Hands-on Preview: Super Smash Bros. for 3DS

Smash Run lives up to the hype!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 06/13/2014 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

I have to admit, I didn’t know what to expect before getting my hands on Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. The series has never been on a handheld before, and I worried the experience might have to be toned down to accommodate the more diminutive hardware. Man, was I wrong. Smash played and felt just like the three installments that have preceded it, and if the demo is any indication, it’ll have no problem keeping up with the Wii U version. If you only have access to 3DS, there’s plenty to be excited for about the handheld debut of Smash!

Rather than showcase Smash‘s player-versus-player multiplayer (the Wii U version was taking care of that elsewhere in Nintendo’s giant booth), fans were instead treated to the 3DS-exclusive Smash Run mode. In Smash Run, players choose a character to take through a labyrinth-like playing field filled with an assortment of ¬†enemies from across Nintendo’s multitude of franchises. This exploratory portion of the mode lasts for five minutes, during which the goal is to search for a variety of power-ups that can be carried over into a proper multiplayer brawl. With the basics down, I snapped on my headphones, grabbed the 3DS, and got to playing.

If there are concessions being made to accommodate Smash on 3DS, they’re hard to notice. The game is gorgeous, with an aesthetic floating somewhere between the quality of Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl. Environments are detailed, the characters are animated smoothly, and the screen is packed with activity. Smash Run really shows off with the variety of enemies on the playing field. I encountered Kremlings, Flame Chomps, Goombas, and many other creatures from different games. Much like The Subspace Emissary in Brawl, Smash Run plays to the sensibilities of Nintendo fans who get a kick out of seeing the company’s franchises intermingle.

Defeating enemies on the playing field is the main way to gather power-ups, though there are caches of them hidden about, too. While this portion of the mode is a single-player effort, I found the computer opponents to be a respectable challenge, which made it very satisfying to get through the stage and bulk up my player. With exploration time clocked in at five minutes, I worried it might feel overly long. As I got into the finer nuances of Smash Run, though, I realized that each moment was essential in order to scour every inch of the playing field to max out my player for the impending multiplayer bout.

When the solo portion ends, the game shows how much of a particular power-up was collected. Power-ups correlate to specific attributes of each character, like power and speed, for instance, and depending on how much was harvested, your fighter can go into the multiplayer match as a veritable beast. I launched into a battle with Mario, DK, and Kirby, and annihilated all of them in moments with my wealth of power boosts. While I wasn’t able to partake in the mode against live players, the experience left me incredibly anxious to face off against opponents who bulked their character up as much as my own. The possibility for some ludicrously over-the-top fights seems like it will be the cornerstone of Smash Run mode.

With Super Smash Bros. for 3DS pushed back to October 3, it’s disappointing that we have to wait a bit longer to actually play the game. What I played, however, was so polished and fun, I’m willing to let Nintendo slip on the release date if it means the entire game is going to be as solid as Smash Run. It’s a shame the mode is limited to 3DS, but if it gets more people invested in both versions of the game, I think everyone will benefit, in the end.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log In 0 points Log in or register to grow your Ninja Score while interacting with our site.
Nintendojo's RSS Feeds

All Updates Podcast
News Comments
Like and follow usFacebookTwitter Friend Code Exchange + Game with Us Join the Team!