/13/e3-2013-smash-bros-wii-u-3ds-final-names-revealed
http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/06/13/e3-2013-no-plans-for-smash-bros-dlc-tripping-removed

Super Smash Bros Wii U Live Demonstration with Sakurai (Mega Man vs Mario)



Managed to come across this video on Youtube. Here’s a video of a brief live demonstration of Super Smash Bros Wii U with Sakurai. You get to see some (fuzzy) footage of Wii Fit Trainer in action along with an actual fight between Mega Man and Mario. Enjoy!

Super Smash Bros for the Wii U and 3DS: Video Round Up



Who woulda thought we would be getting this much Smash Bros information today? Up above  you can see the first trailer for the two new Smash Bros games. Along with my #1 most wanted character back during Brawl, MEGA MAN! The game will be released for both Wii U and 3DS in 2014.

 

Of course, Japan Time is back now the Smash Dojo is up and running once again. Check it out here!
http://www.smashbros.com/us/

Below you can watch the developer behind the scenes video with game creator Masahiro Sakurai, and following that, a video for a 3rd new character, Wii Fit Trainer.

A Smashing Ole Time: A Personal Super Smash Brothers Retrospective (Introduction)


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            I wish I was more of an interesting human being. How I wish I was a person with a vault of stories waiting to be told. But alas, I am a socially awkward introvert with only a miniscule amount of stories, experiences, and anecdotes to share. That may have been a reason why I decided to create Naturally Uncanny Reviews. So rather than retell stories which I’m sure are rather uninteresting, I have a chance to express myself in a different way. At first, it was through sketches, which allowed me to be a bit creative; although I’m sure they were unfunny. When NUReviews became an actual website, I learned that I’m able to express my opinions regarding the nerd culture that I am a part of. What surprised me was that I began to enjoy it. Until not too long ago, I would have said that writing is not an expressive medium I’m capable of using, due to my prior belief that there is a need to be articulate in order to write properly. But after writing more and more, I became comfortable with using writing as a means of expression. So now, I feel I’m able to share something I have wished to do for a while now. Even if no one reads this, I’m satisfied with the fact that I’m finally able to speak about an aspect of my life which I treasure dearly. Continue reading

Project Sora No Longer Soars (Updated)


Sora Studios No Longer Soars

Project Sora, founded by Masahiro Sakurai and funded by Nintendo, has apparently been dissolved. According to a report by adriasang.com, travel to the project’s website only provides a notice about the project’s demise. The only game developed by Project Sora was Kid Icarus: Uprising, and currently Sakurai and Sora Ltd. is working on the Smash Bros 3DS and WiiU games.

Editor’s Note: I just want to make this clear so no one gets confused. Sora LTD. and Project Sora are separate entities. Sora LTD. is Sakurai’s own development team. Sora LTD. has worked on games like Meteos and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Project Sora was formed by Nintendo as a development team to work on Kid Icarus Uprising and possible future games. Project Sora comprised of Nintendo Staff and Sakurai’s LTD, with Sakurai himself in charge. Despite Project Sora’s closure, Sora LTD. is still active, and is currently collaborating with Namco Bandai on the latest Smash Bros games.

New Smash Bros Games getting help from Namco Bandai/Bandai Namco Studios.


During the Nintendo Direct tonight, we got a lot of information for new Nintendo goodies. But since I am Steve, and Steve adores Super Smash Bros, I need to first talk about the new bit of Smash Bros news.

Namco Bandai and Bandai Namco Studios (someone want to help me differentiate the two?)  will be working with Masahiro Sakurai (creator of Smash Bros and Kirby) along with his own studio, Sora. Two stand out names mentioned were Yoshito Higuchi, the producer and the director of the “Tales” series and Masaya Kobayashi, who worked on the Metal Gear Solid, Zone of the Enders. In a statement released by Kobayashi, he also went on to mention other people and teams helping out.
“…Tetsuya Akatsuka, producer and director of “Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs.,” the art director/sound director of the “Soul Calibur” series, the main development team staff from the “TEKKEN” series…and that’s just for starters. All the top creators from NAMCO BANDAI are gathered here to create a never-before-seen dream team for this project. We will fully utilize our experience and knowledge in action/fighting game development, technical capability, and organizational strength, and we hereby promise you that we will develop the best and most powerful “Super Smash Bros.”

It’s obvious that this is very big news for Smash Bros fans. This could lead to a large amount of possibilities. We could have robust gameplay along with an expansive story mode and decent online multiplayer. This version could be taken seriously in a more competitive sense, like professional tournaments. This also opens many doors for Namco Bandai 3rd Party characters, like Pac-man, Klonao, and fighters from Tekken and Soul Calibur.

There’s a reason why I consider the Smash Bros series one of my all time favorite franchises. I rather not get into it right now, however. It would probably take up a couple of pages, and it’s 1:12AM at the moment. I’ll save that perhaps after the release of the new Smash Bros games. But my inner Smash Bros fanboy is starting to recover from his long hibernation. I just hope he isn’t as disappointed as last time.

Edit: One thing…IT’S OVER, SONY IS FINISHED