Top 5 Third-Party Characters Who Should NEVER be in Super Smash Bros.

I’ve already written lists of characters I’d like to see added in Super Smash Bros. as DLC, and specified my top five most-wanted third-party characters. But with the Smash Bros. character ballot ending today, I’d figured I’d make another, much more unpleasant list. These are the top five third-party characters who I fear some troubled souls have actually voted for, despite their not belonging/deserving to be in the series, or just flat-out being lame characters.

 

5: Master Chief (Halo series)

"Take it easy, Master Chief! You're still cool!"
“Take it easy, Master Chief! You’re still cool!”

I love Halo. I really do. It’s one of the most consistently fun and deep FPS series out there. So much so that it’s an FPS series I still enjoy playing despite my overall loss of interest in the genre.

But why exactly should Master Chief be in Super Smash Bros? There are still a fair number of people who want him in there, but why? He has literally zero connection to Nintendo, and putting him in the game would just be advertisement for a competing console. Not to mention Nintendo is adamant about no guns in Smash Bros. (save the ray gun and Super Scope 6). When Solid Snake was in Brawl his guns were removed in favor of the more tactical side of the character. But Master Chief is all guns. What could they do with him?

A cool character from a great series. But he has no place in Smash Bros.

 

4: Any Indie Character Who Isn’t Shovel Knight (Various)

 

"Go on and cry because YOU DON'T BELONG HERE!"
“Go on and cry because YOU DON’T BELONG HERE!”

I get it. Indie games are a thing now. But just because most of them seem to replicate the same kind of old school feeling of Nintendo games doesn’t automatically give them Smash cred. Just because they have a tendency to take the blueprints of Super Mario and add in a heap of pretentiousness their own twists doesn’t mean they’ve earned their spot.

The only indie game that I feel perfectly captured that “Nintendo feeling” is Shovel Knight. In fact, I might say that it’s the only modern game that can rank among the best 8-bit games. It’s the best NES game never to have been released on NES.

But as awesome as Shovel Knight might be, even he might be a bit early in his resume (seeing as he’s not a Nintendo character) to be put in Smash Bros. against some other contenders. But at least he’d fit in, seeing as he comes without the self-righteousness or quasi-gross out humor of his indie contemporaries. You know who I’m talking about!

 

3: Sora (Kingdom Hearts)

 

"NO!"
“NO!”

Sure, Kingdom Hearts has had various spinoff titles on Nintendo’s handhelds, but who cares? Notice how Kingdom Hearts 3 is being treated like the return of a long-dormant series, even though there’s been a small army of Kingdom Hearts titles released since Kingdom Hearts 2. That’s because no one cares about the handheld spinoffs (except for the lot who has the Bizarro World belief that anything Tetsuya Nomura touches is good). Sora’s presence on Nintendo consoles has been nothing but filler, and has only served to send the convolution of the series’ plot into the stratosphere.

Do I even need to bring up the fact that his buddies Donald Duck and Goofy are way cooler than he is? Even Winnie the Pooh is more badass! And don’t even get me started on the legalities between Square and Disney.

Plus, do we really want another spiky-haired anime dude in Smash? Do we not have enough of those already?

 

2: Cloud (Final Fantasy VII)

Cloud
“Hey look! It’s every Tetsuya Nomura character ever!”

 

 

Don’t give the weaboo what they want! Don’t do it, Sakurai! They don’t deserve to be catered to!

Look, I understand that Final Fantasy VII is a beloved game (if maybe more than a little overhyped compared to many of its predecessors and successors). But seriously, his only presence on any Nintendo console have been bit parts in the aforementioned handheld Kingdom Hearts titles. And well, see above.

Besides, it’s not even like Cloud would be the best Final Fantasy representation for Smash Bros. I know  those Nomura fanboys would whine about this, but honestly, the best Final Fantasy representation in Smash Bros. would just be a basic Black Mage or White Mage or something along those lines.

Not to mention Cloud is more commonly associated with Playstation. So again, what incentive does Nintendo have to add this character over so many others? Need I repeat… Spiky-haired anime dude! No more! Please!

"At least when Cloud looked like clumps of dough he had some charm about him..."
“At least when Cloud looked like clumps of dough he had some charm about him…”

 

1: Shadow the Hedgehog (Sonic the Hedgehog series)

 

*Cue long, drawn-out sigh*
*Cue long, drawn-out sigh*

Lord help us all if Shadow the Hedgehog gets voted in.

Cool to 12-year old boys, creepy Sonic weaboos, and no one else, shadow the Hedgehog is the bottom of the video game character barrel. Not only is he just another member of the infinitely tired anime trope of a “dark” lookalike of a main character (a spot that’s already needlessly filled in Smash Bros. by Dark Pit), but the downward spiral of the Sonic the Hedgehog series can be linked to the character’s introduction. At that point, it seemed like Sega’s main focus was no longer making good Sonic games, but introducing a bunch of goofy animal characters and giving them generic anime personalities that they magnified by emphasizing story over gameplay.

Not to mention that Sonic already kind of has the least imaginative moveset in Smash Bros. (he spins… a lot!), and it’s easy to imagine Shadow would just have a cloned moveset. But, y’know, “dark and edgy.” Uggh.

For one thing, there really doesn’t need to be any more Sonic characters in Smash Bros. But if there were to be another, it should be Dr. Robotnik. Or Eggman. Whatever he’s called. He’s fine.

Shadow already tainted one series, we really don’t need him doing the same for another.

Top 5 Third-Party Characters I’d Like to See in Super Smash Bros.

I already wrote a list of characters I’d like to see added to Super Smash Bros. via DLC, but of course I realized there were a few other characters I failed to mention. Two of the characters I listed belong to third-parties, but some of the characters I failed to mention also fall under that umbrella, including one that I personally feel guilty for not listing.

Now, some people will give the usual “too many third-party characters” argument, but I’m not saying all these characters will be added to the game, or even that I’d like to see them all thrown in at once. It’s merely a list of five third-party characters I’d like to see. Nothing more. Besides, I’d rather see more third-party characters than any more anime swordfighters by this point (spoiler alert: Lloyd Irving isn’t here). So at the very least, the characters listed here would bring some added variety to the mix.

Keep in mind I’m sticking with characters who have a history with Nintendo. So while I love Halo as much as the next guy, Master Chief has no place here. I should emphasize that these characters have strong ties to Nintendo, so Cloud’s cameos in those handheld Kingdom Hearts games amount to nothing here.

Although Rayman games are fun (if maybe a bit overrated), I don’t particularly care for the titular character, so he’s not here, either. Finally, Solid Snake was already in Super Smash Bros. at one point, so while I wouldn’t mind him returning to the series, this list is solely for potential newcomers.

Feel free to vote for any of these characters on the Smash Bros. character ballot if you haven’t already!

Anyway, let’s get onto the list. But first, an honorable mention. Continue reading “Top 5 Third-Party Characters I’d Like to See in Super Smash Bros.”

Super Smash Bros. Really Needs More Donkey Kong Characters

Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash BRos. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS saw another major update recently, with a lot of additional content including Tournament Mode, the ability to upload videos to YouTube, and DLC stages and costumes for the Mii Fighters.

Unfortunately, one of those Mii Fighter costumes includes King K. Rool, the recurring antagonist from the Donkey Kong series. Why is this unfortunate? Because K. Rool has been one of the most requested characters to join the Super Smash Bros. roster, and him being included as a Mii Fighter costume almost feels like a mere token. He’s included as a Mii costume, so will Sakurai just stop there?

Now, it is possible that if K. Rool (or anyone else) gets enough votes in the Smash Bros. character poll he could potentially still be added. But that really depends on how many new characters the poll will allow. It’s an uncertainty.

I understand it’s difficult to write coding and add a whole new character to the game, so I understand people can’t get every character they want as DLC. My problem though, is that the Donkey Kong series, one of Nintendo’s premiere franchises, is sorely underrepresented in Super Smash Bros. DK shouldn’t have to wait for DLC.

"Not like this... Not like this..."
“Not like this… Not like this…”

Donkey Kong and Diddy are great characters in Super Smash Bros. But considering the series’ importance to Nintendo’s history (it was their first full-fledged franchise, the Mario series itself is a spinoff from it, I could go on), having just two characters when it has more to work with seems unfair to the beloved series. Especially when one considers that Kid Icarus, a series that didn’t even have a new entry for over two decades, has three characters. And don’t get me started on the small army of Fire Emblem characters.

I’m not even saying that the game needs to include the whole Kong family (no one wants Chunky Kong), but Dixie Kong should have already been in Super Smash Bros. some time ago. Not to mention her prehensile hair could give her a unique moveset. King K. Rool would also be a great addition, since he’d not only bring more DK representation, but the series could use some additional villain characters (the current games only have Bowser, Bowser Jr., Ganondorf and King Dedede filling the villain roster), and K. Rool could add to that category nicely. Even Cranky Kong makes more sense than a lot of the characters who actually made it into Smash Bros. (because seriously, Dark Pit)!

Metroid is another series that is sorely underrepresented in Smash Bros., also having only two characters (both of which are two versions of the same character). But I understand that Metroid has a bit less characters to work with. So while Metroid definitely deserves more characters, it isn’t quite as baffling as DK’s underrepresentation. There’s no shortage of material to work with when it comes to Donkey Kong.

Again, there is still some shred of hope for the DK faithful with that character poll. But the big question is, why should Donkey Kong, one of Nintendo’s greatest franchises and one of gaming’s most iconic series, have to rely on the character poll just to get one additional character?

Hopefully, the K. Rool Mii Fighter costume is just an appetizer for something better for the DK crew around the corner, and not just compensation.

Most Wanted Smash Bros. DLC Characters

Nintendo has officially opened up a character ballot for potential DLC characters for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. For the first time in forever, Nintendo fans can officially make suggestions for characters they’d like to be added to the series, with the possibility of some suggestions becoming a reality.

If you want to vote for your favorite characters, you can do so by going here. Nintendo’s setup is simple enough: Name the character, the game/series they appear in, and give a brief reason why they should be in the game.

Naturally, I have already voted a number of times. There are some characters I wanted for a while that actually ended up in the game (Rosalina, the Duck Hunt dog), but there are some other favorites that didn’t make the cut. Some of my choices are a little more obscure, but some are characters who should have been in the series by this point. At the very least, they all make more sense than Dark Pit.

 

Dixie Kong

Dixie Kong

From: Donkey Kong series

Why she should be in Super Smash Bros: A better question is why hasn’t Dixie Kong been in Super Smash Bros. already? The Donkey Kong series, despite being Nintendo’s earliest franchise, as well as one of their most popular, is grossly underrepresented in Super Smash Bros. With DK and Diddy already in the game, the next logical choice would be Dixie Kong. She debuted in the second (and most beloved) Donkey Kong Country game, was the star of the third entry, and has remained a series mainstay. She was even the most useful partner in Tropical Freeze!

There really is no reason why Dixie hasn’t been in the series yet. She’s a fan favorite and represents one of Nintendo’s biggest series. Best of all, her prehensile hair could give her an incredibly unique moveset.

Fawful

Fawful

From: Mario & Luigi series

Why he should be in Super Smash Bros: Fawful, having appeared in the first three Mario & Luigi games, is one of the more recurring antagonists in the Mario series. Smash Bros. could use a few more villain characters (Bowser, Bowser Jr., Ganondorf and King Dedede being the only ones in Wii U and 3DS), and Fawful is a great candidate. He quickly became a fan favorite due to his odd characteristics and bizarre speech patterns, and he can represent the ‘spinoff’ side of the Mario series proudly. He to, could have a unique moveset (imagine Wario meets Snake from Brawl) that could add some extra humor to the series.

Also, he has fury.

Geno

Geno

From: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Why he should be in Super Smash Bros: Few characters have been as requested for Smash Bros. as Geno (especially by me). The reasoning is simple enough: He’s the most popular character from one of the most beloved Mario games, and he, like the rest of Mario RPG’s original characters, have yet to return in another game. People want Super Mario RPG to be acknowledged, and Geno becoming a Smash Bros. fighter would skyrocket that game’s recognition.

Plus, Geno’s moveset writes itself! He could be a very unique, and very effective addition to Super Smash Bros.

Of course, we must address the elephant in the room: Square-Enix. Square still owns the character, and they’ve never been the most compliant of developers. The fans can request Geno all they want, and Sakurai could listen, but Square also needs to give the okay.

I certainly hope enough people request Geno as to open the eyes of both Sakurai and Square-Enix.

 

King K. Rool

King K. Rool

From: Donkey Kong series

Why he should be in Super Smash Bros: Again, Super Smash Bros. seriously needs more Donkey Kong representation. And it needs more villains. King K. Rool therefore fills two holes in the roster. Similar to what happened with Dedede in Brawl, he has a moveset more or less ready and waiting for him from his various boss fights throughout the years.

Also, if K. Rool were to make the cut, he needs to have a Kaptain K. Rool palette swap. Because pirate crocodiles.

Granted, it’s hard to say just how good K. Rool’s chances would be, considering he hasn’t even appeared in a Donkey Kong game in years. But if he were to make it, he’d be a great addition.

Nights

Nights

From: Nights series

Why he/she should be in Super Smash Bros: While most Sega fans clamor for more Sonic characters to be added to the mix (God help us all if the Shadow fans have their way), the other Sega character I would like to see would be Nights. Given the nature of Nights’ games, I could easily see him/her being an aerial-based character.

Nights is a bit of a long shot, but no doubt he/she would make for a fantastic addition to the Super Smash Bros. roster.

 

Paper Mario

Paper Mario

From: Paper Mario series.

Why he should be in Super Smash Bros: First thing’s first… NOT A CLONE!

With that out of the way, I have to point out that Super Smash Bros. doesn’t exactly shy away from having multiple versions of the same character on the roster (Mario and Dr. Mario, Samus and Zero Suit Samus, etc.), and Paper Mario seems like one of the few characters who would fall under this category who would be a welcome and unique addition to the series.

He could have something of a Game & Watch style visual look, and his moves could be based around his partners from the Paper Mario series or something. Just don’t ruin him with a Sticker star gimmick.

Toon Ganon

Ganon

From: The Legend of Zelda: The wind Waker

Why he should be in Super Smash Bros: There are two primary reasons I want to see the Wind Waker iteration of Ganon added to the mix. The first is that The Wind Waker is, bar none, my favorite of the 3D Zelda games (Ocarina of Time be damned). It was like a culmination of what Ocarina started, with a style that was distinctly its own. Twilight Princess felt creatively restrained as it pandered to fans, and Skyward Sword branched out in some creative ways, but the results could be a mixed bag. But Wind Waker had it all figured out, and its only got better with age. Clearly, I just want more Wind Waker representation.

The other reason I’d like to see Toon Ganon is, well, I still can’t stand that Ganondorf’s moveset in Super Smash Bros. is cloned from Captain Falcon. Sure, Brawl and the Wii U/3DS games have ironed him out a bit, but the core of his character is still a Captain Falcon clone. Ganon deserves much better. Given Ganon’s penchant for duel-wielding swords in Wind Waker, I can only hope that could be used to make him a more unique character.

There are a few other characters I’d love to see, and maybe I’ll write about them later. I obviously do not expect more than one or two DLC characters to come out of Nintendo’s character ballot, but it’s fun to think of all the possibilities. Some of these characters should already be in the series. And given some of the characters who have made the cut, it makes the character ballot seem all the more desirable. Because seriously, Dark Pit…

Top 5 Most Undeserving Super Smash Bros. Characters

Super Smash Bros. is one of Nintendo’s best series, and it does a beautiful job at representing the developers’ long and influential history in the video game medium. But not every character who has made the cut is an ideal choice. There are still a number of popular characters who have yet to make the Smash Bros’ roster, and some that have made it that…well, let’s just say they feel out of place.

The original Smash Bros. had an inarguable roster of iconic Nintendo mainstays (though I still think Meowth would have made more sense as a secondary Pokemon character than Jigglypuff, and had the game had more memory, Bowser, Peach and Dedede should have made the initial cut). But with the sequels, it seems like director Masahiro Sakurai has at times gone a little overboard with how far he’s stretching his hand. At the worst of times, it seems more like he’s catering to his own ego than representing Nintendo’s history.

The following list are the five characters who have appeared in the Super Smash Bros. series at one point or another who really just don’t deserve to be there. It isn’t necessarily a list of characters I don’t like (though in some cases that’s true), but a list of characters who just really don’t belong to fight alongside Mario, Link and their ilk (mind you, this is coming from someone who still thinks Geno would be a great addition, even though it’ll never happen).

Lucario, for example, won’t be on here. Even though I don’t much care for Lucario, I understand that he’s one of the more popular Pokemon, and with Pokemon being one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, I can respect his inclusion. Similarly, I don’t like that Dr. Mario is merely a clone character, but I understand that Dr. Mario was one of the more popular of Mario’s early spinoffs, and with Mario being Nintendo’s mascot, the inclusion of the character himself makes sense.

The following characters are, quite simply, the sort of lot that make you raise an eyebrow and say “Really?” Be warned, opinions ahead!

 

 

5: Lucina

Lucina

Appeared in: Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U

Original series: Fire Emblem

Part of me doesn’t have a problem with the idea of Lucina being a Smash Bros. character. Like Dr. Mario, I can understand that she’s from a popular game and simply has the misfortune of being a clone. But when I think of how she was implemented, I have to wonder why this character was necessary.

First off, I must repeat she is a clone of Marth. It wouldn’t be too big of a deal, except that Super Smash Bros. Melee already had a Marth clone in Roy, who was removed from the series because Sakurai specifically stated he wanted less clones in the sequels. So they got rid of one Marth clone for Brawl, only to bring in a different Marth clone who is even more similar to Marth in appearance and moveset.

Now, what really renders this character superfluous is that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS introduced palette-swapped characters. Bowser Jr. becomes the Koopalings and Olimar becomes Alph. But Lucina is a separate character because reasons. By making her a separate character from Marth on the roster but practically identical in play style, it just kind of cheapens the inclusion.

I know you’re probably thinking but what makes Lucina undeserving?” Well, besides the above reasons, there’s also the fact that Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS has three other Fire Emblem characters. With all due respect, has Fire Emblem really earned more characters than Metroid or Donkey Kong? Was a fourth character, a clone, really necessary?

Lucina isn’t a bad character per se, but she isn’t a memorable addition to Super Smash Bros.

4: Pichu

Pichu

Appeared in: Super Smash Bros. Melee

Original series: Pokemon

I know Pichu is cute and all, but even as a kid, I was dumbfounded why Pokemon Gold and Silver added un-evolved versions of preexisting Pokemon. Why should I have to train these new guys just to get Pokemon I already had in the last game? It still baffles me. Pichu’s inclusion in Super Smash Bros. raises just as many question marks.

I know, I’m kind of contradicting my own Lucario statement earlier, but Lucario is at least a Pokemon entirely separate than Pikachu. It seems like Pichu made the cut just from affiliation. This is more or less the Smash Bros. equivalent of having Tom Hanks on the roster, and then adding Jim Hanks and expecting him to have a similar impact. Because Hanks.

If this were a list of “worst characters in Smash Bros.” Pichu might just take the cake, since Sakurai, in either some cruel joke or a commentary on the unnecessary nature of the character, decided it would be funny if Pichu’s every last move damaged himself. Pichu never injured himself like this in Pokemon Gold and Silver, but this odd characteristic was added in the short film that played before Pokemon the Movie 2000. Not Pokemon the Movie 2000 itself, mind you. The short film beforehand.

So Sakurai decided to toss in a Pikachu clone in the form of Pichu – whose presence in Pokemon was already questionable – and decided to turn him into an intentionally broken character just in case anyone actually wanted to play as him. Okay.

3: Palutena

Palutena

Appeared in: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS

Original series: Kid Icarus

Here’s where Sakurai decided to give himself a pat on the back. While I can at least appreciate that Palutena is a unique character and not a clone (the only such character on this list), there are so many more deserving and popular characters out there who didn’t make the cut, while Palutena more or less got a free ticket just because Sakurai made Kid Icarus Uprising.

Here’s a fun fact, out of every character who has ever appeared in the Super Smash Bros. series, Palutena is the only one, the only one, who was never previously a playable character in some capacity. Captain Falcon piloted the Blue Falcon in F-Zero, the Duck Hunt character includes the “Unseen Gunman” (the player character) from the NES game, and even R.O.B. was playable in Mario Kart DS. But Palutena? She only appeared at the very end of the original Kid Icarus. And while her banters with Pit in Uprising could be amusing, players never had the chance to play as her. Palutena is, quite literally, only in the game for Sakurai’s own hubris.

That’s not to say she’s a bad character, I even find her moveset to be kind of cool. But when it comes down to it, Palutena really hasn’t earned her spot. She’s not exactly iconic, and the Kid Icarus series hasn’t exactly been vital to Nintendo. Did Smash Bros. really need any Kid Icarus characters other then Pit?

When it dawns on you that Dixie Kong is still somehow not in Smash Bros. but Palutena is, it becomes all the more of a bummer.

2: Wolf O’Donnell

Wolf

Appeared in: Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Original series: Star Fox

Here’s where we enter bottom of the barrel territory. Wolf O’Donnell, ladies and gentlemen.

Look, I like Star Fox. I have many fond memories of Star Fox 64, and look forward to the new Star Fox on Wii U. But was the series really relevant enough by 2008 to warrant three represented characters in Super Smash Bros? More specifically, did it need three characters who are all more or less identical?

After Star Fox 64, the series kind of burned out for many gamers. Sure, Star Fox still has its fans, but I’m not sure Star Fox Assault left such an indelible mark on Nintendo’s history as to make Wolf O’Donnell a Smash Bros. must-have. Not to mention Falco has already been relegated to Fox clone, what exactly was the point of adding another?

For the record, I again point out that Metroid and Donkey Kong, two of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, each only have two playable characters in Super Smash Bros. (in Metroid’s case, it’s two versions of the same character), but Star Fox has had three. And they don’t even barrel roll.

At the very least, Wolf didn’t make a return appearance in the sequels. But if Sakurai was trying to get esoteric here, the least he could have done was resurrect Muddy Mole.

1: Dark Pit

*Groan*

Appeared in: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS

Original series: Kid Icarus

If Palutena was Sakurai patting himself on the back, then Dark Pit is Sakurai raising a toast in his own honor while simultaneously flipping the bird to everyone who requested their favorite characters, only for them to be denied a spot in Super Smash Bros. Dark Pit’s inclusion just screams egomania.

Again, I point out the abundance of Kid Icarus characters and references in the newest installments of the series (there weren’t even any new Zelda characters). A series that laid dormant for 21 years is suddenly the focal point of Super Smash Bros. representation, conveniently after Sakurai made Kid Icarus Uprising (which was a good game by the way, but come on). It should be noted that Sakurai, when making the original Smash Bros., contemplated adding King Dedede, a character from his other, more prominent series, Kirby. But he decided against adding Dedede in both the original game and Melee, as he didn’t want to favor his own characters. I wonder what happened to that humility? At least Dedede has earned his spot.

I must also reiterate that Dark Pit is a clone of Pit, despite the fact that the palette-swap concept has been introduced. Sakurai claims he separated the characters because “Pit’s Final Smash [The Three Sacred Treasures] wouldn’t make canonical sense for Dark Pit.” And Smash Bros. is clearly all about the accuracy of representation, which is why Mario’s Final Smash feels like it was pulled from Dragon Ball Z and Bowser’s involves the King Koopa transforming into a horrible, mutated version of himself (because that happened in a Mario game, right?).

To pour salt on the wound, Pit even has an alternate costume that looks like Dark Pit, and Dark Pit has an alternate costume that looks like Pit. It’s like Sakurai is magnifying the pointlessness of Dark Pit and taunting us with it!

Dark Pit is already kind of an annoying character, being a part of the endlessly rehashed dark-clad, antihero version of the main character trope. There’s nothing memorable about him. But here he is, in Super Smash Bros. while many a beloved character gets left in the cold.

The only redeeming aspect of Dark Pit’s inclusion is that now, whenever someone makes a suggestion for even the most obscure character to be added to the series, they can defend their stance with six simple words: “Makes more sense than Dark Pit.”

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Review

Smash Bros. 3DS

Super Smash Bros. on 3DS is a prime example of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s not to say that no tweaks have been made – this is probably the most balanced Smash Bros. yet – but it serves more as a means to bring the winning formula of the series to handhelds than it does to push it forward.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There was a six year gap between Brawl and this 3DS addition to the series, after all. The series has hardly been exhausted. And when the game is as fun and addictive as this, why should Nintendo tamper with it?

It’s a great transition, I might add. The brunt of the Smash Bros. control scheme and mechanics translate faithfully to the 3DS, with only minor gripes directed towards the blocking and grabbing mechanics, performed with the system’s shoulder buttons, which feel a little less fluid than on the home console Smash Bros. titles.

The core appeals of the series, however, are the deep yet accessible fighting gameplay, and the ludicrous amount of fan service provided by the colorful roster of Nintendo characters, as well as the stages and items.

It’s the biggest Smash Bros. roster to date, with the majority of characters from Brawl returning along with a good number of new characters. Some of these new characters, like retro favorites Little Mac and Duck Hunt, or newer faces like Shulk and Rosalina, are welcome additions. Though some others, such as Dark Pit or Lucina, feel like Nintendo is scrapping the bottom of the barrel (in the case of the former, director Sakurai may just be giving himself a pat on the back for directing Kid Icarus Uprising). When one considers some of the fan favorites that were left out (Ridley, Dixie Kong), one has to wonder what exactly the criteria is to make it on the Smash Bros. roster these days.

Two new third-party characters brighten things up, with Pac-Man and Mega Man bringing an added dose of nostalgia and gameplay variety to the table (regrettably at the expense of Snake).

Smash Bros. 3DS

The great thing about this particular Smash Bros. is that it caters to both of the diehard Smash Bros. fan bases: Those who prefer the fun, chaotic party game aspects of the series, and those who take it as a serious fighter. Online modes, appropriately dubbed “For Fun” and “For Glory” cover both fields, with the former allowing all stage gimmicks and items and the latter featuring more straightforward, item-free stages. Both styles have their benefits (one gives you serious, “no excuses” victories and defeats, while the other lets you take full advantage of the toy box of items at the game’s disposal), and its good to see the series acknowledge its diversity.

There are the usual single-player and bonus modes. Classic and All-Star modes return, as do home run contests and break the target. One unfortunately lax new mode, Smash Run, features players running around a map, fighting classic game enemies and collecting stat boosting power-ups before facing off against traditional Smash opponents. It’s worth a look, but lacks replay value.

As usual for the series, Super Smash Bros. on 3DS includes countless unlockables. So just in case the insanely addictive multiplayer wasn’t incentive enough for you to keep coming back, unlocking every last stage and trophy might just have you hooked.

Of course, it’s that tried-and-true gameplay that makes Smash Bros. on 3DS shine. Play as your favorite Nintendo character, do some damage to your friends’ favorites, and send them flying off stage in an extreme sumo-style bout.

It may not be the same leap forward for the series that Melee was to the original or that Brawl was to Melee, but it does prove that the immense fun of the series is perfectly complimented on a handheld. Smash Bros. has always been a tough series to put down, and now that you can take it anywhere, that may be truer than ever.

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