Retro Review: Super Smash Bros. (N64)
Content Warning: This game is a clean fighting game by Nintendo, but I wouldn’t suggest it for anyone under eight.
Super Smash Bros. was the first fighting game I ever played. I played it for the first time when I was ten. One of the reasons I love it is it’s wildly different from most fighting games because it’s easy to pick up and play.
Super Smash Bros. introduced me to some Nintendo characters I had no idea about. Captain Falcon? Ness? However, even as a ten year old, I knew that Jigglypuff was the worst Super Smash character ever. Although it has been upgraded to new systems the game still holds up to its original potential. The graphics have improved greatly since the days of Nintendo 64 but the core fighting mechanics are essentially the same.
Much of the fighting is the same as the original game. While I still never use the shield (I hate the N64’s R button) everything else works with one thumbstick. Basically there are two main game modes. The first is where you pick a fighter, the amount of lives you have, and the difficulty, then face off against every character in the game and more. Along the way you will do a side mission like boarding every platform or racing to a finish line. While these can be easy, they can also be quite difficult depending on who your character is. The final battle you have against Master Hand is still the best way to end the main story mode in Super Smash.
If you meet certain requirements along the way, such as beating story mode with only three lives on normal difficulty, then a new challenger will appear. With Jigglypuff, Luigi, Ness and Captain Falcon to unlock, this is actually the most exciting part of the game. If you lose then you have to go back to the beginning of story mode and do it all again for your shot to unlock them. If you do crush your opponent then you can use the new characters in story mode and vs mode.
The second mode is vs mode. This is where this title truly shines as it is an all out war between you and three opponents. Whether these opponents are other humans or computer controlled AI is up to you. There are also a plethora of stages ranging from Hyrule to Donkey Kong’s jungle. While I don’t find any of the characters particularly unbalanced or overpowered, I prefer Kirby.
Graphics and Sound
In 1999, the Dreamcast was released. All of a sudden the N64 and PS1 games looked dated. Super Smash Bros. looks good for an N64 title, but I believe it could have looked much better with the expansion pack. The levels on the other hand are visually impressive and recreate the game they are from. I really felt like I was fighting in Hyrule and that I was on top of Star Fox’s mother ship.
The character sounds are on par with what you expect. One exception is Captain Falcon who has never been outside of his racing craft before. Hal had to make up how he looks and sounds. I can say with confidence that it was a success. Captain Falcon’s punch is now an infamous, oft repeated line. “Falcon PUNCH!” I don’t have much to say about the soundtrack except… THAT IT IS PERFECT. Every song fits on the appropriate level.
Anyone with an N64 should own this game. This is an essential in everyone’s library. As the ultimate party game, you can always have a good time. Just don’t beat your significant other with the hammer or you will be sleeping on the couch.
Perfect party game.
Levels recreate the games they are from beautifully.
Soundtrack is beautiful.
Graphics would have been much better with the expansion pack.
Unlocking Ness can be a pain in the butt.