Mr. Game & Watch

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Mr. Game & Watch
Game & Watch character
File:Mr. Game & Watch SSBU.png
Mr. Game & Watch as he appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
First appearance
  • Ball
  • April 28, 1980
Created byGunpei Yokoi,[1] Masahiro Sakurai

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Mr. Game & Watch[lower-alpha 1] is a 2D generic stick figure styled silhouette character, created by Nintendo and themed around the Game & Watch series. He was created for the Super Smash Bros. series, with an intention of representing the Game & Watch collection, as the consoles had no main mascot, rather characters designed for the minigames. He debuted in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and every other future title, including Super Smash Bros. Brawl Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. As he represents the Game & Watch series, he pre-dates Pac-Man by one month as being the oldest character on the roster.[2] Mr. Game and Watch have appeared as a cameo in several other Nintendo games, such as Donkey Kong Country Returns, Rhythm Heaven Fever and Super Mario Odyssey.

Concept and design[edit]

Being designed by Gunpei Yokoi.[1] When Yokoi saw someone fiddling with a calculator on the train, it inspired him on designing Mr. Game & Watch concept and the series, and the systems were built on calculator technology.[1] In Super Smash Bros., the character pummel, edge attacks (Brawl and later), up and side taunts are references to the clocks and alarms that are included in a Game & Watch console. His character icon also represents this alarm feature, where it depicts the character holding a bell. The character comes with seven alternate colors to choose from before a match.[3] Most of the character moves appeared from the Game & Watch: Ball, a game who contributed a lot of the character's move set in his appearance in Super Smash Bros. series.[4]

Appearances[edit]

Mr. Game and Watch originally appeared as playable characters in 1980 Game & Watch Ball into, Flagman, Vermin, Fire, Judge, Manhole, Helmet,[5] Lion, Parachute, Octopus,[6] Chef, Turtle Bridge, Fire Attack, Oil Panic, Greenhouse, Rain Shower and Life Boat.[4] The Game & Watch brand is represented in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series with the character Mr. Game and Watch, He appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U[7] and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.[8]

Beyond Super Smash Bros. and Game & Watch series, Mr. Game & Watch has also appeared in Game & Watch Gallery 4. He also makes cameo appearances in Donkey Kong Country Returns, Rhythm Heaven Fever, Nintendo 3DS Sound and Super Mario Odyssey.[9]

Reception[edit]

Mr. Game & Watch received mixed reviews by critics, mostly the character appearance on Super Smash Bros. series. UGO.com listed Mr. Game and Watch on their list of "The Cutest Characters", stating "Mr. Game and Watch is adorable because he's completely oblivious to his condition."[10] David Mello of Screen Rant ranked him second of the forgotten Nintendo characters, and stated that Mr. Game & Watch is a classic character from the younger days of Nintendo.[11] Michael Derosa of Screen Rant also listed Mr. Game & Watch as the sixth character that should be added in Mario Kart, and stated that 2D character in the magical 3D Mario Kart world would offer the type of visual contrast that gamers love.[12]

Masahiro Sakurai described Mr. Game & Watch as a fighter that falls "outside of people’s typical expectations", and explained further that without such characters the roster might only have typical “hero/heroine” type fighters in the lineup, which would be "probably not very interesting".[13] IGN noted that Mr. Game & Watch became weirder as it maintains his unique 2D nature in an otherwise 3D world.[14] Jeremy Parish of Polygon ranked 73 fighters from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate "from garbage to glorious", placed Mr. Game & Watch last on the list and criticized the character for not being a "real classic character".[15] Gavin Jasper of Den of Geek ranked Mr. Game & Watch as 21st of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters, praising the character addition to the roster and stated that the character "is to Nintendo icons what Bosko was to Looney Tunes".[16] Cecilia D'Anastasio of Kotaku listed Game & Watch on Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U as the fifth most annoying character in the game.[17] CJ Andriessen of Destructoid criticize and placed him fourth from the last list on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters.[18] In 2020, A professional Smash Bros. player Maister was one of the first successful players on the tournament that only boast major results primarily with Mr. Game & Watch on the tournaments, from being unranked on the last season of the Panda Global Rankings to the sixth in the world best player.[19] In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Mr. Game & Watch was considered "low tier", or one of the weakest characters available for selection.[19] In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, while Mr. Game & Watch was still considered low-tier at the time of Maister's Combo Breaker 2019 win,[20] the Smash community eventually realized that the character had become significantly stronger. Maister began seeing strong criticism on social media towards both the character and himself after placing highly at events, with some of that criticism claiming that Maister's success was entirely due to the character he played, especially the character's Up B out of shield (quick attack).[19][21] While Maister claimed that he did not mind criticism of the character, and acknowledged that Mr. Game & Watch was annoying to play against, he struggled to deal with the attacks leveled against him personally, eventually choosing to reduce the time he spent on social media.[19][21]

Controversy[edit]

After the re-animation, claims were made on Twitter and an online message board that the character represents a racist Native American stereotype. These claims were later echoed elsewhere online.[22] In the 1992 Game & Watch title Fire Attack, a Cowboy is defending his western fort from Native Americans trying to burn it down. Doing the forward smash input, the Native American can be seen, exactly how he appears in his original game.[22] Nintendo took action by removing the feather headband on his head and responded with the following claim to Eurogamer:

"Nintendo has been planning to distribute an update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that removes the feather from the silhouette of Mr. Game & Watch. The original game on which this depiction of the character is based was released more than three decades ago and does not represent our company values today. We sincerely apologise that this change was not noticed in our marketing material and are continuing our work to make Super Smash Bros. Ultimate an experience that is both welcoming and fun for everyone."[23]

Amiibo[edit]

In September 2015, the Super Smash Bros. line of Amiibo released A Mr. Game and Watch Amiibo collectible.[24] The design also come with 3 additional detachable alternatives of the character in different positions and moves. Additionally, he is sold as well in the Amiibo Retro Pack, a 3 part Amiibo set including, Mr. Game and Watch, R.O.B., and Duck Hunt.[25]

The character can be scanned into the 3DS/Wii U and Ultimate titles, which a player can use to create a personal CPU, which can train and fight using artificial intelligence. The Amiibo can also be used to unlock a cosmetic option for Super Mario Maker.[26]

Notes[edit]

  1. Japanese: ゲーム&ウォッチ?

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Learn About The Development Of The Game & Watch Series". February 15, 2011.
  2. "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Who The Oldest Character In The Series Is". ScreenRant. April 5, 2021.
  3. Green, Jake (2020-01-21). "Mr Game & Watch Super Smash Bros Ultimate Guide - Unlock, Moves, Changes, Mr Game & Watch Alternate Costumes, Final Smash". US Gamer.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "10 Best Nintendo Game & Watch Games Ever Made". Den of Geek. October 26, 2020.
  5. Life, Nintendo (April 8, 2010). "Review: Game & Watch Helmet (DSiWare)". Nintendo Life.
  6. "Play Game & Watch and other LCD games in your browser". August 12, 2013.
  7. Cork, Jeff. "Super Smash Bros. For Wii U Review – All Hail The New Champion". Game Informer.
  8. Busby, James; August 2019, Lucas Sullivan 02. "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character unlocks, and how to win with every fighter". gamesradar.
  9. "Mr. Game and Watch has a reference in Super Mario Odyssey". September 14, 2017.
  10. Marissa Meli (March 4, 2011). "]The 50 Cutest Video Game Characters - UGO.com". UGO.com. Archived from the original on January 10, 2014. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
  11. "10 Forgotten Nintendo Characters You May Not Remember From Childhood". ScreenRant. November 26, 2020.
  12. "Mario Kart: 10 Nintendo Characters Who Need To Join In The Fun". ScreenRant. April 3, 2021.
  13. Shea, Brian. "Masahiro Sakurai Talks Piranha Plant, Spirits, And 20 Years Of Super Smash Bros". Game Informer. Retrieved 2021-07-02.
  14. Thomas, Lucas (1 February 2008). "Smash It Up! - The Final Roster". IGN. News Corporation. Archived from the original on 2009-07-05. Retrieved 20 October 2009. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  15. Parish, Jeremy (2018-12-03). "We rank the Smash Bros. (and friends)". Polygon. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  16. "Super Smash Bros. Characters Ranked". Den of Geek. March 7, 2019.
  17. "Smash 4 Characters, Ranked By How Annoying They Are". Kotaku.
  18. "The debut game of every Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fighter, ranked". December 8, 2018.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Bhansali, Zane (January 31, 2020). "Mr. Game & Watch helped this Smash pro soar. The success came with a cost". Washington Post. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  20. "Maister wins Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Singles at Combo Breaker 2019". May 26, 2019.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Michael, Cale (April 5, 2020). "Maister opens up about hate he receives from Super Smash Bros. community".
  22. 22.0 22.1 Singletary Jr., Charles (2018-11-08). "Nintendo will remove offensive Native American animation from Smash Ultimate".
  23. Phillips, Tom (2018-11-07). "Nintendo to remove Native American references in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate". Eurogamer.
  24. "Street Fighter® Icon Ryu Joins the Roster of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U". Business Wire. 2015-06-14.
  25. Carter, Chris (2015-09-25). "The amiibo Retro 3-Pack is out today, comes with all four Game & Watch variants". Destructoid.
  26. Sahdev, Ishaan (2015-06-14). "Ryu, Roy, Duck Hunt, And Mewtwo Amiibo Figurines Announced". Siliconera.


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