N64 Review: Super Smash Bros.
Review by: Hairball (hairball@sm128c.com)

Game Info

 System: N64
 ESRB: Everyone
 Genre: Fighting
 # of Players: 1-4
 Size: 128 Megabits
 Developer: HAL Laboratories
 Publisher: Nintendo

 Controller Pak: No
 Rumble Pak: Yes
 Transfer Pak: No

 Release Date:
 US: Apr 26, 1999
 EU: Nov 19, 1999
 JP: Jan 21, 1999





Final Score:

For some reason it's starting to get strange. Mario and Company have been really getting into many games this year, first has been Mario Party and now it's Super Smash Bros. This is the first time ever, thanks to HAL Laboratories we have the first fighting game between all the popular Nintendo characters. This game has loads of fun, but it tends to be too easy.

As you can see from the screenshots Super Smash Bros. has excellent graphics. There is no clipping and everything is 3D although you are actually fighting in a 2D world. Maybe besides Zelda 64 and Banjo-Kazooie this game probably has some of the best graphics on the Nintendo 64. The game also uses excellent zooming. When the two or more characters are farther apart the camera will start to zoom out so you can go anywhere on the level.

The sound effects and music are spectacular as well. The music is really cool because it's happy and it's kind of the theme for the specific area. For example in Peach's Castle they have Mario music, and in DK's level there's DK music, that kind of thing. The sound is interesting as well. But one minus is that the characters don't talk very much.

The play control is not really hard but nor very simple. When you first play the game you'll notice that you can actually do some moves by messing around. This is why it's simple. The play control is hard later on because you have to time perfectly when to use the moves and what combinations you want to use to attack. All the characters have special abilities so each character's move is different. The basic moves are kick (A), punch (B), shoot or throw. Most moves will work for every character but he/she might be weaker or stronger than the other characters using the specific move. But you can take your time by learning in the practice mode.

To add in to the fun there are items to help you in your battles. There are many items such as carriers (items you can carry and throw), throwing items, clobbering items, special items, and recovery items. These will often appear randomly during the course of the game. So when they appear quickly grab them by pressing B when you are there.

The characters in Super Smash Bros. are Mario, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Link, Fox, Samus Aran and Pikachu, and also there are 4 hidden characters that you will have to find out on your own. Each character comes in 4 different styles, the different styles can be a different colour, or something to distinguish the same characters.

There are also over 9 stages where you can compete. In each stage there are hazards. Some stages have a wide area some have a small area. If you fall of the stage you are given an automatic loss. In the Saffron City (from Pokemon) there are Pokemon coming to attack, or in the StarFox ship there's spacecraft shooting at you. So choose your stages wisely.

The really good thing about Super Smash Bros. is that you can have battles with your favourite characters. You can pit Mario and Yoshi one on one, DK against Pikachu, and any other combination possible.

There are basically 2 different modes in the game, they are one player, and multiplayer. In the one player mode you can have tournament where it is kind of like an adventure, Street Fighter style.

At the start of the tournament you choose one character to use. During the course of the tournament you will have to battle many teams and characters. In the tournament mode you can have a certain number of lives, and when your game is over you can continue but you will lose 50% of your points earned. For example there's one stage where you go against the Mario Bros. (Mario and Luigi), there's one where you're against 18 Yoshis (yikes), and another where you go against 30 polygon figures (OH MY GOD!). There are also many other levels too. The final boss pits you in with a giant moving hand that can slap you, crush you, smash you, punch you etc.

In the multiplayer mode there is a Battle Royal Mode, you can go against any of the characters you want to, and up to 4 players can play at the same time, if you don't have 4 players you can setup computer controlled players. In the multiplayer mode you can have the choice of stages to play in. Most of the stages are from the one-player game and to add in the fun there's an extra hidden stage.

To add in some fun Nintendo has included two Bonus Stages. The first bonus stage is REALLY, REALLY hard and takes tons of practice. In the 1st bonus stage you have to hit the targets using your character, you have to either kick it or use your character's specials moves to hit them. There is a different bonus stage for each character because they each have different strengths. The second bonus stage is easier than the 1st, you just have to step on all the platforms while trying not to fall, get attacked, or run out of time. Again it's different for each character.

Super Smash Bros. is a great game to own because it is a multiplayer game, and it has Mario and Company. Nintendo had tried to make a non-violent fighting game good and they have done so with this game. If you like Mario you should probably get this because it's fun.

-- Hairball (hairball@sm128c.com)

Bottom Line: This is no Killer Instinct or Street Fighter. If you like games with blood and violence this game is not for you. But if you like Mario games you'll certainly like this because it has all your favourite Nintendo characters, and a whole lot of fun!