Review: Super Smash Bros. for 3DS

Super Smash Bros. titles offer a rare treat for game music fans. While gamers get pumped to do battle with their favorite Nintendo (and guest) characters, this comes with musical arrangements that pay homage to all of these characters and their respective worlds.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii broke new ground by featuring arrangements from some of the top game music composers from Japan, and Super Smash Bros. for 3DS follows suit by including many of these arrangements along with new ones from the development team at Bandai Namco Games.

There’s a lot of music to hear (and even more will be featured in the Wii U version), so let’s take a look!

Right out of the gate, the new menu theme will get you pumped with its chugging bass, epic brass, and majestic string sections. This comes courtesy of Soul Calibur composer Junichi Nakatsuru. This catchy theme is worked into many different ways found throughout the score, including the flamenco-flavored “Replay / Album / Records,” the cafe-tinged “Trophy Shop,” the heart-wrenching “Final Results,” and even in 8-bit style, which adds cohesion to the listening experience.

Jumping into arrangements, Super Mario 3D Land gets some love with an upbeat medley from Jesham, Super Mario Bros. 3 by Shota Kageyama, the original Super Mario Bros. by Tetsuya Shibata, and an awesome Rainbow Road medley by Nintendo’s Ryo Watanabe, all of which get the nostalgia flowing. Bandai Namco’s Rio Hamamoto gives us an updated and straightforward “Gerudo Valley” and “Main Theme” from Zelda, Nintendo’s Ryo Nagamatsu gives us a rockin’ medley from Skyward Sword (which has an amazing soundtrack!), and NieR’s Keiichi Okabe gives us a driving version of “Dark World / Dark World Dungeon” from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, which is one of my favorite tracks here.

Masashi Hamauzu gives us a lovely orchestral take on “Green Greens” from Kirby (his original “Stage Select” theme is also fantastic), Mahito Yokota visits Star Fox with a big orchestral sound that makes me look forward to what he’ll be doing with the Wii U Star Fox game (he’ll be a perfect match if this arrangement is any indication), and Kenji Ito tackles F-Zero’s “Mute City” with a heavy rock sound that he’s been exploring a lot lately. Yasunori Mitsuda gives us a swingin’ jazz version of the Mii Channel theme, while Mega Man gets lots of love with an excellent Mega Man 2 medley by Rio Hamamoto, an awesome Noriyuki Iwadare arrangement of Airman’s theme, and ACE’s rock version of Mega Man 3’s Sparkman. PAC-MAN even gets in on the action with arrangements by Yuzo Koshiro, Hip Tanaka, and Yuji Masabuchi.

As mentioned, there are included arrangements from Melee by Shogo Sakai, various arrangements from Brawl, including some of my favorites (Yuzo Koshiro’s “Norfair” is amazing), and a ton of original songs from across the various franchises thrown in as well.

The collection of music featured here is impressive. I’m sure we’ll see the musical universe of this franchise expand with each title, as a lot of arrangements are drawn from Melee and Brawl, but the new arrangements by the Bandai Namco team and other contributors add a lot to the experience. And the Wii U version will have nearly four times as much music! So look forward to even more.

Fortunately if you buy both the 3DS and Wii U versions, you can get a two-disc soundtrack from Club Nintendo, and while it won’t feature all of the massive amounts of music featured in the game, it’s still a generous bonus.

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