I have always loved Super Smash Bros. From the first time my babysitter brought the game over to keep us quiet, I dreamed of the day that I myself would own this glorious tribute to mascots pummeling each other.
That day has long since passed, from buying my own Gamecube with Melee to this very day picking up the new game for the 3DS. Though I have not gotten a chance to really delve into each individual character, I think I've played it enough at this point to give you all a general feel for the game's functionality.
First off, there are a TON of characters and settings unlocked right of the bat. Worried that you'll have to spend hours of play time to unlock Little Mac or Mega Man? Worry no more, because they're all there right from the start. Final Destination is also an option right from the get-go, and I can see a lot of people feeling that this removes the incentive to play the single-player game.
Super Smash Bros is not meant to be single player. Half the reason I got this version was because of the online capacity to play friends. Let's be honest, making the most desirable characters and maps in this instance, that is to say for a party game, is actively detrimental to the cause. Nintendo, as one of the few game companies that remembers video games are about FUN, realized this and gave the people the capacity to enjoy the game how they choose right from the get-go.
That's not to say there aren't unlockables, because boy are there. Challenges, Mii accessories, trophies, a few special characters, but nothing that would feel like you have an incomplete game without.
The single player functions that do exist are mainly series of challenge modes. The classic single-player campaign from the N64 days is there, though it's updated, as well as multi-enemy challenge modes. They're all decent and pretty standard fun-wise for what we've come to expect from the series.
As far as the feel of the controls go, I'm certainly impressed. While this is a game that would be easier to player with a 3DS XL, it's certainly approachable. It's clear that they went for emulating the console controls as closely as possible, but there is the option to switch the buttons around. This is good, because, at least in my experience, there are more comfortable configurations than the default. That said, however, the controls are responsive, and it really does feel as though you're playing a Smash Bros. game.
As far as downsides go, the biggest complaint I have are some of the larger maps. The limited size of a 3DS screen means that when the camera zooms out too much, it becomes hard to follow where you are. Second, while it does feel like a Smash Bros. game, so far in my experience it's not quite different enough from Brawl to feel like a new version, new characters aside.
But, this is just a very first impression. I'm sure there will be plenty more ups and downs to figure out as I keep trying out new characters and getting more unlockables.
For now though, good job on Little Mac, guys. You did not disappoint there.
Call me Ishmael.
Okay, don't actually do that, but finding the Moonshine Store was like our white whale. We crossed what felt like an endless sea of green fields, spying the waves of corn and hearing only our stomachs rumble in anticipation for something we were only mostly sure existed. Joey's epic road trip play list (which consisted of two techno remixes and the entire Ronnie James Dio cover album) did little to cure our impatience as the GPS led us deeper and deeper into the exact middle of nowhere.
My point is, if you ever feel like going to the Moonshine Store yourself, don't be discouraged by the absolute lack of anything anywhere. Likewise, don't be daunted by what looks like an old farmhouse, because that's exactly what this place is.
Name: Moonshine Store
Locations: Martinsville, IL
Suggested by: Joel
|Some say he's written works that would put Chaucer to shame. All we know is, he's Joel.|
Despite the extremely remote location the Moonshine Store is a crowded place. Located at 6017 E. 300th Rd in Martinsville, the store is open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., and you'd best not wait until the last minute to get there, because once they run out of beef, they close up shop for the day on the spot.
The inside of the facility is like if all the nick-knacks of a hundred Cracker Barrels were swept in by a tornado of charmingly quaint antiquities. There are no tables, no chairs, just a counter to order, a table of condiments a rack of chips and some coolers of drinks. Memorabilia aside, it's probably the most straightforward and least gimmicky establishment I've ever experienced. When you sit down at the picnic tables outside the building though, you aren't worried about that. No, you've trekked through some of the most barren stretches of Illinois to get here, and you're only worry is whether the food in front of you is up to par.
Did it ever exceed my expectations. To have a place this far from any town, this far from what could reasonably be called your target buyers, and to have it be so crowded, you have to be doing something right, and what the Moonshine Store does right are the burgers. I have no idea what they do, I don't know what kind of beef they use, but something about the way these things are cooked makes for a wonderful slab of meat on a bun.
Whether or not the food is worth the trip probably depends entirely on how much you like hamburger, or beef in general. If you like it as much as I do, then this one is a no-brainer.
After our stop at Chicago's most unusual hot dog venue, we departed to the magical land of Portland, Wisconsin...I mean Milwaukee, Oregon...I mean...
Maybe it was just the district we were in. Maybe it was because Summerfest was happening in roughly the same area. Maybe we were just being judgmental. There was no denying, however, that there were a lot of people who's legs were apparently uncomfortably hot while their heads were apparently uncomfortably cold.
|If you or someone you know is afflicted with being a hipster, seek professional help|
Hipster's aside, Milwaukee is a pleasant place during the summer (which I understand lasts roughly two days). It has more of a small-town vibe than a big city feel, and getting around is nowhere near as harrowing an experience as somewhere like Chicago.
We hadn't come to wonder at the population of hipsters or the scenery, however. We came for the Comet Cafe.
Name: Comet Cafe
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Suggested by: Joemiroquoi
Despite the extensive vegan menu and soda menu consisting of things “you've probably never heard of”, Comet Cafe and I can find common ground in one way: we love bacon. Few non-vegan dishes on the menu are without this champion of meat, and that alone is something I can appreciate. With that in mind, Joel and I ordered different variations of the bacon-wrapped meatloaf.
|More like the MEAT TOWER|
Before a meatloaf at Comet Cafe is cooked, the entire pan is covered with bacon. Once the beef is prepared and added, the bacon is wrapped around the entire block, giving every slice an outer shell of pure goodness.
Joey had come for one thing though, and strangely enough it was one of the few non-bacon dishes. He had come for the “Thanksgiving in a Ball”.
|A dish so American I just saluted thinking about it|
Turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes all rolled up into balls larger than baseballs and deep fried to perfection. The picture does not do justice to the magnitude of this dish. Joey looked as one who had achieved Nirvana, but there was a problem: there was too much food.
He plowed through a ball and a half out of three, and although he said the food was just as good as the first bite, there was only so much his system could take. There was no way, however, that we were going to have driven that far just for him to give up halfway through. Joey needed inspiration, and we had just the thing.
The previous night we had been playing the fighting game Dead or Alive 4. There were four catagories of characters in that game for Joey: Ones he likes, ones that were okay, ones that were bad, and Akira.
|Try not to get my gi dirty...my mom just bleached it|
For those who haven't played the game, Dead or Alive relies heavily on a counter system, meaning you have to be good at predicting the kind of move your opponent is attempting. Akira's off-tempo style makes this very, very difficult. Oh the rage, oh the ranting, oh the insults towards to a set of animations. Joey's loathing of Akira and everything he does in that game was as passionate as it was hilarious, and it just might have saved the day. Turning to Joel, I said the magic words.
“You know, I bet Akira could finish that.”
|(artist's rendition of the reaction)|
That lit a fire in Joey's eyes. It wasn't pretty, he wasn't in good shape after, but he conquered the Thanksgiving in a Balls. I'm not saying we had to get a wheelbarrow to get him out of the establishment, but I'm not going to formally go on record to say we didn't.
It was early in the trip for a meal to be so difficult to put down, and it would only get harder from there. Would the trip south bring greater challengers? Would we be able to finish everything on our plates? The quest continues in Martinsville.