Does The Original Super Smash Brothers Still Stand Up?

Is there any game series more fun than “Super Smash Brothers”? While we’ve had fun with the “Mario Party” games, Smash Brothers is in a league of its own. What other series lets you choose so many incredible characters to duke it out with your best friends?

With so many interesting and high-quality games in the series, we at LoveRetro decided to take a look at the very first “Super Smash Brothers” game on the Nintendo 64. This original 1999 retro game remains one of the best games on the system, but does it hold up after all of these years? Let’s take a look.

The Good News!

We’re going to start with the good news first, because we love being positive. First of all, we were happy to find that just about everyone here could pick up the game and start playing right away. Although it took a few rounds to master the basic attacks, we were soon engaged in the same kind of epic battles that the game originally inspired.

This reminded us of the great design behind this game. Anyone, and we mean anyone, can pick this game up and start playing. The controls are intuitive, the button-layout easy to master, and the game play still a lot of fun. It was great to float around with Kirby to avoid the angry laser blasts of Samus.

So we’re happy to say that the game retains its easy-to-play appeal. We were also happy with the graphics. While obviously a little more primitive than later entries, they were a lot better than we expected. Unfortunately, all good news does come with a bit of bad…

The Bad News…

While we had a blast reacquainting ourselves with “Super Smash Brothers,” we were disappointed at its relatively shallow nature. While there remained quite a few options and tweaks for multi-player, they are absolutely paltry when compared to “Melee” or “Brawl.” And the single player game, while still fun, remained relatively uneventful compared to those games.

The simple truth is that the original game lacks the awesome tweaks and updates that made games like “Melee” so fun. There’s no exploration, relatively few characters, and a low-level of customization.

As a result, it was easy to feel a little underwhelmed by the game, especially when we turned on the Gamecube and played a few rounds of “Melee.”

Is it fair to compare the first game in a series to its predecessors, which often have the chance to improve minor faults? Maybe not, but it’s hard to deny that later games did present the same concept in a more refined way.

It’s also fair to say that, while “Melee” and “Brawl” did offer significant upgrades to the original game, they didn’t actually expand the basics very much. What you get with the original is basically what you get with later entries, but with more bells and whistles.

The Conclusion

In spite of some concern about its shallow gaming experience, we can’t deny that we had to pull ourselves away from the game after about two hours to get some work done. “Shallow” or not, the original game remains an addictive game experience that takes many of us back to the earlier years of gaming.

We’re happy to say that “Super Smash Brothers” remains an instantly fun and engaging party game that is perfect for any social situation. So why not hook up the old Nintendo 64, invite over your best friends, order some pizza, and have a “Super Smash Brothers” tournament? You might be surprised at how much fun it still offers, even when compared to its sequels.

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