November 21, 2014
As I am posting this, the clock has struck midnight for Friday, November 21, 2014 - the release date of Super Smash Bros for Wii U. I imagine all retailers are now experiencing their doorcrashing midnight release. Heck, I practically live right across the street from a Best Buy, which makes buying my electronics pretty convenient!
It seemed like not long ago that I remember system/game launches seemingly taking forever to finally arrive. In my summer holidays before high school, I remember spending an entire summer chatting about the upcoming release of the Nintendo GameCube on the VGF Forums. The wait was agonizing. I remember how unimaginably excited I was when E3 2001 came that summer, and I got to see what Bowser looked like in Nintendo GameCube graphics for the first time (and in FMV cutscenes!) Back then, the graphical leaps were staggering. Waiting until December 3rd, 2001 for Super Smash Brothers Melee felt like a torture test, and the wait was totally worth it.
In my older years, it's hard to believe the time went so quickly. I really cannot fathom that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is completed and available now. This has been a very busy year for me and the time has gone by unimaginably fast (in my experience). In fact, around my last (real) update around April is where I had left off when it came to my knowledge, following, and research of the game. I was falling behind on it, and wanted to spend a huge chunk of time all at once catching up. Until this occurred, I deliberately was avoiding any spoilers about the game entirely, so I could be shocked by them all at once. Well, I waited until the eve of the game's release before being hit with all the megaton updates all at once! I am SO excited for what this game has in store! You already know about all the big news, but I'll list the features that exicte me the most that I had learned today!
- Charizard is a fully playable character, and not tied in with a "Pokemon Trainer"
- Bowser Jr. is a fully playable character, and all of the Koopalings are optional "costumes/skins" that play the same
- A mode that makes 8-player simultaneous smashing possible!
- NO TRIPPING! (Seriously, which brainiac came up with this idea in the first place in Brawl?)
- An game speed inbetween Melee and Brawl
- A promise of better game balance
I'm not sure if I've mentioed it before, but I actually used to be a semi-professional Super Smash Bros. Melee player from about 2002 - 2008 (peaking around 2006). I say semi-professional because I was not paid to play the game, but funded my own way to some big tournaments in North America. Ahh, those were the days. Here is a short bio somebody wrote once:
Smash Wiki: MagnuM (Omg, who is that old guy!? XD)
I of course had a lot of personal bias playing my most favourite character of all time, but to be a Bowser main in any Smash Bros. game to date was reserved only the most masochistic types out there. Bowser was a bottom-tier character that played way too slow and laggy and was practically unusable in any competitive play. Few would usually endure such frustration, but it was my love for the character that kept me going. Eventually I became pretty good at one point. I even discovered a pro Bowser edgeguarding tactic called "Fortresshogging".
But oh how the mighty have fallen since! The picture in my bio was actually taken almost one year ago at a "Smash Bros. drop-in" at the University of Alberta, which is normally held every Saturday. These days, the turnouts are around a stunning 60-100 people! The Smash Community was never that large when I was active. I was pulled out of "retirement" to compete in a Bowser vs. Bowser moneymatch by a rising Bowser pro from the rival city of Calgary in my province this January. With a huge crowd watching, he beat me... fair and square. A lesson learned to never come out of retirement to show how bad you've gotten over years of not practicing, lol.
Such an exciting release of such a flagship game for Nintendo really brings me back into the land of nostalgia. Believe it or not, I don't actually own a Wii U yet. Perhaps I'll buy myself one for Christmas as a gift to myself for how hard I've been working all year. I do however plan to go to "Smash University" this Saturday to experience this new game with the rest of the local Smash community. Such a rare opportunity is too exciting to pass up.
I know I'm way behind on SSB4-related media on The Bowser Shrine, and have a lot of catchup to do. Sometime in the unforeseen future, I will hunt down the highest-resolution official screenshots/renders of Bowser from this game, to keep them all for you in one convenient spot.
... and I guess I'll have to add Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings to that list!
Enjoy the new Super Smash Bros. everybody!