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Super Smash Bros. for 3DS Review

October 12th, 2014 by Todd Black Comments

It was at E3 a few years back that Nintendo President Satoru Iwata announced that the next version of Super Smash Bros. would be on both the Wii U and the 3DS. At the time, we didn’t really think about what that meant, mainly because there was nothing to show, it was a very quick announcement. But as time went on, people began to wonder if Smash Bros. would really work on the Nintendo 3DS. Would it hold up under the constraints of the handheld? Would it be able to compete with it’s console brethren? And most importantly, would it be different enough, and unique enough, to buy both versions?

As I sit here writing this review, after a week of playing Smash Bros 3DS I can emphatically answer: Yes, yes, and YES!!!!!!!!!!

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS is as perfect a handheld version as it can be. Are there flaws? Sure, but they’re small. And with all the options this version gives you? You can choose to ignore them, which is a boon that most games probably wish they had.

One could talk for a long time about what Smash Bros. 3DS does right, from the robust roster both at the beginning and after you’ve unlocked every character. To the numerous modes both online and off that’ll keep you battling for a long time. To the stages, items, trophies, and other additions that show that this game isn’t just a fighter, it’s a celebration of generations of video gamers.

Sakurai and the team from Tecmo Koei have outdone themselves with the level of care and detail put into this game. It’s well documented that Sakurai wants to make a game as perfect as possible before release, and it shows here.

But let’s get to the fun shall we? Smash Bros. 3DS is everything you want in a Smash Bros. game and more. You’ll spend hours diving into the characters both new and old to see how they’ve changed. Cause it’s not just the new additions you’ll need to pay attention to, a lot of the veterans have been updated as well, so just because you played well with one character in Brawl or Melee, it doesn’t mean they’ll act the same way here.

The new characters are a blast, from Little Mac and his KO punch, to Robin (both male and female) using their various tomes, to Wii Fit Trainer, Duck Hunt Dog, and on and on and on. There’s so many new characters to choose from you’ll spend hours trying to find a new main. And just like the veterans before them, each character is perfectly in tune with the games they came from.

Now true, there are still clones. And some additions (or returns…) might confuse you and wonder how other characters got left off the roster. But there’s people who like the clones, and again, if you don’t like them, you don’t have to play as them.

A special shoutout needs to go to the Mii Fighters, as you can customize them right off the bat, and constantly update and adapt them to your playing style. I only made mine recently, but as I saw all the options for the equipment, and abilities, and outfits that I had unlocked, I instantly loved my Mii Fighter, and will no doubt use him going forward!

The gameplay and stages also needs to be highly complimented. Battles are fast and furious, just how you like them. Whether it’s 1 v 1, or an all out war in four-player combat, this is the gameplay that you love. The characters run at 60 FPS, which is insane for a handheld fighter. It looks so crisp and fluid you’ll wonder how they did it.

The stages are one of the things that truly separates the 3DS version of Smash Bros from it’s Wii U counterpart. Mainly in that a lot of the stages from this version are ONLY in this version. From areas in Mario, Legend of Zelda, Fire Emblem, Mario Kart, Nintendogs, and more, there’s a lot to play in. And just like the characters, each stage is beautifully detailed. And for those who don’t like the randomness some levels offer, but like the visual look, you can switch it to a Final Destination style and just battle like it’s a competition.

Which leads us to the online component. This is my first online Smash Bros. experience, and so I had a lot of hopes. Thankfully, 99% perfect of them were fulfilled. For Fun and For Glory modes run beautifully, provided you have a good internet connection of course. During the course of my online time (or which there were MANY battles), I found only have lag 1% of the time, and it was negligible. The only time serious lag occurred for me it was obvious it came from the opponents connection, as he killed himself (in Smash) as soon as the battle started.

It can be argued that the online mode is just as robust as offline mode. Both For Fun and For Glory modes have an array of options to test your skills. Whether you like items or not, like 1v1, Team Battles, or 4-player Smash wars it’s all there for you to enjoy.

Smash Bros. 3DS offers one truly unique mode that won’t be in the Wii U version: Smash Run. This might be the only true low point of the title. It’s fun, no doubt, but it’s at times confusing, and you can only use local multiplayer to include your friends. Which will cause some frustration with some fans. It’s not a bad addition, especially with the fun of seeing a bunch of Nintendo enemies bundled in one place, but it’s also not on par with the other modes Smash Bros 3DS has to offer.

I’ve only scratched the surface in regards of what Smash Bros. 3DS has for you to do. There’s so much! All-Star mode shows the history of Nintendo in all it’s glory, you have Classic Mode which now allows you to pick your opponents, you have Home Run Contest, 100 Man Melee, and many MANY more modes to have fun in.

I remember hearing complaints about Smash Bros. 3DS before it came out. Many were wondering what the point of the handheld version was, especially with the Wii U being an HD console. The answer is simple, so simple it’s on the back of the case:

Fight Anytime. Anywhere.

That’s the beauty of Smash Bros. 3DS, it’s a Smash Bros came you can play on the go. This isn’t a port, or a dumbed down version to satisfy some fans. This is an all-out, no holds barred, no detail left out, “give me Smash Bros in all it’s glory or give me death” version that’ll satisfy all who play it.

So if you’re wondering still what to do, in regards to whether you should buy this or not, ask yourselves this.

Do you like Smash Bros.? Have you ever had the urge to play it outside of your house? Do you really want to wait another month and a half for the Wii U version when you can have it now?

If you answered: yes, yes, and no, to those questions, go get Smash Bros. 3DS, trust me, it’s worth it.

Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!