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Smash Fest



So the second Best Buy Smash Fest was today. I initially hadn't planned on going, as no Best Buy anywhere near my house was hosting it. Moreover, I was scheduled to take the ACT from eight this morning until one this afternoon. The ACT, for the record, sucked. I took the SAT back in May and found it a much more … intuitive test; I guess that's the best word for it. While the SAT constantly keeps you on your toes with twenty- and twenty-five-minute sections of math, reading, and writing, the ACT smashes all the questions for each subject into four tedious sections which you have from thirty-five minutes to an hour apiece to complete. My brain went dead after about half an hour of math and it was downhill from there, ultimately culminating in my failure to finish the last sentence of a rather mediocre response to the essay prompt, which is the last section of the test. The SAT puts the essay first, which I much preferred, doubtless due in no small part to the fact that with the SAT I wasn't plagued by the knowledge that those who had opted not to take the writing section were leaving just as I was beginning to write it.


Guess it doesn't help that I got out of school almost a month ago and hadn't opened my SAT/ACT study book since. Heh.


Anyway, throughout the test I was aware that today was the day of the Smash Fest and was contemplating how awesome it would be to go. After eating lunch and taking some measurements for shifting the furniture around in my room, I went back and checked the participating locations on Best Buy's website. Upon plugging the addresses into Google Maps, I found that there was a Smash Fest about an hour from my house. It was about 2:20 at this point, so I texted a friend of mine who's a fellow Smash enthusiast and we decided to go for a road trip. I grabbed my keys--


This was when the problems started. My keys, you see, are not in fact my keys, and it seemed that my dad had taken his car to run an errand. It was about ten minutes before he got back, and I took off around 3:00. Unfortunately – I hadn't figured this fact into my time estimations – my friend lives in the opposite direction of the Best Buy to which we planned to go. Between picking him up and the heavy traffic and heavy rain we encountered on the way, it was 4:30 by the time we got there – the Smash Fest was set to end at 5:00.


We headed to the back of the store where the demo was set up. Some of the aisles had been partitioned off to form a waiting line along the wall – we didn't notice and went down one of these aisles; a Best Buy employee informed us that we had to go around to get in line. Fortunately the line wasn't long – only fifteen people or so. We got in line and waited for about two minutes or so – and then another Best Buy employee supervising the line told us that we had to get out of the line; the people in front of us were the last they were letting through.


I assumed he was joking – we had just gotten there, there was half an hour left, we were, after all, only two people, and it's not like there was a crowd behind us who would clearly push them past the 5:00 end time. After he repeated himself several times – and was backed up by the same employee who had just told us where to go to get in line – we realized he was serious.


In shock, I went and used the bathroom and then we wandered back over toward the video game section – it's not like we were going to leave right away after driving an hour and a half to get there. My friend picked up a Fifa game on a PS3 and messed around with it a bit. It was not, dare I say, a fitting substitute to Super Smash Bros. Around this time we ran into a group of four who it seemed had arrived shortly after us and had also been turned away. According to one of them, an employee had claimed that the game shut off automatically at 5:00, which I found surprising and not wholly convincing. They left; we stuck around – it was quarter to 5 at this point, and I wanted to see whether the remaining line would, in fact, take up what remained of the time window to get through their matches.


And then, like the angels announcing the Messiah's birth, a Best Buy employee brought us tidings of great joy: the last people in line were a party of two and we could join them for a four-player match.


We thanked him profusely and high-tailed it over to the Wii U, where we were handed Pro Controllers. I chose Greninja; he chose Villager; we played against Mega Man and Link on the randomly-selected Pilotwings stage. (You could choose your stage, but we opted for the random button). Playing with a Pro Controller was weird for one accustomed to using a Wii remote + nunchuck for Brawl, largely because I kept dodging when I meant to jump. Greninja was fun to play as – and he pulled through for a victory.


We only had time for one match – after that, two other people who had been there before did a one-on-one match. I'm fairly certain this was not standard practice, but there were no hard feelings – they had, I learned, been waiting for a chance to play a competitive-style match since the demo opened at 9:00 am. As in, they were going through the line over and over again for eight hours. They also managed talk the employees – or possibly the Nintendo rep – into letting them take home the Smash Fest sign, which is pretty cool. Dedication pays off, I suppose. I recorded most of their match on my iPod, and someone from the eight-hour group did the same with his phone. I got the impression he'd been doing so all day, but the Nintendo rep informed us (with about half a minute left) that we weren't allowed to record it.


We didn't get a chance to play the 3DS version, which, now that I think about it, seems a bit odd – no one else was playing it there that I saw; you'd think the employees supervising the event would have offered my friend and I (as well as the group of four who showed up after us) the chance to play the 3DS game if there wasn't time for us to play the Wii U version. Eh.


In any event, guess who's got a 100% win record for Smash 4.


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