|Dev: Sora Ltd., Bandai Namco Games|
|Release: October 3, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: N/A||Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief, Mild Suggestive Themes|
New to the series is customization, which goes far beyond the alternate color schemes that players could choose from in previous entries. Characters can be altered with a variety of equipment that provides statistical rebalancing and even special abilities. Each character also has several alternate versions of its special (B) attacks that can be chosen once they're unlocked, Customization adds a whole new layer of strategy to character-building, but can only be used solo or when playing with friends. It also requires a ton of grinding in single-player modes in order to unlock equipment and alternate attacks. Unlocking the equipment is fine, but the alternate attacks are few and far-between, which is a bummer for anybody who really wants to delve into this new feature.
Along with character customization, this new Smash Bros. generation has embraced a customizable gameplay experience. Every stage can be played in its standard form, or in an “omega” form that resembles the simple platforms of the infamous Final Destination stage. Players can also choose the difficulty level of Classic Mode, then make individual difficulty choices between each Classic Mode stage. These choices help make the game accessible without alienating experienced Smashers who are looking for a challenge.
The great roster, smooth gameplay, customization options, and entertaining challenges make it hard not to love this game despite the fact that it's not quite suited to portable format. I can only hope that the many hours I'll be spending on unlocks will be at least partially transferred over to the Wii U version when it comes out. We don't have a good confirmation from Nintendo one way or the other on that detail.
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS is absolutely a great game. It retains all the action, polish, and fun factor that makes the series wildly popular with a wide range of gamers. However, the game gains little and loses much on the small screen. As much fun as it is to play, it's going to be more fun, more attractive, easier to control, and hopefully more online-capable on the Wii U. I won't say that you shouldn't buy the game on the 3DS, but I will suggest that the Wii U version is probably the game that you really want to play. The excellent roster and various other improvements found on the 3DS only make me more excited for the big-screen version of the game that is to come.
Date: September 26, 2014