In my opinion Nintendo is, and always will be, the Gods of the gaming world. They are such a dominant figure in the industry that I don't believe anyone will be able to top them. Of course everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to gaming, including myself, but I would be surprised to hear from someone that they have not been touched by Nintendo in some way. And that is why for new gamers, it is the perfect place to begin.
Due to this vastness however, Nintendo games can be an overwhelming effort to get in to. Of course you have the iconic characters that everybody knows (Mario, Link, Kirby etc.) but it becomes complicated when each of those characters has about 20 games each, and everyone you know has their own opinion on which of those 20 games are the best and which one you should play first. There are simply not enough hours in a lifetime to sit through and complete every single Nintendo game, particularly if you're a new/casual gamer like myself. Sometimes you just need the tasting menu where you can enjoy little morsels of each character before deciding which one you like best, and then potentially going on and exploring their other titles. As if you had your own little Ninten-directory.
I've always know what Super Smash Bros is, but never really got the chance to play it until the 3DS/WiiU version. Since then I've tried to go back and play older copies but because they don't have the same nostalgic values for me (which honestly I think is a shame on my part) so I much prefer playing the newer ones. I'd also never been much into the fighting genre of video games though like with most people, I had dipped in and out occasionally on arcade versions or those bootleg GameBoy Advanced cartridges where you had a big compilation of classic games (hands down, my favourite things growing up. Sorry.) The main connection I had with this game however was the fact that I knew pretty much all of the main Nintendo character roster. As I've already said, it's pretty hard to go through life and not be able to have some kind of recognition of someone like Mario or Donkey Kong, so I was very excited to have the opportunity to see all of them together in a game and interacting with each other.
It took me a while to get into Super Smash Bros. Like I said, I wasn't very clued in on the mechanics of fighting games, particularly when the fighting is very technical and I couldn't resort to my usual style of button mashing. It also doesn't help that I can get very frustrated at something when I'm not perfect at it straight away - 5 matches with 4 wins and 1 loss is still a big loss and I'd end up giving up pretty easily at times. Out of the OG Nintendo characters I could never seem to find one that suited my playing style; I'm not great with technical fighting and I prefer power over speed, but also don't want to play with someone that's super slow. The roster for Super Smash Bros 4 is pretty substantial and packed full of Nintendo IPs as well as third-party characters that they've had some association with in the past. I recognised a few obvious ones (Pac-Man, Sonic etc.) but there were a lot I didn't know and was a bit scared of trying out. I very much like sticking to what I know, particularly with characters (and as someone who loves them as much as I do it's a bad habit that needs to be broken) but eventually I branched out from the 'well known zone' and tried to go for someone different.
Dear all new gamers across the world.
Take my advice when I say, there are a lot of games out there and you're going to have a hard time figuring out which one to start with.
But if you want a game where you are taught how to manage speed, power and technique (three basic elements that will be prevalent in many other games,) a game that increases your reaction timing and ability to make quick decisions, learn how to use unique buttons combinations AND be introduced to a whole new bunch of characters that could, in turn, introduce you to their own personal games as well.
Then I implore you to look no further that Super Smash Bros.
Okay, perhaps that was a little over the top but going by my own personal experiences this game taught me a lot. Before playing Smash Bros I was very shaky in my technical gaming abilities and, whilst I'm still not perfect now (button mashing is the key, trust me,) there is definitely a significant improvement in the way that I play. As well as everything else I mentioned I'd say the biggest chance for me has to be spacial awareness; before I'd always end up falling off things, now I still fall off things but do it far less often so I can actually participate in the game rather than having to start over because I wasted all my lives on toppling off the edge, (unless I'm playing Wario on his motorbike. He gets me every goddamn time.)
I would say though that the main reason this game is perfect for new gamers though is the range of characters you are introduced to. Once I'd gotten over myself and started playing as characters that I hadn't necessarily come across before in any sense I found myself having a much more enjoyable experience. I discovered fighters that fit my playing style a lot better and have now even developed favourites that were outside my previous knowledge. For example, one of my mains that I like to play as is Lucina, a protagonist of Fire Emblem Awakening that wields a sword. I know nothing about the Fire Emblem franchise (except that a lot of their characters happen to be in Smash Bros) but I found myself enjoying her play style which, in turn, has made me curious to look into the Fire Emblem games in the future. Funnily enough Super Smash Bros is where I first discovered Bayonetta, and from there have played the first of her own games and am hoping to soon get my hands on the second. It's great to have this kind of hub that allows you access to all these characters, stories and games that you wouldn't necessarily come across organically on your own. This is true for both the new and classic games; I love, love, LOVE seeing the present-day reimagining of classic Nintendo game characters that previously were just a bunch of pixels, like Captain Falcon from F-Zero or Samus Aran from Metroid (I'm not counting her appearance in Other M. Sorry not sorry.) I like being able to make my own decisions in what I play so, again, it was great having this catalogue right in front of me.
I really, genuinely love Super Smash Bros. and it's a game I'm more than happy to revisit again and again, especially when you have a whole bunch of friends to play with! Watching the joy drain from their face as their fighter gets blasted off the stage is truly something to relish in. I remember the first time I beat Reece's 'unbeatable' pink Luigi and I almost lobbed the controlled out of the window from the sheer feeling of a long overdue victory. I never ever would have been able to beat him in anything before I started playing this. Now it happens fairly frequently and it's just as satisfying every time.
So yes, Super Smash Bros is a game for everyone at every level and can teach you so much about gameplay, technique and Nintendo characters themselves. It's a great game that's brought a lot of joy over the past couple of years, and all I can say now is...
HOW MUCH LONGER UNTIL THE NEW ONE IS OUT?!