Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS is finally out on store shelves and is a huge hit here at EB Games Expo 2014 with everyone and their dog whipping out their 3DS to collect as many StreetPass’ as possible and get into the 4 player Smash action. However I am one of the rare few who are not delving in early with the 3DS version and have always had my eyes on the HD prize with Super Smash Bros. 4, particularly as me and my brother like to break out Brawl and go a round of 5 stock, best of 5, can’t pick the same character twice to see who is doing the dishes and that just wouldn’t be the same on a smaller screen. Read on for my impressions of the Wii U version and find out who won between myself and fellow Capsule Computers writer Andrew Day. (Actually I’ll just tell you now, it was yours truly of course).
First thing you notice right off the bat is the game is gorgeous and smooth as butter. That 60 FPS frame rate never dropped once during our five or so four player bouts I took part in. The bright and cheerful colours Nintendo is known for is on display in the best possible way in Super Smash Bros. Wii U and all this is presented clear as day with the High Definition resolution. (Apparently the true resolution of the game is still very much up in the air with no official confirmations from Nintendo as of yet.)
Behind all those bright colours and great animations is the same terrific gameplay you have come to expect from the Smash series. The basic controls have pretty much remain unchanged since Super Smash Bros. Melee and I felt right at home with the GameCube controls that were being used on the demo units. (Interestingly these were original GameCube controllers and not the re-branded Smash controllers). Gameplay felt a little faster than Brawl and reports floating around the Internet that the game is less ‘floaty’ is definitely true as characters seem to have a bit more weight to them this around. The demo version featured only 4 player, items on battles on about eight different stages with 16 characters to select from, indicating it was most likely the same demo from the E3 Smash Bros. Invitation Event.
Obviously Smash Bros. for Wii U is highly anticipated and there was always a long line to play the game but we managed to sneak in a few matches during the quieter moments of the expo. I got my hand at trying Greninja, Marth, Sonic and finally Rosalina and Luma. As a long time Pokemon fan Greninja was my most anticipated character to play as and I wasn’t dissapointed. He played basically as I expected, with quick, sharp attacks that all seemed to have good knock back. If you want to win with Greninja you will really have to move a lot around the stage and use a good mix of your ranged Water Shuriken and quick close up attacks. Charging up Water Shuriken with B and then watching it hit and go through every character on the stage was a highlight of my time with the game. His down aerial attack was very unique in that it sent you straight down and bounced off any enemy you landed on which I haven’t seen in the series before. Greninja is a great addition to the roster and will probably be one of my mains.
Marth is my main Smash Bros. Brawl and unfortunately he seems to have been nerfed slightly in Super Smash Bros. Wii U, especially in his aerial game as I found myself unable to pull off two forward aerial attacks in a single jump. Other than that he basically remains unchanged from Brawl so there isn’t much to talk about with him. Sonic has definitely gone through some changes in this version though and feels better for it. You can now hold A to perform multiple one hand jabs. His dash attack now ends in a kick which seems to have reduced lag and his down smash attack now has Sonic do a split kick to hit both sides instead of the spin ball like move he had in Brawl. His Final Smash Super Sonic felt slightly slower but easier to control and did not seem to have as great knock back or last as long as it did in Brawl (I would say it lasted approximately two thirds the time it used to). One last note on Sonic and it might just be me, but does he seem to have a little more Classic Sonic influence in his look than in Brawl?
The pair of Rosalina and Luma was definitely the strangest experience I had with the demo. I don’t have much interest in playing as this character but wanted to check her out for curiosities sake. If you want to be proficient with Rosalina and Luma you will definitely have to put in some time to learn her play style which is pretty much the polar opposite of a character like Greninja. She is a lot more floaty and you will have to pay close attention to both her and the Luma’s position on the stage. Her attacks are a bit slower to initiate compared to other characters but they are generally pretty powerful and you also have the advantage of the Luma being able to attack as well. The size of Rosalina was very jarring as she towered over the other characters. I knew Rosalina was tall but she doesn’t seem to have had her size refitted to mesh with the other characters in the game which was honestly my biggest gripe with the whole demo.
We always knew Smash Bros for Wii U was going to be a huge hit except now we know for sure this has the gameplay potential to live up to the hype. Its now up for the game to be fleshed out with characters, stages and game mode content to make it a complete package. For all our other coverage of this years EB Games Expo please follow the link.