Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ben's Gaming Memories: Super Smash Bros 64

Tomorrow is the day. After a long (long) wait, Super Smash Bros for the 3DS will be on store shelves, and I can't help but be reminded of the past. You know, as strange as this may sound, Super Smash Bros wasn't always a game I played, and in some ways I was a bit scared of it. Maybe it was the kid in me, believing everything I heard, but for a long time I couldn't even get myself to touch the game.

The first time I heard of Super Smash Bros was on a TV commercial--yes, that one. I was sitting in the corner of the living room at my mom's work (she managed a home for the developed mentally disabled who couldn't live on their own--which is where my family also lived during the week) watching TV (possibly Nick), and I remember seeing Mario walking along side other characters I knew. At first I didn't know what was going on, but soon I found myself laughing as the happy song played and the characters were beating each other up. I didn't quite understand it, but it was a game I wanted instantly, and one I would talk to about with friends and family. Well, that is until my grandma found out about it.

One Saturday morning, my grandma showed up at my mom's work to start her shift (she worked there during the weekend, and we went back to our real house), and I'm not sure how it happened, but her and my mom began discussing this new game where "Nintendo characters kill each other." Apparently my grandma heard about it from her friends at the hair salon, and they all made it out to be this flat out terrible game. At the time I was sitting there in front of the same TV playing Yoshi Story on my N64 (it's funny that I remember I was in the jungle stages), and my mom walked in and basically explained to me everything they had talked about. She said that there was a game where Nintendo characters KILLED other characters, which disturbed me, and that she didn't want me playing it. So, that was that... Awhile later I did play a demo for a whole 30 seconds at Toys R Us (my cousin paused the game, and wouldn't let me play for some reason so it was stuck on Mario frozen in mid air, with my Yoshi off screen), but I never did plan on playing the game again.

For the next few months or so, I avoided Smash. I went to the rental place, would see it on the shelf, and then pick some other game instead. This continued for quite awhile, but one day I changed my mind and my dad allowed me to rent it. The game still kind of scared me since I pictured it as some sort of bloody "kill everyone" sort of thing, but around the same time I was becoming very interested in the Pokemon series. I was watching the anime every single day, and when I saw Pikachu on the box of Smash I just really wanted to play it. So, I finally put my fears aside, picked up the game, and watched as my dad paid the four bucks for it. I don't remember much else after that, but my mom did say something along the lines of "just don't tell grandma." That night I played the game for a long time with my dad back at our own house. I was playing as Pikachu, my dad was Mario, and I was having a blast. After that day I don't know how many times I went back to rent it, but it became one of my new favorite games.

Although I loved Smash Bros, I never actually asked for it as a gift. I always had something else I wanted more than it, but that didn't stop me form renting it every chance I got. The only problem with that was, it was four bucks for three days (counting the day you got it), and you never really knew what you'd get. They had at least two copies of the game since it was so popular, and only one of the copies had everything unlocked. Sometimes you'd rent the game and have Ness to use, but other times you were stuck with the original starting characters. Sure I knew how to unlock them thanks to this magazine my uncle had, but I just wasn't good enough back then to do so. One day I brought my N64 over to my grandma's house and followed the magazine's instructions, but I failed in the long run... Oh well...

Despite not owning the game until much later, Super Smash Bros 64 will always be special for me. It holds a lot of memories, and is a game I actually spent a lot of time with. Heck it's also the game I played a LOT with friends as we waited for Brawl to be released, It is a game I had a lot of fun playing, and I'm glad to see the series has come so far. Never would I have dreamed that one day I would be awaiting not the second, but the fourth entry in the series. Man... So much has changed over the years. Where does the time go?

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