~ Review by Albert Le, guest reviewer
The latest release in the Super Smash Bros. series comes out for the Nintendo 3DS and for the Wii-U, reliving the great party brawler that many enjoy while also introducing new mechanics, making the experience new for veterans and newcomers alike.
While no explicit story is mentioned in either the Nintendo 3DS or Wii-U titles, Super Smash Bros 4 (as it’s easier to say and write) appears to follow immediately after Super Smash Bros Brawl’s Subspace Emissary storyline. Some Subspace Bugs (originally from Tabuu and subspace-related beings) have taken refuge in Master Hand (one of the final bosses in all SSB games), now known as The Swarm as they lie in wait to rise again (basically when you play Classic Mode). You play as various popular (and not-so popular) Nintendo characters as well as two other famous characters: PAC-MAN (yes, it’s spelled that way. He’s here because of Namco’s involvement with the game’s creation) and Mega Man (because who DOESN’T want Mega Man?).
Super Smash Bros is well-known to have few, very simple, and easy-to-master controls so that anyone and everyone can pick the game up and play like professionals. Characters have unique moves and special moves (unfortunately, not ALL characters) that can be activated by simply holding a direction and pressing a button, mashing a button, tapping a direction, and so on. Unlike most fighting games, where you fight until one side depletes their energy, the goal of the game is to damage opponents and launch them off the screen as many times as possible (in Time matches) or until all enemies run out of lives (in Stock matches). In addition a common element in the Super Smash Bros universe is the inclusion of various items with unique properties; all of which spawn in random intervals either to the convenience or inconvenience of players. The most infamous is the Smash Ball (introduced in Super Smash Bros Brawl) which, when broken by a fighter, bestows the character with an ultimate move known as the “Final Smash”, which is capable of unleashing unparalleled amounts of devastation to the battlefield.
New to Super Smash Bros 4 is some extra fluidity in movement and attacking (unrelated to the game running at 60 fps), in which players will find that many attacks from their previous favourites will link together much more easily into other attacks than in previous instalments of Super Smash Bros. Super Smash Bros 4 also includes fighter customization (which can be toggled on or off prior to a match), where players can alter a character’s special moves and equipment that add extra attack power, defense, speed, or passive abilities. Players can also create their own original fighters using their Miis. The overall gameplay, however, is very much like Super Smash Bros Brawl, which lead to some hardcore fans nicknaming the game “Super Smash Bros Brawl 2” for that reason.
While Super Smash Bros 4 shares many modes and features, new features have also been added. For example, “trophies (which are basically virtual figurines)” can either be purchased (with the in-game currency “Smash Coins” or the 3DS’ “Play Coins”) or collected through Stadium, Trophy Rush, or Smash Run. Trophy Rush has players destroy falling blocks to collect trophies and custom parts (that includes unlocking custom moves and equipment for characters) within a time limit. Classic Mode allows players to choose opponents to fight (out of 3 paths) after setting a difficulty from 0.0 to 9.0, constantly rewarding them as they continue towards either Master Hand with Crazy Hand or Master Hand alone. Smash Run puts all players in similar, separate labyrinths, and gives them the task of exploring it, defeating enemies and strengthening their characters for a randomized event that pits all the players against each other at the end. Smash and Smash Run can be played with 4 players, while All-Star and Multi-Man Smash can be played with 2 players. The rest of the content is played with 1 player. Also by having the 3DS version, players can train themselves before others purchase the Wii-U version, where they can then connect their 3DS to the Wii-U and treat it as an extra controller with custom sets and characters saved in it.
With many features, characters, unlockables, challenges, and a smooth combat system, Super Smash Bros 3DS is a comfortable and fun game for hardcore veterans and casual newcomers alike, welcoming any and all players. As of writing this review, Super Smash Bros 4 is not yet available at Lyons, but I highly recommend picking up this title if you already own a 3DS or a Wii-U. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some StreetPass challenges to take care of.