Super Smash Bros. is the best example of a game that gives everything fans love about Nintendo and develops it even further. The original Super Smash Bros. that was on Nintendo 64 was one of the first successful attempts at creating an endlessly replayable party fighter that is still loved to this day. Its subsequent sequels, Melee and Brawl, took the Smash formula to new heights with more beloved Nintendo characters, stages, game modes, and plenty of other goodies to make newcomers and long-time fans satisfied. However, there was one thing that Smash fans had begged for ever since the release of the original Nintendo DS: the ability to play Super Smash Bros. on the go. Luckily for 3DS owners, this has finally been answered with the release of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS.
The very first thing that is clear about Smash Bros. on 3DS is that it is a tried and true adaptation to the Smash formula that we all know and love. Everything from the way characters play uniquely from each other to the many options for customizing matches, hardcore fans of the series will feel right at home. There is the traditional Smash Mode that everyone will spend a lot of time with, both solo and with multiplayer. You can change the options on items, match rules, handicap and damage ratios, and even stage selection options. Added to the mix is the ability to create custom sets for all 50 fighters in the game, ranging from the properties of moves to the mechanics and effectiveness of abilities unique to each character.
Outside of just smashing it out like usual, there is a new mode exclusive to 3DS called Smash Run. Similar to the Subspace Emissary mode from Brawl, players will roam around a map for a few minutes battling enemies from different Nintendo games, which when defeated drop various power-ups for your character. Once time is up, a final smash match will occur with up to four fighters using the power-ups collected while roaming. This is a fun mode that can yield many extra goodies for use in other modes, including trophies and coins.
The only issue with Smash Run is the drawn out nature of roaming around the map followed by a short yet un-sweet final battle with everyone. At times, you can find yourself with some attributes powered up and yet still be unequipped and at a disadvantage during the final smash battle. While not ultimately unfair by any means, it can become a nuisance with the wrong character at the wrong time. Smash Run can be played with up to 3 other players, but doesn’t come with much difference than playing it solo against computer opponents.
There is the classic arcade style battle mode with a surprise boss battle at the end, as well as Home Run Derby, Multi-man Melee, and Trophy Rush modes to keep things different over time. These don’t provide a whole lot of extra game as you’ll probably only play them once or twice to complete the Challenge Boards and unlock some of the game’s hidden goodies.
The Challenge Board has task that could be completed in almost all of the game’s modes and are sometimes linked to unlocking characters or stages, or simply trying out a particular mode. Trophies and customizable moves can be obtained as you complete the Challenge Board, which consist of three main tiles. When all the challenges are complete, just about every unlockable will be obtained in the game.
Super Smash Bros. however is popular because of its multiplayer, and this entry is no exception. Playing the majority of your smash matches will be played with other 3DS owners through Ad-Hoc play, with the option to go online and face players around the world. The big bummer however is that online play can still be rocky at times, depending on both your connection and those of the players you are matched with. Occasionally there will be lag and frame rate drops, but not enough to totally kill the experience in multiplayer. You’ll still be able to beat the snot out of your friends on the go like you’ve always wanted to. Smash Bros 3DS also includes StreetPass functionality with a mini-game that helps unlock coins to purchase trophies in the in-game Trophy Store. The mini-game has players controlling an icon on a board and moving around to knock other player’s icons away. Each mini-game board can hold up to twelve different players, despite the 3DS’s limit of StreetPassing only ten people.
Despite a few shortcomings, this is the definitive portable Super Smash Bros. game that everyone wanted. It looks, feels, and plays like the Super Smash Bros. everyone is knows since Melee and Brawl. And that’s all we could have ever asked for. Luckily Nintendo gave us a few more extra things to top off the experience for 3DS owners, including the ability to connect to the Wii U version to be released later on. The online multiplayer isn’t perfect nor is Smash Run, but all of that is menial compared to what we’ve gotten. 3DS owners need to have a copy of this game in their collection, it most certainly deserves being in it.
This review of Smash Bros. 3DS was played on a Nintendo 3DS and was paid for out-of-pocket.