When I began my journey into learning Smash 4 just a few months ago, I knew there was a day looming on the horizon that I was both hoping for and dreading. It was the day when a new Smash would be announced. I was concerned that I would put all this effort into practicing and learning to play Smash 4 competitively then a new game would drop and I would have to start all over again.
When the Smash announcement was made today there was a huge uproar. Casual players, new gamers, old gamers, and, of course, the competitive Smash players were elated. Smash Bros. tweets took over social media, Facebook was flooded with posts, reaction videos hit the thousands, and the tone of the community went into a “hyped eagerness” I hadn’t seen before. This led me to a few different thoughts.
One. I was impressed by the amount of casual players who I’ve NEVER seen comment on a single Smash Bros. post, video, article I or any other content creator has made. It was like they had zero interest until now.
If I’m honest, I was a little disappointed. I understand casual gamers not interacting with me or people I know who are solely focused on the competitive side of Smash, but the number of my friends and family who seemed genuinely eager about Smash on the Switch was astounding…and that made me feel a bit pissed that they hadn’t been supporting me or other Smash Bros. content creators I know.
It took me a day to kind of mull this over, but when I look back maybe they either don’t care about what we’re doing, were bored with Smash 4, want to keep it casual, had no interest until now, or are maybe complete assholes. I don’t know which, but I have to make room for each in my life and stay positive. This was something that I saw on Twitter as well. Cinnpie made this Tweet which reinforced this line of thought and I saw two or three more tweets that spoke about the same positivity.
It doesn’t matter if these people ignored us and the game before. This is that golden opportunity to welcome and encourage new players—both competitive and casual. This is a chance to show them the competitive scene is about more than just competition. So when all these new people start showing up, I know we will welcome them the same way I was welcomed….with an ass-kicking, with friendly advice, and with words of encouragement.
Two. How would this impact my training? Was everything thrown out the window? Like I mentioned earlier, I hoped this announcement would happen too. I thought it might allow me to even the odds a bit. Being behind three years is brutal. Everyone is better than me, but a new game will bring in new and old players. More players means more opportunities to learn…and to win. Plus, now that I’ve had the experience in competitive play and have talked to many veteran Smash players about how they made the transition from Brawl to Smash 4 I’m not worried. I will take everything I learned and apply that to Smash 5. Hell, it could even be a port…and in that case, it wouldn’t matter anyway.
The really amazing thing here is that I discovered a love for Smash. This announcement reinforced this love. Even after my year of doing the docuseries is up, I will continue to play competitively. I will be active in the community and keep going. I may not document every tournament I complete in, but I will be playing every week and working to become a better player in my scene.
My last fear is as a content creator. Does this mean people will stop reading, stop watching? It’s already difficult to get people to watch/read as the game is three years old now. If we’re putting out Smash 4 content, will they even bother? I’m working on a series of videos for new players to Smash 4. Is this useless? Will we be reduced to Smash 5 speculation and hype? I don’t know. I guess time will tell.
But again, the underlying and most surprising thing to me about this journey is how much I love the game, the community, and creating content for Smash. So, even if people stop reading, even if new faces don’t flood in, even if we are faced with the same issues we have now, I will be happy. Because Smash is a beautiful game with an amazing community that may complain a lot but at their core are one big family that pushes each other to be better…both in and outside of the game.
I’m also setting up an official Twitter at Beyond Beta Podcast…bear with me as I set it all up and get it linked
Have a good one,
Steve “ShockSmash” Shockey