Super Smash Bros. Impressions from Smash-Fest at Best Buy

Butting heads with buttons.

As you might imagine, I made sure to attend the Super Smash Bros. Smash-Fest event at Best Buy first thing yesterday, and I came away a bit conflicted. I only got to play the games for a brief period, and I wasn’t sure whether or not I should give my impressions from the event.

Then it turned out that one of my favorite YouTube reviewers, “Some Call Me Johnny,” had already gone ahead and posted his thoughts on the event he attended. Upon watching it, it turns out his thoughts mirror mine almost exactly, so I figure I’ll let him do some of the talking for me here:

This should hopefully give you an idea of what to expect if you’re going in on Saturday. As for me, I can’t vouch for the same line experience, but as for playing the game? I ran into the very same issue of pressing the wrong buttons constantly– my mind is clearly programmed for playing Super Smash Bros. on a GameCube controller, and after worrying for the last year that I’d need to learn to make do with the GamePad or Pro Controller, Nintendo answered my prayers with the announcement of the GameCube controller adapter for the Wii U. It actually comes as a much greater relief after trying the demos.

To be perfectly fair, though, I think I could probably get used to the GamePad or Pro Controller if given more time– more so if given the option to reassign buttons. X and Y are jump, while B is Special Attack and A is regular attack, just like on the GameCube controller. Unlike the GameCube controller, however, the buttons are placed differently, which is where the confusion comes in. My ideal layout to mirror the layout of the GameCube controller is Y = Special Attack, B = Regular Attack, and X/A = Jump.

And remapping is going to be key, especially in the Nintendo 3DS version, which I was surprised to learn was also available to try there. That system has only one controller style, of course, which makes the ability to remap almost crucial for anyone whose muscle memory is like mine. That is, unless we’re able to “reprogram” ourselves to be used to the new layout. Though if I must be honest, I’m more interested in digging right in and kicking some tail, rather than basically learning how to walk again. I’ve had to learn to walk again once already, I don’t want to have to do so in my games as well, thanks.

Fortunately, if there is one thing that director Masahiro Sakurai excels at, it’s giving players options. Super Smash Bros. Brawl allowed for button mapping across its four different controller options, and one can hope that he won’t neglect to include them in both versions of the game here as well.

That aside, the game played like a dream, as near as I could tell. I chose Mega Man in both versions, and did lousy in both– coming in third on Wii U and tying for third in Smash Run on the Nintendo 3DS. It was hard to hear much of the sound in either case, but visually… it’s crazy. No video, no screenshot, nothing I’ve seen online does justice to how this game looks in person. The online stuff is almost like it fell on the floor and someone stepped on it by comparison, it’s that amazing to behold in person. If you’ve seen Mario Kart 8 in screens and videos online versus on a nice high definition television in person, then you probably know the kind of difference I mean.

Smash Run on the Nintendo 3DS was pretty cool, too, though I have to say again that I felt like I was playing handicapped. One neat surprise was encountering the Egg Robos from Sonic 3 & Knuckles as I explored the level, as well as panicking at the sight of a Metroid (why doesn’t Mega Man have any ice weapons here?!). It’s a mode I look forward to getting to spend more time with, to be sure.

So until the next time I get to play (a moment I eagerly anticipate) and hopefully spend more time with it, that’s all I really have to say about the game so far.

Hmm, I guess I still had more to say than I thought.

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David Oxford

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you're interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.