Smash Bros for 3DS, after years of development, is about to reach its launch date. After several years of anticipation, we can all grab the game and relive true smash glory. The best thing? With this version, you can enjoy all the intense action in the palm of your hand wherever you are.
However, ever since Sakurai began development of the latest Smash, there has been debate about whether the 3DS has held back Smash Brothers from unleashing its true potential. Being produced for two consoles, for starters, it’s easy to say that there might have been a lot more features if Sakurai limited development for one console. The 3DSs technical limitations have also caused Sakurai to remove transformations from the game, with characters that placed more pressure on the hardware being cut (sorry, Ice Climbers!)
Yet, while this has led to some limitations, it has also given way to some improvements too. Due to the separation of certain characters, Sakurai has been able to help refine their movesets. Sheik and Zelda, for example, now have an extra attack instead of a button that toggles between the two. Charizard die-hard fans will have the satisfaction of playing solely as the cherished gen one starter instead of having to juggle in between Ivysaur and Squirtle.
Despite this, there are still other issues which definitely reflect the 3DS’s limitations. The screens have been said to be too small, making attacks indistinguishable. There have also been reports that online play carries severe lag.
Sure, there are ways to mitigate the damage by these issues. You can use the 3DS XL for a larger screen, you could brawl on smaller stages to prevent characters blurring into pixellated obscurity. Or you could just play one-on-one matches.
These are potential solutions, but none of them entirely solve the problem. The small screen being an issue will most likely not carry onto the Wii U, but the prospect of online lag isn’t really a problem with the 3DS specifically, as it’s incredibly likely it will carry onto the Wii U, especially if you’re facing three friends from far overseas.
At its core, Smash Bros for 3DS is a game best experienced with others. The 3DSs portability heavily capitalizes on this. Traveling for hours with friends bored out of your mind? If you have a 3DS with Smash Bros, you’re sorted. No power in your house? Boom, smash time. Playing the Wii U version but don’t have enough controllers? Ooh, what’s that in your pocket? Of course there are limitations to the 3DS, but it could be a lot worse. Imagine having only half the playable characters in the game, or if the game barely reached 30fps.
Ultimately, despite a few setbacks the 3DS version hasn’t done much damage to the game’s quality. Sakurai has tried his best to give the portable game justice. Incorporating all 40+ playable characters, as well as a large mix of trophies, stages, items and high replayability into a handheld is pretty damn impressive. And if you’re excited for the Wii U version, despite the resources spent into the 3DS version, then the Smash team might have done it right.