It’s been more than six years since the last instalment of the Super Smash Bros. series was released for the Wii, but fans of Nintendo’s mascot-laden fighting game don’t have to wait very long until they can return to the fray. The new entry will release on both the Wii U and the 3DS — and Japanese players can get their first taste of the series’ maiden handheld entry with a demo available now on the eShop.
IGN reports that the demo allows access to five characters; Mario, Link, Pikachu, Mega Man and the male Villager from the Animal Crossing series. The first three brawlers will be very familiar to long time players, having been featured in every title thus far — but the latter two are newcomers, and as such fans will undoubtedly be very eager to see how they play. The demo is already proving very popular with Twitch streamers, so anyone without access to it can at least get a sneak peek of some full-length gameplay.
The release of this demo is the latest move in a considered campaign by Nintendo to allow as many players as possible to have hands-on time with the game ahead of its release, with prior efforts including the Best Buy Smash-Fest and an episode of Conan O’Brien’s ‘Confused Gamer’ series. While frequent updates and teases from director Masahiro Sakurai via Nintendo’s Miiverse certainly do the trick in terms of whipping up fans into a frenzy, more casual players are much more likely to be wooed by the game by experiencing the controlled chaos that has made the series such a hit over the last fifteen years.
The demo for Super Smash Bros. for 3DS has been released merely days before the game itself hits stores in Japan, which might suggest that a similar demo will be released in other regions closer to its launch in those territories. For now, Japanese players — or, at least, players with a Japanese 3DS — will be able to get a head-start on seeing how the series transfers to handhelds and on getting to grips with the two newcomers featured in the demo.
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS will be available in the United States on October 3, 2014. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is still set for a Winter 2014 release.