For gamers, it is the eternal argument: Who would win between Link and Mario? Link could so destroy Mario. One has a sword, the other jumps on turtles and mushrooms. But with a power up or two, Mario could be made stronger and the battle could swing to his favor. This is Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. in a nutshell. And the series has never looked better in true 1080p HD.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is the second Smash game to hit in the last few months. The Nintendo 3DS got it’s own version in October, and we gave it high marks for doing just about everything right. Does the more powerful cousin stack up with that version? Yes and no.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is a bright and vibrant game, with levels that are so gorgeous that your eyes may be in danger of exploding in your eye sockets. The HD upgrades skyrocket Super Smash Bros. for Wii U into the upper echelons of the best looking games of this generation — on any system. I mean, let’s face it, there are certain video game characters that will never see an HD presentation, so seeing them in SSB is as close as we will get to see Pit, Captain Falcon, Ness and even certain Pokemon in 1080p.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, while featuring most of the same fighters, has its own twists on the franchise. New levels (which are different than the 3DS versions), new features, and a new eight-player option creates a whole new experience for seasoned Smash-fans.
Smash Tour is a new game mode that plays almost like a Mario Party game. The world is a huge game board and players move around in a set number of turns to collect power ups. If players happen to land on the same spot, a fight occurs. Players collect the power ups for one final brawl at the end of the game and the winner gets some cool stuff (trophies, costumes, gold). It’s a nice break from the classic Smash modes, but still not as endearing as the excellent Subspace Emissary mode from Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii.
All of the classic game modes return, including smash run, home run derby, all-star mode, challenge mode, and so many others. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U has a ton of stuff to offer players, and still to this day, I’m discovering new modes and hidden challenges — and even new fighters — to play with.
Miis can be used and upgraded with cool costume pieces to battle even the strongest videogame-inspired Smash fighters. Like the 3DS version, player chooses the fighter’s style (brawler, sword, or weapons/guns) and the game defaults the Mii with the proper armament. Players can then customize the Mii smash fighters with power ups, and even the established characters can be upgraded. Link can be given better speed or a more powerful sword ability. This new era of customization makes for some interesting battles with friends and strangers alike, as the possibility of unique fighters is astounding.
Controlling Super Smash Bros. for Wii U has never had this many options. The Wii U Gamepad can be used, but in my experience it’s not as good as say, the Pro Controller or even the various Game Cube-style controllers that Nintendo released especially for this game. The Wii remote — with or without the nunchuck — can also be used. The Nintendo 3DS can even be used as a controller, which is still better than using the Gamepad. I feel that the Gamepad is not as precise, especially when trying to smash. It creates unnecessary frustrations, especially when battling strangers worldwide online.
Another issue I have is the 8-player battles. The action is too frantic and it is too difficult to make out what is going on, as the camera pulls back and the fighters are so tiny (even on my 50-inch TV) to follow that action. And if other players (or CPU) happen to be fighting as the character you chose, it’s even worse. A green Link and a blue Link are not that different, especially when six other fighters are trying to smash the heck out of you. It was a brash move by Nintendo to up the number of additional fighters, but it doesn’t work for me.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U gets so much right that the minimal issues that I have with the game are soon forgotten. Jumping online to battle people from around the world is fun and exciting, even though I tend to experience lag from time to time. Records are kept, and players can even opt to battle for upgrades and accolades. The game is so full of content and features that when a player does decide to venture out into the world to fight others online, it becomes a whole new game.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is also the flagship title to introduce the new Nintendo Amiibo figures. The figures, which have been the subject of previous stories here at TheHDRoom, are sculpted on Smash Bros. bases, and even match the poses from the game. Using the NFC tech built into the Wii U Gamepad, information can be transferred and stored in the Amiibo’s base and the character can then be raised up to level 50.
The Amiibos can also be used with other Nintendo titles, like Hyrule Warriors (the Link Amiibo unlocks a new weapon, and other Amiibos offer other goodies, once per day), and Mario Kart 8 (certain Amiibos unlock neat character-specific driving suits for the Mii drivers), and there are plans for more integration with games going forward, even for the New Nintendo 3DS, which hasn’t even hit stateside yet.
The Amiibos give Super Smash Bros. for Wii U yet another new and interesting interface, plus they act just like the trophies earned in-game. An Amiibo (or in the case of we here at TheHDRoom, ALL of the Amiibos) is not needed to enjoy SSB, but it is a fun and exciting way to collect cool Nintendo characters.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is a fun, exciting, and gorgeous representation of all things that make video games great. It’s a fighting game with an adventure game’s soul. There is so much content and so many different game modes that you can play for months and still not see and do it all (trust me, I’ve tried). At its heart, just like the 3DS version, it’s a simple concept that seemingly has complexities built into whoever is the next challenger, and the one after that, and for this game, the seven others waiting to gang up and take you on for the title of who’s best. And in the end, competition is why we play video games, and that makes Super Smash Bros. the perfect franchise for the person with a true gamer’s heart.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U was purchased at retail and reviewed on Nintendo Wii U. It is available now in both retail and as a digital download via the Nintendo eShop.
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