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The Smash Community Made One Thing Abundantly Clear at EVO 2018

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EVO 2018

The Smash community made it abundantly clear at EVO 2018: They hate Bayonetta. They hate Bayonetta so much, in fact, that the Super Smash Bros Wii U crowd gathered at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and spent the majority of the weekend booing and heckling a 16-year-old for playing her.

Fellow teenager Tamin “Lima” Omary, eventually won the entire Smash 4 tournament, after partaking in one of the most controversial grand finals in the history of esports. A grand finals match that many people are saying the Smash 4 fandom deserves for their arguably toxic behavior.

In a shocking finale, Smash 4’s EVO journey ended with a fight for the gold between Lima and 16-year-old Zack “CaptainZack” Lauth. Nobody was expecting these two to even make it to Top 8 based on past tournament outcomes, but without major opponents like Echo Fox’s Leonardo “MKLeo” Perez present, all eyes started to fall on the two teenagers. Although it was mostly glares.

When CaptainZack was announced as a Top 8 contender he was met with a stadium full of boos. He responded with a curt middle finger and a Tweet that read “stop booing me like I care.” Unfortunately for CaptainZack, this was only a small whisper compared to the chorus of booing he would face with Lima in the grand final match.

Smash 4 EVO 2018

As the casters continued to comment on CaptainZack and Lima’s “schoolgirl giggling” with a sort of nervous amusement, the two Bayo mains stood completely still for over a minute as the crowd continued to shower them in more boos. They were determined to make it to sudden death. It was later reported that many people even left the match, a rare occurrence for an EVO grand final match. EVO officials eventually ordered the two giddy teens to continue playing, and when Lima took CaptainZack’s last life, the pair hugged.

EVO is arguably one of the most prestigious fighting game stages of the year, and many fighting game fans were insulted that Smash 4 had been included in the line-up. It was commonplace to see Tekken and Street Fighter fans taunting the Smash community in the EVO Twitch stream forums as they waited for the matches to wrap up.

Time for a real fighting game now.

All the Smash fans had to stop watching and go do their homework. It’s almost past their bedtime.

You could almost feel the heat rising to the Smash fandom’s cheeks as Liam and CaptainZack goofed around between taking each other’s stocks. You could almost see their fists clenching. The embarrassment wafting from the Smash community almost had a tangible scent at that point. This sense of shame soon turned to anger. Resentment. Disappointment. The majority of the community had shunned them.

“It’s disrespectful to all of the other competitors who tried their best to make it that far, and it’s disrespectful to the spectators who spent all the money and effort necessary to be there at the event, hoping to see the best that the game has to offer,” read one comment on a Kotaku article.

Many comments on various recap articles and social media forums echoed these sentiments. A feeling of frustration for the fans, and for the players who seemed to be taking the tournament a bit more seriously. For many players, EVO is the ultimate stage, the biggest trophy. It’s what they aim for all year long.

evo2018-smash4-winner

On Twitter, CaptainZack responded to these statements with, “I practiced daily to get there too, that’s why I was there lol.”

When some Smash fans started bringing up collusion, the boys became a bit more serious on the matter.

“I didn’t mean to make grand finals look like collusion or childish,” Lima explained on Twitter after the backlash. “[…] I play better when I play to have fun so that’s what I did. Sorry lol.”

CaptainZack later called his behavior during the grand finals “disrespectful,” but noted that he was “truly trying his best.” He even apologized to his fans and EVO staff.

Forever branded as one of the most toxic Nintendo fandoms, the Smash community has been known to take the game very seriously. They hold onto traditions and have strong loyalties to players they deem the best. Their harshness as a fanbase could be credited to the fact that many other fighting game communities don’t seem to take Smash as seriously, especially Smash 4, which even Melee players have outwardly shunned.

For this reason, it seems that a grand final like this may hurt Smash 4‘s chances of being taken seriously even more. At least that’s what the community fears.

But is this a grand final that they created?

After being heckled all weekend long for choosing Bayo, the two teenagers seemed to become more and more frustrated. “Like I care” is usually code for “I care immensely.” And it’s hard not to feel sorry for a 16-year-old being bullied publicly by a mob of 20 and 30-year-olds, being boo’ed during live matches and allegedly having death threats sent to them throughout the weekend.  

One online response to people complaining about the match even read: “[They were too kind] for the pile of shit that the smash community is. Fuck the evo rules, they should have stood there for 5 minutes, SD once and then fight until sudden death and wait until the bombs drop. That would be the grand final that this community deserves.”

Even though Lima and CaptainZack publicly stated that they were trying their best, it’s not that much of a stretch to assume they were purposely messing with the crowd who had harassed them all day. That maybe they were hoping to rile them up further, an immature but understandable response to the continuous stream of hate pouring out from the crowds. That maybe they were trying to prove a point. Or let off some steam. Finally able to laugh with each other and feel some sense of compassion and kindness after being bombarded with negativity from their own community.

In an attempt to be taken more seriously, the Smash 4 community has possibly derailed their own efforts at EVO. And many in the fandom have completely lost hope for Smash 4. But infamous Bayo main Saleem “Salem” Akiel Young, took the Twitter to say, “Everyone needs to stop saying this is smash 4’s ending. Along with saying this ruined our chances with evo. We have many more major tournaments left and until ultimate is released smash 4 shall remain alive.”

This tweet was met with a lot of opposition from former Smash 4 fans, one who said, “With the community’s disgusting actions and then literal hypocrisy (booing every bayo every tourney and then [expecting a good grand final] as if they deserve a thing) shown over and over, this game is lost my guy.”

Another Twitter user simply said: “That’s great, but I and many others have lost all interest, for obvious reasons.”

“Bayo ruined the game,” concluded another tweet.

With Super Smash Bros. Ultimate coming out in December, Smash 4 is easily going to lose a lot of attention and hype. But the question is, did this whole ordeal kill off Smash 4 even earlier?

For many fans, it seems that way. Not only thanks to the grand finals match itself but the Smash community that seemed to create it. A community that takes itself so seriously that two teenagers “giggling like schoolgirls” while purposely stalling a game may have truly disrupted a whole eSport. Maybe to the point of no return.

Boo at your own risk.

I love playing video games and watching esports, and I love writing about them. I’m a professional writer, journalist, editor and social media manager and a very-not-professional Yoshi voice actor. I probably eat sushi about five times a week and I travel about once every other month to play at various Pokemon TCG regionals all around North America. Undefeated at Mario Kart Double Dash.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Jayson

    August 15, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Time for Smash to disappear from EVO. Not even as a side tourney.

    • Olivia Richman

      August 16, 2018 at 7:08 am

      Damn! That’s harsh! Even Melee? With Ultimate coming out, I can say that Smash 4 is most definitely not going to be at EVO or any other large-scale fighting tourneys. I think Ultimate will be, it brings the hype. And Melee will most likely still be at EVO because of the loyal following and the amazing skill displayed during each match. I think the Smash 4 finals were definitely an embarrassment for the Smash community, whether they made it happen themselves or not. And it will definitely affect the fighting game community’s view on Smash.

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‘Coffee Talk’ Review: The Best Brew in Town

Coffee Talk is as quaint as your local coffee shop. It’s relatively short, wonderfully sweet, and absolutely committed to the art form of telling a story through a video game screen.

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It’s 9:00pm. The rain just started coming down softly a few minutes ago, and the street outside is reflecting the lights above it. Neon signs shine brightly in the distance, although it’s hard to make out the words. You unlock the doors to the coffee shop and wipe down the counters in order to get them clean for the customers. The rain makes a soft sound as it hits the glass and passerby speed up their walking pace to avoid it. The bells chime as a tall, green orc walks in and sits down at your table in silence. You wonder what their story is…

I wanted to set the tone for this review because of how important atmosphere and audio/visual design is in the world of Coffee Talk. While it’s easy to boil the game down as a visual novel-type experience, it’s honestly so much more than that. A unique cast of characters, incredible user interface, and a mysterious protagonist combine to form the most enjoyable experience I’ve had this year on Switch.

Coffee Talk
Some of the subject matter can be pretty serious in nature…

Coffee Talk is beautiful because of how simple it is. The entire game takes place within a single coffee shop. As the barista, you’re tasked with making drinks for the patrons of the shop as well as making conversations with them. The twist is that earth is populated with creatures like orcs, werewolves, and succubi. The relationship between the various races is handled very well throughout the story, and some interesting parallels are made to the real world.

Making drinks is as simple as putting together a combination of three ingredients and hitting the ‘Serve’ button. If a unique drink is made, it will be added to a recipe list that can be referenced on the barista’s cell phone. This is where the awesome user interface comes in, as the phone has a series of apps that can be accessed at any moment in the game. One app houses your recipe list, another acts as a facebook for the characters in the game, one allows you to switch between songs, and the other houses a series of short stories that one of the characters in the game writes as it progresses. It’s one of the coolest parts of the whole experience and helps it stand out from other games in the genre.

Coffee Talk is as quaint as your local coffee shop. It’s relatively short, wonderfully sweet, and absolutely committed to the art form of telling a story through a video game screen.

Coffee Talk cycles between talking with customers and making drinks for them. In the beginning, they will ask for basic beverages that can be brewed on the fly. Later on however, they may ask for a specific type of drink that has a unique title. These drinks often have certain descriptive features that hint at other possibilities in terms of unique dialogue. If the wrong drink is made, you’ll have five chances to trash it and make a new one. If the wrong drink is made, don’t expect the customer to be pleased about it.

The gameplay really is not the focus here though; it’s the characters and their stories that take center stage. An elf with relationship issues, a writer that can’t seem to pin down her next story, and an alien whose sole goal is to mate with an earthling are just a few of the examples of the characters you’ll meet during the story. There are tons of memorable moments throughout Coffee Talk, with every character bringing something unique to the table. The barista develops an interesting relationship with many of these characters as well.

Coffee Talk
Appearances can often be deceiving in this game.

Even though serving the wrong drinks can change some of the dialogue, don’t expect any sort of options or branching paths in terms of the story. It’s not that kind of experience; the story should simply be enjoyed for what it is. I found myself glued to the screen at the end of each of the in-game days, waiting to see what would happen in the morning. The first playthrough also doesn’t answer all of the game’s questions, as the second one is filled with all kinds of surprises that I won’t spoil here.


Coffee Talk is as quaint as your local coffee shop. It’s relatively short, wonderfully sweet, and absolutely committed to the art form of telling a story through a video game screen. It’s an easy recommendation for anyone who loves video games, not just visual novel fans. There are characters in the game that I’ll certainly be thinking about for a long time, especially when the setting brings out the best in them. Don’t pass this one up.

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The Magic of Nintendo: How Mario and Zelda Connect us to Our Inner Child

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Magic of Nintendo

Nintendo is special. Many excellent developers depend upon story or progression systems to entice engagement, but not Nintendo. Nintendo games captivate because of their immediate charm. There is no need for a payoff. The games, themselves, are enough: they elicit feelings, hard to find in adulthood. Through intrepid discovery, playful presentation, and unfiltered whimsy, the best of Nintendo connects gamers to their childlike selves.

The heart of any great Nintendo game is discovery and no encounter encapsulates this better than Breath of the Wild’s Eventide Island. First, finding the island requires genuine gumption. Found far from Hyrule’s shore, the island is only clearly visible from other islands, and even then, it’s only a speck in the distance. Reaching the island requires players to brave the open ocean and head towards something … that could be nothing. Then, upon arriving on the beach, a spirit takes all the player’s gear, including clothes and food. Link, literally, is left in his underwear. From there, players must make clever use of Link’s base skills in order to steal enemy weapons and make traps. The scenario creates a marvelous sense of self-sufficiency brought on by one’s own desire to discover. The player comes to the island purely of their own choosing, tackles the sea, and then overcomes obstacles without the aid of their strongest tools. The game turns players into plucky children who are discovering they can take care of themselves.

The intrepidity of Breath of the Wild and other Nintendo greats mirrors the feelings Shigeru Miyamoto, the father of many Nintendo franchises, experienced as a child. “I can still recall the kind of sensation I had when I was in a small river, and I was searching with my hands beneath a rock, and something hit my finger, and I noticed it was a fish,” Miyamoto told the New Yorker. “That’s something that I just can’t express in words. It’s such an unusual situation.” In sequences like Eventide Island, players don’t just understand what Miyamoto describes, they feel it: Apprehension gives way to exhilaration as the unknown becomes a place of play.

 Nintendo’s intrepid gameplay is often amplified by playful presentation with Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island being the quintessential example. The game’s visuals, defined by pastel colors and simple hand-drawings, appear crayoned by a child while the celestial chimes that punctuate the jubilant soundtrack evoke shooting stars. The overall effect cannot be understated. It takes the surreal and turns it real, allowing players to interact, tangibly, with imagination.

Super Mario Odyssey Wooden Kingdom

Even if one removes the presentation and gameplay from Nintendo’s masterpieces, an unabashed creativity remains that bucks norm and convention. The arbiter is fun; reason and logic have no say. For instance, Super Mario Odyssey’s Wooded Kingdom, takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting akin to Nier Automata. Players explore the metal remnants of a civilization that has become a lush home to robotic beings. However, unlike Nier, the dark undertones of the past have no bearing on the game or those who inhabit its universe. The post-apocalyptic setting is just a fun backdrop. It’s as though a bunch of children got together, began playing with toys, and one of the kids brought along his sibling’s adult action figures. There is no attention paid to the context, only unfiltered imagination.

When they’re at their best the creators at Nintendo invite gamers to come and play, like a parent arranging a play date. Pulled along by joyful gameplay that expands in unforeseen ways, players desire to play for the sake of play. It’s a halcyon state of being: No messy thoughts or contradiction, just joy.

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‘Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind’: An Utterly Shameless Cash Grab

Coming in at a $40 price point (!!!) Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind offers an 80% recycled campaign, a boss rush mode, and some other trash.

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Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

In the 15 year long history of DLC, we have seen some really shameless displays. The notorious horse armor incident of 2006 and a notable day one DLC for the ending game of a trilogy notwithstanding, few companies have had the utter audacity to offer so little content for such a high price point. Enter Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind.

Coming in at a $40 price point (!!!) Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind offers an 80% recycled campaign, a boss rush mode, and some social media nonsense for people who really hate themselves. That’s really it, that’s what you get. Honestly, Square-Enix should be utterly embarrassed by this DLC.

It’s been one year: 365 days, 8760 hours, 525600 minutes, or 31556952 seconds, since the release of Kingdom Hearts III. Let that sink in as you begin the meat of Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind. Think of it as the extended version of a movie you really like… you know, the kind where they add 4 minutes to the 120 minute runtime.

Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

Yes, Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind, really is that cynical. I’m not kidding when I tell you that the game literally starts with an exact cut scene from the base game, and a cut scene that happens to be available from the theater mode of the main game that you’ve already bought if you’re playing this DLC. Yes, the introduction to this new content is… content you’ve already seen.

In fact, that’s kind of the sticking point here: most of what you get for your hard-earned cash is footage you’ve already seen, and battles you’ve already fought, and story you’ve already experienced, just with slight alterations for context. Remember back in the 2000s, when we were super obsessed with prequels? This is like that, except even more egregious.

Generally I’m not so unforgiving as to call a company out for a forthright cash grab, but that’s absolutely what Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind is. There’s just no other way to put it. You might find someone in the marketing department for Square-Enix who would disagree, but being a company that has faced just these sort of allegations for their last two major releases, Square-Enix either doesn’t read the news, or doesn’t care what people think of their products.

Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

Square-Enix was roundly accused of shipping unfinished products in the case of both Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III — their two most high profile releases of the last decade. I personally gave mostly positive reviews of both games for this very website but if you want ammo to suggest that this company is deliberately trading on the nostalgia and passion of its fan base in order to make financial headway, there are few examples you could draw from that are as obvious as this DLC.

Look, maybe you’re a really big Kingdom Hearts fan. Maybe you just really wanted to know what the context was for that cliffhanger ending in Kingdom Hearts III. Maybe you just don’t do much research before you buy something. Or maybe… you just really trust this company for some reason.

Hey, I’m not judging… hell, I bought this DLC for $40 same as anyone else. I oughta be honest that I’m not reviewing Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind as some holier than thou critic, talking down to you from my position of privilege. No, I’m an angry consumer in this particular case. I’m a person who spent enough to replace a flat tire on my car, or buy my family dinner, on a game that is clearly playing off of my love for a franchise, and using it to bilk me out of money in a method that is so clear, and so concise, that those involved in the entire endeavor should be totally embarrassed for their part in the creation, marketing, pricing, and distribution of this expansion.

Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

Yes, fans had their complaints about Kingdom Hearts III. “Where are the hardcore boss battles? Where are the Final Fantasy characters? Where are the secret areas? Where are the hidden plot developments?” Still, to address these particular complaints by hammering a few minutes or seconds here and there into already existing content is truly like spitting in the faces of the people who have built the house you’re living in.

I haven’t sat in the board rooms at Square-Enix and I haven’t been in email chains about the planning of projects at their company but what I can say is that there is something rotten in Denmark if this is what passes for a satisfying piece of content for the wildly devoted fans of a hugely popular franchise in 2020. Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind is literally, truthfully, and succinctly, the worst piece of DLC I’ve ever purchased.

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