The Hype Is Strong With This One – Game Critique: Super Smash Bros. 3DS demo

For months now, people have watched the Nintendo Hype Train pulling into the station whilst the PS4 and XBone still lumber down the tracks (especially the poor poor XBone) but the Big N has put a heavy Hype Boot in with the release of demo codes of the 3DS version of the latest game in the Super Smash Bros. franchise.

Choo-Choo, Motherfucker!
Choo-Choo, Motherfucker!

Basically, it was release to limited numbers of Nintendo Club members (4 codes per Golden Ticket), causing people to lose their mother fucking minds of it. Selling & demanding them for hefty prices but is it worth the hysterics?

I got my codes (all gone now, so don’t demand) whilst I was away, so couldn’t download until this past Sunday.

Unlike the free demos that you used to get with old PC magazines (which were basically the entire games), Super Smash Bros. 3DS is an exceptionally stripped affair. you only get 2 game modes -vs CPU & verses 3 other plays via wireless mode- 5 characters (Mario, Adult Link, Villager [Animal Crossing], Pikachu & Mega Man) and a single stage with 2 modes (one with platforms, one without). You also don’t get any configure options, so you can’t change the tricky controls (more on that later). You can get different character appearances by pressing X over the character icon (including getting a Female Villager) but that’s it for customisation in the demo.

As for proving the greatest of the game, I don’t think the demo really does that.

Not from the demo
Not from the demo

As mentioned before: the default controls are pretty painful to use.

The Y & X buttons are set to jump, which makes it clumsy after decades of having B or A used as jump buttons. To add to complications, UP on the Circle Pad also makes you jump but is needed to do certain types of attacks.

The attack buttons are also confusing, because it’s hard to tell at a glance if you are doing a normal or special attack & if you hit the wrong direction whilst pressing either button, you get an entirely different attack.

Supposedly, according to import hands on, you can completely customise the controls in the full game. I hope so, because the default is very confusing & SSM3DS is such a fucking frenetic game.

Which leads into the other issue: playing on the tiny 3DS screen.

When you have 2 other player who all look very similar you can easily make a mistake. More than once I was looking at the wrong character trapped in a blast of flashing light effects thinking that it was mine, only to have my character fall off the ledge because couldn’t see where he was.

That was also a general problem when playing Super Smash Bros. Wii on an old analogue TV but the compact nature of the 3DS screen does mean that you have to really pay attention.

I haven’t tried it in 3D mode yet. I don’t often use it, so tend to forget that it’s even there. According to others whom I’v3 spoken with, the 3D helps you see things a little better, especially dodging moves & background but the game can still easily be played in 2D mode (for those who got the 2DS wedge).

I have no idea how the work on the New 3DS with its Wii U GamePad like button set up but don’t think it will impact much.

So, what is good about the game?

Well, despite the control & screen issues, it’s still very very fun.

the Smash Bros. has always been a Beat’em Up light style of game. You can casually play without hassle or get hardcore into it, learning all the little tricks. The game caters for both style of plays & so does the demo.

All the move sets for the characters are unlocked, including their Final Smashes (super moves trigged by acquiring the right item). As are all the items that pop into the battle. There are so new interesting ones so far, especially Pokeball related assists. There are also a ton of Assist Trophies too. I found that the best one was Isabelle from Animal Crossing: New Leaf because she cheers for you & drops healing items (food). You can also get near one hit smash items (knocks opponents out of the arena) but they take a while to wind up, so it balances out. The towards screen smash do look awesome on the 3DS, even if they block gameplay for a moment.

The demo also allows you unlock Smash Coins, which are the in game currency. These coins carry over to the full game once you buy it (similar to the Bravely Default items in that game’s demo), allowing for you to purchase unlockables (not to be confuse with DLC micro-transaction, they only use in game stuff).

All matches are limited 3 minutes. Any more than that & you’d probably have a heart attack trying from all the Hype.

In the end: the demo is but the tiniest, inciest taste to get you hooked on the full thing. Making the Big N your typical high end drugdealer. The lack of control customisation is vexing but can be dealt with. I’m not sure that you truly get enough to get you salivating over the full experience but it’s enough t make your mouth moist.

Supposedly the full game will be able to be hooked up to the Wii U version, so you can play it with your customised characters & use your 3DS as a controller on the big screen. That’s a function I’ve been waiting for in Nintendo consoles since the Wii was meant to hook up to the DS for certain games.

With only a few weeks until the full game is available, Nintendo have done a lot to get the Hype Train up to full steam before the pre-Xmas glut of games. They themselves have at least a dozen things coming out in a short space of time, so they need to get people prioritising their purchases (doesn’t help that they are doing sales in their console stores that offer download discounts on related game franchises).

So, whose ready to claim aboard the Hype Train already?

Get the Hype!
Get the Hype!

13 thoughts on “The Hype Is Strong With This One – Game Critique: Super Smash Bros. 3DS demo

  1. The Otaku Judge 17/09/2014 / 7:44 PM

    I’m not that excited. I might try the 3DS version, but since purchasing a Vita I have hardly used that handheld. I loved the older Smash games due to the multiplayer, but these days I am more of a solo gamer


    • andthegeekshall 17/09/2014 / 8:03 PM

      Each to their own.
      I use my 3DS far more than my Vita, so more invested in getting games for that.
      Though I might just wait for the Wii U version of SSB due to aforementioned screen issues.


      • The Otaku Judge 17/09/2014 / 8:48 PM

        It does seem like a better fit for the Wii U. I wonder if they are just selling it on the 3DS as they expect better sales on it.


        • andthegeekshall 17/09/2014 / 9:14 PM

          It’ll sell massively well in Japan because of the console. They’re covering all of their bases with exclusive content per version plus you get special unlocks if you have both versions. Plus coming DLC for stages & possible characters.


          • Ludwig Von Koopa 23/09/2014 / 2:51 PM


            And thanks for linking to my article on the Smash 4 demo code industry with all the hype-generating it builds. (Single-handedly raises the credibility of this whole outfit.)

            …That said, I can’t help but correct you on just a few things.

            Such as, that whole DLC thing you just mentioned. That isn’t actually announced by any official source! It’s a rumour! Conjecture! Same as those special unlocks thing, though something clearly DOES happen if you have both versions and link them together. (Outside of getting awesome soundtrack CDs from Club Nintendo.)

            If you want to talk about going back decades pressing A & B to jump, well, you could complain ’bout that for just ’bout anything. After all, X & Y haven’t existed for all THAT long!

            Regardless, if you’re used to the GameCube controller for Smashing (as I am), X or Y make perfect sense for jumping.

            Now, I won’t disagree with you that the controls feel much better on a console. Specifically, on a GameCube controller. From personal experience playing the game at Best Buy during E3 ( ), the Pro Controller Wii U is a horrible controller for fighting games. Speaking of fighting games, well, duh, of course you gotta pay attention to ’em!

            Few more details, just for accuracy’s sake (and because it kind of seemed like you don’t have much, if any, experience with the Smash Bros. series before):

            The demo matches are 2 minutes each, not 3. (Which I like to think is no coincidence to Miiverse’s comment restriction! )
            Movesets are not “unlocked” in the Smash series, besides the custom moves (which are a new addition to the series as of this game) which are not available in the demo.
            There is a small bit of customization you did not mention: Battlefield without platforms also doesn’t have items. So there is an items-on mode and an items-off mode in the demo.
            Hitting different directions while pressing an attack button to get a different attack is one of the fundamental differences between Super Smash Bros. and other fighting games. I wouldn’t call it confusing or anything! Normal moves and special moves are also totally different in looks and function for pretty much everyone. And you shouldn’t need to look to know what you did: You pressed the button, after all! You should know what you pressed, right?

            Regardless of all that, I had fun reading this. Thank you again, and feel free to look around KoopaTV for more stuff to link to! Haha.
            (I’ll look around this place as well… Maybe we can become FRIENDS. …Or AFFILIATES.)


            • andthegeekshall 23/09/2014 / 4:08 PM

              Welcome for the link back & all that. & thanks for the compliments.

              I’m not really caring much about the minute details & getting things right.
              As for the cross over stuff, got my info from a friend in Japan who’s seen the in store ads promising it. Can’t say those are 100% correct but close to confirmation.

              I’ve actually got experience going back to the original N64 release. My comments on controls were on the fiddling nature of the demo’s controls. Have been assured by Japanese friends that they’re easily fixed in the full game & get used to quickly. If you’re a new comer to the series or just not used to the 3DS version at first, they attacks can be annoying. My article is aimed at those who pretty much have no experience with the games or are used to the Wiimote style of play (which I’m more used to for a casual session).

              I write for the non-invested consumer -those who have a casual flirtation with verses franchises, companies & products & would like to know more without being slammed by preconceived opinion or those uber invested critics who rant about a pixel being out of place (you know them from youtube videos). That’s pretty much because knowledgeable & invested gamers like yourself don’t need convincing to get into the good stuff that the Big N provides. 🙂

              Am always interested in collaborations & the like. Feel free to drop us a line anytime & if I need the facts on Big N stuff, I know who to turn to. 🙂
              thanks again.


              • Ludwig Von Koopa 25/09/2014 / 11:48 AM

                I understand where you’re comin’ from. Thank you. ^.^

                That said, no need to downplay your own experience! You can totally relate to the non-invested consumer from a knowledgeable standpoint too.

                It’s sort of scary if you’re tellin’ non-invested people that Smash has complicated/difficult controls when one of the selling points of Smash compared to any other fighting game series is that the control inputs are very simple to do.


                • andthegeekshall 25/09/2014 / 12:21 PM

                  All good.

                  Am more informing people that whilst the demo controls take some getting used to at first,, the customisation within the full game means that they won’t have to worry about it when the full game is released.

                  Found it best to let people know off the bat that they may be frustrated with things but they are easy to overcome. Elsewise they’ll really complain & then flood the internet with petty gripes.


                    • andthegeekshall 25/09/2014 / 12:36 PM

                      Very much so.
                      A little bit of info, forewarming & instore demos would’ve cut that down a fair bit.

                      Not entirely because people love to complain at any chance they can.

                      First impressions count for everything unfortunately & more than a few people are saying that if the controls in the full game are like those in the demo they won’t bother buying it (that said, most of those people won’t buy it anyway).
                      Always better to head off such complaints & tell them outright that they may have issues but, like racism, they shall be overcome (Dr Martin Luther King Jr reference there).


  2. Ludwig Von Koopa 26/09/2014 / 9:24 PM

    …Well, I don’t think people hated Uprising’s controls because they were bad.
    They were amazing controls.

    They hated them because they read poorly-written reviews that were dedicated to bashing the controls.

    That’s the real issue.


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