I can still remember picking up a copy of the original version of Super Smash Bros. when it launched on the Nintendo 64 way back in 1999. I was in high school at the time and this was before I really followed gaming news or online reviews, so all I knew about the game was that it was an unconventional fighting game that took characters from a variety of Nintendo titles and tossed them into a four player arena. I didn't know who was in it, what it would play like, or whether I'd even like it, but it would end up being my most played game on the system. I was hooked on this series from year one.
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|The original, in all its boxy glory.|
|Two years later, Donkey Kong gets individual fingers.|
|The King makes his debut.|
|Bowser vs. Kirby in the new Kirby's Dreamland themed 3DS stage.|
|Pac-Man vs. Little Mac in his hoodie.|
|Roy vs. Duck Hunt. Bowser Jr.'s alternate costumes are all of the Koopa Kids.|
|American Pride Mario vs. a big, flat Pikachu.|
|Dedede getting his day ruined by Assist Trophy guest character Elec Man.|
|Peach and her Mii Fighter buddies: a Mameshiba, a Grimace, and a pig.|
|Smash Run is underwhelming, but it's still fun to see all these guys.|
|Dedede evades Master Core's wolf form.|
|Bowser and Earthbound's Jeff.|
|Broken character models: Funny. Broken online play: Dumb.|
With Pokemon X/Y, Nintendo established a great online system that let you challenge and trade with friends at any time with a few clicks. No external chat needed. With Mario Kart Wii through Mario Kart 8, Nintendo added brief, pre-written messages that at least allowed you to say basic stuff like "one more game" once you were in a lobby together. Smash 3DS features none of these things, and feels like a throwback to the worst parts of early online console play. It's absurdly bare bones and clunky, and spoils what's otherwise a very fine game.
|Luigi offers Charizard a smell.|
|We're both hungry for something bigger.|