Nintendo recently gave out a small number of codes which provided early access to the Super Smash Bros. For 3DS demo. I was lucky enough to get my hands on one and can now bring you my first impressions of the upcoming game.
The demo itself is rather short; you can only play two minute standard smash battles on Battlefield. You can however choose to play the stage in its normal form or in its Final Destination form, which removes all items and makes the level completely flat. You get much more choice in terms of characters as there are three veterans, Mario, Link and Pikachu, and two newcomers, Villager from Animal Crossing and Mega Man.
After seeing that the three veterans played the same as they did in Brawl, I decided to check out the two new characters. Mega Man is very much a ranged character. As well as his mega buster the blue bomber can also fire a number of other projectiles including metal blades, leaf shields, crash bombs and tornados. That’s not to say he doesn’t have melee attacks too. One of the great facets of Mega Man as a fighting game character is that after years of defeating Dr Wily’s robots and absorbing their attacks, the guy has quite the varied arsenal. His forward aerial attack uses the weapon he took from Sword Man in Mega Man 8, whilst his upward smash attack is based on Spark Man from Mega Man 3. One of his only attacks not based on a past Mega Man game his is up tilt attack called Mega Upper. This is actually based on one of Mega Man’s moves in the Marvel Vs. Capcom franchise. The character’s fan service reaches its peak with the blue bomber’s final smash in which he fire a black hole from his mega buster. Mega Man then teams up with Mega Man X, Mega Man exe., Mega Man Volnut and Geo Stellar to destroy anyone caught in the vortex. Despite being a Capcom character, Mega Man is a perfect fit for Smash Bros.
Animal Crossing‘s Villager is a completely different story. Being from one of the few video game franchises to not feature combat, the designers at Nintendo have had to come up with some pretty creative attacks for this newcomer. This is the character’s biggest strength because playing as Villager is a completely unique experience. Foregoing traditional weapons, the Villager chooses to attack with bowling balls, plant pots, fireworks and a bug net. His/her neutral b attack is simply called pocket and allows the character to catch an enemy projectile and store it in their clothing, ready to use later. The character’s most special move is his/her down B attack. Pressing it once causes a sapling to be planted and the second press makes it grow into a tree. More presses will make the villager attack the tree with an axe, until it falls down and hopefully hits an opponent, causing massive damage. It’s a complicated attack and difficult to pull off but this kind of high risk/high reward strategy is one of the aspects which makes Villager so unique. The character’s final smash attack summons an army of Tom Nooks to encase your opponent in an Animal Crossing style house and then blow it up.
It’s not just the characters which are new in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. During my play time I also encountered several unfamiliar items. There is the Daybreak gun from Kid Icarus: Uprising which fires a huge laser right across the screen. Similarly to the Dragoon from Brawl, you must assemble all three parts of the item before you can use it. The mechanical beetle from Skyward Sword is also included. When fired at an enemy it will grab hold of them and then lift them off the stage, causing an instant KO unless your opponent can break free. To me, the most intriguing item was the S-Flag. Appearing in several Namco games, the S-Flag in Smash Bros will give +1 to the score of any character who can hold it aloft long enough. New assist trophies are also present including Ghirahim from Skyward Sword and Metroid Prime in its Dark Samus form.
The demo may offer just a snippet of what’s available in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS but the game already shows a lot of promise. Sakurai has found a way to make the gameplay the perfect mix of Melee and Brawl. Add in a bunch of new and interesting character and items and it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that this newest Smash Bros. could be the best game in the series so far.
The full game will release on October 3 with the Wii U version coming sometime later in the year.