(Nintendo/Hal, April 1999)

Nintendo has a very long career of making some of the greatest video games in the world like Donkey Kong Country, Super Metroid, the Legend of Zelda just to name a few but they all can't be winners. Did you ever play that crappy Yoshi's Story, what about that borefest Hey You Pikachu, or maybe you had the displeasure of playing the horrible combo of weak platforming and education in the dismal Mario is Missing before? Those games sure did suck, eh? Wouldn't you like to take out your frustrations on Nintendo in some way? Here is a very cool idea for a original fighting game where I can finally get my revenge on several Nintendo characters and it's even 4 player too! Here is the amazing Super Smash Brothers.

It all starts out in a kid's room and a magical white glove comes out of no where to set up Nintendo stuff toys and arenas so once they come to life they to viciously fight one another. Once one of the eight characters has beaten up the other characters in some strange scenarios you can then go after the giant glove itself. There isn't much of a story here but it does the job.

Super Smash Bros. has eight default characters to play as here. Super Mario (the popular Italian plumber himself), Link (from Zelda of course), Donkey Kong (from, well Donkey Kong), Fox McCloud (Star Fox), Pikachu (the yellow thing from those Pokemon games), Samus (the chick from Metroid), the pink blob thing Kirby (famous for Kirby's Adventure), and even that crappy Yoshi dinosaur character (Yoshi's Island) that nobody likes are all in here at your command. OK, eight characters doesn't sound like too much but there are four other hidden freaks to unlock here at least but the Gamecube version is still a lot bigger and more diverse.

The main objective in Super Smash Bros. is to beat up your opponent so bad that you can hit them out of the arena or screen. The more damage a fighter takes than the easier it will be to send them flying after a good hit and then laugh after you hear them screaming. Each fighter has their own set of unique standard strikes and special moves that are very easy to pull off plus there are various throws and blocks to master here as well so there is a lot depth here.

The stages here can also help or hurt your performance as well. Yoshi's arena is very small so there are not too many places to run while Samus's stage is much bigger but there is dangerous lava that constantly moves up and down for example. The levels can also have a bunch of nasty weapons like fans, hammers, and pokemon balls just laying around all over the place and these items to help you gain a huge edge over your enemy but watch out for those nasty walking bombs that can waste anybody in a hurry if it hits them.

The single player lets you face the other characters but there is usually some kind of catch. When you fight the computer controlled Donkey Kong for example he is about 10 times bigger then normal nearly takes up the whole screen and when you fight in Yoshi's stage you actually take on several of them instead of just one. Sadly, Super Smash Bros. isn't too compelling for single players since the game doesn't change the next time you play it and once all the secrets are found but if you got friends over then the game is full of cool options for the multi-player battles. Do you hate long fights, edit the amount of time or lives per the bouts? Don't like weapons, turn them off. Although the list of options isn't as big as the Gamecube edition and having four characters on the screen at once can get confusing but the rules are always changeable so the fights never get too boring.

The controls were easy enough to master thanks to the mostly 2D perspective but they are still far from perfect. The Smash strike itself can be a funny thing since it is done with the Analog stick only, it's way too easy to do the wrong move when trying the Smash attack and when seconds count it could mean life or death for players. Unfortunately, the cross pad is only used for taunting opponents and that's just a waste in my opinion.

The graphics are solid but not the most impressive on the Nintendo 64. Although all the characters are easy to make out here, they are not in hi-res or heavily textured like in other N64 games like Turok 2 or Banjo Kazooie. There isn't a lot of slowdown or flickers either so the action is at least very fast and consistent. The sound in SSB is mostly recycled stuff from pass Nintendo games but it's still pretty good. For example; in the Donkey Kong level you'll hear the theme from Donkey Kong Country and I love the classic Metroid track on Samus's Norfair world. There are tons of other familiar tracks for the other guys here as well to please retro fanatics. The fighters also have their own unique voices and sound effects which helped bring them to life.

OK, not everything is great here since there are some minor flaws here like a lack of endings, any kind of real story, or the overall screen confusion at times. Still Super Smash Bros. has almost unlimited replay value thanks to the huge multiple player game and fun chaotic fighting action that anyone can pick up and play. The game is very flesh and different compared to all these other lame one on one Street Fighter II clones out there (like the derivative Dark Rift or the goofy Killer Instinct Gold just to name a few). Super Smash Bros. is a must try for any one with a N64 and especially anybody who's loves or even hates Nintendo because Yoshi deserves a big whooping.



*Battery back up game
*Rumble Pak compatible

overall rating: 88/100
Find Super Smash Bros. on eBay here!

For 1 to 4 players
Rated (E) for Everyone

graphics: 7/10
sound: 8/10
gameplay: 9/10
replay: 8/10

(Ryan Genno) 2007

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