Super Smash Bros Will Suffer Through Story No More
Posted on Thursday, July 25 @ 15:03:23 Eastern by Daniel Bischoff
In his biweekly Famitsu column, Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai unveiled that the upcoming entries for Wii U and 3DS would not feature a lengthy story mode or cutscenes to accompany said mode.
"Unfortunately, the movie scenes we worked hard to create [for Brawl] were uploaded onto the internet. You can only truly wow a player the first time he sees [a cutscene]. I felt if players saw the cutscenes outside of the game, they would no longer serve as rewards for playing the game, so I've deicded against having them." (Translation via Kotaku)
I'm here to say a prayer of thanks to the all-knowing Master Hand. You have liberated Smash fans everywhere from an entirely useless and joyless endeavor, giving the focus back to nothing more than fantasy.
Super Smash Bros. first walked the single-player story path in the franchise debut. On Nintendo 64, you could take your favorite character, fight through a series of battles (and bonus stages) and eventually face off with Master Hand, the supposed impetus for all the battling you were going to do in versus mode with friends. Here's the Nintendo 64 game's intro video:
Pretty simple right? All the story you could possibly need. Hell, as direct as "Super Smash Bros." is as a name, they could have called it Nintendo Toy Story and it still would have made perfect sense to my 11-year-old brain. Something about the premise for Super Smash Bros. was "so stupidly simple it had to work." Nintendo's characters have always coexisted in some form, be it karting, golfing, or other sporting event, but SSB put them in battle, in the mind of a child, in the minds of diehard Nintendo fans everywhere.
How did it not happen sooner? Why did it take Nintendo so long to develop this concept? It felt like something that had always existed, or at least always should have existed. When you finally got your hands on Super Smash Bros. you knew immediately that you were playing something special, frantic, and laugh-out-loud chaotic.
Would that be it? Would the Nintendo 64 and its four hidden characters be the end? The GameCube's Super Smash game had to have more characters, more options, more unlockables, more levels... right?
Master Hand's influence was absent from Melee's opening video, but the character-specific intros made up for it in personality and just plain epic-ness. Zelda and Shiek looking off into space where Kirby and Star Fox happened to be flying about, the F-Zero race and crash, the introduction of new characters...
Then you started up Adventure Mode and explored a lengthy side-scrolling Mario level with all of Mario's Smash abilities in tact. You could bust bricks, stomp Goombas, and pick up Koopa shells to throw at other enemies. Still, something felt weird punching scores of rainbow-colored Yoshis to their deaths, or using a Pokemon against the Koopa in your way. Weirder still was the decision to stick with percentage damage, meaning any errant Goomba could spell certain death if you'd already taken enough damage.
Melee lost the simplicity and started coming up with excuses for the action players wanted. Still, it made up for it in incredible multiplayer and balance.
While Super Smash Bros. Brawl ballooned the character count, tallied up third-party fighters for the first time, and generally did an awesome job updating moves and gameplay for Wii, I could not have given two Yoshi eggs about the story. It was confusing, messy, riddled with plotholes and nonsense.
I realize some gamers probably loved the sh** out of the unique character storylines, bosses, and cutscenes, but to me it was unintelligible and far too apologetic. Supspace Army? Ancient Minister? What the hell are you even talking about? Thanks for removing the joy and wonder and replacing it with heavy-handed balogna.
Like a child's imagination, Super Smash Bros. is the opposite of apologetic. Nintendo and its characters are awesome, they all get along, now you get to throw them against each other like action figures. It's fan service, through and through, but we're not fans of the Subspace garbage made up to lend a cohesive plot to single-player levels and challenges.
Why did Samus or Yoshi have their own dedicated Break-the-Target bonus stages? Who the f*** cares? Break the damn targets before time runs out. Why did Master Hand put all these Nintendo characters together in the first place? It doesn't matter, now set up a stock match so we can finally put to rest whether Link or Kirby is better (Link obviously).
The revelation that Super Smash Bros. Wii U & 3DS won't have a story mode isn't a disappointment, and it's not cause for concern that Nintendo or Namco Bandai won't do the series justice. It's not time for you to burn those Master Hand boxers you've been wearing for a decade. It's not time for you to tweet at Sakurai with all the rage comics you can find.
Cutting Story Mode means bringing the fighting back to basics. It means eliminating needless frills to focus on the core gameplay, the competitive nature of my favorite character against yours. It means more time for testing online matchmaking and support for the ever burgeoning fighting game community.
It's an obvious cut that should be made to ensure that the true core of Super Smash Bros., the multiplayer, is at its best on two separate platforms. Would you rather not get a 3DS version? I'd trade a hundred hours of single-player Subspace bull crap for a balanced, properly net coded, multiplayer feature-complete, and, more importantly, portable Smash Bros. game.
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