Super Smash Bros for NINTENDO 3DS accessibility review

Josh Straub3 minute read

One of the biggest Nintendo releases in the coming months will be the Wii U version of the much loved Super Smash Bros. In advance of that, Nintendo has released a 3DS version. Even though this version is a great game, disabled gamers will probably have too hard of a time adapting to the constraints of Super Smash Brothers on a handheld.

We at DAGERS usually don’t divide up games on the basis of what platform they are released on. Usually when a game is reviewed on DAGERS, it’s reviewed once, regardless of how many platforms it’s been released on. However, in this case, Super Smash Brothers for the Wii U, and Super Smash Brothers for the 3DS are such vastly different games because of the limitations of the hardware, that two separate reviews are warranted.

Unfortunately, even though I am a big Super Smash Bros fan, I would not recommend this game to players like me, because of the quick reflexes and timing required to excel at this title. Because the controls are smaller than those you would find on a console version of Super Smash Bros, more precision and accuracy is needed when taking on characters from throughout Nintendo’s history. To make matters worse, there is absolutely no controller customization in this game, which means that players who can’t use the circle pad with some degree or accuracy will be excluded from this gaming experience because this is what players use to move their character around the map.

There are two features however that save this game from total inaccessibility. One is the amount of flexibility it gives the player. The game starts with lots of different playable characters already unlocked, and as players go along, they will be challenged by new comers in order to add them to the available roster. As a result, if you’re able to put up with the physical constraints of a 3DS, there should be a fighter that fits your needs. Beyond this, matches can be highly tailored to fit the wants of the individual player. You can play matches with a set time-limit, number of lives, or handicap that compensates for any problems that you may have.

Players with visual disabilities sadly will face many challenges when trying to access Super Smash Brothers for the 3DS. Again, this has more to do with the constraints of the hardware then the accessibility itself. While it is true that not much relies on color, and that the fine detail that differentiates between different objects is somewhat irrelevant in single player mode, since all objects should be used no matter what they are. The frantic action and occasional mirror-match problem are only aggravated by the 3DS’ small screens, even on the XL. But because of how forgiving this game is, it may be worth a look for visually disabled gamers who are interested in playing it.

The only real good news comes in the area of auditory accessibility. As is true with a lot of Nintendo games, nothing in Super Smash Brothers for the 3DS relies on the ability to hear audio cues. As a result, there is no issue recommending this game to any deaf or hard of hearing player with a 3DS.

Again, something should be said about the fact that DAGERS usually doesn’t blame the hardware for a game’s barriers, but in the case of Super Smash Brothers for the 3DS, there are major barriers that arise, not because of the way that the game was designed, but because of the system in which the game was designed for. You should not expect to have these same issues when playing the yet to be released Wii U title of the same name.

Overall Rating: Partially Accessible
Visual Rating: Partially Accessible
Fine-Motor Rating: Partially
Auditory Rating: Barrier Free
Released For: 3DS
ESRB Rating: E10+
GameInformer Score: 9.25


– Items now have a white arrow that appears above them to tell players where they are.

– Items are hard to distinguish.

Fine Motor

– Large roster of characters with different play styles to fit the needs of different players.

– Quick reflexes required.


– Nothing in the game relies solely on the ability to hear audio cues.

– None.

This article has been transferred from DAGERSystem (now AbilityPoints). Scores, formatting, and writing style may differ from original CIPT content.

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