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Games : Highly Recommended
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Release Date: October 3rd, 2014 Movie Release Year: 2014

Super Smash Bros.

Overview -

Nintendo's experiment in mascot fisticuffs may have begun as a small Nintendo 64 game, but it's transformed into one of the storied company's most important franchises of all. 'Super Smash Bros.' begins its fourth cycle not on the struggling home console, but on the thriving portable device. 'Super Smash Bros. for 3DS,' if unimaginatively named, reaches back into as many corners of the Nintendo vault as it can, pulling out newcomers the likes of Little Mac from 'Punch-Out' and Rosalina, the ethereal queen of Mario's universe. Even third-party icons Pac-Man and Mega-Man join the fray. But those are just names on a list. Now it's time to find out if that list makes a roster, and that roster makes a game, deserving of the 'Super Smash Bros.' name.

Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
October 3rd, 2014

Video Review


Roster characters all run at a 60 frames per second, while any kind of secondary actor on the battlefield (pikmin, items, etc.) is cut down to half that for the sake of performance. Amazingly, the action is never anything less than fluid, though the more the camera zooms out to accommodate more players, the harder it is to make out every nuanced move an opponent might make. This wasn't a problem for me, since the 1v1 matches might be considered "serious" while anything else is in pure fun. The team did throw in a couple of new visual flourishes which help to further exhibit the causal nature of the frenetic action. Red lightning bolts shoot out of a character currently under duress of a massive strike and thick, cartoonish outlines make tracking a whole bunch easier.

Also of significance is the franchise's shift toward more charismatic costumes for each character. Bowser Jr. swaps with the Koopalings seen most recently in 'Mario Kart 8,' and the announcer even refers to Larry or Roy by name in the selection screen. Yes, some characters are still plagued with mere color-swaps, but even those seem more varied. In all, the whole game pops with raucous color.

Audio Review


Every move in the game seems to have some sort of sound effect coupled with the acting character's particular style of grunt or yelp. Nintendo wouldn't have it any other way, ensuring every single fighter, every item and the score to every stage symphonizes the wonderful event of beating each other up. The 3DS's little speakers somehow capture all that noise and blow it in your face with convincing separation and thud.

Final Thoughts

'Super Smash Bros. for 3DS' is all of the 'Super Smash Bros.' we've come to love somehow condensed into portable form. It's all there, it's online, it controls well and the roster is satisfying, deep and skillful. Whatever qualms I may have with the single-player modes (they serve their purpose as training grounds), or quips I may throw at the online offerings, the one thing I can say is this: the game feels good. I feel quick, I feel powerful, yet I feel challenged with every new opponent as we fight "For Glory." It's a testament to the balance at play, between speeds and characters, that I haven't found just one character I can't stand to fight against. There isn't a strategy I don't look forward to countering.

And it's a testament to the success of this version that I can overlook the impending availability of the Wii U version in just a month or so. It's been years, but I am once again fulfilled in my smashing needs.