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Review | Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

by on November 22, 2014
 

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There’s no denying that a Super Smash Bros. game is always a good time, and the recently released SSB for 3DS proved that even a handheld version of the game can be pretty spectacular. So now with Nintendo having finally released the long-awaited Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, do we have a system seller on our hands? The short answer, hell yes.

The beauty of Smash Bros. has always been in its simplicity to pick up and play, no matter which character you choose. Moves are pulled off with the same button presses but each character has their own unique style and attacks that entice players to try out as many as possible, in order to find a favorite or favorites. As with the 3DS version, the Wii U version includes the same selection of characters, which is by far the biggest roster to date. Each character is finely tuned as far as mechanics, while produced with high detail and personality.

But while loads of characters are nice, it’s the gameplay and abundance of modes that really impress. The coolest addition to the Smash Bros. formula has to of course be the 8-player Smash, which is a brand new offline mode that does in fact let up to 8 players compete at the same time. You thought 4-player action was insane? 8-player Smash is absolutely bananas. To take advantage of this mode, you’ll need the Gamecube 4-player controller adaptor, along with four wireless controllers – don’t expect to bust out seven Wii remotes and the Gamepad.

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The one downside of playing with 8 players is that the game’s options become a little more limited, such as Stamina and Coin Battles. There are also some stages that no longer have dynamic features and others are just not available for play with that many people. These minor quips aside though, it’s an absolute blast to play, though I do hope that at some point, Nintendo offers more stages for 8-player mode via DLC.

Sticking with game modes, the next one up is Special Orders, which is split into two challenges named Master Orders and Crazy Orders. In Master Orders, you pick a challenge, pay up with coins and if you’re successful, you win prizes. Crazy Orders though, is a little tougher. In this one, the challenges get more difficult with each one you complete, though the rewards that you get are of better quality. You get one life and if you take damage in one challenge, you’ll go onto the next challenge with the same life meter – crazy right? In the final battle, you’ll take on Crazy Hand, but you’ll start with more HP, based off of how much damage you took along the way.

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The one mode that I probably enjoyed the least would have to be Smash Tour, which is like a board game that resembles the 3DS’ Smash Run, which I also didn’t like. You pick up power-ups to pump up your stats and then in a final battle, you take on the other players and try to win. The thing that bugged me though is that it took a while to grasp what exactly was going on, as it seems a bit complicated and quite frankly, isn’t a mode I’ll be playing much at all.

Event Mode does return and you’ll be asked to complete all sorts of random challenges that can be simple or a bit amusing. You’ll only be able to select certain characters that are chosen for you and the challenges can get difficult, though are rewarding to complete. Co-op is supported, and playing with someone else will unlock a completely different set of tasks.

Finally there’s the game’s online mode, which I had to wait until November 20 to play, since an update had to be downloaded to open up the feature during the review window. After finally getting down on my fair share of 1v1, 2v2 and various free-for-all matches, I can safely say that online play worked pretty well. There will be bouts of lag at times, mainly due to the connection of other players, but for the most part, my play sessions came off without much hitch.

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You can play for fun or in ranked matches against random people, while also being able to meet up with friends. Nintendo offers a sort of text message system to let your friends know you want to play but it’s a little clumsy since the system doesn’t use notifications to alert others. Once you get with friends though, you can setup your own private matches that allow characters that have custom movesets.

Was Super Smash Bros. for Wii U worth the wait? Absolutely. There is an abundance of modes to play, more characters to choose from than we’ve ever had before, a functional online mode and tons of challenges to complete. Add to that the spot-on gameplay that works on any controller of your choosing and you have a supremely polished game that showcases what the Wii U can do with proper development. If you have the console, get this game. If you don’t have the console yet, pick one up and nab a copy of Super Smash Bros. immediately.

Final Score: 5 out of 5

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