IT’S TIME TO SMASH
The Super Smash Bros 3DS demo has landed!
The internet has been buzzing over the last couple of months as a significant number of details were leaked from various sources. Sure enough, a bunch of these details turned out to be true. These leaks dominated discussion and speculation for the upcoming game, but now it’s time for a real hands-on experience.
[First up, I should point out that the demo is limited to 30 plays. You could argue that this is a reasonable number, but at the same time it places an unnecesary squeeze on gamers who want the freedom to soak up the experience without having to worry about it running out. It’s disappointing to see that Nintendo are still awkwardly paranoid about managing their IP like this, even after the consumer has paid for a Nintendo console in the first place…]
The demo includes one map – the latest incarnation of Battlefield – along with 5 playable characters: Mario, Link, Pikachu and two newcomers in MegaMan and Animal Crossing’s very own Villager.
The game runs flawlessly on a 3DS XL, and I didn’t notice any slowdown even during chaotic 4-player matches. The 3DS circle pad feels a little strange at first but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of. Maneuvering your character is easy, and before long you’ll be sending your opponents flying helplessly across the screen. It’s a one-of-a-kind fighting game experience, and it still feels super fresh.
Limitations are in place (you can’t change the game mode or the item switch) but there is still loads of fun to be had here. A handful of new items are on display which is a good bonus, and multiplayer is supported which is also neat.
The veteran characters are fun to play, and it’s cool to see the little tweaks made to their gameplay. Link and Pikachu feel a little different but in a good way. Mario plays like the all-rounder he’s been since day one. However, the real bonus for long-time smash fans is found in the two newcomers.
MegaMan is a decent brawler with and has a nicely balanced move-set. Fans of the MegaMan franchise will be pleased to know that he can run-and-gun using basic attacks in combat. He’s armed with some neat projectiles and pretty strong recovery move. I feel like he’s a great fit for the impressive character roster.
My personal favourite though is Villager. I can remember when he was announced as a playable character to a massively positive reception, so it’s fitting that he’s loads of fun to play. His moves are a little more unconventional and his stylised character model is magically cute-but-lethal. Getting the hang of his moves and abilities is incredibly satisfying.
Lastly, I’ll mention that the 3D effect (remember that?) actually comes off well here. Ironically the game was not built around the feature at all but it still looks good in my eyes. I still prefer playing without it though.
If you own a 3DS I’d easily recommend checking out this demo. The smash experience is feels great on a handheld. Plus, it’s basically worth it just to crush some skulls with Villager anyway.