Smashing Through Life

Earlier this month the fourth Super Smash Brothers game was released to the Nintendo 3DS and is set to be released on the Wii U next month. If you’ve never played a Smash game before, do yourself a friggen favor and go do so right now. They’re a bunch of fun. They’ve also been a part of my life for a very long time. And who am I you might ask?


If you didn’t read it on the bottom of the article, my name is Adam Schwartz, I’m the one staring into the camera in the picture above. That’s my older brother there touching my breasts and that’s a Christmas tree behind us because of Jesus. I live in Chicago in an apartment I pay for with money my job gives me. I access that money from a checking account I set up myself with a guy at the bank who was wearing a tie. I turn 24 later this month and I have some SERIOUS opinions about healthcare and the crisis in the middle-east. As you can see, I’m a grown ass adult.

One thing that hasn’t changed in all these years is that I still play videogames. They’re so much more fun than almost everything people claims is a ton of fun (ESPECIALLY raising a kid). My favorite game has always been whichever Smash Brothers game has most recently come out. For those of you who don’t know, Super Smash Brothers is a fighting game where you play as a famous Nintendo character and beat up other famous Nintendo characters. It’s basically Mario Kart, if you were allowed to get out of the kart and punch the other drivers in the face. I’ve played every one of these masterpieces and they each came out at drastically different points in my life and it’s interesting to think about what I was doing at the time of each release. Let’s take a walk down memory lane shall we?

Super Smash Brothers (1999)


November of 1999 was a strange time for us all. With the Y2K virus only a month away, our tiny planet was in a bit of a panic. Not me though. I was kickin’ it in third grade getting in arguments with my teacher because I wasn’t getting any Accelerated Reader credits for all the Goosebumps books I’d read. My brother had gotten a Nintendo 64 a few years earlier and he used it mostly for sports games like a fool.

My friends had told me how they’d seen a commercial for a new Nintendo game where Mario hit Pikachu with a hammer. As the only elementary school boy who didn’t care for Pokemon, I had to have this game. On top of that I had this weird obsession with collecting this Nintendo line of Beanie Babies and making them fight in a toy WWF wrestling ring that I had. It was like this game was made just for me.

My parents had gotten divorced and they were in that early phase of all divorces where they try as hard as they can to assure the kids know nothing will change for them. This meant that I got a lot of free shit, so I was on board.  I was doing a different Christmas celebration with each parent, so before any of that they did a separate gift opening where they’d both be there and it’d be just for the kids. They got me the game that year AND the strategy guide. It’s a fighting game you guys. There’s almost no need for a strategy guide, but I’ll be god damned if that thing didn’t sit by the toilet for the next two calendar years for some awesome bathroom boredom page flipping.

Super Smash Brothers Melee (2001)

super smash bros melee

Oh man. This one got me. It came out only two years after the first one, but you could tell that a butt ton more money went into this game. This one was for the Nintendo Gamecube and is the late-era Beatles of videogames. It felt like we’d had the N64 forever because when you’re a kid each year feels like seven adult years. It’s kind of like being a dog. So the idea of a new thing to play games on seemed like a drastic one. Also 9/11 happened that year. Just FYI.

I was in fifth grade for this one.  That’s the grade where they start changing from adorable little kids into grubby annoying little monsters. I’m pretty sure I got fairly lumpy while waiting patiently for this game. I wanted it so bad. I got it for Christmas and I had to say goodbye to the outdoors for a while.  The luckiest part about the timing for this game was that it came out during the best age for sleepovers. And boy, oh boy did this thing take over sleepovers.

I remember that fifth grade was the first class where we had to write a “paper”.  This game almost ruined my paper and my academic career as a whole. Someone in my family convinced me that I should write the paper on the famous Notre Dame legend Knute Rockne, who I don’t know jack shit about. So I had this amazing game that was colorful and awesome, and a paper on a former football coach that I knew nothing about. This game almost got me a failing grade on that paper. That could have made me repeat the class and then I wouldn’t have gotten into college and probably would have ended up on food stamps.

Super Smash Brothers Brawl (2008)


High School! A time of finally figuring out who you are, until four years later when you think to yourself “I can’t believe that’s who I was.” At this point I was in Junior year. Everyone was just starting to look at colleges and a lot of people starting putting their mouths on each others’ mouths. I finally started getting invited to stuff where people were drinking and experimenting with their private parts. I wasn’t sure how people were supposed to dress at these social occasions, but I took some pretty big swings.

Of course that meant that it was almost time to start giving up childish folly for a chance to start growing ones mind. Just kidding, I was freaking out about this game too. It was even worse because the Internet was way more of a thing at this point. I probably annoyed a bunch of people by how much I talked about this game coming out, but screw them. This game ruled. While this came out in highschool, it didn’t really shine until college.

Does anyone remember college? I do. It was this magical time in all of our lives when the rules of the world didn’t matter for four years. You could work on your thesis one moment, and then declare the rest of the week “only pizza week” the next. I lived in a house with a bunch of friends and we would put my Wii in the living  room and play this game all the time. Unlike when I played the last ones at my parents’ house, we were now free to yell swear words and get drunk which I couldn’t do before (fucking parents).

There was one time where some guy came over to our house who was just one of those generally cocky people. You know what I’m talking about when I say this. Every sentence they say has four or five subtle brags about things they’ve accomplished. They’re the worst. Well, at one point he mentioned how good he was at this game. I destroyed him and made sure he felt really bad about losing too, because I’m a good person. I’m pretty sure the insecurity he got from losing at this game caused him to break up with his girlfriend later that night. I’m a hero.

Super Smash Brothers for the Wii U and 3DS (2014)


This brings us to our final game. It’s coming out this year and I’m surprised to find I’m as excited for it as I was for any of the others. As I mentioned earlier I’m adult with a job now, so shouldn’t I be over stuff like this? Hell no. I’m still going to play this game as if it was a gift from my divorced parents to a third grade boy. I may have adult things to do now, but being an adult doesn’t mean you stop doing the things you enjoyed as a kid, it means you get to do those things on your own time. I’ll still make a sound whoosh sound any time I pick up anything staff shaped, I’ll always try to pick things up with the force before actually grabbing them, and I’ll always play videogames that I like. I don’t care if I got out of work late and I’ve got a date later that night that I have to rush home and change for, because they still make me happy, and I know for a fact that I’m not the only adult who feels that way.

We are the first generation that played videogames as kids. Our parents thought we would grow out of them, but they ended up growing with us. I can’t wait to see what Smash Brothers game I get to play in my retirement home.

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