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?