MISHAWAKA – The newest addition to Super Smash Brothers Ultimate has been announced, and the internet cannot seem to get him off their minds.
It is difficult to describe my feelings about the seventh DLC character. On the one hand, he is a representative from the best-selling game of all time, so it makes sense to put him in a fighting game that celebrates gaming’s all-stars. On the other hand, it’s the player character from Minecraft. Yeah, that guy, and yeah, that game. How on earth, you might be asking, did the lunatics at Nintendo manage to transpose a self-insert, mute, practically invisible character from a game about breaking, crafting, and placing blocks into a platforming-fighting game? I could not begin to tell you. Instead, I’ll tell you how I feel about it.
There I was, sitting at my computer on the day Minecraft Steve – that is his name, by the way – was announced for Smash. The trailer started out pretty normal: the characters were in the middle of an intense fight, when Sonic lands a massive haymaker on Mario, sending him flying. Suddenly, the trailer changes from game footage into properly animated, three-dimensional cinematic as Mario crashes through a wall into a dark cavern. As Mario glances around at his new, pitch-black enclosure, several pairs of eyes shine through the darkness. At this point in the trailer, my heart dropped, because, accompanying these visuals were sounds that any eight-year-old with a YouTube account would recognize: the clanking of skeleton bones, the groaning of zombies, and the spitting of spiders from the blockiest sandbox game in history.
Now, the reason my heart dropped was because of three distinct thoughts swirling in my head: “no way,” “this does not look like the character I wanted,” and “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? MINECRAFT?” Then, that goofy-looking, two-meter-tall, sentient geometry assignment burst through the wall and shattered my hopes of getting another Xenoblade representative in Smash Bros. anytime soon. I watched the rest of the trailer in a daze as all my friends lost their minds around me. I feel like it is the closest I could be to shell-shock. Never mind the fact that it was not the character I wanted, HOW IN THE WORLD could they have made MINECRAFT work in Smash?
To be fair, the game’s director, Masahiro Sakurai, clearly explained how difficult including Minecraft Steve was: it involved a reworking of the geometry of all 103 stages in the entire game, reprogramming how each of those stages would react to Minecraft Steve, and vice versa. All of that on top of making an entirely new character boggles the mind a bit. To be fair, Minecraft is a relatively simplistic game, stylistically speaking, and Minecraft Steve is an even simpler character, but all the work that entails is completely staggering.
Writing this, two days after the announcement, I have only just decided how I feel about the character being in this game. Up until this point, I have been telling my friends how shocked I was, or how I felt like it could not be, nor should it be real. However, my mind has been made. While watching the announcement, Director Sakurai seemed incredibly proud of his team and all the work they accomplished bringing this character into the game. Watching the move-set, animation, and all the accompanying quirks from Minecraft, I could clearly see how dedicated the developers were to faithfully implementing the character. Therefore, I can share in their happiness that they did a job well done, and I will be welcoming this completely bizarre character to the game with arms open wide.