Super Smash Bros. and Pokemon are my two favorite video game franchises of all time. However, whenever bringing up these two amazing games with anybody (save for a select few), people will usually react in one of two ways. People will either tell me the games are stupidly simple for only kids to enjoy or they will say that the competitive communities for these games overcomplicate what is supposed to be simple in concept. As someone who has been a huge fan of these games since their humble beginnings, I do not believe these people in the slightest. While yes, these are games marketed towards children and yes, there is a huge competitive aspect to Super Smash Bros. and Pokemon that the fan communities are well aware of, these games can be as simple as you the player want them to be and they both have something people of any age can enjoy. In fact, the why I love these two so much is how simple in concept they are, allowing the player to have creative freedom on how to play each game. The competitive communities exist purely for the sake of competition, and the only strategies that exist in the communities are the ones that are known. New strategies for both Pokémon and Smash Bros. are still being found to this day, especially when new installments are added to each series. In fact, many fan communities recognize that the strategies endorsed by them are not the definitive approach in the games and creativity is strongly encouraged by players to play the games how they see fit. Also, it is not required for people to know each strategy by heart in order to stand a chance in Smash Bros. or Pokemon and there have been numerous instances (from both my personal observations and others’) where new players win against skilled veteran players who have played the games for years.
If anything, the competitive aspects of Smash Bros. and Pokemon are actually very interesting in their complexity. I will not go into great detail as to how complex the strategies in these games, but below are some links to YouTube videos that give a taste of the strategic side of these games much better than I could ever explain. Watch them when you have a free minute. To make a long story short, I, like many others, underestimated the strategic potential of both of these games because I, like many others, associated my childhood games with simplicity. It actually was not until high school, where a busy schedule forced me to temporarily stop playing video games. Since then, I have been interested in the competitive aspects of both Smash Bros. and Pokemon to a degree. While I do love the competitive field of these games, I like not knowing certain parts of the strategies for Smash and Pokemon that either are hard to master (i.e. wavedashing in Smash Bros. Melee) or take a long time to learn (i.e. breeding and EV training in Pokemon), but that is just how I play and I still win a fair amount of matches. Now I know I am just one odd example of a man who got back into his favorite games because of his love of strategy and mathematics (Note: there is a large mathematical side to Pokemon) where others turned away from these games at the thought of playing a game that involves a layer of strategy (albeit optional) or a game that they played years ago as youths. Either way, Smash Bros. and Pokemon are still fantastic franchises that are just as good if not better than they were when they started out, and that is not something I can honestly say about most video game franchises. If you stopped playing either Smash Bros. or Pokemon a long time ago, revisit them. You might be surprised.
Author: Mark Quigley
Pokemon Strategy videos:
Tamashii Hiroka (Top 10 Worst Legendary Pokemon): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8FGyLZe4Dkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlnIosFZ2dU&list=PLxzjQXzuFEJhGxJ7BcS6cApBz1isJPOhf&index=76
TheJWittz (Pokemon Breeding): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlnIosFZ2dU&list=PLxzjQXzuFEJhGxJ7BcS6cApBz1isJPOhf&index=76
Smash Bros. Strategy Videos:
Super Smash Academy (Wii U/3DS Basics): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8FGyLZe4Dkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlnIosFZ2dU&list=PLxzjQXzuFEJhGxJ7BcS6cApBz1isJPOhf&index=76
Did You Know Gaming? (Smash Bros. Technical Play Special): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8FGyLZe4Dkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlnIosFZ2dU&list=PLxzjQXzuFEJhGxJ7BcS6cApBz1isJPOhf&index=76
Maximillian (Assist Me: Super Smash Bros. 4): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8FGyLZe4Dkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlnIosFZ2dU&list=PLxzjQXzuFEJhGxJ7BcS6cApBz1isJPOhf&index=76