Super Smash Bros. slams onto the super small screen.
Super Smash Bros. is a series that is a once a generation deal. However, this generation is something special. While the games are technically complements of one another, we're due to see two Super Smash Bros. games this year-- one, for the first time on a handheld, the 3DS version, and the second that is launching next month on the Wii U. It's an embarrassment of riches for Super Smash Bros. fans and Nintendo fans in general. However, one might argue that it's worth it to wait a month for the Wii U version and ignore its little brother. I argue that this sentiment is folly, and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is still worth checking out-- not only if you can't wait for the Wii U version, but also because the 3DS version has more than enough exclusive content to be a perfect match for Nintendo 3DS owners.
The rules of Super Smash Bros. haven't changed much at all through the fifteen years it has been around. Up to four fighters do battle with one another on a given stage. As they take damage, their percentage goes up. The higher the percentage, the easier it is to knock them out of the field of play. In Timed Play, when a player cannot recover, either getting jettisoned off screen or into a pit below, they lose a life, and the person who scored the KO earns a point. Otherwise, it's a battle to see who can survive the longest.
|Even when uppercutting opponents,|
Mario's making mad bank.
|Sometimes when his mouth is tired from too much |
garlic-chomping, Wario lets his feet do the talking.
|While Bowser hangs out, Luigi|
gets a double slap from Jigglypuff.
|The Jetpack is one of many fun|
new items in this installment of Smash.
Furthermore, the real estate of the Nintendo 3DS screen, particularly the original, smaller model, does not provide enough space for the action of Smash Bros. 3DS. This is exemplified by three or four player matches when the screen zooms out, making it nigh impossible to see what in the heck is happening on screen.
|Follow the leader!|
Masahiro Sakurai and his team went for parity with both Super Smash Bros. games, and parity is at its most obvious in the character roster. For both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U versions, the roster of fighters will remain the same with no differences. The majority of fighters from past games returns, and the new additions like Little Mac, Rosalina, Lucina, Wii Fit Trainer, and Villager are most welcome and shake up the roster quite nicely. Unfortunately, due to the technical limits of the Nintendo 3DS, one big omission to the Smash roster of both games is the veteran duo of the Ice Climbers. That notwithstanding, the roster of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (and the upcoming Wii U) is without question the most diverse and largest ever seen in franchise history. Characters are fine-tuned for balance, and while some less-than-admirable tactics work on some characters, what is there is mostly well done.
|Three newcomers and an unlikely,|
returning series veteran walk into a bar...
|My love and nostalgia for |
Mega Man knows no bounds.
|Link is seriously (and literally) kicking Ness's butt.|
|Fox is going to need the number|
of a good chiropractor after this battle.
|One of my favorite new stages,|
this is the Spirit Train.
Smash Run gives you and three other opponents five minutes to roam around a large, expansive, multi-tier area where you encounter enemies from various franchises, such as Mario's Goombas, Donkey Kong Country's Kremlings, Kirby's Waddle Dees, Kid Icarus's Reapers, Mega Man's Metaurs, and many more. Each defeated enemy drops stat bonuses in one of six categories. As you play through a round of Smash Run, your fighter becomes noticeably faster, stronger, able to leap higher, and unleash more powerful moves.
|Smash Run held my attention for a good|
while, but it's not for everyone!
Other modes in the Nintendo 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. include returning modes like Classic mode and All-Star mode. Classic mode pits you against a handful of rounds against various AI opponents. Each round allows you to choose one of a few paths of varying difficulty. The harder the path, the greater the rewards. Classic mode uses a difficulty system identical to what was found in Masahiro Sakurai's first Nintendo 3DS release, Kid Icarus: Uprising. The more coins you bet, the higher the intensity or challenge. The greater the intensity, the better the spoils. However, failing not only has you lose some of your rewards, but it also makes you play on a lower difficulty.
|In this stage, occasionally the Yellow|
Devil makes a sudden appearance.
|It's "swing around fun town" for Link,|
courtesy of Mario!
No doubt a major question in the minds of many players and aspiring purchases of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is "how does the online play out?" The answer is thankfully much better than Brawl played, but then again that's not too taxing of a task. One-on-one matches, even against out of country players, worked well, but things can get dicey with more than one other opponent. You see, all players need a good connection, because even if one player has a crappy connection, all players suffer.
|Yuck! I don't want to know where|
that duck's beak's been!
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is a successful transplant of the series formula onto smaller and more portable hardware. There's indeed several hitches that get in the way from being an optimal experience, but overall, Super Smash Bros.'s debut on a handheld was handled and pulled off remarkably. Whether at home, at work, at school, or anywhere else, anytime is a smashing good time!