Super Smash Bros.
|Super Smash Bros.|
North American box art
|Series||Super Smash Bros.|
|Release date(s)||Nintendo 64
Super Smash Bros., known in Japan as Nintendo All Star! Dairantō Smash Brothers (ニンテンドウオールスター！大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ Nintendō Ōru Sutā! Dairantō Sumasshu Burazāzu , lit. "Nintendo All-Star! Great Melee Smash Brothers"), is a fighting game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It was released in Japan on January 21, 1999, in North America on April 26, 1999, and in Europe on November 19, 1999. Super Smash Bros. is the first game in the Super Smash Bros. series, and was followed by Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube in 2001 and Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii in 2008. Super Smash Bros. was released for the Wii's Virtual Console in Japan on January 20, 2009, in Europe on June 12, 2009, and in North America on December 21, 2009.
The game is essentially a crossover between several different Nintendo franchises, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda and Kirby. Super Smash Bros. received mostly positive reviews from the media. It was commercially successful, selling over 4.9 million copies, with 2.93 million copies sold in the United States, and 1.97 million copies sold in Japan.
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 opposing characters off the stage. In Super Smash Bros., characters have a damage total, represented by a percentage value, which rises as they take damage and can exceed 100%, but can only reach 999% of a maximum damage a character can take. 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 in an 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.
Each character possesses distinctive moves (such as Mario's fireball) as well as various weapons and power-ups which can be used in each stage. These items appear randomly in the form of beam swords, baseball bats, fans, turtle shells, and hammers, among others.
Super Smash Bros.'s 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. The game focuses much more on aerial and platforming skills than other fighting games, with larger stages as well, most of which are not just a flat platform. Each stage offers different game play and strategic motives than the others, making the arena a much more significant factor in the fight than other games. Smash Bros. also implements blocking and dodging mechanics. Grabbing and throwing other characters are also possible, allowing for a large variety of ways to attack.
During battles, items related to Nintendo games or merchandise fall onto the game field. These items have purposes ranging from inflicting damage on the opponent to restoring health to the player. Additionally, most stages have a theme relating to a Nintendo franchise or a specific Nintendo game and are interactive to the player. Although the stages are rendered in three dimensions, players can only move on a two-dimensional plane. Not all stages are available immediately; one stage must be "unlocked" by achieving eight particular requirements.
Although the player can choose from a combination of five difficulty levels and five numbers of lives, the game's single-player mode always follows the same series of opponents. This game mode is called Classic Mode in sequels. The player will choose one unlocked character, and battle against a series of characters in a specific order, attempting to defeat them with only a limited number of lives in a limited amount of time per challenger. If the player loses all of their lives or runs out of time, they have the option to continue at the cost of a considerable sum of their overall points.
The "Break the Targets" minigame as well as the "Board the Platforms" minigame are two of the remaining single-player games. The objective of the minigames is to break each target or board each platform, respectively. The goal must be achieved without falling off each character-specific stage. The last one is the "Training Mode" section, where the player can choose any of the available characters and to choose the opponent, as well as any stage. When started, a menu can be brought up to gain almost any control, such as slowed game speed, spawning any item, and telling the opponent what to do.
Up to four people can play in multiplayer mode, which has specific rules predetermined by the players. Stock and timed matches are two of the multiplayer modes of play. This gives each player a certain amount of lives or a selected time limit, before beginning the match. Free for all or team battles are also of choice during matches using stock or time. A winner is declared once time runs out, or if all players except one or a team has lost all of their lives. A multiplayer game may also end in a tie if two or more players have the same score when time expires, which causes the round to end in sudden death.
The artwork presented on the game's box art and instruction manual is done in the style of a comic book, and the characters were portrayed as dolls that come to life to fight. This presentational style has since been omitted in the sequels, opting instead for a more serious art style–such as using in-game models for the characters in place of hand-drawn art–and replacing the dolls with figurines, or "trophies" as the game refers to them.
The game includes twelve characters in total as playable characters. Every character featured in the game derives from a popular Nintendo franchise. All characters have a symbol that appears behind their damage meter during a fight; this symbol represents what series they belong to, such as a Triforce symbol behind Link's damage meter and a Poké Ball emblem behind Pikachu's. Furthermore, each character has recognizable moves from their original series, such as Samus's firearms from the Metroid series and Link's arsenal of weapons. Eight characters are playable from the beginning of the game: Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox, and Pikachu. Four more characters can then be unlocked by completing different aspects of the game: Luigi, Captain Falcon, Ness and Jigglypuff.
The following characters are non-playable characters that appear only in the various Single Player modes throughout the series, controlled by the computer. The first non-playable character in the Classic Mode is the Dark Blue and Pink Yoshis which share the same attacks as the original playable Yoshi. Giant Donkey Kong, who is simply a larger and more powerful version of Donkey Kong. The Fighting Polygon Team only appears in the two stages Race to the Finish and Fighting Polygon Team vs. battle. They were modeled on the playable characters in the game but they did not have special moves. Metal Mario (originally from Super Mario 64), a metallic copy of Mario, has high resistance to being knocked off the stage as well as a faster falling speed and higher attack power. The last non-playable character is Master Hand (マスターハンド), serving as the final boss of Classic Mode.
Super Smash Bros. was developed by HAL Laboratory, a Nintendo second-party developer, during 1998. Masahiro Sakurai was interested in making a fighting game for four players. As he did not have any ideas, his first designs were of simple base characters. He made a presentation to Satoru Iwata who helped him continue, as Sakurai had the knowledge that many fighting games did not sell well, he had to think of a way to make it original. His first idea was to include famous Nintendo characters and put them in a fight. Knowing he would not get permission, Sakurai made a prototype of the game without the permission of developers and did not inform them until he was sure the game was well balanced. For the prototype he used Mario, Donkey Kong, Samus and Fox. The idea was later approved.
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 Super Smash Bros. was composed by Hirokazu Ando, who later returned as sound and music director in Super Smash Bros. Melee. A complete soundtrack for the in-game's music was released in Japan through Teichiku Records in 2000.
The game had a small budget and little promotion, and was intended to be a Japan-only release, but its huge success saw the game released worldwide. According to Destructoid, the gameplay of Super Smash Bros. was inspired by The Outfoxies, a 1994 arcade game by Namco. Super Smash Bros. was commercially successful, and quickly became a Player's Choice title. In Japan, 1.97 million copies were sold, and 2.93 million have been sold in the United States as of 2008.
Critical reception 
|Metacritic||79 of 100|
|Famitsu||31 of 40|
|GameSpot||7.5 of 10|
|IGN||8.5 of 10|
|Nintendo Power||7.7 of 10|
Super Smash Bros. received mostly positive reviews, with criticism mostly directed towards the game's single-player mode. GameSpot's former editorial director, Jeff Gerstmann, noted the single-player game "won't exactly last a long time". Instead, he praised the multi-player portion of the game, saying that it is "extremely simple to learn". He also praised the game's music, calling it "amazing". IGN's Peer Schneider agreed, calling the multiplayer mode "the game's main selling point", while GameCritics.com's Dale Weir described Super Smash Bros. as "the most original fighting game on the market and possibly the best multiplayer game on any system" . Brad Penniment of Allgame said the game was designed for multiplayer battles, praising the simplicity of the controls and the fun element of the game. 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. Schneider called Super Smash Bros. "an excellent choice for gamers looking for a worthy multiplayer smash 'em-up". Another IGN editor Matt Casamassina called it an incredibly addictive multiplayer game, but criticized the single-player mode for not offering much of a challenge. It was given an Editors' Choice award from IGN. UGO listed Super Smash Bros. on their list of the "Top 50 Games That Belong On the 3DS", stating "Super Smash Brothers is a perfect opportunity for Nintendo to try a 3D Wi-Fi 4-player fighting game".
Super Smash Bros. is the first installment of the Super Smash Bros. series. Its sequel, Super Smash Bros. Melee was released two years later. Nintendo presented the game at the E3 event of 2001 as a playable demonstration. The next major exposition of the game came in August 2001 at Spaceworld, when Nintendo displayed a playable demo that updated from the previous demo displayed at E3. Nintendo offered a playable tournament of the games for fans in which a GameCube and Super Smash Bros. Melee were prizes for the winner. At the pre-E3 conference of 2005, Nintendo announced Melee's sequel, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Nintendo's president, Satoru Iwata requested Masahiro Sakurai to be the director of the game after the conference. The game retains some of the gameplay features of its predecessors while having major gameplay additions, such as a more substantial single-player mode and online play via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Unlike Melee, the game has four methods of control, including the use of the Wii Remote, Nunchuk, GameCube controller, and the Classic Controller. Like Melee, the game makes references to games and franchises, including those that debuted after the release of Melee; for example, Link's design is taken from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and a Nintendogs puppy is present as an Assist Trophy (a new item that summons computer characters from different games to briefly participate in the fight). Select stages from Melee are included in the sequel. Nintendo has also announced at their E3 2011 conference that they will be releasing a new Super Smash Bros. game on both the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS, making it the first cross-platform and portable release in the series. Cross-compatibility between the Wii U and 3DS versions was also confirmed, but not explained how. Development has begun. Sakurai stated that the announcement was made public in order to attract developers needed for the game.
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