Super Smash Brothers for Nintendo 3DS Review

Super Smash Brothers for Nintendo 3DS 

Review Written By: Adolph Vega

Some Custom Mii's I made. If you have a 3DS or Wii U you can scan the QR code and get the mii in your system. 



I really have to give credit to Nintendo for making this game in 3D and looking so vibrant and rich in 3D.  The graphics engine does not impact the smooth and fast gameplay in any way and the 3D only enhances a very pretty game.  So many publishers will disregard the 3D and say it was too taxing for the gameplay and cut it out completely, but this game embrace’s the stereoscopic 3d and pushes the Nintendo 3DS hardware to its limit.  The game in fact takes around 30 seconds to initially load the game, and when you exit the game from the menu it needs to restart the 3DS system. The 3D is clearly designed to help you distinguish layers of foreground and background and the characters and levels are clearly designed to be in 3D.  Certain items really take advantage of the 3D, the Nintendog assist trophy pops out and looks fabulously adorable in 3d.  Another excellent 3D example is the item fire-bar, which is a sword like weapon you can use to beat up other characters.  The fire bar has several fire spheres lined up and a few that pop out and a few that retreat into the background, is a nice subtle well implemented use of 3D.  The game has a trophy mode that lets you see statues of different video game characters and items from various franchises with total camera control to pan and zoom in and out, and these trophies look fantastic in 3D.  This game is truly the exemplar of quality 3D visuals on the Nintendo 3DS, I love the 3D presentation so much that I never wanted to turn off the effect.

Final Verdict: Great 3D 


Super Smash Brothers for Nintendo 3DS is the fourth game in the popular Nintendo fighter franchise and its first appearance on a Nintendo handheld game system.  When game developers take a popular console game franchise and bring it to a portable it typically suffers from the translation and is the little brother version of the game.  Sadly Super Smash Brothers for the Nintendo 3DS is the weaker little brother version of the franchise, and is well made but still held back from truly being excellent.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Super Smash Brothers franchise it places several iconic video game characters (mostly Nintendo characters) to fight on a two-dimensional stage trying to knock each character out of the arena.  If that is hard to grasp than imagine a sumo wrestling match, but the arena is flat and the characters punch, kick and uses items to knock the other characters off scene.  The fights are played on levels that represent the various game franchises they came from, and may contain environmental hazards and can move and transform.  Some of the levels contain enemies to fight and bother you and are designed to be gimmicky and are more annoying than fun.  These levels can be modified to be ‘omega’ versions and remain a simple flat platform instead of the original level design.  The fights can either be timed or have a specific number of lives and may have items.  The fights can have up to 4 characters battle simultaneously and whoever has killed off most characters will win the battle.  The fighting game concept for Smash Brothers seem complex at first is actually fairly simple and easy to understand because the controls are standardized for all the characters.  Regarding the controls it may take a few minutes to get used to them, but they work fine after the initial learning curve.  The controls can be customized to your liking, but the control pad cannot be used for movement.  I strongly suggest playing the game on the larger Nintendo 3DS XL model, because it is more comfortable to hold and larger screens help you see the action better.  As you fight in Super Smash Brothers all the characters have characteristics that are native from their perspective games, for example Link from the Legend of Zelda series has a Master sword, and Super Mario can shoot fireballs, etc.  The fights are fast paced and can become very chaotic and ridiculous yet always remain fun and entertaining.  This game has single player, local multiplayer and online multiplayer aspects all with different options to pick from.  The first single player mode within this game is the “Classic mode,” where you fight characters with certain conditions and eventually battling the boss character at the end.  The second single player mode is “All Star mode” which lets you battle characters in chronological order of each characters franchise release.  These two modes are strait forward and work really well within this games fighting engine.  Nintendo has included a third mode called “Smash Run” which is not well executed and is not a polished well executed experience.  In this mode your character explores a large labyrinth and battles various monsters to gain power-ups, with random events happening and after five minutes your character is given a specific final mission.  These final missions may include a random fight to win, or a race to finish in or a scrolling area vs other computer opponents.  As the player you have no idea what the final mission will be, so you cannot prepare for it and may accidently pick the wrong character to race or wrong power ups for the final mission.  I failed several times in this mode because my character was too slow or underpowered for the final mission.  I did find a few aspects of Smash Run mode fun, such as the special events and final missions but they should have been detached to a separate mode and not placed into this subpar mode.  Smash run mode in theory should be a fun alternative to the other main story modes, but in reality this mode falls apart and is more annoying than fun. Smash Run mode can be played in multiplayer mode with everyone having a copy of the game and 3DS, but with the mode being so badly made I would never bother playing it in a multiplayer setting.  This game also has several mini-games you can play in single player experience.  One mini-game the player tries to damage a sand bag by hitting it and eventually launching the bag large distances with a baseball bat.  Another mini game lets you hit falling boxes to collect trophies and items, another mode lets you hit bombs into targets, and finally a mini-game lets you battle multiple characters under certain conditions.  Sadly this bomb mode is more based on luck than skill and only has a single level to play in. The game also has a 3DS street pass mini-game where you tag other 3DS systems and trade tokens.  You control the small tokens and move them around a rectangle and attempt to shove the other computer controlled tokens off the rectangle.  I found this street pass game very simple and not very fun.  Finally the game does offer a “Smash” mode where you can battle up to three computer opponents or play vs. other human players who own a 3DS and a copy of the game and are a close proximity to youIt’s unfortunate yet understandable that this game requires every 3DS owner who wants to play multiplayer to own a copy of the gameThe game does have an online multiplayer mode that lets you battle human players from around the world and this mode is fun yet flawed.  Sadly the Internet connection is very inconsistent in how well the game preforms.  I have played a number of games online and I would say 40% of the matches play smoothly, 40% play with input lag that is noticeable and disruptive, and about 20% of the online matches are totally unplayable. Sadly the online multiplayer mode does not give you the option to limit your matches to local areas or automatically kick out gamers with weak connections.  The online performance also varies significantly depending on the amount of players, items, and levels you play on.  In theory Nintendo can improve online performance with future updates and patches, but at the time of this review the online matches are totally inconsistent. Another aspect that is inconsistent is the menu design and it can be very confusing to navigate the menus to find specific mini-games or modes. On the brighter side the music within this game is well done providing several remixes and even the ability to listen to the music when the system is closed and in sleep mode.  Another aspect of the game I enjoy is the ability to make your own characters using the systems Mii avatars and custom parts you find during the course of playing single player.  The Mii’s have three distinct characteristics you can choose from including gunner, brawler and swordsman.  I made a Mii that looks like Iron man and dresses in robot clothing and is a gunner type, so it fits the Marvel character very well and is fun to play with.  The Mii’s can be used with online multiplayer modes but only when playing against other 3DS friends.  I do wish the game developer put more effort in polishing up the various modes and adding more range to the gameplay.  Overall I had a enjoyable time playing Super Smash brothers on my 3DS, it’s a technological marvel and very fun game, but I still feel that this is the little brother version of the game. Super Smash Brothers for Nintendo 3DS sadly didn’t get the full polish it deserves, hopefully the online multiplayer can be patched and I will patch and update my review accordingly, but as of the time of this review it’s a well made portable game with many flaws that prevent it from reaching true greatness.

Final Verdict: 8 / 10 

© 2014 Nintendo

Original Game: © Nintendo / HAL Laboratory, Inc.

Characters: © Nintendo / HAL Laboratory, Inc. / Pokémon. / Creatures Inc. / GAME FREAK inc. / SHIGESATO ITOI / APE inc. / INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS / SEGA / CAPCOM CO., LTD. / BANDAI NAMCO Games Inc. / MONOLITHSOFT