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My daily blog countdown is ruined thanks to the fact I can't get anything to work. Gotta love connecting to a coffee shop to get internet. Sorry for the letdown, I'll come up with something once I fix this issue of mine. Enjoy Smash everyone!
SAY IT WITH ME.
Has there been a game that has left a footprint as big as this one did for its time? Taking the amazing concept of mashing together classic characters from masterpiece games and bringing it all together with even more games added to the mix, Super Smash Bros Melee is still popular to this very day to gamers worldwide. As important as the first one is, you don't ever hear someone say "Hey, the N64 Super Smash Bros was the best!", do you? Forums are filled with people who will say they have never played Brawl or 3DS because of the game speed being so different. I never really had a problem with this mechanic they are talking about, but it's very obvious it is a problem to hardcore players. It even made an entire franchise in Fire Emblem popular in the USA.
Another sappy story time, sorry. Earlier I had said about how much my brother and I would play the original game, right? Well every other Christmas my brother would fly down to Florida for the holiday and would spend time there with his family living there. I never noticed because I was too young, but I had reached the age where I could know the impact of not having him there with everyone. He would take his N64, and the joy of getting up early, looking at the presents, and going back to his room to play games until our parents got up. I cried that morning without him. I cried and cried and cried. No games, no one to laugh with for those few hours that felt like an eternity.
Eventually my parents got up, and my grandparents arrived promptly. Everything was great and all, but it was all missing something. All of our presents were opened, and it was a wrap (ha ha). Suddenly, my brother called. Everyone was eager to talk to him, except for me. I remember being unreasonably upset with him. Why did he leave me on such an important day? These were thoughts of a young boy who did not have any grasp on the world or why people did things quite yet.
"I think your brother wants to tell you something." My mother smiled.
"I don't care." I coldy replied.
"Here." My mom forced the phone to my ear.
"Hey man, Merry Christmas!" My brother said kindly through the receiver.
"Merry Christmas." I replied.
"Hey, I'm sorry I couldn't be there, but I have something to tell you." He explained.
"What?" I was curious.
"Go upstairs and open my closet." He told me.
I looked around like I was on some hidden camera show. What was he talking about? Did everyone know there would be some guy jumping out at me and a laugh track would play afterwards? My family gave me clueless faces as I carried the phone upstairs and went into his room. My dad followed me upstairs, not sure where I was going, and we reached my brother's clean, empty room. I opened up his closet. What was he talking about? I had no idea. Then I saw it.
Sitting down by his shoes, was a big wrapped box that simply had my name on it. My dad was shocked. Taking it downstairs, he showed everybody. My brother chuckled over the line. As I opened it, my heart was pounding. What was it? Keep in mind this was a time before I could hop on the internet to know when a new system was coming out, so I had no clue what was about to happen.
Before he left, my brother saved up enough to buy me a Nintendo Gamecube.
I bawled my eyes out and everyone else did, too. I wasn't even sure what the thing was, but it said Nintendo on it and my brother got it for me, that was enough for me. Included in the gift was a copy of Super Smash Bros Melee, and I was so eager to play the game with him until the very end of time it felt like. I played that game until it couldn't play any more, nearly six years later. I absolutely love everything about Melee, because it brings back those memories of one of the greatest mornings of my life.
Rather than dive back into the world of Gen 1 Pokémon handheld games, I thought it would be refreashing to look to the very first 3D adaptation of the beloved franchise. I would spend hours playing make believe with my friends, and we would pretend our massive Pokémon were dueling high above the clouds, or inside of an active volcano. Now the 3DS spoils us with those 3D creatures duking it out, but back then, it was impossible to even dream of a game stitched right from the cloth of our youthful imaginations.
Honestly, an accurate depiction of a child me seeing this game for the first time would be a space shuttle taking off to orbit the Earth. I saw the game and pestured my brother to help me come up with ways for us to convince our parents how essential this game was to our daily survival. Providing empty promises of chores and good behavior, I somehow managed to convince ol' dad that it was okay for us to get the game, and it was bliss from there on out.
Truthfully, I know the graphics on this game and it's eventual sequel haven't aged too well, but it's still such a marvel to recall going to a Best Buy and seeing those giant displays with near thirty televisions displaying huge battles from kids all around. Everyone knew about the random guy who would take a turn, then leave mid round and pause the action for near forty minutes. I love to think how that is the norm today and how with the upcoming releases of Pokémon games, the same experience can be emulated from the comfort of your own home. None of that would even be possible without the brave first step to put the Pokémon into 3D and battle on the N64.
That's right ladies and gentlemen, we have ten days until the amazement of the one-two punch Nintendo has in store with not one, but two (TWO!) blockbuster titles coming out at the same time: Super Smash Bros Wii U, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby (maybe that makes it three games doesn't it?). What's even more amazing is these are coming out at the same time. What a magical time. To go along with the magic, I wanted to do ten straight days of blogs for this joyous time. So let's cut the formalities and jump right in, shall we? First on deck is the original Smash itself: Super Smash Bros.
I'd be lying to say this was my first N64 game or anything moving like that, but I do remember spending countless nights up far later than I should have been in my brother's room playing this on his N64. We would always pick the same characters, so there wasn't ever a whole lot of variety. I would be either Pikachu or Samus (I think I picked Samus because she must have reminded me of a Power Ranger or something). My brother was all about two characters and two characters only: Donkey Kong and Captain Falcon. I would be sent hurling from a Falcon Punch or that ground slap Donkey Kong loved to do so many times. Spamming Thunder attacks was my lone strategy to combat his onslaught, and, needless to say, it left our battles looking rather un-calculated. We still had so much fun it was unreal.
I asked my brother about the game last summer and if he remembered anything about it, and he quickly recalled destroying me with Donkey Kong, and we found ourselves exchanging memories like how we thought there was a way to unlock Master Hand and how hard we tried to unlock him (him right?). It was the perfect example of the best effect classic video games had on us: they brought copious amounts of fun across tons of time. It was a shining gem that reminds of how brilliant Nintendo really is.
The aforementioned effect Nintendo games have showed in such a shining way that same summer for me. My cousin and I were bored, and looking for games to play. We unearthed our old Gamecubes and games and started playing them (I'll dive into the games we played later in the week). It didn't matter how long it had been since we played the games last, we were picking them up like nothing had happened; there were no life adventures, struggles, or experiences that held back the immediate feeling of familiarity in the games. I find this to be more true than any other game with the original Smash Bros. That fire effect on the title screen, the menu, and of course the first time ever seeing Mario, Link, Pikachu, and Ness all on the same screen. It's spawned billions of words worth of forum posts explaining *just* how essential their Sonic fan fiction character is to the roster for the newest Smash game.
Stay tuned leading up until the 21st for tons of blogs about all the great Smash and Poké awesomeness over the years as we welcome the new members to the franchises. I am really excited for everything I have in store, including a guest blog!
Here's a hint about the guest blog: she's a fellow d-toid blogger with a huge love for easter eggs.
"Why is your title Pokémon Emolga?"
It's a simple question isn't it? I can tell you right now whenever I tell anyone about this blog or if anyone ever reads my works they ask me about it. Think about all 719 of the imaginative (and sometimes unimaginative) creatures to grace millions of players' adventures. Most people would think a majority of their favorites are among the likes of Charizard, Lucario, Mewtwo, Pikachu (basically the ones popular enough to rightfully get their own Super Smash Bros characters). However, there's more to it, isn't there? What's best is to hear the stories behind favorites; there isn't just some statistical advantage to a favorite or some moveset that makes people love their favorites. To me, I always saw the above Pokémon as the staple icons for the franchise over the years, warranting their selections in the mega fighter games. One of my best friends absolutely adores Lucario because she loved Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. Another one of my best friends loves Mawile because she sees so much of herself in it; it's a tiny Pokémon that packs a lot of strength, making it the deceiver Pokémon. My brother loved Dragonite because whenever we would go swimming, he would watch over me to make sure I didn't drown, and Dragonite flew across the sea to save drowning swimmers (he would never be able to remember that story he told me all these years later though).
You could go on for hours dissecting reasoning behind favorites, but the glorious part of it all is just that: you can go on for hours talking about your favorites. It's nothing short of magical. We spend hours upon hours fighting and fighting with crafted teams, but there's always favorites in the mix. Perhaps you even built entire teams around them. I know I sure have. My main team was built around my brother's favorite, Dragonite. The rest was some of my favorites added to it: Lanturn, Politoed, and Flareon, to name a few. Not a great team, but it's a team from my heart.
When it came time to make another team, I was struggling to even choose where to start. Do I go for a competitive advantage Pokémon? No, that would be too easy. I had to search for a poster child for my team. I must admit choosing a favorite between Pokémon for me is like picking a favorite child. Maybe it was time to have a new child frontline the squad?
My whole life has been made up of proving people wrong, and showing that someone who isn't supposed to be great can be just that. I made a journey onto a website full of rankings of different Pokémon with people saying who is the best, who is the worst. Of all of them, I read someone say, and I quote: "Emolga is the single most useless Pokémon in existence. It's just a clone of Pikachu that won't last two turns in a real battle."
That was it, I fell in love with it. I trained my Emolga to be fast, really fast. I gave it high defense and special defense too. I wanted to show that one guy who I've never met or never will meet wrong. It didn't matter if he never saw it even. It was a personal thing between myself and this Emolga of mine. Going into a battle against a team I had no business battling, or even beating for that matter, I set my Emolga to go out first. She attacked first and paralyzed the foe, perfectly setting the table for my partner Pokémon to set a move down that would inflict harm to whoever my opponet swapped the stunned one out for.
I exhaled. I had done it, I won the battle, and I used my Emolga the entire battle without it going down. In that one moment, all of my life struggles and resilience shined through that little flying squirrel. It was a beautiful moment. In that moment, I suddenly broke my rule of not chosing on particular favorite and chose Emolga as my favorite and my title Pokémon.
What is your favorite Pokémon? Do you have a story behind it? I'd love to hear!
Happy Worldwide Cosplay Appreciation Holiday everyone! Halloween has always been one of my favorites as long as I could remember. What child doesn't fall in love with the concept of dressing up as their favorite characters and getting literally bucketloads of sugary, delicious candies? I'm sure it can be tough to an adult these days to tap back into that spirit they had (Why go trick or treating? I'm a grown man/woman/artificial life form, I can just go to the store and buy a small truck's worth for far less than it should be!), however I think it is always fun to at least reminisce on the charm of the holiday. I remember a family tradition of ours would be to turn off all the lights in the house as soon as it got dark out and tell ghost stories. I really wish I could remember some of them so I could pass them down to my children for generations to come.
It's not all fun and candies online, however. Almost as common as trick or treating these days is the growing sensation of Halloween themed investigative videos and blogs. You've seen them all before: "(Insert iconic franchise) MAY SEEM LIKE A TYPICAL FAMILY FRIENDLY (game/show/book series/collectable card game), BUT TODAY WE'RE GOING TO READ BETWEEN THE LINES AND SEE THE REAL SHOCKING EVIL SUBTLE THEMES IN THIS CLASSIC." Cue the spooky thumbnails of the main characters without eyes or blood covering a mascot's face, eerie text and music ect. Five to ten minutes later, we all walk away with a sense that there were just conclusions reached out of the bare minimum and yet the videos manage to rake in more views than the color orange on a neighborhood street this month.
The answer, no matter how painful as it may be to reach, is simply because we love to see even our most cherished franchises have some dark spin on them. Think of the last time (if ever) you watched one of those videos, read an article, some creepypasta ect. What brought you there? Something had to have caught your eye from the preview of it. Not to be the pot calling the kettle black though, I am just as guilty of this. It's utterly frustrating in hindsight, but my attention is always grabbed by the edgey spin on the beloved franchises I grew up on.
What's that? Pokémon cards that have subliminal dark illustrations? I have to see that.
Are there some of these hidden pieces in things that could very well be intended to show dark, sometimes even troubling to think about? Absolutely. To not think this was the case would be rather naive of me, wouldn't you think? By all means, reading those well proved articles and seeing easter eggs that dial up the scary meter are welcomed and embraced. Where it gets ruined though is when you start seeing things like "How Mario is Actually a Psychopathic Killer in the Mushroom Kingdom", "Mega Man Murdered Everyone and Blamed Dr. Wily" or my personal favorite for the sake of expanding outside the gaming community "Angelica is the Only Rugrat Actually Alive" (Don't even look that last one up, it's so frustrating). Almost as careful as the trick or treaters must be when out celebrating, when viewing the festivities online one must avoid the shady places.
All ridiculous web-based headaches aside, what are you doing for Halloween? Costumes? Parties? Perhaps a classic family tradition? I'd love to hear about it! Thanks for reading, have a wonderful and safe holiday all you lovely people!