Review by Sour DieseL
"Eleven Years Later, Still a Fantastic Brawler."
It seemed like in 1999, you couldn't turn on the TV for the day without at least once, seeing people in Nintendo character costumes duking it out in a field to the Turtles song "So Happy Together". It was a promo for the start of perhaps the greatest fighting series of all time, Super Smash Bros. The game was an instant success and because of it, the franchise continues today, always growing and expanding it's character base. Eleven years later, the original Super Smash Bros. stands the test of time, still being a great multiplayer game on the Nintendo 64. The main focus is on the multiplayer mode because the game lacks any sort of definitive plot. In single-player, you just pick your character and fight against other Nintendo characters on the way to the end. The final boss is pretty left-field and seemingly pointless because once again, this game has literally no plot. No storyline whatsoever. What shines in this game is the great multiplayer mode and easy to pick up controls.
Gameplay: 10/10: The only reason for playing the single player mode is to unlock a couple of characters. Other than that, you'll want to play the multiplayer mode. It supports up to four players which makes for a great time if you've got 3 others to play with. It's quite chaotic and fun. As you duel, various items will spawn on screen. These items include but are not limited to; Ness' Home Run Bat, Poke-balls, laser guns, bumpers, proximity mines from Goldeneye, and several others. Picking up some of these items can greatly enhance your chances of winning a battle. To achieve victory, you have to knock your opponent out of the arena. Every character can double jump and almost every character has some extra form of air recovery to get them back into the arena before they're completely knocked out of it. Instead of having a life bar, there will be a percentage under your player icon at the bottom. It starts off at 0%, and as you take damage, it will increase with each hit. It maxes out at 300%, and at that point, almost anything is guaranteed to send you flying to your doom. You can also get more points for finishing a battle in a special way, such as charging up Ness' Home Run Bat and knocking your opponent into next week, or a Pokemon finish. Healing items will also drop, such as a Maximum tomato. Each character has their own style of play and overall it's surprisingly balanced. The arenas you get to choose are from a variety of Nintendo franchises, such as the Mushroom Kingdom, Brinstar, Whispering Woods, Hyrule, etc. In multiplayer mode, you can set various rules such as no items, set a life limit, or a time limit.
The single player mode is awfully lacking but it does have it's moments. Certain matches will be endurance or "boss" matches. Endurance matches pit you up against several of one character at a time, such as the fight with seven Yoshi's. Only three will be on the screen at any given time however. You might as well just say it's the same enemy with extra lives. Also, along the way, you'll have bonus rounds that will require you to break all of the bulls-eye targets or run to the end of a maze (simplistic as it is) in a certain amount of time. Each character has their own variation of the bulls-eye target breaking mini game though and it can be quite difficult to pull off with some characters. However, you'll have to do so to unlock one of the game's characters. The final boss is actually kind of creative and cool, weird as he is. But I won't spoil that for you, you'll have to play and find out yourself! Also, the credits are interactive and can help you round up more points for your final score. As simplistic as the single-player mode is, you'll wanna go through it a few times because it is fun, it just feels like they could have added more.
Graphics: 10/10: The graphics are about standard fare for Nintendo 64 games at the time, which is pretty darn good. The game can be lagged but it's not easy to make it do so. To make it lag you have to go into the training area and spam poke-balls like mad. That being said, just normally playing the game, you won't get any lag at all. The only way of lagging is by force and can only be done in the training mode of the game. There's never any lock-ups or freezes either. The programmers did an excellent job with the graphics and frame rate. I also like how all of the items poof in or out when they appear and disappear. It really makes the items pop so you know to run to it to get it first. It easily catches the eye but not painfully so. The environments are also interactive, such as the Saffron City area form Pokemon, where you fight on the rooftop of Sylph Co. Random Pokemon will pop out of the door and attack whatever is in it's way, so be careful!
Audio: 10/10: If you've played every franchise included in this game, you'll recognize the entire soundtrack. And it's all orchestrated wonderfully. You'll hear such classics as the original Mario theme, Hyrule overworld theme from The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, and plenty more. Each character also has their own vocals. Even the Pokemon will say their name when they're called out of a Poke-ball. The sound effects are great too. Overall it's pretty crisp and fresh sounding.
Overall: 10/10: This game is a must-own for any Nintendo 64 owner. These days you can also purchase it in the Wii Shop channel. So if you have a Wii, there's no excuse for you not to own this game! Go ahead and pick yourself up a copy today and get ready to go head-to-head against your friends!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 05/24/10
Game Release: Super Smash Bros. (US, 04/26/99)
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