Thursday, September 18, 2014

Video Game Review: Super Smash Brothers for Nintendo 3DS Special Demo

I sincerely hope this isn't the final title, though.
Oh, hey, look, a review. Now that I have your attention, I'd like to talk about an upcoming game that I'm quite excited for: the new Super Smash Brothers game for the 3DS. I had the good fortune to get a download code for a special demo version, and that is the topic of this review.

Before I get to the actual review, I'd like to talk about Super Smash Brothers as a whole for a second. Super Smash Brothers originated on the Nintendo 64 as a game called Dragon King: The Fighting Game, and didn't originally have Nintendo characters at all. Smash is a huge departure from traditional fighting games like Street Fighter, as characters do not have "health", and KOs are instead recorded by knocking the opponent far enough off-screen. The second game in the series, Super Smash Bros. Melee, is still seen at major tournaments even today, 13 years after its release on the Nintendo Gamecube.

Because what I played is a demo, I won't be judging too harshly for content. That said, I'd like to start by talking about the mechanics. While I was playing, I found it much easier to use the characters' tilt attacks compared to previous titles, especially the Wii installment, Super Smash Brothers Brawl. The new ledge mechanics are interesting, as one no longer is SOL if someone's already occupying a ledge. Instead, the ledge is effectively stolen from the occupant. This makes it feel like a totally new game, rather than a sequel.

Next up is the actual content. The character select screen showed what I'm guessing will be the initial roster when the game is actually released in the US next month, checking in at around 35 characters. That's a lot. Of those 35, only 5 were available in the demo: Mario, Link, Pikachu, Villager, and Mega Man. About 20 stages appear to be available from the get-go come October, but a single stage was playable in the demo: Battlefield. Additionally, rules were locked in the demo, which is fine. The Vault was selectable from the menu, but the only thing accessible in it is Tips.

Overall, I'm pleased with the demo. It's making me all the more excited to play the full game next month. The game plays very smoothly, and seems to be a bit memory-intensive on the 3DS. To me, that's telling of everything that's actually in the full version. 2 of my planned mains, Pikachu and Villager, were in the demo, which is a major plus to me.


Mechanics: 4.5/5 (as mentioned above, tilts are easier, and ledge mechanics make it feel like a brand new game)
Content: 3.5/5 (I understand it's a demo, but couldn't they have at least 2 or 3 stages available for some variety?)
Plot: N/A (It's a demo, and single-player wasn't available.)

Overall: 4/5 (All aboard the hype train.)

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