So my last post was meant with a fair bit of… uh… discussion. And this is good! I like it when my posts spur discussion on one topic or another. Of course, somewhere along the way I became Kat the Chick Who Is Too Hardcore For Smash Brothers. I think I’ve just been treated to a sneak preview of my ironic punishment in hell. Lucky me.
It’s my own fault, of course, for making it seem as if I was waving my hand and dismissing Smash Brothers as a “viable tournament fighter.” My point (which was a relatively minor point in the grand scheme of things) was pretty clear in my head, but it seemed to get lost in the jumble of words that constituted my feelings on Smash Brothers. Writing is kind of a bastard like that.
If you really want to know, I’m mostly just a frustrated Smash Brothers player who spent years trying to master all those crazy techniques floating around the Internet and ultimately failed. It seems that I’m no better at pulling off wave dashes and meteors than I am at performing aerial raves. As I’ve said before, I’m doomed to be forever mediocre (or worse) at games, but I keep trying to get better. I keep trying with all my little heart. Unfortunately, trying and failing to play like all those professionals on the Youtube videos just left me frustrated and bitter. And when Brawl made a relatively quick exit from my group’s regular multiplayer rotation, that frustration turned into disenchantment. So it was with much delight that I discovered this past Thanksgiving that Brawl is still in fact fun provided that I leave behind all my preconceptions, turn items back on and stop worrying about which stage I’m playing on. (Exception: I still hate New Pork City and Big Blue.)
This seems to be true of a lot of games that I’ve been playing recently — even games that I’m nominally good at, like Pokémon. It’s reached the point where I’m actively avoiding multiplayer-oriented games like Call of Duty 4 and Team Fortress 2 (both of which I thought were reasonably entertaining) simply because I know I don’t have the time or the energy to learn to play well enough to even hold my own against random strangers. I would rather play a good RPG.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t a certain amount of fun to be had in joining a competitive community. I know, because I’ve done it with WarCraft III and with Pokémon. But at some point, the payoff of winning a tournament stopped being equal to the effort that I put into maintaining my skills. And looking at all the effort that the competitive community has put into turning a game that’s supposedly “not about winners and losers but the process of getting there” (in the words of Mr. Sakurai) into yet another tournament fighter, I shake my head and wonder if it is actually worth all that effort.
Who am I to judge though? If others find competitive Smash fun and fulfilling, then more power to them. They just better watch out if they play against me, because I’m totally turning on smash balls. And I pilot a mean Landmaster.