since the wii u version released today, i thought i would collect my thoughts on super smash bros. for nintendo 3DS. the 3DS version has been out for just shy of two months, and by now the new characters (which include two awesome, completely off-the-wall additions) have found their unique places amongst what has become an impressive roster of veteran fighters. sakurai, the director, has done a great job of sustaining the hype from the day the game was first announced to today, and as always the wild speculation over which characters would be included was pretty much a national pastime amongst nintendo fans until the final roster was revealed. although the story mode was cut in this iteration, the character reveal trailers were a great substitute and a great way to accompany the announcements of the new characters.
the first aspect of the game to consider is of course the characters. in general i would say the new characters don’t add as much uniqueness to the series overall as compared to the previous game’s batch, but there’s a lot of variety and they’re each satisfying to use (with perhaps the exception of the mii fighters who, because of their completely customizable nature, end up feeling oddly generic). although i miss the ice climbers and snake, their closest replacements (rosalina + luma and a hidden character) provide some of the same flavor and so are somewhat of a consolation. i like that previously combined characters such as samus and zero-suit samus have been made completely separate, and although it takes a lot of time to unlock all the options it’s also entertaining to play around with each character’s moveset variants. the game was intended to be more serious as a competitive game than its predecessor, and although i’m not an expert it seems like most people have been pretty happy with how it turned out in that regard. from the characters’ movesets overall it seems like the game requires a more deliberate play style than before (for example, a lot of the characters have countering moves or moves that put up a shield), but the game is still fast paced and fun at whatever level of skill you’re playing at.
in terms of modes, the game doesn’t really offer too many surprises with the exception of the new “smash run” mode. that mode feels very casual, and although it’s fun to battle against the mix of enemies from different series, the ending battle that decides the final outcome feels too random. having a portable smash bros. game is such a technical achievement that it feels churlish to complain, but its limitations are obvious. although many of the stages have fun gimmicks, the game only has a small number of them, even compared to brawl and esp. compared to the wii u version, and each stage only has two pieces of music. i’ve been playing it on a 3DS XL and the game fits decently well within the confines of that system’s screen size, but i imagine the game would feel much more cramped on a regular 3DS.
there’s not a lot more to say. the game doesn’t offer much in the way of new modes, but the series has always been about the core battling, and the new characters, tweaks to the old characters, and customizable moves provide a lot of great gameplay that will sustain us for the years we’ll have to wait until the next entry. the game is a solid entry in the series, and although overall the game feels limited on the 3DS compared to its big brother on wii u, being able to battle on the go definitely makes up for its limitations and it’s great to have both options.
[as a side note, for those interested as is my wont i spent most of my time playing with robin. as a long-time fan of the fire emblem series i was psyched to be able to finally play as a mostly magic-user, and although having his/her tomes and weapons break feels a bit pointless, overall his/her moveset is pretty enjoyable, if not super unique. looking forward to playing more with that character on wii u, as well as others i haven’t spent too much time with.]
smash with these little bro super smash bros. for nintendo 3DS links:
– official site, which includes all the character reveal videos
– review at nintendolife.com
– entry at ssbwiki.com
– entry at supersmashbros.wikia.com
– table of the series’ playable characters. squirtle and ivysaur = gone but not forgotten!