By Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody and Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs
The 64 Free For All is a question and answer session with some of the biggest names in Smash 64. 6 questions, 4 top personalities. Today we have three players from the western part of North America and a legendary Japanese player. The mind behind SoCal Smash: Wookiee. A rising star SoCal rallies behind: Heropie. The enigmatic, doubles master JaimeHR. The legendary Kirby master from Japan: Fukurou.
- Snosa III will be the first modern North American 64 major to try out a 4 stock ruleset for singles. How do you expect competitors and fans to react to this change?
Alex “Wookiee” Jungsten: I think there will be a very positive reaction. With all of the crazy hype sets that will be at Snosa, I think four stocks is going to make it a really good event. As for the viewers, I hope it also becomes even more enjoyable.
Alex “Heropie” Ornelas: I think overall there will be a positive reaction. Some people are old school and don’t like the 4 stock game, but I think we should try it out considering that 64 has been known to have some pretty long sets.
Jaime “JaimeHR” Hernández Rodríguez: Well I’m personally not a fan of 4 stock matches and Dreamland only (lol) but if that’s what the community wants, I’ll just roll with it. There’s definitely going to be mixed reactions about this change, from the ones that don’t really care at all to those who feel that 1 less stock will force players to play more carefully, thus making matches take longer. There’s also the people that are going to think that we are Melee now or something.
Fukurou: I think it will be very good for the community to do, however fewer stocks means it is easier for the weaker player to win.
- The hype surrounding Snosa seems to be significantly less than what we have come to expect from 64 majors. Why do you think this has happened? What can events do to truly bring pre-event excitement?
Wookiee: I think people are going to be very surprised at how hype the tournament is going to be. I am very confident to say I feel bad for the people not attending. This is probably going to be one of, if not the best Smash 64 exclusive majors that has been run to this date.
I personally believe that there has just been too many 64 majors, which made it harder to market since we didn’t want to step on anybodies toes and interfere with their tournaments. It shows we have made significant growth however as a community. I was expecting less entrants due to people having gone to so many majors recently. Although we do have less entrants than what is expected, this tournament is STACKED. Go through the entrants list, even top 70 is going to be well known players. A Lot of good people are going to place lower than we think.
I don’t think we need to do anything differently for our event. If people want to come, they can. For me as a TO however, I am just focusing on having a very high quality event, which everyone will come to see it is. We have the best venue a 64 major has ever had, the best stream equipment anybody has ever had access to, more set ups than we could ever need, Japan is sending three players, and we are in one of the best cities in the USA. It can’t get much better.
Heropie: I think people are underestimating how hype it will be. I can’t wait to watch the Japanese players play some of our top players. Anytime there is top level competition I think the hype will naturally follow.
JaimeHR: It is because 4 stocks is not popular! Nah, just kidding. It is hard to tell really, I think it has to do with the amount of Smash events that are currently happening throughout the year, there are a lot more tournaments featuring SSB64 than in previous years, back then we had at most 3 events that featured Smash 64 during the whole year and I think that’s what made those few tournaments so hype, because they were rare and everyone wanted to go. Now we have a lot more tournaments but the draw back now, I feel, is that now we are choosing which ones are “worth” going to more than others. Take Smash’N’Splash 3 as an example, that tournament was 2 weeks before Snosa and only got 63 entrants for SSB64, really good players were there that could build enough hype to bring out more participants but it just didn’t work, was it bad marketing? Or maybe people thought, “Oh, Snosa is more important, I should just save for that.”
As for building pre-event excitement, I think 64 majors are doing it great right now by bringing international players, the problem maybe was that there were other 64 events close to Snosa that actually seemed like they were competing for attendance, what needs to be done I think, is gather all the 64 TOs together and agree on which tournament will be labeled as “That Big Major that you must NOT miss” and help market it within their local tournaments and other non-exclusive Smash 64 events such as SSS or Smash’N’Splash 3 for instance.
Fukurou: Take care of the Smash community, and get more people to know about the game.
- Not long ago, the Super Smash Bros. 64 League announced an effort to create regional event circuits. Do you believe this is the direction our game should move? Why or why not?
Wookiee: I highly support the regional circuits. It accomplishes three big things that our community needs. It gives us organization, a motivation factor for the region’s players to attend a tournament, and a way for our community to start generating some money. The community is only growing faster and faster, and unlike the other Smash communities, we have a centralized organization that can oversee tournament quality and look for the best interests of the whole community. I think the 64 League is really going to do some amazing things over these next few years.
Heropie: I think it’s a good direction for the game to go considering the growth of the community in the last couple of years. The unity will be good and players now have an incentive to make it out to the tournaments.
JaimeHR: Circuits are definitely the next step into making SSB64 a more serious competitive (eSport?) game, the real question would be, is SSB64 ready? I don’t think it is yet, we are still debating which rulesets are the best for the health of the game, but once it is figured out, we can start talking with ESPN (haha).
Fukurou: No response.
- Some still say Isai could win majors if he played seriously with his mains. Some say he is playing seriously when he uses less developed characters. Do you think Isai still has it in him to win a major?
Wookiee: I think with any character at anytime Isai has the potential to win. I really appreciate him using other characters as it displays high level play with all of the cast, which I think this community needs to see. Any character can be good and win.
Heropie: Definitely. I think if he played Pikachu he could, but if he pulls out Luigi or some other joke character, he will get bodied.
JaimeHR: He has the means to win majors. Think about this, of all the strong NA players, Isai has the biggest character diversity, he can do well with almost the entire roster, potentially giving him an edge on matchup knowledge. His Link can’t take your C. Falcon? Then maybe his Jigglypuff can, probably Mario, Fox, whatever he feels like playing. We already saw him take Beast 7 with his Link against Revan, a top Kirby main, and that’s a matchup many consider in favor of Kirby.
Fukurou: I think Isai as stronger characters will win in tournament, but weaker character Isai will not.
- Who will be Top 8 at Snosa III?
Wookiee: 1. Fukurou
Heropie: 1. Heropie
JaimeHR: Isai, Fukuroi, Gyaki, Hiyo, Mariguas and Dexter will definitely get there unless they eliminate themselves early, then there’s 2 remaining spots that will be disputed between Bark, Heropie, DTan and Janitor, if TheZ and tacos don’t show up. (I’m not sure if Z and tacos are coming, lol)
Fukurou: I do not know anything about overseas players, but believe Isai will win if he plays his strong characters.
- Does Kirby beat Captain Falcon?
Wookiee: Kirby gets rekt. Falcon is too fast and his punishes are too solid.
Heropie: I think Kirby still beats Falcon. I do think the matchup isn’t as lost for Falcon as people thought because of his heavy punish game. He just can’t get up tilted. I’d say it’s close to even but in Kirby’s favor.
JaimeHR: Kirby destroys C. Falcon, it is a matter of who has an easier time landing hits, C. Falcon needs to win the neutral game then setup for a grab or upsmash to 0 to death Kirby, while the latter has an easier time landing any hit into pain (uptilt) and there’s not much C. Falcon can actually do even with good DI, you will probably destroy your stick first before even hoping to get out of that safely, most of the time he’ll end up off stage.
Alvin has proved C. Falcon can beat a good Kirby, but most C. Falcons will avoid that matchup in tournament and play someone else against Kirby and I’ve seen that happen many times so that should give us a clue of who wins the matchup overall.
In short, C. Falcon has to work harder and play flawlessly, while Kirby can just avoid getting grabbed floating on top plat until Falcon loses his cool and starts making mistakes which Kirby loves to capitalize on.
Fukurou: I wonder if it is hard for Kirby to win consistently. But I think he is better.
Free Barking with BarkSanchez
One year later, new venue, new tournament format, new Fireblaster beef that sadly won’t be played out here. This summer has been tough on attendance due to flight prices, but I’m confident Snosa will build upon its past two years in bringing more energy and entertainment than ever.
The absence of SuPeRbOoMfAn and Alvin is very disappointing, however, it blows this tournament wide open. Many consider Fukurou the heavy favorite to win, but what if Isai “finds him worthy”? Many still believe his Pikachu would power him past any opponent. Perhaps Mariguas, not ready to be embarrassed by another Japanese Kirby, comes back ascended in the matchup and defends North America? Dext3r has not been quiet about his desire to play Fukurou, and seems very confident. Snosa III feels like the first Smash 64 tournament where the top three or four players could be arranged in almost any order, with only minimal surprise.
It’s interesting to note that while Fukurou comes from the land of four stocks, he acknowledges the volatility it adds. Perhaps there are players in Japan that wish to adopt five stock rulesets? It appears he struggled with most of the other questions. It’s great to see more Japanese players come out, but the odds seem stacked against Gyaki and Hiyo. At Super Smash Con 2016, the “Three Dragons” had pretty varied results, so there should be hope, as well as tempered expectations for Hiyo. Gyaki has a less forgiving path, although if he can adjust to the differences in versions he can perhaps mimic some of Isai’s success with Link.
Regional circuits are good, characterbans are bad, and 5 stock Dreamland-only with a 10 minute timer and No Whispy is the future. Thank you and #LoveSnosa.
Nothing good in life is free, except Wookiee’s Pika as Fox.