Super Smash Brothers has been a long standing favourite for many of us. The idea of gathering all of Nintendo’s mascots (and some guest fighters) was a novel idea back in the N64 days, and it has only grown in popularity since. With a new generation of Nintendo consoles comes a new Smash game, and for the first time since it’s conception, the series goes handheld for the 3DS. With a WiiU version coming in the next month, is it worth your time to buy Super Smash Brothers for your 3DS or 2DS?
The most important thing for any fighting game is of course it’s character roster. Boasting the largest roster of the series to this point with an astounding 51 characters, there is no shortage of variety. There are 14 brand new characters in this iteration of the series, including of course Megaman, which came as a surprise to many back when the games were first announced. While there are some notable names missing from the roster, particularly fan-favourite Ice Climbers, the new additions to the roster more than makes up for these exclusions. Much like it’s older counterparts it has a number of “clone” characters, characters that play exactly the same as more conventional counterparts, but this game has the fewest since their introduction, which allows for an extremely diverse cast.
Another notable thing about this iteration is the inclusion of the Mii Fighters, which acts as this game’s create-a-character mode. Using Miis that you have created, you can choose between one of three fighting styles; Brawler, Swordfighter, or Gunner. Each one comes with a number of customizable moves so that you can change your character to your own liking. In addition to this, the remainder of the cast possess customizable move sets, allowing you to make them to your liking, which I feel is a great addition to the series.
I’m including these in the same category for one simple reason. There is no story. Outside of the usual Classic mode, which serves as a sort of arcade mode, you will not be finding much in the way of plot in this version of the game. Whether or not the WiiU version will have an adventure mode or something like Brawl’s Subspace Emissary, only time will tell. However, there is still quite a bit the 3DS version of the game can offer.
In terms of mechanics, there is a little getting used to when it comes to the control scheme. I personally own a 2DS, and find that the size of that particular console is comfortable on the hands, however I know there have been some complaints of the game being uncomfortable to play on the regular sized 3DS consoles, so do be sure to keep that in mind if you are planning on picking this game up.
Beginning with Classic mode, this mode has gotten a massive overhaul. Before starting your run, you get to set your difficulty from 1 to 9. Higher difficulties require you to use coins, the in-game currency you gain for playing the game, to buy in, but the rewards often out-weigh price of admission. Once you set your difficulty, you begin the game. You are set on a path that branches into 2-3 different options, which is great as it gives you some sense of freedom, at least as far as an arcade mode can be concerned. These paths are of varying difficulty, and have you doing all sorts of challenges. From fighting another combatant in single combat, fighting a giant version with 1-2 AI allies to assist you, or fighting against a horde of Mii Fighters (which will randomly generate based on your own personal pool of Miis), you are on a quest to fight the final boss, which of course is the always present Master Hand. At higher difficulties he can also be joined by his counterpart, Crazy Hand, and you have to fight them in tandem. However, since they can’t just leave it at that, there is a secret boss for you to fight if you fulfill certain conditions within the Master/Crazy Hand battle, but I’ll let you find that out for yourself.
Outside of Classic Mode, there is the ever-popular All-Star mode, a challenge mode where you fight have to fight every character in the game on a single life. In this version you fight them in chronological order of their debut, from the classics like Game & Watch and Pacman, all through the decades until you reach the current era of Nintendo games. After every few characters, you are given a brief rest, before being thrown right back into the mix. Also returning this version is the Stadium, which hosts a number of mini games for quick and fun challenges. There is the Homerun Contest, a fun mode where you get to beat up a punching bag before sending it flying with a baseball bat, with the goal of seeing how far you can make it fly. The Multi-Man Smash mode returns as well, a mode where you have to fight wave after wave of opponents, in this case Mii Fighters, under set conditions. These conditions include 10 or 100 Man Smash, where you have to defeat however many opponents the conditions state, with every 10 or so Miis you kill spawning another character from the game. There is also 3-Minute Smash, which is the same as above except that you have a time limit to kill as many as you possibly can. A new version they introduced is called Rival Smash, where you play against an AI opponent to see which of you can defeat more enemies. And of course, there is Cruel Smash, where you fight against a horde of other characters, all of which are extremely difficult and will probably mess you up something fierce.
Brand new and exclusive (as far as I’m aware) to the 3DS version of this game is a mode called Smash Run. In this mode you and 3 other people, whether friends or AI, are put into a rather large dungeon, and given 5 minutes to explore. There are a number of enemies for you to defeat, which drop upgrades to your various stats, which also slowly rise as you use various abilities. For example, every time you jump, you’ll gain points in your jump stat, whenever you attack you’ll gain points in attack, and so on. There are also challenge areas and random chests that will drop power ups and loot for you, so you are really encouraged to explore as much as you can in the time given to you. Once the time is up, all your stats will be tallied up and compared to your opponents, after which you will be pitted in one final battle. This battle can be something as simple as a free-for-all against the other enemies, or you could be paired up into teams, or even have to complete some sort of challenge faster than the others. This is a good game mode for unlocking customizable moves for your fighters as well as getting coins, however there is one glaring issue with it, which is the fact that it doesn’t have any sort of online capability. If you want to play with friends, then you better hope you know some other people locally that have the game.
Speaking of online, this game has online functionality. There are two modes, called For Fun and For Glory. For Fun mode allows you to play against anyone else online, with all the stages save for Final Destination, and all items turned on. For Glory mode puts you on Final Destination only, with no items, and the option to fight one on one. Both modes are fairly fun, though I personally find myself playing more in For Glory. You can also spectate random matches happening online, which has a feature that allows you to bet your coins on who you think is going to win the match, a neat little thing if you’re feeling bold and need some coins. Matchmaking is fairly quick, however since you can’t choose regions or anything, it’s not uncommon for you to face off against people from great distances. Functionally the game isn’t too bad online, at the very least being a massive improvement from Brawl. So long as both member’s internet connection is good, the game runs mostly smooth, however since you are forced to play wirelessly that will cause the usual issues that come with that. Overall I’ve enjoyed playing the game online, whenever I can find a stable connection to play on.
This game looks downright gorgeous. The characters are all very well defined and detailed, and the backgrounds on the stages look amazing and really add to the atmosphere of the fights. I was quite impressed by the level of detail on many of the stages, particularly the stages with dynamic backgrounds such as the Prism Tower stage and the Living Room. Every stage comes with an Omega mode as well, which turns them into a stylized version of Final Destination based on that stage, all of which look great as well.
Musically, this game is everything you’ve come to expect from Smash Bros. at this point. Most of the music are either remixes or just straight ports of original classic tunes, with each stage usually having a small selection of songs that it cycles through, once you unlock them. Particularly I enjoyed the number of medleys throughout the game, notably on Dr. Wily’s Castle, the stage for Megaman. Whether you’re an old fan or new, you will surely enjoy the large variety of music this game has to offer as you fight against other people.
Overall Super Smash Brothers for the 3DS is a fun little title with a ton to offer despite it’s lack of story mode. Though the controls can be a bit cramped at first, once you get used to them there shouldn’t be very much issue at all. At a modest price of $40, if you want a fun game to play while on the go, the this game is for you. However with the WiiU version only a month away, with all new stages and undoubtedly more game modes, if you’re not interested in the portability that the 3DS version offers you, then it might be in your best interest to hold off until that version comes out.