Super Smash Bros 3DS Review

Super Smash Bros 3DS
4.5 out of 5
The console gets smaller. The stage gets bigger.

With more characters, stages, and things to do, the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros has more fun and fan service than has been seen since the original revolutionized nostalgia in 1999.

Read about the new characters, game flow, top tier characters and changes in the newest iteration of Super Smash Bros.

New challengers approach

For the most part, the new characters in this game are an absolute blast to play. I particularly love the Villager from Animal Crossing. Featured in the demo for the game, his Timber ability is a blast. Being able to pocket projectiles thrown his way and throw them back at others is fun too.

Little Mac and Mega Man play exactly as you would expect them too, and they seem fairly one note.

Rosalina & Luma and the Wii Fit Trainer are as difficult to figure out and manage as one would expect. Rosalina seems to have the capability of being a very strong contender as you have access to effectively two characters at once.

Pac-Man is a ton of fun and his “Final Smash” is insanely cool (I won’t spoil this one for the reader).

There are a lot of other characters who have not been “officially” announced by Nintendo that I do not want to spoil but are very fun to play. One Nintendo throwback character is especially hilarious and unique.

I also want to quickly note that some characters have costumes that make them different characters, which eliminates the need for some clones. For example, an alternate costume for Captain Olimar of the Pikmin series is his partner Louie. This is a welcome addition.

How fast is the new Smash Bros?

With Super Smash Bros 3DS, you can expect a gameplay flow somewhere between the frenetic pace of Melee and the sluggish mess of Brawl. In short, the speed feels perfect, and not having to worry about your character “tripping” makes the transition from Brawl seem even sweeter.

I could be wrong, but on the surface the speed gap seems to have been made smaller. This means that the slowest characters like Bowser and Ganondorf are more comparable in speed to characters like Captain Falcon and Fox. My personal favorite character from Brawl, King Dedede is fast enough to where he feels like someone I can legitimately play as against friends.

Super Smash Bros 3ds gameplay pikachu

The divide

With Super Smash Bros 3DS, there has never been a more clear separation of casual and professional. Nintendo and NAMCO finally acknowledge that their stalwart audience are professional players who fight over which character is “top tier” and only play on Final Destination with no items.

This is a good thing.

Over the top items and zany stages are more powerful and crazier than ever. I found more situations where the drop of an item meant instant death for my brawler. Assist Trophies (which were introduced in Brawl) seem to last forever and are practically certified killers.

But all of these options can be removed for the hardcore player to make this an authentic fighting experience.

For the Hardcore

Serious competitors will rejoice that item switch is selectable from the get-go and almost all of the fighters are available from the start.

As someone who spends more time playing competitively, my favorite new addition is the “Omega Stage.” Every stage in the game can be selected with the “Omega” variant which turns that stage into Final Destination, but uses the assets and backgrounds of the selected stage.

Tripping, swimming, gliding, EVERYTHING that made Brawl so unpleasant for the hardcore has been removed in this sequel

Super Smash Bros 3DS roster

Game Balance

When you have 49 characters with (mostly) different move sets, it is IMPOSSIBLE to create a perfectly balanced game.  There are going to be fighters that stand alone and match ups that favor a particular brawler. That being said, and while it is still early, the game feels VERY well balanced. You can pick up most fighters and have fun and stand a chance.

Larger fighters who were previously way too slow have better chances and characters who used to be unstoppable have been toned down.

With the large number of modes and huge roster of characters, there doesn’t seem to be a realistic end to the fun to be had.

Playing with yourself

The ultimate flaw with Smash Bros for 3DS is that the device it is played on is very limiting. Many people would be better to wait for the WiiU bundle with Gamecube controllers. As Smash is primarily a multiplayer or party game, you need that large screen and group of people to truly make it Super Smash Bros.

The major disappointment is that online play can be laggy and Nintendo still has not mastered the art of online play and friend’s lists like Sony and Microsoft.

It gets worse.

Super Smash Bros on the 3DS also requires that all owners of 3DS systems contain a copy of the game to take advantage of multiplayer. All of the features and characters in the world don’t mean a thing if you can’t play the game in it’s normal environment. The barrier to enjoy a basic game of Smash is quite high.

If I were a scoring man (which I’m not), I would probably dock the score of this game full points for this oversight.

TL;DR on Super Smash Bros

If you own a 3DS and know people who also have 3DS’s, there aren’t games more complete or feature rich than Super Smash Bros. This is the most complete and satisfying game in the series (even better than Melee in this reviewer’s opinion). You may want to make sure that you will have friends to play with first.

Super Smash Bros 3DS Top Tiers

Thank you for reading this article. I wanted to give a little extra to readers of this review, so I included a look at the current top tier characters by user opinion. Small spoilers to readers who want to be surprised as to who is good and what characters are included in the game. This initial list was provided by the team at Event Hubs:

  1. Shiek
  2. Zero Suit Samus
  3. Rosalina
  4. Robin
  5. Peach
  6. Greninja
  7. Sonic
  8. Fox
  9. Marth
  10. Captain Falcon

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