Impressions: Super Smash Bros. Special Demo Version

We go hands on with the early preview of the Smash Bros. demo!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 09/13/2014 09:00 2 Comments     ShareThis

Is it October yet?

I ask, because every inch of me wishes it was after playing Super Smash Bros. Special Demo Version. It’ll be hitting the eShop in a week, but as a thank you to Club Nintendo Platinum members, Nintendo today started sending out four packs of download codes for the demo. Though I had a lot of fun with the Smash Run demo I played during this past E3, my time with Special Demo has my personal hype meter jacked into the stratosphere. It’s fairly barebones, but what’s there is a tantalizing glimpse into what awaits fans.

Special Demo comes with only Smash mode (the basic multiplayer mischief the series is known for), and access to the Vault (which in turn only has its gameplay tips section open). In Smash mode, there are five characters available to use: Mario, Link, Pikachu, Villager, and Mega Man. Paring things down further, only four of each character’s alternate color palettes are usable (Villager notably has two boy and two girl variants). Stages selection is even stingier, with Battlefield the lone offering. Still, despite the barren accommodations, the demo is unlimited, meaning players can get to brawling with these minimal assets without fear of being cutoff.

Interestingly, Nintendo has made sure to leave inaccessible content visible just to torture tease fans a bit. Going off of the character select screen, there are 36 fighters available from the beginning. Keep in mind, that’s not a confirmed fact, just speculation based on what the menu is showing in the demo, so it’s possible more or less characters will be immediately selectable once the final game releases. Just for fun, though, here’s the potential opening roster:

Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, Yoshi, Rosalina, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Link, Zelda, Sheik, Toon Link, Samus, Zero Suit Samus, Pit, Palutena, Marth, Ike, Robin, Kirby, King Dedede, Meta Knight, Little Mac, Fox, Pikachu, Charizard, Lucario, Greninja, Captain Falcon, Villager, Captain Olimar, Wii Fit Trainer, Shulk, Pac-Man, Mega Man, and Sonic.

With the same basic warning in place, here are the potential first 27 stages for selection:

Battlefield, Final Destination, 3D Land, Golden Plains, Rainbow Road, Paper Mario, Mushroomy Kingdom, Jungle Japes, Gerudo Valley, Spirit Train, Brinstar, Yoshi’s Island, Corneria, Unova Pokémon League, Prism Tower, Arena Ferox, Reset Bomb Forest, Distant Planet, Tortimer Island, Boxing Ring, Gaur Plain, Living Room, Find Mii, Tomodachi Life, PictoChat 2, Green Hill Zone, and Wily Castle.

That would probably be a day for most fighting games (heck, most games in general, these days!), but as fans are well aware, that is the tip of the iceberg for Super Smash Bros. Numerous characters and stages will become unlocked as players progress through the game and its various modes. It appears that there will be plenty of other fighters to look forward to if recent leaks are to be believed!

Getting into the actual gameplay, being able to sit without a booth attendant hovering over my shoulder has been a much more pleasant way of soaking in Smash Bros. on 3DS. I ran through all five characters, this time being able to go in depth with Mega Man and Villager. I was surprised to find that both fighters are pleasingly versatile and competent in a battle. Mega Man’s absurd variety of attacks flow together perfectly, never feeling disjointed or unwieldy. I don’t know if it’s because of all the Mega Man games I’ve played over the years, but the character felt immediately familiar during my time playing. Villager also impressed, with his/her quirky attacks encapsulating what makes the character unique and instantly feeling at home with the mainstays of the series. Here’s hoping both hold up in genuine online matches.

I felt like Sakurai and company nailed Smash’s mechanics when I tested Smash Run, but having sat and played a couple dozen straight multiplayer rounds in Special Demo, I’m now convinced that the series is as viable on a portable as it is on a console. Play control on 3DS is as responsive and smooth as any other controller. I was worried that the hectic nature of a Smash battle would be murder on my 3DS, but so far I’ve not experienced anything of the sort. The game also didn’t stutter or slow while I was playing, but the real test will be, of course, taking the final game online. In that regard, Nintendo has a lot to prove, and it’s imperative that it does. What this demo has really cemented for me is that the multiplayer fighting is down pat; the only thing left to wonder about is the remaining modes and online play.

I’m as excited for Smash Bros. on 3DS as I could possibly be, at this point. Special Demo should be going live for all of you next week, but in the meantime, rest assured that it’s going to be worth the wait for this brief taste of the final game. Nintendo is set to serve up a double-dose of quality Smash Bros. experiences on its portable and home consoles, which will only be a boon to the company moving into this very important holiday season.

2 Responses to “Impressions: Super Smash Bros. Special Demo Version

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!