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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 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.


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

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Reader Comments (174)

Wow, there's a lot of misplaced hate here.

I'd say that it's a safe assumption that a large portion of Sirlin's readers are competitive SF/GG players that think that Smash is just a kid's party game. There are many comments on this site alone that hail Smash as non-competitive and smashboarders as idiots. So yes, Sirlin does have a good reputation in the fighting game community and yes, his tutorials/endorsements for competitive Smash are worth a great deal.

Thanks, Sirlin.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterxAS

Clearly America is a better country than Europe. And yes, this is an incredibly obvious troll post to go along with all the other Europe vs. America troll posts that have been made so far.

Now to respond to the troll trap. ENOUGH OF THAT SHIT. GET OVER YOURSELVES. JUST STOP. We all want respect for our communities and don't like when they are "insulted" but really now, on a scale from 1-10 where does this supposed "insult" rank?

Back on topic, thank you for the videos, I got kinda bored with them but can certainly appreciate how detailed you have been in them. I hope this sparks more people to give smash a try and helps all our communities grow that much more.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThis

To all the people who have posted positive things, thank you very much.

As for the rest: look. While not fully expressed the vids are there to help anyone who wants to watch them. That's really it. No need to get into defending your community or anything like that. All that was said is that the vids will hopefully increase the scene in Europe. What's wrong with that? Hopefully the vids will help increase the scene in the US too.

But really, there was never any mention that the scene is not active in Europe, so why did people have to go and interpret things this way?

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterScamp

Sirlin, I may be wrong or I really need to but a LCD, looks a bit fattier than the last video of yours I saw (STHDR,in some interview)....:P

BTW, nice vids. I finally come to understand a lot more about SSBB. Do you intend to make tutorials to another games in the future?

PS: The new site is very nice. You had a lot of workin to re-design it, yeah? Maybe it's time for me make the same to my blog...^^

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSoma~*

Thanks for posting these videos. Definitely learned a couple new things so far, besides which, it's nice to see the Smash scene get some love. Can't wait to see the rest of them.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEclipse

I think this did a good job of proving that you don't even need to do anything for a stupid troll war to erupt.

All you need to do is say "Smash" and it happens.

Very nice work, Sirlin. Awful job to all the people who commented.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterspudlyff8fan

I just saw your edit in the article and I wanted to say I appreciate it. It's a shame some of your fanboys make you look bad, because you actually do seem to care. The vids are good, that was never the point and I hope this will pass.


November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarc

"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." - Reffy

Oh my god.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChumpy

Some of the idiots posting before me reflect very poorly on Europeans. Unlike Reffy, most of us aren't arrogant, anonymous losers who can only badmouth and nitpick completely irrelevant parts of the post.

"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." - Reffy

Wow, most unintentionally hilarious comment ever. What are you going to do? Make an angry blog post about it that no one will read? I'm sure Sirlin is cowering, and wants to contact and apologize as soon as possible.

Face it loser; posting stupid garbage on these comments is probably the most attention you will ever get in your sad, pathetic life.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFinalSlayer

Anyway, back to smash.

Some one earlier (Pardon my laziness) Said that Smashers have "Always had a fascination with turning items off".
I just wanted to point out that when Melee came out, and Smashboards opened, there was little to no competitive scene, and the basis and ground rules for competitive smash were learned from trial and error.
The first three (iirc) years of competitive Melee were done with items on.
After serious testing, it was figured that the game would be better off with the items off.
So, it's not just some strange fascination, there were three or so years of tournaments to attest for it.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVulcan

I don't mean to be rude, but if I went by just the first video, I wouldn't be convinced that you were credible for this kind of thing at all. I know (or I'm assuming based on the awesome work you've done elsewhere - I'm reluctant to use "know" after that epistemology course I took :S) that you did do your research and all that, so I'm just saying.

I suppose that, if nothing else, this is a great way to advertise the competitive aspects of the game. In the long-term, though, these videos stumble upon a growing controversy in Smash, and I am intrigued as to how things will turn out by the time the next Evo comes along.

Speaking of which, I am greatly disturbed by a very negative characterization of the SWF community that some at SRK have perpetrated. The common argument against "bending to SWF's will" seems to be that SWF is full of fanboys who can't be trusted to make proper rules.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercapefeather

Very well done, Sirlin. I will definitely consult your articles while practicing my Smash Bros. skills.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrandon

Reffy: "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. "

Who cares if the help doesn't affect you? You expect people to suddenly take you seriously when you waltz into a fundraiser and start bitching about how they support slaughtering turkeys because turkey happens to be one of the entrees of the meal? Think that's ridiculous? Hope so. 'Cuz that's exactly what you're freaking doing.

I don't care where you're from. If you want respect, then present yourself in a respectable manner. Otherwise you'll be treated like you are: a child.

The way this thread of comments turned out is disgusting. The perpetrators should be ashamed of themselves. Sadly, this is the effect of internet anonymity.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarbunkle Flux

Vulcan, I assume you're referring to me with your comment, although I didn't specifically mention items, but rather randomness in general that the community was afraid of. Yes, there's a distinction, and I'll explain in a minute.

I'm aware Melee was pretty thoroughly played with items on. The thing is, before Brawl even came out, it seemed like everyone automatically assumed it would be played exactly the same way because "random != skill." Items got switched off, and the prevailing attitude became ignoring things instead of trying to adapt. That sort of knee-jerk reaction doesn't improve the game, it stifles it.

Brawl has started developing a significant items on faction, but certain large portions of the community are clinging to the "items = lol" mantra with their fingers in their ears and shouting about how items games don't count because omg something could spawn on top of your opponent and then you'd lose and you wouldn't be able to do anything!!!1eleven! without noticing that if they'd controlled the stage better in the first place it wouldn't have happened. Or if they'd learn to dodge final smashes instead of complaining about Landmasters it wouldn't be as much of a problem.

Oh, and while I do lurk on SRK, they didn't color my opinion of the SWF attitude, the SWF people did that just fine on their own.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFireseal

Ignore these whiners, Sirlin - you're doing the right thing. It takes a lot of guts to stick up for a game like Brawl simply because there's a HUGE "old school Melee" crowd that's determined to prove that Brawl is a piece of competitive trash (for reasons like having little hitstun, slower pace, near-impossible combos, etc. ). But that doesn't mean you can't help Nintendo out and make people more aware about Brawl, and I encourage you to keep going with what you're doing. There will always be people who complain about Brawl (heck, sometimes I'm one myself), but that's not here nor there as what you're trying to do is simply to spread awareness of this game to others. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised to see you become a Brawl finalist at Evo next year or something. Good luck with Super Turbo and all that.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterInTheory

I don't think it was you, Fireseal. What I said in quotes was almost exactly what was said.

We don't have to adapt to anything in Brawl. We have options that we can do what we want with, and years of items-tournaments have provided us with the evidence that we use to support our turning off of items. What is so different about items in Brawl than items in Melee? Brawl's items are only more broken. Many being one-hit, or close to one-hit kills. This isn't just about "Zomg unblockable Final Smashes!!!", which they obviously aren't, there are many more broken items. Dragoon, although it is supposedly "rare", Golden hammer, fan, hell even the green shell.
Plus Brawl has a nonexistent punishment factor, and adding randomness which has just as much chance of being in your favor or your opponents, ruins it even further. Plus, it's been proven certain items favor the losing player.
Why should my opponent have the same chance (sometimes more) that I do to get a game-winning item, when I'm clearly doing much better?
Oh, and don't bring up whether it "improves" the game, that's just as opinionated as "How the game was meant to be played".
What you might think improves the game, I may not.
Telling us that we have to adapt to items is like telling someone to learn to write with their off hand when indeed, their dominant hand works just fine.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVulcan

No, we aren't getting into items on and items off debate here. Please stop.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternewbwithkeyboard

Vulcan, you're misreading me.
While I think it's obvious I'm pro-item, I avoided making the statement that one or the other is better, because frankly I don't want to have that debate. It's a gameplay choice and that's the end of it.
What bothers me and prompted me to say what I have in this thread is that the reasoning I've encountered behind a lot of the items-off mentality is obtuse and closed-minded. This is not in reference to most of what you've said, by the way. I disagree that the items you've listed are broken, but it's a fair opinion and I'm not going to argue it.

That being said, I stress two points:
* Just because they were broken in Melee doesn't mean they're automatically broken in Brawl. Yes, they're similar games, but they are not identical. Banning items because of the melee experience is like banning Akuma in SF:Alpha because he was broken in ST. Melee testing is irrelevant to Brawl, and the immediate item bans are the knee-jerk reactions I refer to.

* When I said 'that's not improving the game, that's stifling it,' I didn't mean items are improving the game. I meant taking the automatic reaction to rip out the randomness and most of the stages isn't an improvement to the game, it's stifling the chance for the game to develop any potential. Even if something seems overpowering, if it's a good game, given a chance people will find a way around it.

I really don't want an items debate erupting here, so like I said, it's a gameplay choice. I'm just trying to clarify what I meant before.

November 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFireseal

The european scene is a joke. Those tourneys here and there means knowing. The real value of a market s on sales, and Nintendo knows more about it than any Smash fanboy. Nintendo says the european scene is a joke, and they are the only ones with the data, since a 100 players like in the Netherlands tourney doesn't even worth a downloadable demo, much less a Smash brothers game.

Also, the guy who thought Smash could be too dexterity based never played a "real" fighting game. Many old school players reject Smash especialy because the dexterity is incredibly dumbed down when compared to games like VF4 and MvC2. High level Melee does demand a good level of dexterity, maybe on par with 3S, but very very far away from most Capcom games.

Sirlin, the vids own, and maybe you shouldn't really allow comments. If the few jackasses are getting into your skin, just get rid of the comments altogether. If you can ignore them and focus on the greater good and on the many people that admire your work, that would be better, but I understand your reasoning and I think your blog will own with or without comments. Again, amazing job!

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDerailer

The european scene is a joke. Those tourneys here and there means knowing.

It's true that Nintendo only cares about sales.
But I believe that you suck so bad in the game, and don't know what you're talking about.
BEcause of that you want to believe europe sucks as bad as you do, but the bitter truth is that you are a failfag in Life. You try to put people below you, while actually you aren't competent enough to do stuff yourself ?

So my tip to you, get a life, find a job. Try to make something of yourself before you try to put people under you.

@Sirlin it was never about the videos, you did a great job with the videos

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLinkje
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