Melee holds strong following 16 years later

By Uriel Gonzalez

Some works capture generation after generation of fans: Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner,” Nas’s “Illmatic,” and Shigesato Itoi’s “Earthbound,” to cite just three very different works, each resonates something intangible within old and new audiences.

Masahiro Sakurai brought us another one of these classics in 2001 with “Super Smash Bros. Melee.”

Video games age quickly, more so than any other form of entertainment. Year after year people rush to buy slightly updated versions of nearly identical games.

You can see this trend with games like “Assassin’s Creed” or “Madden” that offer slightly better graphics, a few new features and an updated roster as a selling point.

This shows why Melee is special, still holding a strong following more than 16 years after its original release.

“It’s so free flowing, at the highest level it almost becomes like a conversation with the other player,” said Cal Poly Pomona Melee Club Spokesman Jack Genchi.

At first, it may be hard to believe that dozens of young college students spend their Friday nights, fully immersed in an old video game.

From a distance it looks like mindless button mashing, but once you dig a bit, you find more than just a kids game.

Most people would be hard-pressed to dislike Melee; it is easy to get into and fun to play, yet it is difficult to master.

It’s a deep experience beyond the surface, with extremely precise controls, instantly recognizable characters and iconic music from dozens of Nintendo franchises.

“It hasn’t been recreated in any other game. There’s nothing else that requires this much technical skill,” said first-year CPP student Olin Tellefsen

“Super Smash Bros. Melee” is the type of game that resonates with people for a lifetime.

Olin has been playing Melee since he was seven years old and has yet to stop 14 years later.

Outside of experiencing Melee itself, playing the game comes with social perks.

The Smash community at Cal Poly Pomona is lively and extremely welcoming to all students.

CPP students like Genchi and Olin have found themselves making lots of friends on campus through the Smash community.

Once the matches are won and the tournament champions are crowned, all that’s left are friends who all share a passion for a fun and competitive game.

The Smash Melee scene, at its core, is built by the fans and for the fans.

Nintendo, the creator of the game, does not officially endorse the competitive scene, so the tournament show runners across the world put on the events on their own dime and merit.

CPP Melee is no exception.

Their love and passion for the game drives them to put on all of these events.

The events have consistently been put on by students for students at CPP since the 2015-16 school year.

Experience Smash for yourself; connect with CPP Melee on Facebook or evey Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m at the Games Room in the Bronco Student Center.

The Smash community on campus is lively and extremely welcoming to all students

Uriel Gonzalez / The Poly Post

The Smash community on campus is lively and extremely welcoming to all students

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