Smash bros

Developer: Bandai Namco Games

Nintendo 3DS

Smash Bros. is one of those love it or hate it gaming franchises.  Its pick-up-and-play style and four player vs. mode have always made it as much a party game as a serious fighter, and nostalgia has always been baked in.  As a fan of Nintendo games, and a much more casual player of fighting games, it is right in my wheelhouse.

Nintendo has certainly delivered another helping for the 3DS, with a huge roster of characters and a slew of new gameplay modes, many of which focus on customization.

In addition to playing with a customizable set of Miis, Players can also tweak any of the  characters making them hit harder or move faster, or upgrading special attacks.  This gives more traditional fighting and wrestling game fans a chance to balance out a character just the way they want, and build them to fight their friends.  But it can be turned off at the flick of a button, which ensures players who aren’t willing to spend a lot of time can still sit down and play.

All-Star Mode, a special battle royale mode where characters are fought in the order they were published, and Smash Run, in which players build up a character by collecting power ups, then fight one on one, are quick and fun diversions.  Classic mode also returns, this time with branching paths that let you choose your opponent.

Nintendo seems to have wrung every drop of power they could out of the 3DS, with a huge roster of characters, and a collection of new and returning stages that look great.  But the 3DS does present some limitations.  The loose analog stick on the original 3DS makes movement a bit muddy and tough to control.  The game has trouble differentiating inputs, particularly between up and side attacks.  The screen resolution is also a bit lacking, with tiny figures occasionally lost amid the clutter.

If you are a Nintendo fan, you likely already have this one.  It is a worthy successor to previous installments, and the sheer variety of gameplay modes and characters ensures there’s something for everybody.  Smash Bros is available from Nintendo, Amazon, or your local games shop.

By the way, my Friend Code is 5327-0999-1447.