Super Smash Bros. (series)
|Super Smash Bros.|
Modified "merged" logo of the fourth Super Smash Bros. games.
|Genres||Fighting, action, platform|
Bandai Namco Games
|Platforms||Nintendo 64, iQue Player, Virtual Console, GameCube, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U|
|Platform of origin||Nintendo 64|
|Year of inception||1999|
|First release||Super Smash Bros.
January 21, 1999
|Latest release||Super Smash Bros. Brawl
January 31, 2008
Super Smash Bros., known in Japan as Dairantō Smash Brothers (Japanese: 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ Hepburn: Dairantō Sumasshu Burazāzu?, lit. "Great Melee Smash Brothers"), is a series of fighting games published by Nintendo, featuring characters from established video games. The gameplay differs from traditional fighters for focusing on knocking opponents out of the stage instead of depleting life bars. The original Super Smash Bros., released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64, had a small budget and was originally a Japan-only release, but its domestic success led to a worldwide release. The series achieved even greater success with the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee, released in 2001 for the Nintendo GameCube, becoming the best-selling game on that system. The third installment, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, was released in 2008 for the Wii. Although HAL Laboratory has been the developer of the first two titles, the third game was developed by a cooperation of a number of different developers. A fourth and fifth title are currently in development for both Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and are expected to be released in 2014. It will be the first series title on a handheld platform and features connectivity between the two versions.
The series features many characters from Nintendo's most popular franchises, like Mario, Fox, Link, Kirby, Samus Aran and Pikachu. The original Super Smash Bros. had 12 playable characters, and the roster count has risen to 26 characters in Melee and 39 in Brawl. Some characters are able to transform into different forms that have different styles of play and sets of moves. The games also feature non-playable Nintendo characters, like Ridley and Petey Piranha. In Brawl, two third-party characters were added, Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog. Two additional third-party characters, Mega Man and Pac-Man, will be appearing in the fourth and fifth game as well.
- 1 History
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Characters
- 4 Music
- 5 Development
- 6 Reception
- 7 References
- 8 External links
1999–2000: Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. was introduced in 1999 for the Nintendo 64. It was released worldwide after selling over a million copies in Japan. It featured eight characters from the start, with four unlockable characters, all of them created by Nintendo or one of its second-party developers.
Up to four people can play in multiplayer (Versus) mode, with the specific rules of each match being predetermined by the players. There are two match types that can be chosen: Time, where the person with the most KOs at the end of the set time wins; and stock, where each player has a set amount of lives and are eliminated from play when their lives are depleted.
This game's one-player mode included one adventure mode that always followed the same series of opponents although the player could change the difficulty. Other single player modes exist such as Training and several mini-games, including "Break the Targets" and "Board the Platforms". All of these were included in the sequel, with the exception of "Board the Platforms".
There are nine playable stages in Versus mode, eight based on each of the starting characters (such as Princess Peach's Castle for Mario, Zebes for Samus, and Sector Z for Fox) and the unlockable Mushroom Kingdom, based around motifs from the original Super Mario Bros., even containing original sprites and the original version of the Overworld theme from that game.
2001–2007: Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Melee was released November 21, 2001, in Japan; December 3, 2001, in North America; May 24, 2002, in Europe; and May 31, 2002, in Australia for the GameCube video game console. It had a larger budget and development team than Super Smash Bros. did and was released to much greater praise and acclaim among critics and consumers. Since its release, Super Smash Bros. Melee has sold more than 7 million copies and was the best-selling game on the GameCube. Super Smash Bros. Melee features 26 characters, of which 15 are available initially, more than doubling the number of characters in its predecessor. There are also 29 stages.
It introduced two new single-player modes alongside the Classic mode: Adventure mode and All-Star mode. Adventure mode has platforming segments similar to the original's "Race to the Finish" mini-game, and All-Star is a fight against every playable character in the game, allows the player only one life in which damage is accumulated over each battle and a limited number of heal items in between battles.
There are also significantly more multiplayer modes and a tournament mode allowing for 64 different competitors whom can all be controlled by a human player, although only up to four players can participate at the same time. Additionally, the game featured alternative battle modes, called "Special Melee," which allows players to make many different alterations to the battle, along with alternative ways to judge a victory, such as through collecting coins throughout the match.
In place of Super Smash Bros.' character profiles, Melee introduced trophies (called "figures" in the Japanese version). The 293 trophies include three different profiles for each playable character, one unlocked in each single-player mode. In addition, unlike its predecessor, Melee contains profiles for many Nintendo characters who are either non-playable or do not appear in the game, as well as Nintendo items, stages, enemies, and elements.
2008–2013: Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Although a third Super Smash Bros. game had been announced long before E3 2006, Nintendo unveiled its first information in the form of a trailer on May 10, 2006, and the game was named Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The trailer featured Solid Snake, of Konami's Metal Gear fame, marking the first time that a third-party character had been introduced as a playable character in a Super Smash Bros. title. A second third-party character, Sonic the Hedgehog, from Nintendo's former rival Sega was also confirmed as a playable character on October 10, 2007. Super Smash Bros. Brawl was released in Japan on January 31, 2008, in North America on March 9, 2008, in Australia on June 26, 2008, and Europe on June 27, 2008. Brawl is also the first game in the franchise to support online play, via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and offer the ability for players to construct their own original stages. The game features a total of 39 playable characters and 41 stages.
Brawl also features compatibility with four kinds of controllers (the Wii Remote on its side, the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combination, the Classic Controller, and the Nintendo GameCube controller), while its predecessors only used the one controller designed for that system. The player also has the ability to change the configuration of controls and the controller type.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl features a new Adventure Mode titled Super Smash Bros. Brawl: The Subspace Emissary. This mode features unique character storylines along with numerous side scrolling levels and multiple bosses to fight, as well as CG cut scenes explaining the storyline. The Subspace Emissary features a new group of antagonists called the Subspace Army, who are led by the Ancient Minister. Some of these enemy characters appeared in previous Nintendo video games, such as Petey Piranha from the Mario series and a squadron of R.O.B.s based on classic Nintendo hardware. The Subspace Emissary also boasts a number of original enemies, such as the Roader, a robotic unicycle; the Bytan, a one-eyed ball-like creature which can replicate itself if left alone; and the Primid, enemies that come in many variations. Though primarily a single-player mode, The Subspace Emissary allows for cooperative multiplayer. There are five difficulty levels for each stage, and there is a method of increasing characters' powers during the game. This is done by placing collected stickers onto the bottom of a character's trophy between stages to improve various aspects of a fighter.
2014–present: Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
At E3 2011, it was confirmed that Super Smash Bros. will be coming to the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U, with the two versions being cross-compatible with each other in some way. Sakurai stated that the announcement was made public in order to attract developers needed for the game, as development for the titles did not start until May 2012 due to production on Kid Icarus: Uprising. On June 21, 2012, Nintendo announced that the creation of the games would be a co-production between Sakurai's Sora Ltd. and Bandai Namco Games. The game was officially revealed at E3 2013, with new information being released via trailers, Nintendo Direct presentations, and developer posts on Miiverse. To date, 39 characters have been confirmed for the game with 11 brand new fighters revealed so far, including third-party characters Mega Man and Pac-Man. The game will be released for Nintendo 3DS in Japan on September 13, 2014 and North America on October 3, 2014 and the Wii U version in Q4 2014.
In April 2014, Bandai Namco Games posted a recruitment advertisement on a Japanese career job opportunity website. The recruitment page consisted of a listing for programmers for Super Smash Bros. 6, which is expected to be released in 2015 for both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. The page noteed that there were 120 game developers working on the project at the time, and that the Bandai Namco expected that number to increase to 200. However, shortly after its publication, the page was taken down.
Gameplay in the Super Smash Bros. series is a dramatic departure from many fighting games. Instead of winning by depleting an opponent's life bar, Smash Bros players seek to knock opponents off the stage. Characters have a damage total, represented by a percentage value, which rises as they take damage and can exceed 100%. As a character's percentage rises, the character can be knocked progressively farther by an opponent's attacks. To KO an opponent, the player must send that character flying off the edge of the stage, which is not an enclosed arena but rather an area with open boundaries, usually a set of suspended platforms. When a character is knocked off the stage, the character may use jumping moves to attempt to return; as some characters' jumps are longer-ranged, they may have an easier time "recovering" than others. Additionally, some characters are heavier than others, making it harder for an opponent to knock them off the edge but likewise harder to recover.
Smash Bros.' play controls are greatly simplified in comparison to other fighting games. While traditional fighting games such as Street Fighter or Tekken require the player to memorize button-input combinations (sometimes lengthy and complicated, and often specific to a character), Smash Bros uses the same one-attack-button, one-control-stick-direction combinations to access all moves for all characters. Characters are not limited to constantly facing their opponent, but may run around freely. Smash Bros. also implements blocking and dodging mechanics, which can be used both on the ground and in the air. Grabbing and throwing other characters are also possible, allowing for a large variety of ways to attack.
One additional major element in the Super Smash Bros. series is the inclusion of battle items, which players can control the frequency of appearance. There are conventional "battering items", with which a player may hit an opponent, such as a baseball bat or a sword; throwing items, including Bob-ombs and shells; and shooting items, either single shot guns or rapid fire blasters. Recovery items allow the user to reduce their damage percentage by varying amounts. From the Pokémon franchise come Poké Balls that release a random Pokémon onto the battlefield to assist the user; Brawl introduces a new "Assist Trophy" item which serves a similar purpose, albeit being capable of summoning a wider range of characters from a variety of franchises. Brawl also introduced a new item called a "Smash Ball", which allow fighters to perform character-specific supers known as "Final Smashes."
- In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, this Pokemon is listed with two others under the name "Pokémon Trainer" on the character select screen. The Pokémon Trainer appears in the background while the player takes direct control of Squirtle, Ivysaur, or Charizard, and can switch between them during the battle.
- The Mii Fighters come in three forms to be selected from: Mii Brawler, Mii Swordfighter, and Mii Gunner.
- In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Zelda can transform into Sheik using her down-B attack. This can also be done in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, though players are also able to select Sheik within Zelda's character icon on the character select screen. In 3DS/Wii U, they are both separate characters.
- In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Zero Suit Samus can either be selected before battle as an alternate form of Samus or by performing Samus' Final Smash. In 3DS/Wii U, they are both separate characters.
The following characters are non-playable characters, unless using a cheat cartridge, that appear only in the various Single Player modes throughout the series, controlled by the computer. Most of the non-playable characters were created for use in the Super Smash Bros. series although some of them, such as Goombas, come from other game franchises.
Throughout the Super Smash Bros. series, most single-player modes have included several non-playable boss characters. These bosses generally have a number of advantageous characteristics, such as extreme resistance to being knocked off the screen. Most of these bosses were created specifically for the Super Smash Bros. franchise, though some have made appearances in other games.
Master Hand (マスターハンド Masutā Hando?) is a glove-like being that appears in all three games to date, serving as the final boss of Classic Mode and, in Super Smash Bros. Melee, the 50th Event Match "Final Destination Match". In Melee, Master Hand is playable via a system glitch. Super Smash Bros. Melee introduced a left-hand counterpart to Master Hand named Crazy Hand (クレイジーハンド Kureijī Hando?), which appears alongside Master Hand in some scenarios. Master Hand makes several appearances in Kirby & the Amazing Mirror as a miniboss, and partnered with Crazy Hand as the bosses of Candy Constellation. Master Hand and Crazy Hand look identical aside from their laterality, but Crazy Hand's fingers act in a more impulsive and destructive way. While Master Hand is more relaxed and mature, Crazy Hand evokes the bizarre and his fingers move differently when he's preparing for an attack. His attacks are also wilder and faster than those of Master Hand. UGO.com listed Master Hand first on their list of "The 25 Awesomest Hidden Characters" citing the glitch which allows him to be playable.
Super Smash Bros. also features Metal Mario (originally from Super Mario 64) and Giant Donkey Kong, who are simply enhanced versions of their respective characters. Metal Mario is simply Mario with increased resistance to being knocked out of the stage as well as a faster falling speed and more attack power, while Giant Donkey Kong is simply a larger and more powerful version of Donkey Kong. Both characters reappear in Super Smash Bros. Melee's Adventure Mode along with Giant Kirby, Metal Luigi and two Tiny Donkey Kongs. However, due to items introduced in Melee (the Metal Box, Super Mushroom, and Poison Mushroom, specifically), all of these seemingly non-playable characters (including the enhanced characters that were unplayable bosses in the first game) are indeed playable for short amounts of time. Dark Link, a completely black form of Link, appears in Melee and Brawl as an opponent in an Event Match.
Giga Bowser is a gigantic, enhanced version of Bowser introduced in Melee. He is the secret final boss of Melee's Adventure mode, only appearing if certain conditions are met. Giga Bowser becomes playable for short periods of time in Super Smash Bros. Brawl when Bowser performs his "Final Smash" attack. Bowser transforms into Giga Bowser, and is near invincible until the effect of the Final Smash wears off.
Tabuu (タブー Tabū?) is the final boss of Super Smash Bros. Brawl's adventure mode, The Subspace Emissary. He is a human-shaped apparition composed of pure energy, with a single eye-shaped object located where a person's stomach would be. He is able to conjure several weapons for use in battle, including a rapier and large chakram. His other powers include the ability to change his size at will and teleportation. Towards the end of The Subspace Emissary, it is revealed that Tabuu is the entity that controlled Master Hand and the true antagonist behind the events of the story.
The Subspace Emissary also features other boss characters. Some of these characters, such as Petey Piranha, Ridley, Porky, and Rayquaza, are from other franchises. Three original bosses are also featured: the aforementioned Tabuu, Galleom (ガレオム Gareomu?) and Duon (デュオン Dyuon?). Galleom is a giant cyborg that is fought two times in The Subspace Emissary. It usually attacks with its fists and body, but can also shoot missiles and transform into a tank-like form. It also has a built in Subspace bomb that it uses to self-destruct in the story mode. Duon is a giant robot that has two upper bodies positioned on top of a wheel. Its pink side uses projectile attacks, while the blue side uses blades on its arms and head. It is created when multiple Mr. Game and Watches fuse together.
In each of the games, there is a group of characters that resemble the designs for the initial characters. In the Japanese versions of the games, these characters have always been called the "Mysterious Small Fry Enemy Corps" (謎のザコ敵軍団 Nazo no Zako Teki Gundan?). In the English regionalized versions of the games, they are given names that describe their physical form. These include the Fighting Polygon Team, the Fighting Wire Frames, and the Fighting Alloy Team. Along with Melee's Adventure Mode came the inclusion of minor, generic enemies, such as Goombas from the Super Mario series and Octoroks from the Legend of Zelda series. This trend continues into Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which also includes an assortment of original characters to serve as non-playable generic enemies led by the Subspace Army.
The Subspace Army (亜空軍 Akūgun?) are the antagonists of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, appearing in The Subspace Emissary and led by the Ancient Minister (エインシャント卿 Einshanto Kyō?). Their goal is to bring the entire world to Subspace piece by piece with devices called Subspace bombs (detonated with the aid of two R.O.B.s). The Sandbag (サンドバッグくん Sandobaggu-kun?) appears in the "Home-Run Contest" minigame in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The object is to strike it as far as possible with either a Home-Run Bat or a fighting move. Sandbag also appears randomly as an item that drops other items when hit in various other modes in Brawl.
Super Smash Bros. features music from some of Nintendo's popular gaming franchises. While many are newly arranged for the game, some pieces are taken directly from their sources. The music for the Nintendo 64 game was composed by Hirokazu Ando, who later returned as sound and music director in Melee. Melee also features tracks composed by Tadashi Ikegami, Shougo Sakai, and Takuto Kitsuta. Brawl features the collaboration of 38 composers, not including Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu, who composed the main theme.
Two soundtrack albums for the series have been released. An album with the original music for Super Smash Bros. was released in Japan by Teichiku Records in 2000. In 2003, Nintendo released Smashing...Live!, a live orchestrated performance of various pieces featured in Melee by the New Japan Philharmonic.
Super Smash Bros. was developed by HAL Laboratory, a Nintendo first-party developer, during 1998. It began life as a prototype created by Masahiro Sakurai and Satoru Iwata in their spare time titled "Dragon King: The Fighting Game", and originally featured no Nintendo characters. However, Sakurai hit on the idea of including fighters from different Nintendo franchises in order to provide "atmosphere" which he felt was necessary for a home console fighting game, and his idea was approved. The game had a small budget and little promotion, and was originally a Japan-only release, but its huge success saw the game released worldwide.
HAL Laboratory developed Super Smash Bros. Melee, with Masahiro Sakurai as the head of production. The game was one of the first games released on the Nintendo GameCube and highlighted the advancement in graphics from the Nintendo 64. The developers wanted to pay homage to the debut of the GameCube by making an opening full motion video sequence that would attract people's attention to the graphics. HAL worked with three separate graphic houses in Tokyo to make the opening sequence. On their official website, the developers posted screenshots and information highlighting and explaining the attention to physics and detail in the game, with references to changes from its predecessor.
At the pre-E3 2005 press conference, the president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, announced the next installment of Super Smash Bros. was not only already in development for their next gaming console, but hoped it would be a launch title with Wi–Fi compatibility for online play. The announcement was unexpected to the creator of the Super Smash Bros. series, Masahiro Sakurai. Back in 2003, he had left HAL Laboratory, the company that was in charge with the franchises' development and was never informed of this announcement despite the fact shortly after resigning from the company, Iwata said if a new game was to be made, he would be in charge. It was not until after the conference Sakurai was called to Satoru Iwata's room on the top floor of a Los Angeles hotel, where he was told by Iwata "We'd like you to be involved in the production of the new Smash Bros., if possible near the level of director". Although Iwata had said he was hoping for it to be a launch title, Sakurai stated "I decided to become director. And as of May, 2005, I was the only member of the new Smash Bros. development team". Development of the game never actually started until October 2005, when Nintendo opened a new office in Tokyo just for its production. Nintendo also enlisted outside help from various developer studios, mainly Game Arts. Sakurai also stated that these people had spent excessive amounts of time playing Super Smash Bros. Melee. This team was given access to all the original material and tools from the development of Melee, courtesy of HAL Laboratory. Also, several Smash Bros. staff members that reside around the area of the new office joined the project's development.
On the game's official Japanese website, the developers explain reasons for making particular characters playable and explain why some characters were not available as playable characters upon release. Initially, the development team wanted to replace Ness with Lucas, the main character of Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance, but they retained Ness in consideration of delays. The game's creators have included Lucas in the game's sequel, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Video game developer Hideo Kojima originally requested Solid Snake, the protagonist of the Metal Gear series, to be a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, but the game was too far in development for him to be included. As with Lucas, development time allowed for his inclusion in Brawl. Roy and Marth were initially intended to be playable exclusively in the Japanese version of Super Smash Bros. Melee. However, they received favorable attention during the game's North American localization, leading to the decision for the developers to include them in the Western version. Comparisons have been formed by the developers between characters which have very similar moves to each other on the website. Such characters have been referred to as "clones" in the media.
At the Nintendo Media Conference at E3 2007, it was announced by Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime that Super Smash Bros. Brawl would be released on December 3, 2007 in the Americas. However, just 2 months before its anticipated December release, the development team asked for more time to work on the game. During the Nintendo Conference on October 10, 2007, Nintendo of Japan president Iwata announced the delay.
On October 11, 2007, George Harrison of Nintendo of America announced that Super Smash Bros. Brawl would be released on February 10, 2008 in North America. On January 15, 2008, the game's release was pushed back one week in Japan to January 31 and nearly a month in the Americas to March 9. On April 24, 2008, it was confirmed by Nintendo of Europe that Brawl will be released in Europe on June 27.
|Super Smash Bros.||78.81%||79|
|Super Smash Bros. Melee||90.52%||92|
|Super Smash Bros. Brawl||92.84%||93|
|Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS||–||–|
|Super Smash Bros. for Wii U||–||–|
Reviews for the Super Smash Bros. series are usually positive. Many criticisms found in the original game and in Melee were addressed in Melee and Brawl, respectively.
Super Smash Bros. has received praise for its multiplayer mode. Nintendo Power listed the series as being one of the greatest multiplayer experiences in Nintendo history, describing it as infinitely replayable due to its special moves and close-quarters combat. There were criticisms, however, such as the game's scoring being difficult to follow. In addition, the single-player mode was criticized for its perceived difficulty and lack of features.
Super Smash Bros. Melee generally received a positive reception from reviewers, most of whom credited Melee's expansion of gameplay features from Super Smash Bros. Focusing on the additional features, GameSpy commented that "Melee really scores big in the 'we've added tons of great extra stuff' department." Reviewers compared the game favorably to Super Smash Bros.—IGN's Fran Mirabella III stated that it was "in an entirely different league than the N64 version"; GameSpot's Miguel Lopez praised the game for offering an advanced "classic-mode" compared to its predecessor, while detailing the Adventure Mode as "really a hit-or-miss experience." Despite a mixed response to the single-player modes, most reviewers expressed the game's multiplayer mode as a strong component of the game. In their review of the game, GameSpy stated that "you'll have a pretty hard time finding a more enjoyable multiplayer experience on any other console."
Brawl received a perfect score from the Japanese magazine Famitsu. The reviewers praised the variety and depth of the single-player content, the unpredictability of Final Smashes, and the dynamic fighting styles of the characters. Thunderbolt Games gave the game 10 out of 10, calling it "a vastly improved entry into the venerable series". Chris Slate of Nintendo Power also awarded Brawl a perfect score in its March 2008 issue, calling it "one of the very best games that Nintendo has ever produced". IGN critic Matt Casamassina, in his February 11 Wii-k in Review podcast, noted that although Brawl is a "solid fighter," it does have "some issues that need to be acknowledged," including "long loading times" and repetition in The Subspace Emissary.
Super Smash Bros sold 1.4 million copies in Japan, and 2.3 million in the U.S. Melee sold over 7 million units worldwide, becoming the best-selling GameCube title. Brawl has also sold 1.524 million units in Japan as of March 30, 2008. The game also sold 1.4 million units in its first week in the United States, becoming Nintendo of America's fastest selling title.
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