Ah, items. In Smash Bros some of these are just novelties, while others can potentially turn the side of a match.
Now sure, you could turn them off. But that's boring, and in my view not really a more "hardcore" way to play the game. To the contrary, I think they add something to the game. Getting to them first, having a sense of how and when to use them and avoiding the worst of them are skills. Besides, they can be just plain fun: A full multiplayer battle with items involved is the game at its most chaotic
Assuming you agree and have items on at least some of the time, then, it's worth having some instincts about dealing with them. That's what this item guide is all all about.
Back Shield: It's exactly what it sounds like. This can protect you from basic attacks from the rear, which can come in handy in matches bigger than 1v1 showdowns. For those good at blocking this may seem like a trivial item, but at the least it's worth picking up if only to deny it to your rivals.
Banana Peel: With this shout-out to Mario Kart, you can toss it on the ground and possibly disrupt your opponent. Try to place it strategically, because unlike some other trap-type items this thing is pretty visible on the screen. It's most likely to work in a crowded match, where foes will constantly have much bigger problems to worry about.
Barrells: These can be picked up and thrown for good damage and broken open to deliver some items. If you're craving items, your best bet might be to toss it upward and let it come crashing down. Unlike crates, it's possible to send these rolling along the ground to strike at a foe from a better distance.
Beam Sword: Unquestionably the weapon of choice for your favorite Star Wars-flavored Mii (you do have one, right?). This is is a basic and immensely useful weapon. Standard attacks provide a modest whack, but you want this for what it does for your side smash attacks. The more you charge the harder and farther it goes, and there is great potential to bring the pain from a safe distance. The beam sword is surpassed in power and range by the Ore Club, but this is still an excellent asset.
Blast Box: Basically a stationary Bomb-omb, this thing is dangerous. Hit it enough and it will explode and send anyone nearby flying. Hit it with any fire-based attack and it will explode instantly. If you try to carry this thing around in a fight, you are a brave soul. I personally find it easier to think of these things as a stage hazard and either stay far away or get rid of them immediately.
Blue Shell: The Mario Kart item everyone loves to hate. Winning handily in first place? Better cross your fingers, because you never know when one of these will home in on you and change everything. In Smash Bros though, I've found that this is much less nasty. If it hits it's a nuke, but that's a big "if" - you see it coming from a mile away as it hovers in the air, slows down and then finally strikes straight down over several seconds. Throwing it does give your opponent something else to worry about, just don't trust it to get the job done. Toss it right away and get aggressive. When facing it, it's best to keep moving and taking to the air is a good way to avoid the strike. The slower characters have the most to fear from this item.