On Saturday night I invited some friends over to play Smash Bros., and I’m sorry.
I’m not great at Smash, but I think it’s a fun party game. When you get people of varying skill levels together it turns into a raucous, chaotic experience you can’t get anywhere else. I was also hoping that my two friends Perry and Arbo, who are good at Smash, could help me unlock some characters.
They did help me, and I’m grateful. They helped me, too, by unwittingly trying a new Smash Bros. mode that I invented and think is really great.
You see, early on, Perry and Arbo started winning a bunch. As we were taking a break, Arbo asked me if I could up the time limit to five or six minutes, so that the less experienced players could have more time to get used to their characters. While I was there, I scrolled down to the items list, and I don’t know what came over me. I set the items to high, then turned off everything but bees. I started to turn off fake Smash Balls, but then decided that if I was keeping real Smash balls, the fake ones have to be in the mix too. The result was chaos.
Arbo dubbed this mode “Bad Balls and Bees,” and he hated it so much I think it caused him physical pain. The difference between fake and real Smash balls is that the real ones let you do a powerful special move, and the fake ones explode. Every time a fake one floated by his character, he’d make these strange sounds, like someone was rubbing his inner arm with a rubber glove. “Get away!” he’d shriek.
Even worse were the bees. The bees deal damage over time and stop you from moving for a beat when you’re hit with them. They were all over the screen. It was an absolute nightmare. I loved every second of it, watching people’s well planned out strategies go to shit because they were covered in bees.
Perry and Arbo both insisted Bad Balls and Bees wasn’t fun, which was strange to me, because they kept laughing. My other friends didn’t seem all that bothered. Not even Allison, who mostly wanted to sit in a corner as Kirby and be a rock. “Why are you hurting me?” she’d say whenever Perry came over to her zone of the stage. Luckily, the bees mostly kept him away.
I have to be honest, I cannot wait until I play Bad Balls and Bees again. It was just out of control. It’s not that I like to hurt my friends—it’s just that I think their suffering is funny. I hope both Perry and Arbo are okay with playing some more Bad Balls and Bees next time they swing by. I need to unlock Isabelle, and I want to introduce the group to “Don’t Hurt Isabelle” next.