Why People Can't Stop Loving Super Smash Bros

To an outsider the Super Smash Bros series may seem like an unbalanced cacophony of unrelated characters beating the snot out of each other. According to the latest episode of PBS's Game/Show, that's exactly why folks love it.

Did you know there was a fancy term for creating something out of a collection of otherwise unconnected things? It's "bricolage", a term I'll probably never use again. I prefer "remix culture". It's something comic book readers have been hip to for decades and video game players have been enjoying since the days of X-Men Vs Street Fighter. There's something magical about mixing together two established properties, even if there's no deep exploration of new relationships happening.

That's what the Super Smash Bros series taps into. Between mixing up characters and presenting them in an unabashedly unbalanced manner I get the sudden urge to turn on my Wii U and forget whatever I was just writing about.

What do you think? Did Game/Show nail it, or is there some other element to Smash Bros success?


Comments

    Uh, yeah.

    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!
    SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!

    Wow, this guy's information is wrong in numerous ways, and his analysis of why it's popular is naive.

    Super Smash Brothers is a case of "Come for the cross-over, stay for the amazing gameplay". Unlike games like Vs. Capcom and Street Fighter and especially Mortal Combat, Smash Brothers doesn't require you to memorise any moves or combos. It doesn't require you to memorise sequential button inputs, or really anything at all. At most, it asks of you to remember the differences between every character's specials, and that's basically it. Instead, you just need to memorise an 'idea'. The single idea of button + direction = move is so simple that it's astounding no one has ever used it before in such a capacity.

    Plus, since the game doesn't use health bars, there's always a serious sense that a reversal is always just around the corner. The game is always up in the air, and it never comes down to one player just whittling down the last of the opponent's health. The game also adds a lot of variety with its stages and game modes. While Mario Kart always gets boring after a few races, Super Smash Brothers can always have you migrate to a different style of play.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now