(N64 / Nintendo 64)

Super Smash Bros. (N64 / Nintendo 64)

Game Review

Super Smash Bros. Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Does the original Super Smash Bros. still knock out the competition these days?

Nintendo's most popular (and only!) fighting franchise started off quite strangely - in fact, it originally didn't even have any existing Nintendo characters! Created by Kirby Creator Masahiro Sakurai of HAL Laboratory and Satoru Iwata, the game was originally called Dragon King: The Fighting Game, and featured fairly featureless blocky figures duking it out with each other. Sakurai suggested using Nintendo characters instead to give the game more character, something he felt was necessary for a home console fighting game. Nintendo approved the idea, and Super Smash Bros. was born!

Even though the franchise has only had three games, it's hard to imagine there being even a single Nintendo fan who hasn't played one of them. All three games were some of the best-selling games on their respective systems, and the series has a massive fan following.

The gameplay in the original Super Smash Bros. is the same as its sequels: you run around on a 2D stage with up to three opponents, attacking each other with melee attacks and items to increase their damage percentage, which can be seen at the bottom of the screen. The higher this percentage is, the further opponents fly when you hit them with more powerful attacks - if an opponent flies off the screen in any direction, he loses a life and you gain a point.

It should be no surprise that the original game is fairly bare-bones when compared to its successors in terms of content. Once everything has been unlocked, there are only 12 selectable characters to fight with and 9 stages to fight on. If you've played Melee (26 characters and 29 stages) or Brawl (35 characters and 41 stages) before playing the original then this will no doubt feel like a massive step down.

There aren't that many things to do in the game either. Melee and Brawl feature a "Classic" mode, an adventure mode, multiplayer, minigames such as target tests and a homerun contest, collectable trophies and more. In the original, however, you'll only find a multiplayer mode and a single player mode, in which you tackle a bunch of computer-controlled opponents, beat some minigames and defeat Master Hand, the game's final boss.

Melee and Brawl both have you unlocking things weeks or months after you first play them: here, however, you're likely to have everything in a day or two. While that's nice for the game's multiplayer aspect, meaning you and your friends can quickly use whichever character they want, it does feel like you're "done" with the game rather fast.


Super Smash Bros. was no doubt a fantastic game when it first came out. Having various Nintendo characters fight against each other was any Nintendo fan's dream, and it finally allowed us to do just that. In the decade since its release however, it's had two sequels, and these improve on the original game so drastically that it's really kind of hard to recommend it to anybody who's played the later games.

The only real reasons to download it are out of nostalgia, or if you've never played a Super Smash Bros. game and simply want to start from the beginning. It's still a good game, it just feels incredibly basic after its two jam-packed sequels.

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User Comments (173)



Stuffgamer1 said:

Also, the controls feel really loose and icky after spending a lot of time with Melee and/or Brawl, IMO. I played a little Smash at a local game geek store recently, and it really has NOT aged well. With rose-tinted goggles firmly in place, however, I think the 1000 Nintendo Points could be a justified purchace. I just hope it hits NA soon before a riot breaks out or something.

Edit: Why not give it an 8 or a 9? Because the reviewer didn't feel it deserved such high praise, and based on the text of his review and my above-mentioned impressions, I'm inclined to agree! 7 almost seems generous, IMO.



y2josh said:

7 is definitely generous, IMO. I'm not a big fan of the original.



SKTTR said:

In context and comparison to the other Smash Bros games a 7/10 is fair. But compared to the other fighting games on the Virtual Console, Super Smash Bros. is the best one!

My top 5 fighting games on the VC:

1. Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo 64)
2. Samurai Shodown 2 (Neo Geo)
3. Super Street Fighter II (Super NES)
4. International Karate + (Commodore 64)
5. Street Gangs (NES) and Punch-Out!! (NES)



Stuffgamer1 said:

I do agree with you, SKTTR, though I think that either speaks poorly of the selection of fighting games on VC (which doesn't seem right as there are quite a few, really) or strongly showcases my general distaste for fighting games that aren't Smash Bros. The latter is more likely, methinks.




I would level the same arguements at Super Mario Kart...but it'd still be a worthy download. I don't think it should be a 9, but 8 at least surely.



Wiiloveit said:

Did you even play the VC version? Because if so, I'm rather intrigued as to why you didn't mention the awful controls on the classic controller? Since that's the main downfall of this game, I feel inclined to say that this is just a review of the N64 original.



Stuffgamer1 said:

What did they do to the controls on the Classic Controller, keeping in mind that I am of the opinon that this game's controls are pretty bad by modern series standards to begin with?



Captain_Jack_Sparrow said:

Before the flood of angry fanboys come in here and bash this review; let me bash it first... no offence to the reviewer; but it seems to Edit SP: cliche & simplistic!

I hate to curse up a storm & call this review what it is; which I'm not saying that either! And without using a lot of words in CAPS letters; (this will be the only two words)... COME ON?!!!

If there is someone with a more high athority on NintendoLife; this for the love of god just please redo this review & just be generous to those fans who don't have to get angry!

Also I don't care if I get hated for this; but after all its just my opinion!

So as I end his; this review should've been at least a 9... or obvious a 10 since we got a lot of those from the best first party N64 & SNES games!

Or just on the fair side; it should be just an 8! So just put it one score higher & people will be happy!



James said:

Captain Jack - if a game has had two sequels, both of which are massive improvements on the original - and both of which are playable on the Wii - why give the original a 10? What should we then do with the scores of the others - invent 11s and 12s?

Just because a game was really good ten years ago doesn't mean it still stands up to the same criteria as it used to. Yes it's great to have it available on download, and in terms of Nintendo's history it's an important title, but if you compare it to its sequels you'll find it's sorely lacking in a lot of areas that modern Smash games have.



Dazza said:

@Captain Jack - When it comes to VC reviews on Nintendo Life there is no one with a higher authority than Drake or Corbie. It's not like we have just drafted in some noob to cover this review. Drake knows his carrots as I am sure many will agree who are familar with his writings.



Captain_Jack_Sparrow said:

My ONLY reply comment I'm going to say once so get it through your heads so I don't have to repeat it people:

If its an instant classic & the best in first party Nintendo games; it needs to be a high review score end of story; that's the way it is and that's the way it should be forever more!

I was looking forward to seeing a review on SSB64; & was considering at least a 9... hopefully a 10?! But nooo... it had to be waaayy to simplistic just because it seems outdated to the reviewer!
If people praise classic; then praise then & give them decent scores that are well worth it!

Also just going into it, about the 7 review this got as of now; it seems like a waay too obvious score that only we've all seen a bunch of! Yes there are over a million 7 review jokes but I'm not going to name names; you figure who the one is who does that... btw I'm sure you already know?!
In other words it should've been reviewd by Corbie; without the whole 7 thing btw... get the point!

But yet again this is just my opinion; this review is instulting & downright dissapointing to me! It needs to be an 8 or 9 end of story to make fanboys happier & not angry!



James said:

Sorry Captain Jack, but things should not always have the same rating now and forever more. Some things simply do not age well and Super Smash Bros. is one of those games. Would you honestly play this over either of the two newer games? What is there to recommend it over Brawl, especially considering the horrible Classic Controller scheme?

Clearly you're a huge SSB64 fan and you're going to buy the game anyway, but I would say that you don't have to be quite so arrogant about it.

Also, we're not here to give undeserving scores to games just to make fanboys happy. The idea that you think that's even half of what Nintendo Life is about really, really frightens me.



Captain_Jack_Sparrow said:

Okay maybe I'm just overreating before I think but just reading that last 2 paragraphs here:

"There aren't that many things to do in the game either. Melee and Brawl feature a "Classic" mode, an adventure mode, multiplayer, minigames such as target tests and a homerun contest, collectable trophies and more. In the original, however, you'll only find a multiplayer mode and a single player mode, in which you tackle a bunch of computer-controlled opponents, beat some minigames and defeat Master Hand, the game's final boss.

Melee and Brawl both have you unlocking things weeks or months after you first play them: here, however, you're likely to have everything in a day or two. While that's nice for the game's multiplayer aspect, meaning you and your friends can quickly use whichever character they want, it does feel like you're "done" with the game rather fast."

Well they do make sense; but it no need to give the game a 7?! Just for those who love the game for nostalgic reasons it needs to be an 8 for heavens sake; make those fans happy!

But maybe I was wrong to shoot my mouth off at first; like I said I'm give iout my opinions way too fast & have to find the bad in them right away! I'm very tempermental & judge things way to quickly before saying anything worthwhile that needs to be said! That's just my personallity; I have aspbergers... don't tease me!



y2josh said:

Since when has this been a site about making the fanboys happy? And I think there are more 8s on this site than 7s



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Captain Jack: Do you realize that you're insulting the reviewer by calling his review insulting? I stand behind the score that was given this game. It does not deserve more if viewed level-headedly (can't say "subjectively," because there's no such thing as a subjective review, since reviews are, at the end of the day, opinions) and seen for what it IS, not what it USED to be.

I used to love this game, too. I agree that it's a classic in a certain sense, but not the sense that gives it 9's and 10's 10 years after original release!

Edit: More posting while I typed. Aspbergers, you say? My brother has that, so I now understand where you're coming from PERFECTLY (years of experience dealing with such, you know, not to sound offensive or anything...)!

Honestly, the game's fanboys are going to download this even if it's given a 2, so I don't see how arguing 7 vs 8 really matters. I see how YOU think that, but it simply isn't so. Sorry, dude. :/



Captain_Jack_Sparrow said:

@#14 Prosody:
First of all what really frightens me is you saying kind of stuff like that; which was bound to happen because I knew you were going to say that!
You see I'm smart; & know what's coming... but I shoot my mouth off anyways!

Also clearly you're not seeing the logic to reading my posts after I finish them completely; & that the person who is typing this here is a person with real feelings & I hate it when people judge/yell/ban whatever to me anyway!



James said:

I think you mean "objective", Stuffgamer1

And no harm done, Captain Jack - nobody's teasing you, you just need to take a deep breath before hitting that "submit post" button, that's all. Goodness knows we've all been rash on the Internet at some point. Nobody's teasing you, banning you or yelling at you - we're just trying to defend our reviewer's work and justify the score he's given this game in his opinion, just as you're justifying yours.

And just to reiterate what's been said before (and put other readers' minds at rest) we never bump up the score just because we think it'll be a crowd-pleaser. That's just not how we roll!



Captain_Jack_Sparrow said:

all right people; I shoot my mouth off & then appologize... & yet you don't even read my posts clearly & to the point?!

I'm a tempermental person; & I just like classic games that should be more worthy of better scores?! For instance I hate bloody IGN for the same thing... not to mention sometimes NintendoLife just for that!



Captain_Jack_Sparrow said:

I missed the classic SSB64 for many reasons; but mainly because I don't have it & not a N64 anymore... my VC is my N64 haven for all first party Nintendo games!
Also I still wish NOA just stop making us wait for the game... glad I got Zelda MM because I'm more of a Zelda gamer!
The only thing I loved about SSB64 was playing as Link & playing/listening to the Hyrule Castle stage music... good times!
And clearly why I want a higher score is because the other SSB games are just good & better... but once I've stopped playing & collected everything; does't mean I go back to it every now & then!
Ex: my copy of Melee hasn't been touch in years... & I quit Brawl afer the month of March 08 since I got it!



James said:

Captain Jack - I think taking a step away from the computer might be a decent idea now. Go take a deep breath and walk it off (maybe get some sleep?) and come back to this review a bit later. OK? We're not going to ban you, but I strongly recommend you take some time out.



TwilightV said:

Quick question: When do the opinions of other people on things you like really matter?
Quick answer: Never!

@ Prosody: We're talking about Smash Bros.. In this case, we can invent an infinite amount of numbers for the review (same goes for the seven Mario RPGs). Therefore, I vote the game be given a rating of Pi.



Stuffgamer1 said:

Pi? Seeing as that's a lousy 3.14etc., I would have to take offence at that score myself! A bit TOO low, y'know?



TwilightV said:

@Stuffgamer: The number may actually be very small, but have you seen how long that thing is? With that many numbers, no one should complain.



James said:

Oh, so you're inventing our own review scores now, TwilightV? In that case, I give it... a pineapple!



Captain_Jack_Sparrow said:

My last reply people; I'm officially done & going to bed... not mad enough as it is but just calmly trying not to get dissapointed!

Also still not hoping but doubting it could be possible for SSB64 to come out this Monday on June 15th... but I'll hate NOA more if they don't; & shrug it off & still wait another blessed week to spend my Wii Points I just got several hours ago this Friday June 12th!

I'm just last replying to @Stuffgamer1's post #17:
Edit: More posting while I typed. Aspbergers, you say? My brother has that, so I now understand where you're coming from PERFECTLY (years of experience dealing with such, you know, not to sound offensive or anything...)!

Yes I'm a very happy to hear you say that; & that someone on NintendoLife who has a heart & soul understands me for once FINALLY!!
You just maybe be my new best friend @Stuffgamer1! Maybe!



dizzy_boy said:

i just really want to know why do people hold the smash bros games in duch high regard?
there`s no real skill involved, and just seems to be a simpistic button beshing game.
games like street fighter, tekken and soul calibur are by far, much better beat `em ups.



Corbs said:

I remember someone once calling this series "a fighting game for people who suck at real fighting games!"



Bass_X0 said:

It's still a good game, it just feels incredibly basic after its two jam-packed sequels.

Shouldn't the same have been said for Mario Kart 64 as well?



brooks83 said:

Not to step on anybody's toes, but why should anyone get upset about a score given to a VC game? If you disagree, so what? Just download the game and enjoy it and get on with your life. Everyone has different opinions on everything.



Drake said:

@ Wiiloveit: I don't even use the Classic Controller for N64 games, from my experience the GameCube controller is the better option. It works fine here.

@ Bass: I would've said that (MK64 is my least favourite Kart) but I didn't review it



Corbs said:

Ah so Drake knocked my MK64 review. Well two can play at that game.

Actually, I have to agree with the 7.



Bass_X0 said:

yeah. i don't like Mario Kart 64 anymore; it is quite dated now. I only play it to keep myself familar with the old courses. I do quite enjoy playing the retro tracks in the recent games.

And as for Super Smash Bros., I won't be downloading it. I did quite enjoy the game ten years ago but I have gone off the series recently. I'll probably get shot by fans for this but I do believe that the series has gone as far as it can in its current form and that a sequel to Brawl should be free-roaming; something similar to the original Power Stone I think (which also featured four player battles).



Corbs said:

LOL.....nothing. We're just messing around. As I edited above, this game hasn't aged as well, but everyone's opinion is different.



mastersworddude said:

32.my_point_is: First of all i hate those fighting games you mentioned (In fact i hate pretty much all fighting games) second its not really supposed to be a skill fighting game, it supposed to be a SIMPLE party game, for people who don't want to play those games you mentioned.
33.Corbie: So the SSB series isn't a real fighting game just because it doesn't have health bars, button combos, and are actually DIFFERENT from other fighting games? The reason people like the series is because it is unique. (No offense Corbie you still rock! i just disagree.)
@BassX0: Yeah i donwloaded it a while back and noticed it didn't age well. :/



Corbs said:

No I didn't say it wasn't a fighting game. That's what I saw on a message board one time in someone's sig.



mastersworddude said:

@45.Corbie: Nevermind then (Hope i didn't offend you.)
The only reason i can see my self getting this game now is because of the old stages. (Saffron City etc.)



Corbs said:

No, I wasn't offended, I just remembered that sig when the person above mentioned the Tekken and Soul Calibur games. I don't think they're in quite the same category really as Smash Bros. isn't intended to be a deep one-on-one fighting game.



Corbs said:

Thanks. It's more of an inconvenience than anything. But I did figure out a way to play the DSi by stacking three DS cases behind it so I could close my thumb down on the d-pad.



Lotice-Paladin said:

I'm just happy it stands at 7, but the real concern is that this should've been on the VC before Brawl was as it would have gave it more legs (so to speak). Releasing it this late after Brawl is the real reason why this doesn't stand up so well IMO.

It's a pity really since it is a good game, it's just that Melee and Brawl stand out more now.



Cheezy said:

It's a respectable game, but REALLY nostalgic and that's why I like it!



cheese said:

I think this is a brilliant game, but you can't say it requires no skill as it does. In fact this game is still played competitively by many gamers today.



RadioShadow said:

I agree with the reviewer. When this first came out, I had a blast playing with my mates. The single player content is a bit lacking and basic compared to its sequel which is why I won't buy this, plus I have this on the N64 anyway.

If people want to experience the first game, then go ahead an buy this but it is more fun to play the multi player mode than the single player content. Plus to play some of the N64 only stages that didn't make it to Melee or Brawl.



Bass_X0 said:

I am surprised a DS version was never made. It would sell on name alone even if it wasn't quite up to Melee in terms of content and obviously gameplay wouldn't quite be the same due to lack of analogue controls.



Link79 said:

I'll be getting this on VC for two reasons. I never owned the original and to have all three games. Sure it's pretty basic but so is the original super Mario bros. I still play that all the time.



MrPanic said:

Well, I guess I'll skip this one then. I must say I find this review very crappy, I could've written this review without even playing this game so I'm a bit doubtful how much I should trust this one.

I wonder what score this game would've got if the sequels weren't considered.



Philip_J_Reed said:

What's with all the bashing of this review? I love the game, it's my favorite in the series, but the review seems perfectly reasonable to me. A 7 is a totally respectable score and--as usual for Drake--it's written quite well.

I think a few of you have gone bonkers.



Knux said:

It still is an awesome game in my eyes, even though it is basic compared to the sequels.



maka said:

I loved this game on the N64. I played it to death, and then the sequel and then the sequel for the Wii. This is the kind of series in which there is a basic formula and each instance just improves on it. I don't own this game anymore, nor Melee (my kids broke the disc) but I don't miss them much because I have brawl...

That said, I'd be tempted to buy this game if it wasn't for the seemingly bad controls with the classic controller... Is it so bad? I remember loving the way the controls worked originally and I was a bit disappointed they seemed to have been "dumbed down" on the sequels... (but it's been quite a while...)



naut said:

I'll be getting this because of nostalgia. Back in the day, this game was the best ever for me.



Bahamut_ZERO said:

Good review, glad it didn't get a 9 or something because it does fail in comparison to the sequels. Still though, it is a great game, one of the best on the VC, and if your comparing this to other VC games, it certainly deserves an 8.

And come on, it has Hyrule Castle



Bahamut_ZERO said:

@Wiiloveit: I started the whole "Corbie gives 7s" joke thing, it makes me warm and fuzzy inside to know it became so popular. It's so beautiful



MarkyVigoroth said:

I agree with the 7; this is a fun game, yet rather bare-bones. I would still like to see the day in which I can play all 3 in a marathon.



breaderer said:

I hate how everybody acts like all of the other smash games before brawl were obsolete, I still play melee every other day. The last time I played brawl was a few months ago



KnucklesSonic8 said:

Although I love Drake's reviews for the most part, I have to say that this one was quite underwhelming. There's a lot more to this game than meets the eye and besides the timeless appeal this one has is truly great. Instantly has massive replayability. People knock this game too much but AFAIC, this game is stellar.



LinkGalaxy said:

I downloaded it! 3 more secret characters to go. I'd say that it is a nostalgic demo of the 2 later Smash Bros games, and its still great!!



Mayhem said:

Still think it's deserves an 8 here at least, in some ways I still prefer it to Melee. Brawl is the defining entry in the series though.



Objection said:

Its a fine score. I don't think there's anything wrong with the fighting in this edition, it's just a little different than Melee and Brawl. However, there are only a few modes and unlockables in this first installlment.



JoeDiddley said:

I think that the score is reasonable when compared to Brawl.
It's hard to score games on an even level- it's not as good as the later games but does it deserve the same score as Cocoto Platform Jumper? Anyway I got it straight away for nostalgia value and I don't own Melee. I bought a Wii when Brawl came out and I joined Nintendo Life when 64 came to the VC!



KoKoO_Psy said:

I think the score is spot on.
Though the score itself is irelevant, it is actually the written text that means anything. I feel that the review is right. I have been holding off this investment for some of the very reasons of the review.

I would buy it, IF i had someone to play it with, but my friends want to play brawl. The game itself hasn't aged well at all. I mean it is fun just as most 64 games still are. If i bought it, i would probably enjoy it. But if the game was launched under the title Dragon King, on Wiiware, as it is today, it would probably get this very review.

I think this is the important thing to remember when it comes to VC review. To ask this type of question, and i feel the reviewer here do that well.



JTC-Pingas said:

I agree with the score. Definately lacking compared to Melee and Brawl. But a great game nontheless. Instant download for me.



tkubas1 said:

In my opion this game is a 8/10, because a 7 is average and this game is not just average.



Adam said:

It's probably my favorite in the series. Sometimes limitations are good. The other games, especially Brawl, are really unbalanced due to having too many characters to test and not much time since they were rushed in an attempt (though failed for Brawl, of course) to be launch titles. Playing with friends at the same skill level is no problem, but playing Brawl online can be frustrating when someone is practically a god with Meta Knight or Snake.

I also like the slower speed. Makes it feel more strategic and less about instincts. It tends to make the game easier for newcomers, especially. And it has some of the best stages, which have oddly been neglected since the 64. Why Saffron City hasn't reappeared in each sequel, I'll never know!

Couldn't care less about the score, though. If a video and a review are not enough for you to make your decision, a random number between 1 and 10 isn't going to do much either.



XD375 said:

"Actually, I have to agree with the 7."

This isn't surprising coming from Corbie.

Actually, as much as I love this game and will download it even though I have the original, I agree with the 7. :]



Fuun_Saiki said:

I would have given it 6.76(3SF)x10^-15.

To be honest, it baffles me that everyone is so hung up about the score; I feel sorry for reviewers who have to find a way to convert their opinion into a numerical figure; it's a bizzare system that's never going to be 100% reliable and should therefore not be taken so seriously.



Monkeh said:

I actually think Melee and Brawl have deproved the gameplay which the original SSB had. It was and still is the most awesome one out of the three.



KeeperBvK said:

@ tkubas1: What does it say in the scoring policy?

"This game will sport a few areas where the game is blatantly let down to the detriment of its overall quality and enjoyment, but it is NOT average."

How anyone could presume that a 7 would be average in the first place baffles my mind. A 7 is an indicator for a good game on just about any site and magazine I've seen so far in my entire life.



jhuhn said:

The rating would've been 8 or 9 if Nintendo thought about having more female characters in the N64 version, since Samus was the only character that is female.



Fuzzy said:

I think the original has the best levels. Not too complicated. Hyrule castle and the massive star fox level are the best out of all of the smash games i've played. Also, It's funny when people get all offended when a game they like gets a low score. If they like it so much, it should't matter what somebody else rates it.



Kid_A said:

I'd give it around a 6. Although, I must say, the original had Goldeneye's motion sensor bombs which are waaay cooler than those random purple ones in Brawl.



Ski_Deuce said:

I feel that this game best represents what the series has become known for. A fighting game that blends skill and chance in order to give everyone an opportunity to win. I think that that formula, while it may or may not have been intentional the first time around, was best expressed in the original.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@jhuhn: That makes NO sense whatsoever.

It IS interesting how people continue to get so hung up on scores, isn't it? May be for the best that Play magazine dropped the scoring system entirely. Devion212 NEVER used one, either.

This game IS still worth the relatively low price (sure beats the $30 Power Gamer would charge me for an N64 cart), and I'll almost definitely download it when it hits NA.

Also, people who think the Smash series requires and offers no chance to gain skiil are idiots. Just because it isn't ridiculously hard to memorize a character's move set like it is in most fighters doesn't mean you don't have to learn when and how to USE them in-game! Just trying winning as Ganondorf on an auto-scrolling level against Zelda, Samus, and Sonic. Proof of true skill indeed.



soniczelda_dude said:

I agree with the above comments. This was a good game for its time, but both Melee and Brawl have a much greater variety of content and alternate modes. I'm not dissing the game, but as an owner of the later games there's no reason I can think of for me to purchase the VC version.

IMO, I'd rather see a game such as Sonic and Knuckles that has been highly anticipated for a while now than Super Smash Bros. come Monday.



Kevin said:

I agree with the score. No way it deserves anything higher. We better get Final Fantasy Monday instead of this. Not buying this. I was originally but Melee and Brawl are much better games.



nitro_rev said:

the one concern I have is that on the n64, the jump button was any of the c-buttons and they were above the a and b buttons. now, the c-stick is bellow the a and b buttons, so unless they changed it to the y and x buttons like melee and brawl did for the gamecube/ classic controller, it will feel incredibly awkward.



astarisborn94 said:

To be honest, I perfer that the game gets at least an 8/10, but I can live with it. There's no reason to argue over that, it's still a good game and I will download it when it hits the North American Virtual Console. Is it me, or could it do two things:

1. Increase the possibility of Earthbound coming to the Virtual Console.


2. Become responsible for an muti-game week for the Virtual Console.

As ususal, good review and I'll be looking forward to an release.



Pikamander2 said:

A seven?
A seven!?

It doesn't matter if it has fewer characters and stages than Melee and Brawl. The physics give it entirely different gameplay. It has much more combos than Melee or Brawl, which really makes it fun.

In terms of VS. battles,
64 > Melee > Brawl



Crazed said:

No matter what the score, the review is what people should pay attention to, because the score is always going to be debateable, but the information given in the review is (almost) always solid information that others can use to make their own opinion. That's why I like this site... by the way, great review, Drake.



Mama_Luigi said:

I've heard that there is bad controls on the VC version, can anyone tell me why the controls are bad. I'm just curious. : DDDD



FunkMasterRitter said:

Let me put in my 2 cents... The original WAS an excellent game. It has not dated well at. If you download this it has to be for nostalgia or curiosity. But curiosity killed the cat. 7 seems to generous. All though this one has the best stages IMO. Hyrule castle all time favorite



TwilightV said:

@ #94: Probably because the C buttons were used to jump most of the time.

And again, who cares how it aged? I happen to like the dated graphics and controls. It'll be a very nice piece to add to my collection. And being able to play the entire series on one system is like a true gamer's greatest fantasy realized.



KeeperBvK said:

I'm glad that this got released as it's still a better game than Brawl...Melee's the best out of the bunch, though.



Pikamander2 said:

@97- Yay, someone else who thinks this is better than Brawl.

Music: Brawl > Melee > SSB
Graphics: Brawl > SSB > Melee (I really didn't like Melee's graphics)
Character balance: SSB > Brawl > Melee
VS Battles: SSB > Melee> Brawl



Turbo_Genesis_64 said:

I would give this an 8 also. The other games improved the formula, but this was still a trendsetter and is one of the most memorable N64 titles.



Ricardo91 said:

Seems like a fair score. This is still a decent game and all, but it hasn't aged that well, and it's completely inferior to the rest of the series. Still give it a download when it hits shop over here though. I can then play the whole series on my Wii!



Ferret75 said:

Makes me wonder why they don't just add the user ratings again, it would solve all the debates.



Kevin said:

I can't believe some of you guys think this is better than brawl. I played this after both. IMO this is NOT nearly as fun as the other two and why I'm not buying it.



KeeperBvK said:

"I can't believe some of you guys think this is better than brawl."

Well. I can't believe how anybody can say Brawl was better than the original.



James said:

Ferret75 - nothing is ever going to solve these debates: discussion is good! Sure it may have got a little heated earlier on - and I hope Captain Jack Sparrow is rested and feeling better now - but it's good to have such a passionate and vocal readership.



Digiki said:

Poor review.

One paragraph actually explained the game a bit, while the rest was an explantation of the series origin and status, and then a silly rant on how this has less stuff than the sequels...

Super Mario Bros. is bare-boned too.



WolfLink22 said:

@94 It is not curiosity killed the Cat.

It is like Mother always said Curiosity killed the Dog. Just for a bit of a correction.

Any way this review is just right.It is not a 10 by today's standards by any means whatsoever. It had like 12 characters at the most.

I like it only for all the fun it gave us and the other stuff that never made a return like Hyrule Castle SSB 64 version and the movesets were not copied/clones of each other like in Melee. Brawl fixed that a bit as well.

I am going to get it review score or not.I don't need a review score to make my judgement of wheither to buy this on VC or not when USA gets it then i will get it too.



Digiki said:

SMRPG had 5 characters, tis not a fighting game but still; masses of characters means squat.



Noire said:

I think a seven is perfectly fair. It was awesome when it came out, but it really doesn't stand up when compared with its sequels (please don't kill me), which just built on SSB without changing it too wildly. I'm going to get it, but only out of pure nostalgia.

Now the old commercial for this game I would give an 11. That may be my favorite commercial ever.



Mixer152 said:

I dont remember the controls being this bad, and I owned the original 64 cartridge (albeit I bought it after I did Melee so the stepdown isnt anything new to me). They really dont feel as sharp as I remember

The graphics havent aged well understandably, music is awesome as always (I actually prefer the more chiptune like sound of the BGM in this game as opposed to the Orchestral sound of Brawl)

Overall a very worthwhile purchase, I didnt even hesitate to download it even though I still own the original. Nostalgia at its finest



Mixer152 said:

Oh another thing. Will Nintendo EVER allow for online VC gameplay one day? It's like meant to be man



carson said:

Bad Review....people don't buy VC games looking for a new experience...they buy them to re-live the experiences they've already had.

8 or 9 out of 10 easily



Stuffgamer1 said:

@carson: That's not always true. VC games I've downloaded that I'd never played beforehand:
Kid Icarus
Super Punch-Out!!
Do Re Mi Fantasy (thanks to Corbie's gifting it to me )
Neutopia 2

I THINK that's it for me. My brother has downloaded many more Turbographix and Genesis games than I, too (we grew up in a Nintendo/Atari household).

If I had Brawl and had never played this game, I'd probably consider downloading it anyway, which makes this review valuable. I'm sure I'm not the only person who uses the VC in this fashion.



carson said:


you're right. I bought Sin and Punishment and let me tell you, that is a GREAT game.
What im trying to say is the only reason this game got a 7/10 is because of SSB Melee and SSB Brawl. That's not fair and gives this game a bad rep for someone who has never played any Super Smash. It's just hard to see games like 1080 Snowboarding and Alien Soldier get better review scores than a game that is OBVIOUSLY better!



Adamant said:

If you're looking to re-live an experience you've already had, why do you care about the review? You KNOW what the game is like.
Meanwhile, this review informs those who haven't plaed it that it might not be as awesome as the game's fanboys probably gave the the impression of.



Suikon said:

This game was my favorite one by far 10 years ago. Not for the singleplayer game, but for the awesome multiplayer game it is. Sure, it's aged, as do we all, but it still retains a lot of what it had. In some respects I even find it to be better than its sequels, although I am quite content with the direction the series has been taking, and overall the games have improved with each new installment.

I instantly downloaded this for my VC, and it was like I expected. It took a match or two to get used to the game's physics, and then it was like reliving the past (sort of). I first played using my GC controller, which works like it does in Melee and Brawl, so that's just fine. I think I would've preferred the original N64 controller still, if only for nostalgic reasons, but for anyone who's played Melee and Brawl, it won't make a difference to use the GC one.

The classic controller though, I felt just ripped out the game's soul or something. I just could not get into it, and it just felt weird, and it doesn't feel like it was designed for the CC at all because of the button layout and controller design. It still works, sure, but I'd pick any of the other controllers over the CC anyday.

It's just unfortunate that unlike 10 years ago with SSB or SSBM 7 years ago, friends are no longer as available, much less for an outdated game. 97% of SSB's value was in the multiplayer experience you had with friends sitting around a TV and playing together. Shame that it's harder to have gettogethers like that nowadays.



nitro_rev said:

@#113, that's not true, I am only sixteen and I haven't played many important games while I was younger and want to experience them now. I actually haven't downloaded a single game that I have already played, (once is enough for me) so when ssb comes out in America, it will be my first time.



Maxime said:

If I were to rate each game in order, I'd say Super Smash Bros. Melee would come out on top.

The Melee battle system is faster, more intuitive and for a fighting game, it is important that each well-timed button press be followed by a prompt response. It is much more engaging.

Although Brawl has incredible content, and an all-out better one-player mode, the battle system is much slower. An actions takes nearly an entire second to occur after you press the button. Although some players don't notice, players that were good in Melee notice how severe this lag has become. Brawl also houses many annoying features that cannot be turned off; for instances, tripping on the floor randomly and lack of decent short jumps and fast-falling. Because I beleive a battle system is more important than the content of a fighting game, I rate Brawl as the worse of all three.

Smash 64 is slow, but dodging is fast enough to be of good use, unlike in Brawl where dodging could actually get you in trouble because the balance of dodging speed was not much faster in relations to how fast you could recover from an attack. Also, I take into acxcount the N64's processing capabilities, which made it impossible for it to handle a game as fast-paced as Melee. Back in the N64 days, it could be considered speedy.

The original has the best level design; simple and fun (even without a flat Final destination for multilpayer). To me, it comes second to Melee.


1st: Melee, for superior battle system.
2nd: Original, for better level design.
Last: Brawl: For random occurrences and poor battle system (But good content).

Those are my personal rankings.



Digiki said:

Agrees with you.

I prefer SSB battle system to Melee's simply because Melee is a lot harder to get great at, so even though I can beat all there is to do in Melee, there is still a huge amount of skill to gain (I don't even l-cancel consistently ) If I was awesome at Melee though I'd most definitely love it.




I think ONM gave it an 85%. I'd give it around 80% but I can understand where they were coming from. Same goes for this review tbh.

Brawl is the definative for me. Hands down.



SKTTR said:

I have downloaded it. 4 Gamecube Controllers are needed for a 10/10 experience. Classic Controller just feels awkward and uncomfortable.

I don't like the idea that 10 year old 10€ VC games are compared to brand-new 50€ retail games.

There's no better fighting game available on the VC. And there will never be! On top of that, it's the only 4-player-fighting game to ever grace the VC.

And to all the folks who say it's simple and you win by button mashing: you are liars.
Super Smash Bros. (and it's two sequels) is one of the most tactical fighting games ever. There will never be a random win against an experienced player.



SuperMarioFan1995 said:

@93: I disagree. to me, the controls are kinda good i do have both Classic Controller and the GameCube Controller. i don't use the GameCube Controller because it goes wrong. i prefer using the Classic Controller.



Vann_Styrke said:

Honestly, what it comes down to is a matter of preference in terms of which is the best version.....

What I have a problem with is the fact of how much different the 64 game is from the following two. When Melee came out, me and a few of my friends had to change our favorite characters because they behaved differently and their movements were faster or slower (usually slower), and the game seemed to be less focused on quick reflexes/strategies and more on timing. Not that there's a problem with that but it makes for a different experience altogether. No there's not much of a 1 player experience once you unlock the few unlockables but as a multiplayer game, it was super addicting, and amazingly groundbreaking. The reason it was so successful and spawned two great sequels is because the original had the formula of an instant classic. The same could also be said for games like Mario Kart 64, which IMO shows its age way worse than SSB compared to its sequels yet somehow still scored 2 points higher than SSB. I probably played SSB more than melee, and melee more than Brawl, and yes, perhaps that has something to do with me getting bored with the franchise, getting too good at it, and not spending as much time with video games in general lately, but if I got together with some friends and wanted to play a ssb game, chances are we'd decide on the original.

Either way, simple logic says, you can't compare the first ssb game to the other two because they have different physics and gameplay, not to mention that when you have a game with infinite replay value in multiplayer, nobody really cares if the single player mode is impressive. Considering the N64's library of shovelware, and how successful and groundbreaking the successful SSB was, I feel that it was judged pretty harshly, more harshly than other classic nintendo games that didn't really hold up well. An 8 would be harsh/fair, but a 9 would be deserving.



Zarroc96 said:

I wish that the game would come out in the US already... and just my luck that my family comes from Europe...



Ricardo91 said:

@Redflicky. I'm pretty sure he was being sarcastic...

@LEGEND MARIOID. Don't EVEN compare this game to SMB3.

@Maxime. In terms of play control, I totally agree with you. Melee's controls were simply perfect. The combat was fast-paced and every move could be pulled off without a hitch. SSB64, as limited and dated as it is, had pretty good control too, even if it had to be played with that annoying N64 controller. I haven't played it much though, so I can't critique it any further. Brawl's combat sucks though, with floaty, touchy controls (very noticeable when you're getting butchered in online matches), a single jump was pretty much worthless, many moves could only be useful with perfect timing (Falcon's turbo knee being a fine example), and then there's the aforementioned tripping. What were they thinking when they put that in? If other fighters like Street Fighter II had tripping, there'd be a lot more pissed-off fighting fans in the world.

One thing i didn't like about Melee was the lack of consecutive air dodging. You could only air-dodge once before your character became immobile and dropped to the ground, and you couldn't dodge an enemy's multiple attacks, so if you're facing someone who's really good, they could annihalate you with a string of strong attacks. Other than that, they were flawless.

In terms of stage design, I'd have to say Brawl gets the top spot. It's stages were very well-designed and had a ton of action going on in them, which I liked. I know some people hate that, but it added a new layer of excitement to the combat. The original's were just drab and boring.



Clayfrd said:

I always thought this was a good game, but I agree with the score wholeheartedly.



RoyOfTheRovers said:

Can anyone give a bit more detail about the classic controller controls? What each button does etc?

I have never played any of the Smash games and thought 1000 Wii Points (£7) would be a good entry to the series to see how I like it, thing is I don't have a GC controller so will have to use my Classic, if the button layout really sucks then I will just save the extra cash and pick up a cheap copy of Brawl.



fiddle56 said:

this compared to brawl... just think if you put today's brawl into the time everyone had a n64 wow!



Reed said:

I can see the score as fair, but I feel the need to defend against the implied "you can get anything found in this game in its sequels, so its obsolete now," talk about this game (not just from this site).

Undeniably, the sequels eclipse the original in sheer content. But gameplay "improvements" are entirely debatable. Now, I accidently to a Shoryuken half the time I'm trying to do a Hadouken, so I'm no frame-counting, fighting game expert. But all three Smashes have very distinct nuances in their gameplay that really set them apart.

Namely, the original is an offensive-minded game. No air-dodging or sidestepping, and hitstun lasts quite a while, especially in midair. This makes way for some real comboing that you can't simply steer yourself out of if you're the victim, yet takes some real skill to maintain as the aggressor. Oh, did I mention that throws are ridiculously powerful and you can't block them? Another reason to stay on the offensive (or actually DODGE attacks, as in "move your character out of the way," not "hit a button and be invincible for a second").

I'm not going to call it deeper or superior to the sequels (though I'll make it no secret that it's my favorite engine of the three, hands down). But it is DIFFERENT, not "the same as Melee/Brawl, but worse." If you buy Smash for Nintendo nostalgia (nothing wrong with that...it's the only reason I bought Melee, which I'm quite terrible at and don't especially like to play), then there's no way Smash 64 can stand up to Melee and Brawl's legions of characters and trophies, and you can probably skip it.

But if you buy them to PLAY, Smash 64 is at least a unique experience, that I think is well worth 10 bucks so you can decide for yourself if it's better or worse. For a ridiculously powerful Kirby, for DK's throws of doom, for warp pipes, for a truly gigantic Great Fox, for a Hitmonlee yelling an incomprehensible noise, for Yoshi eggs that an opponent may consider threatening, for a wild Venusaur erupting out of the Silph building to annihilate you, for Board the Platforms... You CAN'T find everything in this game in Melee and Brawl, and more people need to realize that.



Jiggy said:

Reed is spot on about the original Smash being offensive-minded and offering unique elements to people who buy these titles for gameplay rather than characters. Brawl is primarily a mental game of spacing due to the lack of hit stun; Melee is a technical game of crazy speed and dexterity requirements (and is my favorite even though I'm pretty awful at it); SSB64 is a somewhat mixed game of truly ludicrous combos.



The_Cow said:

I swear some people have to criticize games and nit pick at them for so many reasons because they they think they are out of date; and their sequels are better than the origonal classics?! That's why some people don't realize a good game if it fell on their freaking heads!! I still dissagree with this freaking review, like Captain Jack Sparrow did; (even if he insulted the review way too much and got banned for it for no freaking reason)!

And I still don't understand why NOA is making wait & wait some more for SSB64 in NA?! It's been about 7 & a half months now since Japan has had it; & almost 2 months since Europe has had it!

So if not by August 24; then Nintendo is clearly wantint us to wait until we get more POed & we'll have to wait until September & possibly labor day like we all keep predicting!! Remember our SMRPG situation... so please NOA don't make it just like that & release it September! More like release it NOW!!



VirtualConsoleGuest said:

Someone (119) above me said that the value has been diminished because friends are no longer as available. I can see that, but I really think that that is a big generalization. The thing is, I played Super Smash Bros. with my brother, and then with a friend when he was over and vice versa. I didn’t play or have the game when it originally came out, but ‘getting together’ is still possible – Maybe I’m just lucky?

“For a ridiculously powerful Kirby, for DK's throws of doom, for warp pipes, for a truly gigantic Great Fox, for a Hitmonlee yelling an incomprehensible noise, for Yoshi eggs that an opponent may consider threatening, for a wild Venusaur erupting out of the Silph building to annihilate you, for Board the Platforms...”
I forgot -- I didn’t think of that.

I also really think that people should stop comparing (at least “hard-core” seriously) the game-play of the Super Smash Bros. games as ‘worse’ than another. I believe each of the three games had a different style – or speed if you will, on purpose. I like Melee a lot, but Super Smash Bros. Brawl is fun like the others, and shouldn’t be called worse just because of a different playing style.



The_Cow said:

people should stop complaining?! hahaha yeah right!
Waiting 8 long freaking months is enough to drive you mad!



Cotter said:

You guys don't understand just how complex and difficult the orginal smash bros is compared to the latest version. Both 64 and melee offer cancelling; an advanced tactic that increases the speed of gameplay. In brawl they got rid of all these advanced moves. IMO melee played way too fast and overkilled some of these. Just youtube a video of some of the melee championships and see for yourself the moves they pull.

I prefer 64 because it is simpler and slower than melee, yet still offers worlds of complexity compared to brawl. Again I invite you to youtube some of the best smash64 matches and advanced techniques. There is a whole community of players online who are nasty. Every character in 64 really does take a minute to learn but a lifetime to master. Shine-cancelling with Fox, double jump cancelling with Ness and Yoshi, uppercut combos with Luigi, resting with Jigglypuff, and more. And all characters can take advantage of regular canceling and direction influence, where you can affect which way your character will fly after being hit.

In my opinion Smash 64 has the best balance of speed, timing, spacing, and complexity of all three games. Yet despite being so complex it still has such a simple base to it that a child could pick it up and play.

I have yet to play a better fighting game.



I think Brawl's way better than this, but this game's still a blast.



leon_x said:

SMB is one of my favorite faighting game and it hasnt aged bad for me. I wish see Fighter´s Destiny in VC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



AVahne said:

damnit i used to have the game's cartidge and Melee's disc, but someone stole them before i could get a Wii(and they took my N64 and GCN and all my games except Ocarina of Time which i hid from my lil bro) so now i only have Brawl in possession.



wamyc said:

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fanboy of this game, but it's obvious that this review was more about the sequels than the game itself. I'm sure there are things about the game that have aged poorly, but am I to believe there's actualky more inherent fun to be had in waveracer than in this game? That seems absurd as the Smash Brothers concept is much more solidly fun even if the controls or graphics are dated.

For those that want to compare the titles, time may be equally spent on either, but money isn't. 10$ =|= 50$

Oh, and Melee is the best game by far. Quick deep gameplay that consistently rewards dexterity, intelligence, cunning, and practice beats a slow title with tons of fluffy swag (brawl).



MageNoobMan57 said:

I own both Brawl and Melee, and seeing as I've played the original on an emulator, I'm probably not going to get this one. Kind of a waste of $10 imo.



ocarinaoftime said:

i dont agree with the score at all....7??????sence when is a game based off its squeals..................but everyone has a opion and i can respect that ..........to me its a 8 out of ten........if i recall demon212 here said he like this game better than brawl and prefers it over brawl.....i could have miss understood his review on youtube.....i down loaded it and i will agree brawl and melee is better.......the only thing i cant recall is if the n64 controls better .....the classic controller the controls are a lil loose......but no matter what score everyone agrees on i think if u want the game download and enjoy and everyone have a happy new year........(this was my christmas present this year)..........



Monkeh said:

Lol, this game is so much better than a 7. It beats Melee and Brawl easily.



ninji said:

a 7?!!? WHAAA This first one wins in fun and just the multiplayer mash up! I do agree that it doesn't compare much to the others. But the game is still THE SAME in the others, with just added characters and moves. But I didn't like the melee one bit. It was not as fun!
I guess it just depends who your other 3 players your playing with are. They can only add to the fun.

I give it a 9. And I judge this game based on itself, and not comparing it to others. It could have only had more characters, that would be my only complain about SSB64.



FinalFantisiac said:

For those of you that have Melee or Brawl (and I can say this because I do in fact own Brawl), this would be a waste of points. Why? Because: 1) Both have much better graphics and gameplay matter than the original. 2) If you have at least one of the Super Smash Bros. (series) games, you are pretty much set, as getting the original is somewhat similar to the newer versions, so nothing of value will be gained. And 3) Certain gaming elements that the newer 2 incorporate make the original look like it has all the originality of 1972's 'Pong'.



winter123 said:

So... it got a 7 because there's newer games in the series? I usually like the reviews here but this is just wrong. Granted, I'd give it a 7, but i also give the other two games 7.



SuperMarioFan1995 said:

I might want to do this game again. I already finished it ages ago in June 2009.

It's really hard to choose the score for me. Maybe an 8/10 would be fair.



MageNoobMan57 said:

I have Melee and Brawl (and I've played SSB on an emulator), so I probably won't be getting this. Seems kind of like a waste of points to me..



Forsooth_and_Pi said:

I thought 7 was a bit low myself, but I can't argue with the final statement:

"The only real reasons to download it are out of nostalgia, or if you've never played a Super Smash Bros. game and simply want to start from the beginning. It's still a good game, it just feels incredibly basic after its two jam-packed sequels."

I downloaded the game out of nostalgia, and am having great fun with it. Just seeing the old Saffron City and Hyrule Castle stage makes it all worth the money, and the controls on GCN controllers aren't that bad. Granted, Melee and Brawl offer a lot more in terms of content, and playing with such limited stages and characters did feel a bit underwhelming, but as others have said the gameplay is very different here, and I wouldn't consider it any worse than the others. It's still a blast to play with friends, and notwithstanding the sequels I'd say it held up to time pretty well.

Actually one of my pettier complaints about the original is lack of stage music; each stage only has one song, and I think some musical diversity makes replaying stages more fun.



Dodger said:

I remember playing this game once. I was really young and I kept losing because I liked playing as Yoshi and Kirby because they were funny. :/



juanduran1 said:

I personally didnt find a problem playing with the classic controller but i did notice the game is a little faster than the original version and its somewhat noticeable when fighting against master hand (and in the opening). Also giving the score a 7 seems fair. I dont understand why people flip out when reviewers give games like this one a 7. It doesent mean its a bad game and that it still worth checking out.



MegaAdam said:

While a 7 is a perfectly reasonable score, I disagree with the reviewer's reasoning. You can't get "SSB64 and more" in Melee or Brawl; they are all three drastically different fighting game engines. You can't consider them like Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II Turbo, and Super Street Fighter II; it's more like Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha, and Street Fighter III.

As such, I feel the game warrants more examination based on its own merits and not just the predecessor to Melee. I'd argue this game offers more pure fun than its sequels, even if there are a lot fewer bells and whistles.



UnseatingKDawg said:

After getting Brawl, I went out for a used copy of Melee (never had a GameCube). Once I heard about it, I downloaded SSB64. After playing all three, I have to say this: Brawl is no doubt the best. However, I disagree with Melee being better. To me, there's something about Melee that doesn't seem right compared to the original or Brawl.



Lyndexer said:

I use to have this game, Until my Nintendo 64 broke. I was also pleased by having SSB coming out as a downloadable game on Wii shop. I just wish I had the points and cash to get the game, I'd be on it all day.



Spagem said:

I love this game. IMO it deserves a 10. I actually like SSB64 more then Brawl and Melee somehow. XD I don't know why but whatever. Just saying I like it way more.



Crusader8389 said:

@James I disagree. Brawl almost entirely got rid of the comboing system, which gives the original game tons of interesting twists. Unique and useful combos are STILL being discovered to this day by the super smash bros 64 community. After playing both brawl and the original n64 game multiplayer for many hours, I have come to the conclusion that the n64 version is a much deeper experience, even without the air dodging and side-bs; this seems to be almost entirely due to it's lack of comboing, which removes any amount of skill in following up an attack. The level of skill and strategy displayed by players like Isai and Superboomfan is aweinspiring to watch, and will give you a window into just how far this game can (and continues to) go!



MussakkuLaden said:

By far the most (and perhaps only) charming game in the series. After that, SSB just got way too serious and lost most of its fun. I don't care about the gameplay, character balance, and so on.
Moreover, many people I know prefer SSB 64 over Melee and the such because it doesn't demand such fighting game skill, but is much more about fairly slow-paced strategy. Almost like a good wrestling game.

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