Super Smash Bros 3DS review: Mario and friends offer a knockout performance

£39.99; 3DS; Bandai Namco Games

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The Independent Tech

A lot has happened since the millennium. At a time when everyone was worried about computers imploding, Nintendo introduced Super Smash Bros to the N64. One thing that hasn’t changed, is that Super Smash Bros is still a hell of a lot of fun.

Coming 15 years later to the 3DS, the smash-up is now portable on the 3DS, and it’s already sold more than one million copies on its first two days on sale in Japan.

You can battle alone, with friends (who have a 3DS), or online, as well as completing challenges – so there’s a lot of variation to gameplay. There are 15 new characters, bringing it up to an impressive 49 to choose from in total each with unique attacks, including the cute but deadly Villager from Animal Crossing, plus non-Nintendo favourites Megaman, Pac-Man and Sonic. You can bring your Mii in to create your own character in the design of either a gunner, brawler or swordsman. And later in the game you can even unlock Ganondorf (here’s a tip, you have to play 80 Smash mode matches to get him).

With four fighters in a free for all, things can get messy in Smash Bros, but that’s its charm. The aim is to knock the other characters out of the fighting arena (with some fantastic levels including classic Mario with coins, Donkey Kong barrels, Pac Man - and a Star Fox stage). It’s hectic and fast-paced; you can be smart, or just go in all fists blazing.

The frustrating, and great, thing about Smash Bros are the levels which have moving and disappearing platforms – as if the erratic fighting wasn’t enough to keep you on edge. It means you can perfect your attacks, but if you’re not concentrating and don’t act quickly enough, you’ll fall off anyway. It's not one you can play while standing up on the bus or Tube.

Of course characters can look rather small on a 3DS screen when they’re fighting at different sides of the level – but it’s usually not too difficult to distinguish between fighters. The larger Wii U version is coming soon (it’s suggested the date might be 21 November, but nothing’s confirmed). It's definitely worth trying out - there’s a free demo version available at the moment for the 3DS via Nintendo's eShop.

Nintendo is of course wonderful for family gaming; adorable characters, hugely entertaining platformers and heaps of nostalgia, but Super Smash Bros adds something different. Getting all of your favourite Nintendo characters together to smash the cuteness out of each other can't be beaten. It’s a knockout.

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