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I’ve Played Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Here are my thoughts

I was lucky enough to live twenty minutes from a Best Buy participating in this year’s Smash Fest event. Being the Smash Bros. fan that I am, I decided to go both days, and it was worth it, wait and all. It might seem crazy to wait for 2-plus hours outside of a Best Buy to play (at best) four minutes of Smash, and generally speaking I’d agree. It’s not normally something I’d do either. But few games get me as hyped as Smash Bros., and since it was so close to me, it seemed absurd not to go even if it meant a wait.
The first time, Wednesday evening, I got there an hour and a half before the event was set to start. A line had started, but it wasn’t too bad. I passed the time by chatting with people in line and StreetPassing them on my 3DS. In general, I was having enough fun that the wait didn’t bother me. Then we finally got in and waited for almost another hour before getting to play. As those of you who went to a Smash Fest know, a Best Buy employee also had the 3DS version on hand. When I got it, it was in the middle of Smash Run with Mega Man selected, so I took some time to get used to his moves. Finally, it was time for my group of four.
First match I played as Little Mac, and we selected Skyloft as the stage. Much has been made of Little Mac’s speed and power. It feels good, but yes, his air game is terrible. Not helping was the fact that I’d never used a Wii U Pro Controller before, so more than once I ended up self-destructing because I did something I didn’t intend to. Regrettably, I never got to pull off Mac’s one-hit K.O. Uppercut.


Second match I selected Mega Man, hoping that I’d be more prepared this time. I still wasn’t quite used to the Blue Bomber, but I didn’t do as poorly as the first match. Mega Man is a little tricky, trickier than you would think. For as much attention to detail has been paid to his NES days, there are some odd deviations. You can only have one Metal Blade out at a time, while Leaf Shield isn’t nearly as useful as you would think.
Both matches were played on the Skyloft stage. The first time it was intentional, the second time we were screwed over by the random option. It wasn’t that bad though, as the stage is pretty fun to play on. Definitely similar to Brawl’s Delfino Plaza, but I have to say I think Skyloft’s locales are more interesting than the ones from Super Mario Sunshine.


The second time I went, I got there even earlier (comparatively speaking), and found myself even closer to the front of the line. I still StreetPassed people, but I didn’t feel as social that day, so I spent the wait listening to music until a friend I had made the other night arrived. This time, the event was structured differently. They took us inside in groups of 20, and we were only allowed to play one match to help the line move faster. I was part of the first group of 20, and I got to play the 3DS version again. This time though, the employee managed to get it off Smash Run and into the multiplayer (or single vs. CPU in this case) mode. I selected Villager, and did pretty poorly, but I really loved playing as him. I’m willing to chalk up part of my performance on my unfamiliarity with the Prism Tower stage, and part of it on distractions, but most of it was just me not really caring how I did as much as I cared about getting a feel for the character. My expectation was that Villager would be an incredibly situational character, mainly based on his Pocket and Timber moves. And while those moves certainly are more handy in some situations than others, his normal attacks and Lloid Rocket make for a solid skill set.
For my third Wii U match, I went with Wii Fit Trainer, and we selected the Pilotwings stage. Wii Fit Trainer meshed best with my play style, evidenced by the fact that she secured me my one win in the entire experience. I found her smash attacks felt very natural, as did most of her specials, although I used Sun Salutation and Deep Breathing more than the Soccer Ball summoning move and her Hula Hoop recovery. I loved how most of her attacks hit both behind her and in front of her, and her third jab has the extremely useful property of putting its target in the ground, similar to a Pitfall or Donkey Kong’s Headbutt. That it’s such a natural move to perform in the course of the game is a pretty big indicator that she’s a force to be reckoned with.


As for the Pilotwings stage, I enjoyed it. I was a little surprised that the takeoff sequence from the 16-bit island seems to have been eliminated (at least from the demo version), but the stage itself is gorgeous, and very easy to play on. The transition between planes is seamless, and generally doesn’t distract from the gameplay.
My experience with the new items was limited. I’m not too sure about how the fairy bottle works, but I enjoyed using items like the Fire Bar and Super Leaf.

I know that some people have spoken negatively about this game, comparing it unfavorably to its predecessor: Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Now, I love Brawl, and I really don’t get the hate that it gets for not being Melee. But that opens up a whole other debate that I really don’t want to get into in this article. Maybe some other time. This new game sits in a happy medium. Yes, it’s closer to Brawl than it is to Melee, but it’s still faster and heavier than Brawl. More importantly, it’s still good old Smash Bros. Honestly, how can you not have fun with that?