Super Smash Bros. – A Brief Retrospective.
This year celebrates the 20th anniversary of Super Smash Bros.! Originally released on January 21, 1999, for Nintendo 64, Smash Bros. brought together 12 of Nintendo’s best characters together.
From Zelda to Star Fox, from Mario to Pokemon, the 12 legends that battled introduced many players to a number of series. Ness’ inclusion in Super Smash Bros. helped EarthBound, his main game, gained a wide following!
Super Smash Bros. featured many items, including Pokemon that could attack players. In addition, the game featured background characters, such as Ridley, King Dedede, and Charizard. All would later go onto become playable in the series.
Interestingly, a Piranha Plant appears in the pipes of the Mushroom Kingdom. The little plant will also be playable in upcoming DLC!
Super Smash Bros. Melee
In 2001, Super Smash Bros. Melee debuted on GameCube, which helped jumpstart a tournament scene. It also introduced Marth and Roy, which helped start a movement to bring Fire Emblem to the west!
Beginning with Melee, Smash Bros. offered Trophies which served as descriptive retrospectives of characters and stages in Nintendo’s history. Collecting these Trophies gave players rewards for single-player modes. But more importantly, it served as the massive Nintendo library that would follow the series for many years later.
Super Smash Bros. Melee featured many Nintendo favorites, such as Princess Peach, Bowser, Zelda, Ganondorf, and Falco. The Ice Climbers and Mr. Game & Watch also returned from a long-lost era.
Melee featured a slew of single-player modes. Adventure Mode, All-Star Mode, Classic Mode, and various arena modes gave players plenty of challenge when not battling their friends. These challenges unlocked new Trophies, modes, pieces of music, and even characters!
Super Smash Bros. Melee is heavily noted for its tournament scene. 17 years later, the Melee scene continues its strong support for the game.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Seven years later, Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out to Nintendo Wii. Debuting the 3rd-party characters, Snake and Sonic, Smash opened up a new dimension of possibilities for the series. Brawl also introduced online play to the series!
New to the series included Ike from Fire Emblem, Wario, Wolf O’Donnell, and the Pokemon Trainer from Pokemon Red and Blue. While the departure of Roy, Pichu, Young Link, and Mewtwo saddened longtime fans of the characters, many enjoyed the new additions totaling up to 37 characters!
Super Smash Bros. Brawl also introduced Subspace Emissary, a fully-fledged story mode featuring scrolling stages. While initially similar to Melee’s Adventure Mode, this story featured cutscenes and all characters uniting against a common enemy.
Brawl also included My Music. Prevalent in all future games in the series, My Music included dozens of remixes of music from past games each represented franchise!
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
2014 debuted Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U. While the 3DS brought the series to handhelds for the first time, the Wii U entered the series into HD. Introducing new favorites, like Palutena from Kid Icarus: Uprising and Robin from Fire Emblem: Awakening, 3rd-party surprises, like Cloud and Bayonetta, also entered the fray!
Smash Wii U was the beginning of Nintendo’s attempt to support tournaments efforts in the community. In addition to hosting events at E3 and partnering with others, such as Super Smash Con and Genesis, they also added For Glory mode.
For Glory allowed players to play 1v1 matches without items on. The stages would take place on a flat plain similar to Final Destination. While it wasn’t the perfect solution for quick, easy competitive matchmaking, it brought the statement that Nintendo wanted to support their players.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Enter 2019, and it’s a wonder how much the series has evolved! From introducing the Japan-only Fire Emblem characters, to introducing 3rd party characters, we’ve gone from 12 to over 70 characters in the span of 20 years!
One thing that makes Super Smash Bros. Ultimate special is the roster – Everyone is Here! All characters from past Smash Bros. titles appeared, leaving no one hanging. In addition to heavily requested characters, such as Daisy, Ridley, and King K. Rool, Smash Ultimate also opened the gates to Castlevania!
Featuring Richter and Simon Belmont, the Castlevania stage features over 25 pieces of music in the stage, many of which were remixed! Smash Ultimate also debuted Echo Fighters, which included “clone-like” characters featuring slightly different mechanics, such as Chrom from Fire Emblem: Awakening!
In addition, the evolution of Smash continued outside of the game as well. Genesis 6, the next international Smash tournament, will feature over 2000 players entering Smash Ultimate on Switch!
The present and future of Smash Bros.
The passion for the Smash Bros. series is unmatched. Many players hail Sakurai as one of the greatest and most beloved designers of all time. His prolific presentation, at E3, in videos, and even on Twitter, has garnered many fans as more than just the creator of Kirby or the Smash series in general!
Also, with a selection of five DLC characters, Super Smash Bros. continues to evolve to this very day. In addition, we’ll see five new characters enter the series’ legacy roster over the next year, starting with Joker from the beloved 2017 JRPG, Persona 5!
Celebrate the 20th anniversary by playing some Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Gather friends together, play online, or enter a local tournament! Whether you’re at a tournament or a gaming convention, you’re bound to find more fans to play with!
Thanks for reading our Smash Bros. retrospective. Let’s celebrate the 20th anniversary of this wonderful series! Who’s your favorite character and what’s your fondest memory of Super Smash Bros.?