Title: Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U
Platform: 3DS, Wii U

Reviewed on: Windows

Genre: Fighter
Players: Single player, Multiplayer

Written by Bad Demoman 4th December 2014

I am a massive fan of the Smash Brothers series. I've played every game so far, from Smash 64 to even Project M (for those that don't know, Project M is a mod for Brawl that attempts to make it more competitively viable). In the past year, I've also gotten in to competitive Smash thanks to the amazing fighting game community here in Edinburgh, Rushdown. That's not to say I'm actually any good, I still haven't gotten a hold of the more complex parts of playing Smash and hold a decidedly low position in most tournaments I attend. So needless to say, I was extremely excited for the release of Smash 4 otherwise known as Super Smash Bros for Wii U or 3DS respectively. Unfortunately I had to miss out on Smash for 3DS, but now that I've had a bit of time with the Wii U version I feel like I can give some first impressions on it. As a disclaimer, my time spent with the game is based mostly on standard 4 player matches, with a little bit of 5 player as well.

Smash 4 is a game I've anticipated for a long time now. In fact, the last game I was so excited for was Brawl, which delivered decently well. It was pretty much everything I expected. Admittedly, my hype died down slightly upon the release of Smash 4 3DS. Through watching friends and playing the demo, I was disappointed. The whole thing just felt a bit off, as if the 3DS just couldn't handle what I've come to expect of Smash. The controls were a large grievance for me, especially since I'd heard many stories of people breaking their 3DS controls through fast-paced Smash play. Smash 4 on Wii U on the other hand has reignited my excitement and Smashed my expectations (excuse the pun).

Smash 4 is a game that makes things very easy to get in to, no matter what your background is with the game. The control set up is the best Smash has ever had, with probably the most ways to play that I've ever seen in a console game. I elected to play on a Gamecube controller, as its what I'm used to. Others I played with used the Wii U Pro Controller and they vouched for its effectiveness.  The control set up is highly customizable to suit any of your needs. I particularly appreciated how tilt moves could be assigned to the C stick instead of Smash moves, as I sometimes find myself jumping when I want to do an up tilt or running as I try to do a forward tilt. Smash 4 also has the best loading screen tips I've seen in a game. Usually loading screen tips seem fairly throw-away and useless, but this is far from the case. From explaining the properties and potential uses of moves for your character, to explaining slightly more complicated concepts that were mostly worked out as you went along in previous games. Smash has always been an easy game to learn with out getting into high level techniques that are only required for competitive play, and Smash 4 has only made it easier without being obtrusive to seasoned veterans.

The character roster has been expanded by quite a sizeable degree. I miss Snake and Ice Climbers from Brawl, but it's more than worth it for what we got instead. I love that Megaman has a place in modern day gaming through Smash, and playing him really feels like you're playing as Megaman in a Megaman game, rather than in a fighting game. Transformation characters, such as Shiek/Zelda and Samus/Zero Suit Samus have been seperated, and I'm incredibly grateful for this. It always kinda sucked how if you wanted to use Samus's Final Smash, you had to learn a whole new character with a very different playstyle. Shiek and Zelda lost a small amount of versatility since their transformation was purely through player choice, but as a result they've both become more focussed characters and I think that's for the best. Zelda's new move, which launches a phantom at the enemy, seems a bit out of place and underwhelming, but it's a cool move nonetheless. As someone who considers Shiek their best character though, I love Shiek's new moves. The chain has been replaced by a bomb on a long trip wire, which is far from a sore loss and has given Shiek an awesome new move. Her replacement for transforming causes her to do an acrobatic flip following by a kick, and it really fits her. Both moves enhance the identity of Shiek as a cunning, agile ninja character. Other characters I played include Ganondorf, who feels slightly underwhelming and sluggish after playing his Project M variant who is quite a bit faster (AND CAN FLY AND SMITE PEOPLE WITH HIS AWESOME SWORD!). This makes sense, since Smash 4 is a slower game than Project M, but it led me to be drawn more towards Captain Falcon, who has received an awesome new golden colour scheme which tempts me away from my favourite, the white and pink outfit I refer to as “Manly Falcon”. These are the three characters I spent most my time with, but notable mentions include Donkey Kong, who feels really strong and a lot more fun than he used to, and Pit. Honestly, I really didn't like Pit in Brawl but I found both his normal version and Dark Pit (who has some minor attribute changes, such as stronger and less controllable arrows) to be much more enjoyable to play in Smash 4.

As mentioned above, compared to Project M the game does feel quite slow. However a large majority of people interested in Smash 4 won't be familiar with Project M I would assume, so I'd say the speed is more comparable to Brawl. However, the cast feels a lot more balanced than Brawl, and tripping is a welcome removal. A lot of things the competitive community utilize in high level play in Melee are notably absent, such as wavedashing and L-cancelling. In my opinion, this opens the competitive scene up for Smash 4. There's still considerable mind games that go on. Nintendo have made it clear that they are devoted to accommodating the people that want to take Smash seriously without the high-execution techniques, as Smash 4 has become the first Super Smash Brothers to receive a balance patch. For Glory mode allows you to play serious matches online, with no items and Omega Mode stages only (completely flat, Final Destination style versions of the other stages). I would appreciate if at least Battlefield and some other stages were enabled for this mode, but its certainly better than the chaos that was Brawl multiplayer. Speaking of stages, there are few that I consider awful, a rarity in a Smash game. With a variety of music tracks for each stage, they remain fresh and exciting. My only grievance is with the stage selection in 8 Player Smash. Even though we only had five players, we were forced to play on massive stages designed for eight. It would have been nice for the larger stages to merely be a suggestion rather than a requirement. Besides, who wouldn't like to see the madness of eight people on a tiny stage every now and then?

It seems every time a game comes out for the Wii U, people claim it will be “The game to make the Wii U worth buying!”. This has seemingly yet to happen, but I reckon if any game manages it, it will be Smash 4. Improving on Brawl in pretty much every way, and with Mewtwo’s announcement as DLC opening the possibility of more content to come, Smash 4 is a must have for any Wii U owner. I'm so hard pressed to come up with a negative that I have to refer to Nintendo's repeated mistake in the UK – they simply didn't send out enough stock of copies of the game! But when the worst thing about a game is that it's sold out everywhere, you know it's going to be an absolutely fantastic game.


Massive character roster,

Addictive and accessible game play,

Potential of more content to come.


Difficult to get a hold of in the UK!

Final Verdict,
Smash 4 gets my 10/10, and unless something comes out of nowhere in the next month, is probably going to be my Game of the Year.

Written by,
Bad Demoman

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