The Super Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct this week didn’t just get me pumped for the upcoming games, it also took me down memory lane. I shall always remember June 2008 as the month that kick-started life-long friendships, some of the best memories I have and some of my greatest video gaming experiences to date.
It was that month that Super Smash Bros. Brawl released on the Wii in the UK.
In my mid-teens when the game released, I had a particular attachment to Nintendo games. I didn’t consider myself a fanboy per-se and still adored my PlayStation 2, but I’d missed out on any Nintendo home consoles before the GameCube and felt that video games generally missed out on the charm and colour that Nintendo brought me. I wasn’t particularly a fighting game (or Smash Bros.) veteran, but Brawl really interested me.
Coincidentally, it was around this time that my ‘weekend group’ of friends was in its prime; a group of some of my closest friends that I met up with every Saturday to hang out with in the town centre and at my house. As soon as Brawl was released, it became a staple of our weekends for years – right up until I moved to another town last year, leaving my beloved ‘weekend group’ behind.
The Nintendo Direct made me realise quite how important Brawl was to us as a group. It genuinely had its place in forming some friendships that still stand strong today and sucked up hours of our time every week. As a competitive fighting game it may not be the best on the market, but for a fun co-operative party game for friends I can’t think of one better example.
Primarily playing as Yoshi or Diddy Kong, my friends took up the likes of Toon Link, Sonic and ROB, among others. We played ‘serious’ one-on-one Final Destination matches, Pokéball-only matches and plenty of ‘all items on’ rounds. We passed many hours of the day laughing as our fingers clicked away on our GameCube controllers, my cardboard Brawl sign from GameStation hanging proudly from the ceiling in my room.
We didn’t know it, but it was the time of our lives and Brawl had its place in building the kind of memories that you keep with you forever.
Unfortunately, my group hasn’t been together for over a year now and contact between some of us is irregular. Naturally, we’ve planned for a big reunion at my place for as soon as the Wii U version of the upcoming Smash Bros. games comes out. It’s the most fitting reason for us to all get back together.
Thank you, Smash Bros. Brawl. You’ll forever have a place in my heart as one of the most personally important video games in my life.