Super Smash Bros. is a smashing success

Super Smash Bros.
Action (Everyone aged 10+)
Oct. 3 2014
Nintendo 3DS
If you talk to anyone who owned or currently owns a Nintendo 64, a GameCube or a Wii, chances are they’ve played a Super Smash Bros. game. Since 1999, when the first Super Smash Bros. was released on Nintendo 64, the popular fighting game has garnered a large following of smashers of all ages and skill levels. The most recent rendition, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, is unique in that it maintains the integrity and core of the Super Smash Bros. experience on a hand-held device, despite having a few problems with its platform.
Overall, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS is exactly what many smashers are looking for—one of their favorite console games in hand-held form. With its massive roster of characters, each with different styles of play, it’s a game that never ceases to offer new challenges to players. In addition, the transition to the 3DS does not force players to sacrifice gameplay quality—it runs at a smooth 60 fps most of the time.
The heart of the Super Smash Bros. series is contained within its free-for-all brawl mode, in which players attempt to knock others off the stage in order to win. Without a doubt, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS delivers on this aspect. All the features players loved before are still there including items, final smashes and a variety of different characters to play and stages to play them on. Nintendo has added a whole group of new characters to the lineup as well as revamped a hefty amount of old ones in this game, giving players new moves to learn and use.
However, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS provides more than just new characters. Solo play has been expanded with the addition of a new game mode called Smash Run. In it, players traverse a map in the span of five minutes to find power-ups to improve their characters, eventually using these power-ups to fight in a normal-style brawl. While the concept of Smash Run is interesting, it seems to be a niche game mode that will won’t necessarily appeal to all players. However, it deserves some credit in that it is a new game mode that offers some variety from the core group brawls that the game is focused on.
In addition to Smash Run, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS offers another new feature—the ability to customize your fighter with custom moves and equipment found throughout the game. Players can now adjust three stats on their fighters (attack, speed and defense) and can even swap their normal special moves for custom ones with different effects, such as more range on a recovery move in exchange for less damage. These customizations offer more variety and options for players to choose from, thus increasing the already broad range of the game.
Unfortunately, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS does come with some flaws. Like many 3DS games that have come before it, it has proven unable to effectively utilize features tailored for the 3DS. The first problem that one encounters in the game is that the controls are difficult to manage. Nintendo’s choice to only allow players to use the circle pad to move noticeably dampens the experience, as movement with the circle pad often feels sluggish and laggy. Players who are looking to be able to precisely control their characters through the 3DS’s controls will be disappointed. In addition, Nintendo was also unable to make the 3D feature aesthetically pleasing, a common flaw of Nintendo 3DS games.
Beyond controls, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS hits a rough patch when it comes to the multiplayer modes that the game offers. The local wireless games are of fairly good quality with little lag or stuttering—when the connection is fine. However, games have a tendency to lag out, especially when players attempt to play in the global wireless mode. In a fighting game like Super Smash Bros., timing and precise control of your character are necessary for an enjoyable experience. Thus, the constant lag and unreliability of the multiplayer hinder what could be an great experience for players.
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS manages to leave a great impression that carries the Super Smash Bros. legacy onto a hand-held device. Nintendo is also coming out with a version of the game for the Wii U for those who would like to continue playing on a console platform on November 21, 2014. Making a hand-held version of the game is a feat in itself, as Nintendo has managed to successfully transfer the core of Super Smash Bros. games straight into your pocket, albeit with a few minor flaws.