Nintendo’s brawler is back for the fourth time and is in rare form. Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U were playable on the show room floor and after a few rounds of roll dodging and launching foes, it became clear that this is the game fans have been waiting for since Melee.
The demo roster featured series staples like Fox and Pikachu with new comers Rosalina, Little Mac, Greninja, and Mega Man all available to test out. Even familiar characters feel new again with upgraded looks, balance adjustments, and with different move sets and final smashes. All games were exclusively played with the GameCube controller option, which works just as well as it did in Melee. With no need to learn a new controller scheme is was easy to jump right into action without skipping a beat. The default controls for the 3DS version felt a tad awkward at first, but after a visit to the control settings you can map the buttons to mirror that of a GameCube controller keeping things simple.
The fighting mechanics draws from the best parts of the pervious titles while adding small, yet effective touches. Combing the fast paced action of Melee with Brawl’s combo links, this produce a more fluid fighting style and rewards more skillful playing unlike Brawl. Gone are the notorious slipping and wave dashing mechanics, but in its place is the new ability to absorb small hits while charging a smash attack or certain moves. Meaning a well charged smash can still be unleashed after taking a few hits, sending your opponent into a crash course with the edge of the screen.
The new art style not only looks incredible in HD, but aids to what is happening in battle. When you receive a powerful hit from an advisory, you’re engulfed in a bright hue. The more color that surrounds you, the further you can expect to fly upon impact. Meaning you can gage how far you are going to fly and in what direction upon contact, leaving you and your opponent ready to set up the next strike or counter attack after each exchange. All character models have been redesign to match there current titles or giving little nuances to make them pop on screen, along with new stances and animation to match their new surroundings.
The selection of items continues to add to the madness with new Pokémon, assist trophies, and items from the various worlds. Items like the X-bomb that explodes in the form of the Smash insignia will devour anyone caught in the flames. While the infamous blue shell from Mario Kart locks unto the player doing the best before crashing down on them for massive damage. The Smash Ball returns and provides characters once again with devastating power increases. Some veterans have new final smashes like Kirby who pulls out a gigantic sword from his adventure while Mega sucks you into a vortex to summoning all of his reincarnations for a group mega blaster.
With the combination of new fighting styles, items, characters, and a deeper emphasis on skill this Super Smash Bros. is shaping up to be a Success!