Super Smash Bros.
Nintendo - 1997
Machine: Nintendo 64
Originally, Smash Bros. was not going to be released in Europe. A hit in Japan, it was deemed to be too wacky for European minds. There are a whole load of Japanese games that do not see the light of day over here for the same reason: Concepts like big-head Baseball are totally incomprehensible to many Western gamers and there doesn't seem to be much point in undergoing the expensive conversion ('localisation') process. However, various Western magazines lobbied Nintendo to stage a European release of Super Smash Bros. "We do understand the idea! We do!" they cried. Basically the idea is to take lots of famous Nintendo characters (Mario, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Link etc) and make them fight each other in various arenas drawn from the Nintendo back catalogue... Brilliantly simple, with the added bonus of... four player action! Yes, at last, a decent fighting game for four players on one screen! The arenas in which you fight are made up of small platforms and ledges, rather like an old school platform game. As if this isn't enough, Smash Bros. has added a subtle twist: rather than the usual damage scale seen in Tekken or Streetfighter, the idea is to punch, throw or kick your opponent off the platform. It is possible to jump back on, but the more damage that you take, the further away from the platform your character will fly when it's been hit. It sort of sounds complicated, but it becomes totally intuitive. Along with the various abilities of each character, there are objects that you can use to further hurt your opponents: bob-ombs, green shells, red shells, poke-balls and the classic leveller, the proximity mine.
Once the basic gist of the game is mastered, it really is the most fun in the world... it's difficult, lightning fast and it has to be one of the most fun ways of spending an evening with your friends... just looking at your mate's character die in a totally improbable and sudden fashion is almost hernia-inducing in it's hilarity. The endless combinations of actually playing the game is staggering: over a two year period, my friends and I have played the game literally thousands of times and it is still as fresh as the first day I played it. Splash out on a cheap N64 and find this cartridge... you won't regret it. Don't forget to buy three extra controllers as well. Multiplayer is king!
Bubbaray 01 Mar '03
Super Smash Bros. - The official Nintendo Super Smash Bros. site.
Super Smash Bros. Arena - An in depth fansite.