In the past, there have only been two main ways to play the Super Smash Bros. series. You can play casually with friends or take the more serious route and hit the tournament circuit to find out who’s the best of the best. Of course, there are many different variables in-between, including items, no items, banned stages and a plethora of other rules and intricacies.
Now even more choices were added to the Smash Bros. series, as the game will soon launch on a handheld device for the first time in its long history. If there weren’t already enough choices to make when it comes to Super Smash Bros., now you have to decide which device you want to play on, so let’s take a look at the many different ways you can play Smash.
For many Smash Brothers players, the choice of platform is simple… buy both. The 3DS version arrives well before the Wii U version, which means even if you prefer to play on the big screen, you won’t want to miss getting a head start with the 3DS game. Playing early on the 3DS means you’ll be able to have a jump on anyone who waits for the Wii U version.
Playing early aside, Smash players can finally play the game anywhere they want. It’s not uncommon to play handheld systems in the restroom, and now you can finally get your Smash on in there. If you’re on the train, commuting to and from work/school or flying to a remote destination, it doesn’t matter. With the 3DS version you can play Smash when and where you want.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should abandon the Wii U. For the tournament-savvy players, the Wii U version will be the only version. The 3DS game will be used for practicing between matches, but the difference in feel between the 3DS controls and however you prefer to play on the Wii U could throw off some competitive players. When it comes to serious competition or getting a group of friends together to play in your living room, the Wii U version is the way to go.
The age-old debate for Smash Bros. has always been whether to play with items on or off. The competitive community created a hard and fast rule set that bans all items and a good number of stages, while also limiting the game to one-on-one (or doubles) matches. We all know that’s not how the casual player gets his or her Smash on, and that’s not how Nintendo intended for the game to be played. This is a party game, and most people prefer to play with all items all, all stages available and four players duking it out to see who’s the best.
With the introduction of Smash Balls in Smash Brawl, some people have gone a more customized route. Instead of leaving all items on, they may turn off Smash Balls, or a few items they deem troublesome. Luckily, Nintendo offers complete control over the items that appear in each match, which means players can set the frequency that items appear and exactly which items they do or do not wish to use in matches. Don’t like getting one-shotted by the baseball bat? No problem, just turn it off.
Playing with items on or even a few select items doesn’t adhere to the tournament rule set, but that doesn’t make you a scrub. The game is fun with items on, whether you like it that way or not. There’s a time for serious competitive play, and there’s a time for casual fun play. There’s no right or wrong way to play Smash, but the debate over items will likely continue well into the future.
Tournament or Casual
Each installment in the Super Smash Bros. series sells millions upon millions of copies. Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U will be no different, and despite the millions of people who own Smash, only a few thousand play the game competitively. So while some people want you to think you’re doing something wrong by playing with items on or not banning certain stages, or even playing a four-player free-for-all, you’d be in the minority if you played by the standardized tournament rules.
On the other hand, if you want to determine who’s the best player, the tournament rules go a long way in doing that. While the random factor of items and some stage interactions can have considerable impact on a match, if you can win with all of those distractions, you can win without them. However, if you need those distractions to win, can you really consider yourself the best player? It’s far easier to adjust to items being on and three other players to battle against than it is to realize you can’t rely on those items, or other players to distract an opponent.
However you decide to play, there’s a Smash Brothers play style for everyone. Let us know in the comments below how you intend to play the upcoming Smash game!