For anyone new to this series, Super Smash Bros is the classic Nintendo series made for the overjoy of Nintendo-fans and videogame enthusiasts in general, as it pits together the most iconic characters from the most popular Nintendo series (and recently, classic characters from other developers as well), and let you battle them either against the computer or your friends.
The series has come a long way since it’s introduction back in 1999 for the Nintendo 64 (yes it’s been 15 years), after that a sequel of the series has been expected for every new Nintendo console. Such was the case of Super Smash Bros Melee for the GameCube, and Super Smash Bros Brawl for the Nintendo Wii. This time around Nintendo decided not call it with another synonym for “fight”, and simply called it Super Smash Bros for WiiU.
This game was technically released for the Nintendo 3DS a month ago as Super Smash Bros for 3DS, and while the two titles are the same game there are a few differences. Since I have no way of telling if you played the 3DS version, I’ll be comparing the WiiU version with its 3DS namesake, as well as what’s new from Super Smash Bros Brawl.
The very first difference in Super Smash Bros for WiiU is the characters being gathered together this time around. There are roughly 50 different characters to choose from, including not only characters from popular Nintendo franchises, but also more characters from different developers join the battle this time around.
Mega Man and Pac-Man join Sonic as the outsiders being welcomed to the SSB roster.
Where graphics are concerned, the WiiU version won’t disappoint you at all. The characters in the game have never looked this good. However, while both the 3DS and WiiU versions hold the very same characters, the most notable difference between the two are the stages available to brawl on. They both share a handful of stages, but while the 3DS version has stages inspired by games being released on Nintendo’s portable systems (like Tomodachi Life, Super Mario 3D Land, and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks), the WiiU version has bigger stages more focused on games released on home consoles.
These “bigger” stages on WiiU truly are bigger-than-ever and since the game now allows having battles with up to 8-players simultaneously, brawls are just as chaotic as you imagine. Also, I have to say it’s super easy to set all the controllers into the system for an 8-player game, which is important as Nintendo usually makes these things a lot harder than they should be.
This new Super Smash Bros is obviously focusing on its (both local and online) multiplayer options, made apparent by the huge colorful buttons on the main screen, while all the other single-player options are buried behind a smaller blue colored “Games & More” button.
We will start with the largest button and discuss multiplayer first. Local multiplayer offers all the options you’re used to from previous Smash games. Most stages aren’t simply a flat plane, but every stage (on both platforms) comes with an omega (Ω) version, which alters every stage into a single flat board like (Final Destination from previous games), for players who don’t like anything interfering with their fight.
Online options are really tight in this game too; I played it extensively during the release week and didn’t suffer too many issues. Some lag here and there but nothing that utterly made the title unplayable (like Brawl did back on the Wii). This is something else Nintendo has struggled with in the past, so it is nice to see them nail online play.
The WiiU version also introduces a new mode called Smash Tour which sets you and your friends into some sort of board game (are you feeling that Mario Party fear? You should). I actually believed it was going to be a more robust game mode, but it’s actually way too simple. In it you’re wandering around three different boards collecting power ups and characters you’ll be using to fight your opponents.
I played Smash Tour with a friend just once and we both disliked it. It’s a big turn-off when you’re not able to play with the characters you like. In that sense I miss Smash Run from the 3DS version, which feels a bit like the Adventure and Subspace Emissary modes which are missing in this release.
We already learned the reasons why there wasn’t going to be a story mode like the Subspace Emissary we had back in Brawl (and it remains a poor excuse no matter how much I read it). Even if I wasn’t too fond to its platforming it was really fun to have a story mixing all these characters in some sort of crazy way, as well as having amazing boss battles along the way.
As for the rest of the game modes, Classic, Events, Stadium and All-Star modes are back, and they’re more or less the same as before, but on the other hand I really enjoyed that these modes can now be played cooperatively by two players (something I’ve wanted ever since Melee); more than having a great time facing these challenges with a friend, you can also be twice as productive at beating the game with all its characters and getting all those trophies.
The title doesn’t offer too much new compared to its previous entries, and the lack of some sort of story mode feels like the game actually offers less since Melee. It’s a real shame since it’s easier to lose interest on the game now that the game offers less incentives to keep you engaged. That said, everything that needs to be in the game is here, and the game remains as fun as it has always been. There’s a lot more nostalgia-filled content that will take you back to the early days of videogames, and it’s hardly a game you’ll grow tired no matter how much you play it.
Considering everything said so far, Super Smash Bros for WiiU meets all the expectations; the gameplay, graphics, and its game modes are solid, and its online component is surprisingly good; it’s definitively a title you’ll need if you happen to own a Nintendo WiiU.