I love to Smash.
I mean that I love to play Nintendo’s classic beat-em-up Super Smash Brothers of course. I’m also absolutely fascinated with people who are exceptionally bad at Smash Bros. Like the only played it a handful of times in their entire lives, don’t know how their characters work or even what all the buttons on the controller do bad. Watching people like that play this game that I’ve dumped a sizable number of hours into is both heart-wrenching and inspiring.
The heart-wrenching part is easy enough to understand for anyone who is good at something and had to endure those who are embarrassingly bad at whatever it is. You’re just watching them do things that you know deep down are totally wrong, but you’ve told them how wrong it is too many times so now they won’t listen to you anymore. Nah, wait that’s just me when I try to explain Smash Bros to my siblings. You get the sentiment though, watching people make bad decisions when you know the correct choice was just in front of them is a difficult experience, but you gotta let them make those choices sometimes. I’m sure I’ll make a great parent one day.
Really bad Smash games to be inspiring in a way. I think it’s really cool because usually at least once every game you’ll see someone figure out a concept, combo, or technique that elevate their gameplay. Smash is one of those things where you can watch people move along the learning curve in real time. At least at first you can, once you get good (I’m not saying I am btw) it becomes less obvious, everything you do just looks a bit cleaner rather than you’re gameplay dramatically changing. Early on though the changes are like night and day and they happen all the time.
Like for example, most Saturday nights I head over to Five Sushi Brothers here in Provo for their “happy hour”. Basically, they just sell all their sushi for 5 bucks a roll, it’s a pretty good deal and while you are waiting for your order they have a Smash setup that you and whoever else that’s in line can play. It’s a Smash 4 setup which isn’t ideal version, but I’ve been playing some version of Smash for like almost two decades now, (The first one came out in 1999. Yes, we’re all getting very old, that’s how time works) I have a solid understanding of what’s supposed to happen in any version of the game. Now some nights I sit down and play/wipe the floor with the aforementioned bad players, and some nights I just sit back and watch. Me watching vs playing is usually dependant on if I saw a cute girl in line that doesn’t have a ring on her finger or not. Not relevant to the rest of this post, but I thought you should know. Anyways the last time I was there I was watching a game being played and I saw a guy figure out shield grabbing all on his own. (For those of you unaware when you have your shield up in Smash and press the grab button, your character will drop their shield and instantly begin a grab, it’s an essential component to playing safe and will level up your game instantly if you start doing it.) I couldn’t see his face myself, but you could tell just through his gameplay that he had realized something big. Mostly because he proceeded to do it constantly for the rest of the game and came away with a clean victory, I think I even heard one of his opponents mutter something like, “that’s so cheap”.
I was so proud of that guy at that moment though. I couldn’t let him know though because I was also trying to chat up a girl at the same time. Turns out she has a boyfriend though, so I should’ve just lectured her on the intricacies of the shield in Smash, would’ve been a better way to spend my time. Later.