Written by: J.H. Longman
First game of the year, so why not kick things off with the 2014 classic Super Smash Bros. Wii U? Released near the end of the year, Smash is one of the games that have kept us playing. With the likes of Hyrule Warriors, Splatoon and Mario Kart 8, the constant supply of updates and dlc has kept our hands locked around our remotes as we game the night away. (So it turns out, mindless violence and beating seven shades out of Pikachu and Jigglypuff never gets old, because there is always another character who is willing to join the game and take over where the others left off).
Admittedly I have taken my time with getting round to do this piece, but in all honest where does one even start? Smash is a game that is just forever evolving and growing far beyond the expectations of even the creations. What was once a single game released on the Nintendo64 back in 1999, where upon unlocking 4 bonus characters, there are 12 fighters to be had, casually beating each other up in multiplayer, is now a full-fledged series, with four instalments, one of which released on both the Wii U and the 3DS, where come the release of Bayonetta and Corrin, will feature 58 fighters all just dying to strike the other. And it’s not just the character rooster that has seen a huge growth.
With the passing of time, more and more items found themselves being added to the series and as for the Poké Balls, there are now Master Balls, which contain quite the line-up of legendary Pokémon, but all in all there is a grand total of 41 you can use in battle and an additional five that appear as enemies in the Smash Run in the 3DS version of the game. And there isn’t just a wide range of Pokémon on offer, as there are plenty of assist trophies to go around, each one possessing an all too eager beaver, character to assist you in your battle, be them Ghirahim, Magnus, Mother Brain or even the spell castor Ashley.
This is the part of the review where normally I would delve into the story, but as far as this instalment of Smash goes, there isn’t really one. Not like the Subspace Emissary story0mode that Super Smash Bros. Brawl had, which by the way, was a complete masterpiece. So instead I shall be diving into the game-modes instead, such as Smash Mode or 8-Player Smash if you’re playing in on the Wii U. Basically its exactly what the name suggests, is a made where either 4 or 8 players or CPUs can come together and battle it out. The one downside is if there are eight of you, the range of stages diminishes due to the fact that not every stage can deal with the large quantity of players. Then of course there is Classic Mode.
In the 3DS version players can actually choose different paths as they explore their way through the world map, facing one-on-0ne battles or team-ups with and against CPU opponents. Although tread with caution because those CPU opponents, sometimes they like to be giants and other times they just like to be metal. As for the difficulty settings, this can be changed pre-battle when you can actually change how much gold you want to wager, increasing, or decreasing, the intensity of the level you’re about to play. But the higher the bet, the bigger the pay-off.
Wii U Version:
In the Wii U version, a trophy of your chosen character, will be placed in an arena of other character trophies, which are either grouped together or singular. Should you touch one, or touch a group, you will immediately go into battle with them and when you win, their defeated trophies will be launched out of the arena, leaving all those who remain to move round and form new groups. As we the normal and 8-player matches, every now and then, intruders may appear before your next match, causing you to fight a giant, or metal opponent, but should you win, a few more prizes are yours. Worth noting is the inclusion of rival, who the longer you leave them, the stronger they will get and that for the first time in the series, this mode can be played with two players.
Next up, we have Stadium Mode, which features the likes of Multi-Man Smash, Home-run contest and the latest inclusion, Target Blast. In Multi-man Smash, the player fights against all three types of Miis (Brawler, Gunner and Swordfighter), all of whom support generated appearances, done at random and just like in Brawl, you don’t have to face the threat alone. As for Home-run Contest, and Target Blast, the two are similar, except where in one you are inflicting as much damage on a sandbag before launching it as far as you can, in the other, you or you and another player, can smash the hell out of a giant bomb and launch that one, where naturally it will go bang. The obvious purpose of this is to cause as much destruction as possible, to earn the most points.
Online modes include For Fun and For Glory, but then there is also the 3DS exclusive Smash Run, and the Wii U Smash Tour, which is basically a lot like a board-game you’d find in Mario Party and you quite literally go round, picking up stat boosts and fighters, which comes in handle for the final fight and every other fight you have before it. Lastly there is Special Orders, which is broken down into two parts, Crazy Orders & Master Orders. Essentially they are both a game mode where a series of random challenges can be had, to win needed prizes, such as custom parts, trophies and gold. However unlike Master Orders, you will need to pay 5000 gold, unless you have a free ticket for a single play.
And holy hell, but I can’t believe I’ve written all that and not yet elaborated on the Mii Fighters, use of Amiibos and the whole eight player aspect. Never before have such a wide array of players been able to play together for a game of Smash, but not only can they fight, but they can do so with a whole range of controls, which includes both the 3DS and 2DS, which is just gravy. Now Mii Fighters, they like every other character in the game, can be wasily modified, changing their stats and attacks, and whereas the other players pretty much get a colour or a sex change, the Mii Fighters can get a complete costume change thanks to a lot of hats and outfits.
Lastly there is the inclusion of amiibos, why fight a CPU opponent when you can fight one of your amiibos instead, brought to life in game? You can feed them, train them and customise them, then as thanks they can either fight with you, or fight against you. Learn all that you can do and what you are capable of with your chosen character and then use all of that knowledge against you, just like a real fighter would, still they can’t hold a candle to my Charizard, yet. In time they sure will.
So much said already, it’s time for the evaluation. Time to bust out my Pros & Cons:
-The inclusion of the amiibos and what they can do in game, really brought a lot to the table and really utilized the figures put out by Nintendo.
-Going toe to toe with videogame icons such as Mario and Link, as your Mii is something else. Especially when you can put yourself in a suit and look like Frank Martin from the Transporter films and that’s just the beginning of a whole range of characters you can make your Mii out to be.
-This one is all about the characters. Bayonetta is coming to Smash and Mewtwo made a well-deserved return. I can not wait to see a showdown between the two. Only one can be left standing after they clash, but just who will it be? Only one way to find out. Settle it in SMASH!
-With so many stages and music tracks to choose from, at least you can’t get bored as quickly as you would with other fighting games.
-Like with music, items and stages, there are a variety of modes to keep you playing over and over, with just the right mix-up to keep things entertaining.
-The use of the dlc, regardless of the fact you had to pay for it, it did bring a lot of great content into the game, new stages, characters and more. This extra workload for the development teams sure did cause a lot of stress, but it went a long way into making this game the masterpiece it is.
-Sometimes there really can be such a thing as too much to choose from and 58 fighters, as great as some of them are, it is a bit unnecessary.
-8 player Smash. As great as it is, the fact we are now able to play with 7 others in a single setting, but unless we’ve actually got a crowd round, and got them to bring all their remotes, most of the time we’ll just be playing against CPU opponents. Yes you can 8 player Smash online, but that’s only for local play and even that has its limits.
-Lack of a story mode. I was really looking forwards to see how they would build on top of Subspace Emissary, but they just didn’t.
-I’m going to say it, there’s too many Fire Emblem Characters, I know they want to promote their new game Fire Emblem Fates, but Corrin really is one more FE character too many.
And without further ado, Smash Bros scores a ground-breaking 9.0/10.0 Final Smashes. Arguably a lot of people would say the game deserves a higher rating and yes it probably does, but as good as a game this one was, with all its available characters and the two still to come, I honestly prefer Brawl over this one. And although I will play this one when the opportunity pops up, but if I had to choose between this or Brawl, it’s got to be Brawl every single time. Not because it was a far better game, honestly they are about the same, it’s just I preferred that one a hell of a lot more and it’s got Snake! Who doesn’t want to Smash as Snake? Not this guy.
But as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of my own and it is encouraged for you to make your own.