Hands-On: Smash Brothers Smash Run Mode

I try out the new Smash Run mode exclusive to Smash Brothers for the 3DS. Will Little Mac defeat this new challenge?

Over in the main expo hall at PAX Prime was Nintendo’s booth, completely decked out in a combination of Hyrule Warriors and Smash Brothers banners. While I wasn’t able to play Hyrule Warriors (all the more painful knowing I missed a special event in my very hotel where attendees got to play as Ganondorf), I was able to get a crack at the 3DS version of the new Smash Brothers title. You can watch the entirety of my playthrough in the video above, so I’ll keep this one centered around how the game felt.

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Little Mac Goes For A Smash Run

I chose Little Mac due to my preference for heavy hitting Smash Bros fighters and a 20 year love affair with Punch-Out!! (Wow, this is really Little Mac’s 20 year anniversary, isn’t it?). When I began my Smash Run, I quickly learned that platforms were not Mac friendly. I was having trouble even getting onto some platforms, let alone defeating an enemy on a platform above me. It was also weird having the shield be mapped to the R button instead of L. After years of playing Smash Brothers Brawl with the Wii/Nunchuk combo, it was difficult to adjust to not using my left hand to guard or dodge. I’m sure you’ll be able to change the buttons around in the full game, but it was a factor during the demo.

Once I got use to the controls, I was able to really start exploring the Smash Run mode. Around 5:10 in the video, you can start to see how much the powerups start to affect the character. I had a couple of deaths happen because I lost control, unable to adjust to the new powerups at the speed I was getting them. I was barely able to get a handle of my suped-up Mac by the time the Smash Run counter ticked down to zero. Now it was time to put my newfound skills to the test in combat.

powered up is an understatement

Doc Louis Would Be Proud

The 3DS demo at PAX Prime only allowed for a single player with three CPUs to fight and it kept making that fight a “Flower Smash” (Every fighter has a flower that slowly damages you over time). I immediately felt the difference the powerups make as I began tearing through the other combatants. “I am Little Mac, destroyer of worlds” I thought to myself as I cleared the screen of CPU opponents.

I absolutely cannot wait to play Smash Run with a group of friends when Smash Brothers comes out. It was crazy enough fighting with all those powerups when it was just me against the CPUs. I can’t imagine what that’s going to be like with three other people using supercharged characters.

You can pick up Smash Brothers for the 3DS when it releases on October 3rd.

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I'm a freelance contributor that adores the art and culture of gaming. I'm an indie game enthusiast who loves supporting a game with a small budget and new ideas. I also love pro wrestling, tabletop RPGs, and Cadbury Creme Eggs.