Thoughts/Musings on the Smash Bros. Demo for 3DS

Sep 25, 2014
smashbros 3DS 646x519

I think Super Smash Bros is one of those titles that, if you have any fond memories of it, you've probably wasted whole weekends playing nothing but this title. Wyatt and I used to have some epic matches on the Gamecube with this: we found a rhythm , knowing when the other person blocked or would try to grab, constantly rolling left and right, trying to land the final punch or kick. When one of us scored, it was cause for cursing or celebration...and this is before either of us discovered how competitive the game was becoming at tournaments. Needless to say, it holds a very special place in my heart. Now, I was lucky enough to snag a code allowing me to download the Smash Bros Demo on 3DS early... so I’ve been playing a lot of it. Below, in no real order, are some of my thoughts/observations on the game.

  • It’s Smash Bros, through and through. The smaller screen and portable controls mean it feels a little different, but make no mistake, vets will be right at home with this title.
  • Be prepared to be underwhelmed by the demo. Not by the game (which is awesome), but by the demo. You get access to 5 characters (3 returning, 2 new) 1 level (in both its Final Destination and regular forms) and…that’s about it. You also can’t change match types. Every match will be a free for all, 2 minute match. Items are on by default on the normal level, and off on the Final Destination version. Multiplayer is included, but it’s local only, requires both people to have the demo and lag was present a lot.
  • That doesn't mean you still won’t log a ton of time on it. As of this writing, I've launched the demo four times, with an average play time of about 90 minutes, for a total of 5.25 hours of playtime. I've only had the demo for 36 hours.
  • Speaking of launches, the demo available on 9/19 will (supposedly) have a limit of thirty launches. Not matches, but times to launch the demo. So don’t expect to jump between this and Mii Plaza a million times between 9/19 and 10/3.
  • You will (allegedly) be able to use your 3DS as a controller for Smash Bros Wii U. This will probably require both games.
  • Control customization is not an option on the demo. The slide circle on the 3DS is not as rigid or responsive as the joystick on other Nintendo hardware. Moves that require “tilting” will take a little getting used to.
  • Edge guarding works differently in this title, in a way that I think is for the better. Not sure if its the demo, but some weapons spawn way too often. I can already see some items are going to be considered “cheap”, but I don’t think there’s anything that’s genuinely broken.
  • The veteran characters play very familiar, but they have some small tweaks that I like. It’s nice that even though a character has been in all 4 Smash Bros games, Sakurai is still considering how to better balance the game out.
  • There are a lot of characters and levels already unlocked when the game starts. The demo shows you all of the default options.

I’m trying not to post specifics about the characters involved, but who am I kidding, it’s Smash Bros! Everyone who’s had an interest in this game that has a 3DS is going to download that demo and will probably burn through all 30 launches before 10/3. Is it the deepest demo ever? Of course not; the demo of a fighting game is only supposed to give you a tiny slice of the whole title, and most players will, like me, grow tired of it quickly. Will you still play it for hours? If you’re anything like me, hell yeah you will.

Ben Mayer