Super Smash Bros.

         
0 4.5 out of 5 stars
Developer:
HAL Laboratory, Sora Ltd., Game Arts, Bandai Namco Games
Publisher:
Nintendo
Platform:
Wii U
Price:
$60
Release Date:
Available now.

My ADD is powerless in the face of Super Smash Bros.

Normally the stuff of legend, my attention deficit disorder is sincerely no match for Nintendo's newest entry into their venerated fighting franchise. This entry, it should be emphatically noted, is the best version of the series. Period. When we got our hands on the 3DS version of Smash Bros. back in October, it surprised nearly everyone by being a serious and hefty portable version of the newly released Wii U version of the title.

Seriously, we're still playing it, and mostly in single player mode.

But the Wii U version of the game gives player the one thing the 3DS version could never deliver: scale. Smash Bros. on the Wii U is a game that feels like its finally found its natural habitat on a large screen, without the camera being forced to zoom out as it does on the 3DS. 

The refinements the franchise has made over the years finally feel like a composite whole; the Wii U version of the game feels like it finally has the hardware to breathe on its own and it makes a huge difference. The most frantic, welcome, and absolute batshit insane feature of the Wii U version has to be the eight player battles. Trying to keep track of your opponents, special items, stage obstacles, and your own character was always where my ADD came in handy in earlier versions of the game, but with eight players battling on-screen, I just found myself being washed over by the raw data of it all

Like Mario Kart 8, Smash should be played communally and in-person. Getting eight people together locally and playing Smash is the best way this game can be enjoyed. Granted, it's going to take a Toyota Corolla's trunk's worth of adapters and additional controllers to make it happen, but believe me when I say it's worth it. Nintendo has anticipated this call for retrofitted hardware by releasing a $20 adapter that less you you use reformatted Gamecube controllers with your Wii U that only work, at the moment, with Smash Bros. Now that's fanservice.

One of the biggest hang-ups with fighting games has always been single-player modes. More times than not, one person campaigns are shoe-horned into fighting games making them tedious at best, but Smash, like the 3DS version, is an absolute joy to play solo. You've got series mainstay modes like All-Star and Classic, but the inclusion of a new mode called Events challenges players to complete a very specific set of tasks, like defeating an entire stage of all the same characters or defeating a certain amount of enemies in a set amount of time. 

 

Smash Run has gone the way of the T-rex, but in its stead is the superior Smash Tour. The replacement bears a striking resemblance to Mario Party, with the minigames having been replaced by Smash Bros. battles. As expected with Nintendo, Smash is stuffed to the gills with characters from Nintendo's history, some of which are so obscure it seems like they're scraping the bottom of the collective nostalgia-packed barrel. (Not that we don't love watching Pac-Man beat the shit out of Mega-Man.)

 

Nintendo has even gone as far as including playable demos of old-school NES and SNES games into Smash to give new players a deeper handle on Nintendo's history. Those demos are only about three minutes long, but it's still a nice touch. If you could distill Nintendo into a 200 proof spirit, Super Smash Bros. would be your end product. The game is a total blast to play whilst talking all of the trash humanly possible with friends, or barring that, by muttering excitedly to yourself. If Mario Kart 8 wasn't enough of a reason to finally cop a Wii U, Smash definitively puts the decision to rest. You need to play this game.