- JP release: 21st January 1999
- NA release: 26th April 1999
- PAL release: 19th November 1999
- Developer: HAL
- Publisher: Nintendo
- N64 Magazine Score: 90%
Considering it’s humble beginnings, I don’t think Nintendo ever expected Super Smash Bros. to be such an important part of its line-up of games on future consoles. The first game was fairly light on what it contained, but it completely nailed the gameplay from the get-go.
It would have been very easy for Nintendo to make a regular fighting game – the N64 certainly had many failed attempts at the genre – yet HAL went for something new instead, something more geared for 4 players. Players no longer had a health bar, but rather a percentage damage (that could go way above 100%). The higher the number, the more you fly when you get hit.
The object of the game is to knock your opponents off the side of the map (or so far into the sky they launch into space). The main mode pits you against each character one at a time, but mixes things up with some team battles, fighting a horde of weaker opponents and fighting giant characters.
Every character has their own set of moves. The controls are simple (no combos to remember), so your focus in entirely how each of the powers work and the intricacies of how they can be used in multiple situations and alongside other powers.
Each player also has some special stages, such as breaking targets and boarding platforms. You’ll need to use the character’s full move set to complete them, especially if you want a good time.
The campaign ends with a fight against master hand, who does have a health bar, but also a set of moves for you to learn how to avoid. Once you finished, it’s not over, as a new challenger will appear.
While the roster starts with 8 very popular characters from Nintendo’s franchises: Mario, DK, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox and Pikachu, there were four more slots to unlock. When you fulfilled the criteria to unlock, a screen would flash up with “A New Challenger Approaches”. This is sadly something the internet has ruined, as discovering these for yourself is no longer possible – instead, these reveals are left entirely up to trailers. Beat them and you would unlock them to use.
Super Smash Bros. is a wonderful game, but was just the beginning for the franchise, the other games have improved upon it in every way – although the game still has dedicated fans, including those who add new content to the original, with a ton of levels and characters added.
Smash Bros is as unique and essential as any Mario game – especially as its multiplayer ranks up there with GoldenEye’s, Mario Kart’s and Quake II’s. The fact that Smash Bros is still an office lunchtime favourite, almost a year after we first got our hands on it, is testament to its greatness. Do not miss it.Mark Green, N64 Magazine #36
Remake or remaster?
I don’t think this need a remaster due to later games, but it would be nice to have some of the bonus stages in newer games. It should definitely get re-released, though. Another option is that, if Nintendo feel they can’t top Ultimate, the next console’s Smash can be a port of Ultimate with various options (item sets, levels, moves, etc) from previous titles added as alternative ways to play as a sort of combined collection.
Official Ways to get the game
There’s no official way to play Super Smash Bros.
2009: Wii Virtual Console
N64 Games by Date