Super Smash Bros… on a mobile device? “Pure madness” we hear you say. “There are far too many cons outweighing the pros”. We can gladly say that you have never been more wrong. Super Smash Bros. 3DS is the first handheld installment to the popular fighting franchise and this time around it comes out with all guns blazing. Super Smash Bros. 3DS boasts various, easy-to-access modes that you can take up just a few moments of your valuable time. It’s honestly that many ‘on-the-go’ titles have been lacking in recent times. Not only can you quickly battle a foe in one of the many modes, you also get rewarded in one way or another for doing so. There is the Smash mode which allows you to hop into a battle with your character and enemy(ies) of choice and customise your fight to how you please at the time. This even goes for your character itself. Special attacks and items can be allocated to fighters to increase specific attributes namely attack, defense and speed and three items can be equipped at the same time. This is ideal for times where you feel up to the challenge and want to up either your time or difficulty of a fight. So in a nutshell Smash Bros. now have comprehensive RPG elements to it. Worry not though as these are rendered null when playing online.
Sadly the popular Subspace Emissary mode from Super Smash Bros. Brawl hasn’t been included but there is however the new Smash Run mode which in a way leans itself towards the Subspace Emissary dynamic. It sets you up in a multitude of different final battles. For example, you will either have to race opponents to the top of a level section or defeat more AI enemies than other combatants in order to be the victor. Sounds like a regular battle mode doesn’t it? What makes this mode stand out is that before you enter your fight you are tasked with venturing through a labyrinth type environment where you are tasked with increasing your stats for your upcoming battle. Larger characters can pick up more items however they are generally a lot slower than their smaller counterparts so in this way things balance out quite nicely. You have five minutes to collect as many attack, special attack, jumping and speed power ups as possible while being attacked by various enemies from a multitude of Nintendo franchises. The Online mode is a major improvement over the Brawl version that was plagued with latency issues and made online matches nearly unplayable. Super Smash Bros. 3DS isn’t without its faults though. Half the matches played ran smoother than Kirby’s pink supple skin but the other half were as ragged as a koopa’s shell after a long and hard battle. The online latency is without a doubt better but unfortunately still not as perfect as it should be. If you find the right lobby to join you’ll have endless hours of online fun though. Even when you aren’t battling online there is still the Spectate mode which lets you bet on the outcome of someone else’s online match, allowing you to win extra currency that can be spent on more unlockables.
You’ll notice a little option on the bottom of the menu screen named “Games and More”. A inconspicuous little menu that leads to some of the game’s best game modes. Yes ladies and gentlemen the Home Run mode is back. For those new to the series the Home Run mode puts you up against a worthy adversary… a motionless punching bag. The mode is simple; beat the bag to pulp and smash it as far as you possibly can. At times I had to force myself to stop playing this mode so that I could cover the rest of the game for this review. This lead to the new and improved Classic Mode. Before you start you can increase (or decrease) the difficulty level with coins you’ve earned throughout the game. By raising the difficulty you expose yourself to a host of trophies and extras – but be warned; the higher difficulties may cause you to perform your own smash attack on your unsuspecting 3DS. My main concern when first playing Smash Bros on the 3DS was that the movement is controlled by your analogue pad where as your taunts are activated by the D-Pad. The frantic mashing away and dashing to and from at first felt like I was going to destroy my handheld but the anxiety quickly faded and I can report that my 3DS is still in one piece. With fighters I usually prefer using the D-Pad but within a few battles I quickly adapted and can’t think of playing any other way. Tight fighting mechanics, a soundtrack comprising of the massive library of Nintendo franchises and plenty game modes make Super Smash Bros. a perfect companion for your 3DS. Trophies, upgrades and characters are all waiting for you to harness the true muscle behind this handheld fighter. It is truly amazing at how much the developers have crammed into what could be one of the best fighting titles of this generation.