setting a few things straight
- SSBM has a dedicated following of extremely skilled players that have spent countless hours studying even the most assinine aspects of the game like frame rate, fractional damage reduction, distance in regard to strength of attack and weight of character, etc. And we’ll spend hours arguing about the finer points of it online. I would also like to point out the average age of people at tournaments is over 18.
I conceed that a majority of people who play SSBM don’t delve that deep into the game, but neigher do most SF players. We travel across the country (I’ve personally played in tournaments in IL, MI, OH, TX, CA and I’m scheduled to play in tournaments in IN and VA in the coming weeks) and even world (I’ve played against players from Europe and Canada). We also play money matches for over a 100 dollars. There are currently large tournaments held regularly in every region of the country and in almost ever state (even Alaska).
SSBM has a long list of advanced and unique strategies. Crouch canceling, L canceling, wave dashing, grab chains, and even combinations (most people don’t release that SSBM has combinations though they are far more difficult to perform than your standard SF combos).
SSBM requires a great deal of skill, practice, and natural ability to play on a tournament level. Your expert SSBM player and the veteran will win 100% of the time and by an overwhelming amount.
Take your typical hardcore SF player, give him a month with the game and the SSBM veteran will still wax that player by a huge degree. This is not to say one game requires more skill than other, but that SSBM requires a great deal of time investment to get competitive in; additionaly being good in any other fighting game does not translate into a head start in SSBM (besides having a natural apptitude in fighting games).
Tournament games are almost exclusively 1:1 or team battle and there is tremedous balance in game, far better than say Tekken.
SSBM is the hottest fighting game in Japan. We’re talking people who know their fighting games. I’ve talked with Japanese gamers who have been in tournaments with thousands of contestants. Recently a tournament partially sponsered by Nintendo was so huge they had to break it down in regional elimintation. IGN overseas corrispondents likens the following to a religion.
I’m a pretty hardcore gamer myself (I’ve played competitive SF, Tekken, and I’m looking for a competive GG XX scene). The game is more balanced than Tekken 4, deeper than either of the Capcom vs series, and faster than SF. Indeed there is no fighting game more popular atm and you can look at the sales figures to prove it. Not even Tekken 4 on a much more popular console could out sell SSBM.
It’s certainly not this tournaments responcibilty to carry
SSBM, but if Evo wants to represent the best fighting games on the market SSBM has clearly earned it’s place.
I’m sure most players at Evo are ignorant about the SSBM scene because SSBM players are for the most part a different breed of players (most competitive gamers either play SSBM as their exculsive fighting game or darn close, there are exceptions to the rules like me though), but this is a great bonus. You don’t have players torn between devotions (like say GGXX and SF). By introducing this game as an equal part of Evo you’ll draw in whole new crowd of gamers and yes you’ll still mantain the integrity of a serious fighting tournament.
So my point in short is that SSBM represents the newest form of fighting games. It’s easy to look at the cutesy characters and forgot that (I mean how can you represent with a pokemon?), but make no mistake that just as VF and Tekken heralded a new wave of fighting games SSBM represents the same.