Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is without a doubt one of the biggest releases of the year, and has already shifted almost 3 million copies worldwide. However, if you've not picked it up so far then you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Smash may be popular with seasoned Nintendo fans, but unlike Mario Kart it doesn't have quite the same universal appeal — something which could be down to its chaotic action and almost intimidating scope for high-level, skilful play. Fear not though, as we've put together this handy check list of questions which should not only enlighten newcomers, but also answer the queries of existing fans who, for whatever reason (living under a rock for the past week, for example) have yet to pick up the game.
Wait, Smash on a portable device? Something's not right here…
True, this is the first time that Smash has been available on anything other than a home console — but put those fears to rest, as the game is just as multiplayer-focused as its forerunners. There's local play and online modes to indulge in, and while the online portion does suffer from a few latency niggles from time to time, it's generally pretty solid. This certainly isn't a "solo" experience, in case you're worried about that.
Fine, but what's the deal with this hitting 3DS and Wii U? Shouldn't I just wait for the home edition?
Some will feel more comfortable playing the Wii U version, that's true — but the big benefit of the 3DS edition is being able to take the fight outside of your home. Of course, online play technically allows you to do that from the comfort of your sofa, but being able to take part in local wireless battles absolutely anywhere is fantastic — it manages to capture the fun of playing in front of the TV with a load of friends, but permits this multiplayer merriment to take place in all kinds of locations — during lunch time at school, when you have a spare five in the office, at your cousin's dull wedding reception...you get the idea.
How many characters are in this game?
The new version of Smash has the most characters yet seen in any title in the series. There are 48 characters, most of which come from Nintendo franchises such as Super Mario, Fire Emblem, Pokémon, Zelda and Star Fox. There are also third-party fighters, such as Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog and Namco's Pac-Man. In addition to these 48 brawlers, there's also the Mii character who can be configured in one of three different combat styles, which effectively makes a grand total of 51 fighters. Not all are available from the start, but you can check out our handy guide on how to unlock them here.
Wait, where's Solid Snake? He was my jam in Smash Bros. Brawl!
Sadly everyone's favourite tactical espionage agent just didn't make the cut. Naturally, when Nintendo uses third party characters they have to negotiate each time they appear in a new instalment. Presumably Konami or Nintendo said no this time around (EDIT: As many of you have pointed out in the comments, Kojima actually wanted Snake in the game), but let's not forget that Snake's pal Raiden recently starred in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale...perhaps Konami is sticking with Sony for the time being?
Where's the Adventure Mode and what the devil is Smash Run?
Smash Run effectively takes the place of Adventure Mode in Smash Bros. Melee and Subspace Emissary Mode seen in Smash Bros. Brawl. It's exclusive to the 3DS version (so expect something else to take its place in the Wii U edition). You have five minutes to explore a floating island for stat boosts — which impact your strength, jumping power, defence and so on — before being thrown into a final battle, which lasts a single minute. Collecting as many boosting items as possible during those five minutes is therefore of paramount importance, as it drastically improves your chances during the final fight. Be warned, though — there are countless enemies who will stand in your way, and should they knock you out before the time runs to zero, you'll incur some nasty penalties which could mean victory is all but impossible in the final battle.
Does the game have any StreetPass functions?
It sure does — there's a special StreetPass mode where you view a top-down arena in which your character is represented by a sliding token. The objective is to bash the other players (people you've StreetPassed with who own Smash Bros. or the Smash Bros. demo version) so that they fall off the edge of the arena. Success grants additional coins, which are used to unlock Trophies.
Can I edit the control layout in the 3DS version?
You certainly can — it's even possible to switch off the "press up to jump" command and rely entirely on a button for your leaping. However, it should be noted that you can't map movement to the D-pad — that is solely reserved for the Circle Pad.
Is there going to be any connectivity between the 3DS and Wii U versions?
Yes, you'll be able to use the 3DS as a controller when the Wii U version arrives — which should make those multiplayer nights a bit easier. No need to fork out for additional Pro Controllers if everyone brings their 3DS!
Are minigames included?
You bet. There's Multi-Man Smash where you have to fight multiple enemies and see how long you can last. Target Blast sees you powering up a bomb and then launching it at a set of targets, with the aim being to destroy as many as possible. Finally, there's Home-Run Contest, which is similar to Target Blast but you're looking to jettison a sandbag as far as possible.
Will Smash Bros. on 3DS make use of the forthcoming amiibo figures?
It will, but with a caveat — you'll need either the New 3DS console (which has NFC tech built in — that's the magical device which allows the amiibo toys to interact with the game) or you'll have to wait for Nintendo to release the special NFC accessory for the standard 3DS, 3DS XL and 2DS systems. That's expected next year, as is the western launch of the New 3DS model.
Will Smash benefit from the New 3DS and its additional processing power?
It will indeed — posting to Miiverse and accessing the internet browser while the game is active is only possible on the New 3DS. On the older models, these elements has been disabled to ensure that the game runs as smoothly as possible.
Do you have any other questions you'd like adding to this FAQ? Drop them in the comments field below and we'll add the best ones.