Super Smash Brothers – a Great Retro Game for N64

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.
Premise

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.

Gameplay

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.

Conclusion

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.

The Best Fighting Games for the Gamecube and Nintendo Wii

The fighting game genre has been around since the earliest days of the Nintendo Entertainment System and Mike Tyson’s punchout. Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter brought it into the limelight in arcades and then to our homes on the SNES and Sega Genesis. The genre has evolved over time and yet still there sits a substantial percentage of us that find the greatest joy in the simple 2D fighters of days’ past. Whatever your favorites, the fighting genre is a classic and long standing tradition among gamers that brings them together to swear, drink, and break things in frustration because “he’s being cheap!”
Nintendo was once the king of all things fighting, with Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Punchout to keep its fans sedated. Now adays, they’re relying on innovation and the inhouse brand name to bring the fighting games to the masses, and though they have a diluted line up, there are some gems in there, including the best version of Soul Calibur II, if only because of the inclusion of a certain green clad Hylian. The Wii has endless potential as well, offering the option to not only be involved in the action, but get tired doing so. If Wii boxing is a sign of things to come, fighting games could get very interesting indeed.

Soul Calibur II
Soul Calibur II released for all three major consoles, but many regarded the Gamecube edition as the one true best game to own, mainly because it offered the opportunity to play as Link, in his full adult form (Twilight Princess was not even announced at this point) and he kicked a decent amount of rear end. The gameplay, like the other two editions was astounding. Multiple weapons, hours long quest mode, countless multiplayer modes and one of the best fighting game engines around made Soul Calibur II a must own for any fighting fan. If you happened to be a Nintendo supporter at the time, you got that much luckier with Link.

Super Smash Bros. Melee
Probably the crème de la crème of all Nintendo fighting games, Super Smash Bros, started on the Nintendo 64 console, exploded on the Gamecube with one of the biggest and best gameplay experiences on any console. The familiar formula of all Nintendo’s favorite mascots stuffed into one great big fighting game run by a gamer via his little figurines is genius and in Melee, Nintendo pushed the boundaries, offering dozens of characters, some from games never even released in America like Fire Emblem and dozens of quest modes, unlockable items and multiplayer modes. The statistics included for whom you fought with and how much are incredible as well. Hundreds of hours could be put into this game and you’d keep coming back for more. Now, with the release of the Nintendo Wii, the long awaited sequel is on the horizon. The Super Smash Bros. Brawl will probably see shelves by this summer and features even more characters and one of the most anticipated features, online play. For those worried about the use of the Wii remote for Smash Bros. gameplay, Nintendo has already announced that it will use traditional control schemes.

Dragonball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2
One of the Nintendo Wii’s many release titles, Budokai Tenkaichi 2 was great for a few reasons. First off, it’s the best Dragonball Z game around. After the first few mediocre Budokais, they got it right and produced a massive, cel shaded, Dragonball Z fan’s dream. This game is perfect for any fan of the classic fighting anime and that’s enough for most people. The Wii edition however has a great setup, allowing the use of the Wii remote in ways that fighting games have never been played before. Special moves are acted out and flying is an art all of itself. This game becomes incredibly hard in its deepest parts and that’s a credit to the design. But it’s not sloppy and that’s the most important part. Many people worry about the ability of game designers to put together games for the Wii that don’t fail to utilize the hardware properly. This game doesn’t and that makes it one of the best anime based games around.

The fighting game roster for Nintendo’s consoles might seem sparse, and mainly that’s because of the limited hardware abilities in the last generation, but with the introduction of the Wii and it’s amazing control scheme, something many developers are beginning to see is not a gimmick, more games like Budokai Tenkaichi 2 will be on the way, utilizing the Wii to its full extent.