Before we even start, let's acknowledge that for many players, the best item is "no items". It's tough to dominate a stranger with your superior reflexes and strategies when no matter what you do, some F-Tier scrub can just get a golden hammer to send you flying into the distance. With all that in mind, here are the power-ups that we have grown to love (and hate) in the portable smack'em up.

 

The Good: 

 

1. Fairy Bottle

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Having been completely unable to stay on top of the Hype Train, I actually spent the first few days not knowing how to use the Fairy Bottle. Throw against the ground? Nothing  Hit it with bob-ombs? The bottle remains unshattered. The secret was that it only heals you once you go over 100% damage. The satisfaction I got walking head-first into a smartbomb with this in my hand and coming out clean on the other side cannot be overstated. It was literally the only time I ever smiled while riding the bus. Literally. 

 

2. Fire Bar

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This is all about aesthetics. The Fire Bar feels good... man. Wailing on people with that 4-bar reach and whittling it down to a nubby little fireball is a bit like popping bubble wrap, but against someone's face. It strikes me as funny that after all my years as a gamer, Nintendo figuratively came up to its fans and was like:

  1. Nintendo

    Hey.

  2. Fans

    Yes, famed entertainment company Nintendo?

  3. Nintendo

    Do you remember the fire bar?

  4. Fans

    The... what?

  5. Nintendo

    The spinning obstacle thing from Bowser's castle in the original Super Mario Bros.

  6. Fans

    Wait, the one that was just a bunch of fireball sprites strung together?

  7. Nintendo

    Yeah yeah yeah. Wanna wield one like a sword?

  8. Fans

    ... yes. That's all we have ever wanted.

 

3.  Spiny Shell

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Call me a godless communist, a vengeful petty little man, or god-forbid a "sore loser". But I'll just go ahead and say it, I enjoy punishing someone for their success. Just like in Mario Kart, this sucker targets the person ahead in KOs or Stock, and leaves very little room for escape. Also, if you use it when you ARE the one in first place, it just homes in on the guy in second. This makes using it an EVEN BIGGER dick move than the Blue Shell already was, and that's an accomplishment.

 

4. Hocotate Bomb

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What I like the most about the Hocotate Bomb is how it functions like a Mega-Evolved Warp Star. The twist is that it has a much bigger impact and a chaotic sense of timing. Once this thing is launched, an entire chunk of the stage becomes a big risk-reward dead zone. Do you have enough time to grab that healing item? Huh, do ya, punk? Also, points for being from Pikmin, Miyamoto's franchise about being in charge of thousands of disposable underlings (based on a true story).

 

5. Special Flag

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This item is so laughably uncompetitive and it will probably top many people's "hate list", but there's something goofy about how everyone rushes you for thinking you could actually get away with getting an extra Stock/KO in the middle of a match. Here we are, 4 folks battling for supremacy, then out of nowhere the game shifts to 3 friends united in the short-lived "Brotherhood of Obliterate That Guy Who Grabbed the S-Flag". 

 

But what about the 5 Worst Items? Click to continue.