It's been over 2 weeks since the game was released. And IMO this was worth the wait. For a handheld version of the game, this was an impressive and fun game to play. There are several things to talk about, both good and bad, but here is my review of Smash 4: The 3DS version. BTW SPOILERS!!!
Gameplay: It's the same as the past versions but on the go. It's great but there were common complaints like the characters being small and people breaking their joysticks due to the game. While I understand these complaints, I'm not bothered by the small screen and sprites since I can still see what I'm doing. As for the joystick issue, just be careful. Controls are responsive even though the stick isn't the same as the GC's. You may end up doing one move instead of your intended attack but other than that, gameplay in the 3DS version is impressive.
Stages: As explained in the Smash Bros Direct, most stages are exclusive in the 3DS version, mostly based on handhelds like Pictochat 2 and Tomodachi Life. Now in this game, we got 34 stages. There's no Stage Builder due to the game's limitations but we do got Omega Mode so there's 33 other stages in FD style. Most of the stages are neat but there's a few I'm not too pleased with: some of the Mario Stages. Now Rainbow Road and Paper Mario are good ones but why are there THREE moving stages of the Mario series? We got 3D Land which is good, Golden Plains which barely moves sometimes and Mushroomy Kingdom as a Retro stage which BTW only has the overworld mode instead of both versions in Brawl. I wished they used another Retro Mario stage even if didn't appear in Brawl. Maybe it's nitpicking but I'm just saying this to show that there's a few things I didn't fully like in SSB4. I still have fun with these stages but there are better choices. Music in the 3DS version is similar to Melee's format as each stage will have two songs. The choices were mostly great. Another nitpick but I kinda wish they gave Battlefield and FD the Melee versions of their themes instead of Melee Menu remixes. (Heck, FD's alternate should've been Battlefield's alternate since it's a remix of Melee's Battlefield.) There's others but I've made my point. Although boss characters as hazards are lacking in the 3DS version (again, limitations), there's some possibility with stage helpers for the Wii U version. In the newest Mother stage, Magicant, one of the Flying Men can assist you if you touch them when they appear. So all in all, stages in the 3DS are very good.
Playable Roster: As said in the direct, both versions will have the same number of fighters (and like in Brawl, there are a few cuts. Some minor IMO but a few major but one axed fighter returns so there's hope for the future!) So for those of you who are expecting Wii U exclusive fighters, sorry but ain't happening. What you see in the 3DS version is what you get in the Wii U version unless DLC is considered. But we'll get Wii U exclusive Assists!
Back to the roster, we have 36 starter and 12 unlockables! (Miis are available after creating one) That is impressive although I wish we had 32 starters and 16 unlockables. I know many would disagree since the more we have from the start, the better it is and in some ways you're right. But IMO it adds more fun for unlocking characters. It would've been better if the 3rd parties and Shulk were secret fighters while Ness and Wario were starters instead of Toon Link and Luigi (or Lucario or Greninja) but whatever.
Online: I barely do online fights but I will say depending on internet connection, the battles can be laggy so make sure you have a strong connection! You can fight for fun or for glory via Final Destination standards.
Items: I've talked about items before and we got a couple of newbies and most are great to use.
Assists and Pokemon: Same with items however in the 3DS version, some assists were cut like Isaac (Really? He originated in the GBA!) and Ray Mk III. But there's hope for the console version! Pokemon like past installments we cut due to the newest generations but most of the choices were great except for Fletchling.
Veterans: Alright, the fighters! We got over 30 veterans in this installment but as said in the direct, characters that transformed or switched characters mid-battle no longer do in SSB4 (probably due to the 3DS' limitations). But Zero Suit Samus, Sheik, and even Charizard are still in as their own fighter. Now some of you are disappointed because this loses some of the fighter's uniqueness like Zelda becoming Sheik and the Pokemon Trainer's team but IMO the uniqueness was kinda holding them back. They get a few new attacks yet still appear for SSB4.
Also on the veterans, there were changes in both statistics and moveset. One of them is Ness. He's a secret character that retains his moveset, but PK Starstorm now functions similar to Aura Storm. The shower can be moved in a beam like format. He also has been greatly buffed stat wise. Look at SSBWiki to see his buffs and nerfs like his PK Starstorm being "PK Aura Starstorm".
Newcomers: Starting with Greninja, he's fights like a ninja (it's in his name!). Shooting shurikens that can be charged but not stored, able to use Substitute to absorb damage, and has speed and power equal to a ninja. His FS was shown in his trailer. Mysterious Ninja/Night Slash utilizes Mat Block as a trap move so if a foe gets hit, Greninja attacks them similar to Spider-Man's Maximum Spider or Strider Hiryu's Ragnarok from Marvel vs Capcom.
Miis are create-your-own fighters that come in three classes: Brawler, Swordfighter, and Gunner. They have their own variety of attacks so you choose what you want. A fist fighter like Little Mac, a swordsman like Link, or projectile specialist like Samus. FS are also different from one another as Brawlers have their version of Great Aether, S-Fighters have their version of Mario Finale and Gunners have their version of Zero Laser.
Palutena also has her variety of attacks but by default comes with Auto-Reticle, Warp, Reflect, and Counter. The rest can be seen in game at start and in her trailer.
Lucina was also announced along with Robin. As said, she's a Marth clone but has differences in stats. Robin, however, is FE's projectile user. His power comes from his tomes and usage of them and his Levin Sword. The more you use them, the quicker you wear of the special allowing you to no longer use it until another attack runs out.
Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles appears a fighter wielding his Monado and utilizing several abilities to increase one stat in exchange for reducing another. Another cool newcomer and sworduser.
Then we have Dark Pit, who many see as the "Pichu" of SSB4 b/c he's a fighter barely anyone wanted for SSB4. The reasons why many dislike the guy is that he's a clone (less variety) of a series that Sakurai recreated as well as creating the character(playing favorites). He was based on a Pit palette swap from Brawl that became one of Pit's foes and isn't beloved by many (at least in my point of view). As I said, I'm ok with his inclusion. Yes, I would've preferred some other clone like Wolf but D.P is an ok addition to the villain side. As for the clone argument, most people who use that are probably hypocrites IMO. Some gave clones like Falco and Roy from Fire Emblem a pass but Pittoo doesn't? What a load of bull. Now to their defense, they have a little more variety and are more noticable but at least Dark Pit's an actual clone. Falco and Roy really have no reason to be clones. Dark Pit, Lucina, Dr. Mario and a few others have some reason to be clones of a certain fighters. Falco is Fox's partner but he could've gotten some specials of his own and Roy is another Lord like the rest. But whatever, we all have our opinions.
And then we have Duck Hunt, a newcomer who not many wanted to see in SSB4 at first due to the leak but like myself, love this guy due to the developers retaining it's noticable features like his laugh but the way they helped represent the light gun genre and the way they made the Duck and Dog a team. Their moves are fun and a tribute to the genre and it's fun to win as these two. Also in Europe, the two are called "Duck Hunt Duo" which is what they should've been called in all versions! Lucky Europeans...
Custom Moves: Every character (minus Miis and Palutena) has two other variations of their special attacks. Now all variations have to be unlocked through playing certain game modes like Classic, All-Star, and Smash Run. Some were shown in the direct and Sakurai's posts but we got custom attacks where certain characters use specials based on other characters. For example, Fox can use Wolf Flash, Toon Link can shoot Fire Arrows, and Ness can use PK Freeze when unlocked of course.
Smash Run: The main exclusive 3DS mode and it's fun to play and get custom items. As said in the direct, you get 5 minutes to get power ups and items by beating monsters and doing challenges like Break the Targets and when it's done, you and others compete in a short contest after exploration. It's fun and a decent way to play missing game modes like Stamina, Mushroom, and Sudden Death as well as Climbing further than everyone else, Multi-Man Smash and Race to the Finish. It's a great mode but one big problem most have with this is that "Why is there no Online Smash Run?" Personally, it's better off as a Local thing since Online can be laggy and not many people where I'm at do Smash Run since regular battles is where it's at.
So, that's Smash Bros 4 in my view. To sum up the game, it's friggin awesome! It has a few problems, some being major to those, but the content for a console with limitations and the roster size and customization make up for it for the most part. If you have a 3DS, get it if you love SSB4. Heck, get both versions because IMO you won't fully experience the installment without the two. So what are your thoughts on Sm4sh?