The R/L Button: The Tourney Smash Needs to Do
Competitive community needs to play the Smash Nintendo respects
Over the weekend, Evo hosted their Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament. However, it almost didn't happen after Nintendo wanted to shut down the entire event, but reconsidered doing so. Despite getting over 130,000 concurrent views on Twitch.tv, Nintendo didn't mention anything about the tournament on Facebook nor Twitter. Clearly they were not happy about this tournament, and that's because the the tournament and the community behind it portray a breed of Smash players that goes against why Super Smash Bros. was created in the first place.
This may come to a shock to some people, but I will say it anyway: Super Smash Bros. is party game. Yes, all the Smash games are. Nintendo released those games so people can play as Mario and beat the crap out of Pikachu all across Hyrule, laughing over Sour Cream Pringles. Yes, it is possible to compete in Smash, but the main goal is fun.
As it turned out, gamers discovered a depth of play that would spurn a tournament scene that would get picked up by Major League Gaming and, of course, Evo. It spurned a subculture of Smash (emphasis on "sub") that would abuse a lot of tactics not even meant to be in the game at all, turning the casual players away. Even now you can come across forum posts making fun of the one kid who insists "FINAL DESTINATION! NO ITEMS!"
When Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out, tournament players expected revolutionary high-level play. Didn't happen. Most of the stuff that made Melee competitive were mostly gone in Brawl and things such as Final Smashes and random trips and falls were put in. Instead of just accepting the new game for as it is, some gamers actually hacked the game many times over, coming up with versions of the game such "Brawl Plus" and "Brawl Minus". Nintendo would never support any hacking, not even indirectly.
If the competitive Smash community wants to get support, especially from Nintendo, it needs to change a few things about itself and now they run tournaments.
1. Stop hyping the hacks!
When Nintendo sees you talking about homebrew this and Brawl Plus that, do you think they will actually support you in any way? 'Nuff said.
2. Stop with the extra rules.
While tourney players found high-level play in Melee, there are still things in it they rather not deal with. They didn't like the items so they banned it. They felt that 300% was "no skill" so they restart games for a 1-stock tie-breaker. And they cherry-picked a crummy fraction of the stages available for the sake of "balance".
Nintendo spent millions of dollars on those items, stages and features. Why would they promote a style of Smash that take all of the things that make it Smash in their eyes. Playing it with all these "rules" is an abomination in their eyes.
Nintendo wants promote Super Smash Bros. being played like Super Smash Bros., an itemless match on a flat, unimpressive stage.
Of course you need some order, and competition needs a few rules, but it shouldn't be too much rules where no longer becomes the Smash that 99.999 percent of the people who bought it play.
3. Stop with the "free games" during tournaments.
I have seen this in last year's APEX. It's a huge match and game one just ended but before game 2 began third guy got up on stage and started a game with one of the players in the match!
That. Can't. Happen.
It has nothing really to do with Nintendo, it just wastes time. It's like the Miami Heat doing a 3-on-3 during a timeout. It needs to go.
4. When the new Smash comes out, please take it for what it is either play it or stick to Melee.
When Super Smash Bros. comes out for the Wii U and the 3DS, there WILL be crap that will annoy you. You may not be able to uses a Classic Controller, much less a GameCube controller. You may not be able to wavedash. You may have to ledge hog without invincibility.
But no matter what happens in the game, tournament players have two choices. Take it for what it is and just play the game, or just stick to Melee.
And if you do play the new Smash, DO NOT HACK IT! Nintendo sees everything, and they are not stupid. When they see you stream a game with Marvel vs. Capcom music playing in the Pokemon Stadium stage, they realize it. Just play the actual game.
If the competitive Smash community wants support, from Nintendo in particular, the community needs to make changes now. Honestly, it may be too late for players to influence Nintendo in making the upcoming Smash a tournament viable game, but at least they can make themselves more presentable to Nintendo.