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I'm just a guy who enjoys playing video games. Many, many video games. Favorite genres include RPGs, fighting games, action/adventure, shooters, and stealth-related games.
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This weekend, more than 100 Best Buy locations across the United States hosted an event where anyone could come and play a demo of both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the new Smash Bros. game. I've been in love with the series since the very beginning and even used to frequent tournaments for it, so the fact that the nearest participating store was 70 miles away meant nothing to me. Nothing would stop me from getting my hands on this game.

I currently live in the tiny state of Delaware, but despite that, the line to play Smash was still a 45 minute wait. While it would seem silly to most people to wait that long for a match, I was fueled by pure hype and knew the wait would be nothing compared to the euphoria I would feel while playing the game. It also helps that my brother accompanied me, so I could at least kill time by talking to him. Eventually, we made our way to the front of the line and I still didn't know who I wanted to choose. I had wanted Rosalina playable in Smash since the first Galaxy game, so should I start with her? What about my old mains Samus, Link, ZSS, or Zelda? It was a tossup, but I opted to start with Samus, since I had faithfully used her since the very beginning. My brother chose Little Mac at my suggestion because I knew he would appreciate his relentless rushdown playstyle.

The match began and the buffs to Samus were immediately noticeable: better normals with farther reach, increased damage, decreased charge time and better damage/knockback with her Charge Shot, increased mobility, and the Screw Attack now had amazing kill-potential. I was wreaking havoc with her when out of nowhere, my brother landed the K.O. punch on me in the same fashion as Little Mac's trailer. The crowd goes nuts. I shake it off while the match continues. Near the end, I manage to snag the Smash Ball and seal my victory with it. It was exhilarating.

On the way to the back of the line, my hands were still shaking. My heart was pumping with the same ferocity that it used to when I attended Smash tournaments. I knew at that moment that they would have to pry the controller from my hands before I would leave the store willingly. I vowed then and there that I would revitalize my fighting game career and attend whatever tournaments I could when Smash was released. And despite the sheer bliss I felt while playing at Best Buy the entire day, the true power of Smash Bros. manifested itself in other ways.

I think what really plucked at my heartstrings was the wide variety of people that showed up to the event. It's no secret that Smash Bros. is one of the biggest franchises in video game history. When you get some friends together at your house, what's one of the first things you do? You play Smash. You talk trash, yell at every precise maneuver, and lose your voice to the infinite amount of hype the game produces. Every kind of gamer you could imagine was in line, all for the sake of Smash Brothers.

Everyone was talking about it. And if a person wasn't talking about it, they had their 3DS in hand and were killing time until it was their turn. Discussions ranged from changes to favorite characters to the most subtle nods and details that Sakurai had chosen to include in the game. The excitement in the room was palpable. I couldn't help but jump from conversation to conversation because I just wanted to soak up everything that was being said.

What touched me the most, however, was the fact that even people that were naturally shy couldn't help but wiggle into our speculations. On several occasions, people would quietly chime in with their thoughts and would then quickly apologize for barging into our conversation uninvited. My brother and I are rather outspoken and sociable, so we would just laugh it off and tell them that they should have jumped in earlier.

Like war-hardened veterans, we traded stories of our conquests and exploits. Tales of our greatest victories were shared with one another as each person eagerly awaited their turn to disclose their triumphs. And what about the new Smash? Who else was going to be announced? Shulk? King K. Rool? The long-teased Ridley, perhaps? We were brothers in arms while standing in line, but rivals when the matches began. We all possessed that competitive edge that Smash awakens within people who play, but couldn't help but be content no matter what the outcome of our matches was.

My brother and I stayed until the very end of the event. While the staff complimented my skills and Zelda beanie, they also had to shove me out the door, clearly not amused by my futile attempts to play just one more match. As I left, I was on cloud nine.

I had long since forgotten the amazing power that Smash Brothers held over people. It not only has the longevity to provide thousands of hours of entertainment, but the appeal to unite every type of person you can think of. I mean, just watch this if you don't believe me. Smash holds a special place in my heart and always will. In fact, I wouldn't be where I am today without it, although I suppose that's a story for another time. Point being, it was a surreal, heartwarming experience to be in the midst of so many passionate, amazing fans of the series again.

I guess I just wanted to say that you guys are the best and I absolutely cannot wait until both versions come out. Not only will the community come closer together after release, but I know it will continue to grow and thrive. Thanks for reading, and if you have any awesome experiences you want to share from the event, please feel free to do so below!
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Nintendo's announcement of Day-1 DLC and a Season Pass has left a mixed taste in people's mouths, but is it really such a bad thing? For the record, the Season Pass will be $15 and will include 3 different packs whose releases will be peppered throughout May and June. Each pack will include 2 additional courses, as well as an extra character. Purchasing all of the packs (or the Season Pass) will also net you Gold Mario, who promises to make obtaining coins, which are used to purchase various items, much less of a chore. You may also opt to buy individual packs for $6 a piece.

As much as I oppose DLC on a game's release day, I really can't find anything explicitly wrong with Nintendo's gameplan for World Tour and here are a couple of reasons why:

Lower cost of entry
Most 3DS games on release cost $40, which is nothing to sneeze at, but World Tour is hitting the shelves at the $30 mark. And unless I'm mistaken, the number of courses and characters match that of the previous iterations of the Mario Golf series, so it's not like you're paying for a half-finished game.

In fact, this is one of the strong points of the Season Pass: If you enjoy the game and want more, then you can just buy the extra courses and it will essentially cost the same as a brand new 3DS game. However, if you're really not feeling the game, then you spent $10 less than you would have in the first place. That's a win-win in my book.

Nintendo has been straightforward about it
As opposed to many other season passes that are released, Nintendo has been remarkably straightforward with what will comprise this Season Pass. Instead of making vague promises about upcoming maps or content, we know exactly what we're getting for our money, which I like. Granted, it's your own fault if you drop money on an ambiguously-worded Season Pass and then are disappointed later, but it's still refreshing to know ahead of time.

Trial Tournaments exist to let you try out the DLC courses
Let's say you have just purchased Mario Golf. Are you curious about the DLC courses, but don't want to throw your money at them just yet? Fear not, because Trial Tournaments exist and they allow you to test the waters of the DLC courses. Not only do these Trial Tournaments offer a sample of the courses, but they even let you go against other players also taking part in these tournaments, so you're not alone in your adventure.

If the game was selling for $40, I could see how people would say that Nintendo just cut some content and is trying to milk you for more money, but that doesn't seem to be the case. To be honest, this is the only real model for DLC that I find myself content with.

I actually wouldn't mind if more games adopted a similar approach. But hey, this is just what I think. What about anyone reading this? What's your take on Nintendo's Season Pass for Mario Golf?
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