When you first heard of the idea of a four-player platform fighting game with Nintendo characters, you were more than likely a child, and really into the idea of Mario, Link, Donkey Kong and Samus squaring off against each other. Super Smash Bros. was a success when it debuted in 1999 and has spawned sequels once per console life-cycle ever since.
I graduated high school in 2008, the same year that Super Smash Bros. Brawl for Wii was released. People my age (myself included) were just as excited about a new Smash Bros. release as we were when we were 9 years old. We made costumes and wore them to the midnight release. It was a really positive space. Just sincere, unbridled enthusiasm for a game where a blue hedgehog was going to fight the man from Metal Gear Solid. After purchasing our copies, we proceeded to drive to my mom’s house and play it until our fatigue overcame our excitement.
Six years later, I am now 24 years old and my enthusiasm for the series has surprisingly not diminished over time and a new title in the franchise has been released. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is here I’m still excited about the nonsensical concept of the dog from Duck Hunt fighting Pac-Man.
The only hesitation this time around was that this is the series’ first portable iteration. Most games that make it to the 3DS end up exhibiting all the best parts of the hardware, but Smash Bros. on this platform left me skeptical. GameCube controllers are also the weapons of choice when it comes to playing these games, so how could a nickel-sized joystick compete? The answer is: splendidly.
Nintendo has done everything they could to make it the greatest entry in the series and, for the most part, they succeeded.
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS has the largest roster to date for the franchise. More than 49 characters all across the Nintendo catalog are present in this game. The fighting system is well-tuned, quick and more grounded than Brawl, but also not as fast as Super Smash Bros. Melee for GameCube. It’s more approachable to newcomers but also has the depth that competitive players will devour for years.
However, this iteration of Smash Bros. doesn’t go without its fair share of gripes. Internet play has never been Nintendo’s strong suit when it comes to their titles. Input lag is noticeable sometimes when playing online or even when playing local multiplayer. It was expected that this feature would be polished before its release but I’m starting to believe that online multiplayer was not Nintendo’s focus. They understand that local multiplayer is the sweet spot for this series.
They completely understand that the best part of video games—the part that makes you want to play more and more—are the moments when you are playing with friends. What makes this iteration of Smash Bros. so great is not just its quality, it’s that it acts as a vessel for new memories with friends. This is not only the best release in the franchise’s history, but the most fun gaming experience I’ve had in a long while.
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