Review: Super Smash Bros. for 3DS.

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Every 7-8 years high lord Sakurai blesses us with a fighting game that doesn’t hold back. From polished gameplay to an overwhelming number of gameplay modes to a plethora of fan service, Nintendo’s mascot fighter is back. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time for Smash Bros.

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Smash Bros. on 3DS raised a lot of eyebrows when it was first announced since it will be the first time we can smash on the go and for the most part it doesn’t disappoint. With a staggering 51 characters this iteration of Smash Bros. has easily the largest roster with many of the newcomers proving their worth. The 31 stages however, don’t have the same impact with many stages returning from past games and the new stages are dull in design. Luckily, the competitive Smash Bros. scene has left it’s mark on Sakurai since every stage has it’s own “Final Destination” version for more competitive play.

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The game modes have also been tweaked for the 3DS hardware. The main attraction this time around is “Smash Run,” a 5 minute rush through a massive level grabbing stat boosts to prepare yourself for a final showdown. Unfortunately, this mode is a novelty at best with the big finale being only a minute long rendering the previous 5 minutes pointless. Classic mode returns with an overworld map similar to the “Find Mii” minigame on the 3DS. All-Star mode is here as well with a unique twist where the player smashes through each character based on the year they were created. Customization is now much larger than it was in Brawl with the ability to change character’s stats and special moves. This goes one step further with the inclusion of Mii’s for complete customization. These new options can make fights pretty hectic if Bowser is running faster than Sonic and Jigglypuff hits like a truck on steroids.

Upon first glance gameplay is pretty solid with the thought of “Yup. It’s Smash.” running through your head. Dig a little deeper and the flaws begin to surface. The game itself doesn’t have any flaws gameplay-wise, but instead the 3DS hardware is the main problem. The circle pad on the 3DS isn’t as precise as the accepted smash controller (Gamecube) and can lead to some frustrating moments of “That’s not what I meant to do!” as you play. The game’s camera doesn’t do any favors either with it pulling out so far sometimes that you can easily lose the small dot that resembles your character on screen. When these issues are absent Smash Bros. is Smash Bros. You will beat the daylight out of other Nintendo Mascots with a massive grin on your face as the game runs smoothly at 60 fps.

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To many Smash Bros. is a multiplayer fighting game and this is where Smash Bros. on 3DS falls apart. Couch multiplayer is still accessible with local wifi, but the lag is unbearable at times. It happens so frequently that the game becomes unplayable. Things only get worst when you go into full online matches. Their heart is in the right place with online modes emphasizing party play as well as competitive play, but the lag on this precision fighting game ruins everything. This was a problem 7 years ago with Brawl’s multiplayer on the Wii, but the fact that 7 years later the online functionality is just as bad is unacceptable. With so many issues plaguing Smash Bros. multiplayer I can’t imagine this game having the same longevity as previous games in the series.

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Smash Bros. for 3DS is good, but it should be great. Hardware limitations and poor online hold it back from reaching the heights of previous installments. When it works Smash Bros. is a blast and will put a massive grin on your face. Even with the flaws Smash Bros. is still Smash Bros. and shouldn’t be missed by any 3DS owner.

Design: 7/10
Gameplay: 8.4/10
Presentation: 9.0/10

Final Score: 8.1/10

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Top 5 Smash Challengers

With many gamers anticipating the next Smash Bros. game we’ve compiled the top 5 MUST HAVE characters we want in the next Smash Bros. game. We had trouble coming up with 10 characters since our Super Smash challengers can’t be clones or lame inclusions (like a koopa or something.) Here’s our Top 5 Smash Challengers!

5) Shulk (Xenoblade Chronicles)

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To start our list is Xenoblade’s main protagonist, Shulk. Wielding the legendary Monado Shulk could be used as not only a great swordsman, but also as a great ranged caster. The Monado’s powers can also allow Shulk to defend himself with special shields and buffs adding more RPG elements to Smash Bros. His final smash could be his signature Buster attack attacking all enemies in a line.

4) Bayonetta

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Forget the fact that this scandalous witch is a little too mature for Nintendo’s taste. Bayonetta’s skill set will dominate her opponents. With her flexibility and dual pistols Bayonetta could unleash hell on other smashers with acrobatic moves and gun play. Her final smash could be one of her classic “Torture Attacks.” Of course she’ll also have her lollipop.

3) Sora (Kingdom Hearts)

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With the keyblade for melee attacks and different types of magic for ranged, Sora from Kingdom Hearts is a no-brainer.  Different abilities could be Sora’s glide ability, his guard break could break through shields, and magic that could be cycled between fire, ice, and thunder. His final smash would easily be his Valor form where Sora wields two keyblades.

2) Chrom (Fire Emblem Awakening)

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Chrom and his trusty Falchion need to be in the new Smash Bros. With his epic sword play and overall badassness, Chrom is a much better choice currently than longtime smash mainstay, Marth. Chrom’s dual-strike can inflict double damage to his opponents and his bow breaker could allow Chrom to dodge projectiles. His Final Smash could be his Rightful King Ability buffing all of his other moves as well as movement speed.

1) Banjo Kazooie 

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As a smash character the inclusion of Banjo Kazooie is the most obvious. Banjo handles the close quarters melee, while Kazooie can shoot eggs and handle ranged attacks. Kazooie would also allow for short term flight and great anti-air play. Banjo Kazooie’s final smash would be accomplished with the help of Mumbo transforming the enemies into weak animals that Banjo can easily pick off. If only Microsoft didn’t own the rights…sigh =/

Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2014

It’s a new year with new consoles out to prove what they can do. PS4 and Xbox One are looking to hit their stride with great looking games on the horizon. Nintendo is coming off a strong year for 3DS and have even more great games to keep that handheld held in our hands. WiiU may have struggled in 2013, but with a solid library now established Nintendo’s little console might have a huge year with many first-party games within our grasp. Lets also not forget PC gaming, which is still leading the indie boom and maintaining it’s digital dominance on the industry. The Hype train is leaving the station and these are our top 10 most anticipated games of 2014.

10. Watch Dogs

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(Release Date: Q2 2014)

Ubisoft’s third-person hacker game hits a soft-spot with me (I’m from Chicago), but it barely makes the top 10. Watch Dogs still has a ton of hype going for it since it looks amazing, but with an over-saturation of gameplay trailers and a painful delay of at least 7 months Watch Dogs has built a solid shelter to live in within the back of our minds till June. We hope it was worth it Ubisoft.

9. South Park The Stick of Truth

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(Release Date: March 4th, 2014)

Like Watch Dogs above South Park’s constant delays have us a little worried for the Obsidian RPG. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are keeping our hopes up, but as of right now the best thing they can do is to finally release this long awaited game…and give us more Randy.

8. Elder Scrolls Online

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(Release Date: April 4th for PC)

It’s Elder Scrolls…BUT ONLINE. From what we’ve played and seen so far the game is a solid entry within the MMO genre. The Elder Scrolls mainstays are still there with a great sense of exploration within a realized world. Just please no more arrow to the knee jokes.

7. Witcher 3 Wild Hunt

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(Release Date: Q2 2014)

What is arguably the best looking next gen title has the Game jam writers flipping tables. This third chapter in the acclaimed RPG series looks stunning and even more hardcore than Assassins of Kings. The life of a Witcher is tough, but we’ll do anything to be in the soggy boots of Geralt of Rivia once more.

6. Bravely Default

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(Release Date: February 7th )

The name may say “Bravely Default” but this JRPG screams “Final Fantasy IV.” With job classes, a high risk/reward gameplay system, and beautiful art Bravely Default is the JRPG you’ve been waiting for. It is also out as a demo on the 3DS Eshop right now!

5. Child of Light

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(Release Date: Late 2014)

This JRPG…from Canada looks fantastic even if it’s a drastic change from this team’s last game Far Cry 3. The childish art direction blends beautifully with the game’s tone and gameplay. It makes us throw our money at the screen more than any other Ubisoft game coming out this year.

4. Super Smash Bros. WiiU/3DS

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(Release Date: Whenever Nintendo Wants To.)

With each character reveal and update Super Smash Bros. changes more and more from “I want that game” to “I NEED THAT GAME.” Did the fans want the Wii Fit Trainer? Probably not, but we all know we will kick ass with her. The Villiger from Animal Crossing looks like the sadistic bastard we’ve always wanted with mega Man and Rosalina adding even more fresh ideas to this popular party game.

3. Persona 5

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(Release Date: Late 2014)

All we know is that there are 5 chairs and 5 chains attached. The screen reads “You are slave. Want Emancipation?” followed by the title Persona 5. This is all we know about Atlus’ upcoming entry in the hit JRPG series…and somehow we have massive boners already.

2. Titanfall

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(Release Date: March 11th)

Many gamers are writing this game off as another dumb “Bro” FPS and boy, they couldn’t be more wrong. Out of all the games at E3 2013 Titanfall was the only one to melt faces off. The game not only looks next gen, but also was the only game we walked out of thinking “That gameplay was next gen.” March 11th can’t come soon enough for any lover of FPS’s, mech combat, parkour, jetpacks, and high octane multiplayer. (Note: If you’re not sold on Jetpacks anyway you don’t have a soul.)

1. Dark Souls II

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(Release Date: March 11th)

The logical choice, of course is Dark Souls II. FromSoftware’s brutal 2011 RPG Dark Souls is still being talked about three years later. The game is now less confusing, but that doesn’t mean it is any less punishing. Dark Souls II will burn you with hot wax, gag you, whip you with no mercy, and make you wish video games had a safe word. Dark Souls II is easily our most anticipated game of 2014 as well as the only game to make us cry out “Pineapple!!!” at the top of our lungs. Bring it on Lordran…we’re prepared to die…again.

How to make the next Super Smash Bros. Amazing.

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Nintendo isn’t holding a press conference this year at E3 opting to instead show off their software for the 3DS and WiiU. Arguably, the biggest game they’re showing is going to be the new Super Smash Bros. Game and this title alone could make the WiiU relevant in consumers eyes. So here are some ways Nintendo can make the new Super Smash Bros. amazing and quite possibly save the WiiU.

1)The 3DS functionality-Nintendo already showed that this cross platform multiplayer can work with the WiiU and 3DS versions of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. It makes perfect sense to see it in SSB as well! Not only having cross save functionality, but having cross multiplayer as well. The 3DS is easily capable to have internet and Smash Bros. is the perfect game to have 3DS and WiiU multiplayer going cross platform. Playstation All-Stars did it with the PS3 and Vita so it will be stupid if Nintendo doesn’t implement this amazing system.

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2)Customization-With Namco Bandai helping out with development it would be cool to see a customization system as deep as Soul Calibur’s create a character. I’m not saying SSB should have create a character (because honestly we know our god damn Mii’s will be in the game) but SSB should have a customization option for each character. With the amount of unlockables and pointless stickers in Brawl it would be awesome to have some of those unlockables be hats, clothing, passive perks, etc. This would lend well to an RPG style mode where Mario and crew could get new outfits and perks as they fight.

3)No More Clones!- In this modern generation of gaming where characters and outfits are DLC it would be nice for Nintendo to get rid off all those microtransaction bamboozle jello puddings. Take out the unnecessary characters no one likes and just have those be unlockable character skins. Mario will have Dr. Mario skin, Luigi will have Luigi’s Mansion Skin, and Kirby will have Epic Yarn Kirby. Just make these skins in place of the color palette swap available now in SSB and right away the new game will will improve with more character slots and no god damn Pichus.

4) Awesome Levels and a Level Creator that’s not half-assed- Nintendo needs to rock the levels in the New Super Smash Bros because if I see another damn Pokemon Stadium level I will be pissssssssed. A lot has changed in the world of Nintendo and it would be awesome for them to include new creative levels such as maybe a Rayman Legends song level that moves like the Rainbow Cruise did. Or another giant level like temple in Melee (I still love that level with all my heart.) Hell, Nintendo can even throw in level transitions since other fighting games have them as well. The other thing they need to do is make a level creator that is not half assed. The one from Brawl was ok, but it was very limiting and uninspired. If Nintendo went into the depth such as Halo’s forge, Little Big Planet and/or let the modding community go nuts then the next Super Smash Bros. will have some very very long legs.

5) 8-Bit Mode- Nostalgia.Duh.

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6)Patch the game!-This will hopefully be a no-brainer, but it’s Nintendo so we  never know. Brawl shipped and immediately it was clear that some players were unbalanced….META KNIGHT. With patches so common in games it will easily improve much needed balance to the Smash Bros Franchise and hopefully means that the game’s replay value will skyrocket. Do I hear the faint sounds of EVO?

7) Put Chrom in the game.- Ok this point is mainly me being a Fire Emblem Fanboy, but it must be done. Chrom is the star of Fire Emblem Awakening for the 3DS, which is one of the best games of the year. Knowing how Marth and Roy are fan favorites in Melee it would be awesome to have Chrom take their place.

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8) Do not go overboard on 3rd Party Characters- Snake was awesome, Sonic was ok, but please don’t turn this into Playstation All Stars. I understand Nintendo focused 3rd Party characters such as Shulk (Xenoblade Chronicles), Shin Megami Characters, and even Rayman, but please don’t go crazy. With Namco Bandai helping out I’m worried we’ll see more Tekken characters or Soul Calibur inclusions. Even if they throw Tales characters in it might be a bit much. Concentrate on the essentials and Super Smash Bros. will be in a good place.

9) A Story Mode that doesn’t suck- I know some people enjoyed it, but personally I hated the Subspace whatever it was called. That was a crap way to tell a story and confused the crap out of everyone. It would be cool if they took a page from the Mortal Kombat book and did the story that way…Rather than having each character randomly bump into each other fighting the poor man’s version of Kingdom Hearts’ shadows.

Ok so that’s my list if you have any other suggestions leave them in the comments below! Super Smash Bros. will officially be revealed at this years E3!