I was fortunate enough to be among the select Club Nintendo members to receive an early download code for the Super Smash Bros. 3DS Demo. Coincidentally, while I was reading about Nintendo sending out codes to select Club Nintendo members of Friday, I happened to look down at my phone and noticed I had just received said email! Throughout the weekend I dabbled in the demo every chance I could get, and have a pretty nice grip on the five characters available. I must say, if a demo is supposed to make you want to purchase the game when it’s released, this has done a fine job of that! Although I was already going to be buying it…
If you weren’t lucky enough to score a download code early, the Nintendo eShop demo for all 3DS owners releases on September 19th. It will be the same as the demo received by Club Nintendo members, except it will have a limit on the number of times the demo can be opened and played.
The Super Smash Bros. series is known for the robust amount of Nintendo characters to battle with and against, all of which span Nintendo’s decades of video game history. Seeing as this is a demo, only five of the 40+ characters are available to play: Mario, Link, Pikachu, the Villager, and Mega Man. Since Mega Man was available in the demo, naturally I didn’t really care who else was playable, but I did peel myself away from the allure of the Blue Bomber from time to time and tried out the other characters.
The man, the myth, the legend is of course a playable character in the demo! He feels remarkably similar to his Super Smash Bros. Brawl iteration, having, as far as I can tell, the same move set. I admittedly am not a huge fan of Mario in these games, but he plays well enough. He’s fireballs are easy to spam, and do a fair amount of damage. He is also versatile on the battlefield: he can run, jump, and double/triple jump effectively. He also has one of the better/easier Final Smashes to break out.
One of my personal favorite combatants since the series’ inception, the Hero of Time is still a sweet fighter. Link’s sword is deadly as a smash attack, with the follow-up second smash/swing being just as great and useful as it was before this game. I really miss his Up+B special where he spins from Super Smash Bros. Melee though! I felt like the bombs you can pull out using the Down+B move have a shorter time frame until they explode, but it’s not a huge difference. Link’s Final Smash is the same as his Brawl move.
Similar to Mario, I am not a huge Pikachu player. But Pikachu was constantly a threat to my game when playing the demo, because the computer really handled him well. His Final Smash kind of pisses me off too, but that’s more a minor nuisance since it doesn’t come up too often. Pikachu’s strengths come in his small stature and speed. He also has a hefty range with his electrical smash attacks. I expect to see a lot of Pikachu players when fighting online!
I really really love that the different colors of the Villager are actually different Animal Crossing villager alternatives. Beyond that, the Villager is a very interesting character to play. His/Her ability to pull out a bag and hold any projectile shot his/her way is fun! Seeing rocket propelled gyroids take out enemies is a sight to see for Animal Crossing fans! And Tom Nook and family get some rep during the Villager’s Final Smash!
I spent the most time playing as Mega Man, and though he’s not as great as I had hoped, he’s still quite fun! His Forward Smash attack lets him charge up his Arm Cannon, which is like Samus’ shot, but shorter and faster. Mega Man’s Up Smash is devastating, using Spark Man’s needle arm powers to electrocute foes. The thing I liked about it was the long frame of time it could hit someone, as well as the range: it easily hit enemies on platforms slightly above me. Oh, and his Final Smash is an homage to the past 25+ years of Mega Man games!
There was only one stage to fight on (Battlefield), but you could use the Normal Version, which includes platforms and items, or the Omega Version, which has no items or platforms. Though some Smash players scoff at the inclusion of items, I think they are a fun dynamic for the not-so-serious player. Assist trophies are tons of fun to use: Elec Man popping out of one and attack my enemies was a real treat. Another big surprise was the Pong trophy, which saw the battlefield pan out to incorporate two Pong paddles on each side, bouncing a very deadly Pong ball all over the stage. Other items like Pokeballs, beam swords, and bumpers make a return, and I’m truly looking forward to what other items will be a part of the full game!
It took me a few games to get used to the controls. Like other Smash’s, you control with the circle pad (taunt with the D-Pad), attack with an attack button, perform special moves with a special move button, throw, dodge, and jump with the rest. After a round or two I was back in the swing of things, and quickly had to turn up the CPU difficulty to 9 to even make the game somewhat challenging. The 3DS is tiny (I’m playing on a standard Nintendo 3DS), so I felt cramped while playing, and found it especially tough to use the should buttons in the midst of combat. I think it will just take some practice to get it down, but the 3DS itself isn’t the greatest controller to play a game like this (though certainly not the worst).
After you play a few rounds in the demo, you’ve really experienced all the demo has to offer in terms of content. But, thankfully and almost cruelly, the demo lets you look at and browse through every menu in the full game. Although you can’t play them, it is very exciting to see Smash Run, a brand new 3DS-exclusive mode, right there on the main menu screen, as well as several other options and mission modes to conquer. Also, the demo keeps track of the Gold Coins you earn from fights. Here’s hoping you can carry those over to the full version to unlock some new trophies! With so many modes, so many characters, so many unlockables, and so much content, Super Smash Bros. 3DS will certainly keep you entertained for hours/days/weeks/months on end.
As stated before, the demo will come out on the Nintendo eShop on September 19th. After a weekend with the demo, I am more than excited I can play the full game in less than a month. There are so many rumors that have sprung up along with this demo: Connectivity to the Wii U and unlocking extra exclusive characters, carrying over your content from the demo, using the 3DS as a controller for the Wii U game, and more. If you’re a fan of the Super Smash Bros. series, there’s really no reason for you to skip out on this one, because from the small demo here it’s already shaping up to be the best since Melee (Sorry Brawl). For those of you waiting for the Wii U release only, I’d suggest giving the demo a shot and seeing if you really want to wait 3+ months (maybe longer, as no official release date of the Wii U version has been given at time of writing) to play the game.