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Review: Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS

BY CONOR MCBRIEN | OCTOBER 02, 2014 5:00 AM

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Since 1999, Nintendo's "mascot fighter" Super Smash Bros has attracted a large crowd — both competitive and casual — of all ages. It seems like only yesterday this was just a highly experimental game with no guarantee of success. Now it is considered a staple of Nintendo's first-party library despite only releasing one game per console generation.

Bucking that trend for the first time, the first of the two new Smash Bros. games lives up to its hype and is a welcome prelude to its upcoming counterpart on the Wii U.

Much of the content between both games is similar, and some content such as player-created characters can be transferred between the 3DS and Wii U. However, the two games do not allow "cross-play" between both systems, because their content is just different enough that they aren't truly compatible by design.

If I had to give a rough estimate, I would say at least 75 percent of the important content — the character roster, stage selection, and game modes — is relatively the same. That in mind, I don't begrudge players that may see this as a watered-down version of the game they are really waiting to play.

Those who prefer to wait were most likely overjoyed to hear that the Wii U version will continue to support GameCube controllers through the use of an adapter. The Super Smash Bros. game that was on GameCube — Melee — came out in 2001 and continues to be the most popular game among hard-core fans.

The 3DS' control scheme alone is certainly going to alienate a crowd that has been playing these games a certain way for 13 years. Players willing to look past this one issue will find that the game's controls are comfortable and that this is the only real sacrifice that was made to put Super Smash Bros. on the 3DS.

Another attractive quality of this game is that it features the new playable characters who have excited fans of many series for the last few months. Old-school favorites from the NES days such as Punch-Out's Little Mac and the dog from Duck Hunt (yes, the laughing dog from Duck Hunt is a playable character) match blows with more recent heroes such as Xenoblade Chronicles Shulk and the featureless Trainer from Wii Fit. For even more old-school love, non-Nintendo perennials such as Pac-Man and Mega Man even join the fray.

What I'm describing here is barely the tip of the iceberg. These games are always resplendent with references and nods to just about everything Nintendo that you can think of. This is arguably the main draw for the casual crowd, while the competitive crowd will be more concerned with the way the aforementioned characters will play in the ever-evolving competitive scene.

Bottom line: It has enough new content and replay value to be worth your hard-earned cash, and it will be a good warm-up for things to come.

Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS releases Friday.


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