Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rank Up! - Super Smash Bros.

Over the weekend it was Super Smash Bros. for Wii U's first anniversary. With that in mind, it seems like the perfect time for SuperPhillip Central's Rank Up series to return to count down the best of the Super Smash Bros. series as a whole. There are five game in the series, and SuperPhillip Central is going to list them from least greatest to the best. Here are the games we'll be mentioning:

Super Smash Bros. (N64)
Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)
Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (3DS)
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (Wii U)

With that, let's get to ranking these games!

5) Super Smash Bros. (N64)

The original Super Smash Bros. kicks off this countdown of Smash Bros. supremacy. This is Smash at its most basic, offering a modest selection of characters (eight to start with, four to unlock), a fun assortment of stages, and several modes to enjoy like the amazing Classic and Target Blast modes that would return in future installments. This was the beginning of something very special for Nintendo and its fans, and the original Super Smash Bros., like every other game in the series, is worth playing for multiplayer fun even to this day.

4) Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (3DS)

The first and only Super Smash Bros. game on a handheld, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS broke new territory and blew minds as Masahiro Sakurai and his team successfully converted the console gameplay of past Super Smash Bros. games to the small screen with almost everything you'd want from the series intact. The same arsenal of characters from the Wii U version were all available for play without much in the way of making concessions. Smash Run was the exclusive mode for the 3DS version, and it offered a maze-like dungeon of enemies to defeat to get your character stronger for the final round, a match of some kind against AI opponents. The stage variety was quite good, too, delivering well designed stages like The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks' train, Nintendogs' Living Room, and Fire Emblem: Awakening's Arena Ferox. While it's not a game that competitive players went to in droves, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is a wonderful Smash Bros. game that feels complete and great to play on-the-go.

3) Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

It seemed like we were waiting ages for the Wii's Super Smash Bros. game to be released, constantly getting teased with new information every weekday with the Super Smash Bros. Dojo website. When the game finally came out, it was a mixed blessing, more of a positive one than a negative one, though. Packed with amazing stages with seldom a stinker in the bunch, an incredible amount of characters with such newcomers as Wario, Kid Icarus's Pit, Kirby's Metaknight and King Dedede, as well as a first for the series, third party characters like Sonic the Hedgehog and Solid Snake of Metal Gear Solid fame. Super Smash Bros. Brawl featured a campaign with it with engaging and charming cutscenes, allowing for up to player to join in on the 2D side-scrolling levels. The amount of content in Super Smash Bros. Brawl is amazing, and that fact is something that is a tradition with the series itself. However, not all was great with Brawl. One issue that ruined its chances as a competitive title was the inclusion of tripping. While great for a party game, not really well suited for tournaments. Still, for the millions of people who just enjoy the games as Nintendo fighters and not the small number of players who seek a tournament-caliber competitive game, Super Smash Bros. Brawl was a legitimately great game.

2) Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)

This next Super Smash Bros. game, Melee, is still played competitively and enjoyed by players all over the world. It says a lot about the legacy of this near-launch GameCube title. What I enjoyed about Super Smash Bros. Melee was how it really began the content-packed tradition that games following Melee would possess. Melee saw the introduction of trophies, a collectible that showed well known and forgotten characters, items, settings, and objects with wonderful descriptions. It was a virtual museum and shrine of Nintendo. The solo mode, Adventure, continues to be my personal favorite single player mode of any Smash game, taking players through familiar Nintendo settings like the Mushroom Kingdom, a Legend of Zelda temple, and even an F-Zero race track. The stage design is some of the series' best without a doubt, offering great locales like the Fountain of Dreams, Mute City, Temple, Kongo Jungle, and so many others. Then there is the cast of characters that introduced Fire Emblem as a series to the West and brought memories of Nintendo's Game and Watch systems back into the limelight (or for many, the first time ever). Super Smash Bros. Melee is the complete package, but at the same time, it's not the best that the Super Smash Bros. series has to offer.

1) Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (Wii U)

The latest and what SuperPhillip Central considers the greatest Super Smash Bros. game is the recently released Wii U sequel. Although its board game mode isn't the best, everything else more than makes up for it. Everything including the largest roster of Super Smash Bros. characters ever to be contained in one game-- from Nintendo staples like Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus Aran, and Pikachu, to third party greats like Mega Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man, and now even Street Fighter's Ryu and Final Fantasy VII's Cloud Strife. The immense amount of excellent stages with plenty of dynamic hazards and obstacles to concern yourself with give them as much character as the fighters you battle with. The variety extends to the game's many modes like returning delights like Classic mode, All-Star mode, Event mode, Special Orders, Multi-Man Smash, Target Blast, Home-Run Contest, and Trophy Rush. The addition of mostly lag-free online play (something that Brawl sadly balked on) makes it easy to join up and play intense battles for up to four players over the Internet. Finally, the creation of Omega versions of stages makes it so the Battlefield and Final Destination aren't the only backdrops competitive players will have to put up with, as all stages now feature a Final Destination version. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is the most content-rich, enjoyable to play, and magnificent Smash Bros. game to currently exist. Once again, Masahiro Sakurai and his team delivered sublimely.

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