Roundtable: 17 Years of Smash


Today marks the 17th birthday of Smash 64 (In Japan!). In order to congratulate the game on 17 years of success, we wanted to briefly discuss our love for the series. Happy birthday Smash!

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Ever since I saw the commercial for Smash 64, I knew it would be a game that would appsmall64eal to me. Finally I would get the chance to play as Yoshi and beat up Mario! Or Pikachu vs. Donkey Kong! The possibilities were endless and I was extremely excited to play the game. The package and the instruction manual to the game were amazing, with vivid art of the characters as dolls. Starting the game and seeing the whimsical Master Hand pick up Mario and Pikachu and counting down still sends chills down my spine. The game allowed me to play out fights that I’d never think was possible.

When I bought a GameCube, I knew that I had to get the sequel, Melee. I remember rushing to my parent’s bedroom so I could play the game with my nephew. Melee was a game my friends and I continually played. When I was college the tradition was carried over as we played Melee, and eventually Brawl every single day. Even though I didn’t join the online Smash community until a year and a half ago, Smash has always been a huge part of my life and I’m really excited to share it with you guys. Congratulations to Masahiro Sakurai and his various teams for delivering 17 amazing years of gaming, I eagerly look forward to the future of Smash!   
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Like a lot of people here, I didn’t get into Smash on its own merits. I knew Mario and Pikachu, but even the game itself was this specter the older Nintendo kids mentioned, something new and shocking. For years I only played it at other people’s houses, and its cast was daunting. Link from that NES game Zelda? A robot with missiles? This bizarre psychic boy? First it was Kirby 64, and then Ocarina of Time and Metroid Prime (which Liquid wants to make clear is the “BEST GAME EVER”), and most recently Xenoblade; there are so many games I truly adore, and about which I would know nothing without Smash. And yet, it’s the game itself, and Sakurai’s love of Nintendo and its odd pockets of history that have kept me interested. It if was just a straight fighting game or crossover, I’d be fitfully interested. But it’s so much more than the sum of its parts.


There is so much about this series that means so much to me – its characters and series, its creator and history, its details and experiments, the constant stream of surprises – but at the moment, I keep thinking about how much it’s dovetailed with my life, especially recently. I started writing online about Smash For, that writing led me to Source Gaming, and the entire cycle of this game happened while I entered and finished graduate school (almost literally; the final video presentation played an hour before my last class). But 64 was the mythical game when all I knew was the Kanto region and Paper Mario, Melee was the symbol of the GameCube, the console on which I started thinking of games through a more artistic and critical prism, and Brawl helped show me how this series can and does go beyond games like Marvel vs. Capcom and such. It has become symbolic, to me, of how I think about and play games, and how I’ve changed. But that’s not that special – every person writing here has just as close a relationship with these games.
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As a Sony km3id for the first few years of my life, I didn’t associate with Nintendo much outside of Pokemon and Mario. I first experienced Melee at a friend’s house where Mewtwo and “that robot”(my young self identifying Samus) caught my eye. I had a lot of fun there. Smash would be a prime reason for my entry into the Metroid series with Fusion, and a reason to get the Wii. The franchise introduced me to many series; Metroid, Metal Gear, and most recently Fire Emblem (as someone who despised Robin and Lucina initially but then later bought Awakening to see what the fuss was about) and Xenoblade are some series Smash has endeared me to. And it’s always a good time when played for fun. Competitive action is good for some high-tension fights as well, even if I don’t associate myself with that spectrum.

Smash is also largely responsible for bringing me new friendships. Coming back to the franchise in 2014 during the pre-release period for Smash 3DS/U was a gateway to meeting very like-minded people(and a few eerily similar to myself) and thus friends I do cherish dearly.

I do hope to see what Smash brings us next; we have an interesting future after the end of the Ballot and the many unused characters. I fully expect the next game, if it comes, to surprise me more than this one already has (CLOUD STRIFE OF ALL CHARACTERS IS IN SMASH. TOP THAT).


Melee is the greatest game of all time, in my opinion. It’s the game I’ve played the most of both by myself and with others, my playtime with it far eclipses that of any other game I’ve played, and it’s my favorite game of all time by a very significant margin.

By playing Melee I’ve met a ton of new friends playing Melee, going to tournaments, hosting or going to fests, etc. Now, some of my best friends are people I met playing Melee and people I play Melee with regularly. I don’t see myself ever not playing Melee, even if my life responsibilities grow, I don’t think I’ll be able to stop (or be so busy) that I won’t be able to go to one tournament a month, grind tech skill for 15 minutes, or just bust it out randomly to combo a level 1 CPU for a little bit. Watching it is too hype, the storylines are insanely entertaining, and every top 8 brings me something new and amazing.meleee

For me, I don’t care about the characters, or franchise representation, or stuff like that– I just love the way the game feels and plays, the mechanics of it, the style, the combos– just playing it seriously, really getting into it, is just insanely fun and extremely rewarding, and I love it.15+ years later and we’re still going strong, getting bigger every year, and I eagerly look forward to playing Melee far into the foreseeable future.

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I first discovered Smash Bros. back in 2004. My 10-year-old self had found out on the Internet about this awesome looking game called Super Smash Bros. Melee that had Mario and Pokémon in the same game. I was impressed by how those characters actually belonged to the same company and it was the first time I had ever seen a crossover title, so the idea of having characters I’d never thought to see together appealed to me very much. In my birthday of the same year that I was offered a GameCube with Super Smash Bros. Melee included and the game, though kind of hard for me at the time, quickly grew to be one of my most played games due to its unique style of gameplay.

It served as the gateway for other NinCharacter-selection-super-smash-bros-brawl-1234029_386_311tendo series like The Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Fire Emblem. The trophy section happened to be a favorite feature of mine, detailing about the characters and settings’ origins. It really was a good way to learn about those characters that were rather unknown for me when I first heard about Smash. Who were Link, Samus and Marth? I had no idea who they were, but the trophy gallery explained those characters and I got curious about some of the games featured.

It’s only natural that after Brawl and Smash 3DS/Wii U were announced, I always kept in touch with news regarding those games. The speculation were definitely part of the experience for those games, with reveals being done on a regular basis, increasing interest and curiosity in those games and what kind of abilities would the new characters show off. With me having played more Nintendo games thanks to Melee, the Smash experience was different and the unknown factor on what characters would be added was exciting. The inclusion of third-party characters was also a positive aspect, bringing unique characters from outside of Nintendo’s worlds.

After over 10 years, Smash Bros. remains one of my favorite video game franchises and a definite influence in my life. Brawl is one of my most played games ever and there are many games I wouldn’t have played if it weren’t for Smash. If it weren’t for me discovering the series back then, I probably wouldn’t be part of this site. As the series now celebrates its 17th anniversary, one can see how evolved the series has become and wonder how the series will continue from now on.


I actually first heard about Super Smash Bros from an issue of Nintendo Power.  I didn’t know what the game really was, but I recognized characters like Mario, Pikachu, Donkey Kong and Fox. When I finally got to play it with a friend in Tennessee, we had a blast, and spent most of the vacation playing the game and unlocking the characters. I was excited for Melee in the same way (and I even got the game before the Gamecube), and it was through Melee that I met many of my good friends. And, of course, I was stoked when Brawl was first shown off during E3 2006.  When the game finally came out in 2008, my good friends and I played the game till the break of dawn. It was really an exciting time. As my friends and I move on with our lives, we haven’t played Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS as much as the other games; nevertheless, we have still been able to get a few exciting games in.


For me, a big reason I’ve enjoyed the series is that it celebrates Nintendo and brings a ton of unique characters in. For me, Super Smash Bros introduced me to a plethora of Nintendo characters. It may seem strange now, but I had no idea who Samus, Link and Captain Falcon were when the original game came out (needless to say, I didn’t know Samus was a woman). Of course, many of us in the US didn’t know Marth and Roy at all. Nintendo has such a broad library of characters and worlds which has helped to make a unique experience. Super Smash Bros is the reason I’m a Nintendo fan. I feel there is even more they can do with the Nintendo worlds and characters, heck, I even wrote a whole article about it.

But I think the reason myself and other anticipate Super Smash Bros. games is for the multiplayer. It has been hard to find a game that competes with the level of replayability of Super Smash Bros, and this is why my friends and I keep coming back to it after 17 years. Each time we all get together, Super Smash Bros is the default game to go to and we can still play it for hours. Each Super Smash Bros match feel different and unique. You never know what could happen and its always exciting. I suspect I will be playing Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS for, well, till the next one comes out.

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I first experienced Super Smash Bros. with Melee on the Gamecube. I’m not sure why I never got the Nintendo 64 version as I had a huge amount of games for it, I guess it’s the one that got away. Melee was a really fun title for me back in the day, but I’ll honestly say it wasn’t the centre of my Gamecube universe. My younger self was more interested in games such as Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion, Mario Kart: Double Dash and Star Fox: Adventures. I don’t believe I even managed to unlock Mewtwo as I was unaware that you could unlock him quicker with 4 controllers plugged in. I made the rather foolish decision to sell my Gamecube and buy an Xbox as my brother also had a Gamecube, and at the time he wasn’t interested in buying Melee off me before I sold it, so my time with the game was cut short.

Flash forward a few years and WOLF is announced for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. At this time I didn’t have a Wii, but when I found out that one of my favorite Star Fox characters was being added into Smash Bros. I had to buy a Wii just to play that (Funky Kong being in Mario Kart sealed the deal!). Over the next years my fascination for this game grew and grew. Brawl’s roster was unbelievable, the newcomers by far the greatest crop ever with new All-Stars like Olimar, Wario, Diddy Kong, Pokemon Trainer and even guest characters like Sonic The Hedgehog. My brother and I played Brawl to death, I don’t expect to ever play the Wii U version of Smash to the degree that I played Brawl. A favorite of ours was to team up as Mario and Luigi and try to take on the Kongs on Lvl 9. Collecting all the trophies kept us playing for years.

I love Smash because, as a fighting game fan, and a party game fan it combines the best of both worlds and gives us a product like no other. My favourite thing about it, is that it’s full of characters that you’d never expect to see in a fighting game, especially fighting each other, and with Nintendo’s awesome library of IPs, it’s easy to see why.

It’s often hard to stay connected with my favorite video game characters, some may not see releases very often, other games may not be very replay-able due to the amount of time it takes to play them. Smash allows me to spend time with the icons of my childhood all under the same roof.


What’s your history with Smash? Let us know in the comments! And then tell us why you love Smash.

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  1. 17 years of Smash…how time fly so fast.

    I still remember when I was in high school. When I was checking on the Japanese Nintendo website, I was stunned that Nintendo was gonna have a crossover fighting game featuring my favorite characters and some I somehow know. I also still remember one of my classmate brought the actual instruction manual of the Japanese version game, which I think in a boastful way since he was a jerk. But as I went on a trip to Japan, I was so glad that I finally got the game from the nearby shopping department (which was JUSCO back then but now AEON), and couldn’t wait to get back to Hawaii to play the game. And as I got back to Hawaii and start playing it, everything was so awesome…the opening movie, the music, the characters…everything was ultimately great! And this was the time I started to love Smash so much, as I started to buy new Smash along with the newly released consoles, as I bought Gamecube for Melee, Wii for Brawl, and Wii U for 4. And I think I’ll do the same thing for NX if the next Smash comes up.

    I pretty much knew all of the Nintendo characters starting from the 64 era, although I haven’t played any Zelda and Metroid games at all. But the only time I was blanked out was the inclusion of the FE characters back in Melee, as I no idea who Marth and Roy was since FE wasn’t released in the west back then. However, although I had no intention of playing any FE series, I pretty much learned those characters thanks to the trophy section, which I’ve understand that Smash can be a historical museum of Nintendo franchise. Much more, Smash wouldn’t be Smash without these trophies, and it really did help me learn more about every Nintendo characters even I won’t have any chance playing those games in the future.

    Another thing I was well surprised was the inclusion of 3rd parties. Back in the 64 era, I’ve always imagined of what if Sonic, Mega Man, Cloud, and Resident Evil’s Leon was in the game. I knew it wouldn’t happen since it was just my typical imagination, but since Brawl was released and later to 4, all characters from my imagination (except Leon) was included in the game, and I was so excited with happiness. I can even still remember the time when Mega Man was included back then, and that time was definitely 4 am. I can also still remember the time when Sonic was included for Brawl back then too, and that time was actually while I was studying for my final exam. 😛 Seriously, Smash was full of unexpected surprises, and I do believe that surprise will continue on in the later series, whether anybody will like or not.

    Furthermore, Smash has became the world’s most greatest crossover fighting game than any other. I could say it’s more better than Marvel VS Capcom I suppose. Although there may be tons of people not liking the game anymore because Sakurai didn’t brought the character what they wanted the most as much people are hating Sakurai too for that reason, but this is something they need to understand that Smash isn’t MUGEN, and Sakurai isn’t a god to wish for as he has his own limits to follow and protect. But even then, he is a master of imaginations, who can break any limits to turn those impossibilities to possibilities. Everybody needs to respect him for creating a greatest game of all time, if not he wouldn’t be making Smash in the very first place. I may have said this many times before, but although you may hate someone if they committed a scandal, you can’t hate someone for choosing somebody for Smash. Sakurai has his own sets of imagination of who may be fitful for being more unique than others, which is important to every fighting games, and that imagination is something nobody could understand. Furthermore, I really thank Sakurai for making such a wonderful game as he put so much effort for us fans and gamers. If there was to be the next Smash for maybe NX, I’m definitely looking for it while I’m not expecting any characters so I won’t get disappointed, and definitely gonna buy the NX after the next Smash is released!

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