Three years ago, at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Nintendo announced the release of “Super Smash Bros.” for their still-new Nintendo 3DS. I bought a 3DS shortly after this announcement, knowing Nintendo would hold to their promise. I love “Smash Bros.,” and the idea of having it on the go was easily worth buying a new console.
The resulting product was worth the wait and the investment—Nintendo delivered on their promise and then some. They knocked this title out of the park with a carefully-timed hit of the Home-Run Bat.
A new “Smash Bros.” always means new content. Mario, Link, Fox, Kirby, Pikachu, Samus and more favorites still fill the character select screen, but the dynamic roster grows with each iteration of the game. New assist trophies, final smash moves, outfits, items, stages and features are packed into the handheld title.
It is important that a “Smash Bros.” game runs well in order to properly pulverize Little Mac, hit Pac-Man with the new flame sword and deflect Samus’s beams as Fox. Nintendo knew this and made the proper accommodations, but with a small sacrifice. While players on-screen move at a fluid 60 frames per second, asset trophies, Pokémon and other non-combatants chug along at 30 frames per second—noticeable, but not detrimental to gameplay. It should also be noted: the 3D images have no effect on frame rate.
There are numerous single-player game types, both old and new. My favorite new addition, All-Star mode, allows the player to battle through character and stage-based scenarios centered around Nintendo, Sega and Namco’s history. In addition, there is a revamped classic game mode. Fans of the series will be happy to know that Master Hand has a few new tricks up his sleeve—er, glove. Smash Run, however, with its random elements, relentless enemies and item-grab gameplay, leaves a bit to be desired.
Single player modes can keep gamers busy, but nothing beats Smash with a team. Up to four players with a copy of the game can instantly battle each other by setting up an open lobby. The local multiplayer runs without any issues at all, and will no doubt be the most played part of “Smash Bros.” on Occidental’s campus. Additionally, Wi-Fi play features a plethora of gameplay and spectating filters: one vs. one, items or not, for fun or for glory. The Wi-Fi connectivity varies, but is generally solid.
Fans of the “Smash Bros.” series will feel right at home on the Nintendo 3DS. It is a bit of an adjustment, as the 3DS fits differently in the player’s hands and the characters can be tough to see on a smaller screen. However, the tight core gameplay, fan service and multiplayer make “Smash Bros.” for Nintendo 3DS a hit for any gamer.
It is all here, on one little $39.99 cartridge. With “Smash Bros.” on the go, I can play someone anytime, anywhere.