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.