We had soooooooooooo much fun when we were kids
Super Smash Bros. is a game in which a whole bunch of Nintendo characters are thrown together in a ring and told to beat the hell out of each other, slashing up Donkey Kong with the Master Sword is a gameplay experience that any fan of Nintendo will love. It's however not limited to Nintendo fans only, people who don't know anything about these characters will still have a very good fighting game to play and might even get interested in the characters themselves.
Super Smash Bros. is much more chaotic than games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat (yeah, more chaotic than Mortal Kombat, imagine that), this is mostly due to the characters we can play as, they all jump very high, take lots of damage and have their own special moves, which pretty much turns this game into the chaotic-looking, but still controllable fighter we got in front of us. The way every fight looks so dynamic is very interesting for children and adults can have quite a lot of fun out of it as well.
The maps are all based on the characters in one way or another and they are a lot of fun to play in because of the tactics you can apply to each one, there is the Donkey Kong stage where there is a barrel that can prevent you from falling down and in the Link stage there are tornadoes that can throw people into the air. I can however remember that everybody's favorite was the Pokemon stage where there was a door that would release a Pokemon if you got close to it.
There are a lot of items and once again, the Pokemon ones are the favorite because they release, well, Pokemon. There are also guns, swords, fans and hearth-pieces right of out of Zelda for the players to pick up and use in battle, although nobody ever wanted the fan because that was "girly" and useless. This is another feature that I have never seen in other fighting games before (I play barely any, so it might be my fault), it's just one of the many features that gave the Super Smash Bros. franchise it's personality and we loved it.
There is a special mode that has you fighting a bunch of enemies in something that is supposed to resemble a story, the only real story part is right at the end though and the rest is just a series of encounters. There are also bonus stages which break up the fighting action every now and then, but the only interesting part was the boss-fight at the end of it all and battle with creepy character models without skin that precede it. We never quite figured out what those things were supposed to be and why they were so out of place, but it was very hard to deal with them. Oh and there is Metal Mario and he's hard as well, but I am trying to forget about him, awful memories of constant losing still haunt my dreams.
The game hasn't really aged well, which is a problem with almost every fighting game, at this point in time controls weren't really that great yet and cartridges only had a limited amount of data they could store, due to those two problems the game is often hard to control and only has a handful of playable characters. Sure, it hits the main ones like Mario, Link and Samus, but characters like Sheik and Bowser aren't anywhere in the game, instead we get Ness, holy damn I used to hate him, I just couldn't figure out what game he was supposed to be from.
The "story-mode" as we used to call it is quite boring after you have gone through it a few times. You always fight exactly the same characters in exactly the same order with only a handful of surprises, even the bonus stages always appear at exactly the same moment and have you doing exactly the same thing over and over again. It makes you wonder if it is really that hard to have the game pick fighters at random instead of what they are using now.
The Bottom Line
Super Smash Bros. is a very good fighting game for the Nintendo 64, possibly even the best on the system, but the problem is that this one game became an entire franchise and now we already got Super Smash Bros, Brawl for the Nintendo Wii. It's hard to be remain interested in a game that is almost as old as I am when there is already a new version out with more of it, more maps, more characters, more moves and better animations.
The best thing you could probably do is start with this game and then work you're way through the franchise because you'll be disappointed in this game if you already played any other game in the franchise. This is a hard game to get into, but it was definitely a great game when it first came out, there is no doubt about that.