Smash Bros 3DS Demo Impressions – Win a demo code!

Smash codes 1

If you saw this message in your inbox, you probably did the same thing as me. You rushed over to your 3DS, eyes glowing, picked it up, jammed the eshop button into Oblivion, and waited. Waited for what we’ve all been waiting for since it was announced back at E3 of ’11. Super Smash Brothers for the 3DS. It’s here, it’s playable, and it’s pretty darn fun.

The email, should you get one, comes with four codes. One for you, 3 for your friends. If you have nearby friends who have been waiting to play this game with you, give the codes to them, as it looks like you will be able to play together with this demo. I however, am giving away a code on twitter because I have no friends. You can find the link at the bottom of the article, but why not hear about what you’re getting into before you rush off?

Getting started

If you do have a code, launch the eshop and click the menu button in the top right. From there, hit “Redeem download code” and enter your code there. It will show you how much space the demo takes up (1,041 blocks), and it will begin its download. For me, the download took roughly 2-5 minutes on a 20 mb/s connection. It’s not a very big download, and should go relatively quickly.

After tapping your newly installed icon, you’ll see the famous “How to play” video, that details what the edge of the screen is, how to get KOs, and how to use different attacks. You can either watch that or skip it. I skipped it.

Getting really started

On the main menu, there’s not much to see, though a few things pop out to me. First, here’s a picture:

Main Menu

I learned a few things I’ve learned from this menu alone. First, it looks like the challenges that debuted in brawl are back, so even while the 3DS and Wii U don’t have an official achievement system, it looks like you can still unlock items via the in game challenges. We can see icons for Smash Run — the 3DS exclusive mode — and online play, both inaccessible. However, this does confirm that this is probably the final build of the menu, seeing how there are icons there that aren’t able to be selected.

There are two other icons that really have my attention. The streetpass icon and the Wii U icon. Hovering over the Wii U option only says “Connect to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U” with a picture of a white Wii U. Looks like even Nintendo forgot that the basic edition was phased out. (Aw come on, can’t we laugh about that yet?) The streetpass icon is a bit more interesting. I think we’ve seen video of it before, but I see what looks like little hockey pucks smashing against each other. Can’t wait to see what that is.

Okay, now that I’ve talked about what’s NOT in the demo, let’s talk about what IS there.

Roster and stages

The demo gives you access to both solo and group smashes. So it would appear that this is a multiplayer demo, as I mentioned before. Grab your friends and beat them to a pulp! The group mode looks like it works similar to most 3DS multiplayer games, with one player hosting, and the rest joining. As host, you can set join preferences to “Everyone”, “Friends Preferred”, or “Friends only”. Cool to know, I thought.

Alright alright. Here is the roster. Before you say it, yes, there are characters missing. Not sure why mii fighters are omitted, but apparently they are. Nintendo must have wanted it to look symmetrical or something.

Demo character select. Only five characters unlocked.


Only five characters are available for you to play. They are as follows:

  • Mario
  • Link
  • Pikachu
  • Villager
  • Mega Man

You also have the option to play as a random character, but still only of those five. You can change the CPU levels from 1 to 9, but the rules are locked in. This demo only allows two minute smash battles with items on, it appears. Tapping those icons, or trying to go into the settings menu will leave you with an unhappy buzzer noise.

One thing I noticed is that, while you can change the skins of the characters, you can’t see all of their available skins. For example, Mario doesn’t have his Punch-out outfit available. I was able to switch to a female villager though but it looks like each character starts out with four choices. I’m betting they expand from there via unlocks and hopefully not DLC.

Anyways, after you pick a character, you get to the stage select screen. I was actually quite impressed with the number of stages I saw, though only Battlefield is playable.

smash demo stage select

Some classic stages are back, such as Corneria and Brinstar, and I can see some new ones as well, such as Rainbow Road and Living Room (Nintendogs). Each stage has the option for normal form and “Omega form”. Omega form is the final destination version of a particular stage, and this option does work in the demo. This means you can play on either Battlefield or a flat version of it.


Okay all you competitive fans out there. I bet you want to know whether it feels more like Brawl or Melee. Personally it feels more like brawl with some melee elements thrown in. It seems easier to chain attacks together and the like, but characters still have their floaty ease of movement that I liked from Brawl. Overall, it feels like a good mix of the two. For those who miss the very first Smash Brothers for the Nintendo 64, you’ll love the nostalgic victory music.

One big thing I noticed that I normally don’t is the items. They are CRAZY this time around. Giant X-bombs taking up half the stage, huge eye swords that create cyclones, a Rally-X flag that grants you a point if you hold down A long enough (without it getting stolen and its charge going to the next person!). The items really shine in this new game. I get excited each time I see a new one fall from the sky. I even chased a few off cliffs just to try to use them before I fell to my death.

One other side note is that you drop items a lot easier in this one than in previous games. I’m kind of for this, because it used to be nigh impossible to do.

The new characters are great. Mega Man focuses more on his smash attacks than his ability to combo, while the Villager is just a joy to play around with. I don’t want to go into too much detail (Mainly because I haven’t quite figured them all out yet) but it’s obvious a lot of thought went into the creation of these characters. They’re not just “thrown in”. They all feel like a part of the smash universe.

smash demo stomp the yard

Lasting thoughts

Honestly, even if you’re not a Smash Brothers fan, I still think you’re going to have fun with this game. I was a bit worried going in, but now I can’t wait to get back to playing. I’ve even been taking little writing breaks to play more. This game is going to be huge. Lots of characters, lots of stages, lots of modes, and a ton of fun. If this demo is ANY indication of how the Wii U version is going to shape up, “Holiday 2014” can’t come soon enough.

One last thing. I was worried the transition to handheld wouldn’t go smoothly. It actually works very well on a 3DS. The only awkward thing is having to use “L” to throw away an item, but I’m sure I’ll get used to that. Other than that, the game feels right at home on a portable system.


All you have to do is retweet my tweet below that mentions the contest. I’ll do a random number drawing and announce the winner at some point tomorrow. Thanks for entering!

Also, go ahead and give me a follow if you want to keep seeing my thoughts about the game. I’ll probably be sharing pictures and the like pretty often.