Surviving Super Smash Bros: A PAL gamer’s guide

Well, the day has finally come, the day that millions have been waiting for, whipped into a rabid and dangerous frenzy by the power of memetic Internet hype. Yes, it’s the day that Super Smash Bros. Brawl has been released in America, marking the day that Westerners everywhere can get their hands on Nintendo’s masterwork of fighting mash-up mayhem.

Well … not quite everywhere.

For some people, this day is going to be unbearable. It is a day of envy and misery, of watching, with jealous eyes, those in grander lands enjoying a sacred treasure that has been denied them until further notice. I am of course referring to those of trapped in the PAL territories who were too good/lazy to modify their Wiis and import a copy. Those who played by the rules and were rewarded for their loyalty to Nintendo by being made to wait for months on end with no promise of a release date forthcoming. These lost and tortured souls are doomed to spend this day wandering a barren and desolate Internet, as the world stops turning so that everyone in America can use Solid Snake to kick the crap out of Sonic the Hedgehog. 

But fear not, my afflicted plebians, for all is not lost. You needn’t be destroyed by this most nightmarish of Sabbaths, because we have the light that shall illuminate your dark path. If you’ve been spending the past week wading through all the hype and wondering how you’re going to live through the inevitable splooge-fests, then look no further than here! This is the ultimate survival guide to Super Smash Bros. Sunday. Take my hand and read on, dear friends. Together, we will make it through this.

Survival Tip #1: Who needs Brawl when you have Melee?

Let’s face it, both games are almost exactly the same, right? You can recreate the magic of Super Smash Bros. Brawl simply by playing Super Smash Bros. Melee on your GameCube instead. All you have to do is shout the word “Brawl” really, really loudly at thirty second intervals, because everybody knows that the louder something is, the more true it becomes. The core mechanics of Brawl and Melee are the same, so it’s pretty easy to convince yourself that the latest seqel offers nothing that you can’t enjoy already. 

Of course, one issue to get round is the fact that Brawl includes new characters, some that are highly anticipated. Fret not, however, because you can always improvise! For instance, try taping a sheet of translucent blue plastic to the TV screen and pretend you’re Sonic. Who needs Wario when you can just select Mario and squint your eyes a little bit? It’s pretty much the same thing. If you want to play as Pit, then just choose any character you want and down an entire bottle of Vodka. It won’t help you create the illusion of playing as Kid Icarus’ famous hero, but by that point you’ll be too drunk to give a shit.

Survival Tip #2: Play Super Mario Galaxy … again!

You don’t need Smash Bros. at all when the Wii’s European library boasts a huge selection of games that include Super Mario Galaxy and … some other games! Play these titles some more, and be thankful that Nintendo even sees fit to grace you with ONE game. You got Super Mario Galaxy in the same week as the Americans, you wide-eyed devils, so you are forever in Nintendo’s debt.

You really should be pleased that Nintendo has seen fit to give you all this time to complete Galaxy over and over again. Those poor and stupid Americans only got to finish it up a couple times, but you could see Galaxy‘s ending at least seventy eight times before Europe is in danger of getting Smash Brothers. Seize this golden opportunity! Experience Galaxy more than any other man in human history!

Survival Tip #3: Hey, we get Mario Kart and Wii Fit next month!

Everybody is going to be sooooo jealous of you when you log into your Internet to show off your copy of Mario Kart in April. They won’t be too busy playing Smash Bros. to give a crap — I promise you they will be suitably impressed by a game that Reggie Fils-Aimes has practically admitted isn’t as good as Brawl. You can spend today silently gloating over how cooler you’re going to look when you’re talking about your semi-online-capable version of Double Dash

Then there’s Wii Fit, the single greatest gaming accomplishment in all of interactive entertainment history. Some might argue that calling Wii Fit a game is like calling Mr. Motivator’s 10 Minute Workouts a movie, but … y’know … sod them! The point is, PAL gamers will have it, and it’s something that isn’t a kick in the nuts for once, so it is precious.

Survival Tip #4: Recreate Brawl from the comfort of your bedroom … alone.

Remember the golden rule of life — if nobody can see you rolling around your bedroom, painted head to toe in yellow, buck naked and screaming “Pika Pika,” then you have nothing to be ashamed of. 

No release can compare to a gamer’s imagination and, more importantly, his desperation. Nobody need know that you spent last night under a cardboard box growling “So he’s Mario, huh? I’ll be glad to meet him on the field of battle.” Your mother or girlfriend can live life blissfully unaware of those shamefully snatched minutes where you pretended to be Kirby by swallowing anything you could fit in your throat. 

… And we can keep to ourselves that one hollow, empty night where you sat in the corner, dressed only a pointy green hat and plastic elf ears, masturbating and cutting yourself while weeping with a sordid sorrow that knows no bounds. The crimson kiss of a cold blade on flesh, the shaking hand attempting to carve a most bloody Triforce into tender, pale skin. It is dangerous to go alone, take this. Take this shame. 

Survival Tip #5: File your taxes!

It’s almost April after all! Come on, tax doesn’t have to be taxing.

Survival Tip #6: Spend all day saying how little you care about Brawl online.

Nothing masks envy more effectively than making a point of just how indifferent you are. Going out of your way to state how over hyped Brawl is will ensure that nobody ever finds out about the fact that you can’t play the game like everybody else. As blasphemous as it may be, you might want to even make so bold as to suggest that the game … gasp … is not perfect! That is only to be used in the most critical of situations, however, if you fear that you just can’t appear uncaring enough about the title. 

The Internet is your canvas, so paint it with your apathy in any way you see fit. Forum threads, news comments, or stupid “comedic” blogs about fake survival guides can all be used to hide just how left out and alone you are in the world. 

Survival Tip #7: Kill yourself.

So you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still feeling the walls of Smash Sunday closing in around you. Unfortunately, the weaker among you are going to be unable to find any solace on this wretched day and sadly, this is not going to be the last time Europe will get the shaft — it’s certainly far from the first. If you can’t weather this storm, and are a loyal, PAL-imprisoned Nintendo fan, then the only course of action left open is suicide.  

Just make sure you film it and have someone put it up on Youtube for us all to enjoy.

I hope this guide has been helpful for all people stuck in Europe and Australia who have to suffer through a day of Mario fellatio and proclamations of “Best! Game! EVER!” At the very least, may you be too dead to feel the pain, all your misery draining away as you lay in your bathtub, the water turning ever more crimson, your life drifting from your body as you finish performing not a Final Smash, but the final slash. 

The final slash to deliver you from Super Smash Bros. once and for all.

God damn you, Nintendo.

Jim Sterling