Nintendo made a bold move, putting a console staple series on a handheld device, the question is: Did the gamble pay off?
It’s finally here, it’s taken some time but I’m finally getting around to reviewing Super Smash Bros on the 3DS, let’s get going.
I won’t lie I was immensely excited for this game when I first heard about it, I loved the previous instalment Brawl on the Wii, and I missed that fact that I no longer had my Wii to let me play Brawl, so I hoped the 3DS version would help to fill this gap. I’ll just give any new-comers a quick introduction to Smash Bros. It is a fighting game involving a range of Nintendo characters from throughout gaming with a range of items and weapons from a broad range of franchises, instead of having a health bar to go to zero in Smash Bros you have a damage percentage that will increase, as it increases you are more likely to fly off the screen, meaning you’ve been KO’d and have lost a life.
Each character has about 8 attacks, however in a new addition to the franchise you can collect alternative attacks for the characters meaning you can customise your fighter to suit your style.
However I did have a nagging worry in the back of my head ‘How much depth is this game going to have, given the lack of any single player mode/campaign?’ Just for some context the idea of a single player mode was discussed and subsequently dismissed, the reason being that Nintendo felt as soon as the game was released someone would post all the cutscenes online and people would watch that then and not bother to actually buy the game. What a fool I was to think this would be a shallow game, there are multiple game modes, a standard ‘Brawl’, Classic mode makes a return, you’ll compete in a number of matches before reaching a boss fight with Master Hand. But by far and away the most exciting mode is the 3DS exclusive mode ‘Smash Run’. You and three others are placed in a level similar to a stage from the Subspace Emissary from Brawl, there will be a range of enemies for you to attack, as you defeat them they will drop items that increase particular stats such as speed and defence. You have five minutes to collect as many stat boosts as you can, at the end of that time, the four fighters will be placed in some kind of final battle, this can be a normal fight, or a race to the finish, where speed is an essential stat, best of all you don’t know what the final round is going to be.
The two things that have kept me coming back are the unlockable characters (hint: play LOTS of standard matches….) Oh I forget to mention the game technically has infinite characters. Hear me out, in yet another new feature, you can now play as any Mii you like. You put your Mii in one three classes, Brawler, Gunner and Swordfighter, each with distinct strengths and weaknesses. The possibilities for who you can create are practically endless. Second the challenges, I dunno if this is because I’m a bit OCD or a completionist, but I am obsessed with completing these challenges, even if it just unlocks a trophy I MUST UNLOCK IT!!! *Appeal to my readers* I need tips for the Home Run Contest.
The stages in this game also deserve a mention, I love how almost all of them have a unique quirk to keep you on your toes. For example there is a stage based on the Spirit Train from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, at certain times the train will be travelling slowly, so if you get pushed on to the tracks it’s very easy to recover. But then just a few moments later the train has sped up, meaning if you hit the tracks it’s an instant KO. I feel that fact this game, like its predecessor has a level based on the old DS messaging system ‘Pictochat’ is just amazing. I love how that stage looks and how you interact with it, what I mean is shapes will be drawn on to the screen that become part of the stage, for example some fire will be drawn, which when touched will indeed burn your character. I also enjoy the fact that every franchise or series that all the different characters hail from is represented in at least one stage.
I’d like to briefly mention the couple of factors I don’t like, and they relate to the fact that this game runs at a mind boggling 60 frames per second on such a small device. Simply, it’s a bit of a battery drainer, even on the lowest brightness it only lasts around 3 hours. Second and I admit this is a tad picky, but on all other 3DS games I’ve played, when I press the Home button to close the game, it occurs in about a second, 2 at the most. When it comes to Smash Bros you’re looking at 10-15 seconds, it’s just a little thing that annoys me, but I’m willing to forgive it considering just how well it runs. This may sound like a stupid thing to say if you don’t own one but still, really this game needs to be played on a 3DS XL, even on an XL at times I’ve find it difficult to see what items are onscreen, because the camera is quite zoomed out, that gradually moves in as the number of fighters decreases. I just worry it could become a rather frustrating thing that would ruin your experience on standard 3DS.
Some of you may be able to remember when I discussed in my Ocarina of Time review that it wasn’t really a portable game, as you had to sit down for 30 minutes to an hour to get anything done. Smash Bros on the other hand is the definition of a portable game, if you’ve got a spare 5-10 minutes you can easily boot it up and play a couple fights to pass the time, this is what games should be like on portable consoles.
Even if you’ve never played a Smash Bros game before, I urge you to try this it’ll appeal to causal and more serious gamers alike, but above all it’s just good fun.