Last night I had the privilege of attending a viewing party at Nintendo World for the first ever Super Smash Bros. Invitational @ E3 2014. I’m sure most of you know Nintendo World — Nintendo’s only flagship store, located in Manhattan. It was a pretty exclusive shindig, with only 25 or so media members and a little over 70 lucky Nintendo fans getting to attend.
I came in right before the tourney was about to start (because I like to live dangerously and also because public transit is terrible) and promptly realized the error of my ways when I saw that all the seats were taken. I grabbed some popcorn and a soda before squeezing in a little space to stand, right before one of the announcers revealed that everyone at that same event would be able to try out Super Smash Bros. that evening. The noise was deafening and suddenly the air was charged with a frenetic fervor.
As the lucky first made their way to try out the title, the first match of the Quarterfinals began, as so did my coverage of the tournament; if you follow my Twitter account, you probably have already seen my nonsensical musings. There’s also my epic tale of going from standing in the back to eventually sitting on my throne of the beanbag chair by the Finals, but that’s a story for another time.
Eventually I found my favorite, an amazing wielder of the Wii Fit Trainer who pulled off her moves and acrobatics with graceful effortlessness. And she made it quite far in the tourney too — hitting the finals is one impressive feat.
Zero Suit Samus was excellent as well, which makes sense since the player won the whole shebang, as was Kirby the runner-up (no surprise there). There was also some great performances from Olimar, Mario and Rosalina players, as well as the Star Fox that won the Fan Favorite Finals.
Also, I know that many of us are huge fans of Mega Man — including the party viewing attendees if the deafening roar when he used his Final Smash is anything to go by — but the fact that he kept getting voted in Fan Favorite rounds despite him placing last every match was outrageously hilarious. Especially true since this only set up the player for an obvious demise at the hands of Star Fox.
I’ll probably get some heat for this but I’m saying it — the stalling done by Zero Suit Samus and Kirby during the final seconds of the Grand Finals was obvious but not a big deal. Honestly, the whole match was tied anyway and what better way to end it all than a pulse-pounding Sudden Death. Then of course Reggie “Regginator” Fils-Aime presenting the trophies, admitting he’s trash at Smash Bros. and challenging the Grand Finals winner to “kick [his] ass” next year was pretty amazing.
Overall, it was really wonderful to see new and classic characters alike duking it out on so many fun stages. What made it even more worthwhile was the experience of the viewing party itself. No of us knew each other, but I found myself wrapped up in easy conversation with random attendees about the right camera angle or Star Fox gameplay and screaming right along with them when a winner emerged from Sudden Death, or a fighter using their Final Smash. There were plenty of random (and admittedly cheesy) cheers and even more thanks to go around for those that worked hard to put together the event.
Leaving Nintendo World afterward was a bit difficult (how could I deal with the fact it was now all over?) but left me feeling a sheer sense of giddiness I haven’t enjoyed in years. All in all, I can’t wait to do it all again next year — and see if Reggie will be good on his word.