Hope all of you back in America proper had a good Thanksgiving. Over here in Japan, most expats are saving their money to go home for Christmas, so we all end up banding together to have a good Thanksgiving dinner together in lieu of being able to be with our families. This year we hosted four Americans and an Aussie for the usual Thanksgiving spread (sans Turkey, swordfish with rosemary makes a surprisingly tasty replacement), a viewing of Blazing Saddles and some homemade butter beer and pumpkin pie (made from scratch!) Yeah, I said homemade butter beer. This is what happens when you get a bunch of hopeless nerds together for dinner
There was a lot of Super Smash Brothers Brawl in there too, which surprisingly turned out to be pretty great. I had been down on Brawl ever since Parish, among many others, utterly demolished my long held belief that it was a fighting game with any meaningful depth. And the fact that I mostly ignored it in favor of Armored Core while one of my favorite Smash Brothers opponents was visiting only seemed to reinforce that disenchantment.
But I was pleased to discover that once you abandon any preconceptions of Brawl being a tournament level fighter, it’s actually still a hell of a lot of fun to play. Items returned to our matches after a long hiatus, Final Smashes were prevalent, and every trip to Final Destination came with some joke about ‘tournament rules.’ When we were finished, even my friend Peter, who has been relentlessly pounding the “Brawl is just one of the reasons that the Wii sucks” drum for months now, managed to crack a smile.
“I’ve been down on Brawl,” he said. “But when you’ve got four people together in a room, there’s nothing better.”
Seconded. I might not play Brawl everyday, but I’ve got the feeling that it will be finding its way back into my Wii for many Thanksgivings to come. And besides, the Pokemon Trainer is still the greatest character. Ever.