apschwar's Super Smash Brothers (N64)
| [January 25, 2008 07:01:46 PM]
I was lucky enough to have a Super Smash Brothers group when I started learning to play. We were all about the same skill level and progressed at the same pace, so games were always interesting and fun. Having not played for a while and playing again now, the game can lose appeal when you’re so far behind your opponents. Games can go by without me even getting a kill, which can be extremely frustrating. After a while, too, the at first large-ish selection of playable characters and even the random appearance of pokemon in pokeballs can seem small and predictable. When I’m in the Super Smash mood, however, there still isn’t anything better.
The game is just plain fun. There isn’t much of a story (if any at all), and it’s not an extremely deep system of play, but in this simplicity SSB exceeds. You can pick it up for a quick 3 minute timed match, or play a huge 99 stock battle without having to sit through text to set up a story or a cut scene or anything like that. You just play. And it seems to me that getting to see your character dance in victory after a successful battle is reward enough. That and bragging rights.
Super Smash Brothers is innovative in almost every level of its design. The feature that stands out the most, and the one that is advertised on the game’s cover is the ability to “duke it out as your favorite Nintendo characters”. The game brings together characters from all different styles of game into one fighting platformer. The level design is also unique, consisting of different floating platforms, each with a unique flare and danger. One level, based off the Star Fox games, is a flying space cruiser. Set in a distant galaxy, Sector Z, the level contains smaller ships firing powerful laser at unsuspecting players. Having to watch out for these dangers adds an interesting twist to the level design. While most are fun, some of the level dangers can become annoying when they kill you multiple times.
The damage system is complex and innovative in SSB. It features a percentage system of damage, the higher the percent, the easier it is to be knocked off the board. Percentages do not stop at 100, nor does 100 percent mean death, which can cause some confusion for beginners to the game.
Items in SSB can be both fun and annoying. Timing the home-run bat to one-hit-kill your opponent is a nice challenge, but bringing your opponent to near-death and then them receiving a heart to replenish health is irritating, though can help even the playing field between two unequally matched opponents. The ability to use pokeballs in order to have pokemon help you in battle is a nice feature.
All in all, this game has very innovative and effective design elements that vault SSB into the category of “classic” games that will surely have an impact in the gaming world forever.
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| [January 25, 2008 05:41:13 PM]
It’s all your favorite Nintendo characters in one place. It’s settling the bet: who would win in a fight, Link or Mario? It’s you and your three best friends yelling at each other for hours. It’s kicks and throws. It’s who is Ness and what is Kirby? It’s fireballs and hammers. It’s Super Smash Brothers. The goal is to get your opponent off floating platforms inspired by different Nintendo worlds, and it never gets old.
Super Smash Brothers provides players with different types of game play, essentially single and multiplayer options. Having said that, I’ve never seen the single player game; it’s just a menu option before I click on multiplayer. See, I’ve never owned this game, so the burden of unlocking characters through single play never falls on me. For me, this is a social game.
I’m a huge fan of the Zelda series, and I’ve played through more than a few Mario games, so the thought of getting to play as Link, Mario, Bowser, or Luigi in a completely different style of game as I’m used to seeing the characters intrigued me. When I first started I loved seeing what special move each character was given for battle, and thinking about how best to utilize their strengths. Pikachu’s lightning and speed, Donkey Kong’s power. Even seeing what surprises each level brought was exciting. As my skill increased, different aspects of the game became fun. Learning the subtle skills needed to defeat greater foes, timing of shields, which attacks had priority over others, combo moves, etc. became important.
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