Nintendo broke the mold when they created the smash hit (pun intended) Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64 in 1999. After selling over a million copies in Japan, the game was brought to America, featuring eight characters right from the get-go (Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox, and Pikachu) and with four unlockable characters (Luigi, Captain Falcon, Ness, and Jigglypuff). It revolutionized the fighting game franchise and brought the joy and bonding of video games to countless homes.
With several sequels spanning almost two decades, the Smash Bros. franchise has morphed into a highly-nuanced, competitive force of nature. The increased levels of customization and character choice have challenged players young and old alike to step up their game (pun intended).
But regardless of the circumstances, version of Smash Bros. you're playing, or style of gameplay, it is important to identify the flavors of Smashers you may punch in the face (virtually, of course). It is essential, as you may need to evaluate your own player habits in order to match the temperature of the room and not cause any real-life brawls. So before you go for broke at Final Destination, here are the 8 types of Smash Bros. players you will potentially face:
1. The Casual Gamer
Description: This is the ideal player to be and to be around. The Casual Gamer is one who has a healthy familiarity with video games, though is not necessarily hardcore (hence "casual"). They have no agenda at parties or friendly gatherings, but rather they just like to have a good time. They enter each game with a great attitude and a spirit of goodwill that your mother wishes you had. This is the best player to have host Smash Bros. sessions, as they will be open to multiple match types and have enough emotional stability to remain friends with all players after the dust settles.
Character Type: They will most likely choose characters who have balanced stats and are relatively easy to use, such as Mario or Donkey Kong. If they are a less-experienced Casual Gamer, they will choose any character that appeals to them at the time with no regard to stats.
Common catch phrase: "What a blast, friends!"
2. The Overly-Competitive Tool
Description: This is the opposite of The Casual Gamer. This player believes they were born to be the very best, though most times they are not the best player of the bunch. Regardless of skill, they are fueled by a desire to win and win by a lot. They will complain about every nuance of the game, no matter how insignificant or unnoticeable to other players, blaming these for any loss. They will take each win or loss personally and will most likely throw controllers if they experience too many losses.
Character Type: Unless House Rules are being implemented (namely that a player has to choose different characters each time they lose until they win again), The Overly-Competitive Tool will exploit the stats of one or a select few characters. Fighter-types like Sheik and Captain Falcon are common, but The Overly-Competitive Tool might be annoyingly skilled with several character types (or at least claim to be).
Common catch phrase: "Oh COME ON, that hitbox was FRIGGIN' RIDICULOUS!!!"
3. The Button-Masher
Description: This player exploits one of the aspects of the Smash Bros. franchise, namely the many flashy buttons that can be used to hurt other characters. "Button-mashing" is gamer jargon for a player who unceremoniously hits buttons with the sole purpose of landing a shot in the dark. The Button-Masher is a troll in every aspect, and will make it a point to degrade the morale of all other players. Ignoring this player both on the battle field and the real world will diminish their effectiveness at spoiling the mood.
Character Type: This player favors characters with spammy, repetitive attacks, such as Kirby and his Down-B move (Stone) or Bowser' B-Move (Fire Breath).
Common catch phrase: "HA HA, got you again!"
4. The Curious George
Description: This player most likely tagged along to the social gathering as a new friend, romantic interest of another player, etc. They are the novice; they have little to no experience whatsoever with video game mechanics, much less those of Smash Bros. They are an easy target for anyone looking to rack up their K.O. count, but most players avoid them out of pity. Conversely, like The Button-Masher, their lack of strategy can make them a loose cannon that you don't want pointed in your direction.
Character Type: This player will be advised to choose a simple character, similar to The Casual Gamer, such as Kirby, Mario, or Pikachu, and will a perfect example of what not to do with these characters.
Common catch phrase: "Wait, which one is the jump button again?"
5. The Shia LaBeouf
Description: This player is a dangerous wild card not to be taken lightly, because they dive in and just... do it. The Shia LaBeouf usually manifests in the form of a sleeper, namely a stealthy, deceitful player who says they "May have played this game once or twice" but whose skills are on par with more advanced players. They do not speak much during battles so as to focus on the task at hand. They are persistent, with a dogmatic nature that is not easily dismayed by defeat. The Shia LaBeouf usually has no qualms about targeting the weaker players such as The Curious George or The Casual Gamer, and will do so without mercy.
Character Type: This player will choose the middle ground of characters, namely those with speed and strength, such as Fox or Sonic (for later versions of Smash Bros) who don't have blatant weaknesses.
Common catch phrase: "I regret nothing."
6. The Veteran
Description: This player is pretty self-explanatory; unlike The Overly-Competitive Tool, The Veteran has actual experience playing the game and consistent, concrete Smash Bros. skills that have been battle-hardened and matured. They know the answers to any questions about the game, and are thus quite helpful to players such as The Curious George. However, the flip side is that their low-key arrogance is often expressed in backhanded compliments, as in The Veteran acts surprised that other characters can match their tactical brilliance. This is a common strategy that The Veteran uses against other players, especially The Overly-Competitive Tool and The Shia LaBeouf, to throw them off and increase their irritability, leading to careless mistakes. It's a battle of the mind, folks.
Character Type: Since The Veteran has a wealth of experience from which to draw, they most likely have an intermediate- to expert-level usability with every character. This means their characters can run the gamut from ninja-types such as Sheik or Zero-Suit Samus to seemingly-harmless characters such as Jigglypuff or Mr. Game & Watch.
Common catch phrase: "Wow, that was a great block; you're getting better!"
7. The Item Whore
Description: Pardon my French, but there is no other way to describe this type of player. The Item Whore lives and breathes to utilize the cornucopia of shiny objects that help (and harm) Smash Bros. fighters. While these items can be fun to use and certainly add excitement to some matches, they can quickly be both abused and hoarded. The Item Whore knows this and rejoices. They will complain until the heat death of the universe for the host to have an Item Battle, which will make any self-respecting player anxious to hold back the bile in their mouth. And if an Item Whore is a host and makes each battle an Item Battle, God help you.
Character Type: This player does not necessarily have a core roster, but they may favor stronger characters, such as Donkey Kong or Bowser, who can lob boxes and items faster and more annoyingly than others and/or reach them more quickly. Moreover, they may choose characters with reflectors (moves that bounce incoming projectiles back from whence they came) such as Mario or Fox, so they can punish other players who deign to use the Item Whore's rightful possessions.
Common catch phrase: "LOOK, A POKÉ BALL! GET OUTTA MY WAY!!!"
8. The amiibo
Description: The brainchild of Nintendo that was included in their latest release, Super Smash Bros. Wii U, is actually an A.I.-equipped demon hell-spawn that should have been destroyed before making it past the prototype stage. Starting from Level 0, it requires the player to raise it, train it, and feed it after every match, a mockery to the beauty and purity of actual childhood. Not only does the amiibo level up after each successful kill/match/life ruined, but it adapts to the fighting styles of any players it comes across. Did you catch that? It adapts. Furthermore, these figurines that emerged from the bleakest plastic womb develop new abilities without any warning. Didn't think you could cause an opponent to explode after doing a perfect block? Amiibos can. Didn't think you could heal just by squatting in place? Amiibos can. Didn't think you could respawn on the map after losing your last life in a stock match? Amiibos. Can. Think twice before placing that gold disc on your Wii U Gamepad, because there's no turning back.
Character Type: Unfortunately, nothing is sacred, and every character in the Super Smash Bros. Wii U version has been immortalized in amiibo form.
Common catch phrase: *Stares silently into the depths of your soul until you are broken
Whether you use this guide to enhance your strategy or belittle your friends, recognizing player types is key to becoming a more intelligent gamer. Armed with this knowledge about your opponents (and yourself), you're one step closer to Smash-ing your way to victory!