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Super Smash Bros 3DS review: A smashing success.

Updated on October 20, 2014

Time for roll call.


Register your game on Club Nintendo.

For those of you who have both the game Super Smash Bros 3DS and a Club Nintendo account, please make extra sure you register it and the Wii U version as well when it comes out. What's Club Nintendo you ask? It's a super cool service that lets you register your games and earn coins. Coins are used to get really rad swag likes games, merchandise and more. It just so happens that in an effort to ensure that everyone plays both the Wii U and 3DS version of Super Smash Bros you'll get soundtracks to the Wii U and 3DS version. Trust me, the music in the game is amazing. Get out there and register those games!

Ready? Go!

Those are two words that after playing the smash bros thirteen years I will never get tired of hearing them. Super Smash Bros is a series that holds a special place in my heart, next to Metroid, Street Fighter and Persona. There are very few games that brings together an amalgamation of Nintendo characters, from series old and new, and pits them all against each other for a drawn out, all out brawl.

The latest installment for the Nintendo 3DS and coming later next month for the Nintendo Wii U combines elements from previous Super Smash Bros games, and makes it into a blockbuster of a game that's sure to stay popular for years to come. I dove deep into the game and came back with a gem of a game that will part of the gaming community for years to come. So, without further ado, let's get to the review!

Monkeys and Pokémon and Plumbers, oh my!

The number of characters in Super Smash Bros 3DS is insane. Nintendo really thought outside of the box this time and chose characters from a wide variety of series. Some you would come to expect, like Star Fox, Pikachu and Princess Peach. But then you get what I call wild card characters like Pac-Man, the Villager from Animal Crossing and the Wii Fit trainer. It feels like there's a character for everyone to like, and trust me, you're gonna have plenty to choose from. There are at least 49 characters for you to choose from, and the way they all play is completely unique, with the exception of a few characters, but I won't spoil who they are. Everyone likes surprises, right?

Let's use the Wii Fit trainer as an example. She fights, or rather "exercises"using yoga poses and stretches, all the while spurting out advice on staying fit, correcting your posture and staying balanced. It's crazy! It's like she's just stretching out her arms while at the same time beating up on Mario, who's trying to run from Peach throwing a turnip at him, but then comes Samus shooting a laser beam behind her. For future references I play as Samus and Zero Suit Samus, because both of them are the best characters. At least in my own diehard Samus Aran fan girl's opinion.

Then you get longtime rivals like Sonic vs Mario. Or even Pac-Man vs Bowser. We live in a world where such dreams are possibilities. Plus it is really satisfying to kick some butt with Princess Peach since the majority of the time she's either getting rescued by Mario or Luigi. Even Pit and lady Palutena from the Kid Icarus series join in on the battle, and they both play completely different from each other. It's impossible to find a character not to like.

Gerudo Valley Theme

Nostalgic music for fans old and new.

Nintendo has a way with music, and Super Smash Bros 3DS is no different. Some of the pieces are completely original to the game, while others are remixes of themes from various Nintendo games or the original piece from the previous Super Smash Bros games. It gives you good feels of nostalgia, of a time when you were a kid and couldn't wait until Saturday so you could spend the day playing Super Mario Bros or Metroid. It brings back memories of the original Super Smash Bros game that came out for the Nintendo 64 in April 26 of 1999. I have had times where I literally went into the sound options menu, turned on the Brinstar theme from Super Smash Bros Melee and just sat back and relaxed while listening to it.

In the 3DS version each stage has 2 tracks for that respective stage, except for a few others that have more than one. The use of guitars, pianos, violins and other instruments really draws you into the game. Next to this text box is a video of the Gerudo Valley theme from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, remixed with instruments and additional sounds. Listen to that and try not to get emotional halfway through the music.

You want modes? You got modes!


Super Smash Bros series

Which Super Smash Bros is your favorite?

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Go ahead, try to pick one.

Super Smash Bros 3DS has an amazing array of modes for you to choose from. A nice exemption from the game is the Adventure or Subspace Emissary mode that was in the previous Smash Bros game. While I do applaud Nintendo for trying to add a story to Super Smash Bros Brawl, it felt a little rushed and completely tedious. Thankfully in Super Smash Bros 3DS it's pure Classic Mode. Pick a character, fight against an array of other characters while collecting trophies and coins, and defeat the final opponent.

All Star Mode makes a welcome return, where you battle against other characters based on their timeline and the title of the game they came from. It's pretty nice to see where some of these Nintendo characters originated from, especially if you grew up in that time period. It's an endurance battle though, with only a few healing items so if you get KOed that's it.

Smash Run, a mode completely unique to the 3DS version, lets you pick a character and throws you into a random stage pitted against enemies from various Nintendo games, like Donkey Kong Country Returns or Mega Man. As you battle you pick up characters to increase your speed, strength, defense, jump and more. After 5 minutes are up, you're thrown against 3 other players and end up battling in random events. Sometimes you will have to reach the top of a stage as fast as you can. Other times you'll have to defeat the other 3 opponents while your damage gets raised. It's a fun mode, yet I can't help but wonder why they didn't include it with the online modes. It's local only, which is kind of a bummer.

Smash let's you battle either by yourself against the AI or with a group of friends via Wi-Fi. I didn't try out this mode simply because I haven't ran into another person who has a copy of the game just yet. From what I can understand though I would only but imagine that it runs pretty smooth.

Online is where the action is, sort of. In this mode you can play with your friends in a group or with anyone. I played a few matches with my friends, and while some of the matches ran smooth there were other times where the lag completely ruined the experience for me. Sometimes it works, other times it's flat out unplayable. It all depends solely on your connection and internet service provider.

The For Fun mode lets you play against people from all over the world with all items on and all stages in their original form. The same issue applies here where it'll work fine at some points, and then other times you'll be yelling expletives at your 3DS for not having the online work properly. Still, it is leaps and bounds over the atrocity that was online play for the Wii version back then. That was just flat out broken.

For Glory is for those of us who like to play Smash Bros competitively. You can either choose to play with a group or 1 on 1. All the items are off and the stages are set on Omega, meaning that there are no floating platforms, no gimmicks, just one flat surface and you against the opponent. A lot of competitive Smash Bros players play on Final Destination in Melee or other stages that don't have platforms or stage hazards, since they can affect how well you do against your opponent. Nintendo saw this and decided to make all stages have a special form to themselves. For Glory may lag too, but overall it's a very fun mode that's impossible to not have fun with. Just be prepared though, because there's a lot of good fighters online.

Street Smash allows you to street pass with other players and battle them in a top down, spinning top version of Smash Bros. It's a nice little touch, and it's genuinely fun to play. Will it be winning any awards for multiplayer session game of the year? Not likely, but it's still a nice addition to the already growing list of modes.

But how well does it play?

Surprisingly enough it runs very well on the 3DS. I had my doubts at first, I mean trying to do a game like Super Smash Bros 3DS on a handheld would be like trying to teach a duck how to speak English: long, tedious and completely frustrating. Yet it works, and works well I might add. Sure it may be kind of awkward to use the control pad on the 3DS to attack, resulting in me putting in the wrong input and sacrificing myself off the stage, but other than that it plays so well. Never would I have thought a game like Smash Bros could both look and run well on a handheld. But that's the kind of love and care Nintendo gives to their games. They don't just rush out a product that's half then and later try to fix it up with fancy bells and whistles.

You use the shoulder buttons on the 3DS to shield, grab and dodge roll from your opponent. A is for normal attacks and smash attacks, B is for your special moves, and Y and X are for jumping. I never found a problem using any of these buttons, with the exception of the control pad on the 3DS. See, often times when I tried to do a smash attack it came out as a tilt. In the worst time possible. Frustration and threats to burn my 3DS aside, this game controls so smooth and so well you'd think it was the Wii U version itself.

MetroidFan87 gives it:

4 stars for Super Smash Bros 3DS

Bonus: collect those trophies!

Ever since the melee version, they have included a system called trophies. These trophies represent items and characters from Nintendo games across all platforms. Some of them are well known, while others are completely new games that only came out in Japan. You unlock trophies by clearing the Classic Mode, All Star Mode or various challenges. They are so awesome and it gives you an incentive to try to collect them all.

There are other ways to get these trophies as well. By going to the trophy shop you can spend coins that you have earned from playing other modes and buy trophies. Make sure you visit on different days as some of them will be on sale. I found this to be a pretty good choice, because as much as I do enjoy going through Classic Mode for the thousandth or so time that I've done it, I'd rather save myself the frustration and just buy the trophy myself.

Trophy Rush is a fun little mode itself. Depending on the number of coins you spend, you can have a maximum of 2 minutes to destroy blocks and collect trophies. If you destroy enough, you'll get a trophy fever, meaning that more trophies are more prone to fall and you'll also earn bonus coins.

Spectating is a great mode too. Not only do you get to watch other players from all around the world duke it out, you can bet coins to see who will win. Keep up your winning streak and you'll end up winning double your coins. Just try not to get too greedy or you'll end up busting big time, and that would be so not cool.

The final verdict:

In conclusion, while Super Smash Bros 3DS does have a few flaws, it doesn't keep it from being an overall great experience. You owe it to yourself to buy this game. There's just too many good things going on for it, and it's sure to be a game that will last the test of time. It's a love letter to Nintendo fans, as well as fans of Smash Bros. It's a game that's sure to form many friendships, and to cause many a sleepless night. The only question left is how well will the Wii U version do? I guess we'll have to stay tuned to find out. In the mean time, get out there and smash!


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