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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)

I heard something about Metaknight has been banned in euro tournaments. Maybe they need to read PTW ASAP...

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSoma~*

Wow, so full of hate...

I want to say that i really appreciate the videos and i learned some tricks, too. I'm not that great a Brawl player, and Smash isn't really my game, but i like the videos and am waiting for the next one :)

Usually i don't say stuff like that--the fact that i'm commenting at all should be a sign of my respect--but i sort of felt the need to in this case, because... well...

Anyway, i don't really have anything that insightful to say here...

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWinter <- Just going to point out this video if you can't do anything about di's.

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternewbwithkeyboard

Soma: That's not true at all. Only Italy "banned" MK AFAIK, and it's not even permanent. Most Europeans are more against the banning of MK than the US community actually.

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarc

Italy didn't ban Metaknight, that was a huge (extra emphasis on the huge) rumor.

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVulcan

sirlin, i'm sorry some people are giving you flak for nintendos official statement, but one thing you gotta understand is, right now the smash community has a chip on its shoulder, especially when it comes to srk, at the first evo we got some crap from a few of the players (i think they were street fighter players, not anyone i recognized, probably randoms) this year, we took mr. wizards ruleset and disregard of the smash communities input as an insult, especially because the kid who won, cpu, is regularly two stocked by our randoms (california has a random with the gamertag cpu, challenged the evo winner to a name match, and two stocked him, the brawl equivalent of a perfect. and the california cpu routinely gets knocked out 0-2 or 1-2). so when someone who is well known and active with evo and the srk community makes a brawl tutorial, we respond somewhat harshly. a couple angry idiots don't reflect the majority of smash, though, and we appreciate the attempt to make the community more active. I don't speak for everyone, but it would be a nice addition if you covered the basics of DI, which is VERY important in competitive smash.

sorry for the wall of text

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBigfoot

Extremely happy with the last video. Sorry for making a big deal out of the whole DI thing, but I found that most new players don't know about DI and get stuck in stupid multi-hit combos.

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternewbwithkeyboard

I imagine that a lot of the hate stems from the bad blood between SRK and SWF. The EVO ruleset was... non-optimal for a large tournament, and SWF felt insulted when their appeals were ignored. Sirlin has been very kind to the Smash community in the past, but you can't expect them to be overjoyed when Nintendo of Europe shuts them out AGAIN as authorities on the game.

This would've been a opportunity to solicit SWF for input on how best to present the game's mechanics- I'm sure a number of the members have personally taught new players. It would've been a nice olive branch, but c'est la vie. There'll be other opportunities.

As for the idiot-to-signal ratio coming off SWF, it's worth keeping in mind that the SWF community is twice the size of SRK. It's actually larger than the SomethingAwful forums. The outliers become that much more visible.

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGenericKen

In the last video I did realize that there was a difference between SDI and tap DI, but that was my fault entirely with my overzealousness (also, wasn't sure if C-stick (smash) di even existed in brawl).

I think sirlin has presented the information in a very interesting way, in a way perhaps that most smash bros players fail to see. The effort is something to be commended. The approach has a way less hardcore feel to it which does not alienate the basic brawler but at the same time gets most of the information. I wish people would stop getting hurt and make this into an argument that its not supposed to be (europe's smash scene and items on/off).

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternewbwithkeyboard

Yay for Update, and Many thanks for finally explaining in a clear way on what DI means. I've never understood that concept until now, and most people will use the jargon without explaining what it is. :(

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCalderon0311

yeah, DI = directional influence, most people do it to some extent accidentally, but basically it's prolonging your stocks by changing which way you're knocked, preferably into an upper corner, so you can easily make it back, and have more room to be sent (the death zone is a square, so if you get knocked into the corner, you have to be sent farther to die)

SDI and things similar to it are so that you can avoid the final hit on multi hit moves, like pikachus dsmash, metaknights fair, or pits fsmash

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBigfoot

That move decay feature sounds like a really good way to balance for certain moves and to encourage a better rounded style of play. Sirlin, do you know of any other fighting games that feature this? Do you think it's something that could have wide-spread applications to the fighting genre, or do you feel it would ultimately do more damage than good? Why or why not?

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTom Russell

Seems Reffy got run off... >_>

Honestly, it made no sense for him to even start trouble.

Anyway, I like the videos. They're definitely worthwhile to anyone who wants to learn the basics of Brawl.

November 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAzuro

Ugh, this game is terrible. Have you play Super Smash Bros Melee or Super Smash Bros for N64 Sirlin?

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMikeHaggarKJ

Also, I need to add, the majority of people talking about DI don't know what they're talking about. Everyone have normal DI, ASDI and SDI all mixed up lol. If you're gonna make a vid about it (which is a must if this is supposed to be a guide for competetive players) you need to do some research.

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMikeHaggarKJ

...he freaking said in the main article that this was not intended for serious tourney play stuff. Lighten up ._.

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterXeroma


Great work on the videos. They're simultaneously comprehensive and easy to understand, and should be useful to both new players and experienced ones -- as long as those players are willing to learn, which seems to be something that some commenters here are unwilling to do.

You did a great job on these, and don't let people like Marc or Ivo -- or really, anybody from the cesspool that is Smashboards -- tell you otherwise. I recommend turning comments off completely if it's just going to be nitpicking about tiny details, or that you didn't use a name for an advanced technique decided on by some obscure, insignificant forum.

I was disappointed but not surprised by the comments on this article, especially considering you and Nintendo are trying to increase the size of the competitive Brawl community. But as these things go, excessively insular communities tend not to be particularly welcoming to new people -- especially when the new person's ideas clash with conventions already established by said community.

Before anybody white knights Smashboards by saying that it isn't obscure or insignificant, I DO know that it has over a hundred thousand members and over five million posts. That doesn't change the fact that it's a stain on the internet due to the arrogant and elitist attitudes from the more prominent members there. It's hard to take people seriously when their first response to a perceived outsider making contributions is outright hostility.

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBowmore

Smashboards isn't some small and insignificant forum, please. If you don't like it because of an elitist attitude then say so, don't try to downplay it as insignificant. It's really sad that the elitist attitude lots of people have on the boards has gotten to you, it's just a way most of these people act on the internet and it's not very serious. idk about the brawl forums though, maybe it is different there (i dont post there). But on the melee boards it's largely just silly/stupid act people have.
If you actually are just asking for help people there will help you. I could even link you to examples of threads like these if you want (from completely new members, making their first posts)
Also, Ivo and Marc are well known and well respected in the european smash community, they aren't just nobodies.

Anyway, I'm just sad that Sirlin is wasting his time on this when he could be spending his time discovering SSBM and SSB64

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMikeHaggarKJ

^ the reason i only use smashboards for character boards, and use AiB for everything else, melee trolls, they expect the metagame to come in the box, and then all got pissed and left when they realized they suck at the game. 50% of their posts are just there to bash brawl

However, Bowmore, smashboards is not an insular community, they are normally very open so long as you don't put your foot in your mouth. The keyword is normally, that does not mean you can come in, tell the entre community that they are doing it wrong, and post a stupid ruleset, then ignore the appeals (which is what most of the SRK community did), and not expect backlash.

If I went into the super turbo boards and said "Akuma shouldn't be banned, you're just not controlling space well enough. Now I'm going to host a large tournament with this rule, and pretend to listen to your group while catering to my group" I, and the people from my community, would probably not be very welcome back on the super turbo boards.

Basically, the smash community is very welcoming so long as you recognize that they know what they are talking about. I can't tell you how many new users we get that act like they own the place, it's really annoying.

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBigfoot

Bowrnore anf Bigfoot. you guys should shut the fuck up.
You have no idea what the hell you are talking about.

November 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVulcan
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