SEATTLE — A friendly round of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was interrupted Wednesday evening when local gamer Markus Newell backed the game out of the character select screen so he could “set up some custom controls real quick.”
“I thought it was weird that he insisted on setting his name before the first match,” said Franklin Hughes, one of the friends whose fun came to a stop for five minutes so Newell could tweak the game to his liking. “The rest of us were just P1, P2, and stuff. But I guess you have to have a name to assign your special cool guy controls to. Like he changed his C-Stick to be Tilt Attack? I thought that was what it was already. You tilt it and it does the bigger attack than when you hit A. I think he even turned off jumping or something. Weird.”
After pausing everyone else’s slowly eroding good time, Newell proceeded to alter several settings and button assignments, the purpose of which eluded all other players present.
“Why does it matter if you turn off Stick Jump? Or turn up the sensitivity?” asked Jennifer Brown, whose apartment hosted the impromptu game. “I bet he needs it to wave-air into a neutral-cancel. I heard that once. I play this game, like, once every two months or something. When did they add Min Min? I played a little then, I think.”
While Newell’s behavior took the other players by surprise, Brown noticed early signs that things would take an annoying turn.
“I guess we should have seen it coming when he pulled a GameCube controller out of his bag,” she said. “We hadn’t even planned on playing Smash before people came over, so I guess he just carries it everywhere? Jesus Christ.”
The tense air around the once-fun multiplayer game increased as Newell proceeded to win the first two matches, each of which he played as the same character.
“He used that red anime girl who turns into the other anime girl. From that Xeno-something game. She’s probably high tier or something. Markus thinks he’s hot shit,” said Greg Mills. “But I’ve learned some tricks, too. Like if I tap the shield button and a direction, I can dodge his moves instead of just shielding. I hope he’s ready to get beat by me and Little Mac.”
At press time, Markus was reportedly floating the idea of “playing a match or two with items turned off.”