Game review: Super Smash Bros. a super success

Game review: Super Smash Bros. a super success

Connor Spencer, Staff Writer

Few game franchises carry as many memories with friends as Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. This video game has been an industry staple since it first burst onto the scene 15 years ago with the original game’s release on the N64 console. While that original game was a bare-bones brawler between fan favorite Nintendo characters, the series has ballooned into something truly special.

So how does the 2014 edition of Super Smash Bros. rank amongst lauded past entries in the series? Well, in short, spectacularly. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is another smashing entry in this series.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U acts a bit like a museum you can smash, blast and fight your way through. The game features a roster of brawlers that spans an amazing 30 years of gaming history, from PacMan to the Wii Fit Trainer. Venerable favorites like Link, Mario, and Samus Aran make a necessary appearance alongside new fighters like PacMan, and classic video game mascot Mega Man.

Unfortunately a few characters have been dropped from the previous installment, such as Snake, Squirtle, Lucas, and Ivysaur; however, Mewtwo and Dr. Mario have returned.

The game boasts the largest roster of characters ever for the series, coming in at a whopping 49 playable pieces of video game history, all with their own unique fighting styles and attacks. Yet the simple two button attack controls still offer new players an intuitive scheme they can learn quickly and have fun playing, even if they might not have mastered the game like some of their friends.

Speaking of friends, the Wii U release of Super Smash Bros. sees a new and truly crazy addition to the series in the form of eight player battles. Whereas the previous entries limited combatants to just four controllers, eight friends can now feel the intense competitiveness that comes with these ever more pulse-pounding brawls together on just one system. It’s an amazing addition that works surprising well and allows everyone and their brother to play together.

Alongside the traditional Smash mode there are a variety of other modes like Event, which has solo adventures to learn new moves for characters. All-Star, a trip down memory lane has you battle different generations of characters from the 1970s to today, and the Wii U exclusive, Smash Tour. Smash Tour is the only mode that is lacking. It’s a shame because the concept of a four player Mario Party-style mode in Smash Bros. sounds like a romp. Unfortunately, the mode suffers from battles that are too short to be fun.

Also disappointing was the game’s online offerings. Not everyone can get together with seven friends in the same room to battle, making an online aspect to the brawler a necessary one. However, that can be plagued by erratic Internet connection speeds and Nintendo’s unnecessarily complicated game joining. When it does work, it is fantastic; although be warned, masters of this brawler haunt the online battlefields of the game and make short work of the inexperienced.

Overall, Nintendo once again smashed through the upper limits of what I thought this series had to offer, and definitively proved the series’ place amongst the best the industry has to offer. The expanded roster of characters, new maps, and modes all play as slickly as in past iterations by pushing the traditionally tight controls to new levels, all in the beautiful high definition and 60 frames-per-second that the more powerful Wii U offers. If you own a Wii U, Super Smash Bros. is a must buy, not only for its nostalgic appeal of past greatness, but also it’s truly inspired ability to allow everyone to have fun together. If you don’t own a Wii U, there has never been a better reason to buy one for the holidays.