A Smashing Good Time

The “Super Smash” series has always been a fun celebration of Nintendo’s legacy, showcasing the different worlds and characters they’ve dreamt up through the years. Much to the delight of Nintendo fans everywhere, “Super Smash Bros 4” for the 3DS released last week, continuing the line of one of the brand’s most popular titles. It has been six years since “Super Smash Brawl” for Wii was released, and devotees of the “Smash” series were amply rewarded with the latest iteration of the game.

Nintendo has always done a good job of including the best bits of each edition into the newest versions of “Smash”. “Super Smash Bros 4” sees the return of many veteran characters players with favorites from Pikachu to the surprisingly nimble (and honestly creepy) Wii Fit Trainer. Immediately, one will notice a crucial difference in this game: Zelda, Sheik, Samus and Zero Suit Samus are separate characters.

It comes as a small inconvenience to those who enjoyed balancing out Zelda’s low speed and high knockback rate with Sheik’s heartier stats for both. The Samus/Zero Suit enthusiasts can rest assured that even apart, they will still be more than enough even without the mid-match change ability. It should also be noted that the Pokemon Trainer character from Brawl has been replaced with a slew of new Pokemon. Charizard is now its own character and is joined by Lucario and Greninja.

In addition to new characters, there is a variety of new stages as well as the classics, including a nod to Capcom’s Pac Man.

One of the more apparent downsides of “Super Smash” is that it was made for a handheld console. Even in the previous Wii version of this game, I employed the use of a GameCube controller because it offered a more intuitive position for my button mashing. On the 3DS, the grip on the console might be a little awkward at first, but generally, it seems just a minor annoyance that is overcome after the first few minutes of game time.

The graphics are beautifully displayed, more than comparable to the GameCube’s, and are not so overdone that it makes it hard to see on a small screen. The movements of each character were fluid and translated very nicely for this console’s version.

However, the same cannot be said for online gameplay. At least for this author, the newer version of “Versus Mode,” renamed “Smash” in this version, was a little choppy. Even through a local wireless connection, it lagged. Wireless connection enabling multiplayer mode is supposed to be a major selling point, and in this respect, it was severely disappointing.

That being said, it is still not enough to deter both longtime and new “Smash” lovers from playing. This version of “Smash” is not simply a hodgepodge of old and new stages and characters, but also includes new gameplay features in both solo and multiplayer mode that are worth a gander despite slow connectivity.

If new features are not what you are looking for, and all you want is the satisfaction of blasting opponents off-stage, rest assured, “Smash 4” delivers.

 

ONLY RECOMMENDED IF: the multiplayer mode is not a huge deal to you.