Well, it’s finally here. After years of anticipation and years of rumours, questions and “What ifs?” Super Smash Bros for the Nintendo Wii U is here. We all loved Super Smash Bros for the Nintendo 3DS. It was a massive masterpiece for the handheld system, and has been universally well received. Nintendo’s nationwide Smash Club events further proved that, but let’s admit it – For those of us that had our eye on the big screen version, it was just the appetizer for the main course. It’s time to eat.
Super Smash Bros is developed by Sora Ltd. and Bandai Namco and is published by Nintendo
Super Smash Bros follows the same premise as all the other games, in that you selected a well beloved video game to beat the snot out of another one. You had fairly stock standard Nintendo characters to do this back in the day, but as time’s gone on, other publishers have allowed their characters to appear. Snake from Metal Gear Solid is one of the best examples of a previous “celebrity” appearance. He’s gone from this version, but names like Pac Man, Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog will help you forget where he went to.
The roster in this game is a big one. You get so many different franchises represented that your head will spin. In addition to the classic names like Mario, Luigi and friends, you get representatives from franchises like The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, Kid Icarus, Metroid and Fire Emblem. Even Little Mac from the Punch Out series and a villager from Animal Crossing are here. The latter is a fairly unassuming character, but I’ve seen some major damage dealt on the 3DS version if he’s in the right hands. This is really true of any character, really. Get even the weakest characters in the right hands, and they’re capable of big things (this is where I’d probably make a Rosalina wisecrack, but I think I’m only allowed one of those per article, so I’ll save it.) Every character has a series of basic attacks, combos and stronger/special style attacks. Based on the stages you’re on, they could be a deadly for your opponents, or just yourself. Characters like Sonic, Yoshi, Little Mac and Charizard for example have very powerful, but erratic strong attacks that could easily launch them off a ledge with no ability to jump back if they miss. Better yet, you can’t select a stage until you’ve selected your character, and if you’re the type of player that selects random stages, you could be in for a treat.
This game is just ramped up in so many ways. One of the things that have been long awaited is the 8 player smash. In this mode, you can have 8 fighters rocking simultaneously. Still, more than 4 players simultaneously is always a party, and it obviously allows for more people to be caught up in all the ruckus.
Let’s talk about the rest of the game modes, of which there are many. Besides standard Smash and the 8-player mode, you can line up a “Special” Smash with crazy pre-set rules and powerups. The powerups themselves are plentiful, and you can customize your games any way you see fit. Only want Final Smashes and Legendary Pokemon to show up in your game? Sure. Only want the pain in the butt POW blocks? You can do that too.
Don’t forget to play online too! You can choose from team battles or regular fights with your friends or strangers. They don’t all have to be competitive either – You can choose to play for fun if you wish. The lag time isn’t too bad. The battles can be a bit slow to begin with, but round out after a few seconds, and I found that latency wasn’t an issue, which was originally a problem with the 3DS game.
Then there’s Smash Tour, which is a board game-esque game, which allows you to go across 3 different maps. With a pre-set number of turns, players roll dice and collect powerups (for both Smashes and dice rolls) till two characters collide, and then there’s a 4 player smash with any match-ready powerups. I might be an unpopular opinion, but this was actually my least favourite mode in the game. It was almost like prolonging what was bound to be a bunch of Smash battles anyway. The Smash Tour in this game replaces the Smash Run game from the Nintendo 3DS.
Checking out “Games and More” opens up a huge can of goodies. First off, you can play these games solo or with a group.
Here is where you can also create your custom Mii fighter or a custom stage. I used to make custom stages for my buddies to come and play N+ which were full of mayhem and booby traps, and I’m thinking I may do it again here. There’s the “Classic” mode which will see you playing a couple rounds against other characters and a pre-set rival. Essentially, you start with your amiibo shaped character, and play whomever else is on the board with you in a couple different styles of battles until you clear it. The mode can cost you gold however. If you don’t play on the default setting, you have to pay to play lower or higher difficulty, but the rewards ramp up if you play the higher difficulties.
The “Special Orders” mode is also here, which you again pay gold to play, but can win some good loot depending on the type of order you choose to play. Some of these are pretty stock standard, but some will place different multipliers on you, or make the field harder to play, meaning you could lose it all, or win big. The Crazy Hand mode in this costs a lot to play, but you can get play tickets by playing the regular Master Orders mode.
There’s an Events mode which sees you playing certain scenarios for rewards. These events also have side objectives for you to be fully successful. Even with a sliding difficulty, it’s pretty tough to clear some of these objectives, so I’d recommend getting comfortable with the game, and even unlocking a couple characters first before going on with this since you may have to replay some of the scenarios without them (since they factor into secret branches of the mode.) This mode probably requires the best all-around knowledge of the game since you’re forced into the character you use and cannot choose one.
The All-Star Mode is similar to the Nintendo 3DS mode in which you simply take on characters chronologically, and then the Stadium games are here too. I’ve since become really fond of the multi man smash and the target game. I’m still really bad at Home Run Derby though, and avoid it like the plague.
Lastly is the vault, which allows you to watch movies, listen to the soundtrack or play demos of some of the original Nintendo games that brought the characters to you. Just FYI on the demos, it appears that the dates are based on when they first appeared on a Nintendo console in case you’re wondering why Pac Man and Super Mario 2 (aka Lost Levels) show with 1993 dates.
Note: “Games and More” is also where you can register and tinker with your amiibo characters. For more information on how the functionality for amiibo works with Super Smash Bros, please refer to my amiibo review.
Lastly, the challenges in this game are back with the same spirit as the Nintendo 3DS game. 140 challenges exist, and once you unlock the first, you’ll be able to see the others around it. After obtaining a certain number of completed challenges, you’ll get a hammer for which you can break one challenge and show the others around it. For example, you should get all bottom 1/3rd challenges accomplished to begin with, so if you want to see something at the top, the hammer’s a good option for that.
Graphically, this game is superb. The graphics are second to none. In the entire time I spent playing the game, I had no issues whatsoever with clipping, framerate drops or lag. Everything about the game just looks good top to bottom
A lot of the characters in this game act similarly to their 3DS counterparts and have the same base traits. Charizard is just as dangerous and risky. Little Mac still has ridiculous speed, combos and is probably the best character for beginners. Yes, Rosalina is still just as useless. There are a lot of different fight stages, and they’re just as charming. Speaking as someone who went long and far to finally find a copy of the original SNES game a couple years ago, the Pilotwings stage was amazing with the remixed music from the original light plane drill. The preview stage for Yoshi Woolly World was cute too, and as always, I remain a huge fan of Little Mac’s Boxing Ring stage. Unlocks in this game are done similarly as well, though in a different order. Some of the characters that were unlocks on 3DS are already available on Wii U off the bat, like Ness for example. Pay attention to the loading screens as well, as they will drop helpful hints if you’re looking for certain characters to play with/against for certain features (ie. Sonic being the fastest character in the game.)
The soundtrack is fantastic. The menu stage music gives you this “big game” style feel before jumping into the stages, which all have fairly relevant remixed music of their respective stages. Club Nintendo has a promotion ongoing right now in which if you’ve bought and registered both versions of the game, you get the soundtrack. I have to get on that, as from an originally composed perspective, I think this is my favourite top to bottom soundtrack since Katamari Forever 5 years ago.
I found the controls to basically be the same as the Nintendo 3DS version, however, there was one very distinct difference I noticed. The controls in the Wii U version appear to be much looser, and a fair bit more forgiving. This actually creates a much better and smoother gameplay experience in my mind. There were times where I felt the 3DS version was a little too wound up because of this, and it’s been much easier to traverse the map, save yourself from flying off screen and even chaining attacks. It’s a definite welcome change from what I felt was the weakest aspect of its little screen version.
Nintendo 3DS XL functionality is nice, however, it’s a bit disappointing that perhaps due to processing or graphical limitations, you can’t use it as a second screen. What you have that many people clamored around the TV in the living room, the option would be a nice one to have. Still, the fact that you can use it as a controller is great considering you won’t have to scramble to get enough controllers for people when they come over.
Overall, this is the best of the series that I’ve played by far. I didn’t get to play Smash Bros Brawl for the Wii, but it definitely trumps all of my experiences with GameCube’s Melee, the 3DS version and the original for Nintendo 64. With the added functionalities, and the hundreds of bells and whistles that come tied to this, it’s definitely one for the ages, and should go down in the annals of Smash Bros immortality with it sure to be as revered as Melee was.
Something not to forget in all of this is just how good the Nintendo 3DS version was, and is still is. The brilliance and polish of the Wii U version shouldn’t take away from just how good it was, but honestly, if you can’t buy both, this is the one to get. It takes everything the 3DS version did and makes it better while adding so many more amazing things on its own.
Something really neat that Nintendo did going into this was bring back the idea of the GameCube controllers as an homage to GameCube fans. They made up special edition GameCube controllers for this, as well as allowing you to play with your old controllers, including the Wavebird if you were lucky enough to own one of those. But to use this requires a special adapter (including the Wii U wired controllers,) and the only thing Nintendo really did wrong with this launch is one thing that perhaps they couldn’t predict would happen. There seems to be a shortage for the demand of GameCube controller adapters already at release. Demand for these was higher than I personally thought right off the bat, and they appear to be sold out everywhere already. I’m sure we’ll see more in stock in the future, but you might have to wait a bit.
As for the game itself, well, there’s still plenty for everyone, so at least you won’t have to wait any longer to get your hands on it.
Gameplay: 5 / 5
Graphics: 5 / 5
Sound: 5 / 5
Controls: 4.5 / 5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 5 / 5
Overall Rating:4.9 / 5 (98%)
Super Smash Bros for Nintendo Wii U is now available at Best Buy and online at BestBuy.ca
For added fun, don’t forget to add amiibo too for all of your Smashing needs.