“U”, Me, “Wii” All Smash

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U makes the 3DS version seem like absolute rubbish.  Actually, it makes most games seem like absolute rubbish.

The actual gameplay and mechanics are nearly identical to those of the 3DS version, with slight changes that include smaller blast zones and minor changes to character balance.

When it comes to features and content however, it blows the handheld version out of the water.

The most noteworthy addition to the Wii U version is 8-player Smash, allowing up to eight players to brawl together.  For too long people have had to sit out of games during smash sessions, but now everyone can play at once…unless you have nine players.

Players have more stages to choose from, including HD versions of classics from past games.  Smash Tour is a new game mode, a board game reminiscent of Mario Party that will likely ruin friendships.  Other Wii U exclusive modes include events, special orders and crazy orders.

The control options for Smash Wii U are impressive.  Players can play with any Wii controllers, Wii U controllers including the Wii U gamepad or gamecube controllers if they purchase the Wii U GameCube controller adapter.

The GameCube controller adapter makes everything feel so much better.  Any veteran smasher who played Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl has played with a GameCube controller for more than a decade, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

With that said, both the Wii U gamepad and pro controller play very nicely.  The gamepad is especially nice because you can play the game without even needing a TV.  With the Wii U set up in my suite’s common room, I can play off-screen on the gamepad from anywhere in the suite.  I found there was no input lag on the Wii U gamepad, making it a legitimately great controller.

Smash Wii U is breathtakingly gorgeous, boasting 1080p visuals with fantastic lighting and stunning character models.  Like every other Smash title, it runs at 60 frames per second, to ensure a smooth fighting experience.

Smash Wii U has a solid netcode, unlike its predecessor Brawl.  Although online battles will lag on New Paltz Wi-fi, they are virtually lagless when both players have a stable internet connection.  A plethora of diverse online modes keep the experience entertaining, and online tournaments will be added in early 2015.

Smash Wii U has incredible balance and feel.  It plays like a hybrid of Melee and Brawl, and takes elements from both games.  Whereas Melee favored an offensive, rushdown style and Brawl favored defense and camping, Smash Wii U allows players to use either approach most of the time.

This is a game that anybody can enjoy.  It contains almost no advanced techniques that are difficult to learn, meaning anybody can jump into competitive play this time around without having to worry about practicing for hours on end.  Strategy is more important than being quicker or more technical than your opponent.  Analyzing your opponent’s patterns and weaknesses and punishing accordingly is very important in Smash Wii U.  There are way less gimmicks for players to abuse this time around as well, meaning fights are far more fair, and victory is deserved more often.

Many competitive players are unhappy about the lack of advanced techniques in Smash Wii U, and feel that the simplification removes depth from competitive play.  I understand their opinion and respect it, but they must realize that Smash was created to be the most accessible fighting game on the market.  Creator Masahiro Sakurai wanted to make sure that all players could experience every facet of the game, including competitive play.  Advanced techniques that require immense practice create a barrier to entry for many players who would otherwise enjoy playing competitively.  Removing these barriers ensures more players will delve into competitive play, which is a positive in my book.

Even if you don’t approve of Smash Wii U’s competitive potential, it is indisputable that the game is fun.  It appeals to everyone.  Anybody who doesn’t enjoy Smash Wii U at some level must not like video games very much.

Smash Wii U is one of the best multiplayer experiences in the history of gaming.  Whether it’s the unfathomable chaos of 8-player-smash or thrilling challenge of one versus one, Smash Wii U delivers a perfect experience.

Smash Wii U is one of the best games I have ever played.  With a proper controller, HD graphics, improved balance and more features, Smash Wii U far suprasses the 3DS version, unlocking the true potential of Smash.