Squidget's Super Smash Brothers (N64)
| [January 19, 2007 05:12:53 PM]
| Just for completeness sake, I decided to spend the second half of my logged time messing around in the Super Smash Brothers single player. In this version, the single player consists of a series of AI fights, culminating in a boss battle with the "Master Hand." After how much I've played this game I didn't expect to have fun slaughtering AI, but it turned out more interesting than I expected despite having gone through it so many times.|
One of the best features of single player in SSB is the award system. After each battle you are given a series of awards and titles that affect your point total - for example, if you completed the battle in under 30 seconds you receive a "Speedster" award and a bonus to your score. The sheer variety of these awards ensure that you will get at least a few every match, and they encourage the player to try some crazy things in order to see what new awards they can find. Winning a match using only a beam sword gets you an award. Finishing Giant Donkey Kong without any allies taking damage gets you a special award unique to that match. Even dying just before your enemy (within 5 seconds) gets you a special award for a suicidal kill. Since points in the game are meaningless you wouldn't expect so much out of the mechanic, but it really goes a long way towards making each game unique and interesting.
The AI is reasonably well-built, but like most video game AI, the best way to win against it is finding holes in the programming rather than just playing the game as you normally would. On some levels you can force kills just by jumping around, since the AI will eventually fall into a pit trying to chase you around the map. The AI ignores motion sensor bombs, so you can simply evade until you find one and then throw it in the bot's path for an easy kill. In short, there are a multitude of ways to win without fighting that greatly reduce the challenge of the single player. If you do choose to fight the AI head on it is actually a decent opponent, using it moves well and countering your play over time.
Overall, multiplayer is definitely the strong suit of SSB, but the single player is perfectly enjoyable in its own right. It serves as both a way to get used to the controls and, on the higher levels, a way to test your skill. Extemely well-designed overall.
This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 21st, 2007 at 22:23:07.
add a comment
| [January 18, 2007 07:07:29 PM]
| "Haha, owned!"|
"Dammit that move is cheap!"
"Play to win."
"You just say that because you're using Kirby!"
That conversation should be familiar to anyone who plays Super Smash Brothers with frequency. The ability to start arguments and shouting matches among good friends is the mark of a great competitive game, and Super Smash Brothers is no exception. With an easy learning curve, strong casual and competitive play, and an easy to learn system of moves and combos, SSB is one of the strongest competitive games to be released on any console system.
The structure of the game is such that any bad player can pick up a controller and probably do some damage. The movement is simple but fast-paced and rewards quick reflexes and agressiveness. At the same time, the control system seperates good players from bad ones, as bad players will stick almost entirely to their character's special moves (B-activated) without ever realizing how powerful the simple A-activated attacks really are. As a player learns the power of the A-attacks in combos with the special moves they improve and are able to compete against tougher opponents. At the same time, new players can beat on each other with the B attacks and have a great time doing it - they won't become frustrated or feel like they can't do anything, because the B attacks are relatively strong when used on their own.
The health system in SSB is a nice innovation that really makes the game. As a character takes hits their 'percentage' rises higher and higher (I'm not sure why percentage is used since it can easily go beyond 100), and the higher their percentage the easier they are to knock around. A life is lost when a character is knocked off the stage, which can usually only be done at a relatively high percentage due to the large number of movement and jumping options available. This creates a situation where some moves are good at building percentages and others are good at smashing people around. Players have to use a variety of moves to consistently get kills, rather than relying on a single attack as is the case in some 2D fighting games.
Unfortunately, this excellent framework is marred by weak balance. At the higher levels of the game there are only a few characters really worth running, and one in particular (Kirby) dominates mid-level play. On the plus side, all the characters are useful to new players and you can play your favorite character in casual games without feeling too handicapped by it.
This is a game I've had a fair amount of experience with, and playing today was no different. I went in with my usual Kirby and won every match against various opponents on the floor. Later I switched to Luigi (a weak character, but one I enjoy playing) and started losing pretty consistently. While I've dropped most other Nintendo 64 games by the wayside long ago, this is one that I can always come back to and enjoy - the sign of a true classic.
This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 21st, 2007 at 22:23:19.
read comments (2) -
add a comment