News Article

Feature: The Benefits of a Portable Super Smash Bros.

Posted by Martin Watts

Why being able to take the fight with you is a good thing

This year sees a number of landmark moments for the Super Smash Bros. series: it’s now 15 years old, two games are being released within mere months of each other and one of them will feature glorious high-definition graphics. However, even more significant than all of these notable achievements is that Super Smash Bros. is, at long last, coming to a handheld system.

It’s no wonder that it has taken so long for the series to finally make the jump to the portable scene; a fast-paced fighting game focused around four-person multiplayer would have been hard to pull off well on many of Nintendo's older handhelds. Nevertheless, the company now has a system with the appropriate tech inside it to deliver the sort of experience Super Smash Bros. fans have come to expect from the series.

With just over a month to go until its commercial release in North America and Europe, we thought we’d take the opportunity to highlight the benefits that come with a portable version of Super Smash Bros.

Practice on the Go

Call us easily pleased, but we consider the prospect of finally being able to play a Super Smash Bros. game while out and about to be an exciting one. While the series has always been — and very likely always will be — renowned for delivering bundles of multiplayer fun with up to three human opponents, it’s not something that many people can organise and enjoy on a daily basis.

Of course, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS features various single-player modes, as well as the option to add CPU-controlled opponents to your multiplayer battles. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to make the most of those times during the day such as a commute to work on the train or a lunch break to slip in some extra practice so that you’re always prepared for your next encounter with friends and family.

Classic Mode, which is similar in structure to the single-player modes found in most fighting games, makes a welcome return in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. This comes with various difficulty settings and multiple routes to progress down, the latter of which should certainly help to keep things interesting. If you’re usually the first to be ejected from the stage in a multiplayer match, then the Multi-Man Smash mode will serve as the ultimate tool with which to test your endurance and master key defensive skills such as rolling and spot-dodging.

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At some point next year, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS owners will be able to make use of Nintendo’s upcoming amiibo figures, which provide near field communication functionality — they also look pretty fantastic too! Players will be able to use a figure to train up a unique version of the character it represents, as well as customise its moveset. The figures have multiple uses, but when you’re out of the house, they’re arguably going to be most useful for training yourself, as they aren’t limited to the nine-level difficulty cap that standard CPU opponents are. Moreover, you can battle alongside them against other opponents, meaning it’s possible to practice team battles with a more competent ally than the standard CPU can offer.

Portable Music Player

Although it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever find yourself wanting to take a break from the action, there will nevertheless be times when you need some downtime from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS’s main modes; what better way to relax than to chill out to some tunes from the games?

Thankfully, Mr Sakurai and his team of 40 composers have stuffed the game full of nostalgic Nintendo tunes to serenade you into a calm state of bliss, or failing that, get the blood pumping again for more battle.

The music player has the added benefit of being usable while your 3DS is in sleep mode, with the system’s shoulder buttons acting as previous and next buttons for selecting tracks. The game features a wealth of new remixes and music from previous Super Smash Bros. titles, and with so many franchises involved there’s bound to be something for everyone.


As per the majority of first-party Nintendo 3DS titles, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS will also take advantage of the system’s StreetPass feature. Exactly how the game will use it has yet to be confirmed, but a sneak peek at the Japanese packaging for the game suggests some sort of battle mode. We imagine this may involve players customising a fighter and duelling it against a stranger's character.

Of course, it’s possible that StreetPass will provide other fun crossover features, such as sharing records for the Home-Run Contest, Multi-Man Smash and Target Blast modes. Whatever the final product delivers, it at the very least offers something that previous Super Smash Bros. titles have not been able to.

A Smash Hit at StreetPass Community Events

There are numerous StreetPass communities across the world, and they continue to grow in size by the day. Many people are already enjoying the likes of Mario Kart 7, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and Animal Crossing: New Leaf through such events, so it’d only make sense for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS to make an appearance too.

Of course, it’s not impossible for someone to simply bring a Wii U along to a StreetPass event once Super Smash Bros. for Wii U arrives, but needless to say it’s horribly impractical when you factor in all the cables and controllers you require. Furthermore, some StreetPass events can be restricted quite considerably by their venues; not everywhere has a TV or projector on-hand — especially not free of charge. The great thing about a StreetPass event is that everyone brings their own systems along, and can very easily play using their own preferred control setup and model of 3DS.

Not only that, but it presents you with the opportunity to play against people who you might otherwise not have had the chance to meet. Finding someone of a similar skill level isn't always possible within your current group of friends and family, and it’s also a good way to learn the game better by seeing how other people play it. The Super Smash Bros. series may revolve around combat, but it’s likely going to help strike up a lot of new friendships (and rivalries) come 3rd October.

Online Multiplayer Through Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Hotspot Service

In case you weren't aware, Nintendo has set up thousands of Nintendo 3DS-compatible hotspots across North America and Europe which provide free services such SpotPass, StreetPass Relay and access to the Nintendo Zone application. Moreover, it’s even possible to play 3DS games online at some locations. Connection to the service is automatic (meaning you don’t have to faff around in the system’s settings), and you’re likely to find most of these hotspots at places where you can comfortably sit down, such as coffee shops and eateries. To search for a hotspot in your area, simply visit the official Nintendo website for your respective country or region.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS can benefit tremendously from this; like its Wii U counterpart, it too features an online multiplayer mode in which you can do battle against friends or random opponents. It may not be something that’s necessarily worth making a special trip for by itself, but if you happen to frequently visit a hotspot for lunch or coffee then it’s at the very least an added bonus. After all, CPU opponents can only offer so much of a challenge after a while, and randomly stumbling across other ready and willing Super Smash Bros. players in public by chance is rather unlikely. Even if you don’t feel like playing, you can at least watch the game’s Spectator Mode and gamble some coins on a match while tucking into a bit of lunch or having a nice cuppa.

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Super Smash Bros. for 3DS will launch on 3rd October in both North America and Europe. It will feature the same character roster and gameplay as the upcoming Wii U version, but also has different modes and stages, as well as StreetPass functionality. Keep your eyes peeled for more related content on Nintendo Life in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, let us know whether you're excited about the portable entry, whether you plan to enjoy it on the road and any other thoughts ahead of release.

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User Comments (81)



Pokefanmum82 said:

I have this preordered. I don't know if I will be using the online multiplayer so much as I'm not really into that as much as everyone else. I'm more of a play with family and solo kind of person. But I am excited for the other features.



Grumblevolcano said:

Smash always felt like the only remaining Nintendo multiplayer experience that had not reached handheld systems, now that title goes to Splatoon!



Phantom_R said:

Soon nothing will be able to stop me from playing Smash Bros anywhere I want! ... I'm just bummed out that the New 3DS will have such better controls, and unless I buy a third 3DS, other people will have an edge over me.

But hopefully the 3DS's d-pad will still be good for smash shortcuts! The up shortcut is the most important one and it shouldn't be too hard to reach.



E_Blackadder said:

I haven't played a Smash game since the cube but I have to say the Nintendo hype machine is wearing me down. I should just give Nintendo direct access to my bank account.



AyeHaley said:

I've wanted both from the start, exactly due to the reasons mentioned in this article. Its Smash...IN YOUR POCKET.



Findonovan95 said:

Look forward to getting both. One for wii u while I'm in univeristy so I can set up some tournaments with my friends and one for everywhere else. Lol

So hyped!



Jazzer94 said:

Rolling and spot dodging take like 5 minutes to learn.
But yeah I'm just excited to play Smash especially a version that I can flip out anytime. I'm more excited for the Wii U version though as I'll be taking my Wii U with me to Uni just to play it.



PigmaskColonel said:

Oh, Nintendo Life, you're just reminding me over and over again how much I want this game to come.




Wonky_Kong said:

@PigmaskColonel I feel your pain, still a lot better than with brawl though, a 5 year wait xD.

I honestly just want this to tide me over until ssb4 on WiiU, although i will use it when i'm travelling and the music player seems good. But when i'm home, there's no reason to play this over the WiiU version IMO.



SethNintendo said:

Benefits? I can see one main one... Japan. 3DS sales will be on fire this holiday season with this game and the New 3DS coming out there.



SavoirFaire said:

@E_Blackadder Tell me about it! The hype machine has turned the 3DS version into a game I was ignoring into a likely day 1 buy. My plan is to secretly get good at Smash 4 on my lunch breaks at work so when the Wii U version comes out, I can shameless dominate people and act like it is just natural talent!



Grumblevolcano said:

@allav866 You have a point about 3D World and Nintendo Land, Smash 3DS looks like basically Brawl + Kirby Air Ride so that's not particularly console exclusive anymore.

@Captain-Falcon I feel like an idiot, that's the only way I've used Smash attacks with the previous games (never realized about the c-stick's use)



Weedy said:

I was looking forward to this game 100% but that anticipation fell when the New 3DS was anounced and I learned that on the other side of the word people would be enjoying the game with a Nintendo Nipple and a better CPU for wifi matches! Ignorance about this would have been bliss.



bouncer0304 said:

Hoping this'll be easier than brawl. I could not get those controls to save my life. Could be because there's so much to remember! Ah well, this looks like it'll be easier- who knows i could even be quite decent at it



XFsWorld said:

Would have been even sweeter if I could download it on my iPhone and play it online on the go.

Lol jk. Gameplay would be horrible. But yeah I'll get it on both 3DS and WiiU.



NintyMan said:

I'm looking forward to both, but the first release of course has taken the spotlight right now. I think a portable Smash Bros. has potential for all the reasons listed here. Some people struggled (and probably still do) comprehending how the series can work on a smaller format, but that's because Smash Bros. had always been on a TV screen and so this is something different and new that people are just going to have to learn to adjust to. I think a lot of people will be surprised.



rjejr said:

Biggest benefit for Nitnedo - prints $ I don't know how much time Japan 3DS owners will have to play this after Yokai Watch 2 but I can imagine this game selling very well in Japan. Probably better than anything else actually given all the install bases of all the other systems. And then once the NFC adaptor comes out, adn the 3DS w/ built in NFC, they get all the amiibo sales as well.

And even if this game isn't great, I just imagine people will buy it b/c it's the first Smash on a handheld ,which kind of makes it a must buy.

As for the article - my kid goes to about 3 Smash tournaments a year (just local HS stuff, not actual tournament tournaments), but there is a LOT of stting around watching other people play before, during and after actually competing. I'ld say he's there 3 hours and plays about 15 minutes. So this is going to get a LOT of usage there. I can't imagine anybody who goes to those tournaments NOT having this.

So there's that.



rjejr said:

@Weedy - "Ignorance about this would have been bliss.'

I think Nintneod told the world so everyone who wants a 3DS for SSB will wait for the new version and buy a Wii U to play SSB this holiday instead, and when the New 3DS comes out next year buy 1 of those.

From a Wii U sales point of view it makes sense. Why have the poorly selling Wii U compete in the US and EU w/ a brand new New 3DS this Christmas?



whanvee said:

Played some of this yesterday at a "play Nintendo" event. God is it really good looking and fun to play. I thought it wasn't going to be up to par due to the system, but I'm betting it look just as good if not better than brawl. The backgrounds which generally look crappy in screen shots really shine when seen in person.



Emblem said:

Getting both, 3DS for the commute to work and lunch breaks, Wii U for 4 player HD mayhem with my Bro,GF and friends.



Weedy said:

True that. I don't have a Wii U but am thinking of picking one up with SSB4 over Christmas. Marketing logic wins again.



Desrever said:

It had to of been about 10 years ago now, but I remember getting SO VERY excited about a fake picture of a portable Gamecube. It looked like a bigger GBA SP with a GC disc slot. (I'm sure the pictures are still floating around somewhere) And of course the first thought I had was portable SSBM. It took a while... but here we are.



Sirk said:

In Brawl, if using a gamecube controller, if you hit the z button and hold while simultaneously using a c-smash, it will charge. Anyways! Can't wait, already have the game pre-ordered and payed for.



Benjelo said:

The one part about the online multiplayer confused me. Can you only play online multiplayer at nintendo zones or can you just connect to your own internet and play?



rjejr said:

@Weedy - "Marketing logic wins again."

If logic won w/ Nintendo the game would be called SSB4 like you said, not "SSB for Wii U". Almost every game they put out on Wii ended w/ Wii, but now they need a "for" in the title, b/c SSB4 or SSBU was too complicated I guess. And does "SSB for 3DS" even work on the 2DS jk

gotta love Nintendo



sinalefa said:

If both versions were releasing at the same time, I would take the Wii U version and leave the 3DS version to buy somewhere in the future. Then Nintendo was smart enough to release this one first, so I will be playing it until the console version hits.

About the new 3DS, well, it is hitting after this game in all territories, so if people want to wait for Smash until it arrives, that is their decision. I think there is a reason why MH was the game shown to benefit from the nipple.



whanvee said:

I think they meant it for people who can't just play with others of the same skill level at home and have no internet access. I think.



CapeSmash said:

RELEASES IT ALREADY! ;( (a demo would be nice...)

But, amiibo on the go? No thanks!



Meaty-cheeky said:

I have wanted to have a portable version of Super Smash Bros for years!
So happy that its finally happening and that its just around the corner.



TeeJay said:

@bouncer0304 "So much to remember"? Smash is known for it's simple controls...and Brawl is the tamest out of all of them. This game is actually going to be faster than Brawl so if you couldn't handle Brawl you can forget about this game.



erv said:

Every time the 3ds smash comes up, I can't help but think about the dying 3ds because of all the button smashing and stick twisting.

Seriously damaging gameplay.



CapeSmash said:

To the people who don't know which version to get because they're tight on money: Get the 3DS version first, then get the Wii U version later down the line.



bouncer0304 said:

@SockoMario @TeeJay from reports i've read from previews, they've said that the 3ds version is better to grasp and more accessible due to having less buttons to worry about. Having played Brawl with the pro controller, there are quite a lot of combos and buttons (simple things like punch i get but i always mess up what each stick does) and truth be told, an interactive tutorial would have been welcome but making it skipable for the older fans and yes, many newcomers have said exactly the same acroos multiple forums i've been on (no a brisk 90 second video is not enough sorry). In fact, at my last streetpass meeting where we had massive Smash Bros event with Brawl and Melee on the go, even those who have played for years agreed with me on that point. Again playing with the wiimote was so uncomfortable, slow and awkward for me personally and just felt unnatural for a fighting game. As for the gamecube controller, same problem as the pro controller sadly.
I'm hoping the 3ds one will finally be the one since i'm comfortable with the 3ds and know the layout so well so no i won't just "forget it." There's no need to scoff at someone who finds the other versions tricky thank you. If you guys can pick it up easily then that's great (i love watching event videos and always get jealous at how they can do those combos so easily) but please don't put those of us down who have had trouble with past versions please. Even Sakurai himself stated he wanted the 3ds controls to be simple enough for new comers to understand and stand a chance at winning and wanted to go back to basics since this would be the first Smash Bros for many people, hence the simple layout for the 3ds version which i've seen in the treehouse videos at E3. I've wanted to join in for so long but no matter how i try i just can't get on with the console versions The 3ds version is looking like the one that'll finally allow me to have a decent time in the very least. As long as i can have some fun and enjoy myself, that's all i want Surely i'm not the only one?



MegaWatts said:

@erv I know what you mean — I've got a room full of duff N64 controllers after putting them through Smash Bros. 64!



Mr-X9000 said:

i don't need to be told the advantage of a portable smash bros. all i know is portable smash bros=AWSOME!!



triforcepower73 said:

I'm probably gonna pick this up. but... am I the only one who feels like this is unfairly getting more attention than the Wii U release. also I don't think this is going to help Wii U sales. But I could be totally wrong so don't get mad at me for having a thought on this.



Emblem said:

@triforcepower73 Its a legit topic that's been discussed quite abit actually so know one should get mad at you.

Nintendo have seen that the Wii U is unlikely to have any single games software sales above a few million, having Smash on the much more established and popular 3DS will bring in more than triple the revenue, keep existing 3DS owners happy and also persuade people to pick up the new 3DS.

People who want the big tv experience are still going to get the Wii U version while those without Wii U's or new to the series can pick up the 3DS copy instead. Diehard fans are going to pick up both copies regardless which means more copies sold for Nintendo.

IMO this is the best course of action, especially in light of the disappointing amount of Wii U's MK8 shifted despite its critical and commercial success.



IronMan28 said:

I'm not huge into Smash, but some of my good friends are, so I'm getting the 3DS and Wii U versions. Both should be entertaining for a little while, but since I'm not a huge fan of the series I'll get physical copies of each.



SleepyCrossing said:

At first I thought I would only get the Wii U version, but as the release draws closer my itch to play smash is making we want to pre-order this. I probably will soon enough. Its good training and the added portability is perfect..



whiffy5 said:

@Weedy As long as you have the money, I highly recommend that you get a Wii U. My brother and I have one, and we enjoy it a lot.



tinklemonkey500 said:

@Phantom_R seriously. It's gonna suck getting my a$* beat by someone in Japan with a new 3ds that has better Internet, cpu, and buttons. You should get extra experience for having an old 3ds. Like using the Wii wheel in mario kart online!



Megumi said:

"Although it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever find yourself wanting to take a break from the action"
I can't play Smash non-stop, and I LOVE video game music, I'm listening to it constantly. So being able to listen to the soundtrack in-game with the thing closed is awesome. (getting both soundtracks on CDs once the Wii U hits is even better. )



TwilightAngel said:

Nintendo life stop making these Articles,cause you're making the release for this game unbearable.



BigH88 said:

I'm hyped. Of course Smash for 3ds is the appetizer and I'll be ready for the main course being Smash for Wii U coming this holiday season.



AshFoxX said:

I can't believe it but I think this may have tipped the fence for me to preorder instead of waiting for hype to die down. I'm more excited about 3DS than I am for the Wii U version probably because I tend to have my 3DS with me everywhere I go and my favorite thing to do in the entire world is LAN parties so I have always loved handheld multiplayer games. No doubt all of my 3DS laden friends will have this loaded at all times as well.



peterdavid12345 said:

I just cancelled my pre-order 2 days ago because I heard the new 3DS will come out, and it will have exclusives games such ike XenoBlade. Will get the game when the new 3DS come out tho.



TeeJay said:

@BigH88 I hate when people say that...the 3DS version is a full game packed with content in its own right.



johnvboy said:

I was going to get a 3DS for this title,but now with the new model 3DS systems around the corner I will wait.



NinjaWaddleDee said:

I'll be getting both the 3ds and wii u versions for Christmas, due to me wanting to play the wii u version first . Hopefully the 3ds' online multiplayer won't lag and will function well, because the wii's certainly didn't.



FlaygletheBagel said:

@NinjaWaddleDee I have the same concern for both platforms, to be honest. Online is probably one of the only ways I'll be enjoying Smash with other people on 3DS. I don't have too many friends who have 3DS's, so if the online is laggy, I would have to settle for playing this game alone, which is fine, but it'll severely hurt the longevity of the game.

I really hope Sakurai makes the online modes in Smash for Wii U absolutely excellent too. After Brawl, it's hard not to be nervous about that.



shonenjump86 said:

Getting this pre ordered along with new Persona 4 fighting game. 2 games I will be playing a lot. Japan will be getting Smash pretty soon. Can't wait.



RawkHawk013 said:

Great article, So excited!! Plan on getting both!! These features, characters, modes all sound incredibly fun!



WinterWarm said:

@Phantom_R Well, they won't have a huge advantage, anyway, Sakurai said in a Developer Direct the game will feature match-making based on skill, so, if New 3DS players are better than you, it's unlikely you'll fight them.



AlexSora89 said:

The sheer irony of this article coming out while I actually was out, without username and password with me, is incredible.

I'll just reiterate what I said every other time: it's about time this series went portable, what with its sublime gameplay, encyclopedic trophy collection, and the like. The real shame is I was hoping for a "Super Smash Bros. Advance" back in the day, just to give you folks an idea of just how long I've been waiting. Nonetheless, what kept the series from debuting on the first DS is beyond me. Sure, there's the whole "lack of analog" thing, but I call bullroar on that, since Brawl had Wiimote-only controls and worked just fine.

Just a bit more than three weeks to go, Hallelujah!

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