What do you do if you fought with the same people for 20 years? If you're Nintendo, distribute weapons, get a speaker, and invite your friends to watch.
The Super Smash Bros. In this series, Nintendo's multi-year Saturday morning cartoon explores how video game fighting works and is turning 20 today. It's a marathon franchise that, as we'll discuss, should not really exist. Despite the fact that his premise has been developed independently at each playground for years, "What would happen if all my favorite video game characters were to fight each other?"
It turns out that a lot is happening.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Booms, Zaps and Bonks, we guide you through each of the five entries in the series and the modest beginnings of the game. It discusses what made each era special in view of the final entry in the series
The inspiration, in beta, and enforced "The Ringer"
Did you know that Super Smash Bros. is a video game that uses marbles is inspired?
More specifically, it is actually the traditional Japanese game Ohajiki on which lifelong serial director Masahiro Sakurai and former, later Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, based the gameplay of their collaboration. This core concept would eventually develop into Super Smash Bros. 64 the very first game in the series.
If you do not know it, Ohajiki is usually played with flat, colored discs on a CD flat surface. The game seems to have as many rule sets as there are children playing it, but the rules usually involve changing the discs between other discs, hitting or not hitting certain discs, and, yes, hitting a disc outside a boundary.
The various Japanese websites (a refreshingly transparent tradition that Nintendo continued and developed for this series) and Sakurai's own book on game design narrated how this idea of disc flickering became a digital fighter. The story of Smash Bros.'s origins is as follows: Sakurai, the founder of the popular video game series Kirby while working at the HAL Laboratory, went through his routine testing by running projects for Nintendo's latest home console, Nintendo, 64. Through a series of financial decisions, the least ambitious of its submitted projects would eventually complete the time slot of Holiday 1998 (the final product would indeed appear in early 1999).
The reasons for a smaller project? It was a fighting game concept that meant it could theoretically come together much faster than its other chosen genres. Since it initially had a low priority, Sakurai single-handedly designed almost every element of the game itself, while Iwata did the entire coding himself. The result? Dragon King: The Fighting Game .
Of course, No Dragon King: The fighting game played because Sakurai rightly assumed that no one Dragon King: The Dragon King wants to play fighting game. After developing the core foundation for the title: double jumps, shields, percentages on the screen showing how far a character will fly on a hit, and a 4-player Battle Royal mode, Sakurai and Iwata are leading the development of theirs Play secretly away beyond the point of no return.
Then they covered all characters with Nintendo characters.
Iwata and Sakurai from Nintendo and even some fans are said to have gone "through the wrestler". Mario beats Fox? Pikachu zaps Yoshi? Madness . There was only one major problem for the intoxicating critics: the game was way too funny . After a concession from Nintendo and a rapid development cycle compared to a big first-party title, the series Super Smash Bros. was officially born, Nintendo characters and all.
Super Smash Bros. 64
Japan: January 21, 1999
North America: April 26, 1999
Europe: 19 November 1999
Sales figures: 5,550,000
What does a fighting game look like? Until the late 1990s and for the most part fighting games are a product of what big, honking arcade controllers look like. For decades largely unchanged, they all had a large stick and four to six buttons. But what do you do if the fighting game you create is controlled by the N64 pad, one of the most unusual controllers ever made?
Video game historians often point to the direct line between original 3D Nintendo titles, z Super Mario 64 Mario Kart 64 and Zelda: Ocarina of Time and the plastic controller, which was holistically designed to play it. But perhaps more impressive is the way serial director Masahiro Sakurai developed a simple way to play fighting games with the same bizarre controller.
The intricate key sequences or "combos," the fighting games series such as Tekken Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat are known for. In Smash Bros., each character plays completely unique, but is controlled the same way. Other genre conventions, no character has a health bar that comes to an end. Instead, the goal is simply to stay on stage while putting off the other person. Do you want to jump? High pressures. Do you have to defend yourself? Even the person in the back of the room can tell you that you're blocking. A huge, colorful ball covers your body when you block. Intelligent, as the screen often has to be zoomed out to show up to four players simultaneously.
As the grandfather of the series, Super Smash Bros. 64 is a box full of intelligent design. And as with all intelligent designs, you hardly notice it. It's hard to make design decisions when Donkey Kong manages to hit you from behind and call down Pikachu Thunder from above. The formula is further refined by randomly generated elements on the field – many of them from Nintendo franchise stores – and serve as power-ups for anyone who can catch them first. Then there are the loud cartoon sound effects that are interrupted by a literal, invisible audience cheering and clapping when you rumble. The filled cartridge is rounded off with mini player and arcade style single player options and a moveable camera mode that acts as a pause button. Clever.
Even if you closed your eyes and imagined who knew Mario and Link were fighting each other, could honestly be so funny? Super Smash Bros. 64 sold five and a half million copies and was the fifth best game in the history of the N64.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Japan: November 21, 2001
North America: December 3, 2001
Europe: May 24, 2002
Sales figures: 7.09 million
Encore! After the rapid success of Smash 64, Nintendo no longer had to convince them to turn the game into a franchise, but in the video game market it quickly changed.
In 2001, Nintendo introduced the Nintendo 64, the Nintendo GameCube. Almost everything about this hardware, apart from its strange purple color, was a reaction to Nintendo's critique of buildings, which remained too old-fashioned; There was CD technology, sharp marketing and even the strongest processing speed in the market.
Even unconventional Nintendo? The Nintendo GameCube was not launched with a flagship Mario title or even a Zelda title. Instead, Super Smash Bros. Melee launched the week of the console's premiere and took on the role of Nintendo Marquee Thoroughbred. And boy, did it look like? In fact, many still take it for granted how much Nintendo has put off with this sequel.
Look at the giant leaps in technology between a video game and its sequel, and you'll often see years between titles as guilty: Fallout 2 (1998) and Fallout 3 ( 2008), Metal Gear 2 (1990) and Metal Gear Solid (1998) and Super Metroid (1994) and Metroid Prime ( 2002) are solid examples. Super Smash Bros. Melee released, apart from its predecessor, barely two and a half years and looked liquid not only in the release, but destroyed the production values of the N64 title with every measure
Heck, even the title screen of the game is So cinematically exaggerated, he acts like a frustration of six years, technologically lagging behind the Sony PlayStation and all at the same time in a minute and a half video gushing.
At its roots, Super Smash Bros. Melee was the original game against steroids; it contained 26 characters, more than twice the 12 of the original. it used a much more advanced game engine; it had far more elements and levels and extremely robust menu options; They introduced new arcade modes; Sakurai introduced a completely orchestrated soundtrack. The game even had a multitude of computer-animated cutscenes – largely a premiere for the series and the company. Despite all of its efforts, Melee became the best-selling game in the history of the GameCube.
It's worth noting that Super Smash Bros. Melee powered the franchise team's rivalry series with its flawlessly intricate game engine. While Melee does not differ from his predecessor or his successors in terms of couch-coop fun for multiple players, the fan base's most enthusiastic fans quickly developed advanced techniques in Melee that consolidate this title as the most demanding entry in the series. And while there was an era before online games existed, early organizations such as Major League Gaming helped legitimize the competitive style of play that many smash players still blinded today.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Japan: January 31, 2008
North America: March 9, 2008
Europe: June 27, 2008
Sales figures: 13.29 million
What is even harder to believe than the amazing sales figures of this entry, is the fact that serial director Masahiro Sakurai had no idea that it was made before the game was completed.
In context, this is very important to describe the hardware on which Brawl appeared. Seven long years would pass between the releases of Smash Bros.. When it was finally announced along with Nintendo's new console, it was the Nintendo Wii's unique motion controller, not Smash, that took the world by storm. Today, the Nintendo Wii is just as much a part of their decade as music videos in the 80s or Elvis in the 70s. If you were not there, you still know a lot about it, and if you were, that's all that everyone would talk about.
Satoru Iwata used a devious technique in getting everyone up On the way to the CEO of Nintendo, the game was announced to the public to convince his old friend Masahiro Sakurai to lead the project. Sakurai quickly agreed to adhere to its rigorous standards, opened an independent development studio and embarked on a long development cycle that would bring many new releases to the series: early online play, optional motion controls, and an out-of-this-world singleplayer experience with endless fan favorite cutscenes.
Brawl was not defined by a simple iteration and offered another important and at that time highly unlikely series: non-Nintendo characters participating in the battle. Has Solid Snake seriously attacked only Mario?
Elements (such as the newly introduced Smash Ball), stages and characters were announced on an official Smash Bros. website sequentially fans in rage. This focus on adding more characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Solid Snake, Metaknight and Pit increased the total number of fighters from 26 to 26 and the number of levels from 29 to 41. However, the game would earn the reputation of being more in the game Compared to its immediate predecessor accessible by a weakened game engine, the world did not mind at all; Brawl achieved one of the top 10 records of all time on one of the strongest selling hardware ever.
Nowadays, Brawls is perhaps the most enduring contribution to this series's overwhelming soundtrack, a collaboration of 38 different composers (!) From the gaming industry with over 258 individual compositions.
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS / Super Smash Bros. for Wii U [Alias: Smash 4]
Release Date:  Japan: September 13, 2014 (3DS) December 6, 2014 (Wii U)
North America: October 3, 2014 (3DS), November 21, 2014 (3DS) Wii U)
Europe: October 3, 2014 (3DS), November 28, 2014 (Wii U)
Sale Number: 3DS: 9.35 Million, Wii U: 5.35
The latest Smash Bros. game will theoretically always be the most technologically advanced. But depending on how you look at it, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, the only smash game ever released on Nintendo's handheld series, could claim to be the most technologically stunning game in the series forever.
2014, Nintendo fought. The latest home console, the Wii U, could not prevail and needed any help she could get. Of course, Smash Bros. was called again by the bank. The tactic this time? Nintendo went along with his typical "all plus the kitchen sink" approach, but discontinued his bets by making two versions and the core game on 3DS worked just as well on his home console.
Given that there are now 58 signs of an improved online mode, it's a miracle that it fits into the Nintendo pocket system. However, there were still differences between the two games. The 3DS title was released two months earlier to arouse the enthusiasm of early users, and there was an exclusive one-player mode called "Smash Run". It also used a kind of comic outline style to accompany the 3D visualizations on the 3DS screen. As a bonus, there were several levels for each version.
Meanwhile, the Wii U version was featured as the first series at 1080p, offering a ridiculous 8-player mode, a Stallbrenner feature. Easier by the fact that Nintendo has created a plastic adapter with 4 GameCube controller ports represents a growing competitive scene.
As for the competitive scene, for Wii U, Smash Bros. not only accelerated the gameplay of its predecessor game series, but Nintendo began marketing it to the most dedicated fan base players, probably for the first time ever. This was underscored by an event called "Super Smash Bros. Invitational", an artful tournament with supreme spectacle, (relatively) tournament rules and, above all, professional smash pros alongside the developers of Nintendo. Statement made.
This is the hint that Smash 4 as a whole is remembered. It explored the range of modern gaming conventions such as esports, online ballots, game patches, downloadable characters (including the popular Cloud from the series Final Fantasy ) and a stronger emphasis on online interactions. Both versions were sold well, with the 3DS version carrying much of the legacy on the way to a top-10-3DS game in terms of sales. The Wii U version sold surprisingly well considering the very low acceptance rate of the Wii U console. To date, it is the best-selling console version of Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Worldwide: December 7, 2018  Sale Number: 3 Million + in 11 Days
Between the release of each Smash Bros. game, opinions differ as to which modes or characters should be kept, which options are best, and which phases are optimal. "Not anymore," thought series leader Masahiro Sakurai. The fifth and final game in the series, announced in March 2018 for Nintendo's rebound system, the Switch, would be content with nothing less than a conglomerate.
The philosophy of Super Smash Ultimate agrees with the name: Ultimate title throughout the series. But how can Nintendo certainly hope he can royally ruffle the twenty-year-old video game mascot? First of all every single fighter that was ever in a Smash Bros. game is back in action. That means a total of 76, each of them updated, including a selection of fan-favorite newcomers (with more on the way). Nintendo made sure it offered unprecedented customization options, along with extremely malleable modes and adjustments to appease even the toughest smash connoisseurs. A strong nod to the "east to record, hard to master" game design. Since this is really the first Smash Bros. game released in the YouTube / Twitch era, the results were mesmerizing.
And to crown the whole package, this monster of an experience can be used on the go. Thanks to the portability of the Nintendo Switch. With a home console experience like Super Smash. Honestly, Bros Ultimate in a bus is hard to believe until he is in your hands.
But why does Nintendo want to trigger a massive blow on this switch release? Well, Sakurai has hinted that this could be the last Smash Bros. game in the series. But do not worry, smash fans. Realistically, Ultimate may be the last Smash Bros. Sakurai chooses as a director.
And if Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the last game Masahiro Sakurai has made from scratch, he'll be 20 years old the most unlikely creations in gambling history. That said, Super Smash Bros. is not just a true original, a meticulously balanced title in the face of thousands of permutations and a standard for licensing in a video game, but for every single game in the series. To their absolute, purest core is nothing but the exquisite execution of a really stupid question: Who would win in a fight between Mario and Link?
I hate to say it, but the answer is twenty years later, it's pretty obvious: every wins.
Many thanks to Source Gaming for some important translations of the Japanese text.