So, I’ll be upfront and acknowledge that this piece might annoy some of our readers; after all, everyone has their own fighting style, be it in Super Smash Bros., Street Fighter IV, or whatever other brawler a player might be a fan of. That said… I don’t care, because these are offenses that I believe need to be vented about, for my sake and the sake of fellow Smashers who are plagued by these obnoxious behaviors the world over! Buckle up and get ready to find out my biggest pet peeves when playing Super Smash Bros. online!
There are several varieties of these fighters. First are the taunters who like to begin a match with a taunt thrown in their foe’s direction. There are others who, thinking they’re doing spectacularly over the course of a fight, decide to taunt mid-match. Then, there are the taunters who like to goad after delivering their killing blow to an adversary. Of course, there are commonly a mixture of all three of these offenses seen during the course of Smash Bros. online play (and let’s not forget the tea-baggers!)
Now, the end-match taunt isn’t the biggest problem in the world. I think it borders on being unsporting, but that’s definitely a matter of opinion. Also, there are times when a taunt at the end is deserved, like when someone is being intentionally rude or irritating (as we’ll be delving into). The other two, however, are outright annoying, and really just make the person doing the provoking look like a jerk. I will admit that sometimes the opening cajolers are doing so as a sort of bow, a kind of noble way of acknowledging the fight is about to begin, but more often than not it’s just someone being cocky.
The best part about being goaded, though, is completely obliterating the person doing it, in response. Especially when the end-taunt comes prematurely– I can’t even count how many times I’ve been sent flying and my foe taunted because he thought the match was over. Nope! Survive, K.O., and then counter-taunt; aahhhh, sweet karma, indeed.
THE SPEED FREAKS
ARGH! I’m sorry, but these fighters are maybe my number one dislike when playing Smash Bros. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being fast, but when the entire freaking match is spent watching the person flicking the control stick left and right to make their fighter look like some kind of glitched blur… not impressive. Or, if they aren’t doing that, they’re trying to make every single motion that their fighter pulls off go at lightning speed.
“Watch as I SKYROCKET down from the air to the edge of the arena!” “Cower as I make Ryu’s elbow jab with BLINDING SPEED in your general direction!” YAWN. No thanks. I came to fight, not observe how proficient you are at careening around the screen like a guided missile. Sure, I can acknowledge it takes some skill to move at high speeds and still be able to fight, but the end result just makes the person doing it look like they’re trying to be braggy or something. That, or they think quickness can compensate for a lack of fighting acumen– which it doesn’t, at least not if your opponent knows what she’s doing.
THE “SCHTICK” FIGHTERS
Okay, I’ll say this might be my second most-hated type of brawler, but it’s a very, very close tie to the speedsters. The “schtick” or “gimmick” fighters absolutely make my eyes roll. These are the players who try to succeed by repeating the same (usually cheap) attack scheme over and over and over. They’re easy to spot; these fighters can usually be seen doing rapid-succession mini-jumps followed by quick punches or sword swings every second that they have the battlefield to themselves.
I don’t know how many times I’ve fought a Villager who sits on the edge of the arena, endlessly firing off Lloid rockets, planting and watering their tree to chop down, and sometimes hopping into the air to indiscriminately fire off their slingshot a thousand times. The other night, I encountered one of the worst schtick fighters I’ve ever seen: someone was playing as Wii Fit Trainer, launching her over the edge of the screen while in the middle of Sun Salutation, then transitioning into Super Hoop at the last possible instant before plummeting into the abyss, followed by launching her soccer ball at me. Over. And over. And over. And over. The whole match. That was it.
It kept going until I stopped coming at her, at which point my opponent had to start being more, you know, active and actually try to really fight. I ultimately lost, but the satisfaction I derived from throwing off my opponent’s annoying “routine” was worth the defeat.
Mimicry tends to be seen as the most sincere form of flattery, but in Smash Bros. it just comes off as twerpy. These opponents, the mimickers as I’ve dubbed them, will come at you with every character under the sun because they can’t find one who can overcome your fighter. Then, in some fit of desperation or attempt to show how you’re only winning specifically because you’re using that particular fighter, your opponent decides to choose the same character as you to try and show you up.
The variant of this is the spiteful-mimicker; this breed of foe will have won two or three consecutive matches, when suddenly they decide to switch to using your fighter just to show that they’re so good, they’re even better than you at being you. Either form of the mimicker deserves a severe smackdown, though the latter is more malevolent, and thus more deserving of being knocked down a peg.
The best-case scenario here is to, well, win. Winning loudly and spectacularly is best, of course, but no matter what “just win, baby,” as departed Oakland Raiders’ owner Al Davis was fond of saying. Seriously, we get it, you’re good; trying to rub it in is a really irritating thing to do.
Now, I’m going to say this before I launch into my next pet peeve; I have my own reserve of insults and retorts ready and waiting in the name entry field of the fighter select screen primed to go at all times. The reason being, there are those fighters who like to sneak in insults between rounds by changing their name to things like “U $UCK”, “TRASH”, “TRYH4RD”, and so on. I ain’t about to get pranked on, son, so if you come swinging with a dig, expect one back! These people really stink up a lobby and have no cause for taking personal jabs. Though a “SPAM” is debatably warranted for projectile and repeat attack abusers (I’m looking at you, Mario up-tilt spammers!).
Oh, they’re out there. Believe me, they’re out there. If you need proof, look no further than the reveal that modders had gotten hold of Cloud’s Midgar stage before it was even released and were playing on it. That, and Nintendo even encourages people to report them via Miiverse! Now, I’m a bit… weird, in that I can just feel when the game is off. My character speed falls, hit detection goes awry, or any other number of abnormal quirks begin creeping into a match that aren’t supposed to be there. Sometimes it’s just lag, but other times it can be brutally obvious when the person being fought isn’t operating on the same playing field. There’s not much to be done other than get the heck out of the lobby, but sometimes it can be difficult to resist trying to get revenge. Don’t give them the satisfaction!
This pet peeve usually can be experienced in a very specific mode of online play: For Fun Smash battles. I had decided I’d “relax” a bit by playing in this mode, when I noticed that one of the four fighters was off to the side avoiding everyone, while the remaining one or two fighters were attacking only me. I was tempted to call it a fluke, but I’ve experienced this multiple time across numerous matches while playing in the mode, and it’s one of the weirdest displays I’ve ever come across in any online game. I don’t know what determines who is selected as “it” or the “target,” especially considering it’s not a private lobby, but it happens, and it’s the worst.
I’m not saying I’m a great Smash Bros. player, or that there’s only one, right way to play the game, but I honestly think these are some fairly universal, deplorable behaviors to engage in while playing Super Smash Bros. online. I love facing off against live opponents rather than the computer, but sometimes it can be a real pain when matches are polluted with players who have no respect for anyone else. There’s no avoiding them, but maybe by acknowledging they’re out there and what they’re doing will help put them off their game, a bit. No matter what, play Smash Bros. online remembering there’s a real, live person on the other end!
What are your own Super Smash Bros. pet peeves? Are you guilty of doing any of this? Do you think it’s not the big deal Robert is making it out to be? Sound off in the comments!