Published on May 1st, 2012 | by Chucky Chesus0
What’s next for the Super Smash Bro’s franchise?
There are few games that can eat up a weekend like Super Smash Bro’s can. From the heap of different game modes like everyone’s tiny or super fast, to the massive roster of Nintendo classics as well as some surprises, the series has gone from being a Nintendo 64 classic to a massive gaming franchise with a Game cube and Wii sequel. With talks of the Wii U getting its official reveal at E3 (sans price reveal) and series creator Masahiro Sakurai talking about where to go next, what can they really do to change the installment without breaking the masterpiece formula?
It all started April 26th, 1999 and I’m sure no one saw this level of success coming. I remember seeing the very first commercial TV Spot for this game and laughing. I remember when my neighbors, the only kids I knew who had a N64, got it for the first time and I can not give a realistic number on how many hours we spent playing that game. To be frank, it holds a giant part of my childhood. The idea was simple, take twelve popular Nintendo gaming characters and pit them against one another in various and recognizable gaming levels. It was simple, effective and it spawned almost an instant classic.
The game play pit your characters against up to 4 others in a side scrolling battle matches. The appeal is really the simple combos, most of your attacks are single button presses paired with a direction of the joy stick. The game also differed from fighting classics like Street Fighter in the sense that instead of just beating the life bar out of your opponent, the point was to beat your opponent until their damage was high enough to knock them out of the level, with the highest being 999%. Characters could also turn away from their opponents, having some what of a free motion as well as blocking and dodging and being able to throw opponents.
Two years later came the second release in the series, Super Smash Bro’s Melee for the Game Cube. With big shoes to fill, the title did just that and then some. It quickly became the highest selling game for the Nintendo Game Cube as well as gaining critical acclaim from reviewers like IGN and Famitsu. Nintendo had a sure fire winner in this sequel. Adding 13 more characters, sharper graphics, more items and levels, this game added more to the pot without really stirring it, but it still payed off. As did the 3rd installment in the series
After a 7 year hiatus, gamers got what they were asking for, Super Smash Bro’s Brawl for the Wii in spring 2008. The 3rd game, however, featured a much deeper single player mode, something that was met with mixed review in the Melee and was basically just a play through for the original. There were plenty of small and fun additions like the trophy collection system, a level builder, new options in the group mode and the ability to play over a Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. There were even the inclusion of some third party characters to the title like Sonic and Solid Snake. Getting a perfect 40 from Famitsu this time, the game easily topped it’s predecessors and went on to sell 9.5 million copies and is currently the 8th highest selling title for the Wii.
We’re just a few months away and while I don’t expect to hear anything substantial about the series at E3, Sakurai has us all wondering what can he really do next? After some quotes from IGN, it seems like he plans on pairing the Wii U and the 3DS, which I think might work well in his favor. Who wouldn’t love the portability of Super Smash bro’s, I’d even play the original one on a handheld if I could. With 35 characters and 49 levels, he’s correct, just expanding the franchise is a real dead end move. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s going to fly off of the shelves and they have a history of making stellar titles so I have no doubt in my mind that the next one will be just as epic as the previous ones.