Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Thoughts on Super Smash Bros. for 3DS

If you're involved in the gaming community, you've probably been notified of the recent release of Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS. If not, you're learning about it now! Smash Bros. released on October 3rd, for the North American audience. We've just learned that the Wii U version will release on November 21st, again for North America.

As for me, I was lucky enough to pick up the game on release day. I'm a huge Nintendo fan and I've played all the Smash games, so I was looking forward to this one. I wasn't going into this blind of course. Before now I watched many videos of the Japanese version and even got a chance to play the special demo. I had a lot of high hopes for this game.

Now that I've played the game for a good amount of time I can say that I am definitely not disappointed. This Smash feels like the best one I've ever played. Even though the hype is starting to settle down and different tactics and mechanics are coming out, the game still feels new and fresh to me. I'm not sure how to exactly explain it, but the colorful and interactive interface really bring the game to life.


Which Mii Fighter do you like the most?
When it comes to unlocking different features of the game, I really like how simple it is. Characters were really easy to get in this game, and I was able to fill up the whole roster in a short amount of time. I think this is a big improvement compared to the previous games, as competitive players may not be interested in unlocking everything or exploring the various game modes.

In regards to the amount of things to unlock, there is definitely ALOT. Aside from characters and stages, there are many challenges, similar to Brawl. Trophies are still in of course, which I love going through. I think it's a great way to get background info on certain characters and figures present in the game. On top of all this, we have different upgrades and outfits for Mii Fighters, and new movesets.

Which brings me to the next point, the inclusion of the Mii Fighters is something I have wanted for quite a while. Since not everyone could get their favorite characters in this edition of Smash, (poor Ice Climbers fans) I feel that this is the next best thing. Since the invention of Miis, I've always wanted to see them included into games. We've seen them in Mario Kart, Mario Tennis, and various other series, but never Smash Brothers.

That is, until now. The system is done really well and its fun just to see a version of yourself battle among famous characters. There isn't as much customization as there would be compared to games like Soul Calibur, but there are many options of headgear, clothing, and such that anyone can find something they like. (Such as a ninja headband that resembles the ones in Naruto.)


Not too fast, not too slow. Just right!
Regarding gameplay, I feel that they've created a great balance between two popular games, Melee and Brawl. I'm sure its a matter of opinion, but to some, Melee was too fast. Some people weren't all that competitive and they just wanted to play Smash as a relaxing game. Then there are people who dislike Brawl. They state that Brawl is too slow and floaty, the tripping mechanic was annoying, and their favorite characters were removed.

For me, I tend to like Melee more than Brawl, but it didn't feel completely great to me. This new Smash Bros. feels a lot better than both games. It's not too fast, and not too slow. It's taken mechanics from both games and combined them, successfully creating a game that anyone can pick up and play. Not only is this really good game design, it's great for marketing. You don't exclude any audiences.

Although we have a couple of clone characters, the cast have unique differences to their play styles. For example, picking Mario and playing with him, then switching to Luigi feels completely different. Still, I have to admit that some characters should've been revamped a bit more to separate them from their counterparts, such as Toon Link.


Windy Hill, a new Smash Bros. stage.
New characters feel definitely different than the old ones, although it could just be me since I've played these games for years. It seems like they all have learning curves and you can't just pick them up and become a professional. At least, not easily. An example is Palutena; I wouldn't say that she's bad, but she's definitely hard to use. Her moves feel a little awkward, but I'm sure there are people who can master her.

There's also Little Mac who has problems in the air, which is a hurdle many players have to get around. Robin's weapon change system can be a little confusing to new players, and Wii Fit Trainer makes me feel like I have short arms and legs. Although a little difficult, I have picked up a main that is a new character, by the name of Shulk. I was horrible at him during the early stages of playing, but I'm at least decent with him now. Most of the new characters aren't bad, they just take effort.

Concerning a few other points, the music is really amazing. I love listening to "You Will Know Our Names" and "Running/Countdown." The fact that every stage has a flat version for competitive players is also a great touch. No need to limit yourself Final Destination or Battlefield. Online has been a pleasant experience for me as well. There is lag at times, but 1 vs 1 has been relatively fast paced and satisfying. The addition of a "For Fun" mode and "For Glory" is really great. Sometimes I don't mind playing with items and having a blast, other times I want to test my skills and train with the pros.


Do you fight for fun or for glory?
In conclusion, I really love Smash 4. I will continue to play it for a while, and still pick up the 3DS version even when the Wii U one comes out. Playing Smash on the go is just a unique and entertaining experience, compared to being stuck at a TV. Some may complain that the screen is too small, the controls are too clunky, and that Smash should stick to the big screen, but I really like the new direction that Smash is heading.  If you have a 3DS I recommend trying it out, if not you can always wait for the Wii U version!

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