Super Smash Bros.

This article is about the video game series. For the first game of the series, see Super Smash Bros. (video game). For the wrestlers known as the Super Smash Brothers, see Player Uno and Stupefied.
"Super Smash" redirects here. For New Zealand's new domestic T20 tournament, see Georgie Pie Super Smash.

Super Smash Bros.

Modified "merged" logo of the 3DS and Wii U games.
Genres Fighting, action, platform
Publishers Nintendo
Creators Masahiro Sakurai
Platforms Nintendo 64, iQue Player, Virtual Console, GameCube, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U
Platform of origin Nintendo 64
First release Super Smash Bros.
January 21, 1999
Latest release Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
November 21, 2014

Super Smash Bros., known in Japan as Dairantō Smash Brothers (Japanese: 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ Hepburn: Dairantō Sumasshu Burazāzu, lit. "Great Melee Smash Brothers"), is a series of crossover fighting games published by Nintendo, that primarily features characters from franchises established on its systems. All five games have been directed by Masahiro Sakurai.

The gameplay objective differs from that of traditional fighters by aiming to knock opponents off of the stage instead of depleting life bars. The original Super Smash Bros., released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64, had a small budget and was originally a Japan-only release, but its domestic success led to a worldwide release. The series achieved even greater success with the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee, which was released in 2001 for the GameCube and became the best-selling game on that system. A third installment, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, was released in 2008 for the Wii. Although HAL Laboratory has been the developer of the first two titles, the third game was developed through the collaboration of several companies. The fourth and fifth installments,[1] Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, were released in 2014 for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, respectively. The 3DS installment was the first series title to be released on a handheld platform.

The series features many characters from Nintendo's most popular franchises, including Mario, Fox McCloud, Link, Kirby, Samus Aran and Pikachu. The original Super Smash Bros. had 12 playable characters, and the roster count has risen to 26 characters in Melee, 39 in Brawl, and 58 in 3DS/Wii U (seven of which are downloadable). Some characters are able to transform into different forms that have different styles of play and sets of moves. The games also feature non-playable Nintendo characters, like Ridley and Petey Piranha. In Brawl, two third-party characters were added, Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog. Additional third-party characters Mega Man, Pac-Man, Ryu, Cloud Strife and Bayonetta appeared in 3DS and Wii U, while Solid Snake was removed from the line-up.

Every title in the series has been well received by critics, with much praise given to the multiplayer mode experience. The Super Smash Bros. games have spawned a large competitive community and have been featured in several high-profile gaming tournaments.


Timeline of release years
1999Super Smash Bros.
20143DS and Wii U

Super Smash Bros. (1999)

Super Smash Bros. was introduced in 1999 for the Nintendo 64. It was released worldwide after selling over a million copies in Japan.[2] It featured eight characters from the start (Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox, and Pikachu), with four unlockable characters (Luigi, Captain Falcon, Ness, and Jigglypuff), all of them created by Nintendo or one of its second-party developers.

In Super Smash Bros., up to four players can play in multiplayer (Versus) mode, with the specific rules of each match being predetermined by the players. There are two match types that can be chosen: Time, where the person with the most KOs at the end of the set time wins; and stock, where each player has a set amount of lives and are eliminated from play when their lives are depleted.

This game's one-player mode included one adventure mode that always followed the same series of opponents although the player could change the difficulty. Other single player modes exist such as Training and several mini-games, including "Break the Targets" and "Board the Platforms". All of these were included in the sequel, with the exception of "Board the Platforms".

There are nine playable stages in Versus mode, eight based on each of the starting characters (such as Princess Peach's Castle for Mario, Zebes for Samus, and Sector Z for Fox) and the unlockable Mushroom Kingdom, based around motifs from the original Super Mario Bros., even containing original sprites and the original version of the Overworld theme from that game.

Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001)

Super Smash Bros. Melee was released November 21, 2001, in Japan; December 3, 2001, in North America; May 24, 2002, in Europe; and May 31, 2002, in Australia for the GameCube video game console. It had a larger budget and development team than Super Smash Bros. did[3] and was released to much greater praise and acclaim among critics and consumers. Since its release, Super Smash Bros. Melee has sold more than 7 million copies and was the best-selling game on the GameCube.[4] Super Smash Bros. Melee features 26 characters, of which 15 are available initially, more than doubling the number of characters in its predecessor. There are also 29 stages.

It introduced two new single-player modes alongside the Classic mode: Adventure mode and All-Star mode. Adventure mode has platforming segments similar to the original's "Race to the Finish" mini-game, and All-Star is a fight against every playable character in the game, allows the player only one life in which damage is accumulated over each battle and a limited number of heal items in between battles.

There are also significantly more multiplayer modes and a tournament mode allowing for 64 different competitors whom can all be controlled by a human player, although only up to four players can participate at the same time. Additionally, the game featured alternative battle modes, called "Special Melee," which allows players to make many different alterations to the battle, along with alternative ways to judge a victory, such as through collecting coins throughout the match.[5]

In place of Super Smash Bros.' character profiles, Melee introduced trophies (called "figures" in the Japanese version). The 293 trophies include three different profiles for each playable character, one unlocked in each single-player mode. In addition, unlike its predecessor, Melee contains profiles for many Nintendo characters who are either non-playable or do not appear in the game, as well as Nintendo items, stages, enemies, and elements.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008)

Although a third Super Smash Bros. game had been announced long before E3 2006, Nintendo unveiled its first information in the form of a trailer on May 10, 2006, and the game was named Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The trailer featured Solid Snake, of Konami's Metal Gear fame, marking the first time that a third-party character had been introduced as a playable character in a Super Smash Bros. title. A second third-party character, Sonic the Hedgehog, from Nintendo's former rival Sega was also confirmed as a playable character on October 10, 2007. Super Smash Bros. Brawl was released in Japan on January 31, 2008, in North America on March 9, 2008, in Australia on June 26, 2008, and Europe on June 27, 2008. Brawl is also the first game in the franchise to support online play, via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection,[6] and to offer the ability for players to construct their own original stages.[7] The game features a total of 39 playable characters and 41 stages.

Brawl also features compatibility with four kinds of controllers (the Wii Remote on its side, the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combination, the Classic Controller, and the GameCube controller),[8] while its predecessors only used the one controller designed for that system. The player also has the ability to change the configuration of controls and the controller type.[9]

Super Smash Bros. Brawl features a new Adventure Mode titled Super Smash Bros. Brawl: The Subspace Emissary. This mode features unique character storylines along with numerous side scrolling levels and multiple bosses to fight, as well as CG cut scenes explaining the storyline. The Subspace Emissary features a new group of antagonists called the Subspace Army, who are led by the Ancient Minister. Some of these enemy characters appeared in previous Nintendo video games, such as Petey Piranha from the Mario series and a squadron of R.O.B.s based on classic Nintendo hardware. The Subspace Emissary also boasts a number of original enemies, such as the Roader, a robotic unicycle; the Bytan, a one-eyed ball-like creature which can replicate itself if left alone; and the Primid, enemies that come in many variations.[10] Though primarily a single-player mode, The Subspace Emissary allows for cooperative multiplayer. There are five difficulty levels for each stage, and there is a method of increasing characters' powers during the game.[11] This is done by placing collected stickers onto the bottom of a character's trophy between stages to improve various aspects of a fighter.[12]

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (2014)

Mario fighting newcomers Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, and third-party character Mega Man.

At E3 2011, it was confirmed that Super Smash Bros. will be coming to the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, with the two games being cross-compatible with each other in some way.[13][14] Sakurai stated that the announcement was made public in order to attract developers needed for the games, as development for the titles did not start until May 2012 due to production on Kid Icarus: Uprising.[15][16] On June 21, 2012, Nintendo announced that the creation of the games would be a co-production between Sakurai's Sora Ltd. and Bandai Namco Entertainment.[17] The titles were officially revealed at E3 2013, with new information being released via trailers, Nintendo Direct presentations, and developer posts on Miiverse.[18] The game features 58 characters[19] (seven of which are downloadable) with 19 brand new fighters, including third-party characters Mega Man, Pac-Man, Ryu, Cloud Strife, and Bayonetta. The game was released for Nintendo 3DS in Japan on September 13, 2014, and in North America and Europe on October 3, 2014, and in Australia on October 4, 2014. The Wii U version was released on November 21, 2014 in North America, in Europe on November 28, 2014, in Australia on November 29, 2014, and in Japan on December 6, 2014.[20][21][22]


In April 2014, Bandai Namco Entertainment posted a recruitment advertisement on a Japanese career job opportunity website. The recruitment page consisted of a listing for programmers for Super Smash Bros. 6, which was expected to be released in 2015 for both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. The page noted there were 120 game developers working on the project at the time, and that the Bandai Namco expected that number to increase to 200. However, shortly after its publication, the page was taken down.[23]

In January 2015 in his column in Weekly Famitsu, Sakurai alluded to the possibility of retirement, expressing doubt that he would be able to continue making games if his career continued to be as stressful as it was.[24] In December 2015, Sakurai once again stated that he wasn't sure if there will be another Smash Bros. game in the series.[25] In January 2016, it was rumoured that a new Super Smash Bros. game was being developed by Bandai Namco and that the game was planned as a launch title for the upcoming Nintendo Switch. However, it is currently unknown as to whether it will be another installment in the series or an enhanced port of the 3DS and Wii U versions.[26]


Gameplay in the Super Smash Bros. series differs from many fighting games.[27] Instead of winning by depleting an opponent's life bar, players seek to launch their opponents off the stage and out of the map. Characters have a damage total which rises as they take damage, represented by a percentage value that measures up to 999%. As a character's percentage rises, the character can be knocked progressively farther by an opponent's attacks.[5] To knock out an opponent, the player must knock that character outside the arena's boundaries in any direction.[28] When a character is launched off the stage, the character can attempt to "recover" by using jumping moves and abilities to return to the stage.[5] Some characters have an easier time recovering onto the stage than others due to their moves and abilities. Additionally, some characters vary in weight, with lighter characters being easier to launch than heavy characters.[29]

Smash Bros.' controls are greatly simplified in comparison to other fighting games, with one button used for standard attacks and another used for special attacks.[27] Players can perform different types of moves by holding the directional controls up, down, to the side, or in a neutral position while pressing the attack or special button.[5] As such, each character has four types of ground attacks, mid-air attacks, and special attacks that can be performed.[5] Quickly pressing or tapping a directional input and the attack button together while on the ground allows players to perform a chargeable "Smash Attack", which is generally more powerful than other attacks.[5] When characters are hit by attacks, they receive hitstun that temporarily disallows any attacks to be made. This allows combos to be performed. A shield button allows players to put up a defensive shield which weakens with repeated use and will leave the player unable to move if broken. Combining the shield button with directional inputs and attack buttons allows the player to also perform dodges, rolls, grabs, and throws.[30] The three basic actions in Super Smash Bros., attacking, grabbing, and shielding, are often described using a rock–paper–scissors analogy: attacking beats grabbing, grabbing beats shielding, and shielding beats attacking.[31] When a player knocks another player off of the main platform, they may perform an action called edge-guarding.[32] At the same time the player that has been knocked off will try to recover by jumping back onto the stage and avoiding the other players' edge-guarding.[5]

Another element in the Super Smash Bros. series is battle items, the abundance of which players can adjust the before matches. There are conventional "battering items", with which a player may hit an opponent, such as a baseball bat or a sword, throwing items, including Bob-ombs and shells, and shooting items, either single shot guns or rapid fire blasters. Recovery items allow the user to reduce their damage percentage by varying amounts. Poké Balls are special items that release a random Pokémon onto the battlefield to assist the user. Brawl introduced the Assist Trophy item which serves a similar purpose; instead of releasing Pokémon, it summons a character from a Nintendo franchise.[33] Brawl also introduces the Smash Ball, which when broken allows fighters to perform a character-specific super attack known as a "Final Smash".[33]

The rules that can be used in a match vary depending on the game, but the most commonly used settings across all games are Time and Stock. Time mode uses a point based system in which fighters earn points for knocking out their opponents and lose points for being knocked out or self-destructing (i.e. falling out of the arena by themselves). The player with the highest score at the end of the set time limit wins the match. Survival uses a life-based system in which players are given a set number of lives, known as stock, with each fighter losing a life whenever they are knocked out, becoming eliminated if they run out of lives. The winner is the last fighter standing once all other fighters are eliminated or, if a time-limit is applied to the match, the fighter with the most lives remaining once time runs out. In the event of a tie, such as two or more fighters sharing the highest score/life count at the end of the time limit or remaining fighters losing their last life simultaneously, a Sudden Death match takes place. Here, each of the tied fighters are given a starting damage percentage of 300%, making them easier to launch off the stage, and the last fighter standing wins the match. In some games this process is repeated if the match ends in another tie.

Gameplay using competitive Smash Bros. rules is usually played in stock mode and with a timer.[34] Items are turned off and the only tournament legal stages are those that do not feature hazards and other disruptive elements.[35]


Playable characters

Each game in the series has a number of playable characters (referred in the games as "fighters") taken from various Nintendo franchises. Starting with Brawl, characters from third-party franchises have also made playable appearances. At the start of each game, some of the fighters will be locked from play. To unlock a hidden fighter, players need to clear certain conditions, such as playing a certain number of matches, and defeat that fighter in a match. In Brawl, players can also unlock fighters by encountering them in the Subspace Emissary mode. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, players are able to customise existing fighters with altered movesets and statistics, or make their own Mii Fighters that can be given different fighting styles, though these cannot be played in online matches with strangers.

Fighter 64 Melee Brawl 3DS/Wii U Franchise
Bayonetta DLC Bayonetta
Bowser Super Mario
Bowser Jr.[Note 1] Super Mario
Captain Falcon F-Zero
Charizard[Note 2] Pokémon
Cloud DLC Final Fantasy
Corrin DLC Fire Emblem
Dark Pit Kid Icarus
Diddy Kong Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong Donkey Kong
Dr. Mario Super Mario
Duck Hunt[Note 3] Duck Hunt
Falco Star Fox
Fox Star Fox
Ganondorf The Legend of Zelda
Greninja Pokémon
Ice Climbers Ice Climber
Ike Fire Emblem
Ivysaur[Note 2] Pokémon
Jigglypuff Pokémon
King Dedede Kirby
Kirby Kirby
Link The Legend of Zelda
Little Mac Punch-Out!!
Lucario Pokémon
Lucas[Note 4] DLC EarthBound
Lucina Fire Emblem
Luigi Super Mario
Mario Super Mario
Marth Fire Emblem
Mega Man Mega Man
Meta Knight Kirby
Mewtwo[Note 5] DLC Pokémon
Mii Brawler[Note 6] Mii
Mii Swordfighter[Note 3][Note 6] Mii
Mii Gunner[Note 6] Mii
Mr. Game & Watch Game & Watch
Ness EarthBound
Olimar[Note 7] Pikmin
Pac-Man Pac-Man
Palutena Kid Icarus
Peach Super Mario
Pichu Pokémon
Pikachu Pokémon
Pit Kid Icarus
R.O.B. Gyromite / Stack-Up
Robin Fire Emblem
Rosalina & Luma Super Mario
Roy[Note 8] DLC Fire Emblem
Ryu DLC Street Fighter
Samus Metroid
Sheik[Note 9] The Legend of Zelda
Shulk Xenoblade
Snake Metal Gear
Sonic Sonic the Hedgehog
Squirtle[Note 2] Pokémon
Toon Link The Legend of Zelda
Villager Animal Crossing
Wario Wario
Wii Fit Trainer Wii Fit
Wolf Star Fox
Yoshi Yoshi
Young Link The Legend of Zelda
Zelda The Legend of Zelda
Zero Suit Samus[Note 10] Metroid
Total 12 26 39 51 + 7 (DLC)
  1. Bowser Jr.'s seven alternate costumes change the character's name and appearance to be one of the Koopalings: Larry, Morton, Wendy, Iggy, Roy, Lemmy, or Ludwig. However, they are otherwise identical to Bowser Jr.
  2. 1 2 3 In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, this Pokémon is listed with two others under the name "Pokémon Trainer" on the character select screen. The Pokémon Trainer appears in the background while the player takes direct control of Squirtle, Ivysaur, or Charizard, and can switch between them during the battle. In 3DS/Wii U, only Charizard is available as a standalone character.
  3. 1 2 In 3DS/Wii U, there are slight name variations between NTSC and PAL versions. For the NTSC characters "Duck Hunt" and "Mii Swordfighter," PAL versions lists them as "Duck Hunt Duo" and "Mii Sword Fighter."
  4. In 3DS/Wii U, Lucas is a bonus downloadable character. Lucas was released alongside Roy and Ryu on June 14, 2015.
  5. In 3DS/Wii U, Mewtwo is a bonus downloadable character. Mewtwo was released on April 15, 2015 for Club Nintendo members who registered both versions of the game, and was available later for purchase on April 28, 2015.
  6. 1 2 3 Brawler, Swordfighter, and Gunner are under one slot labeled as Mii Fighters, and cannot be used in online matches against strangers.
  7. In 3DS/Wii U, four of Olimar's alternate costumes change his name and appearance to Alph. However, Alph plays the same as Olimar.
  8. In 3DS/Wii U, Roy is a bonus downloadable character. Roy was released alongside Lucas and Ryu on June 14, 2015.
  9. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Zelda can transform into Sheik using her down-B attack and vice versa. This can also be done in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, though players are also able to select Sheik within Zelda's character icon on the character select screen. In 3DS/Wii U, they are both standalone characters.
  10. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Samus and Zero Suit Samus can be selected individually on the character select screen, or can alternate between each other by performing their respective Final Smash attacks. In 3DS/Wii U, they are both standalone characters.

Non-playable characters

The following characters are non-playable characters unless using glitches or cheat cartridges, that appear only in the various Single Player modes throughout the series, controlled by the computer, as hazards in specific stages, or in Smash Run. Most of the non-playable characters were created for use in the Super Smash Bros. series although some of them, such as Goombas, come from other game franchises.


Throughout the Super Smash Bros. series, most single-player modes have included several non-playable boss characters. These bosses generally have a number of advantageous characteristics, such as extreme resistance to being knocked off the screen. Most of these bosses were created specifically for the Super Smash Bros. franchise, though some have made appearances in other games.

Master Hand (マスターハンド Masutā Hando) is a glove-like being that appears in all games to date, serving as the final boss of Classic Mode[36] and, in Super Smash Bros. Melee, the 50th Event Match "Final Destination Match". In Melee, Master Hand is playable via a system glitch.[37] Super Smash Bros. Melee introduced a left-hand counterpart to Master Hand named Crazy Hand (クレイジーハンド Kureijī Hando), which appears alongside Master Hand in some scenarios. Master Hand makes several appearances in Kirby & the Amazing Mirror as a miniboss, and partnered with Crazy Hand as the bosses of Candy Constellation. Master Hand and Crazy Hand look identical aside from their chirality, but Crazy Hand's fingers act in a more impulsive and destructive way.[38] While Master Hand is more relaxed and mature, Crazy Hand evokes the bizarre and his fingers move differently when he's preparing for an attack.[39] His attacks are also wilder and faster than those of Master Hand. listed Master Hand first on their list of "The 25 Awesomest Hidden Characters" citing the glitch which allows him to be playable.[40] In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, fighting against Master Hand and Crazy Hand on a high intensity will lead to a battle against Master Core, a shape-shifting being of dark energy that can take various forms, including that of the player's fighter. After defeating these forms, the Master Core shows its true form.

Super Smash Bros. also features Metal Mario (originally from Super Mario 64) and Giant Donkey Kong, who are simply enhanced versions of their respective characters. Metal Mario is simply Mario with increased resistance to being knocked out of the stage as well as a faster falling speed and more attack power, while Giant Donkey Kong is simply a larger and more powerful version of Donkey Kong. Both characters reappear in Super Smash Bros. Melee's Adventure Mode along with Giant Kirby, Metal Luigi and two Tiny Donkey Kongs. However, due to items introduced in Melee (the Metal Box, Super Mushroom, and Poison Mushroom, specifically), all of these seemingly non-playable characters (including the enhanced characters that were unplayable bosses in the first game) are indeed playable for short amounts of time. Dark Link, a completely black form of Link, appears in Melee and Brawl as an opponent in an Event Match, and in Brawl and 3DS and Wii U is also a playable costume for Link.[41]

Giga Bowser is a gigantic, enhanced version of Bowser introduced in Melee. He is the secret final boss of Melee's Adventure mode, only appearing if certain conditions are met. Giga Bowser becomes playable for short periods of time in Brawl and 3DS and Wii U when Bowser performs his "Final Smash" attack. Bowser transforms into Giga Bowser, and is near invincible until the effect of the Final Smash wears off.[42]

Tabuu (タブー Tabū) is the villain of Super Smash Bros. Brawl's story mode, The Subspace Emissary. He is a human-shaped apparition composed of pure energy, with a single eye-shaped object located where a person's stomach would be. He is able to conjure several weapons for use in battle, including a rapier and large chakram. His other powers include the ability to change his size at will and teleportation. Towards the end of The Subspace Emissary, it is revealed that Tabuu is the entity that controlled Master Hand and the true antagonist behind the events of the story.[43]

The Subspace Emissary also features other boss characters.[44] Some of these characters, such as Petey Piranha, Ridley, Porky, and Rayquaza, are from other franchises. Three original bosses are also featured: the aforementioned Tabuu, Galleom (ガレオム Gareomu) and Duon (デュオン Dyuon).[45] Galleom is a giant cyborg that is fought two times in The Subspace Emissary. It usually attacks with its fists and body, but can also shoot missiles and transform into a tank-like form. It also has a built in Subspace bomb that it uses to self-destruct in the story mode. Duon is a giant robot that has two upper bodies positioned on top of a wheel. Its pink side uses projectile attacks, while the blue side uses blades on its arms and head. It is created when multiple Mr. Game and Watch clones fuse together.

Other characters

In each of the games, there is a group of characters that resemble the designs for the initial characters. In the Japanese versions of the games, these characters have always been called the "Mysterious Small Fry Enemy Corps" (謎のザコ敵軍団 Nazo no Zako Teki Gundan). In the English regionalized versions of the games, they are given names that describe their physical form. These include the Fighting Polygon Team, the Fighting Wire Frames, the Fighting Alloy Team[46] and the Fighting Mii Team. Along with Melee's Adventure Mode came the inclusion of minor, generic enemies, such as Goombas from the Super Mario series and Octoroks from The Legend of Zelda series. This trend continues into Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which also includes an assortment of original characters to serve as non-playable generic enemies led by the Subspace Army.

The Subspace Army (亜空軍 Akūgun) are the antagonists of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, appearing in The Subspace Emissary and led by the Ancient Minister (エインシャント卿 Einshanto Kyō). Their goal is to bring the entire world to Subspace piece by piece with devices called Subspace bombs (detonated with the aid of two R.O.B.s, requires 3 minutes of waiting time).[47] The Sandbag (サンドバッグくん Sandobaggu-kun) appears in the "Home-Run Contest" minigame since Super Smash Bros. Melee. The object is to strike it as far as possible with either a Home-Run Bat or a fighting move.[48] Sandbag also appears randomly as an item that drops other items when hit in various other modes in Brawl.[49]

Each Super Smash Bros. game has an announcer who blasts the player character names upon selection and victory. The announcer's voice is used in many of the promotional materials of the games. The role has been taken on by Jeff Manning in the original game, Dean Harrington in Melee, Pat Cashman in Brawl, and Xander Mobus in the Wii U and 3DS games. The announcer voice actor traditionally voices Master Hand and Crazy Hand as well.[50][51]


Super Smash Bros. features music from some of Nintendo's popular gaming franchises. While many are newly arranged for the game, some pieces are taken directly from their sources. The music for the Nintendo 64 game was composed by Hirokazu Ando, who later returned as sound and music director in Melee. Melee also features tracks composed by Tadashi Ikegami, Shougo Sakai, and Takuto Kitsuta.[52] Brawl features the collaboration of 38 composers,[53] including Final Fantasy series composer Nobuo Uematsu, who composed the main theme.[54] Like the previous game in the series, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U features many original and re-arranged tracks from various different gaming franchises. Both versions have multiple musical tracks that can be selected and listened to using the returning "My Music" feature, including pieces taken directly from earlier Super Smash Bros. titles. The 3DS version features less music altogether than the Wii U version however, and only has two songs per stage because of size limitations.[55] The 3DS version also has a "Play in Sleep Mode" option, allowing players to listen to the game's music from the sound menu whilst the system is in sleep mode.[56] On August 22, 2014, the Super Smash Bros. website revealed the list of composers and arrangers for the game. Various well known musicians such as Masashi Hamauzu, Yuzo Koshiro, Yasunori Mitsuda, Motoi Sakuraba, Yoko Shimomura, Mahito Yokota, along with many others, provided new arrangements for both versions of the game.[57] The original music was created by Bandai Namco's in-house sound team. The Wii U specific musicians were revealed on October 23, 2014, and feature contributions from Akari Kaida, Michiru Yamane, Koji Kondo, Kazumi Totaka, and Hiroshi Okubo, among others.[57]

Three soundtrack albums for the series have been released. An album with the original music for Super Smash Bros. was released in Japan by Teichiku Records in 2000.[58] In 2003, Nintendo released Smashing...Live!, a live orchestrated performance of various pieces featured in Melee by the New Japan Philharmonic.[59] A two-disc promotional soundtrack was available for Club Nintendo members who registered both the 3DS and Wii U games between November 21, 2014 and January 13, 2015.[60]


The Super Smash Bros. symbol.

Super Smash Bros. was developed by HAL Laboratory, a Nintendo first-party developer, during 1998. It began as a prototype created by Masahiro Sakurai and Satoru Iwata in their spare time titled "Dragon King: The Fighting Game", and originally featured no Nintendo characters. However, Sakurai hit on the idea of including fighters from different Nintendo franchises in order to provide "atmosphere" which he felt was necessary for a home console fighting game, and his idea was approved.[61] The game had a small budget and little promotion, and was originally a Japan-only release, but its huge success saw the game released worldwide.[62]

HAL Laboratory developed Super Smash Bros. Melee, with Masahiro Sakurai as the head of production. The game was one of the first games released on the GameCube and highlighted the advancement in graphics from the Nintendo 64. The developers wanted to pay homage to the debut of the GameCube by making an opening full motion video sequence that would attract people's attention to the graphics.[63] HAL worked with three separate graphic houses in Tokyo to make the opening sequence. On their official website, the developers posted screenshots and information highlighting and explaining the attention to physics and detail in the game, with references to changes from its predecessor.[64]

At a pre-E3 2005 press conference, the president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, announced the next installment of Super Smash Bros. was not only already in development for their next gaming console, but hoped it would be a launch title with Wi–Fi compatibility for online play.[65] The announcement was unexpected to the creator of the Super Smash Bros. series, Masahiro Sakurai. Back in 2003, he had left HAL Laboratory, the company that was in charge with the franchises' development and was never informed of this announcement despite the fact shortly after resigning from the company, Iwata said if a new game was to be made, he would be in charge. It was not until after the conference Sakurai was called to Satoru Iwata's room on the top floor of a Los Angeles hotel, where he was told by Iwata "We'd like you to be involved in the production of the new Smash Bros., if possible near the level of director".[66] Although Iwata had said he was hoping for it to be a launch title, Sakurai stated "I decided to become director. And as of May 2005, I was the only member of the new Smash Bros. development team". Development of the game never actually started until October 2005,[67] when Nintendo opened a new office in Tokyo just for its production. Nintendo also enlisted outside help from various developer studios, mainly Game Arts. Sakurai also stated that these people had spent excessive amounts of time playing Super Smash Bros. Melee. This team was given access to all the original material and tools from the development of Melee, courtesy of HAL Laboratory. Also, several Smash Bros. staff members that reside around the area of the new office joined the project's development.[68][69]

On the game's official Japanese website, the developers explain reasons for making particular characters playable and explain why some characters were not available as playable characters upon release. Initially, the development team wanted to replace Ness with Lucas, the main character of Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance, but they retained Ness in consideration of delays.[70] The game's creators have included Lucas in the game's sequel, Super Smash Bros. Brawl.[71][72] Video game developer Hideo Kojima originally requested Solid Snake, the protagonist of the Metal Gear series, to be a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, but the game was too far in development for him to be included. As with Lucas, development time allowed for his inclusion in Brawl. Roy and Marth were initially intended to be playable exclusively in the Japanese version of Super Smash Bros. Melee. However, they received favorable attention during the game's North American localization, leading to the decision for the developers to include them in the Western version. Comparisons have been formed by the developers between characters which have very similar moves to each other on the website. Such characters have been referred to as "clones" in the media.

At the Nintendo Media Conference at E3 2007, it was announced by Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime that Super Smash Bros. Brawl would be released on December 3, 2007 in the Americas. However, just 2 months before its anticipated December release, the development team asked for more time to work on the game. During the Nintendo Conference on October 10, 2007, Nintendo Co., Ltd. president Iwata announced the delay.

On October 11, 2007, George Harrison of Nintendo of America announced that Super Smash Bros. Brawl would be released on February 10, 2008 in North America.[73] On January 15, 2008, the game's release was pushed back one week in Japan to January 31 and nearly a month in the Americas to March 9.[74] On April 24, 2008, it was confirmed by Nintendo of Europe that Brawl will be released in Europe on June 27.[75]

Director Masahiro Sakurai first announced that a new Super Smash Bros. game was planned for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U at E3 2011 in June 2011, but development only officially began following the completion of Sakurai's other project, Kid Icarus: Uprising, in March 2012.[76][77] The game was later revealed to be a joint-project between Sora Ltd. and Bandai Namco Games, with various staff members from Bandai Namco's Soulcalibur and Tekken series assisting Sakurai in development.[78][79][80] Sakurai, who was previously the sole person responsible for balance in the series' multiple fighters, has involved more staff to further improve the game's competitive balance.[81] The game was officially revealed at E3 2013 on June 11, 2013 during a Nintendo Direct presentation.[82] Along with screenshots being posted each weekday on the game's official website and Miiverse community,[83] various cinematic trailers were released, introducing each of the brand new fighters. Sakurai chose to use these trailers, which benefit from Internet sharing, as opposed to including a story campaign similar to the Subspace Emissary mode featured in Brawl, as he believed the impact of seeing the mode's cinematic cutscenes for the first time was ruined by people uploading said scenes to video sharing websites.[84][85]

At E3 2013, Sakurai stated that the tripping mechanic introduced in Brawl was removed, with him also stating that the gameplay was between the fast-paced and competitive style of Melee and the slower and more casual style of Brawl.[86] While the games didn't feature cross-platform play between the Wii U and 3DS, due to each version featuring certain exclusive stages and gamemodes, there is an option to transfer customized characters and items between the two versions.[87] The game builds upon the previous game's third-party involvement with the addition of third-party characters such as Capcom's Mega Man and Bandai Namco's Pac-Man, as well as the return of Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog. This involvement expands beyond playable characters, as other third-party characters, such as Ubisoft's Rayman, are also included in the game as trophies.[88] The addition of Mii characters was made in response to the growing number of requests from fans to have their dream characters included in the game. To prevent potential bullying, as well as to maintain game balance online, Mii Fighters cannot be used in online matches against strangers.[89] The decision to release the Wii U version at a later date from the 3DS version was made to allow each version to receive a dedicated debugging period.[90] Hardware limitations on the Nintendo 3DS led to various design choices, such as the removal of mid-match transformations, the absence of the Ice Climbers, and the lack of Circle Pad Pro support.[91]


Aggregate review scores
As of February 6, 2015.
Game Metacritic
Super Smash Bros. 79[92]
Super Smash Bros. Melee 92[93]
Super Smash Bros. Brawl 93[94]
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 85[95]
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 92[96]

Reviews for the Super Smash Bros. series are usually positive. The multiplayer mode in every title has been highly praised. However, single player modes have not been viewed as highly.

Super Smash Bros. has received praise for its multiplayer mode. Nintendo Power listed the series as being one of the greatest multiplayer experiences in Nintendo history, describing it as infinitely replayable due to its special moves and close-quarters combat.[97] There were criticisms, however, such as the game's scoring being difficult to follow.[98] In addition, the single-player mode was criticized for its perceived difficulty and lack of features.

Super Smash Bros. Melee generally received a positive reception from reviewers, most of whom credited Melee's expansion of gameplay features from Super Smash Bros. Focusing on the additional features, GameSpy commented that "Melee really scores big in the 'we've added tons of great extra stuff' department." Reviewers compared the game favorably to Super Smash Bros.IGN's Fran Mirabella III stated that it was "in an entirely different league than the N64 version"; GameSpot's Miguel Lopez praised the game for offering an advanced "classic-mode" compared to its predecessor, while detailing the Adventure Mode as "really a hit-or-miss experience." Despite a mixed response to the single-player modes, most reviewers expressed the game's multiplayer mode as a strong component of the game. In their review of the game, GameSpy stated that "you'll have a pretty hard time finding a more enjoyable multiplayer experience on any other console."

Brawl received a perfect score from the Japanese magazine Famitsu. The reviewers praised the variety and depth of the single-player content,[99] the unpredictability of Final Smashes, and the dynamic fighting styles of the characters. Thunderbolt Games gave the game 10 out of 10, calling it "a vastly improved entry into the venerable series". Chris Slate of Nintendo Power also awarded Brawl a perfect score in its March 2008 issue, calling it "one of the very best games that Nintendo has ever produced". IGN critic Matt Casamassina, in his February 11 Wii-k in Review podcast, noted that although Brawl is a "solid fighter," it does have "some issues that need to be acknowledged," including "long loading times" and repetition in The Subspace Emissary.

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U both garnered critical praise and were commercially successful, holding current ratings of 85/100 and 92/100 on Metacritic and 86.10% and 92.39% on GameRankings.[100][95][101][96] Reviewers have particularly noted the large, diverse character roster, the improvements to game mechanics, and the variety of multiplayer options. Some criticisms in the 3DS version include a lack of single player modes and issues concerning the 3DS hardware, such as the size of characters on the smaller screen when zoomed out and latency issues during both local and online multiplayer.[102][103] There were also reports of players damaging their 3DS Circle Pads while playing the game excessively.[104][105] The Wii U version's online play quality was mildly criticized for some inconsistency, but has overall been critically acclaimed. Daniel Dischoff of Game Revolution stated "It's true that Super Smash Bros. evolves every time with regard to new features, items, and characters to choose from. While your favorite character may not return or a few annoying pickups may force you to turn off items altogether, this represents the biggest leap forward Smashers have seen yet." Daniel Starky at GameSpot criticized the inconsistent online performance in the game, but still called it an "incredible game", noting "With the Wii U release, Smash Bros. has fully realized its goals." Jose Otero from IGN, praising the replayability of the game, states "Nearly every aspect of Smash Wii U seems fine-tuned not only to appeal to the nostalgia of long-time Nintendo fans, but also to be accessible to new players."

Super Smash Bros sold 1.4 million copies in Japan,[106] and 2.3 million in the U.S.[107] Melee sold over 7 million units worldwide, becoming the best-selling GameCube title.[4] Brawl sold 1.524 million units in Japan as of March 30, 2008,[108] and sold 1.4 million units in its first week in the United States, becoming Nintendo of America's fastest selling title.[109] The 3DS version sold over a million copies in its first weekend on sale in Japan,[110] and has sold more than 3.22 million copies worldwide as of October 2014.[111] Super Smash Bros. for Wii U became the fastest-selling Wii U game to date, selling 3.39 million units worldwide within just two months of availability, beating the record previously held by Mario Kart 8.[112]

Competitive play

The Super Smash Bros. series has been widely played as competitive video games and has been featured in several high-profile tournaments. The first publicized Super Smash Bros. Melee tournaments were held in early 2002.[113] From 2004 to 2007, Melee was on Major League Gaming's tournament roster.[114] In 2010 MLG picked up Brawl for its pro circuit for a year. During this time, Nintendo prohibited MLG from live streaming Brawl matches.[115] At 2014 MLG Anaheim Melee was once again hosted at an MLG event. Melee was also included at the Evolution Championship Series (Evo) in 2007, a fighting game tournament held in Las Vegas. Melee was again hosted at Evo 2013 after it won a charity drive to decide the final game to be featured in its tournament lineup.[116][117] Due to the large turnout and popularity that year, Evo again included a Melee at their 2014 event and plans to do so in 2015. New Jersey based Apex is another prominent Super Smash Bros. tournament, and has a series of qualifying events that are a prerequisite to playing at Apex. In 2015 Apex announced that they were officially sponsored by Nintendo of America.[118] EVO 2015 was the largest Smash tournament in history and featured Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Melee with the former having 1,926 entrants and the latter having 1,869.[119]

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