I survived the Smash Bros. Brawl Midnight Launch
[Note: This article was originally posted on my personal blog. Due to the popularity of it, I decided to share my story with the readers of Gaming Today. Enjoy!]
It was a pretty weird day here in Northern Jersey. There was tons of wind, but it wasn’t as cold as it normally is, at least during the day. But of course, the sun set and the wind remained, leaving it cold. Really cold.
I preordered Super Smash Bros. Brawl months in advance. Probably almost half a year or so. Saying I was excited about the upcoming release would be an immense understatement. Super Smash Bros. was a game I have always loved playing simply for the fact that you have no idea how the rounds are going to go in the game. One minute you could be beating the snot out of your opponent, and the next, he’s got a bomb or a hammer. Once either of those hits you, you’re pretty much done for.
I arrived at the local GameStop around 9:10 PM since they informed the people in the tournament that the latest we could be there was 9:30. I of course decided that I really had nothing else to do that night, so I might as well throw my hat into the tournament. The way I saw it, I was playing Smash Bros. earlier than the people online. I’d be getting a tiny crumb of that sweet sweet Smash Bros. goodness.
The first round I was up against someone named Anthony. He decided to pick Link. I, of course, picked the character I’ve come to know and love. The only character I feel at home with. The character who is respected by anyone and everyone in the video game world. *Ding*. Mario.
The match was pretty good. Fortunate for me though, he didn’t know many moves for Link. All he seemed to be doing was Smash attacks. And Link isn’t known for being very swift with his Smash attacks. I bobbed. I weeved. But ultimately, I couldn’t get him out of the ring within the 2 minute time limit. “SUDDEN DEATH” was the next thing I heard. I knew now was the time to take him out. I ran towards him. He, of course, tried to finish me off with Link’s Smash attack. Big mistake. I jumped over him and kicked him from behind, launching him off the side of the level. “GAME!”.
I was sent out into the cold again to wait for the next round. There was a local Starbucks nearby, so I decided to head over there to warm my hands up for the next round of the tournament. If you think playing in a tournament is rough, try playing in a tournament with ice cold hands. Luckily, I found a hand dryer in the bathroom at Starbucks. Damn, I am one smart mother F-er.
I also want to make a note that while I was waiting for my turn in the second round, three guys drove by yelling out “Geeks!” and “It’s sold out”. It didn’t bother me in the least because in a way, we are all “geeks”. I noticed the folks that drove by were in a suped up sports car. These guys spend thousands of dollars upgrading their rides. You’re telling me they’re not “geeks” for being passionate about their rides? Just think about people in general. We are all “geeks” in our own way because we all have hobbies that we get into in order to kill the boredom that is our jobs and overall life. It’s sad that the gamer’s hobbies get looked down upon when we pretty much are like everyone else, except our hobby of choice is video games. Maybe if I devoted my life to cars or being a slave to a gym, I wouldn’t get looked down upon. But then again, I never really cared what people thought of me or my hobbies. As long as I can look in the mirror each morning and be happy with who I am and what I’ve become.
Enough rambling and back to last night’s festivities.
The next round I was up against a kid who I believe was 10-12 years old. Friggin….cake. I was Mario again and he picked….Link? Damn. People sure do love Link. We played on the Super Mario Sunshine level, which is a level that moves. The match started off with us on a platform flying around the level. We eventually landed on the ground and did battle there. Moments later though, the platform showed up again. I stopped attacking for a moment to make sure I was on the platform before the level left me behind, instantly killing me. Poor Link wasn’t too lucky. +1 for me. Link came back and we battled some more. He was a little better than my previous opponent, but still enough for me to handle. I decided to become a moving target. I barely attacked him at all knowing I was up 1-0. We landed on another part of the level. Three green platforms sprouted up from the middle of the ocean. Link had a little bit of trouble with this level. He seemed to be stuck in the ocean and couldn’t get out. I simply waited for him at the top of the platform. He finally made his way up. I jumped back to avoid his oncoming attack… but wait.. I suddenly was hanging from the floating platform again. That could only mean we’ll soon be thrusted into the air again. The stage immediately dropped, along with Link who wasn’t lucky enough to grab onto the floating platform as well. +1 for me. Being up 2-0 pretty much sealed my fate. I moved onto the 3rd round.
The 3rd round I was up against a guy who seemed like he was around my age, if not, a little younger. He had curly black hair, glasses, and a stuttering problem. I thought he was either very bad or very good just from the way he looked. The match started off fine. I was Mario, he was Link. I thought in my head he was surely an amateur for picking Link. The stage was the Brawl version of the Metroid stage. It seemed like a harmless stage, so I was only focusing on defeating him to move on to the next round. We traded blows. Bobbing and weaving. He wasn’t an amateur. He knew all of the moves and when to use them. Finally, a challenge. It was a very good match for 1 minute and 45 seconds. Then….that’s when it happened. There was a flashing red light. Sirens shrieked and broke the sounds of combat. The stage flipped. -1 for me.
I shook the hand of the winner and congratulated him on a fantastic match. My name was scratched off the tournament list and I was thrusted back into the cold, cold night behind 20 or so strangers. I simply put my iPod on to some Tenacious D and waited for the moment that I had originally been there for. To pick up my copy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I checked the time. “11:10pm”. Ugh. Almost an hour left to go. I contemplated going back into my car to thaw out. I looked back at the line. Common sense told me if a line has to wrap around 4 or 5 storefronts, then it’s pretty much not a good idea to leave.
Standing there was just a blur for me. I was so cold. The day pretty much was mild, so I didn’t think to bring a cap and scarf to keep me warm. I wish I would have been smarter before I waited in line. The musical styling of Tenacious D was the only thing I could listen to at the moment. Beezleboss to be exact. The song was about 5 or so minutes long. I knew if I listened to it over and over again that I’d eventually make it to midnight. I moved in my spot to the music. No, I wasn’t dancing. I was simply moving myself so I wouldn’t become a BB-sicle. All of a sudden, I heard “5 minutes!!”. Ugh. Could you guys have told me when it was 1 minute left? Thanks to that announcement, time seemed to go even MORE slower than it already was. I felt like my limit of being in the cold was already at the point where if I didn’t get indoors, I’d freeze. So I started jumping. The other folks in line thought I was doing it out of excitement for the game, so they started jumping along with me. That made me laugh. “3 minutes!” Ugh. Stop updating me on every minute and keep the countdown to 1 minute. I turned up my music, but all I could focus on was the chanting of “3 minutes” in the air.
The countdown began. Now they moved from counting down the minutes to counting down the seconds. Then…. the counting stopped. It was officially midnight. The door to GameStop opened. The first 10 customers were let in. The line ACTUALLY moved forward for once. Moments later, I was at the register. I plopped down my receipt which was then marked by a black marker, and I was handed my copy of the game. No bag or nothing…. just the game. And I ran to my car. I don’t know if I was running in order to thaw myself. Or if it was the fact that I felt like a teenager again all because of some silly game. Either way, I’m glad I’ve been exercising.
I go in my car. Turned it on and looked down at the passenger seat where my copy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl lay. God… this was one long….friggin…night. And when/if the next installment of Super Smash Bros. comes out… I’ll make sure to remind myself to wear a cap and a scarf.