Review | Super Smash Bros. 3DS
When Nintendo announced that a 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. was in the works, I was both excited and nervous. I was excited because, well, more Smash Bros. is always a good thing and you can only expect a fun endeavor when the franchise is involved. However, I was nervous because I wasn’t convinced that a game with such mayhem would translate well on such a small screen, even if playing on the 3DS XL. After playing the game at E3 earlier this year, I had fun with it, but was still concerned about playing for a long period of time. Fortunately, Smash Bros. for the 3DS is not only one of the best entries in the franchise, but also very much playable in portable form.
Picking up and playing the game is as easy as every other game before it. You use the same button presses for each character to pull off similar types of moves, but it’s when you begin to learn strategy that you can really become an effective combatant. Speaking of combatants, there are 36 characters available from the start and another 12 that can be unlocked. Out of the newer characters, my favorite by far was Little Mac (I’m a boxing guy anyway), but Mega Man and Pac-Man were pretty awesome to use as well. I also found the Wii Fit Trainer to be pretty hilarious, as she gives you advice before punching you in the face.
The game also lets players create their own custom fighters. You can build a character’s defense, speed, and power, while a Mii Fighter can also be setup. Mii Fighters have special moves that can be used from the get-go but if you want to assign it a custom move from one of the regular characters, you’ll need to unlock it.
Regardless of whom you use, each character has their own effective offensive arsenal, and the animations and details are pretty impressive. More importantly, the game runs very smoothly at 60 fps though it can be a little troublesome to keep track of what’s going on during four-player matches (considering the smaller screen). In smaller matches though, the action wasn’t too fast-paced that I couldn’t follow along.
The game features eight modes and I found myself playing online quite a bit, as well as All-Star mode, which takes you through the history of Smash Bros from the early ‘80s to 2013, in a nod to the awesome characters in the game. When playing online, you can play in ranked matches, as well as unranked and with friends or random people. Those that enjoyed Smash Melee from the Gamecube version, can enjoy Classic Mode as well.
Then there’s the game’s Smash Run, which was highlighted quite a bit leading up to the launch of the game. In Smash Run, which I also checked out at E3, players run through a gamut of enemies in a sort of platformer type mode, where you not only beat down on other characters, but you pick up a ton of power-ups that you’ll get to use in the final battle. You have a certain amount of time to collect as much as you can but trying to do so while fending off attackers, is a challenge. Honestly though, I didn’t enjoy it the first time I played it and I didn’t get a kick out of it while I played it thoroughly for this review.
But truth be told, I play Smash Bros. for multiplayer matches and that’s where the game, as expected, truly shines. You can put in hours upon hours with the game and still have stuff to unlock and players or moves to master. And while the action can be a tad cumbersome with four players (screen size issue), the game still plays great and is an amazing value for the still-growing Nintendo 3DS.
Final Score: 4 out of 5