No one remembers exactly when Monopoly ascended from the depths of hell, but despite the demonic aura that surrounded the game, it still became claimed as one of the “American-All-Time Favorites” and has since reigned supreme as the world’s most iconic game. Its logo, Mr. Monopoly, is one of the most iconic symbols akin to the golden arches of McDonalds, KFC, and the Nike Checkmark which prompts us to “Just Do It” (whatever ‘it’ is). Anyone knows that Monopoly is also that game. You know, the one that’s been whipped out during family functions, reunions, holiday’s, and birthdays since the dawn of time and naturally, it’s the bud of jokes about grandma stealing money from the other players and claiming innocence (We’re onto you Grandma) while parents and kids use the game to throw each other under the bus on varying subjects like dad’s inability to manage money because of his biking obsession. Monopoly has ruined more relationships and families than it has claimed to bring together, but it’s not the only game out there that’s forcing people to question how much they really know the person next to them. There’s a new evil in the darkness.
They call it Brawl. Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
When I asked my mom what Brawl was, there were a collection of grunts and hisses followed by “I don’t knows” and then the questionable “Super Mario?” finalization. That’s right and wrong. For the less than savvy gaming individuals out there, Smash Bros. Brawl is a Nintendo game featured on the Wii that’s basically a combat game featuring some of Nintendo’s most notorious characters like Sonic, Donkey Kong, Kirby, and Mario to name a few. Basically, the players deal damage to each other in an effort to knock them either off the stage, or into space while also battling the stage and being cautious of the items cascading down on them at random points which will either help or hinder their performance. You need hand-eye-coordination as well as impressive multi-tasking skills to successfully play but it’s a relatively easy game, so why compare it to something like Monopoly?
Because of its ability to literally incinerate any relationship.
Just like Monopoly, Smash creates an environment where without knowing it, you start plotting against the other players to get the upper hand. In Monopoly, people start making deals with each other to get ahead. “Oh, you don’t have to pay rent at this station…IF you let me slide through the jail.” Only to later slap them with a heavy fine when they manage to control Boardwalk. Meanwhile, in Brawl: “Hey, let’s kill them off first, then we can go at it. Deal?” Only to then spike their “comrade” off the screen and claim accident. But wait, that’s only the beginning.
Then, there’s the Smash Ball.
Asking my family what the worst feature of Monopoly is, they all easily proclaimed “Jail” with the “Rewards Cards” being in close second and let me tell you, watching someone get the Smash Ball is the equivalent of being sent to jail…because at that point, you know that your life is over. The Smash Ball enables any character who gets it to enable their OP (Over powered) special attack and basically dominate all characters on the field. Each character has a special that’s unique to who they are, Zelda shoots a magical arrow that pierces her foes, Mario engages in fire bending, and characters like Sonic become super characters that destroy characters with a single touch.
Of course, there are other things that make Smash as much as a nuisance as Monopoly including things like the golden hammer, the regular hammer, the plasma gun, the sun, and the baseball any of which, being thrown at a character with decent damage will kill them off, but the Smash Ball is the worst. It’s the equivalent of the “Draw 4” Card in Uno. It will literally determine who is really your friend and who is really an ass.
Brawl makes you question the validity of your friendships and relationships and I’ve literally seen several couples argue because of one highly coincidentally but well placed Falcon Punch that missed Peach but somehow managed to send Kirby flying off into space. The game is brutal, highly competitive, and often times leave you feeling extra salty about the people you hang out with but for the gamers out there, it’s a game that we continue to break out during get-togethers time and time again… if for no other reason than testing our new friendships…or ending old ones.