In perhaps a completely coincidental circumstances with the recent release of the newest Pokemon games, a thing has occurred.
No, not the Project M thing, that’s been kicking around for some time…but the inclusion of Mewtwo is certainly a new turn of events. Err, an updated turn of events, as Project M is really, a recreation of Melee, in all of it’s fluid glory. I won’t explain the fan made mod project in detail here, but needless to say, not everyone was completely thrilled with how Brawl turned out.
I will interject, that fans may have only been slightly less horrified by the death scene at the end of Gremlins, in comparison to the differences between Brawl and Melee. I sympathize with both the lovers and haters, as I believe the Smash Bros series represents a unique property that went against all odds to succeed. Hal Laboratory had only really proven their credential as with solid side scrollers, and a game filled with Nintendo mascots is likely going to make Nintendo happy no matter what. I have serious doubts about how much of a shit The Big N gave in regards to the development of the original Smash Brothers, or how the first game even actually played.
Something Nintendo really fucks up sometimes.
IN ANY CASE, Project M is certainly a blast, and showcases how fan involvement can exponentially increase a game’s longevity, long after it’s own death. In Brawls case (and at least as far as the vets are concerned), the game was a still born, so really, you really just have to let that one go. Still, after the mourning period was over, Smash fans moved on, by recreating Brawl in their own image.
So yes, Mewtwo has been revealed for Project M, and Pokemon fans grow even more excited with the rampancy of exciting announcements of recent days. My sympathies for both sides, lead me to both ends of the comprehension spectrum. Project M is a good representation of fan dedication, and really embodies a large aspect of what gaming is all about: community. On the other hand, I do get a little worried about this intense fan worship of just one game. I have vouched in the past for what a well made game Melee is, but what’s past is past. We should remember the game fondly, but not try to build unrealistic expectations of what future games can bring, least of all an endless mimicry of that height of quality.
I find, when one fixates too much on “the ideal”, the miss out on a lot of “just great”, which is a safer expectation to have. Not every fighter can be the best in it’s series, and not every Smash Brothers game can be Melee. Expecting the best every time, can alienate your from the basic tenants of experimentation and satisfaction, which can lead to a rather rhetorical sense of expectation, and ultimately, a doomed sense of disappointment.
It can also lead to Mewtwo beating the ever loving shit out of Captain Falcon, so believe what you want, and fuck it.