Little Mac’s Confession

How Accessibility Goes Wrong

As with most Last Life users, I’ve found myself going back to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U fairly often. A combination of factors (not the least of which are an actually functional online service and a renewed dedication toward balance) could make these products the best Smash Bros. games yet to be made. We’re already seeing memetic terminology thrown around, with the “Settle it in Smash” campaign, “For Glory”, and other such shorthands joining oft-overused sayings like “No Items. Fox Only. Final Destination” and “Tripping!”. One of the characters to emerge ahead of the crowd from evaluations of the game’s balance and sheer memetic popularity is Little Mac, who has already garnered a bit of infamy in both regards. It’s not that the character is overpowered, like previous Smash Bros. pariah Meta Knight – on the contrary, Mac has incredibly obvious and well documented flaws. The issue is that he’s gaining a reputation as a sort of ‘scrub character’; that is to say, a character with a very low skill requirement for entry to play at a higher level. This is true, to a certain extent – Mac feels like a beginner’s character to the higher-level play of Smash, meant to introduce and highlight elements of Smash’s deeper metagame. Unfortunately, Little Mac does this very poorly. Little Mac may be one of the worst examples of a ‘beginner character’ that has been seen in some time, and if left as is, will end up being detrimental to the entire competitive Smash Bros. scene and its players.