One of the best parts of the new Super Smash Bros is its level editor, which has made it easier than ever to create custom stages for players who want to take a page from the Calvinball rulebook. Let's take a look at some of the coolest mini-games players have come up with so far.
Thanks in large part to suggestions I received from Kotaku readers, I tested out a bunch of different custom stages and mini-games with friends over the holidays. These are all casual-friendly ideas, then -- modes that amp up the already-epic levels of insanity in Smash by focusing on particular items, environmental hazards, or characters. Smash is a pretty amazing party game, after all.
After Smashketball first took off, I kept hearing about another sports-themed stage for soccer. Or football, depending on where you're playing. YouTubers coffee4fuel were one of the first to try it out in the video above. The idea is build a semi-enclosed rectangular stage with small openings on either side, and set soccer balls as the only item to spawn. Two players compete to try and kick as many balls out of their respective side of the stage -- the "goal." They use Jigglypuff as a third to keep a zoomed-out view of the map.
Reddit user Macha_theCat made a variation on it using cannons.
I personally prefer the cannon approach. But I also think that having different Smash characters bounce around in small spaces is endlessly entertaining. Speaking of which…
I've alluded to this a few times, but one of my absolute favourite things in the Brawl days was a level my friends made that put us all at 300% damage from the outset and trapped us in a large box that only had two super teeny tiny holes on the top-left and right corners and a bunch of moving platforms inside. It was absolutely insane, ricocheting goodness.
This pinball stage by TheBaldingGamers quickly became my favourite way to play Smash with three other friends as a result. It can get pretty hectic, though, so you have to be in the right mindset. If the opening at the bottom is causing you problems, a small tweak I'd suggest is putting small openings at the top as well. Or instead of the opening at the bottom; that works too.
Ok, enough about cannons for a second. Let's try something a little more mellow.
YouTuber Damisaur made a quick-and-easy template for a volleyball stage and corresponding mini-game that involves chucking a CPU character back and forth to score points. He also has a longer cut of it in action:
I found this a bit dry on its own as a 1-v-1 mode compare to soccer. Reddit user atomattack had a great way to liven things up with a few small tweaks, though:
I currently have one called "Jigglypuff Volleyball."
Single, long platform in the center with a thin wall about 10-15 units high
1 spring on each side of the wall for spiking
WiiFit Trainer recommended as the players, Jigglypuff required as the ball
Light gravity for easier gameplay
Adding spiking gives the game more of an edge. And Jigglypuff is just more fun to whack around, because who doesn't like to hit Jigglypuff? The puff deserves it after all those darned rest moves.
Going back to the silly side of things, Kotaku reader E-Soy recommended this mode that was a total blast. You set a 300% handicap, high item frequency, and only bumpers turned on. You can probably tell how things play out just from hearing that premise. Oh, and make sure to set a high stock so matches don't end in like five seconds.
thewiredknight had a similar idea:
Seriously try this, I did this in Brawl and it was fun as hell.
Flat stage (which one is irrelevant).
Only items are bumpers and banana peels.
Everyone plays Diddy Kong and can ONLY use the banana peel move and throw items.
Sooner or later what you wind up with is enough bumpers on the map that people get stuck in an endless ricochet of death until a bumper despawns. Should be even better now with 8 player smash.
Sadly, Diddy's nerfed banana peel makes this one a little less fun in the new Smash. But I still like the thinking!
In a similar vein only without the bumpers, Inkmonkey suggested playing with high damage and bombs:
The only self-imposed game I've played consistently throughout the Smash world is to set damage percentage to max, item spawn high with only bob-ombs, and set the stock exceptionally high (99 if you're sadistic, but I find 20 works best)
Which lead me to this hilariously awesome mode from Bananacop, which is high up there with pinball in my book:
My group of friends has called this "The 99". It's a staple mode we play consisting of:
2.0x damage ratio (or flying distance).
Green turtle shells, exploding boxes, x bombs, soccer balls, barrels, regular boxes, and bob-ombs all set to high.
And finally, 99 lives.
It's fantastic fun and it's our favourite mode to play because it inspires an entirely different kind of mindset. Only takes about 20 minutes to play as well.
So. Many. Cannons.
This might not count as a "mini-game" per se, but this "Incursion" stage by Reddit's dahahawgy served as the template for my favourite epic-scale 8-play match. It's particularly awesome when you set the rules to team battles and have all the items turned on. Here's a description from its Imgur album:
It started out as the idea of two separate stages connected by a network of cannons, but quickly evolved into something more chaotic. If you stagger the teams on Team Battle, each of the teams starts out on opposite sides of the map. On Incursion, this makes it start out like an epic battle. The left stage on this map has the high ground. I did this to make the smaller right stage look like it was under attack. It's pretty easy to get from one stage to the other. In fact, it's almost hard not to. If you're feeling crowded, you can go for one of the cannons, or the makeshift bunker here like Mario did. The cannon at the top of the right stage is the high point of the map. Thought the right stage deserved it as a kind of "counter-attack." The bunker below the right stage takes you to the lowest part of the level, where a moving platform gently places you into one of three cannons. It's extremely easy to get separated here, which is good for when you want to escape, and not so good if you're on the hunt. This cave here serves no purpose except to rack up damage. You can't see very well when people are spread out over the map, but when everyone's in here, it's a real party.
And here's a grid view if you want to try to make it yourself, which you totally should:
"Race To The Finish"
One of the most recent ideas I've come across is this one from Reddit's SirGrapes that turns the oft-maligned Pac-Land stage in the new Wii U Smash into a very hectic race. Before I go any further, I should warn you that a lot of the feedback about this has not been positive. I think that the criticisms on Reddit and YouTube are really just taking issue with the fact that Pac-Land is a side-scrolling stage, which is what annoyed people about it in the first place since that's not really something Smash usually does.
Testing it out, I could see why. Dashing through the level at super-speed is like playing Smash as an extended Three Stooges gag where everyone keeps tripping over one another. But that's what also makes it a lot of fun. It's dumb. It's silly. It's totally clumsy. All in a good way.
Kotaku reader thebuddyadrian had a similar idea that I haven't tried yet, but also sounds really neat:
I made up this race to the finish game and its lots of fun! You set the rules to stock (any amount) put for the items any that will change your speed and can be thrown. The stage is like a bunch of floors and you have to keep running back and forth running off the first platform and falling on to the next. there are barrels that can teleport u back on stage and there is another one that KOS you. If you lost go in the KO barrel and if you win go to the "back to stage" barrel.
Sounds a bit like that crazy all-Wario event challenge in the Smash single-player mode. Only with less farting. Well, maybe.
Capture The Flag
Kotaku reader glazedkoala sent this one to me a while back, and it's really great as an almost entirely non-lethal form of Smash play. Here's the instructions for how to set it up:
1. Time Attack
2. Team Battle (2v2) with Team Attack Off.
3. High Item Spawn: Switch on only the Flag and Maximum Tomatoes. (You can experiment with turning off tomatoes or changing the item spawn rate, but I think this works best).
On this stage it's nearly impossible to kill each other. Instead points are scored by grabbing the flags that spawn. One teammate grabs a flag and runs to a choke point to activate it. The other defends. Sometimes it just becomes a race to activate a flag then quickly stop your opponent from activating theirs. Best played as Fox, Captain Falcon, or Sonic.
It's important stages not have actual roofs enclosing them or else most of the items will spawn on the roof where players can't get to them. The Cannon roof makes it almost impossible to kill each other while still allowing flags to fall. Hitting opponents into the cannon roof also buys time to activate flags! It works out great. (This idea was based on a post from Reddit).
As koala suggests, Reddit Smashers have some suggestions for how to tweak it (as they so often do!). But this template was more than enough fun for me. I'd still love to see a great 4-v-4 mode, though.
Patricia wrote about this one back in September, so I'm just including it as a reminder. This is by far the most intense and uproarious mode I played with one other person. The only requirement is you both have to like the Village. And be of roughly equally skill levels with him, otherwise it gets pretty old pretty fast. Otherwise, it leads to some serious shit-talking and other, more passive-aggressive mind-games.