I've played several fighters, most of them for fun, and a couple I've gotten into a bit more so that I can play well and do well planned out combos and such. One of those, as of late, has been SSB:M. I was planning late into the night with a friend of mine, and I got to thinking; "This is a great fighting game, why is it not taken seriously?" There are a multitude of fighting games out there, from the venerable 2D fighters (SF3, GGXX, KoF, MvC2) to the new age 3D fighters (VF4, SC3, Tekken 5, DoA 4) and the "just for fun" segment (DBZ, D.O.N., Naruto, Bleach, Pocket Fighters). Most would sort SSB:M into the third segment. I ask "why?" It seems to me that SSB:M is a competitive fighting game worhty of serious consideration. It seems to me that because it lacks certain features, or it has others that are not standard in fighting games, it is not taken seriously. I mean, it has a very simplistic control set up, at a glance. Standard attack, strong attack, special attack, block, throw, jump. From those, other arise due to directional input or timing; standard attacks (h/m/l, dash, and forward [<- + A]), strong attack (<- + A; C-Stick), special attack (4 varieties, and each has a different purpose), block (white block, dodging, weak shielding, shield throwing, air dodging, area blocking, teching), throw (same as special attack; dash throwing), jump (lends itself to a strong inherent air game due to the level of control [epecially when mixed with dodging, standard/strong/special attacks, but potent all on it's own], wall jumping). My apologies for that block of text. However, from these basic elements a great fighting system emerges, and not one that is lacking or broken. Heck, we even have our own "glitch;" wavedashing. Before I go into that, if at all (I don't want to bore you), I want to show that SSB:M does share some traits with other prominent fighting games while breaking away from the traditional format as well. Most other fighting games have a simplistic set up, as well. Virtua Fighter, if I recall correctly, has a 3 button set up. Guilty Gear has 5. Street Fighter, 6. Soul Caliber, 4. SSB:M has 4 (standard, special, jump, dodge) with various redundant systems built in. The average seems to be around 4, a little more. So, we aren't much more complicated or simpler in that sense. What about combos and specials? Most other games, especially 2D, have those. SF3's Super Arts and Guilty Gear Overdrive's come to mind, when it comes to specials. For combos, look at any decent fighting game with a move list for a huge variety of move to string together in a multitude of ways. I mean, Virtua Fighter has unprecedented depth. SC3 features movelists of around 60+ per character. But, don't combos also appear in games that lack a huge move list? Look at SF3, with awesome juggles and set ups, and it lacks a proper movelist, but has a variety of attacks that allow players to set up their own optimal combos. Well, most 2D fighters do that, regardless. As for specials, complexity in execution do not a special make. Most of SF3's Super Arts are indeed offensive in nature, but are relatively easy to pull off (whether they connect or are blocked is another story). Quarter Circle + Quarter Circle + Punch/Kick is relatively easy to pull off. Specials do exist in SSB:M, but they serve different purposed, due to the nature of the game (ringouts instead of knockouts). Specials are supposed to be just that; attacks with a special nature. For example, Fox (my character) has 4 specials: Laser Gun, Fire Fox, Fox Phantasm, Fox Reflector. Laser Gun is to easily build up my opponent's damage at a distance, Fire Fox is recovery or to break a juggle, Phantasm is a recovery and a surprise technique, and Reflector is to null ranged threats and as a pushing technique. Each special does something a normal punch or kick cannot. Is that not what a special technique consist of? Besides, they are indeed easy to execute, but they, as a balance, are not generally gamebreaking or powerful (damage dealing) techniques. I mean, SSB:M has things that I hear about in other games, such as combos, specials, blocking, parrying (white guarding), dodging, throws, juggling... why is it not treated as a serious fighting game? It is the options? The items? The non-standard, weird stages available? Perhaps that it isn't lifebar based, rather that it relies wholy on ringouts? The characters, all of which are (currently) Nintendo-only mascots? Why are the first three a problem? Options are so you can play any way you wish, for fun, but for competative play are there standards (ex. 3 lives, no time limit, Final Destination), but when you are with your friends, Hyrule Temple, 5 items set on high, 6 lives and a 5 minute limit may be the way to go. Also, since when are tons of weird stages a problem when there's a standard one available at all times? As for the percentage based gameplay, that's what differs it from other fighting games. It's the first one (that I know of) that does that. It makes the gameplay much different, even when it shares many things with other fighting games. And, heck, if you don't like that, there's the Stamina mode, which gives you the equivalent of a lifebar. Do we lack the quarter and half circle commands? Is that it? So, quarter-circle + A would make Fox's Laser Gun that much the better? It is the characters? Are they not serious business? Is Sol Badguy doing a Grand Viper much more serious than Captain Falcon doing a Rising Flacon? A miscellanous comment: More similarities! KoF dodges as well. SF3 has EX attacks, which are SSB:M's charged strong attacks. SSB:M's strong attacks, at certain points, are the equivalent of GG's Dust Strike. SSB:M has wavedashing, SF3 has karathrows and cancels. I also just realized that we lack a special bar, but that's because of what I mentioned earlier; our specials are not 1 move massive damage techniques. For those that offer their expert opinion (there's several of you among us), thanks. Disclaimer: I'm an idiot. Well, not really, but I am a very casual fighter fan, but have informed friends, and most of this is based on my impressions. You probably know of other examples and stuff; please, contribute. I probably got some things wrong, and you probably noticed my prediliction towards SF3 and GG in this post (although I do love SC2 [Talim!]). Hope you tolerate the ignorance, but... I dunno, the lack of respect that SSB:M recieves confounds me. I, again, was playing last night, and we were teching, dodging with excellent reflexes, chain throwing, comboing, juggling, edge chasing/harrassing, doing a great arial game, and it all required a high level of skill (well, at least I think so). No, we don't wavedash, but that's more out of choice than lack of ability. We can do it (a rudimentrary form), but we feel it cheapens the game and makes it uninviting for the uninitiated. No, I do not think I am all that at SSB:M, but I do think I am pretty good. Thanks for reading!