“Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS” Review

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Everyone, gather your friends and rivals because there is a new “Super Smash Bros.” to settle your scores in! This time it comes to the palm of your hand as the series makes its first appearance on a handheld. The idea of “Super Smash Bros.” on the Nintendo 3DS can make you skeptical or excited – most likely both. Now the question is, does the 3DS have the power to support such a heavy series on such a small platform?

Yes, yes and – damn, my 3DS battery is dead again – yes.

For those new to the series, “Super Smash Bros.” (“SSB”)  gathers the all-stars from Nintendo’s past and present (with some third-party guests like Megaman) to battle it out and send each other flying out of the arena.

Up to four characters like Mario, Link and Fox McCloud fight to raise each others damage percentage. The higher the percentage, the more likely a combatant will be launched out of the arena.

There are items that constantly drop to help mix up the match. They will either heal, cause damage or summon Pokémon or other characters to assist you in the brawl.

It’s pretty simple, but very addictive gameplay.

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New challengers approach including Greninja and Little Mac.

Most of the cast from previous “SSB” games returns with the same move sets we’re used to with a few new tweaks here and there. The changes aren’t going to upset anyone’s play style from previous games. They’re just small things like Link’s aerial  down+B being a bit slower and Mario’s final smash being beefed up to actually being worth doing compared to his version in “SSB Brawl.”

As with every new “‘SSB,” new challengers step into the fray this time around. Characters like Little Mac from “Punch Out,” Robin from “Fire Emblem: Awakening,” Greninja from “Pokémon” and many more join the fight, and each rightfully earn their spot in the cast. I won’t be surprised if some of these new characters come to replace some the favorites we see used in tournaments.

Some of the new characters have appeared in previous “SSB” games before. Both Sheik and Zero Suit Samus have been separated into their own characters and are no longer transformations of other existing characters.

Each character on the roster is a fun choice to play as, and you’ll find your favorite fast.

There are several modes to play, so once you get bored of regular smash matches, you can play the Classic mode which pits you against characters as you make your way across a map to a final fight with Master Hand. All-Star mode is another challenge which pits you against characters in the order of the years of their first appearance in video games. There’s also multi-man smashes in which hordes of foes come at you.

Each mode takes you across the different stages available to play in. One neat thing about the stages is since you’re playing on the 3DS, all the stages you fight on are from handheld games, whether it be Link’s train from “The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks” or Arena Ferfox from “Fire Emblem: Awakening,” and they aren’t scaled down in any way just because it is a handheld game or on a handheld, which is a great thing.

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Returning fighters include Zelda and Samus among others.

The multiplayer is everything you’ve come to know and love from “Super Smash Bros.,” and the 3DS does not falter just because it is a handheld.

Local play can be done with up to four  3DS’s and plays fine, but the online play is where multiplayer shines.

Nintendo never has had a good past with online multiplayer because of the restriction that required you to have someone’s Friend Code to play them. This “SSB” changes that with the ability to play against people without Friend Codes.

It also splits match types in to two modes. You can play in “For Fun” mode to play against three other players with items on and not have wins and losses counted, or you can play in “For Glory” which turns off items and turns each stage into a standard version with no obstacles along with keeping track of wins and losses.

As long as everyone has a good connection, the multiplayer and the whole game in general runs at 60 frames per second, which is amazing. Whether you play online or not, it’s going to be a great time.

Usually around this part in my review, I would tell you some of the things that could be better in the game, but that’s actually a tough thing to do in this case. There are only one or two things that may be bothersome, but even that can’t take you out of the game.

As stated before, the game runs at 60 fps, but when you use an assist trophy, the character that’s summoned will run at 32 fps which is a small gripe, but it can really hurt when you get the Nintendog blocking the entire screen at a choppier frame rate then the other characters.

The other thing is that as the battle plays out, players will be launched to the ends of the screen, and with them the camera will zoom out to keep all players in view. This means that on the regular 3DS screen, you might be squinting to see where you are in relation to the other fighters. There are ways to aid this by increasing the black outline around you character and tagging you character on the touch screen but it still is a bit hard to see at times.

As I said before though, these are small complaints compared to mountain of things this game does right.

“Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS” made us all worry that the small Nintendo handheld wouldn’t be able to handle such a game leading up to its launch., but it turns out we had nothing to worry about. This  game stands out among the 3DS’s library as one of its must-own titles and holds a prominent place in the “Smash Bros.” series.

Score: 9/10

Pros:

-SMASH!!

-New characters are great.

-Solid online play.

Cons:

-Small screen with big zoom outs make it tough to see individual characters sometimes.