As the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. filled me up with some old Smash memories, I always wanted more from the game. Little things always seemed to bug me a bit and made me crave for the Wii U version of Smash to come out. Now that November has come and gone, I can finally get my fix of the home console version. However, is that a good or bad thing? Well, it’s good. It’s really good. In fact, it’s amazing!
The roster is bigger and better this time around in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. While it does hold the same amount of fighters that the 3DS version does, they look and play much better than the handheld version. While I felt the 3DS version was good, it never felt right control-wise. So much so that I couldn’t play as my main character (Fox) due to the lack of perfect controls. The Wii U version, on the other hand, provides the precise gameplay that the game is known for. Now I can play as Fox without any hassle (all of you better watch out!)
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U also balances the series out with the best of both previous games. As it brings the tightened gameplay that Super Smash Bros. Melee was known for, all while keeping it a bit more open and floaty, for which Super Smash Bros. Brawl was known. This strike in balance creates a much more competitive game, now more than ever, as now competitive players will be able to dish out combo chains that seem fair and not drive other players off the wall by overpowering them.
If any recent Wii U game from Nintendo has taught us anything, it’s that Nintendo always tries to make all their recent controllers put to good use. In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, it goes over and beyond that. Being able to use the Gamepad, Pro Controller, Wii Mote, Wii Mote Nunchuck, Classic Controller, Classic Controller Pro — even a 3DS if you want — are all ways to play the game, but the big addition for Smash lovers was being able to use the GameCube controller via a GameCube adapter.
While the GameCube controller is the superior way to play Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the Pro Controller does the job rather well. I usually opted to go with the Pro Controller due to the distance between my TV and couch and the relative cord lengths, but I have to say I really like the Pro Controller for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. It feels robust and comfortable enough that I never had any issues while playing. The Gamepad, on the other hand, was disappointing. It’s far too big and clunky to play comfortably. I had the same feelings when I was playing Super Smash Bros. for 3DS on my XL. It just felt forced and too foreign.
The only good use for the Gamepad is the newest Nintendo product, the Amiibos. In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, they become your living companions or foes. They will get better as they level up, improving their skills by learning the way you and your friends play. It’s a fun way to practice with a much stronger opponent than the level 9s, especially one who can study your strategies. What you will need to activate your Amiibos is to use the NFC chip inside the Gamepad. By tapping your figurine to it, it will bring them into the game and have them ready to brawl it up with you.
Online play is much improved over the Wii and 3DS by a long shot. I was able to play without any lag and constant connection drops at a crisp and respectable frame rate. Having this game plus Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire released on the same day, I thought the shoddy Nintendo Network would break down under pressure, but to my surprise, the online features work like a charm. Nintendo may still be far behind its competitors in online play, but Super Smash Bros. for Wii U proves to be a very solid online experience.
Classic Mode gets another revamp, just like the 3DS version did, but this feels much better overall. It’s a little faster compared to previous games as the game will have you up against multiple foes at a time instead of the traditional way we are used to playing. As a classic Smash player, this gets two big thumbs up in my books. It now takes a whole lot less effort to beat the game with every character and gets me to focus on my Multi-Man Smash in the process.
Three new mini games make their debuts in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U in Smash Tour and the Two Orders. All three bring a new and unique experience to the table. Just like Smash Run on the 3DS, Smash Tour brings four players together in a chaotic party game. Unlike the forced addition of Smash Run on the 3DS, the Wii U board game works very well, especially when duking out with friends. The Orders in Master Order and Crazy Order are more for personal play, but add a new twist for more challenging players who are looking to test their skills and earn special rewards while playing Master and Crazy Hands games.
Another new addition is the custom Smash matches which are a blast to play. Having everything go into chaos with just random items and powerups is just so funny to watch. What’s even more chaotic than that is the 8 player Smash battles. I personally love playing the 8 player Smash. It just makes the game a great way to bring everybody together and duke it out old school (if you have enough remotes to spare). Playing with more than four players at a time will cause your selection of levels to diminish from absurd to a handful, but with very large levels like The Great Cave Offensive or Hyrule Temple makes it even more fun to duke it out in larger groups.
Speaking of stage variety: in regular Smash mode, there are so many to choose from. It becomes a question of not having your favourite level to play, but which one to play on. What makes the stages even better is the ability to change the level design to “Final Destination” style stages so that all players can enjoy every level hazard-free while enjoying the stages of their favourite games.
Stage Builder comes back in the Wii U version, but also brings a bit of disappointment. The lack of customization and depth makes Stage Builder the only blunder the game has. Even the Gamepad, the tool you have to use to make the stages, really lacks any creativity. Drawing straight lines is a hassle even with the grid, and the lack of items just make Stage Builder a real downer. At least you can choose your favourite songs to go along your limited levels.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is the first of the series to be in HD and like the recent releases of Mario Kart 8 and Bayonetta 2, the quality to detail is superb. All of the characters are portrayed like they would have popped out of their own games. It may not be as eye popping as more newly-released games since you are always positioned centre stage, but for all that craziness to go on at the same TV screen without skipping a beat is pretty outstanding.
The soundtrack is truly something. I never thought they could cram in so many songs from Nintendo’s past into a game, but they managed to stuff all of those great classic tunes into one game (and I thought the 3DS version had a vast library of songs!) The game holds close to 430 tracks to choose from. That’s a whole lot of CDs to collect!
Even the trophies in this game are obsessively done to the finest point. The attention to detail for each one of them is insane considering they managed to make each of them unique to capture each of the game mascots’ personalities. Even third parties like Ubisoft and Capcom helped out with creating some unique trophies like Rayman and Mega Man. Who says that the Wii U doesn’t have third party support?
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U beats any fighting and party games out the door. It offers way too much for anybody to consider any other games to compare it to. Trying to complete the game at 100% will probably take you close to 500 hours so, for you pedantic gamers, that might take up your time. The game also makes the 3DS version practically irrelevant now besides for the data transfer or playing on the go. It’s just that big of a game.
Now, I did say that Bayonetta 2 is my personal pick for GOTY in my last review, but Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will push all nominated titles. It offers so much to the casual gamer as well as the hardcore ones that it brings the best of both worlds. Games like that don’t come too often. I even caught my fiancée sneaking a few matches the other day trying to be as good as me. Sorry hun, but you can only beat me at SNES games.
A special offer from Club Nintendo also offers people who purchased and registered both copies of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U a limited time offer of the Super Smash Bros. soundtracks. Now, normally I find game soundtracks to be a waste of space as they are better enjoyed through the game themselves, but for Smash this is a gift for anybody who is tired of carrying their 3DS around. With many songs from both games this is a true fan’s dream soundtrack. So make sure to register those games to get on the great offers through Club Nintendo.
DLC is also on its way with Mewtwo making its return to the Smash scene in late spring. This also brings back the speculation of extra DLC characters. Sakurai did mention that Mewtwo is a special exception as the game will not feature any future DLC besides that. This is Sakurai, one of the biggest internet trolls in the world, so take that as you may. I am still hoping for the return of the Ice Climbers.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U becomes the perfect party game as well as the ultimate fighting experience that caters to both sides of the gaming world. Whether you are a casual player, or a devoted hardcore gamer, there is tons to do in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U to tend to your gaming needs. The game will leave you years upon years of unlocking every nook and cranny it has to offer. If that’s not your style, you could jump straight into Smashing online with other people. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U becomes the King of the Ring and a must-have title for anybody who owns a Wii U.