It was announced during Nintendo’s Direct Press conference during E3 2014 that a demo of the upcoming game Super Smash Brothers would be available in select Best Buy stores around America. On both June 11 and June 14, hundreds of people lined up for just a mere four minutes of gameplay. Luckily for us, we were able to attend. After a four painful hours, we got just a small taste of what the game is going to offer come this winter.
This event was similar to the event held for previous title Super Smash Brothers Brawl, offering a short demo of the game’s fighting focus. Demos appeared for both the 3DS and Wi iU versions, sporting quite the hefty line for both. But among the lines were insane enthusiasts of all sorts; cosplayers, musicians, and more. The idea was not only to give people a first look, but to build a sense of community, of which it nailed almost perfectly.
“I felt it was quite smooth, compared to the older game…it was faster. I felt like, although it’s still really early, it was very polished…The whole experience right here was very organized. The Nintendo director did a really great job organizing everything; having the two employees carrying the 3DS, letting people view the game for itself and experience it.”
– Armand, an event participant
What we learned from our very brief taste of the game is that it does play very similarly to its predecessors. The concept is essentially inspired by the game’s beginning and remains basically the same. Figures come to life and battle, all on their own. But there are some new features, which unfortunately couldn’t be elaborated upon.
But there are some that we do have confirmed: the game currently supports a four-player local session with roughly 20 faces we all know and love. The cast currently includes classic characters such as Mario, Kirby, and Star Fox; newer faces include Animal Crossing‘s Villager, Rosalina and Luma from Super Mario Galaxy, and Megaman. What the official game will finally contain has not yet been announced.
The game also seems much more balanced in terms of character advantages; all characters seem to now have a much more even playing field. This means that heavy characters can now battle against faster characters without having the lowest odds. It’s a welcome change in many player’s eyes.
However, my biggest complaint is that there are not any truly noticeable changes other than the new characters and improved graphics. Many of the menus are almost exactly like Brawl‘s, and though those were done very well for that game, I feel like this could have been changed. We’ve seen that before. Wow us with something new. The gameplay is almost exactly identical, and it takes a decent eye to notice the subtle differences in mechanics. Of course, the mentality was probably “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but that doesn’t mean that more changes aren’t welcome to the series.
For a first impression, it left a decent one. The graphics are beautiful, it’s amazingly smooth and displays all the action going on without any sort of drop in framerate, and it’s nostalgic. What more could we ask for? Though it feels almost exactly the same as Brawl, it does have some slight tweaks to it that make it stand out and worth taking a look at.
As far as release dates go, the 3DS version will be released on October 3, 2014. No official release date for the Wii U version has been announced yet, other than it is expected later this winter. Both games are expected to have in-store demos a week before each launch.
Look below to see all of the photos from the event; thank you all for your support!