You have to hand it to Nintendo; it really knows it’s onions. Amidst rising tensions ahead of the inevitable console squabble heading to your front room later this year, Nintendo is readying itself. Whilst Microsoft and Sony trade blows on backward compatibility and exclusives, Old Man Nintendo sits back with avuncular dispassion, happy to look on with an indulgent smile and let them have at it.
But beneath that cool demeanour, the cogs are quietly turning; the hive mind at Nintendo is hard at work. As Xbox and PlayStation frantically pull each other apart, watch closely where those discarded parts end up. BIF! There goes a forgotten IP from Sony. BASH! Off pops a once loved, now unprofitable franchise from Microsoft. “Don’t worry boys’, whispers Nintendo reassuringly, “We’ve got a place for those”.
A Smashing Development
Nowhere is this better exemplified than Super Smash Bros Ultimate, a veritable hoover of discarded console detritus. As of February 2020 Super Smash Bros now boasts a roster of over 81 fighters. Look a little closer at this smashing smorgasbord and you might notice a few unexpected faces.
Lurking between the rank and file of franchise favourites are a number of unexpected faces. Metal Gear’s Solid Snake and Cloud from the Final Fantasy series add a distinctly Sony taste to the mix. Shovel Knight sits alone, bereft and somewhat displaced in the modest Indie locker room. Even Mario’s embittered rival Sonic makes an appearance. Twice.
And what game could better demonstrate Nintendo’s niche? Prime colours dance across our cortex in glorious harmony, with one button supers lulling new-comers into a sense of security among the simplicity of mechanics. But, in true Nintendo fashion, the depth of complexity in mastering this ostensibly simple game hides insidiously below the surface. Demonstrable in it’s unending popularity on the competitive scene, Smash is easy to play, but nigh impossible to master. With a rosta nearing 100, learning the myriad combs that accompany each character is a seemingly impossible task. Until now.
A Love Letter to Nintendo
In an unbelievable show of dedication, one Reddit user u/Dopeyting has done exactly that. Creating his own website ComboBros he has listed every single combo for each and every fighter in the game. Listed by character, and broken down into easy to navigate menus of beginner, intermediate and advanced, this can only be described as an act of true love from the Smash super fan. At a glance, Yoshi has 23 beginner combos alone. Triple that for his full armoury and that’s 69 moves per player. Assuming a similar palate for all Smash customers and that’s a dizzying 5,589 combos to learn. But only should you which to undertake that fabled path to Smash perfection. Yikes.
With the latest announcement from VGBootCamp of a prize pool topping a quarter of a million dollars, perhaps this is just what the scene needed to lure in new talent. At time of publication u/Dopeyting’s post has attracted over 5k up votes (”likes” for the uninitiated) and the site had experienced server disruption from spiking traffic, know affectionately as the Reddit Hug of Death.
They Fight, we Smash!
So while Sony and Microsoft continue their spat with myopic conviction, perhaps the best thing to do now is to let them get on with it. A newcomer to the scene, I’ve shied away picking up SSBU knowing something of the time required to attain an at least satisfactory level of skill. But with this veritable “how to” now securely saved in my Reddit history, I’m ready to start smashing some strangers. Just don’t tell my wife. 😉
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