I just went to the Nintendo World Championships and I am tired.
This ballyhooed Nintendo game extravaganza, typically hosted on the same week as the gaming industry’s flagship Electronic Gaming Expo, originated from a fandom-fueled 1990 tournament of the same name. Way back then, the Nintendo World Championships were a blowout celebration of niche. That was the year 1990, when Nintendo brought little kids onto a huge stage to see which one could outlast curveball challenges in the up-and-coming franchises Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer, and Tetris.
All that early-adopter fanaticism became telecommunicated in exclusively niche ways: an overly excited host with a perm, bootleg VHS tapes, and breathless recaps inside novelty geek magazines. But video games aren’t exactly as niche in 2019 compared to back then. And yet, somehow, this event is more niche than it’s ever been before.
The 2019 edition, roughly the fourth iteration since 2015, is feeling a lot like maybe the fifth sequel to something you once loved: comforting but overmuch, and lacking anything to really say on its own.
What Was Great
The legacy of the Nintendo Championships event is pretty unique, and the party Nintendo throws for it definitely honours that legacy. If you caught any portion of the event, your eyes and ears were treated to some crazy high levels of production.
Hosted at the Ace Hotel Theater in Los Angeles, the classic feel of the venue mixed well with Nintendo’s over the top stage design: massive screens, smoke machines, and even set pieces lit up to look like different squid inks! No matter what you have to say about the event, and I’m definitely about to, it’s clear Nintendo loves putting on this show.
No matter what you have to say about the event, and I’m definitely about to, it’s clear Nintendo loves putting on this show
What also was surprisingly strong was the commentary team assembled, largely anchored by former NFL-er Jordan Kent. There were three video games players were competing in this year: Super Mario Maker 2, Splatoon 2, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. All three are about as different of on-screen experiences as you can fathom: a third person, team-based shooter, a 2D fighter, and, well, people playing Super Mario Bros.
Perched from their prototypical 3-person sports desk, all the commentators – from Kent, to super fun Splatoon colour commentator Ashley Esqueda, to the always entertaining SuperGirlsKels who detailed Smash Bros. matchups – were all excellent no matter the game. You’d have thought that Nintendo had always been an ardent supporter of competitive gaming, which of course it has not been.
Of all three games showcased that day, Splatoon 2 was probably the best. And for good reason; the Nintendo World Championships is actually the pinnacle for pro-Splatoon players, much unlike speedrunners in the Mario community or Super Smash Bros. players, in general. If you tuned in to see competitive play, this was the only portion of the event that even came close to delivering. It also featured maybe the best Splatoon match I have ever seen in my entire life.
And the finals weren’t bad either, despite the lack of upset. Hats off to whoever was dictating the on-screen action, as the matches were easy to follow in a chaotic game that isn’t always easy to comprehend. With their help, the entire theatre went bonkers after every splat by an underdog, and collectively sighed when the favourites inched towards their objective. It’s not a surprise that the best part of the Championships were the parts that were, you know, competitive.
What Was Not as Great
The premise of the Nintendo Championships revival in 2015 was that all contestants competed in decades-spanning games that were kept a secret until they were handed a controller. That’s a pretty solid hook.
So it’s impressive that the then brand new game Super Mario Maker for the Wii U absolutely stole the show that year. Finalists were tasked with completing a bunch of Super Mario mystery levels cooked up just for that tournament, and the result was spectacularly entertaining.
That was then. This time, the sequel Super Mario Maker 2 came back to the event in the form of the “Super Mario Maker 2 Invitational”, batting lead-off. And it was... fine. But I couldn’t help but feel like we’ve seen this all before.
I had planned to get there early so I could get shots of what I had assumed would be a long line of Nintendo fans waiting to enter, and was shocked to find out there was hardly any line whatsoever
Here again, four contestants, including streamer TheDragonFeeney and YouTuber The Completionist, went head to head in brand new Mario courses put together by Nintendo developers, most of which not-so-subtly showed off some of the features new to Mario Maker 2: cranes, cars, and cats. The tournament rules were to simply get to the end of the stage before your opponent, often by solving the puzzle elements and tricky platforming. (It’s definitely worth mentioning that the new co-op mode was definitely the biggest crowd pleaser of all the challenges.)
Sign me up if anyone is thinking of making a show where people play Mario against each other. Seeing these four people sweating even from up on the balcony was a blast. The real problem, Nintendo enthusiasts, is that we’re dealing with diminishing returns here.
Much of what was on the schedule, including the Mario segment, came off as extremely “same-y” to years past. I can’t think of anything that was entertaining from that day that I also hadn’t seen Nintendo do before at one of these events. And frankly, from the fact that there were plenty of empty seats in the audience, to the lukewarm response I’ve seen from fans online, I’m getting the sense you all must feel the same. Case and point; I had planned to get there early so I could get shots of what I had assumed would be a long line of Nintendo fans waiting to enter, and was shocked to find out there was hardly any line whatsoever. Yikes.
What Nintendo Absolutely Needs to Address
The biggest problems with the modern Nintendo World Championships are unfortunately found in both the event’s form and function.
What do I mean by its form? Well, if you dared to watch it yourself, then you certainly know that this event was nearly seven hours long. Seven! The Super Bowl isn’t even seven hours long, for crying out loud! I was absolutely physically and mentally exhausted by the end of this thing.
Perhaps there is value to having an all-day event that also happens to be telecast, but only the most hardcore of fans can reliably get through an event like this. To that point, the theatre was maybe at a third capacity by hour six. If the guy dressed up like a Pokémon leaves your Nintendo event before the finale, maybe you should rethink your pacing?
Nintendo just cannot get through these Championship events without having a boatload of technical difficulties
And I can’t leave out this sad fact: Nintendo just cannot get through these Championship events without having a boatload of technical difficulties. Mario matches not starting simultaneously, controllers not working and causing redos, problems setting up Splatoon matches, long-winded result tabulations… these things not only added to the running time, but it’s baffling that Nintendo themselves can’t even get their controllers to sync. If not for the fantastic commentators who expertly filibustered through the problems, Nintendo would have been even more embarrassed.
Finally, the second part is the problem with its function. And it’s pretty much the elephant in the room here. What is this event? Is it supposed to be a real tournament? Or is it a commercial?
In a recent interview for Kotaku, Bill Trinen, Nintendo of America’s Senior Marketing Product Manager, had this to say about the event: "We’re trying to find ways to make it easier for people who are everyday Smash players to get a taste of participating in tournaments. I think our approach is less of one of competition and it’s really more about the competitive fun."
That’s fair. If Nintendo wants to put on a warm, familial event aimed at anyone who loves their games, there’s nothing wrong with that. Who doesn’t love a party? But then, why not attempt to make the challenges, you know, more party-like?
The Splatoon tournament featured the most honest competition. The Mario portion featured the most silliness. What transpired on the Smash Bros. portion of the tournament, the most anticipated of the three games mind you, were professional players hamstrung by nonsensical rulesets that were not only non-competitive in nature, but which also lacked any excitement or drama whatsoever. In other words, neither serious nor silly, a frustrating existence somewhere in the middle.
Own a copy of Smash Bros at home? Try this out: place four computer players into a five-minute timed match and watch the chaos. At about three minutes in, try and vocalize who is winning the match. Guess what? You probably can’t.
I get the sense the biggest reason fans watched the event was due to the allure of potential announcements from Nintendo. But if ultimately this tournament is a commercial, shouldn’t it, well… announce something? There ended up being little to no announcements, unless you count Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai's announcement of an announcement, or Nintendo reminding us that Splatoon 2 was going to stop receiving updates. But who can blame fans for wanting a bit of news, given the event takes place during E3 week?
The Nintendo World Championships was at its worst when it lacked not just competition, but true reason
All this to say, the Nintendo World Championships was at its worst when it lacked not just competition, but true reason. It’s not really for hardcore gamers, and at seven-hour long, it doesn’t appear to be for casual gamers, either. It’s seemingly for an audience so niche I can’t even really identify it.
Nobody knows, probably not even Nintendo themselves yet, if this event will be rekindled next year, or any year thereafter. But if the Championships do in fact come back, I think it’s time Nintendo rethinks how it works. Like the AV guy who kept trying to fix all the issues, or the groups of fans leaving the theatre early, by the end of it all I was just pretty tired.
Stellar work Alan. o7
I completely forgot it was even a thing.
I agree, it’s an odd duck caught between 90’s nostalgia and a modern gaming event, and between a fan community rah rah and a purely commercial exercise.
I was so excited about watching these, but when it came down to it, I couldn’t even finish the Splatoon 2 tournament before I decided to stop watching. It felt like it dragged on so much, there was more panel discussion than actual gameplay! I think if they change one thing they should make it a bit faster-paced.
I wouldn’t want to go there and see it live. As usual the only parts worth watching is the final bout, but the Smash one did have some weird rules. Some of the characters final smashes are so hard to avoid that it is probably better to just turn them off. It’s disparaging to chip away at your opponent only to have them rack up your percentage with an unavoidable attack. I’m talking to you, Mii Swordfighter.
not every tournament is the Nintendo World Championships
I realize it's probably much easier and cheaper for Ntineod to rent an auditorium for the day but this would almost certainly work better as a 3 night event, Sat, Sun, Mon, w/ 1 game per night for about 2 hours, leading up to their Nintendo E3 Direct on Tuesday.
Again, we're talking more coordination and people getting there and stuff, but do Smash players really care about Super Mario Maker all that much? Or Splatoon?
I might have been tempted to tune in for an hour or so each night, but I completely blew off yesterday.
Huh. I watched some of the stream and was incredibly entertained by it! I loved the very clever new Mario levels, and the Smash tag-team finals were exhilarating. I skipped the Splatoon part because I don’t care about Splatoon. But I would definitely not sit through several hours of this.
I went there. A guy in a moose costume jumped on my pet air conditioner.
I miss the original NWC revival format of a medley of games, which were unannounced and featured a losers or underground bracket.
I also can't stand the constant high energy nattering and lengthy interludes with the hosts / panelists. It's just so draining and without pause that i find it inauthentic and unpleasant to sit through.
I’ve never cared much for these things. I’d much rather play the games myself.
I mean they call the super mario thing a turnament but there is no qualification and people that were there were just lucky to be selectioned because they have high view youtube channel .
There are lot more of better players so this feel like a simple show more than a competitions.
But still was very fun to watch
It started at 4am here so I stayed up and watched the Mario Maker stuff which was a bit of fun and then fell asleep by about the second match of the Splatoon 2 tournament.
Enjoyed watching all the competitions , but had to admit the splatoon 2 world championships was the best on the show
It felt like Gamesmaster had returned just without Dominick Diamond and Sir Patrick Moore! 7 hours.....zzzzzzzzzzzz Game zzz` Over
Constructive criticism on a nintendolife thread. The end is near.
The Mario Maker 2 section was entertaining I guess but I just don't understand why it was so short compared to the others.
I enjoyed the Splatoon 2 tournament and it was really hype seeing such high level play take place and games literally being stolen within a few seconds.
But the part I looked forward to the most was smash... And the whole thing was awful, invincibility stars still on completely took a stock at one point mixed in with just nasty KOs off items rather than skill. I guess it's preference but seeing someone work their ass off to get percentage up only to be completely ruined by some BS item is just awful to see. Plus the commentators literally would not stop talking about Palutena, like I knew the character was used a lot by the European team but come on.
Its hard to see the event returning next year tbh. I think the format needs a look. Something like Ultimate NES Remix or Wario Ware would be really great to see under these circumstances... Even some dumb Mario Party mini game competition would be funny to see
The Mario Maker 2 competition was incredibly fun to watch for me and got me really excited for the game.
I really enjoyed the Mario Maker segment :/
I only wanted to see Mario Maker 2, so I tried to watch that segment. Hearing the commentators drove me nuts though. I ended up watching with the volume at 0. Sports in general are boring to watch to me(except tennis). It's good to find out an NFL player was a commentator because that's what I was thinking. I was like, these people prattle on just like those annoying guys during and after a football game. I enjoy Ryukahr videos, and I've liked one Dashie video, but sports talk is dreary! Anyways, the Mario Maker races we're fun to watch, but I'd rather they be edited versus live. I would NOT want to be there for 8 hours of annoying and fake talking. Jeez!
"It feels more niche than ever"
Because liking Nintendo products and playing Nintendo content are more niche than ever. After the Wii, the "Developmentally-Stunted" or "Weirdo" stigma that tries to silence people even talking about it casually came right back in the U.S.
Yeah, two things I'd say:
1. I think Nintendo needs to release an edited version of this we can watch that's maybe the length of a decent movie.
2. I think this kind of event needs to include at least one big new reveal moment to truly make it feel special.
To really work best I think the Nintendo World Championships needs to be like experiencing the end of The Wizard each year--a proper spectacle and something truly magical. It needs to feel like an actual newsworthy and epic "event" rather than just some people competing in a few games we already most of the main details about.
I enjoyed the MM2 section, it was short and sweet and what it needed to be. Splatoon was great, but the sheer length of it had me exhausted by the end. I didn't even stay in the video for Smash, and from the sounds of it that was the right choice.
But... this wasn't the Nintendo World Championships? These were just tournaments designed to advertise specific games.
Huh, I thought this was a one off revival back in 2015. Didn’t realise they’re still doing it, and have done each year since
I think the reporter of this event is bored because he needs to do a different job. Maybe sell cars or something.
I just checked Nintendo's ruleset for the Smash June Online Open and they still have items on. What a joke.
Yeah it’s all stale. Probably the only thing that would make me interested in watching some of it were if they introduced completely new games for the players. But even then, the games would have to be a big deal themselves.
@Kalmaro LMAO, same here.
It's nice that some youtubers are having fun at E3 with this, but does anyone tune in to watch these broadcasts for more than a few minutes?
@TheDragonDAFan What's wrong with items? It could easily be argued that the skillful use of items is a part of becoming proficient at Smash. And most items can be dodged or counteracted in some manner if you're skilled enough.
Nice write-up, but for the LOVE OF GOD, DROP THE QUOTES. I'm reading the article, I don't need to be told the same thing twice.
Quoting someone else? Check, no problem
Quoting another article or literally ANYTHING else than what you're writing yourself? Check, no problem
Writing the same thing twice, but once as a quote to have a quote? Big no-no.
The Mario Maker segment was fairly quick (maybe too quick?) and fun to watch on account of it being a new game and having well-designed challenges.
Splatoon was fine but felt similar to past Splatoon matches.
Smash was the real issue. Solely because they made some really bad decisions with the matchups and rules (6 minute timed battles with no Stock??), they turned something exciting and fun into a jumble of chaos. And it took a really long time to get to each match.
I wouldn't say the NWC is in trouble; Nintendo just needs to be smart about how it presents these games and how many matches should be played for each. Step up the pacing and make everything quicker.
I watched all of the smash tournament, and just caught the end of mario Maker 2 segment with the final level. I'm not much for the splatoon part, though I had it running I wasn't paying much attention to it. Overall I enjoyed most of what I saw though.
Nintendo World Championships are great because there is no other major even like it.
Specifically, the two REAL recent NWC tournaments (2015 and 2017) were tournaments consisting of players being required to play a large variety of different games and demonstrate their abilities across genres.
While it is great to see a Splatoon or Smash tournament, a true NWC event is far more entertaining to me, as you have no idea what will come up next.
I stopped watching after the Splatoon portion. I love watching those matches but could care less about Smash Bros. Love to play the game, don't like watching the matches online. Besides I had to get in some Pokemon GO Community Day. I'm really bummed Splatfests are coming to an end. I don't like the new system because you can't guarantee a team of your friends and you don't play randoms. From what I understand, it's just Private Turf War where you have to get all your friends and then the team composition is made randomly from that list of people. There's a reason I don't play private Turf War, it's just not fun. I prefer making a team of 4 with my closest friends and then taking the battle to randoms online. Nintendo is missing out on a great opportunity to keep Splatoon 2 going until a true successor is announced. Splatfests take little to no effort in producing. I would even be fine if they reduced the number to bi-monthly or even once a season and have it run for the 72-hour tournament like this final one is happening. At least then it makes it an event and gives people great justification for keeping Nintendo Switch Online memberships active. Nintendo really needs to stop prematurely crippling their games. The moment Splatfests stopped on the Wii U original, that game's online community died. The same will happen with Splatoon 2. Maybe not as fast as the Wii U version did but it will. Even though a real successor is years away & likely won't even be until the next console.
Only had time to watch the Super Mario Maker 2 part, but really enjoyed it.
@Blizzia Why would an article use pull quotes from another piece? That makes zero sense...
I'm not sure how much you read (either online or in print) but pull quotes are ALWAYS taken from the piece you're reading. That's why they're called 'pull' quotes.
@nuovian Then why does the official YouTube feed say "Nintendo World Championships"?
SMM2 and Splatoon 2 were actually very exciting, imo. I skipped Smash, though.
@Damo It actually says 'World Championship Tournaments', but that's because there were two events with 'World Championships' in their branding, unlike last year when there was just the one. Notice how the news article on their site (https://www.nintendo.com/whatsnew/detail/e3-2019-tournaments/) doesn't refer to the event as the 'Nintendo World Championships' once.
@nuovian I purposefully used the word “roughly” when describing the namesake - what’s clear to anyone, whoever, is that all these events are nearly identical to one another, even when the branding differs very, very slightly.
I guess if you hear it from the perspective of someone who had to sit through the entire thing in the audience, it sounds awful. But I actually really enjoyed myself, since I was able to kinda pick and choose what I wanted to tune in to throughout the day. I loved watching the Mario Maker tournament, then I took take a break before tuning in to the tail end of Splatoon, and missed the Smash Bros tourney entirely. It was nice to for me to filter what I know I'd be interested in.
I also had no idea this thing held the same branding as the Nintendo World Championships I saw before, it didn't look like the same kind of thing. It doesn't really feel like it counts; they couldn't claim an ultimate player of Nintendo games at the end. But I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw.
EDIT: reading through the comments now, I guess they're called the Nintendo 2019 World Championship(s), which is not the same thing but close? Nintendo has a history of confusing console names that are too similar to previous names, so I'm guessing this was a mistake. It carried none of the "trophy" branding it had before.
EDIT 2: I also don't like pull quotes. I know some big publications do it, but I've always felt they were cheap ways of making the literature appear like its pulling from other bigger sources, and its annoying to constantly read the same thing twice.
@Blizzia it’s like when articles will say someone tweeted something. Quote the tweet. Then show the tweet underneath.
@Damo Which means making pull quotes makes zero sense. You also know I did not specify pull quotes because making a pull quote from somewhere else wouldn't make sense.
Either way, those quotes are extremely nonsensical. There's no point to them. It's like you listening to some powerful lyrics, and behind you some annoying person is screaming the exact same lyrics into your ear, but 5 seconds later.
@mgnoodle Nah, that's different. You're showing the quoted source while quoting.
This would be the same as telling me that you're gonna go for a run, hearing me reply "OK" and then repeating it again for no reason.
Or ordering something at a restaurant, then beginning to order it again. You'll be prompted by the waitress asking you "is this a new order?"
"No, miss, I'm just repeating the exact same order again. I assume you've already written it down, but I'm going to tell you exactly what I said - again - for no reason."
@Blizzia I appreciate your passion against pull-quotes, but they truly are an industry wide practice. And I don’t mean gaming industry, I mean basically print journalism since the dawn of the printing press.
They’re really good for scannabilty!
I realize that Nintendo has been heavily promoting public tournaments as a means to attract the segment of the gaming community that enjoys them, but honestly I've never cared. Not criticizing anyone who does, it's just that I'd rather spend time playing games and revealing their surprises myself as opposed to watching someone else do so. I know I'll never be nearly as skilled as the "pros" who compete at tournaments or the numerous Twitch streamers out there who've managed to make names for themselves, and I'm fine with that.
Games are vicarious experiences to begin with, and the whole point for many games (and players) is the reward of furthering a story, topping a high score, finding a secret, or the camaraderie they share with family and friends. There's no such reward in watching a total stranger do all of those things or achieve some sort of personal glory. I may be old school, but watching game streams for me is a lot like texting when there are flesh-and-blood people in our lives we can and should be engaging face-to-face; it kind of pulls you out of the whole purpose.
But that's just my humble, personal opinion. To each their own.
Not surprise that Japan wins in smash.
They only won because of the items in the game.
@rjejr I watched the YouTube version after the fact so I could fast forward through anything that wasn't interesting. EDIT: Unsurprisingly, I skipped the majority of everything except the Super Mario Maker 2 courses (even skipped a lot of that because of the annoying commentary).
My biggest issue is the World Championships seems to feature the same tired YouTube personalities/content creator partners. I don't care if The Completionist is competing nor if he wins.
@Ralizah Nothing wrong with items. The problem is including items in a competitive ruleset. Like @spideyroxas said, one player outplays the other, gets him at high percent, and then the losing player grabs a star that appears randomly in front of him, or picks up a hammer or some other item, and now the tables are turned--through luck, not skill.
You could easily argue that an items-on ruleset could make for interesting competitive play, IF you could guarantee that each player had an equal opportunity of getting each item. Unfortunately, there's no way to make that happen.
(An interesting side note: the competitive community actually considered including Smash Balls as part of the competitive ruleset back when Brawl released. It would have made an interesting risk/reward scenario, and there would have been less luck involved since players had to actually fight to get the item. Sadly, some characters have significantly better Final Smashes than others, so it was determined that including Smash Balls would have upset character balance.)
"[T]he Nintendo World Championships is actually the pinnacle for pro-Splatoon players, much unlike speedrunners in the Mario community or Super Smash Bros. players, in general."
Yeah, it really stood out that Zackray was the only person there with a presence in the competitive Smash scene.
"What transpired on the Smash Bros. portion of the tournament...were professional players hamstrung by nonsensical rulesets that were not only non-competitive in nature, but which also lacked any excitement or drama whatsoever."
Some might argue about the lack of excitement, but I agree that the rules were definitely ill-suited for a competitive event. The sort of one-dimensional gameplay that occurs whenever one player grabs a powerful random item isn't much fun to watch.
I would like to see Squad Strike introduced as an alternative format at real Smash tournaments, though.
@Pandaman It's not that I have any sort of passion against pull quotes, it's that pull quotes are ridiculous and serve no sensible purpose. I also generally just like going into detail, though some people might mistake that for passion.
If anything, they're (pull quotes) one of the things that are incredibly wrong with journalism/news. One should not strive to make content "scannable" or "skimmable" (outside something like a table of contents obviously). It only serves to misinform, confuse or annoy users/readers.
Since you say it's an industry-wide practice, let's consider this: Is it a good practice?
It doesn't matter whether it is industry-wide.
What matters is what its purpose is, and using 3 pull quotes in an article does not allow your reader to understand the article itself properly. Neither does using 6 pull quotes, or 9. If you're truly intent on higlighting this bit of the article, why not just bloody highlight it by writing it out in a large font or on its own line, separated from everything else?
Saves you the pull quote, lets you highlight what you want, and spares the people who actually care about reading your content -
You know, the ones that should be catered to, as opposed to the people who spend 3 seconds looking at 3 pull quotes and then thinks "yup, I know everything worth knowing now".
But eh, what do I know - journalism practices that have been in place since forever are obviously 100% the best for the industry, the people and the world. "Everybody else does it" is also clearly the best retort and defense of a practice when it is called out.
@Darknyht The Completionist is one of a handful I've heard of, but I still don't care to watch him play. I'l watch them play a bit on the Treehouse live, that'll be enough SMM2 for me. I watch my son play at SSBU tournaments, that's enough of those for me. I'm done with Splatoon after the first game.
So really, they're never going to get me to watch, but I do think the format could use an overhaul.
Instead of a pseudo-tournament with technical issues and muddied competitiveness, I would prefer watching a sort of community treehouse event.
Nintendo could host wifi-distributed digital demos of each E3 game they're showcasing, and fans can bring their own Switches and try the E3 demos in a charming space, still with commentators discussing each game at a time, roaming around the space and joining in with fans spontaneously.
TV's and docks could also be set up around the space and showcase the Switch's selling point, being able to "Play My Way."
@rjejr Yeah that is pretty much the only reason I picked him. I had no clue who anyone else I saw was. As for the content, I prefer speedruns which Nintendo will never feature because it showcases all the ways to break their games to get faster speeds. I will take a good GDQ performance any day over what Nintendo just showcased.
The last Nintendo World Championships was 2015. This were the Splatoon 2 World Championship 2019, the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Championship 2019 and the Super Mario Maker 2 Invitational 2019 wrapped under the name Nintendo 2019 World Championship.
What is this? A school essay? What’s with the big words
@Entrr_username The comments sum up the event, longwinded and boring.
The 2015 version was awesome and came across really well. They hyped it, marketed it, and made it a spectacle with SMM as the highlight in the final round.
But they've pretty much ignored it since then. I didn't realize they were even still doing it, I thought that was a one time deal and they were just doing standalone competitions for specific games since then.
I watched Smash and the gameplay was pretty good the play by play was horrific as they stumbled on situations and seemed in a loop with verbiage. One that particularly grated my cheese was " super fun Splatoon colour commentator Ashley Esqueda" and her "fer sur" retort to many comments instead a of a cohesive response.
I agree the Smash bros thing was really frustrating. I don't have a dog in the fight with competitive SMM or Splatoon 2, so they were fun to watch. But smash bros was neither good competitively or casually.
The seeding round made me the most angry. The incident for those who didn't watch was as follows: Europe plays Japan for the seeding round. Europe wins game one, a singles match. The 2nd round is doubles, and it is a tie in the score (they're running time, not stock, with no score so nobody can tell who is winning unless you are laser-focused on the match). Nintendo's decision for the tiebreaker (they apparently had this rule beforehand but did not tell anyone) is to take the total points from both games to determine the winner. Sounds great? One problem: the reason very reason for the tiebreaker is a tie in points from game 2, therefore game 1 is the sole determining factor...which was already won by Europe in points. So essentially game 1 was counted twice for Europe. They should've just used the competitive strat of looking at combined percent of the teams at the time of the game ending or something...at least that would've been a better way of handling it.
It would be nice if Nintendo took a cue from the Casual Invitational run at Frostbite 2019 by Alpharad...that embraced items and borderline strange stages, but removed some of the more RNG/healing stuff that makes for poor viewership and campier gameplay.
I enjoyed it, though as many commenters have said, it should have be an event over the course of a few days, preferably like rjejr said, leading into Nintendo's E3.
I missed SMM2, and all, but a half hour of Splatoon 2. I did watch Smash.
I know that a lot of people prefer items turned on vs. off, and vice-versa. Here's the thing: Nintendo has said they're trying to avoid competitive gaming. I assume they are actually referring to ultra-competitive styles of play. Turning on items allows weaker players to be able to challenge stronger players. Also of note is that if you really think about it, there are 2 forms of masters at Smash: one type of masters, who want no randomness (stage morphs, items, hazards, etc.), or in order to win, they need no randomness, and the other kind, who either needs that randomness to win, or they are good enough to win, even with that randomness.
Edit: A good idea for handling the item/stage hazard/randomness debate, is have some matches with them, and some matches without them; perhaps even have 2 separate tournaments (items/etc. on, and items/etc. off).
Edit 2: A quickfire medley of games would be interesting to watch, but it's more fun to see multiple people succeed at various games, than it is to see one person win at everything. Also, I prefer to know ahead of time what will be played, since I don't want to slog through watching some games I don't like, haphazardly waiting for games I do like. That wastes time that better be spent on other things. So, I'm glad Nintendo announced what the games were going to be.
2017 was by far my favorite year.
It was the best combination of oddball picks (BotW shield surfing! Homerun Contest!), without the gimmicky team challenges like Blast Ball in 2015. Plus the Underground is SOOO hype with actual speedruns of games. Yes it was over 4 hrs long, but it was worth every minute. 2015 was still a lot of fun too.
Ranking: 2017 > 2015 >>>> 2019 (never watched the original 1990)
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