'Super Smash Bros. for Wii U' Raises The Bar For Nintendo's Mascot Brawler

November 21, 2014

Virtually beating up your friends with video game characters is never, ever going to get old. Whether it's Mario pummeling Link, or Peach facing off against Samus, the fun never ends. So, even though gamers just got a new Smash Bros. game for the 3DS, only a few short weeks ago, finding another release for the series on the Wii U should bring fans the same level of joy and excitement. At first glance, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U might just appear to be the HD cousin to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS since it's featuring the same characters, many of the same levels, the same basic controls, and even the same developer, but ultimately, it's a completely different experience.

Developer: Sora Ltd./Bandai Namco Games
Publisher: Nintendo

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U comes from the same team that brought us Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS this past October. Masahiro Sakurai and the combined forces of Sora Ltd., Nintendo, and Bandai Namco Games have come together to create the ultimate Smash experience on the Wii U. These evil geniuses clearly put in extra hours working on the Wii U release, as it is flush with addition detail, content, and gameplay. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is the most robust version of the game, and clearly the one that's worthy of going on to the pro circuit.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U takes the fundamentals of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, trims some of the fat (like the ever-enjoyable Smash Run mode), and then bulks up with a host of its own new features. All of the arcade brawling that you have come to know and love is here in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, but from the start, this release goes bigger than ever before. The most noticeable change to the core gameplay is the introduction of more players, allowing for up to eight player Smash matches. If you thought the games were hectic before with only four fighters, double it. But, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U doesn't just stop there, it brings new modes like Smash Tour (it's what would happen if Smash Bros. and Mario Party had a baby), tons of events, challenges, and it even includes an improved stage builder.

As if that wasn't enough, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is also the first game to be compatible with Nintendo's latest invention, amiibo. Amiibo are physical figures that are sold separately from the game, but represent characters from the Smash franchise that can be imported into the virtual world via the GamePad's NFC to do battle. Once brought into the game, the characters learn from their opponents and level up, making them formidable foes. The first wave of amiibo figures launched alongside Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and, while it might not sound like much, it actually adds a whole new layer to the Smash ecosystem.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U actually includes the name of the only platform that the game can be found on in its title. In other words, if you want to pick up the all-new standard for Smash Bros. then you're going to have to have a Wii U. If you happen to have a 3DS and a copy of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS then you get to take advantage of some link functionality that allows you to share custom characters and use your handheld as a Wii U controller. Also, if you register both titles through Club Nintendo, you'll be eligible to receive a soundtrack as well as Mewtwo DLC when that is released early next year.

2014 will go down as the year of the spoiled Smash Bros. fans. This year, followers of Nintendo's famed, mascot brawler were graced with not one, but two separate releases. Sure, much of the content is the same between the two of them, but to compare and contrast the two simply reinforces the idea of a rift between the console and handheld worlds. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is leaps and bounds ahead of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS on just about every level. However, that shouldn't diminish the quality of the first portable Smash game; it just speaks to how different the Wii U release is. Even though both games feature the same roster, and many of the same stages, the gameplay and content offering on the Wii U might as well make it an entirely different game. This is the release that true Smash fans have been waiting for, recreating the competitive couch feel of Super Smash Bros. and Melee, while pushing deep into the digital age. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U sets a new bar for the franchise, as well as the genre.