While Super Smash Bros. Melee and Ultimate had been airing since Super Smash Con 2022, there were still other competitions going on. One game – Project P+ – had theirs in a hotel room; across the parking lot away from vendors, tournament setups and crowds. .
In case you are unfamiliar with Project P+, this is a modification of Project M, a Super Smash Bros. mod. Brawl. You may not even have heard of this game; it’s because Nintendo clearly doesn’t want you to hear about it. But that hasn’t stopped the Smash community from continuing to improve the game and grow a passionate community.
One of those contestants was Christina “Chia” Korsak, who ended up making it into the shadow major’s Top 8. Its principal is King Dedede; she also uses Samus and ROB depending on the match. Chia came to Project+ thanks to her background in game design and her passion for the modding scene; she stuck around for the passionate community and strong gameplay.
My goal at @SuperSmashCon was to get Top 8 in Brawl Singles. I would need to make some upsets as the 9 seed, but I trained for weeks before that.
— LIQUID | Chia 🌜 (@LiquidChia) August 14, 2022
Why was Brawl changed to begin with?
It’s not that people are focused on Brawl modding per se, but video game modding in general. It’s a fun topic because you take a platform from a game you enjoy and build spin-offs from it to show different visions or ideas and build communities from that. The same way games like Team Fortress and Dota were all originally mods of other games.
The reason why Brawl took off in modding comes from two main reasons. First, Brawl was a huge difference from Melee that people didn’t expect. And also because the Wii in particular was a very hackable console compared to many previous Nintendo consoles. There was modding for Wii games even before Brawl came out due to the presence of a full-size DVD drive, which the Game Cube did not have, an SD card slot and USB ports . One of the first systems to offer a much more convenient way to transfer files from a computer.
What are the main differences between P+ and Brawl?
As an avid Melee and Brawl fan, it offers a completely different visualization of what a Smash game could be. It features different character archetypes, gameplay, unique stages that pay homage to other franchises, and a whole new set of technical abilities that I find very fun to play.
What are the main changes they made to Dedede?
Two of the biggest changes with Dedede are due to the way aerial dodging has changed in-game and changing your momentum in the air; Dedede can relaunch his Waddle Dee and Gordo like he could in Brawl. In P+, he can dash with them at the same time, opening up huge movement options. The other biggest change would be that, for the type of character he is, they gave him a much bigger reach than in any other Smash game. In Brawl, he holds his hammer very close to him and he feels limited. In P+ you can see in his animations and playing him he holds the hammer longer and has a wider reach which is quite unique for a heavy character.
What made you so passionate about participating in P+ tournaments?
I’ve always found that in order to keep a passion for competition in a game, I need at least one of two different things. We really enjoy the game and we really appreciate the support of the community behind the game. If the title has both, it makes me want to support and participate in the game even more. I think Project+ strikes a good balance between the two things.
What do you think of the P+ tournaments being “ghost” tournaments, somehow kept apart from the rest of the competition?
I think the concept of a shadow major right now is a necessary evil. It’s better than nothing. But I think it’s really quite sad that we kind of had to be shunned to other places in the first place. I understand in many situations that tournaments somehow can’t get us involved in the main venue, especially after Riptide 2021 had to cancel its Project+ and Low Tide City tournaments as well due to Nintendo’s demands.
Man if they’re just gonna show mod pictures of 64 and give them rewards (which I support lol) why the hell is P+ pushed across the street in a *separate* event
— LIQUID | Chia 🌜 (@LiquidChia) August 13, 2022
What do you think of Nintendo’s lack of support for the competitive scene?
The problem is that Nintendo couldn’t stand it and that’s fine, but they’re going out of their way to hurt him rather than turn a blind eye. I think that’s very petty. There are times when I can imagine they want to distance themselves because of a new game coming out. But now we’re several console generations away from the Wii, from Brawl, so there’s no medium, regardless of the size of P+, that it will have an impact on the sales of a future Smash game. It’s as if… Why, at this point? It feels like they have so little, if anything, to gain while bringing down the passion of hundreds, if not thousands, of fans around the world.
Why is there still so much support for P+?
Other games may have thrived just as much before we had that much support or resources. If these games can survive then, there’s no reason why P+ can’t survive now. While it’s unfortunate that we can’t prosper in the same way these days, it’s better than nothing. The game is fun enough and with enough passionate community members to keep it going.
How does it feel to rank so high in a big major?
While the skills at the event weren’t as high as other shadow majors, when I entered the tournament I was excited but hadn’t practiced too much. I was focused on the Brawl event at Smash Con. It just clicked for me. I was playing very well that day. When I realized what I had done in my pool before moving on to singles, I found myself in the winners’ quarter without even realizing it. It wasn’t something I expected to do. It was a pleasant surprise.
How do you practice the P+?
With P+, it can be difficult to train in person. I usually do an in-person tournament at least once a month. There is an active enough netplay community that I can find a fair amount of competitors in a few me states with minimal lag when I want to train for a specific event.
You also participated in Brawl at Smash Con. Is it difficult to switch from Brawl to P+?
It’s incredibly difficult, but some games are easier to move than others. At the time, I used to juggle Melee and Brawl simultaneously and didn’t have too many problems with that. But sometimes I find it a little harder to switch between Ultimate games and older games due to the difference in input lag or the way the controller is somehow read. I feel like Brawl and P+ feel a bit similar in terms of playing and taking your inputs into account; [especially] compared to other Smash games since they are both built on the same core engine.
How did you enjoy Super Smash Con?
Annually, it is one of my favorite tournaments. The first Smash Con came at a time when we were grounded in events; Again [the convention] continued to grow more and more while keeping this passion. He’ll still have every Smash title available when he can. It’s a celebration of all titles together. It’s one of the few events every year where I really see the passion of 64, Melee, Brawl, Smash 4, Ultimate and Project+, whether in the same center or not.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find shadow majors, as their advertising is deliberately low-key… It’s a shame because even when I was posting about playing there, a lot of people didn’t know that at all was happening this weekend. Wish there was a way to advertise this a little louder or let people know this is happening.
I encourage anyone who loves P+, whether they’ve played it before or want to try it out for the first time; if you are in a big tournament, ask online and see if there is going to be a shadow tournament or friendly matches. There probably will be – and there’s a whole community of people out there who would love to have them, teach them, and welcome another into the community while supporting other Smash games that they also enjoy.