Super Smash Bros. Wii U review
As the newest video game in the Smash Bros. series, Super Smash Bros. Wii U brings many of the same features that brought you to the series in the first place. By using the wide variety of Nintendo characters, the never-ending questions of who’s favorite character would win in a fight can be resolved. Super Smash Bros. still features the relatively simple controls allowing new players to quickly learn the game. Unlike many other fighting games, Super Smash Bros. had always been a fighting game for everyone. Unfortunately, the simplification of control arguably held the game back from more hardcore players. This is addressed in Super Smash Bros. Wii, making this new addition cater better towards more advanced players while maintaining the ease of entry it had always been known for.
At its core, Super Smash Bros. is about knocking other players off the stage. These matches are typically done in either a timed or a by being given a certain amount of stock. In the timed matches, you win by having the best kill to death ratio. The stock option gives you a certain amount of lives, and the winner is the last man standing. Due to stock being more focused on avoiding conflict, timed matches are seen as more default. As you take damage the damage percentage of your character will gradually rise. There is no number that needs to be reached for the character to die, but you will get knocked farther as the percentage goes up.
This gives the game a unique comeback mechanic allowing skilled players to shine even when put in bad situations.
Matches are played on a variety of stages based on Nintendo games. Each stage has its own unique designs and hazards that are all themed to the relative stage. This along with the items referencing Nintendo games create a chaos-filled game full of fun. Perhaps most important, the random items and stage hazards help to equalize the skill gap among players. It creates an environment for all players to simply have fun. For those who want to show off their skills, every map has a Final Destination alternative. Final Destination is a flat stage with no items or environmental intrusions. This removes the luck aspect of the game, leaving matches to be determined on just your skill.
A mechanical tweak to this game is that Super Smash Bros. characters are knocked back further more easily. This was coupled with most characters having only a couple moves that are useful for making a full knockout. With these two changes, the game becomes more exciting for the casual players while raising the skill ceiling of higher tier play. Casual players will feel more powerful as their abilities hit their opponents further, and it will most likely result in shorter matches. For advanced players who know how to recover from most situations, Super Smash Bros. becomes about chaining abilities with the goal of ending it with one that can knock the other player clean off. While it is a small tweak to the system, it serves to make the game more enjoyable for all levels of play.
Super Smash Bros. is extremely easy to play. Unlike other fighting games which require memorization of combos, Smash Bros. Wii U allows you to perform the fighter’s iconic moves with ease. The moves consist of normal strikes, special strikes, grabs, blocks, and dodges. Nearly all of the moves on every character from Bowser to Yoshi can be performed with one or a combination of two buttons being pressed together. This makes combat simple and easy to learn while at the same time giving it extreme depth. By having such simple controls, the game was able to give nearly every character unique abilities which create a new mechanic to fights. While the sheer amount of differing abilities would be a burden in other fighting games, the simple execution of abilities gives Smash Bros. Wii an unexpected depth to its play. A rather unfortunate outcome of having so many abilities and characters is that balance becomes nearly impossible. People will quickly find that some characters are simply better than others. While it is certainly possible for you to invest the time to get skilled as a non-optimal character, higher level players willing to do this will probably move on to higher tier characters.
Smash Bros. Wii U takes up the stance of not fixing what isn’t broken.
Rather than trying to innovate from the original N64 Super Smash Bros, The Wii U Super Smash Bros. has sought to polish and improve the formula over the years. This new addition brings a ton of new characters along with some nice balance changes. Yet it can be disappointing to see that your favorite character is not considered viable. While the huge roster of characters is certainly appreciated, the scaling of each character could have used some tweaking. The character roster will be further increased with the addition of paid DLC Nintendo characters. Ideally, this is a way to include more optional characters to give Super Smash Bros. more shelf life; however, it is highly possible that all DLC characters will be very high tier. This could create a case of pay-to-win, forcing high-level players to purchase the DLCs if they want to stay relevant in the game. Hopefully, this will not be the case, and if it does Nintendo will quickly fix it. Nintendo seems to still be focused on releasing balance patches for Super Smash Bros., which is a relief.
- Nostalgic characters and abilities
- Simple combat with depth
- Huge roster of well-known characters
- Options for both casual and hardcore players
- Character balance issues