Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Review
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Box Art
System: 3DS
Dev: Sora Ltd., Bandai Namco Games
Pub: Nintendo
Release: October 3, 2014
Players: 1-4
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.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Screenshot

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.

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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.

Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: September 26, 2014

While attractive and detailed close-up, the visuals work against the player when the action is zoomed out.
Controlling this new Smash would be amazing if only the 3DS hardware were better suited to the task.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The fantastic music and sound effects that have always graced the series are intact here.
Play Value
Packed with content and interesting characters to master, this version of Smash will eat up many, many hours.
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Smash and crash through "Smash Run" mode, a new mode exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS version that gives up to four players five minutes to fight solo through a huge battlefield while taking down recognizable enemies from almost every major Nintendo franchise and multiple third-party partners. Defeated enemies leave behind power-ups to collect. Players who collect more power-ups have an advantage once time runs out and the battle with opponents begins.
  • Compete with classic characters from the Super Smash Bros. series like Mario, Link, Samus and Pikachu, along with new challengers like Mega Man, Little Mac and newly announced Palutena, the Goddess of Light from the Kid Icarus games. For the first time players can even compete as their own Mii characters.
  • Customize different aspects of your character when playing locally or online with friends in a variety of multiplayer modes.
  • View most elements of the high-energy action at silky-smooth 60 frames per second and in eye-popping stereoscopic 3D.
  • Fight against friends and family locally or online, or battle random challengers all over the world online in "For Fun" or "For Glory" modes.

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