It’s been a week since Super Smash Bros came out so I think that I’ve had enough time to play it to post this review. I’ve thrown in about 25 hours so far and I’m pretty confident that it will double that by Christmas. I knew what to expect for the most part since the 3DS version is pretty similar, but they did make sure to leave a lot of content for the Wii U version that is unique for the series. It’s everything that I could have wanted and more! The Wii U may have been in need of games earlier, but I think we finally have enough games available where you could say that it has games. I do like having the covers since they really stand out and feel new. This one is no exception and it’s great to see Samus in the cover since she does look cooler than Mario and Link….just sayin.
There are many things to do in this game once you turn it on. It can be a little intimidating at first when you look at the modes. We have Classic, All Star, Home Run Contest, Smash Tour, Target Blast, Around 6 different Multi Man modes, Online Battles, Event Mode, Trophy Rush, etc. You’ll be playing all of these modes quite a bit as you try to complete the 140 challenges in the game. As of this writing, I have completed 121 of them so there are only 19 to go. I still have all 5 hammers, which should help out later, but I have a feeling that beating these 19 will be a lot tougher than the previous challenges. Three of them in particular will be difficult and/or long. Beat Classic on level 7 with everyone, (Long) Beat All Star on Hard with everyone, (Hard) and Beat Classic on level 9 without losing a life. (Definitely hard. I’m going to need Ganondorf or Marth and a great healing item)
I’m sure that you are familiar with many of these modes, but I’ll quickly provide an overview of them. All Star Mode pits you against all of the fighters in the game and you get 4 healing items to use sparingly throughout the 6 battles. Classic Mode is 7 battles long and you can pick which battle to jump in from a selection of 3-4. Typically, you’ll want to go for 1 one 1 battles in the higher difficulties. Target Blast has you break targets using bombs. It’s an intriguing take on the mode, but I really miss the classic Target Smash. Now that was fun!
Home Run Contest is unchanged and it’s fun to see how far you can shoot the Sandbag. The Multi Man modes are fun to try to take on 100 of them or to challenge the Cruel Smash. Event Mode features a lot of themed matches that are pretty fun and a great way to earn some much needed cash. There are a lot of events to be played in single player mode as well as multiplayer. Trophy Rush is a good way to earn trophies since you’ll typically get 30+ and at first most of them will be new. After a while you’ll only get a few new ones each time, but it’s probably still the most efficient way to complete your collection.
Smash Tour probably got the most hype since this is the mode that is replacing Story Mode. Naturally, it’s not even 1/100th as good as Subspace, but it’s a decent mode. You are on a board like Mario Party and you go through the turns as you move around. You collect fighters and items during this time and if you crash into another player, then a battle starts. Most of the battles have themes. In one, there may be only Pokeballs appearing and another one could be filled with hammers. It’s pretty decent, but I’m just not really a fan. Smash Tour can only go down to 15 turns and it still feels like a while thanks to the constant battles and item usage. I would mostly steer clear of it entirely, but there’s still a challenge that I need to obtain in this mode.
Master/Crazy Orders is a pretty great mode and particularly because it really helps you earn equipment, money, and CDs. Master Orders presents you with a single challenge and it costs money to jump into it. If you win, you’ll earn something and losing will have you forfeit your cash. Crazy Orders is similar, but you keep on going until you lose like in a survival mode. You can end the gauntlet at anytime by challenging Crazy Hand and winning. Losing means that you will lost a good portion of the items that you had obtained up to that point so you really do not want to lose!
The graphics are very good and they live up to the Super Smash Bros legacy. Melee was one of the best looking Gamecube games and Brawl looked very good on the Wii. (Although I didn’t like the grittier art style as much) The Wii U version looks more like an HD version of Melee and that’s great. The attacks all pop out and the animations are wonderful. It’s no stretch to say that it’s the best looking Wii U game so far (Edging out Mario Kart 8 for now) and it is certainly “Next Gen.”
The soundtrack is very good as well. The new Final Destination theme is probably my favorite out of the new tunes. There are so many that you will likely continue to hear new themes long after you’ve played each level a few times. There are just so many to choose from. It’s why I like that the game has an option to decide which songs will typically play in a level. It lets you choose the best ones to fit the high speed tone of the gameplay.
One criticism that I would have with the game is the gold system. The old games had money as well, but nobody took it seriously because there was nothing to do with it after a while. On the other side, I think this one has too many modes that rely on gold. The main one that I don’t like it to apply too is Classic Mode. I like trying out Level 9 for fun, but now it costs 2200 Gold to play. You’ll probably have enough money to spare if you’ve been doing well in other modes, but sometimes you simply won’t have enough money and that’s definitely not cool. Level 9 should definitely be free to play on Classic Mode.
Naturally, there is basically an infinite amount of replay value to be found here. Completing each mode with each character will take a whole lot of time and we can’t forget about collecting all clothing, trophies, and CDs as well. You can possibly finish all of that in about a month or two if you try really hard, but it will typically take the average player much longer than that. After that, you’re ready to have fun playing Smash matches offline with friends or in ranked battles online.
Super Smash Bros is still the only video game series that I get on opening day. It’s simply because it’s a model of excellence and it’s still guaranteed to have some of the best video games ever. I’m pretty glad that I went for it right away since the Adaptors are starting to be sold out all over the place. It makes sense though since playing with a GC controller is really the best way to play. It’s still the ultimate controller and I don’t see that going away anytime soon.
It occurs to me that I haven’t actually described the gameplay. An average match plays out like a Street Fighter kind of gameplay, but you have to hit your opponent off the screen by dealing them a lot of damage instead of draining away their health bar. Each character has his/her strengths and weaknesses and some just don’t match up well against others. For example, you don’t wan to use Mega Man against Mario or Ganondorf against Little Mac. Of course, you can beat any character with any other as long as you are a good enough player. It’s certainly a game of skill that requires a lot of concentration. Alternately, you can also throw in items and make it a chaotic battle that will still be a whole lot of fun. Items definitely add to the appeal and the stages themselves can work against you as well.
My favorite new stage is probably the one from Game and Wario. The lady who tries to KO you with a sudden glance is pretty tough and it can be hard to react at times. Naturally, the Boxing Ring is a pretty great stage as well since it’s really made for close quarters combat. The only thing that I wish they could have done was to not include the part that is outside the ring. Just having a boxing ring in the middle would have really been perfect. Star Fox has some great stages as well and the one where you jump from ship to ship is very impressive visually. It should also be noted that Yoshi’s yarn stage can be pretty tricky and getting caught on the ground with Little Mac can be fatal.
Fox has been my go to character since the very first Smash Bros, but that’s finally changed in this game. Little Mac is just too cool to pass up and I love playing as him. You’re always on the offensive while playing as the boxer and you just can’t beat that. Fox is probably still my second best fighter and I would put Mario as my third. Although, I do have a lot more fun playing as Marth than Fox or Mario so I throw him in whenever possible. Ganondorf is my best player for Classic Mode though since he was the only guy I could beat Level 9 with on the 3DS and so far he’s one of two characters who I’ve beaten level 9 with on the Wii U version. (Marth being the other fighter) He’s slow, but his attacks really pack a punch!
I also think that Nintendo really outdid themselves with the A.I. here. It’s simply fantastic as the level 9 computers can really give you a good fight now. I’d say that they are a considerable step up from the previous titles. It really makes completing Classic Mode on level 9 more of a treat. Also, it can’t be forgotten that the Wii U version has an extra form to the Master Core while on level 9. (8 as well I believe) The Core turns into a rather large fortress and you have to go through it without losing whatever life/lives you have left. There are enemies to slow you down and touching the lava while weakened enough will instantly obliterate you. I’ve lost there several times since it’s utterly brutal for Little Mac and still dangerous for most fighters. A quick and speedy fighter like Marth or Lucario is ideal here, but it’s tough to get them past the final bosses at times. I’ve fought the Master Hand/Dog/Sword/Man/Copy combo so many times that it’s a little easier now, but you still can’t really perfect the copy part since it’s so unpredictable. Beating the game with everyone on level 9 would have certainly been brutal so I’m glad that there is no challenge for that. Level 7 should definitely be doable.
I’m still not a fan of the whole custom characters concept, but it certainly comes in handy for Classic Mode. It’s almost been amped up so much just so that it could force you to use the items. Some items heal you over time, which is pretty crucial and there are three different attributes. Attack, Defense, and Speed. Increasing one of them will decrease the other so finding the right balance is key if you are to get through the gauntlet.
I aim to have all 140 challenges completed by Christmas, but it’ll certainly be a tough trial so we shall see. I should at least be pretty close by then so that I can really focus on my other titles. I wouldn’t expect to see another video game review in the very near future, but others will surely come up soon. One scenario that I could foresee is 138/140 challenges completed with the Beat Classic and All Star with everyone being the final two. That just seems like so much of a grind at the moment.
Overall, Super Smash Bros has always been a revolutionary video game series and this one keeps up its reputation as a really flawless series. I don’t really have any serious complaints for this title and the only reason that it is not a 10 is because I believe that only one game should ever have a perfect in my lifetime. Since the spot is taken, it’ll have to settle for a 9, but it’s definitely a really high one. I’ll be playing this game for years and years and I won’t stop playing it every week until the servers inevitably go down. After that, it’ll be time for offline fun that will still never end. The price tag is pretty steep, but I highly recommend getting it as soon as possible since the enjoyment is certainly worth it!
Actually, Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3, which was the original 10 on the blog has been leapfrogged by Madden 13/2004 and Super Smash Bros Wii U/Melee. Now, The Wii U version is the greatest game of all time. It’ll be tough to top…extremely tough!