Today, 10/10/07, as part of their big fall announcements, Nintendo gave the video game world some bad news: “Super Smash Bros.,” the hotly-anticipated Wii installment of their insanely popular fighting game featuring company-branded mascot characters, is being delayed until January in Japan – and, possibly, in the U.S./Europe as well. Major, major bummer.
But, this being Nintendo, they managed to drop a second bit of related fanservice news so “kickass” that it’s probably going to neutralize the bummer of an extended wait – maybe even render it moot altogether. This is IT. The big one. The clash of titans that gamers have been waiting for since the early-90s. The three words that “Smash Bros.” fans thought they would never hear:
SONIC. THE. HEDGEHOG. Not a joke. Not a dream. Not an imaginary tale. Just look at the video:
I wonder if younger gamers (I’m talking 16 and under, maybe older too) have any frame of reference for why oldschoolers like me consider this so huge. Back in the day, in the “Golden Age” of the Nintendo vs. Sega console wars – the ultracompetitive battle that, arguably, produced one of the greatest if not THE greatest periods in gaming EVER… Mario and Sonic were the Red Sox and Yankees of video game mascots. This was, among gamers, THE schoolyard/comic store (we didn’t have the internet, so all fanboy arguing was done face to face – can you imagine?) “who would/should win?” debate of all time. If THIS had happened then… if it was possible to actually turn on a game and semi-physically settle it in virtual hand-to-hand combat… my God, “Halo 3” millions be damned, they’d still be counting the money that would’ve earned.
Yes, a small amount of the inherent “no WAY!” of this is diminished by the fact that we’ll see the onetime Coke and Pepsi of game heroes sharing screen-space and competing before this in “Mario & Sonic Olympics”… it’s not the same thing. Seeing M&S and their various allies running a relay or playing tennis is ONE thing. But this… just that one moment in the middle of these two legends facing eachother down on the platform and trading punches… geez, there just aren’t any words for what it’s like to actually SEE that.