Super Smash Brothers for the 3DS is… well… exactly that, the Super Smash Brothers series, we all know and love, that you can play on the go.
For the sake of this review, I will assume there are a couple of unfortunate souls out there who haven’t had the pleasure of playing this series. Super Smash Brothers is a fighting game featuring the biggest names in all of Nintendo history, duking it out for our entertainment. You will see characters such as Mario, Link, Kirby, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Samus, Star Fox, Yoshi, and the list goes on and on. The goal of the game is fairly simple; you and up to three other characters fight it out on various stages. Instead of the style of combat in traditional fighting games, titles in which your health goes down when you get hit, taking blows brings your percentage up. The higher the percentage, the further your character flies when hit. When your character flies off the edge of the screen, you lose a life (or your opponent gains a point depending on the mode). With four players fighting all at once, it’s easy to get lost in the chaos, but you will enjoy every minute of it.
There are several modes to play on this version of Smash, most of which are multiplayer. Smash mode is the traditional fight to the finish I described above. Smash run is a brand new mode where you travel through a map and fight randomly assorted enemies to gain stats for a final battle at the end of the time limit. In All-Star mode, you fight every character in the game according to what year they were first released. You can even go online and fight people worldwide in two modes, For Fun and For Glory. These modes are exactly how they sound: battle games where your stats are and are not recorded respectfully. I must note, there are some lag issues with the online matches; during a few games, I experienced lag spikes that actually cost me the match. I hope this can be fixed soon, or that will be a big red flag for the game. Disappointingly, Smash Run and All-Star modes are multiplayer via local connection only, no online here.
For solo play, there is the classic mode and a few mini-game modes. Classic mode is fighting battles one after another, getting more difficult as you progress, leading up to the final boss, The Master Hand. Stadium modes include mini-games such as Multi-man Mode, Home Run Contest, and Target Blast. The mini-games are perfect if you don’t have time for a regular match, but I found them to be too short to keep my attention for very long.
Almost every character is unique, and there is one to fit every player’s style. There are a total of fifty one playable characters in the game, and for new gamers to the series; it’s a tad overwhelming but definitely not a bad thing. Playing and exploring each characters’ strengths and weaknesses is half the fun of the Smash series. There is character customization where you can give them different stats and change their moves a bit. You can even make your own characters from Miis’ you have made. My personal favorite character is, the new to this series, Little Mac. He is fast and deadly on the ground, but the second he jumps or is launched into the air, he may quickly become the punching bag that he is used to training with, turning into a big target to other players!
The visuals of the game are great and everything runs smoothly, but you will notice that assist trophies and Pokémon (called forth from the Pokéball item) run at different frames per second, looking a bit weird next to your characters but nothing game breaking. The biggest issue with visuals is the tiny screen; playing such a chaotic fighting game on such a small screen can be a little frustrating. It will be hard to see certain items, and you might even lose track of your own character while playing with all four characters at once on certain stages. If you have the 3DS XL, this can alleviate some of the pain due to the bigger screen.
The controls are tight and responsive, but not quite as responsive as the GameCube controller we are used to playing with. You can customize the controls to fit your liking, but it still may take a few games to get used to it.
This is the fourth installment of the series, but the first to be introduced onto a portable system. As a seasoned Smash Brothers fan, being able to play this game on the go makes the game all the more enjoyable. I often find myself playing a quick game while I’m waiting for the bus, or when my girlfriend takes too long in the mall! The portability more than makes up for the few flaws the game has.
There isn’t much more to tell. Super Smash Brothers is a game series with a perfected formula, and bringing it to a portable system just made sense. For the story driven gamer, you may want to pass on this one because there isn’t really any plot… at all. For the competition level gamers, it may make sense to wait for the wii u version coming out soon, but that’s up to personal preference. For those of you who like to play games just for fun, Super Smash Brothers for the 3DS is a game worth investing every penny. You can easily sink hours of mindless fun playing alone, or with friends who also have the game. At only $40, there is not a legit reason for you to not already have this game by the time you finish this sentence!