A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is part of a long-running fighting series. Characters who are generally portrayed as friendly/heroes -- such as Mario, Yoshi, and Pac-Man -- beat, stomp, and attack each other in an over-the-top, cartoonish free for all. While it sounds violent, there's no blood or gore; think of it as a video game take on "king of the hill." The game is most fun to play with people on your Friends list, though it's also possible to play against strangers from around the world (but there's no direct communication with strangers). Because Super Smash Bros. features lots of characters from different games, kids might ask to buy the titles featuring their new favorite character.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In SUPER SMASH BROS. FOR NINTENDO 3DS, it's every character for themselves in a battle royale between Nintendo's most popular characters -- as well as characters from other franchises, such as Pac-Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Mega Man. Each comes with their own unique abilities and power attacks, which are used to fight and weaken opponents (whether computer controlled, friends, or strangers online) to knock them off of their platform. The game accommodates one to four players, and there are two main single-player modes: Classic Mode, which has players fight through a series of enemies until reaching a boss battle, and All-Star Mode, in which players battle characters in the order of the year they debuted. There are also shorter mini-games.
Is it any good?
There was a lot of (valid) concern among fans of the Super Smash Bros. games when Nintendo announced it was bringing the series to its 3DS handheld device. Thankfully, the somewhat clumsily named Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS quickly calms those fears. While there's certainly a difference between this and the console versions of previous games, it's not as jarring as you'd expect. And, honestly, the biggest complaint we had was hand cramps from the 3DS button layout.
The game is overflowing with new characters and gameplay modes that will keep players occupied for a long time. Its biggest weaknesses come in its assumption that players know how to play (there's no tutorial or hand holding here; you get tossed into a battle). And people who buy a digital copy of the game won't even have a manual to explain which button does what. Also, online play suffers when one player has a hiccup in their online connection, causing game stuttering that detracts from the fun. Overall, though, any fears that this would be a stripped-down echo of console versions of the game can be forgotten. This is the real deal.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games like Super Smash Bros. While it's fun to see familiar characters brawl like this, why is it not acceptable in the real world? What are other ways to solve conflicts?
Talk about what makes a game fun. Can you explain why cartoonish fighting might make a game more fun and appealing than gove and visceral content? Do you think the graphic images are gratuitous in most games, or necessary for some stories?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: October 5, 2014
- Genre: Fighting
- Topics: Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Sports and Martial Arts
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief, Mild Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: June 20, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.