Nintendo Australia were kind enough to put on a few hands on events for Super Smash Bros Ultimate, some in Sydney and the better ones down in Melbourne, and while the build I got to play was the same as E3, it was still a blast.
As anyone who knows me will state, I am a fair-weather Smash player, I enjoy the game, but I will never achieve the level of passion that other players get when they play it. Of course, playing it in the media portion of Nintendo’s booth at E3 and playing it in a grunge/industrial Melbourne city bar are very different experiences and the people I played with here were far more varied than E3. At the show, you are usually given a rep from Nintendo of America to play with for all multiplayer games and for the most part, these folks are only there for the event, but at the local one, it was real world people that play the game, including some very well-known Aussie media peoples.
While the build that we had access to did not contain Simon or Richter Belmont, Dark Samus, Fire Emblem Guy number 17 or King K. Rool, it was still fun to play some previously announced characters and to see the number of folks play as Ridley. As I had already had that pleasure, I kept myself to playing as Link, Snake and others, and while the I was able to win two of the matches I played, the majority of the ones I was involved with, had me coming second, I am proud to say that I never slipped past second place. They had a half dozen units set up, each with four controllers hooked up, so the matches were as chaotic as you would expect them to be and while most of them were using Pro Controllers, which are still quite usable, they also had Gamecube controllers on offer, for those seeking a purer take.
As you may have heard by now, Stage Selection comes first this time, meaning that you can choose the stage you like and then you select the character that works for that stage. The only new stages were again the Great Plateau and Moray Towers, but everyone loved throwing the stage selection onto random, the results gave us Tortimar Island, Fire Emblem Arena and a few more, again as character selection came up second, picking Pikachu, which I did in my last match and then discovering you are on Final Destination, meant that I had to be on my game. Due to the speed at which Pikachu can move, using his dash move would sooner see me off the side of the stage, than anything else, but being able to combine his speed, with some well-timed dodges, most of which I say are flukes, meant I was able to come out as the winner in my last match.
Watching other play, showed the level of different between my skills and others, because some were pulling off some super crazy moves, which had a few matches end in sudden death. Anytime I caught one of those, the resulting cheers from the crowd was always hard to ignore and of course drew the attention of anyone watching another match. I enjoy the game and playing solo is cool, but it is when you play the game with friends that things get a lot better and I might have been a little sad that I could not play as King K. Rool today, being able to give the game more of a play, was a good thing, being able to do so in a space that was filled with fellow gamers, who were also enjoying the game, well that was even better.
The best part of the event itself was just being surrounded by fellow gamers as we each enjoyed an incredible game, yes it is going to be a long wait until it is in our hands again, but I think it is going to be one wait that will be worth it. Many thanks to Nintendo Australia for inviting me along to the event.