Game of the Week: Super Smash Land!

Hello there folks! Now are you among the vast many people in this world, like myself, who hunger for another Super Smash Bros. game? The type of people who would have ridden their N64’s to the last pixel just to smash a Falcon Punch into Kirby’s face one last time? – Well, then you’re in luck! Today I’ve found a game that provides the love of Super Smash Bros. – with the glory that is Game Boy. Yep. That’s right – Super Smash Land!

Super Smash Land is a wonderful little indie ‘de-make’ of the classic Super Smash Bros. franchise. Now, I’m just going to give you my brief first impressions here, because Super Smash Land is really in almost a beta form at the moment, and it’s available for download via PC only [ Sorry Mac fans – but here’s hoping he’ll make a version for Mac soon! ] The creator, Dan Fornace, really put a ton of love into this title and it’s evident in the design.

8-Bit Super Smash Bros? PINCH ME I'M DREAMING!

The controls are simple [ Arrow Keys for movement, and Z and X are your A and B buttons respectively – while Enter serves as your Start button. ] but I will be the first to say that this control scheme is counter productive for mobility challenged gamers or one handed gamers. You have to be able to move with the arrow keys and hit the attack buttons if you want the same seamless experience like the N64 gave you. I also, unfortunately, found out that some of the signature moves you’re accustomed to don’t work due to design constraints.

Update: I just went to Dan’s forums, and it states that in the file download there’s a Joy2Key in the zip file. This file allows you to use any USB plug controller that you’d like – so I suppose that jumps the accessibility up just slightly. You’re still dealing with complex move sets in a fighting game though and it would still require two hands to play.

So folks who were hoping that Kirby would be able to own everyone by swallowing their powers? Unfortunately it’s not to be – the function only causes Kirby to spit throw you, which isn’t a bad thing at all, just saying if you’re a purist you might be saddened by that fact. I’m sure there are other missing character moves, but come on, the man built this homage to one of the greatest fighting games ever invented. I think we can cut him some slack don’t you?

Let the Battle COMMENCE!

The graphics are ALL 8-bit, and while I love the nostalgia of seeing Super Smash in Gameboy fashion, I’m sure that my colorblind gamers will probably be roaring in agony. The game is the soft green pixelated coloration of a Gameboy and without different color schemes to diversify the tones it can cause problems for colorblind gamers. The music is a joy, and you can even download the full soundtrack if you want to separately from the game download. Sound isn’t really a factor to the accessibility of the game, but it does add to the enjoyment factor – so deaf gamers may be slightly disappointed by the game without sound to accompany the lush retro graphics.

The game includes four playable characters at the start: Mario, Kirby, Link and Pikachu. Now while I have to admit the controls are kind of clunky, and I would love to see a revised version some day, the joy that I get from the fact that there’s an 8-Bit Smash Bros. emulator out there in this world makes me weak in the knees with joy. So – how can you get this game? Well, you can go to:

Super Smash Land!

Here you can download the Windows 1.1 Version. Fornace has talked about making a Mac version though as he continues to develop updates for the game. One vital note here is that it is a ZIP file, so you’ll need to make sure to UNZIP the file in order to access the game properly. If you don’t you’ll end up getting an error message after the Game Boy emulator screen shows up. Other than that the game includes a LOT for a free to play version of a classic game made even more classic:

  • Arcade Mode
  • Versus Mode
  • Team Battles
  • Endless Mode
  • Online High Scores
  • Tower of Heaven

The game looks awesome and feels nostalgic, and while I would definitely like better controls and perhaps a color version to break up the green blob of pixelated goodness, it’s definitely one of those games you have to try at least once. If you have any trouble with the download, let me know and I’ll try and figure out why it’s going wonky. I know I personally got the Error messages the first time, until I checked Fornace’s forums for advice. So – NO this is not an April Fool’s joke. This game is real. Please go check it out, because it’s something that I would love to see promoted to a mass stage.

Who knows? Perhaps he’ll make a mobile Android and iOS version and then we’ll be able to play it from our phones and tablets. Here’s looking at you Dan Fornace! I wish you the best of luck and success in future gaming endeavors and I look forward to seeing what you have to offer in future installments of Super Smash Land! I also want to give a shout to fellow game bloggers over at Power Cords¬†for introducing the game to me. You guys are awesome. Thank you for keeping me in the loop on a really cool indie discovery.

Oh and one more thing: If you’re still in the mood for Smash Bros. nostalgia when you leave here I suggest taking a look over at my fellow blogger Sam Whelan’s blog. He’s got a really cool segment called Timelapse Tuesday over there and currently he’s been running a poll for which Super Smash Bros. character he should draw. Check out his version of Pikachu!

So, yes, go forth my minions! Play as you will! The Smash is calling you!