Super Smash Bros. 3DS | First Impressions

Last week, Nintendo unleashed Super Smash Bros. 3DS to Japan and announced that the game will be coming to us via demo this Wednesday. Us cool guys at The Game Fanatics got some first dibs on the demo and man did we play some awesome matches with it.

Mario, Sonic, and the rest of Nintendo’s fist fighting crew are back in another showdown to see who can kick the most ass. With the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. hitting the shelves this October, it’s only right that we give you our best first impression of the game.

Smash Bros. and the disc pad oddly work.

Part of the reason why I was a bit skeptical about the 3DS when it first came out was its analog disc pad, which I found to be a terrible threat for any fighting games since it leaves no room for input accuracy.

As a strong advocate of the system’s D-Pad, I was saddened to find that Super Smash Bros. 3DS demo didn’t allow for the options menu to be accessed. This subsequently increased the worry of whether or not the game actually supports control reconfiguration. Newsflash, it does. However, I’m puzzled as to why the options menu was taken out of arms reach.


Battling it out with the disc pad actually isn’t that bad. At first, there is a bit of a delay in trying to dash or jump with the disc pad, but veteran Smash Bros. players should have no problems fluidly executing those two movements or whipping out other special moves for that matter. Playing as Pikachu, Mario and Link still feels as rewarding as it did in previous installments, while newcomers like Villager and Mega-Man begets a slow learning curve.

However, this doesn’t erase the need for Super Smash Bros. 3DS to allow players to map their buttons or switch the comfort in directional controls. There’s evidence of being able to do so in the Japanese version, but if for some reason it turns out to be the opposite in the North American version, this might hurt the overall gameplay experience for those who want to jump in guns blazing. Let’s pray that we don’t have to relearn how to aim and shoot at targets.



Gamers who are sporting a regular 3DS will find themselves a bit irritated trying to make out what’s happening during the fight.Consider getting a 3DSXL. The game is gorgeous and easier to follow on the bigger screen.

Character models look clean, but the most impressive aspect about their looks are the cell-shaded wrap-around on the bodies of each combatant. Back when this game was announced, I heard left and right about how gamers found it hard to justify their want for this game.


How can someone not be sold just on the comic-book style of the characters alone? Super Smash Bros. 3DS looks great for 3DS fans who want to make use of the 3D feature. There’s a thrilling and exciting sentiment to be felt when the presentation of this game comes off as a chaotic pop-up book. Nintendo did well to make use of the system’s capabilities when it comes to graphics.

The menu screens could use some work, though. From the looks of it, Nintendo has recycled a lot of menu designs from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This gives off the notion that Nintendo wants to nudge Brawl with Super Smash Bros. 3DS and the upcoming release of Super Smash Bros. Wii U. Has the company moved on from the previous, successful Smash Bros. installment or do we chalk this up to laziness?


Capcom’s Mega-Man and Animal Crossing’s Villager, two newcomers to the Smash Bros. battlefield, both have some strengths and weaknesses.


Internationally known as Rock Man, Mega-Man’s moveset is a far cry from what many returning Smash Bros. players are used to. Nintendo has decided to mimic his movements and special attacks to his classic NES counterpart, and they’ve matched it down to a T. His A button moves are simple, subtle and very useful for close-up combat. From the simple power-up shooter and aerial flame slash to baseball slide and a dragon punch similar to Street Fighter’s Ryu, Mega-Man is pretty much a threat to players who think they can get close to him.

On the contrary, several of his B specials hold very little weight on offense. Although these attacks are a generous nod to many classic Mega Man games over the years, the saw and leaf projectiles do very little damage, and thus offer very little reason to use them. Mega Man is a complex, defensive character that stems away from the usual norms of combo attacks with the A button. His final smash—double M calls some of his friends to contribute to an epic cannon blast—may be one of the best in the game.

In contrast, the Villager will seem hugely lackluster if you’re not willing to be creative. Smash attacks such as dropping a large bowling ball on top of an opponents head, riding a Lloid Rocket into the face of foes or tree growing have plenty of creative uses for them in various situations. His moveset offers very little scenario for combos, but his ability to grab incoming projectiles and items with the Pocket ability makes up for it.

Villager shouldn’t be the first character you choose if you’re looking for an onslaught of merciless offense. The character is great for someone who likes to keep their distance and has some potential set-ups that can catch an opponent off guard. For example, the Villager can plant a tree by the edge of the stage and pressure foes off that very same edge. The tree has a huge hitbox, which means that there’s a high chance that the Villager can prevent opponents from recovering from a fall by letting the tree hit them after chopping it off.


It’s a bit sad that the demo doesn’t allow to change around the buttons or try out the online mode. However, there is an option to do a group game with your friends who have the same demo on their system. Other than that, there’s not much to showcase here other than two of the many new challengers being brought up in this new installment.


But for what it’s worth, Smash Bros. fans have nothing to worry about. Mario, Link and Pikachu play the same way you expect them to. Mega Man and Villager are welcome additions to the roster, but will take a bit of time to learn if you want to main them in tournaments and online play. Finally, the demo allows for some training. Players looking for a challenge or to improve their offense with new and old characters can tweak the level of their opponents and face them off in a one on one match.

However, for all the familiarity, I’m starting to question if the final product will be anything less like what the game is advertised to be and more like a sequel to Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Just based on the demo alone. Super Smash Bros. 3DS feels like an updated version of the previous Nintendo Wii version of the game, except the look has changed and you’re playing on a much smaller screen.

Of course, there’s more to be seen and we can only play a demo for so long. Super Smash Bros. 3DS will hit storeshelves on Oct. 3rd for the Nintendo 3DS.

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