Game Review - Super Smash Bros. for Wii U on Nintendo Wii U

Written by BroRocker on July 29, 2015 @ 3:56 pm

As fair or as unfair as it may be, it's hard not to review Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U without automatically comparing it to its three predecessors. By doing so, it honestly is a difficult game to pin down as far as how I actually feel about it. On one hand, it's a fantastic fighting game with the gameplay easily matching the other games in the series in quality; however, on the other hand it doesn't do much to separate itself from the other Smash Bros. titles and doesn't take the steps you would expect a sequel to take in order to push the series further. Let's dive into the details:

GAMEPLAY - 9

I gave the gameplay a 9 almost by default because since Super Smash Bros. Melee the series has not seen a lot of drastic changes in its core gameplay from game-to-game. In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the biggest changes are the large increase in playable characters along with customization options for characters and stages. While these additions are great for variety and personalization, they do little in increasing the overall enjoyment of the game versus the others. Fighting feels and operates pretty much the same from Melee and Brawl, which can be viewed as good and bad. There are still some slight balancing issues amongst the characters, but that's almost unavoidable in fighting games and since the Smash Bros. series has mostly appealed to the casual fighting game enthusiast it is typically not a problem. Also, most of the returning characters have seen little change from their previous versions and feel literally as if Nintendo just ported the characters straight from Brawl. Nintendo definitely took the "if it's not broke, don't fix it" approach to this game.

STORY - N/A

One of the biggest differences from the previous game in the series, Brawl, and this version is the absence of a campaign. To me, this is my biggest disappointment with this game. I personally felt the "Subspace Emissary" campaign from Brawl was one of the more enjoyable parts of the game, and was one of the things that helped it have a single-player element as opposed to a game I just liked to play with my friends when they came over. Instead of a campaign, Smash Bros. for Wii U has a lot different challenges you can complete to earn trophies and some content with the game. I think this was a mistake on Nintendo's part because for most people who love this series like myself but aren't hardcore fighting game fans, it gave little reason to want to come back and play time and time again. To me, the challenges are either too short and easy to care about or they are so difficult that only the most hardcore of Smash players would be able to beat them.

GRAPHICS & VISUALS - 9

Again, the character and stage designs aren't too different from Brawl, with the exception being that the game is now in HD. This does really help the vibrancy of the game and does allow you to appreciate those aspects more. The stage designs, while they look as good as ever, aren't very inspiring in quality. Most of the stages in this game are straight from the previous games. This is where I really felt Nintendo got lazy with the development of this game. While I think it is very understandable to keep the gameplay and characters the same across generations, it should at least be offset by the freshness of levels. The handful of new levels in this game are very bland compared to some of the old maps, and a good chunk of them are these large levels that are designed more to accommodate the new 6-8 player battles. There are some exceptions such as the new Mushroom Kingdom stage, but mostly the stage designs were very disappointing. Another new element in stage design is the addition of "bosses" to certain levels. This sounds more exciting than it actually is. The concept is that on some stages there will be a boss that emerges that will engage everyone in the battle. These bosses can do massive amounts of damage and really affect the outcome of the fight. If you manage to kill the boss then there are different perks that can also assist you in victory. The problem is that more often than not these bosses take up too much space on the screen and become more of a nuisance that a luxury to the stage.

SOUND - 10

One of my favorite aspect of Smash Bros. for Wii U is the ability to customize stage music. The music in Smash has always been one of its more fun and nostalgic features, but this game goes a step further and allows you to determine what songs play in every aspect of the game. Each level or menu screen has several options (upwards of 10 for each one) as far as what an potentially be played. Not only can you pick and choose what tracks do and don't play, but you can also determine the frequency or randomness each are played. The range of choices can be anything from brand new tracks, to remixes, to original game tracks, to tracks from old Smash Bros. games.

OVERALL - 8

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is undeniably a great game and in several ways could be seen as the most complete fighting game of the series. It is certainly the most polished. Unfortunately, it also feels like a game that has not progressed well with the times and is a game in desperate need for fresh ideas in order to rejuvenate the series. While the characters and overall gameplay are as good as ever, the lack of campaign and limited options for casual fans of the series really make this game more for the most hardcore and dedicated of Smash fans. The online multiplayer is worlds better from Brawl, but this game still suffers from a lot of connectivity and lag issues, making what could have been an even greater selling point something that is still a liability for the series.

CLOSING THOUGHTS ON WHAT THIS FRANCHISE NEEDS GOING FORWARD

I think Nintendo is definitely on the right track with the Smash Ballot, and I think by engaging the fans even more is only going to produce more interest in this series. The next Smash game needs to come out much earlier in the consoles life cycle and it also needs to have that element of "if you ask hard enough for these new characters, we're going to keep them coming." Bringing in a greater number of character from outside of Nintendo is also a smart idea. I think some of the characters who've been in Smash a while now are becoming a bit stale and feel out of place. There always seems like there is so much buzz around new characters from outside of Nintendo, and this is definitely something to be capitalized on. Finally, Nintendo has to figure out how to deliver a better product online. The lag issues are well-documented across most all of Nintendo's titles and it is far past time for them to join the modern era of gaming and offer a dependable and solid online experience.

Gameplay Rating: 8
Graphics & Visuals Rating: 8
Sound Rating: 10
Overall Rating: 8

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Comments


GamingWizard
September 17, 2015 @ 5:58 pm
Good review. Fair assessment good sir.

Game Information

Platform
Nintendo Wii U
Developer(s)
Bandai Namco Games
Publisher(s)
Nintendo
Genre(s)
Fighting
NA Release Date
November 11, 2014
JP Release Date
September 6, 2014
EUR Release Date
September 5, 2014
AUS Release Date
September 6, 2014
ESRB Rating
E10+
PEGI Rating
12
CERO Rating
A
ACB Rating
PG
MVGL User Score
8.7
Composer
Junichi Nakatsuru, Keiki Kobayashi, Hiroki Hashimoto
Official Website
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