WTF Gaming is a weekly series that takes a look at the the most interesting and insane things that happen when people play video games.
Using the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, there exists a universe where Shrek SuperSlam is the most celebrated fighting game ever made. That universe is not our own, but that hasn't stopped a group of dedicated players from pretending like it is.
Released in 2005 on the Playstation 2, Xbox, GameCube, PC, Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo DS, Shrek SuperSlam is a fighting game that plays somewhat like many other party fighters. You pick a character from the Shrek film series, mash some buttons and try to have some form of fun.
It was forgotten within months of its release, languishing in the realm of other forgotten film to video game adaptations like Shark Tale and Catwoman. But in the years since its release, it was rediscovered by a number of people who, slowly but surely, began to treat the game with a bit more seriousness than it perhaps deserved. They've discovered new techniques to master, created rules for professional competition, and have hosted tournaments complete with casters to showcase.
It might just be the most irrelevant fighting game scene ever made, and it's hilarious.
Most of the discussion surrounding Shrek SuperSlam is based around a website called ShrekBoards, where players can discuss tactics for each of the game's characters, plan out tournaments through netplay and generally discuss the complexities that inevitably arise from a Shrek-based fighting game.
Before we delve into the complexities of the game, let's take a brief moment to reflect on the fact that Shrek SuperSlam has a tier list.
Much like other fighting games, not all of the characters in Shrek SuperSlam are created equal. Some, like the titular character himself, will lose to every other character in the game due to his lack of mobility and poor combos. The Gingerbread Man, on the other hand, has some of the best grabs in the game, which combined with his speed and small hitbox, make him one of the best characters in competitive play.
But none of those characters compare to the living nightmare that is Red Riding Hood, so much so that she is banned from competitive play. Why is she banned? Just take a look at the combos that Red Riding Hood can pull off:
In Shrek SuperSlam, the goal is to eliminate all of your opponent's stocks by filling a SLAM meter, which enables each character to perform a special attack that will take a stock and reset the meter. If a player loses all of their stocks, or has a lower SLAM meter than their opponent if the game is tied when the timer runs out, they lose.
Beyond the normal techniques found in most fighting games, like punching, jumping and blocking, Shrek SuperSlam contains a number of techniques unique to the game. One such technique, named Crumpet Dashing, allows players to air dash into an attack or grab, allowing them to attack far away players from the air more easily than using the standard moves. Another, called Onion Boosting, involves using a wall attack and jumping as soon as you git the ground, in order to fly across the stage at high speed due to the game having no air friction.
Make no mistake, playing Shrek SuperSlam competitively requires skill. It's what led many people to pick up the game. The scene may be small, but the dedication of the players behind it is admirable. Watch tournaments of Shrek SuperSlam, and it becomes clear that these players are having a lot of fun playing a game that, by all accounts, should have been forgotten a long time ago.
10 Disembodied Heads of Red Riding Hood out of 10
Honestly, the fact that a Shrek fighting game actually exists is ridiculous enough. That a group of people have gotten together and have made an actual competitive structure around it is even more ridiculous, and I admire their dedication.
Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.