Let the Smash Bros. battle begin

Smash Bros. gamers throughout Roncalli enjoy newest installment in the video game series


Photo by Josh Wormann

SUPERSTAR FIGHTERS RETURN: Four of the most popular characters in the Smash series face off in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, including Mario from the Super Mario series, Link from the Legend of Zelda series, Pikachu from the Pokémon series, and Kirby from the Kirby series.

After the holidays, gamers throughout Roncalli are usually hooked on a new video game that they received as a Christmas gift and played nonstop over break. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which was released on December 7, 2018, is one of the most popular cases of this in recent years.

All 63 of the playable characters from previous versions of the crossover fighting game return for Smash Ultimate, the newest installment of the Super Smash Bros series. Eleven new characters join the battle and more new DLC (downloadable content) characters remain unreleased. The lineup includes characters from many famous video games, ranging from well-known Nintendo regulars such as Mario, Link, and Donkey Kong to lesser known heroes like Simon and Richter Belmont from the Castlevania series.

Most Smash Bros gamers will choose to play as a “main”, or the primary character one uses and plays best as, and rotate between other fighters they have fun using. Each character has their own strengths or weaknesses, which contributes to players’ character choices. Freshman Dominic LaRouche’s main character for Smash Ultimate is Pikachu, the Pokemon series’ mascot.

“I use Pikachu because I love his speed and combo game”, said LaRouche. “I use Fox and Bowser occasionally when I play for fun.”

Junior Harrison Sisk likes to play with more powerful characters in Smash Ultimate such as King K. Rool, the main antagonist from the Donkey Kong series.

“He’s really funny to play as and I like his playstyle,” said Sisk. “His neutral special, the cannon is a very powerful and stylish projectile and sets up for easy kills.”

Sisk, like many other gamers, cites Smash Bros’ variation in game mechanics from other fighting games as the reason he likes the game so much.

“Smash is enjoyable to me because it’s a very different style of fighting game,” said Sisk. “I enjoy it more than games like Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter because in those games it is almost impossible to make a comeback if you are down in health.”

The ability to make a comeback in Smash Bros is one of the most entertaining aspects of the game, especially in competitive battles. While many Smash Bros gamers classify themselves as “casual players”, others like to play in organized competition. LaRouche, for example is ranked in the top ten Super Smash Bros Wii U players under 18 in the midwest region. Senior Gabe Buening is a competitive Melee player who has organized tournaments among more competitive Smash Bros gamers within the Roncalli community.

“I host tournaments at my house sometimes,” said Buening. “Most of the players are from the cross country team or swimming team. Jack Bauer(R’18) got the boys’ swimming team into Smash Bros Melee over the last couple seasons.”

In last year’s Smash Bros tournament at Roncalli, about 30 participants competed, with a decent number of spectators coming to view the games as well. This year, Buening and other Smash Bros gamers are planning to have a more neatly organized tournament.

“It’s a free event and you don’t need to know how to play to have fun,” said Buening. “The tournament will be more fun if we can get more people this year.”