The players can hear the screams and shouts from spectators and can sense their own individual heartbeat, their concentration is at its peak and sweat begins to form in their hands. One player tries to come up with a strategy to ensure that the other player loses the match and they can be the winner of the game.
Is it a one on one basketball game on the court, a table tennis match, or a mix martial arts cage fight in the ring?
Close but no.
It’s Brooklyn Video Games’ very own Super Smash Bros. 64 tournament.
Gamers, nerds and geeks can show off their skills in the classic Nintendo 64 game Super Smash Bros. and choose from various Nintendo characters such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox and Pikachu and duke it out to become the champion of the tournament, which take place on a Friday every month at the establishment. This past tournament held on Oct. 6, attracted over 20 competitors and half as many spectators, some traveling by train and bus for over an hour to face off in the classic Nintendo brawler.
Throughout 2016 and 2017, ReviewFix.com’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief Patrick Hickey Jr. and Brooklyn Video Games’ owner, Esteban Sosa hosted several gaming tournaments that brought people to come to the store to participate in them. Such tournaments are 5 Star Pro Wrestling Re: Genesis, WCW/nWo Revenge & WWE No Mercy, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Super Mario Kart: Double Dash, Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros for Wii U. After the tournaments for Super Smash Bros. Melee and the latest installment of the franchise Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, it was only natural to go back to the roots and go where it all started.
“It [Super Smash Bros.] seems to have attracted a lot of people, so now we have several tournaments and we have done every single Smash Bros. The other tournaments have done all right, the Marvel vs. Capcom 2 tournament was probably the most fun to watch, but it wasn’t the most lucrative one,” Hickey Jr. said. “So Smash Bros. is our go-to tournament, every other month we do a Smash Bros tournament. It’s just a game people like and that what we try and do, make a lot of people happy and make them want to come back. We like the fact that we get fifteen to twenty people, so this way it’s worthwhile for Steven, it worthwhile for the people here, it worthwhile for us and it’s a win-win situation.”
However, while it is fun to compete in a tournament, it is more difficult to organize and manage one, which is why it is important to have a partner.
“We have spoken about it when I was back in the small shop and it just came up, but we didn’t have the space to do it, but I mentioned to him [Patrick Hickey Jr.] I was going to be moving soon. After March, we started coming up with ideas on which certain tournaments we should do,” said Sosa. “Hickey does most of the work, he set up the tournaments, who fights against who, what are the rules. I just host it in my store.”
The tournament was formatted into double elimination, dividing it into two sections: a winner and a loser bracket. If a player loses his first match, he is placed in the loser bracket but is still able to redeem himself and continue in the tournament to win third place, however, if he loses again he is permanently out from the competition. First prize winner receives one hundred dollars in store credits, second prize winner receives fifty dollars and third prize winner (the winner of the final match of the loser bracket) receives thirty dollars.
Regardless of age, if one played classic video games in their childhood, upon entering Brooklyn Video Games, they will immediately be intoxicated with nostalgia. The 600 square foot store is covered wall to wall with video games relics, memorabilia and souvenirs from consoles of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the original Game Boy and its later variations such as the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance, Sega Genesis, Sega Dreamcast, the original PlayStation console and their original gaming cartridges and CDs, controllers and any other add-ons.
“What made me come here was the nostalgia and the fact that I used to play this game [Super Smash Bros.] as a little kid and so I wanted to come here, test my skill and see how I would do,” said Nolan Frontera, a Liberal Arts Major from Kingsborough. “Just all the amazing memories. I know I’m still young, but upon entering the store I felt like I was five again, because I have two old brothers and through them, I was introduced and exploited in this stuff. So coming to this stuff, it brought me back to my childhood days.”
Brooklyn Video Games has classic video games from an era that did not feature online multiplayer but rather local multiplayer in which your friends would be in the same room and play alongside with you. When Severio Ruscio won the final match against Dylan Young, players recalled their victories and losses in their own respective matches with laughter, enjoyment and eagerness to fight their adversaries in next tournament.
“The purpose of these tournaments is to bring gamers from the areas together and for them to remember that online gaming is fun but it’ll never be the same as playing with someone right next to you. Kids today lock themselves in their rooms and game,” said Hickey Jr. “They never feel what it’s like to battle with someone right next to you. These tournaments are supposed to represent everything that’s great about gaming and Brooklyn, the people.”
Brooklyn Video Games’ next tournament hasn’t been announced yet, as Sosa and Hickey, both married, with toddlers, have to focus on family during the upcoming holiday season.
“January is right around the corner,”Hickey said. “We already have plenty of ideas and are excited for the future.”