Super Smash Bros Review – I like it…I just don’t like it like it
By Michael Schwartz & Thomas Parker
The big day finally came! The new Smash Brothers came out on the 3DS on Friday and Thomas and I snatched it as soon as we could. We started playing it so we could unlock all the characters. Yesterday we met up, eager to play versus mode and do nothing else for the rest of the day. About an hour or two later Tom was playing an online investing game, AdVenture Capitalist, and I was playing with the magnetic Buckyballs while South Park was in the background.
As much as I want to love this new installment of Smash Bros, there’s just something about it that does not make it as much fun as the others. I am not saying it is a bad game. They have definitely fixed many of the problems its predecessor had. It seems like you can no longer endlessly chain up close attacks. Some of the moves that made certain characters overpowered were changed, and some of the boring characters were made more interesting. Overall, there was a more balanced roster with new and interesting characters. Furthermore, Thomas can no longer annoy me with the Ice Climbers! Last but not least, they added customization.
The customization feature is really interesting. This gives you the chance to change any of the abilities and/or stats of different characters. On top of that, it allows you to create and customize your Mii Personas with three different fighting classes (Brawler, Gunner, and Sword Fighter). This allows for an almost infinite variety of characters, making it difficult to know what to expect when playing agains friends or others online. Furthermore, I was able to have a smaller version of me in the game punching Mr. Game & Watch in the face giving me some cathartic revenge.
Yet, with all these new changes, there were still enough problems that seemed to hold it back. Many of these problems seem to focus around the fact that it is on the 3DS. First, there’s an inherent lack of maneuverability with the circle pad as opposed to the Gamecube control stick. This makes moving a little more difficult, especially for those who are not used to such fast paced games on the 3DS. This also makes using the hard hitting smash attacks slightly harder to pull off, because the only way you can use those is to hit the A key the exact time you push the circle pad all the way to one direction. The latter problem only exacerbates the next one. It is much harder to knock someone out in this game.
The game seemed to make it to where, no matter how damaged a character is, they primarily must be knocked out with a heavy hitting attack. This makes a lot of the lighter and faster characters a much riskier choice, because the only way you can successfully use them is to hit the opponent with a charged up smash attack. These are always difficult to pull off because not only does it make you a sitting duck while you charge the attack, but if you are going against a skilled opponent, like Tom, they will always take advantage of it. Our smash games on the 3DS have lasted longer than many of our smash games on previous consoles, and not in a good way.
I think the final problem with this game may be the most painful to admit. That problem is that it is simply another Smash game. Other than the customization, there is not much that separates it from its predecessor. The prior ones had leaps in game style and graphics, but this one does not. They might as well have released all the new characters and stages as downloadable content. Bottom line is, I think Nintendo is running out of ideas, and they hoped that repackaging an old game with new skins would sell. This definitely seems likely as many of the different character move sets are actually the same as other characters, the only difference, if there is one, being the speed or power of the move (which is something that could be changed in the new customization area in the first place). This should not really surprise me though because that is what Nintendo’s business model pretty much is in the first place. When there are over a hundred games with Mario, about two dozen Zelda games, and at least one Pokemon game coming out in America every year since 1996, I shouldn’t be surprised that Smash Bros has taken this route.
Admittedly, the majority of these problems are due to the 3DS. I hope that when it comes out on the Wii U and when we can use the game controllers, these problems will be fixed. I also hope that the Wii U version will have extra features that the 3DS simply was not able to carry. Last, but certainly not least, I hope the Wii U version is able to maintain our interest long enough so Thomas does not find himself playing AdVenture Capitalist, and I don’t find myself playing with toys that have been banned in the United States.
All in all, if you have a Wii U, I’d recommend waiting until the game comes out on the console and passing on the 3DS version. If you do not have a Wii U, it is simply a judgement call. This game is not going to be for everyone, including the die hard fans of the previous games. Try it out first, and then make a decision. Just be ready for some clunky controlling and relearning how to maneuver your characters.
Super Smash Bros Ratings:
Michael’s Rating: 70/100
Thomas’s Rating: 83/100
Final Quote from Thomas: “I have made zero dollars playing Smash Brothers, but I have made 37.115 Quintillion dollars playing AdVenture Capitalist.”