Super Smash Bros. Review – Definitive 50 N64 Game #6

The list so far: The Definitive 50 N64 Games

Super Smash Bros. It’s a series that has come to represent the very best in multiplayer gaming on Nintendo systems. Although the series is now better remembered for its appearance on GameCube, and is now inextricably linked to the GameCube’s controllers, the series got its start back on the N64.

Smash Bros. brings together Nintendo’s most iconic characters for one simple reason. To have crazy, all out, frantic brawls. It’s a fighting game like none other. It takes the strength of Nintendo’s all-star cast of heroes and combines it with the N64’s ground breaking built in 4-player support for one of the all time great party games.

Rather than rely on complicated button input, Smash offers simplified controls that are performed by combining different directions on the joystick with the A and B buttons. It’s a more intuitive system that still offers plenty of move diversity.

Instead of health bars, characters have percentages that build as they take damage. As a character’s damage builds, he or she is knocked further and further back. A character with a percentage in the hundreds is at serious risk of being knocked right off the stage and into oblivion.

The original Smash Bros. features just 8 default fighters and an additional 4 that can be unlocked. There’s Mario, Link, Samus, Kirby, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Fox and Yoshi., along with Luigi, Captain Falcon, Jigglypuff, and Ness.

It’s interesting to note that this was the only taste of either Samus or Ness that gamers got back on the N64, as both characters’ franchises ended up sitting out the generation.

Of course, Smash is really all about the VS Mode. The options here are a recipe for madness waiting to happen. On top of the 12 playable characters, there are also 9 stages, and options for in-game items and match style.

Stages include fan favourites and all out classics like Sector Z and Hyrule Castle. My favourite though, has always been Saffron City. Waiting to see which Pokemon would pop out the top of the Silph Co. building and introduce yet more chaos into a match is a thrill.

The items that appear throughout matches include all kinds of clever nods to Nintendo franchises. Offensive weapons include the Hammer, Fire Flower, and even Poke Ball. There are also healing items and the invincibility star.

Smash Bros.’ single player offering is called 1P Game, similar to the Classic Modes of later Smash titles.

1P Game has you play through a series of 11 matches and 3 bonus levels. The matches always occur in the same order, but they are pretty varied.

In a playthrough of Smash Bros., you’ll fight Fox, Pikachu, swarms of Yoshis and Kirbys, Metal Mario, Giant DK, the Mario Bros., and Master Hand – the giant gloved hand that is the game’s iconic final boss.

Scattered between these battles are three bonus levels: Break the Targets, Board the Platforms, and Race to the Finish. The Target and Platform mini-games are different for each character – and require smart use of each hero’s abilities. These two bonus levels are also offered separately for play from the game’s menu.

According to the standards set by future Smash Bros. titles, the first game may seem a little bare bones. But this game was the original. It perfectly laid down the basic gameplay and tone for a series that has since grown into one of Nintendo’s pre-eminent franchises.

Let me know what you think of Super Smash Bros. and the Definitive 50 in the comments section below. Don’t forget to like this video, share this video, and subscribe. Check back next week for entry #5 on the Definitive 50 N64 Games.