Super Smash Bros.
U.S. Release Date: 1999
Current street price: $50.00
Save: Battery Back-up
Size: 12 characters, 9 arenas, 24 mini-games
Players: 4 simultaneous
ESRB Rating: E
In a nutshell
Nintendo's biggest and most famous characters duke it out using their signature moves and items.
SSB's story is told through an opening cinema. In this little animated movie, a floating, diembodied, cartoony glove floats around a typical child's room. He reaches into the toy chest and takes out two of the games' characters at random and places them on the desk. With the snap of the Master Hand's fingers the deck is transformed into a fighting arena, and the toys come to life and start to fight. Thus begins a saga of fighting that eventually leads to a bout with the Master Hand himself. Then it's back to the toybox with the triumphant fighter. Sigh!
Note: This story helps to explain away the nasty conflicts that come about when you try to put all these characters into one universe to fight each other.
The very basis of Super Smash Bros. is the same as any ther fighting game ever made... beat up the other guy. SSB gets rid of the standard life bars, though, and opts for ring-outs and a percentage based damage system. The goal of Super Smash Bros. is to knock your opponent off the edge of the playing arena into oblivion. You do this with a variety of punches, kicks, and special moves, each of which increases the opponents damage percentage. The higher a players damage percentage is, the farther they fly with each hit, until the slightest tap will send them flying over the edge. When knocked off, it is possible to get back using each characters double jump manuever and special, desperation move. There are quite a few characters from the Mario universe in SSB;
Mario: Nintendo's mascot and the bane of all who dare threaten the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario has a nice dragon uppercut-type punch, as well as the stanadard fireball and a move which sends him spinning in a wild frenzy, fists outstretched.
Luigi: The neglected brother who does just as much work as his plumber sibling for half the credit. Has all of Mario moves, but he's a bit faster and he jumps higher. His fireball floats instead of bouncing as well.
Yoshi: The Bros. pal from Dinosaur Land returns. Yoshi can trap players in eggs with his tounge, throw exploding egg-bombs, or just do a patented "ground pound" manuever to dispose of his opponents.
Metal Mario: He isn't a playable character, but Metal Mario appears as the 9th opponent you face in the one player game. His immense weight makes him extremely slow, but doesn't seem to affect his jumping ability. His constitution also makes his super tough, and almost impossible to knock off with less than 250% damage. Otherwise, he has all of Mario's moves.
Play modes for SSB include the standard one player game where you fight through 10 set players/teams, and the vs. mode where up to four players or computer controlled characters (or any combination) can duke it out in a battle royale. SSB also features two specially designed mini-games for each character. One challenges the player to break ten targets around the arena, the other asks them to board ten platforms.
What's the big deal?
The character interaction
: With the possible exception of Ness, every character in SSB is well known to most any serious game-player. Verbal battles have been raging for years as to who would win in a fight amongst these combatants. Super Smash Bros. lets you actually wage these hypothetical wars between video gaming titans. Where else can you see Mario shooting Pikachu with a fireball, or Kirby copying an ability from Yoshi. Nowhere but Super Smash Bros., where the Nintendo battle of your dreams can become a reality.
Notes of interest
First appearance of (playable) Yoshi in full 3D!
The Fire Flower return from it's long abscense since way, way back in SML2.
Mario can do a dragon uppercut?
When you get Luigi, he is called the "eternal understudy"
A hidden, classic Mushroom Kingdom arena appears if you beat the game with all 8 primary characters.
The ending is pretty bad, IMHO. Master hand explodes in a less-than-exiting ball of light, and your character's toy falls back onto the desk as you hear a door shut. Then the credits roll by and afterward you see a still picture of your character saying "good job" with the announcer saying "Congratulations". That's it?! They could've at least had some in-game cinemas! Sheesh!
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