I haven't time to comment much on the economy recently, thanks to Super Smash Bros. Brawl and… oh who am I kidding… I didn't even do a portfolio postmortem for last year. We are clearly in a recession right now, something I predicted in 2005 after much research, and my wishes go out to everyone in the American workforce… except those in the game industry! We don't need it! We are recession-proof! Hah!
Well, predicted sounds arrogant… I didn't predict a recession, I just tried to point out the mountain of evidence that it would happen. It's no surprise to me that games are recession-proof, though. Entertainment in general follows different fundamentals than other industries. Games often get compared to film, but there are two key differences that have made us an industry that has begun to intimidate Hollywood in size. …
Saturday night, I waited in line at midnite outside an EB Games to get my pre-ordered copy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The nerd mass extended almost two blocks, a bit short of the Halo 3 line, and was quite impressive. I stood behind a midget and every assortment of Fanboyicus ultimus you could think of. I foolishly made a bet with a co-worker against the chance that people would cheer as the door opened. Sure enough, the door opened and a squeaky roar erupted, nearly knocking over the Kirby-esque midget in front of us. My co-worker went on to predict that the first person to get his copy would walk out with his copy held high above his head, lips puckered into a shameless woot. Sure enough, exactly that happened.
And that is the phenomenon behind this game. Boys near tears came out of the store skip-trotting in an effort to reach their cars and get home asap with minimal dignity lost. All in vain.
Anyways, I immediately had a mini smash party the next day, and it was good. The game is everything you loved (or hated) about the previous ones, but with utter content overload. My brain staggered when, after unlocking nearly a hundred trophies, I went to my trophy gallery to see that I had barely covered up a speck of the trophy room. The amount of polish is unbelievable for a game this size. The only real downer is Nintendo's friend code system, which makes it a pain to add friends to play with. The WiFi connectivity is smooth as butter, and anyone who disagrees probably has their wireless set up incorrectly. Even the Wii controls aren't all that bad, although I still use the Wavebird.
Six years later, I am still playing a game that kept my college years unproductive. Nintendo, sir, is genius, or we are all fools, blissfully smashing away.