The Dad Gaming Bootcamp: Super Smash Bros and The Art of Not Rage Quitting

In partnership with Planters

(Expert advice from TDG Super Smash Bros Champ Ivan Bunag,  TDG Admin Rueben Qualls and Super Smash Bros Rage Quitter, Jared Warner)

There’s something different about Smash Bros from other fighting games. Most notable is that instead of damaging health and decreasing a life bar, you inflict damage that makes it easier to knock your opponent off the board. That makes for much more of a nail-biting finish to each round because you never know exactly when someone’s going to get sent flying into space. Also, as it happens, it causes losing a round to fill me with a deep and unprecedented fury as though a black hole has ripped a tear in the universe deep in my stomach.

Something about the combination of the bright light that engulfs you as you fall to your doom and the fact that I know freakin’ Jigglypuff is sitting there looking smug as my R.O.B -AN ADVANCED ROBOT WHO SHOULD NOT BE DEFEATED BY A MARSHMALLOW-  gets jettisoned into the ether…I just…ooooooooooooo it gets me worked up. So to help all the dads out there who are new to Smash, we put together this handy rage-avoidance guide to prepare you for our Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tournament!

First off, here’s how the event will go down. Sign up here. Then, on October 9, we’ll all pop a fresh pack of Planters Pop & Pour, and settle in for an elimination bracket. If we have enough signups, we’ll hold two of these. The top 16 – or 32 – will then be invited back for a Double Elimination Grand Final Showdown to secure ULTIMATE BRAGGING RIGHTS.  In order to play in this tournament, you will need Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a Switch console, Nintendo Online, and the determination of Bowser taking his opponent on a flying slam off-stage.  What you do NOT need is to be any good at the game. Just take it from me.

Sign up here, and now let’s learn to overcome our demons…

What is SSBU?

Super Smash Bros. is a fighting game at its core. As we talked about before, though, unlike arcade classics such as  “Boulevard Warriors” and “Fatal Konflict” the idea is to inflict a higher percentage of damage to your opponent, making it easier to throw them off the board and send me into a rage spiral. It’s kinda like a sumo wrestling match, but with Pikachu and Donkey Kong. 

Lingo

  • Stock – your “lives” in a match. Your starting stock can be altered in the game settings.
  • Blast Zone – The outside edges of each stage – your goal is to knock opponents into this, and you lose a stock when you touch it. Trust me, you’ll know. 
  • Normals or Tilts– the basic A-button attach. There are 4 variations based on also pressing on the direction pad. 
  • Specials – the Special  B-button attach. Again, 4 directional variations. These are character-specific moves, so experiment with these to find your “Mains” 
  • Smashes – 3 extra powerful attacks performed by pressing A, but with a hard/fast directional input.
  • Double Jump – all characters can perform a double jump while airborne, and some can even perform multiple jumps (Kirby and Jigglypuff have 5, the smushy jerks). You can use these to pull yourself back from the Blast Zones.
  • Rolling – This is a quick dash-move that makes you invincible for a brief second. It’s good for getting out of a tight fix. Press the directional button while holding the shield button at the same time. 
  • Recovery – The strategy I just described – trying to get back on the board from the Blast Zone so you don’t lose a stock. 
  • Edge Guard – attempting to prevent your opponent from recovering back to the stage. Usually standing on the edge yourself shooting or attacking them so they can’t quite land.
  • Knockback – the force and distance you travel when hit by an attack
  • Percent or Damage – how much damage you have taken on your current stock. As your percentage increases, so does your knockback, making it easier to send you flying into the Blast Zone. 

HOW TO NOT LOSE YOUR COOL

Because Smash is an otherwise straight-forward fighting game, the strategies here are pretty simple to learn but difficult to master.

Learn the “Neutral”  – AKA: Footsies
Have you ever watched any boxing or MMA fights and noticed that those guys don’t throw haymakers and power hits all the time? They only go for it when they are confident it will land. Spamming the slow but powerful hits is a good way to get KO’d quickly. Use quick “safe” moves to test their opponent; momentum can shift quickly in a Smash Bros. match, so sometimes reverting back to the neutral game may be the best choice.

Know Your Character
SSBU currently fields a roster of 74 characters that all handle differently and have different abilities. Knowing one inside and out is difficult enough, trying to generalize that can just dilute your abilities. This is why fight gamers like to have a “Main” – the character they rely on and know how to live in. Definitely play the field at first and be willing to try new things, but when it’s time for a tournament, you’ll want to play with a character you know like the back of your hand. 

Limit Your Rolls
While rolling is an essential tool for bobbing and weaving around a fight, doing it too much gets predictable, allowing your opponent to lay the smackdown on you. They also have diminishing returns, and gradually make you more vulnerable. It’s good to float like a butterfly, but you gotta learn the stinging/bee part, too.

Use Your Shield
Oh how I wish I knew about this the first twenty times I played Smash back in college. Many newer players keep their foot on the attack pedal, forgetting that the shield button even exists. Playing defense doesn’t have to mean losing ground. You need to look for openings, not just button-mash. The game is fast paced, but I promise you’ll do better if you stand your ground and get acclimated to that speed, rather than trying to just hail mary your way through. 

Don’t Burn Your Double Jump
Oh no! You got knocked off the stage! Don’t panic, you have a lot of resources you can use to help you recover, the best of which is your double jump! However, and this is a big instinct to learn to beat – if you use it too soon, but ar being edge guarded, or are just too far away, you’ll still fall into a KO.

Recover Low
If you are recovering – as in trying to get back on the board, not…like, recovering emotionally – it’s usually safer to drop below the stage and approach it from below. It’s harder and riskier for most opponents to edge guard against someone below the stage as opposed to above. 

Pop & Pour
Smash Bros is a fast-paced game, and the tide can change swiftly. Many an overconfident player has found themselves blasting out unexpectedly after reaching for a snack or a drink. Planters Pop & Pour are designed to give you a quick, one-handed snack fix so you don’t lose focus on what’s important. 

Don’t Spam Your Smashes
SSBU has a mechanic that reduces the effectiveness of subsequent uses of attacks. Sometimes it will be better to utilize the weaker attacks that are better at combo-ing, then following up with a quality smash more likely to send them into a blast zone.

Mix It Up and Adapt
Simply put, try to be as unpredictable as you can. If you start showing patterns, your opponent will likely pick up on those and hit you at your most vulnerable moments.

Practice, Practice, Practice!
There’s a training mode in the game, which is a great way to find your Main and get used to the moves and rhythm of the game. 

Watch The Pros
Join The Dad Gaming Smash Bros group and find resources to learn from the best! There are a ton of character-specific and tutorial videos online, and just watching people who are good at the game can help you play better! 

Okay, that’s enough to get you going. I can’t promise you’ll win every round without a lot of practice, but if I’d known these tips when I got started, I’d probably have much better blood pressure. Hop into some rounds with The Dad Gaming to get warmed up, stock up on some Pop & Pours, and then we’ll see you on October 9th!

This article and The Dad Gaming League are sponsored by Planters. Enjoy delicious snacks without gunking up your controller with Planters Pop and Pour

Waffle House Staff Helps Reluctant Coworker Attend His Graduation and Get Scholarship

Not a lot of people like their bosses (unless they work at The Dad, then, of course, they are very competent and kind people!), but this Waffle House boss is a very different story. His employee asked for time off to attend his high school graduation, then showed up to work his shift instead. His boss would not have it, and in something out of a Disney+ movie, the entire staff rallied to get him ready in hours and get him across town to get his diploma.

The Birmingham senior, Timothy Harrison, changed his mind about going because he didn’t have a ride, his cap, and gown, or tickets to the event. His boss, Cedric Hampton, had other plans. Hampton shared the incredibly touching story on Facebook, but basically, the entire staff stopped what they were doing to go overdrive to get this kid to his graduation.

They ran out to buy him some dress clothes, reached out to the school to see how they could get his cap and gown, and just turned the entire restaurant into his very own graduation prep. He thought he was going to work his shift, but his boss and co-workers had bigger plans for him. Harrison was emotional when he was fully dressed and ready to go.

“When I put on clothes, that was a different feeling. I don’t even know the words,” he said. “A million dollars? It was the best feeling.”

His boss and coworkers felt proud to help him see it through, but Harrison’s story didn’t end there. His boss shared the pics on social media, and they went crazy-viral, and now Harrison got a full college scholarship from a nearby university.

“Now he can go to college and figure out what to do in his life and we’re gonna help guide him,” Hampton said. One gesture from his boss just completely changed Harrison’s life and the directions it can take.

“To know I have a path to go somewhere? That’s something new,” said the recent graduate.

So the kid gets his scholarship, but if Waffle House HQ doesn’t do something for that boss, they are sorely missing a golden opportunity. Really, that entire staff deserves a huge bonus, because you cannot ask for better press for Waffle House. It’s hard to imagine working for a place with bosses and co-workers like that in 2021.

Because these people rule and did an incredible thing for the kid, it’s also a good time to remind everyone what U.S. poet laureate (of food) Anthony Bourdain once said about the diner chain and its place in Americana.

Dad Surprises His Adoptive Step Daughter With His Last Name in Emotional Video

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and each one is a celebration of what it means to truly love each other. Family doesn’t necessarily mean the people who share your DNA – sometimes, it’s the family you choose that shows you what unconditional love really looks like.

Mike Rousell, the dad behind dadandboujie, couldn’t be happier to be a dad. He takes great pride in being a present, supportive, loving dad to his kids, and speaks openly about his blended family.

Recently, Rousell shared a touching video on Instagram that invited his followers to watch a life-changing moment. “If y’all looked into that baby’s eyes you would be ugly crying too… so don’t judge me,” Rousell captioned the moving clip. And yeah, uh – someone’s chopping onions in here.

The video opens with Rousell standing outside of his daughter’s school, holding a bouquet of flowers and a sign. The sign reads, “I gave you my heart five years ago and now, I give you my last name.”

The on-screen text explains why Rousell looks so dang excited. After several years of being a father to his adoptive daughter, she will finally share his last name. Rousell’s wife runs on-screen with a sign of her own, one that beautifully displays the young girl’s new last name.

Rousell and his wife turn to face the door as their daughter Camryn walks down her school hallway towards them, unaware of the surprise that awaits her. As she approaches and reads her parents’ signs, her mouth drops. Her eyes widen with both shock and joy, and she picks up her pace as she walks directly into her dad’s open arms.

Rousell lifts his daughter up in a heartwarming embrace as he begins to cry. The pair’s bond is immediately evident, and when Rousell’s daughter faces the camera, it’s apparent that she too was moved to tears.

“To have that baby, who isn’t biologically mine choose me to be her Dad, choose to have my last name, and to have my wife trust me enough with such a huge role in her life. It’s overwhelming,” he said.

The Outer Worlds 2 Gets a Hilarious Announce Trailer

This is probably the greatest trailer in the history of video game trailers.

The Outer Worlds 2 will be an Xbox exclusive and comes from developer Obsidian Entertainment (Star Wars: The Old Republic 2 and Fallout: New Vegas).  Outer Worlds had a great sense of humor so it makes sense that the second one has been announced in a particularly hilarious fashion.  Check it out for yourself down below.

While no gameplay or plot details are revealed, they gave us a hilarious trailer and for that, we can be thankful.  If the voiceover wasn’t there, it would just be like any other trailer, but having the voiceover explain everything like the way the “slow-motion shots make everything seem cool and should bolster pre-sale numbers” makes it perfect.

The first Outer Worlds took place in an alternate future after 1901 where U.S President William McKinley was never assassinated.  Because of this, large business trusts were never broke up and corporations took over Earth, which ended up becoming a wasteland.  Now, corporations look to the stars to colonize new planets.  That’s where you come in.

There is loads of humor layered on top of the first-person action-RPG gameplay.  It plays like Fallout, with branching narrative choices, outlandish weapons, and ridiculous characters.  The first Outer Worlds is currently available on Xbox Game Pass, so you can give it a go while you wait for an official release date for the second one.

Dad’s Reaction To Holding His Newborn Baby Is Giving Us Heartwarming Flashbacks

You can read books, take classes, and talk to dozens of other parents, but nothing can prepare you for the feelings that emerge when you hold your newborn baby for the very first time. It’s something that sticks with you forever, keeping you going when things feel impossible. After months of imagining that very moment, it feels almost dream-like. That fragile little human in your arms, those enormous eyes looking into yours, it changes something inside of you forever.

In a TikTok posted by Addy Shiloh, viewers are invited to share a touching moment with a dad named Matt Foster. Immediately following the birth of his son, Matt anxiously waits for a nurse to finish swaddling the infant. He stares down at his tiny baby boy, his eyes filled with a mix of intense love and joy.

@addyshiloh“You just changed my whole life.”😭💗 ##foryoupage ##foryou ##dad ##baby

♬ You Are My Sunshine – Music Travel Love

The nurse finishes wrapping the baby and places him into his dad’s arms, the arms that will hold and protect him for decades to come. Matt begins to tear up, overwhelmed and overjoyed. He looks around briefly, both laughing and crying as if he can’t quite believe it’s really happening.

Matt looks down at his son with his tear-filled eyes, taking in the incredible moment. He rocks gently back and forth, putting his infant son completely at peace.

“You just changed my whole life,” Matt utters almost inaudibly.

The video in its entirety is under a minute long, but it’s overflowing with emotion that touched parents and non-parents around the world. “I cried when my little one was born too,” commented one viewer. “We all did bro… we all felt like this. I hadn’t cried in over 10 years before my daughter was born. Cried like a baby that day,” recalled another.

Kids change us. They change who we are, what we value, how we live. We spend less time watching football and more time watching Bluey, we happily do things that would’ve made our prior selves roll our eyes. And honestly, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Chris Hemsworth Trolls Chris Evans Amid Many 40th Birthday Messages

It’s been over two years since Chris Evans appeared in a Marvel movie. While his Captain America did not die at the end of Endgame, he was definitely done being Captain America, given that he’d gone back to live a normal life with the love of his life, and when Endgame ended, he was finally a senior citizen in body as well as age.

In real life, of course, Chris Evans is hardly a senior citizen. But he’s no spring chicken either! Especially not after last weekend, when the Massachusetts native and MCU legend turned 40. That’s nowhere near Steve Roger’s impressive 103 years of age, but it’s one year closer!

The internet wasn’t about to let Evans’s birthday go unnoticed. Birthday wishes abounded all over social media.

From Marvel itself:

To famous friends:

To adoring fans:

To co-stars:

One famous friend decided to have some fun with his co-star and mix him up with another MCU Chris. Chris Hemsworth, aka Thor, shared happy birthday wishes for Chris Evans, only he posted a photo of Chris Pratt, aka Star-Lord.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth)

It was all in good fun, of course. I’m sure none of the Chrises involved took offense. Except maybe Chris Pine. But he’s in DC so who cares.

Father Figures: Different World

“My husband became a father when our sons were 5 and 7. He was stationed in Afghanistan when we first started talking and from the first time he Skyped my boys, I knew I was going to marry him.

It was a completely different world for him. Going from a bachelor living the Army life to father figure for two little boys was a challenge but one he never gave up on.

Almost overnight he went from all-nighters with his friends, no responsibilities, and fully accepting death was always around the corner as he dodged bullets in the dessert to coaching t-ball games, telling bedtime stories and fixing boo boos.

It was a massive adjustment and it wasn’t always easy, but he chose to grow up and pick this life.

He is a man of many hats including police officer, National Guard Sergeant, and wood worker, but he found his true calling when he became a father to two little boys who desperately needed him. He and his family never once treated them like anything other than his own.

We got married in 2014 and, without hesitation, he adopted our boys only a year and a half after meeting them. We’ve been married 7 years now and welcomed our third son three years ago.

Our family is his driving force daily and making sure our boys have the support and guidance they need to become great men is his purpose in this life. I am forever grateful for the man our boys get to call Dad.”

– Kim Copeland

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Big-Hearted 8-Year-Old Donates Over 300 Stuffed Animals for His Birthday

Birthdays as a kid are like your own personal Christmas. A party themed to your specifications, a day of activities tailored to you, and of course, the highly-anticipated presents. But for two years in a row, 8-year-old Hunter from Kenosha made an unusual request on his birthday wish list. He wanted stuffed animals, loads of them – but none of the stuffies were for him.

Last year on his birthday, Hunter wanted to do something to help kids in need. He settled on donating stuffed animals to the Kenosha Police Department, toys that would be given away to kids coping with frightening and distressing situations. Last year, Hunter impressively collected 111 of them – each one making an impact on kids who needed comfort.

This year, Hunter aimed higher. With the help of his mom, Melissa Peterson, Hunter held a drive-by parade where donors could drop off stuffed animals for the 8-year-old’s birthday project. Hunter’s giving spirit and humble selflessness roused his community, gaining enough attention to almost triple his last donation.

Hunter’s mom proudly shared photos of the 8-year-old with his massive pile of stuffed toys before donating them. Hunter smiles adorably, clearly satisfied with his handiwork. Hunter blew his previous donation out of the water, collecting a whopping 308 stuffies.

“It is just something he came up with last year on his own a week before his birthday and I just ran with it,” Hunter’s mom told CBS 58. “He loves [to] give back and helping others and he loves the police department and wants to be a police officer when he is older.”

A Conversation About Fatherhood With President Barack Obama – June 17th at 8pm EST

On June 17th at 8pm EST, The Dad is partnering with Fatherly to co-host a conversation about fatherhood with President Barack Obama and five other dads on Twitch, Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok. The Panel discussion will be moderated by comedian (and dad) Roy Wood Jr., with a special appearance from Kevin Hart.

This event is a celebration of modern fatherhood. President Obama will join five dads from all walks of life to dig into the shared experience of striving to raise good children.

“Fatherhood is the great unifier. Whether you’re President, a comedian in LA, or a photographer in North Carolina… we’re all part of the same club. I’m excited to see the former president bond with other dads,” says Editor-in-Chief of The Dad, Joel Willis.

In his recent memoir, A Promised Land,  the former president showcases how committed fatherhood has been a guiding principle throughout his meteoric career as a lawyer, activist, and politician. 

“As fathers, we need to be involved in our children’s lives not just when it’s convenient or easy, and not just when they’re doing well — but when it’s difficult and thankless, and they’re struggling. That is when they need us most.” – President Obama

“President Obama saw America through a devastating recession, ongoing war, unfolding climate crisis, and growing partisan rancor, and still he was a present, engaged, and by all accounts great dad,” adds Fatherly’s Editor-in-Chief, Tyghe Trimble.

Join us for a look at the humor, humility, and wisdom that goes into modern fatherhood with a group of average dads… one of whom happens to be a former president.

Tune in LIVE at 8pm EST on the following channels:

Twitch – twitch.tv/thedadgaming
Facebook – facebook.com/thedadonline
Twitter – twitter.com/thedad
TikTok – tiktok.com/@thedad

Nintendo Reveals New Breath of the Wild 2 Gameplay Trailer

Nintendo keeps drip feeding us Legend of Zelda:Breath of the Wild 2 details, but it’s better than nothing I suppose.

Originally announced back in 2019, Zelda fans have been waiting for any sort of update regarding the sequel to one of the greatest games of all-time.  It seems like we’re still going to have to wait a while to play it, but Nintendo was kind enough to show off some new gameplay footage for Breath of the Wild 2 during their E3 2021 Nintendo Direct.

The new trailer depicts Link gliding (skydiving?) through the skies of Hyrule.  There are some familiar exploration elements on ground level, with Rune abilities factoring into attacks and puzzles just like the original.  What’s really interesting about this new footage though is there appear to be floating islands that Link can visit as well.  Will the entire game take place in the sky?  That’s anyone’s guess, but you have to admit it does look great.  This trailer definitely feels tonally different from the first one we saw in 2019.  That one was creepy and filled with doom and gloom.  The adventure aspect of the series is much more on display here.

Unfortunately, we still don’t have an official release date and plot details remain scarce.  We just know that it will be releasing sometime in 2022.  In the meantime, I will patiently wait for the sequel and start a fresh Breath of the Wild save file to relive it all over again.