Not all eSports are created equally. Today we look at one of the greatest games to be classed as an eSport, Nintendo’s fantastic, Super Smash Bros.
What is it?
Smash Bros takes some of its cues from the likes of Streetfighter, with elements from games like Bomberman, how do these things combine you might ask? The answer, beautifully. The basic premise is simple. Firstly, you choose from one of the many “arenas” and there are plenty of them, in various styles, one is even themed on the old Wii Fit! Once you have done this and selected your character your goal is to force your opponent out of the arena.
On most of the levels, you are fighting on a series of platforms, although on a handful of them you just have to knock them off the screen. The caveat here is that the fighters can sometimes double jump back on to the screen. This is handled by a damage counter. Once your fighter hits the 100 percent mark they are susceptible to getting KO’d.
The great thing about the game is that without being damaged you can sometimes slip up and fall to your doom. And just because you are at 100% it doesn’t guarantee your demise. Canny players can survive a fair while in a perilous condition. The idea is if you knock your opponent off the screen you earn a point. The player with the most points wins.
The game is great fun as a one vs one experience, in this state it is similar in some ways to a classic beat ‘em up. It is when you bring more players the game really comes into its own. If you have enough controllers you can play with up to 8 players. When that happens games become utter carnage. It is also the most fun you can have playing the game.
As well as having a wealth of different arenas to choose from you are also not short on characters to play with. Although the starting roster is only 8 players as you play you will soon unlock more.
The fully unlocked roster of 74 players is a great size. Although not quite as big as, say for instance WWE 2K. What it has over other fighting games is diversity. Characters come from the entire Nintendo back catalogue and due to licensing deals you will even find Sonic the Hedgehog as a playable character. Seeing Sonic and Mario together on screen never gets old.
I got the power
The game differs in another key way to most beat ‘em ups. It contains power-ups and lots of them. From health boosts to vehicles, from big guns to poke balls that unleash pokemon to attack your foes. This game has some of the zaniest power-ups you will see and they just add to the bedlam.
Although the game is competitive by nature and that can be seen by the fact it is used as eSport at the games very core is fun. It is designed to be fun and it really achieves that.
Unlike some games that are only pulled out when you are having a party, Smash Bros has a robust single-player campaign. The desire to unlock the full roster may well have you playing battles when you are the only one in the house. It is this, along with the cartoonish charm and the wealth of different styles coming together that make this game so quirky and engaging.
The future is bright
Nintendo has a solid record of sticking with its tried and tested games and improving them as the series progresses. That coupled with upcoming DLC expanding the games diversity means the future looks rosy for Smash Bros fans.