Title: Super Smash Brothers
System: Nintendo 64






The first version of the franchise that started it all, Super Smash Brothers brings the world of various Nintendo all-star characters into the fighting arena. But instead of just taking popular characters and letting you beat the hell out of each other with them, Smash Brothers also made some unique changes to the genre. With up to 4 simultaneous fighters pit against each other in an all-out melee brawl (fantastic for parties; I believe these games wouldn’t have the following they do if not for that) this game makes it fun to really beat on one another and laugh while doing so. But you have to laugh because if you don’t you’re going to cry.

While the multi-player simultaneous aspect can be a lot of fun, it also tends to be seriously disorienting. Those not used to having that many constantly moving targets on the screen can easily find themselves lost in the chaos. Where normal fighters can some times let you figure out strategies and combos to use, where 4 players are concerned you’ll generally find yourself button mashing and constantly using your stong moves and hoping someone wanders into it while they’re lost in the confusion themselves. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as that experience can be a lot of the fun but for those who are more competitive it can get downright ugly.

Single player also gives you some new pieces to a fighting game with various challenges, team battles with computer allies, and fighting the occasional giant version of one of your stronger foes (like Donkey Kong). It breaks up the fighting in such a way that it doesn’t have the same constantly repetitive nature of a lot of other fighters where it’s match after match after match. In the end when you’ve played it enough though, it still can get stale like any other fighting game. Even after you’ve unlocked the remaining characters.


There are 2 things that Nintendo does well and this game is a testament to them both; creating fun characters that people want to play (Link, Fox McCloud and Samus being the coolest from this one in my humble opinion) and utilizing the multi-player aspect of a system with 4 controller ports. Taking a fighting game and turning it into an all-out multiplayer brawl was a stroke of genius.


In my review about Mario RPG I commented about one of my favorite aspects being their unique approach at an existing genre by using characters not normally found in said genre, and this is much the same. The comic for CSI: Videoland was actually something I pieced together from notes when I thought of making it its own comic strip. I thought about how funny it would be to see people like Mario and Kid Icarus and Starfox, anyone from the games universe really, being thrust into this world of gritty crime, sex and death. The comic was going to be a serious crime drama with CSI and NYPD Blue elements of hard-edged grit but the comedy lay in the characters that did it. And maybe one of these days it’ll still spin off.

Every other Smash Brothers game ever. They’re pretty much all the same, but the spread of characters and the graphics got better over time.