March 27, 2023
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Life & Culture

Review: Nintendo pulls no punches in ‘Super Smash Bros.’

"Super Smash Bros."

Developed by Sora Ltd. and Bandai Namco Games

A long-awaited day for Nintendo fans everywhere has arrived as “Super Smash Bros.” for the Nintendo 3DS hit the gaming world Oct. 3. As one of Nintendo’s most critically acclaimed series, the release serves as a milestone in Nintendo history and for good reason: This action-packed fighting game throws characters from popular Nintendo games and more in the same arena to fight it out, providing an engaging and thrilling experience for gamers.

The new and old are blended in this portable fight, as classic characters from the older “Smash” games have returned alongside new faces. New or old, all of these characters deliver a style all their own, each bringing something new to the table. At the start of the game, “Smash Bros.” welcomes newcomers the Villager of “Animal Crossing,” Rosalina from the “Super Mario Bros.” series, Palutena from “Kid Icarus,” Robin from “Fire Emblem,” Little Mac from “Punch Out!!,” Wii Fit Trainer from “Wii Fit,” Greninja from the “Pokemon” series, Shulk from “Xenoblade Chronicles,” Mega Man from the “Mega Man” series and the world famous Pac-Man. In addition to these new characters, more characters can be unlocked by further achievements in the game. The list of unlockable characters features both old and new fighters.

Players have many different options for immersing themselves in the gameplay. The classic “Smash” game mode is a regular fight among up to four characters. The player chooses characters, the difficulty of the computer players, whether the fights will be based on lives or timed and the setting, which includes choices from a variety of different Nintendo worlds.
In addition, the player may link up to friends who have the game or battle a stranger in online play. There are also options for solo players including the classic mode, the single-player game which has appeared in every “Smash” game, in which the player is given a series of challenges and characters to face.

A new, refreshing form has also been applied to the All-Star matches. The player must fight every character in chronological order of when their respective games have come out and when the characters themselves have appeared. This aspect is very well done, as it not only adds to the fighting experience, it brings older players through a trip down memory lane — a small touch that seems to stand out. Stadium challenges have also come back, such as the Multi-Man Smash, the Target Blast and the smash-famous Home Run Contest, as well as Training mode for beginners. The game also has an additional option to customize characters.

Disappointingly, “Super Smash Bros.” does not have a story mode to follow up on the triumphant, single-player narrative of the previous game in the franchise, “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” for Wii. This would have been an exciting opportunity to further link the characters in Nintendo together in an exciting way.
While somewhat of a big letdown, it does not mean this game is not worth playing. In fact, the transition from major console to handheld is rather smooth, as are the fighting mechanics. In addition, fans of the series have a greater reason to be hopeful, as a version of the game will be released Nov. 21 for the Wii-U. This will give the game a chance to make improvements, hopefully have more challenges and perhaps even a story mode.

“Super Smash Bros.” for 3DS is a great start to a new “Smash” era and holds its own as a portable game separate from its previous console installments. The game itself has much to offer, but only when the Wii-U version can be seen will gamers obtain a full view of the “finished product.” This game comes as a must-play for fans of Nintendo, fighting games or players who are just looking for something enjoyable. The challenges, new characters and nostalgia of the game provide a fulfilled, uplifting feeling, as well as a healthy fusion of the past and present.