Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: 10/02/2014
ESRB Rating: E 10+
Available on Nintendo 3DS

Overall Review

Nintendo has never released a Super Smash Bros title on a handheld system. Its glory has instead been reserved for home consoles because they have been the only Nintendo systems with the horsepower to manage it. I am pleased to report that Super Smash Bros. for 3DS more than “manages;” it excels.

This is made better by the fact that the game play experience is amazing.  I am on record as being an unabashed Nintendo fan and Super Smash Bros. for 3DS is filled with so much fan service that it is hard for me to speak about this game without hyperbole.

At its core Super Smash Bros. for 3DS is a fighting game akin to Street Fighter, but with one very significant difference. Most fighting games give a combatant a set life total, have them square off against an opponent, and end the match once someone’s life total reaches zero. Smash works the opposite way. Players start at 0% damage and it counts up. The increased damage percentage modifies the distance the character is thrown when they are hit. Defeat comes when a character is knocked out of the play area.

Smash is a game where players can witness a dream fight between Mario and Link. We get to see Peach and Princess Zelda battle for the throne. We get to see Bowser and Wario throw down to see who is the top villain. All of this is possible in what is easily the most chaotic fighting game experiences around. Fights can have up to four players at once. There are random items with insane powers dropping over the levels like rain. Many of the levels appear to be fighting the players right along with the opponents! There are times in every match where you cant help but sit back in slack jawed awe at the chaos taking place around you. But, what makes this bearable is that skilled players can learn to weave their way through the chaos and use it to their advantage. This is, without question, one of the most satisfying experiences in gaming.

Smash represents the best value of any 3DS game so far. With more than thirty playable characters and numerous game modes and challenges to play through it is hard to imagine someone saying they are “done” without hundreds of hours of play.

Family Gaming Assessment

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS is a fighting game. There isn’t any way to avoid that. This means that the entirety of the game play is built around cartoonish characters knocking each other around massive arenas.

The good news for parents concerned about violence is that the characters in the game react to being hit as though they were action figures. There is no blood or gore; nothing but a flash of light and a satisfying SMASH!

There is nothing to be worried about here unless your household is severely restricted in regards to violence.

Playability Assessment

The fighting game genre is, at times, one of the most arcane in the entire industry. Players are able to perform special moves using button combinations that are lost on beginners. This places a significant barrier to entry for games like Street Fighter and Marvel vs Capcom 3.

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS eliminates most of those problems by limiting the required button presses. Each characters special moves are triggered by pressing a direction and a “special” button. That’s it. Two buttons. The simplicity here allows even the newest of gamers to pull off exciting moves with a little practice.


This is likely the best game available for the 3DS right now and will likely be in the top 5 forever. I cannot recommend this game enough.

In fact, I recommend this enough to say that it is worth buying two copies to allow siblings to play the multiplayer modes together. That is how good this game is.

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By Stephen Duetzmann

Editor in Chief Founder/EiC Blogger, Podcaster, Video Host RE: games that families can play together.

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