Smashing Good Time: Three takes on ‘Smash Bros.’

Esteban Diaz | Editorial Cartoonist
Esteban Diaz | Editorial Cartoonist

Which Great Video Game is the best?

Take the poll at:

By Joshua Madden
A&E Editor

The “Great Video Game” series has been probably the most fun thing I’ve gotten to participate in at the Lariat. I’ve enjoyed reading all of the submissions that people have turned in — the academic analysis of “NASCAR Thunder 2003,” the religious look at “The Legend of Zelda,” the philosophical explorations of “BioShock” and “Pokemon Snap,” etc.

With the high quality of the submissions, we here on staff felt like we owed it to everyone to send the series out on a high note, so we wanted to focus on what we considered the greatest game of all time.

The office almost universally agreed it had to be “Super Smash Bros.” — but we couldn’t agree which entry in the series was the best. So we agreed to each write a piece arguing why our pick was the greatest. Today, staff writer Rob Bradfield is arguing for the Nintendo 64 classic, sports editor Tyler Alley argues that the best one is actually the Nintendo Wii’s “Super Smash Bros. Brawl,” and I am arguing in favor of the GameCube’s “Super Smash Bros. Melee.”

We want to hear your thoughts too, which is why we’re putting a poll online to figure out what the greatest game is once and for all. Everyone can vote for any game that was added to our “Great Video Game” list — all 33 of them. We’ll be publishing the results in our final issue.

First View: Classic ‘Smash’ is best

By Rob Bradfield
Staff Writer

I think every console gamer has a soft spot for the original “Super Smash Brothers.”

Which is to say that if you don’t like “Super Smash Brothers” at all, you’re some sort of heartless alien being consumed by your own hatred. If that’s the case, the Doctor will probably be seeing you shortly.

I have played this pinnacle of 64-bit gaming as both a man and boy, and can honestly find nothing that can compare with it’s sheer awesomeness. It essentially created the modern crossover game and spawned one of the greatest multiplayer fighting series of all time.

The character selection alone places this game in the top spot. Each character is unique and balanced enough to make it a viable option for players of all levels. Now is where detractors will no doubt point out that characters like Jigglypuff and Ness are so unbalanced that it’s ridiculous.

Well there’s a simple solution — suck it up, buttercup.

This is “Super Smash Brothers.” Things aren’t going to be fair. If you want a fair game play “Hello Kitty Island Adventure.”

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the other two games are essentially copies of the original with reskinned characters and levels. The original game introduced all the best concepts of the series, and the newest ones haven’t been able to improve on them.

All the new game mechanics are mediocre at best, the new items are useless or clones and all the fancy new characters are dressed up members of the Fighting Polygon Team.

So the next time you are totally pwning your friends with Marth, remember — he’s just Link with a stupid haircut.

Second View: ‘Melee’ wins crown

By Joshua Madden
A&E Editor

I don’t care what anyone else says — “Super Smash Bros. Melee” has to be the greatest video game of all time. “Melee” represents everything that’s great about video games.

Video games make the impossible into the possible in a way that no other art form does. In no other situation will you get the chance to fight an electricity-shooting mouse against a fox who flies starships, but in “Melee,” it’s real.

The balance between the characters is what sets “Melee” apart. Unlike the other entries in the series, any character in “Melee” can win any game. It’s like “March Madness” except better.

The additional characters in “Melee” help to make that great. Marth is, regardless of what Rob says, the greatest character to enter the “Smash Bros.” series. Mewtwo and Roy, regardless of what anyone says, should have been in “Brawl.”

For anyone who claims that video games can’t be art, I would challenge you to play “Melee.” You’ll quickly eat your words.

Third View: ‘Brawl’ is high point

By Tyler Alley
Sports Editor

To quote one Barney Stinson, “New is always better.”

“Super Smash Bros. Brawl” comes in with better graphics, more items and, most importantly, 11 more characters.

While I love the series as a whole, having played it since I kicked butt as Fox McCloud in the original, I found it awesome that I could play as “Star Fox” villain Wolf. “Brawl” gives you the ability to play as multiple classic video game villains.

Really, the biggest addition to “Brawl” is the almighty Smash Ball. Before the video game purists freak out, the strength is that Smash Ball adds to the fun and chaos, not that it decides your skill level.

To anyone who complains that characters like Meta Knight are the 1 percent of power — you can join the Occupy Movement or chill.