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Sunday
Nov092008

Smash Bros. Brawl Tutorial Videos

I made this series of ten short tutorial videos for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. They appear on the official Nintendo Channel accessible through your Wii, on Nintendo's website, and below from YouTube. Nintendo asked me to explain the game to new players in a way that shows them there is more going on than they might think. Remember, these videos are for new players, not for tournament champions and they're intended to help the Smash scene grow.

Smash Bros. sells well in the US and in Japan, but struggles more in Europe. It sells more in both the US and Japan, while the perception in Eurpose is that it's "that kids game with the Mario Kart characters." A strange and ironic statement considering that the "Mario Kart characters" aren't even originally from Mario Kart, but that game sells well in Europe so it's a point of reference for many. Maybe my videos and the reputation of my name will help increase the scene in Europe. (Note to anrgy commenters: this information is from Nintendo, not from me. The idea that my name as an expert on competitive games might help in this situation is from Nintendo, not from me, and that's why they contacted me.)

Special thanks to David "Scamp" Cantrell and Cedric "Ceirnian" Qualls for gameplay advice, Rich "FMJaguar" DeLauder for editing and secretly keeping sirlin.net working, and Mike "Bocci" Boccieri for his technical wizardry with video capture.

As more of the videos become available on youtube, I'll post them all below. If you're interested in these videos, you might try that new "share article" link below, for digg or one of those new-fangled link-swapping sites.

--Sirlin

Part 1: The Two Games

Part 2: Attack Types

Part 3: Evasion and Throws

Part 4: Movement

Part 5: KOs

Part 6: The Edge

Part 7: Controlling Space

Part 8: Super Armor and Auto-Cancels

Part 9: Items

Part 10: Tournament Finals Match

References (8)

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Reader Comments (174)

I would just like to say that I appreciate these videos, Sirlin. As someone who has been playing smash since the 64 version, I found that even though I'd had years and years of experience with the series I picked up a few different tips that have improved my game considerably.

The unfortunately quite vocal minority who are upset about one or two sentences in the guides be damned, I will be recommending these guides to all of my friends to play smash and those who don't. They both reinforce what players like myself knew (I'm looking forward to the video about controlling space) while being a very friendly introduction to the game.

I'm sure there will be others who will FIND something to bitch about but please, ignore that. There are those of us who appreciate the work that has gone into these videos and on behalf of at least my small gaming community, thanks, Sirlin. =3

November 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSovereign

I've never played Smash, but now that I've seen these videos, I want to. They're on par with your videos about Super Turbo-- in both cases you help elevate noobs like me past mindless button-mashing and into serious and intelligent game play.

Can't wait for the rest of them! :- )

November 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTom Russell

These are some very good and well made videos, I haven't played smash in a while since i quickly bored of it but these make me want to play again.

What sort of time frame are we looking at for the next ones?

November 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSimo

I still see that there's the comment about Europe not being active with the Smash Brothers series. Everyone who agrees with this confirms that he's a stereo-type egocentric American who thinks Africa is a country and other things like that.

You don't live in Europe so don't talk like you know something about it. I couldn't find your biography but I assume that you live in the USA.
There's a lot of 'proof' wich shows that the smashcommunity in Europe is active, maybe even more then in America.
There are even europeansmashers allowed in the backroom of smashboards.

I politely ask you to remove/change the comment about Europe. You have a lot of writing experience so you should know when you make...mistakes.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterReffy

I can't change my post but to quote Sirlin:

"Maybe my videos and the reputation of my name will help get the scene going in Europe."

The answer to this is 'No'.

I respect you as a writer because I write a lot to(different things but still...), but do some research before making statements about, in this case, Europa and the smash-scene.

Sorry for the doublepost.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterReffy

Reffy, how many times do I have to explain this? I don't know the first thing about how many people play Smash in Europe or anywhere else. I do not claim to know that. But Nintendo came to me and said exactly what I said in my first post and that is why they asked me to make these videos. Again, the reason they wanted these videos was because Smash is not as popular in Europe as the other two territories, but they think it can be. I'm pretty sure they would know how popular their own game is.

I don't see why you take this as some kind of insult either, because it isn't. If you actually like the game, you should be very pleased that there's a move to make it even more popular. It sounds like a great move on Nintendo's part to me to help explain the game to new players to grow the market.

So what are you mad at here? You seem to be mad at someone who spent an enormous amount of effort to help you.

November 17, 2008 | Registered CommenterSirlin

As a ST/3S/etc player, I think the videos are good. Trying to look at them objectively, I'm not so sure. You casually refer to controlling space and how its what fighting games are about without much explanation of the concept and why its important, and make numerous references to "(un)like most fighting games".

So I'm kind of curious, is that what Nintendo was after? I was kind of expecting something targeted towards people that just treat Smash as a party game and have never even thought to get more competitive one on one ( I don't want to just say kids, but they're included), rather than a primer in how to treat the game like other fighters.

It's too bad so much of the "competitive" Smash community seems to be off in some fantasy world where anything random is evil, and skill is defined not by who wins the game but who wins the game when anything dynamic is ripped out. You'd think they'd eventually learn that being able to handle and use random elements to their advantage is skill too.

-

Hey Reffy? Piss off. You're being just as bigoted and stereotyping as you claim Sirlin's being. If you don't like the data he was given, complain to Nintendo instead of getting snooty towards the guy that's trying to help build a community.

Looking forward to the rest of these.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFireseal

tripping>any amount of skill

the sad truth of brawl

PLEASE mention this sirlin, maybe nintendo will remove it from brawl after you mention its crappyness

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTimic83

Sirlin, I don't like the game as much as most people do, so that's why I'm partly 'blinded'.
The point is that, whenever someone, who does not live in Europe, makes a statement about Europe, it's usally wrong. Just as the statement in this article.

I didn't knew that Nintendo made the statement in the first place. They make the statement based on salenumbers in parts of the world but when a game sells less in someplace, doesn't mean the community isn't active. You know this, or at least, you know now.

I have never heard about someone in Europe who calls Smashbrothers 'the game with the mario kart characters.' or anyting like that. If Nintendo said that as well, than they had poorly researched Europe.

I'm not insulted, I'm just making a big problem of something said about Europe that isn't true. A lot of people read your articles.

Anyway, if you change the part of the article to something like: 'Nintendo believes the Smash-scene in Europe has much lower activity, based on the lower economic sales.' people in Europe wouldn't make a big deal out of it. The statement would still be incorrect because the community in Europe is active, but at least it feels less...offensive as you say.

I'm probaly getting scolded for this(again) so if you want to talk about this by e-mail, I left my e-mail adress at the 'Author Email'. If you don't want that or you don't care/have the time, please notify me to. I'm not an ambassador or the voice of Europe by the way.

Don't tell me to worship Sirlin etc. I'm talking like a normal person and wich to be treated the same way. I'm not saying Sirlin is a bad person or he does a bad job.

The help you, and anyone else, is providing to the community doesn't affect me because I don't play these games for tournaments.

If Nintendo wants to help Europe, they made a bad start.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterReffy

Hey Sirlin, an EU Gamer here - Allow me to clarify:

When Nintendo Talk about Smash being "Not as popular in Europe" they are talking in terms of sales volume, not passion. Excuse the idiots who posted before me, but the numbers don't lie - Smash sells less in Europe, fact. (1.8m JAP, 4.2M USA, 1.26 PAL).

Thank you for your support in trying to buck this trend.

I love the vids, very clear, have been showing them to all my friends. Can't wait for the last 5!

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKangarooPaladin

To KangarooPaladin: I allready know that Nintendo is talking about the sales in Europe, I'm not an economic analyst so I will not talk about it. Read my previous post to see that Nintendo, and everyone else, should not make conclusions like Nintendo did.

You are defenitly not European. First, more of a joke, is your nickname. We don't have kangaroo's in Europe and it's not a common subject to talk about.
Second, if you are an European than you know how I feel and you should not agree with some lines in Sirlin's article. Wich comes to, third, I am not an idiot.
You are trying to defend Sirlin in the hope that Sirlin will respect you and give you a blowjob.

This article will not help to increase sales in Europe because most people who are reading your articles allready have Smash Brothers or similar games.

I found out that I can post with any nickname in this article and that people can post under my nickname as well. I hope don't see things like that though I have seen similar behaviour.
This is my last post, Sirlin, contact me and let's get this over with. If you want your work and yourself to be respected in Europe.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterReffy

Good god, you guys are thick. Why can you not correctly parse this statement:

"Compared to the US and Japan, sales of SSBB in Europe are not very high. Nintendo decided to try some alternative means of promotion to help raise awareness about the game."

It's SALES we're talking about here, not enthusiasm, not dedication, SALES. To take offense at a fact that doesn't have anything to do with you personally is stupid.

Sirlin, good job on the videos so far. Speaking of which, is there any chance you might have some updated Street Fighter tutorials for SFHD Remix? Your videos on CCC2 are pretty cool.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCrackbone

"Maybe my videos and the reputation of my name will help get the scene going in Europe."

I think that most of the players in Europe have just about lost it now.
The scene in Europe is big, every country has it's own community, and fairly big tournaments.

Maybe someone should beat the crap out of you (in the game) and tell you he is a european.

I heard about your name last month, and still I couldn't care less.

I here by declare the rule. think before you post O_o

Linkje

(And if someone disagrees with you with a right argument. Love thos people instead of hating them, they make sense)

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLinkje

Reffy, I'm a born and bred Welshman. I am well aware of where marsupials come from too. The nickname was given to me by the chatbox on this site, and I get my blowjobs from my hot wife.

Sorry for calling you an idiot, reading back I know you weren't talking about sales. I see your argument, but I don't take offense to anything in that article. Maybe I'm just more laid back than you. For starters he's talking about Eurpose, not Europe.

Can we at least agree that these videos are a good thing?

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKangarooPaladin

I also found the statement about Europe very unlucky there as that paragraph just doesn't make sense.

But good videos nonetheless.

PS: About that "maybe the reputation of my name will get the scene going": google has a tool to compare the reputation of a market name between several regions: http://www.google.com/insights/search/#
(the numbers are relative to all search queries in an area, multipled with a constant so that the biggest number is 100)

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersuiraclaw

Maybe Europeans have bad reading comprehension because they have to learn so many languages?

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergarcia1000

Web Search Volume: sirlin
Netherlands, 2004 - present

Not enough search volume to show graphs.

Aren't people who know Sirlin competitive already anyway?

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarc

"Hey some guy made a series of introductory videos for our game!"
"But he said sales in Europe are low. That must mean he hates Europe."
"Burn him at the stake!"

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergarcia1000

Ugh... Hate to post just for this, but I just want to assure Sirlin that not all Europeans are as... hmmm... how do I say this politely... what the hell, stupid as some posters here may suggest.

There are many people in Europe who doesn't have their head stuck firmly in their asses, and see what you did as a great introduction to casual Smash players into the competitive scene. The videos so far are great, clear and to the point, with good examples and showing all the depth that casual players probably are not aware of.

If Nintendo thinks that have to make tutorial videos to increase the SSBB sales in Europe, that DOESN'T mean the scene in Europe is nonexistant, it just means that in Europe, the population of players that know of SSBB competitive depth is smaller compared to the casual players and the hardcore competitive ones.

Sigh...

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTime Mage

More loudmouth-Sirlin-fanboys appeared claiming to know how everything works.
If I'm filtering those comments I only see 'Sirlin is the best'.
Disagreeing with Sirlin doesn't make you stupid or 'having your head stuck firmly in your ass'.
Because Sirlin has a high opinion about himself, he does not like any critic. Because the fanboys of Sirlin like Sirlin, they don't like it when Sirlin is getting criticized. Maybe a unstable testosterone level is common among the Sirlin-fanclub.

Europeans know more about reading then anyone in the world. They almost always speak two or more languages and have better common sense then your typical American or in this case a typical Sirlin-fanboy.
I didn't heard about Sirlin before and this did not made a good impression. Maybe it's the fanboys I dislike or maybe it's just Sirlin.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOrochi66
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