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Super Smash Bros. (N64)

SSB, Super Smash Bros N64
Genre: Action
Perspective: Side view
Visual: 2D scrolling
Gameplay: Fighting, Platform
Interface: Direct control
Setting: Fantasy
Published by: Nintendo of America
Developed by: HAL Laboratory
Released: 1999
Platform: Nintendo 64 (N64)

What we just did not make Nintendo happy! What kind of heroes did not "feed" on their platforms! And in an alliance with another well-known office HAL Laboratory decided to unite many of its (and also the HAL) heroes in one "cartoon" fighting game. Quotes are not for nothing: after all, by and large, the game with graphics based on polygons can be called cartoonish only with a big stretch. Nevertheless, the cartoonish smells of the characters themselves, as well as of the atmosphere, which the game soars and flaunts.


At once it is necessary to tell: you did not feel such quantity of drive in other fighting games. I will say more: even incomparable UMK3 does not hold out to Super Smash Brothers on this game aspect. Immediately it is clear that Nintendo has not in vain taken allies HAL (or, perhaps, was the other way around?), Because the product of their joint work in quality and the interest of the gameplay leaves behind many grands of this genre, including the famous series of MK and Tekken.
I really do not want to start with the bad, but, alas, with the evaluation of this aspect, the gameplay of any fighting game begins. Yes, this is the number of fighters. Even taking into account all bonus fighter'ov their number is only 12. Apparently, neither Nintendo's nor HAL heroes, nor Pokémon, also figuring in the game, and was not enough to collect in aggregate at least 17 -20 fighters. But let's leave this shortcoming on the conscience of the developers, especially since the number 12 is not so critical as it seems at first glance. However, let's face it: it is the small number of fighters that is the first accelerator of the boring game.
Although the number of fighters is the first, after the launch of the fighting game the gamer draws attention, there is still such a thing as the combat system. And she is in SSB, as it is supposed to be "cartoonish" fighting game (an absurd phrase, but, by God, otherwise you will not name it!), Just rife with irrepressible ... arcade! By and large, in any fighting game, the boevka is arcade, but in a game of this style it catches your eye right away: there are no super tactical tricks, no sweeps and the like.
Each hero, in addition to the main blow, of course, there are additional abilities that are activated by the B key (the gamepad itself is Nintendo 64). For example, Fox has a shot from a blaster, Link has a boomerang throw. They do not inflict a lot of damage, but they are indispensable in long-range combat. Each fighter has his own unique capture and the subsequent throw of a hateful opponent far ahead, with the developers trying to balance this technique for each fighter: the same Fox or Pikachu (yes, there are Pokémon in the game, but more on that later) he occurs quickly, but does not cause any damage during the throw, and the throw range is not very high. As for such fighters as Link or Samus, when they are thrown to the enemies some damage is inflicted, however, the capture itself is quite long and uninterrupted, which makes the fighter completely defenseless and open for strikes at this moment.
Among the compulsory abilities for all fighters, a "block" is also allocated, which also activates with just one button of the gamepad (which again proves the arcade of SSB). This creates a kind of protective field, which, of course, protects the player from any damage, however, with each blow reduces its volume.
Here, perhaps, and the whole set of receptions, activated by one button. As for special techniques, I will allow the reader to "unravel" them, especially since, due to the arcade of the fighting game, the combination of buttons does not represent anything complicated.
So we came to the most "delicious" in the game. To the style. A style is seen everywhere: in arenas, in fighters, in objects appearing during the fight. In general, what will Nintendo be without all this? Moreover, in alliance with such a professional developer, as HAL Laboratory.
So, directly fighters. Nintendo and HAL did not become particularly tricky and coming up with new heroes. They, so to speak, "imported" their former heroes from the games from the younger consoles and endowed each of them with special unique abilities, and quite familiar with previous games. Very pleased with a good encyclopedia of fighters present in the game, in which you can find out what games "came" to the SSB this or that hero, what platforms they were on and so on. However, not all the characters migrated to Super Smash Brothers from Nintendo and HAL games. Respectful anime emu-gamer probably will take in the game a few Pokemon, two of which are present in the selection menu of fighters.
Arenas in the game are recognizable and can not help but cause a smile of emotion, as each of them corresponds to his hero, for which we spent a lot of time in childhood. And all the attributes of arenas also make you feel this unique atmosphere: for example, the arena of the same Mario is the castle to which we reached the end of the levels in Super Mario Bros. Such examples can be given for each hero, but then the volume of this revile will swell to even larger sizes.
Dimensions of the arenas themselves are quite large and are multilevel, i.e. on each arena there are all kinds of platforms and floors, which also adds to the fighting game drive. Separate conversation deserve and the special properties of arenas, which can both interfere and help the player. For example, in the arena of Samus you will not be able to fall (the fall leads to "death" and loss of attempt), but you can "only" burn yourself with lava, the level of which rises and falls, which adds to the player the hassle. In the arena of Pikachu there is a special door, when entering into which comes out some Pokemon and trains his abilities on the players.
Of particular interest is the health system (the system of lives). Actually, there are no lives here. Instead, developers have introduced such a characteristic as the damage, expressed in SSB in percent. That is, there is no definite limit, after which the soldier goes into a knockout and loses a try, no. With increasing percentage of damage, the player's chances of flying out of the arena are directly proportional. Only chance. Of course, if the amount of damage rolls over 200%, then at the slightest push the fighter will take him outside the arena. But, as you can see, the lack of clarity in the health system only adds to the drive game, as well as the incentive to play better and dodge the blows of rivals.
Perhaps the biggest source of drive in the SSB are items that literally fall from the sky and help in a fight to you and your opponents. And most of them are "borrowed" from those very Nintendo and HAL games. Some of them even gave a humorous tone to the developers. For example, we all remember that flower, taking that Mario or Luigi in the Super Mario Bros.. turned into a fluttering "giant" fire. In Super Smash Brothers, he now serves as ... a flamethrower! Yes, it is the flamethrower that produces a continuous stream of flame! And throwing out the pokeball, you can for a while call for their side of the various Pokémon with their unique abilities. Also in the game there are a lightsaber, a bit, a mine, a blaster, a rather powerful bomb in the form of a black man, after a while beginning to walk and explode, green and red "turtles", again borrowed from the immortal Super Mario Bros., and much more. . Quite often the objects, before falling, are packed in boxes and barrels. Taking them and throwing them on the head of a careless opponent, you can sometimes significantly increase the amount of damage, especially if the box or barrel is not an object, but an explosive! And the barrels can also roll! In short, without these items the game would lose a fair share of its charm, and, quite possibly, of interest.
And in conclusion - about the modes of the game. It is possible as Arcade Mode (for passing), and command mode with great opportunities. In the case of the latter, for each of the four slots, fighters can be assigned as a live player (if there is one and an additional joystick), and a computer opponent. Each of them can be attributed to a certain team in color, and in any distribution of forces, even on the principle of "one against three"! If you do not have a friend and / or joystick on hand (although in the same Project64 you can give a part of the keyboard for the needs of another!) You can take a computer player as your partner, since the most interesting is 2x2. For computer opponents, you can choose the difficulty level. At first it's better to limit to the 3rd level, but with experience you can and should move to higher ones. In this mode, you can choose the arena on which you will fight, and if you are not sure, then there is Random, which chooses the arena at random. Before choosing fighters for a fight, you can choose its mode, whether it is stock-mode (try) or temporary, and the number of attempts or time can be chosen independently, at will. The interesting thing is that if the player chooses stock-mode, the total points are calculated according to the principle of frags from the same Quake or Unreal Tournament: if you fell or you were sent out of the arena, in addition to losing the attempt, the defeated player takes away the fragment and he added more. Thus, after the end of the bout, you can see the final table with your achievements. As for the regime for "passing", it, as always, is built on the ladder system: passed one enemy, here you are, please, even stronger. Between some battles there are Bonus levels, after which you can significantly increase the number of your points. Well, the final enemy will be. at this point I will not say anything and will not spoil your interest from the game! In general, in arcade-mode you will meet many fighters, whom you will not see in the command mode. What kind? Again, see for yourself in the process of passing!
Initially, some of the fighters are not available, as you might guess, they must be "discovered". Nintendo and HAL abandoned the "policy" of Tekken 3, when for the "discovery" of the fighters of all other rivals it is necessary to simply go through with one fighter. Yes, there is such an element, but with its help you can "open" only JigglyPuff. For the "discovery" of other fighters will have to sweat. How do you, for example, prospect to go through one "circle" in just twenty minutes? Yes, it is necessary to really sweat here, especially in arcade-mode both you and your opponent have only one attempt.

Graphics and Animation

The fact that the visual part of the game is based on polygons, says a lot. Let the number of polygons and their detailing in the fighters by today's (1997) standards. And does not strike, but it can be explained by the technical abilities of Nintendo 64, which, though by the power of "iron" and gives odds to the PlayStation itself, but before Dreamcast nevertheless does not hold out. In addition, we forget about the detailed background of arenas in full 3D. What about the camera? She is incredibly intelligent and chooses the right angle depending on the position of each player in the arena: if all of them are crowded in one area, the camera is approaching, if one or two of the fighters are on the opposite edge of the level, it moves away at the correct distance. Developers should applaud at least for this!
Visual effects such as fire, water, lava, electricity and magic are also striking in their beauty and sophistication, and are worthy of the power of Nintendo 64. Animation is certainly pleasing to the eye: every movement, every beat or jump is calculated to the smallest fraction of a second and beautifully set .
In short, the developers did not miscalculate with the orientation primarily on the polygonality of the game, for it is unlikely that SSB showed such visual beauty on sprite consoles. On the PlayStation better modestly to remain silent, because Nintendo with Sony long-standing differences, so it would be hardly worth hoping that the fighting game ported to the popular PS. But this conversation is no longer this article.

Music and sounds

As expected, the music in each arena falls under its style: for example, in Mario's level, the same melody that we heard in almost every level of Super Mario Bros sounds. The only thing you can find fault with is that, due to the short duration of one "circle" of the music theater, they quickly become bored. However, this remark is nothing more than symbolic, for in a hot fight it is almost neglected. Sounds are also thought through to the smallest detail and in precise detail correspond to the actions.


At first glance, the control may seem uncomfortable, which is easy to explain: the location of buttons and analog levers on the N64-gamepad itself is not ideal. But adjusting it in the right way, you quickly get used to it and do not feel the discomfort that so confuses at first.