Steep Rock West and Xenosaga XXI

A majority of my hobbies revolve around theatre, like sketch comedy, stand-up, improv, film, and editing. But, there are few that break the mold and allow for some escapism when I need a break from thinking creatively. I started rock climbing last October when my friend Max introduced it to me as an athletic puzzle. It sounded fun, I went on a free pass, and I loved it. It’s been a regular part of my exercise routine since. Gaming has been a hobby of mine since I was kid. I got Pokemon Blue as a gift for jumping off the diving board when I was six, and that was the first game I ever played. The next game that hit the same itch was Super Smash Bros. Melee, a crossover fighting game for the Gamecube. I bought all future installments the day they came out on every console since. And this week, I had the opportunity to explore both of these hobbies at two separate events.

Steep Rock West is a bouldering gym nearby where I live, and I didn’t even plan that. Bouldering is a style of rock climbing where the wall is ten feet high, you don’t have a rope, but the climbing routes are a lot harder to compensate for the short distance. The gym made us feel right at home, with that same familiar community from climbing gyms we’ve visited in the past. People were helping other people out, everyone was having fun, and it felt safe and quiet. The climbing was fun, exhausting, and I was sore for about four days as I hadn’t gone in a while. Oops.  

Xenosaga XXI is the 21st installment of a monthly Super Smash Bros. tournament in Chinatown. This tournament was for the newest game, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. To prepare, I looked up some tips online and found an itemized list. The top of the list reading, “please shower”. I thought that was a bit hyperbolic, as it’s a no-brainer. I take the train down to Chinatown, rang the doorbell to get into the store where the tournament was happening and good god. “Please shower” was not hyperbolic, not even a little. While the stench wasn’t overwhelming, it still lingered in the air. Like everyone had to be aware of this symphony of B.O. taking place. Aside from that, the tournament was a lot of fun! It was $20 to enter, and before it started, we all had the chance to warm up and play friendly matches with other competitors.

I got DESTROYED. I thought I was pretty good at the game, but these guys are no joke. They were all talking about frame data, hitboxes, hurtboxes, character matchups, things I know about in the game, but didn’t think they were too useful to become a competitor. I used this tournament as a guinea pig, a chance to see the competition, and now I know where I need to improve. It was double elimination, and I lost the first two matches I played. Everyone was nice about it, and they gave me tips on how to improve. I had an amazing time. Until next time, Xenosaga. You won’t know what hit ya.

(Because you won’t even feel the hit because I’ll get knocked out within the hour again.)