CMS.998 | Fall 2006 | Graduate
Videogame Theory and Analysis
Labs

Super Smash Bros. Videos

Discussion Forum on Super Smash Bros. Videos

This online discussion is presented courtesy of the students and used with permission.

Subject: Super Smash Bros. Videos

From: Sharat Bhat

Here’s a link to all of the videos we made, including all of the ones we showed in lab:

Smash Videos directory

If you want to learn more about the Smash community or if you want some sample combo videos go to:

Smashboards

-Sharat Bhat

Subject: Re: Super Smash Bros. Videos

From: Mark Grimm

Rather than starting a new post, I’ll just reply here.

Recap

During your presentation of Super Smash Bros. you discussed certain moves or combos which are banned in competitive play. These moves are frowned upon by the community due to their “cheap” nature. You mentioned the possibility that Nintendo release updates or at least fix these ’exploits’ in the sequel.

My Take

I find this possibility interesting and I would like to attempt an analogy to Valve’s Half-Life Counter-Strike. Valve releases periodic updates to Counter-Strike (currently 1.6) which fix bugs and add content to this strictly multiplayer game. After participating in the competitive Counter-Strike scene for a few years, I have come to realize that Valve doesn’t give a $#%! about competitive CS players. These players constitute less than 5% of CS players and therefore Valve does not see the benefit of allocating resources to fix issues that arise solely during competitive play. As you can imagine, competitive CS players are outraged at this lack of attention… but can we really blame Valve?

I think the analogy works with most “competitive” video games. Competitive Smash Bros. players account for a small percentage of the overall player base and therefore these players would have trouble getting Nintendo’s attention.

As a proponent of competitive (and professional) video gaming, I’m not sure what to do about this… but I thought it was an interesting note nonetheless.

Subject: Re: Super Smash Bros. Videos

From: Kenny Peng

Mark Grimm wrote:

“I think the analogy works with most “competitive” video games. Competitive Smash Bros. players account for a small percentage of the overall player base and therefore these players would have trouble getting Nintendo’s attention.”

There’s also the issue that these tournaments are not the parent company-sponsored, and Nintendo would have a hard time just “being” there without an agenda. Nevertheless, I think people do listen and pay attention to what occurs during competitive play; it may not comprise of the majority of people who play, but it is the sect that generates the most media buzz.

The thing about Smash is that there are hardly moves that are, in a sense, “cheap” to the point that they are banned. Yes, it is true that, for example, Ice Climbers have an infinite combo, but this requires great precision on the part of the player who’s controlling ICs and a certain response from the opponent. There are no “guaranteed” combos in Smash. Granted, there are “cheaper moves” that are unbalanced (including characters that are unbalanced, as with any fighting game), but spamming such moves in a noob-ish way will most likely get you owned in tournament play (mindgames vs. no mindgames). But remember there is a lot of leeway, since most competitive gamers also understand the mantra of “Do what you have to do to win.”

Subject: Re: Super Smash Bros. Videos

From: Sharat Bhat

Lawrence Evans wrote:

“I think Brawl will have the ability to play online though? If so I might have to learn that stuff to be competitive!”

If the Super Smash Bros. Brawl release is anything like the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee, learning these moves won’t help you much. Nintendo made sure to weaken most of the stronger moves/characters from the Nintendo 64 version in Melee. For instance, Ness and Kirby went from being two of the best to two of the worst characters. Throws have been changed from finishing moves to only being useful for combos. I’m sure that after Brawl’s release there will be tons of forums discussing which character/strategy is best.

Subject: Re: Super Smash Bros. Videos

From: Matt Boch

It is quite interesting to me what qualities of a game make it appropriate for tournament playing. Last year I had a chance to chat with some of the top female competitive Halo 2 players (PMS clan) about what would happen when Halo 3 dropped. They said the gaming major leagues will test out the game and determine whether it is appropriately competitive, and then decide whether they want to keep with Halo 2 or upgrade. Player adoption rates will also factor in. People’s disinterest in Tekken 5 lead to a discontinuation of competitive play. There is a financial disincentive to upgrade because it means laying out quite a bit of cash on xbox360’s and Halo 3 DVDs. It is also interesting how standings change when the league upgrades. I am particularly interested in controller size and design and how that might effect different player’s competitiveness. Although this factor may be a non-issue when Smash Bros. Brawl is released if it is indeed compatible with the old gamecube pads.

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