This is the pinnacle of classic; a game based off of a unique gameplay concept that kicked off a series that wound up drawing the attention of gamers worldwide. Take characters from Nintendo and put them in 3D in an environment that allows 2D motion, and let them beat the crap out of eachother. That was the premise for Super Smash Brothers. And holy crap, it proved to be more than successful.
At first, you wouldn’t expect that this kind of game would be received well. You see Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus Aran, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox, Pikachu, and wonder just who the hell would try to cram all these famous characters into a single game and just make them hash it out? I’m sure a fair few were skeptic of how this would play out, but even they would inevitably fall for the seductive wiles of Smash Bros. Jigglypuff, Ness, Captain Falcon, and Luigi are waiting to be unlocked! How could you deny them?
I’m sure most of you already know how the Smash Brothers games work, but for those who are unfamiliar, here’s a quick refresher. Players are spawned on a 2D platforming stage with a 0% in their game emblem at the bottom of the screen. By using standard A attacks, character unique B attacks, and R throws, the goal of the game was generally to rack up your enemies’ damage percentages as high as you could. The higher it goes, the further they fly when you hit them. This could be done one of many ways: Limited number of lives, limited time, coin time challenge, 300% to 0% HP stamina matches, even super sudden death, in which you start out at 300% damage.
That encompasses multiplayer and CPU fights, but doesn’t conclude the description of this game’s contents. A single-player mode in which the player selects their character, the difficulty, and the number of lives allowed provides several stages of standard combat plus various challenges. These challenges range from platforming time attacks to target breaking time challenges to gigantic battles against millions of purple, crystalline polygon creatures. If you manage to survive until the very end, you’ll be granted the chance to face off against Master Hand, the final boss character who’s kinda actually a white glove that just smashes the crap out of you and shoots finger rockets.
I might as well hint you in the right direction since this game is much more fun when you have all the characters unlocked. Jigglypuff is the easiest, just beat story mode any way you want and she’ll challenge you. You need to beat her to unlock her, as is the case for the other three hidden characters. For Captain Falcon, beat single player mode in less than 20 minutes. For Ness, beat single player mode on normal with only 3 lives, and don’t use continues. For Luigi, beat all the target smash stages with the original eight characters. Once you’ve got all that done, you can unlock the Mushroom Kingdom stage by beating single player in any way with all eight original characters.
And that about covers it! It’s an experimental game even for its time, but as you can plainly see (Super Smash Brothers Melee/Brawl), it was a huge success. It created a legacy, I think, a legacy that reminds you not to forget that even the greatest games started off as a simplistic idea that just got tossed around with curiosity. That actually goes a bit further to speak for the gaming industries of today; if you don’t experiment with your games, you’ll never have anything new. You can’t make a new world-renowned character with sequel after sequel.
Anyway, Super Smash Bros is an excellent N64 game that can kill time or serve as an intensive stress reliever, considering you can beat the crap out of people with hammers, bats, turtle shells, fire flowers, and so forth. Don’t go for the emulators unless you have a proper N64 controller, because PC controls are rather difficult to manage. Do they even make USB N64 controllers…? I hope so.