Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Welcome to the Smash Life; Hanging up the sticks

So there’s this game for GameCube I like to play from time to time, called Super Smash Brothers Melee. For the most part, the game involves players controlling popular Nintendo characters like Mario and Pikachu as they try and beat the shit out of each other. Also from time to time, a group of like-minded geeks congregate together and hold a tournament at some venue to see, basically, which geek is better.

One such geek.

And yes, I’ve been to one of these tournaments. A few of them actually. And no, I’m not embarrassed at this revelation at all… O.k., maybe a little. My only problem about it, though, is that most people would envision a video game tournament featuring Super Smash Brothers, as a strange, creepy environment filled with pansy 12-year-old kids and obnoxious fat guys running around. They’d assume that most of the people there are scraggly, scrawny nerds with lanky arms and braces who are terrified of sunlight. They’d also assume the place would stink, and reek of body odor, making it difficult to even breathe. And to top it off, they’d assume that if a girl is actually present she would be subject to everyone's unwavering, creepster-like, attention. "Holy jeepers!! According to my calculations, there's a female creature in the area... I must investigate..."

With that said, I’m here to finally set the record straight. If this is what you think a smash tournament is like, then you have to understand…

That you’re absolutely right. As much as I wish a smash tournament was a respectable scene filled with laid-back, well-rounded people – to tell you that would be twisting the truth. Don’t get me wrong; you’ll still meet a couple of cool kids in the room, but to entirely hope for this, and from my experiences, you’re in for a rude awakening – stereotypes prevail in this case.

In truth, a smash tournament is more of a test of will power than anything else. You must survive a whole day's worth of gluing your eyes to multiple TV screens as your eyes burn out, all while enduring the painful, revolting stench that many of your fellow smash players emit. Besides the never-ending noise of button-smashing, you’ll constantly hear disgusting burps, farting, and evil-nerd laughter. Maybe it’s part of their strategy, but many of these participants apparently don’t believe in the concept of personal hygiene.

Be weary. You'll most likely encounter a crowd of this sort at a typical smash tournament.

The competition is fierce, and so is the smell. The last tournament I went to had a list of rules, mostly about gameplay, but one stood out in particular: “Please take a shower the night before and put on deodorant before playing.” I kid you not. It can really get that bad. Being able to play well in this hostile environment is one thing, but to play while your opponent reeks of shit takes much more skill and self-perseverance than anyone can imagine.

And so I conclude, that my dreams of becoming the greatest Super Smash Brothers Melee player ever, has turned into a futile effort. These kids are unbeatable. Add to the fact that the sequel, Brawl, is coming out soon, I’ve decided to hang up the sticks, and retire from the game. The only highlight of my smash career is a youtube video of me kicking some 10-year-old's ass in a pretty competitive match. I eventually placed 4th in the respective tournament. (I admit though, the only reason I won was mainly because I had 10 homies intimidating the poor kid as we played. By the way, thanks guys.)

Farewell, Super Smash Brothers Melee.
(Song that should now be playing: O-Town – All or Nothing)


  1. you forgot to mention the lone victory that legitimized yours (and my) smash career.

    maybe i was better off teaming with that guy wearing the NES Power Glove, then it wouldn't have come down to one clutch sheik down smash on my behalf.

    the fact that I know every bit of hardware that guy is wearing proves i know way too much about video games.

  2. "The competition is fierce, and so is the smell."

    this really made me lol for some reason haha. but retiring? say it ain't soo

  3. my bad lance, how could i forget...

    CommanderCacho & Adonis
    UCI 2v2 Champs 2006