The long-awaited handheld port of Nintendo’s most popular fighting series was finally released in Japan last Friday, but not without a significant problem. Due to an odd glitch, Super Smash Bros. players can get banned for choosing Peach in the online “For the Glory” game mode. Despite the unfortunate bug in the online moderation algorithm, fans and journalists are reporting they are quite pleased with the new release.
Super Smash Bros. is a fighting series which pits 2-4 iconic Nintendo characters against each other in a number of battle arenas pulled from their games. The latest Nintendo 3Ds features the core cast of Mario, Luigi, Link from Legend of Zelda, Kirby, Fox, Donkey Kong Pikachu and Samus from Metroid, but also adds in characters such as Megaman, Sonic, the Wii Fit instructor or the Villager from Animal Crossing. Each character has a unique set of moves based on their games. For example Mario can shoot fireballs as if he picked up the fireflower, while Kirby can suck enemies in and absorb part of their powers.
Unlike most fighting games where the objective is to bring the enemy health bar down, in Super Smash Bros. hitting the opponent actually increases their “damage count.” The higher the damage count, the further away the enemy will get knocked-back with subsequent punches. The objective thus turns from simply beating the opponent down to pushing them off the stage. This can be accomplished either by forcing them to fly off the screen in either direction or fall off the floating stage.
The series first originated on Nintendo 64 and has since had a unique version on almost every new Nintendo platform since. The DS edition has been in the works for some time with a lot of preceding fanfare and teaser videos, finally releasing in Japan this past Friday. However, as the eager players quickly discovered, choosing Princess Peach could lead to their Super Smash Bros. account getting banned for a day. The ban only occurs in the online version which is moderated to prevent cheating and unsportsmanlike behavior, such as purposefully disconnecting too often or ganging up on a single other player.
The full reasons behind the ban are not yet known, although some players speculate it has to do with Peach’s ability to pull up a throwable turnip from the ground by holding “down” and the B button. In this theory, doing so early in the game can fool the anti-cheat system into thinking the player has illegally obtained an item before any items actually appear on the arena. However, Link has a similar power where he can pull out bombs from thin air, yet no one using his character has been banned just yet.
Luckily for the gamers, getting banned in Super Smash Bros. for choosing Peach only lasts for one day, after which the players can jump back into the online fray. Nintendo is undoubtedly working on the issue, although they have not yet made an official statement just yet. Some of the fans are using this event as an example of questioning Nintendo ban policies, stating a one-day ban without explanation is excessive. Nonetheless, the game has been receiving warm reviews so far, and is scheduled to release in Europe and the U.S. on Oct. 3.
By Jakub Kasztalski