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SUPER SMASH BROS. Wii U Review

2014 was an outstanding year for gaming — particularly for co-operative gaming. The best of example of just that has been none other than Super Smash Bros for Wii U, offering up all you would expect from a Super Smash Bros. title and then some. With a lacking amount of releases for co-op fans in recent years, Super Smash Bros. was meant to be a breath of fresh air and it certainly didn’t fall short of expectation.

What started with Super Smash Bros 3DS in October continued with Super Smash Bros on the Wii U the very next month. The hype behind every Smash game was there. The slow introduction of the character roster, features, gameplay, and so on. The roster this time around has 49 characters in total, with an additional character (Mewtwo) coming through DLC now currently available to only owners of both Super Smash Bros games. The cast of characters of course represents several Nintendo franchises such as Mario, Zelda, and Metroid, along with some guest characters such as Pac-Man and Sonic. There is enough variety for anyone to pick up the game and likely find someone they will want to play as.

Gameplay

This latest edition of Smash Bros is filled to the brim with content, as per usual. Outside of your standard Smash mode, are the return of other modes such as Multi-Man Smash, Home-Run Contest, and so forth. The replay value for this title is exceptionally high and while you do have to unlock some of the characters, 100 or so matches goes by quickly. If you can’t even wait that long, there are alternative methods other than playing a bunch of matches to unlock each character. You of course also have unlockable stages, trophies, music – you get the idea. The only way one could not recommend this to someone is if they don’t like fighting games, and even then, for the ones who play casually, some actually consider Super Smash Bros to be more of a party type game; in which you may find yourself enjoying it anyway.

Furthermore, this game has been out long enough to where you may have seen figures that look similar to the ones you buy for Disney Infinity/Skylanders in your local GameStop. These figures, known as Amiibos, can be trained in-game to fit your play style and you can even play against them for practice.  The Amiibo have additional features outside of Smash Bros and some of them are turning out to be quite rare and never to be found again. If you want a character that isn’t a Mario, Zelda, Peach or Link (basically anything super popular) you better make sure you get your hands on it. To add even more to a content rich game, you can actually make your very own Mii Fighter and customize their moves accordingly.

Game Modes/Multiplayer

This time around, Smash is more accessible to others than ever before. Gone is the terrible tripping feature that was present in Super Smash Bros Brawl. What we gained is so much more. Many players stuck to either Melee or Project M, as Brawl was not as well-fitting for the competitive scene. Smash was “never meant to be a competitive game,” but this latest entry delivers on making that more of a reality. The overall speed of the game is in between Melee and Brawl. The characters seem more balanced than previous games, and every stage can be toggled to be played without stage hazards. Don’t like the fact that Ridley can just jump onto the stage and wreck your day? Fine. Turn the hazards off and play on a flat version of the stage. This is a welcome change that leaves for much more stage variety for competitive players.

Assuming that one is not a competitive player, the game’s best feature is there to be played as well. This game introduces a new mode in the form of 8 person smash battles. This seems chaotic in theory and it sure is. Any 8-player Smash is played on some of the bigger maps in the game and adds a new feeling of chaotic action. With 8 people playing at once, plus stage hazards, various items, and several Pokemon randomly being unleashed, this makes for one very enjoyable gameplay experience. The thrill of battle can now be enjoyed by that many more at once, with several different ways to be able to play the game. For those who enjoyed the 3DS version of the game, you can actually use your 3DS as a controller. Otherwise, you have your Wii U Gamepad, Wii-mote, Classic Controller, Wii U Pro controller, or GameCube controllers if you were lucky enough to get a bundle with the adapter. The amount of choice in the game is one of its biggest strengths.

Some of the games drawbacks lie with the online play and in a new mode known as “Smash Tour”. The online matches at times doesn’t seem much better than Brawl before it, which is a shame as Mario Kart 8 seems to work pretty well. Much like any fighter, if there is no lag, it will run smoothly. Online matches however do not seem to be stable enough to justify playing matches for practice. Judging based on a combination of streams and online matches, a recommendation for online can’t be made comfortably. When it does work well however, there are more options than in the previous entry. You can play “For Fun” (casually) or “For Glory” (competitively), making online equally as accessible to players, regardless of what your preferred method of playing Smash Bros is. There are modes to be able to do 1 on 1 matches, team battles, or even just spectate. Smash Tour is an attempt to throw in a mini-game similar to Mario Party, but it is way too confusing to be fun. You spend so much time trying to figure out how the board game mechanics work, by the time you get to playing a real match, it feels underwhelming, and overall not worth your time.

Graphics

It should be noted that any fan of both Nintendo and the Wii U will be impressive by how this game looks. Much like Mario Kart 8, seeing the full potential of the system is quite the sight to see. Nintendo characters we all know and love in full 1080p graphics, Smash and its lively cast of characters has never looked better. The stages are also a true test of the systems power as many stages have various hazards, items if turned on, and background activity all going on at the same time. Examples of this are the Yellow Devil that appears in the Mega Man stage, or the ships in the Starfox stage that fly away after you stand on them for a while. All of this takes place with no drops in frame rate and while the fight between you and up to seven others are fighting each other. Because of all this, Smash Bros for the Wii U can equally as fun to watch as it is to play it.

Overall

Despite the few drawbacks, the game delivers on so much content and replay value, that any small flaws are easily ignored in favor of the big picture. Not only did co-op gaming make a return but it did so in a way that hasn’t been experienced before.

The thrill one gets from achieving victory is a Smash title is now experienced in a whole new and chaotic way. This is a game that gets friends together at your house. Super Smash Bros for Wii U is a no brainer for anyone that owns the console and a breath of fresh air after the underwhelming Brawl before it. The roster has quite the variety of characters, for the most part seems pretty balanced, easily entertaining players many for years to come.

4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5 out of 5 stars

 

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Categories: Video Game Reviews

Author:Victor Vellon

Victor has been gaming since his early childhood and plays many games. From retro to modern, his gaming knows no bounds. When not writing or playing games, he can be found engaging conversation on the Twitterverse as well as managing Video Gaming Hard Corps and it's many outlets.

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One Comment on “SUPER SMASH BROS. Wii U Review”

  1. 01/16/2015 at 6:08 PM #

    I agree on how confusing Smash Tour is. It took me a while to truly grasp it. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for Smash Bros. rookies or non-gamers.

    As for the online mode, my main gripe with it is how it lacks on the match-configuration aspect. Limiting For Fun matches to 2-minute battles is ridiculous.

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