There are some games that remain fun throughout the ages and Super Smash Brothers for the Nintendo 64 is one of theses. Originally released in 1999, Super Smash Brothers has now fathered two sequels: Super Smash Brothers Melee for Nintendo Gamecube in 2001, and Super Smash Brothers Brawl in 2008. The game has become a strong part of the Nintendo identity because of its mass appeal and playability. For those who own a Nintendo 64, the original Super Smash Brothers can be a very enjoyable game to play, especially with friends.
The idea behind Super Smash Brothers was a unique one: why not combine all of the famous characters in Nintendo’s repertoire into one game? When the developers who created this game began to wonder what these characters could do together in a single game, their first answer was the one that made most sense. They should fight one another. Pikachu, Link, Mario, Yoshi, Samus, Kirby, and more all on the same screen, in the same game.
From this original idea, Super Smash Brothers came into being. This game aimed to gather together the most loved characters from Nintendo games and have them battle against one another. This premise allowed every Nintendo fan to have their favorite character that they played with. The idea of a four person multiplayer option allowed the possibility of fun replay value. And the fact that each character came with their own specific and well known history allowed the developers to plan stages that went with each character and assign moves that would relate to each character.
In order to bring this idea together as a storyline of sorts, the game developer came up with the idea that these characters (being beloved Nintendo creations) were like the action figures that a child will play with. Thus, in the opening of the original Super Smash Brothers, the “master hand” (who is the final boss of the game) pulls the characters out of a toy chest.
When the developers went about making this game, they decided to make it revolutionary not just in premise, but also in gameplay. Most fighting games involve two characters attacking one another in a two or three dimensional plane, mostly staying on a flat ground, but occasionally jumping perhaps to dodge certain attacks. Super Smash Brothers took this basic idea and added a much freer concept of jumping and things such as platforms and irregular ground. The perspective of the game is two dimensional as far as levels go, with three dimensional characters walking sideways across the screen, but the added ability to jump high into the air, perhaps to a platform created a whole new style of fighting. Killing an enemy was only possible by knocking them off of the stage, which is always floating in air. The more damage you do to your opponent, the farther he flies and so the easier it is to dispatch him. You are also able to knock someone upwards or sideways so far that they “fall off” the stage.
Along with this new mobility came a variety of moves that were simple to perform. So simple, in fact, that beginners could catch on very quickly. In old fighting games moves were difficult and involves a series of buttons; in SSB, pushing B and the control stick upwards at the same time is one move, while B and down is another. In this way, each character has 4 main moves, along with physical attacks which are made in the same manner with the A button. As a result, battles are very exciting and involve a mixture of different skills in different directions (up moves generally attack upwards, etc.). Finally, characters can also grab and throw one another by using the R button near one another. This is a great way to throw someone off the stage. Gamers found these new way of playing very exciting, especially in multiplayer modes. The game also includes a single player mode where the player must defeat enemies or go through certain “stages” that involve challenges like breaking targets with your character.
Another innovation that this game included was items. Items are objects that can be found on the levels and used when picked up. They vary from items for healing, to powerful weapons, to explosive traps. Using these can be highly strategic, especially since almost every item can also be thrown at your enemies as a projectile weapon. The stages themselves are interactive in some ways and will do things from causing damage to any person in a certain area to having platforms appear and disappear.
Super Smash Brothers for the Nintendo 64 is a very fun game, especially if you play with friends. The well tuned fighting system allows for a different experience each time you play and encourages improvement overall in your gaming skill. You can find Super Smash Brothers used online for about $25.00, or chances are someone you know had it and you can borrow it if you have an N64 to play it on.