Evan Slead ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
After many years of fan anticipation to battle with their favorite Nintendo characters, the new Super Smash Bros. title has arrived! Actually, there were two games released, one for Nintendo 3DS last month, and the arguably more anticipated Wii U version out now. Both games come with their own exclusive features, but overall offer the same experience when it comes to smash battles. Hundreds of new features lay the foundation to this Wii U generation Smash title, but there are a few that stand out as heavy hitters.
The most intriguing of the new features has to be Amiibo. The Wii U has had that NFC inclusion since the release of the system, and finally Nintendo has found a way to utilize it successfully. First and foremost, Amiibo’s are essentially action figures (much like the trophies within the game) that include an NFC chip in the base of the figure. Players can pick their favorite fighters, purchase their Amiibo figurine, and train it to be completely their own. Stat boosts and new moves can be customized on each Amiibo, along with color choice of costume and nickname. When an Amiibo player is added to a Smash battle, they can be used as a teammate or an enemy to battle. As the Amiibo plays with computer players and human players, it begins to learn fighting styles of both. This creates a stronger and more intelligent fighter that players can use to dominate their opponents or find a customized challenge for them to overcome. As of now, there are several characters available for sale, with many more to come as the New Year approaches.
The next somewhat out of place feature has to be Smash Tour. Nintendo has made Mario Party titles since the introduction of the Nintendo 64. Players picked their favorite Mario characters and used them to play a giant board game. Smash Tour is the spiritual successor to that concept as players are each given their Mii’s to move around a board. Picking up power ups, usable character trophies, and actual characters, each player is essentially building their own team with custom stats to duke it out in a smash battle at the end of the board game. Overall the game is enjoyable, but it feels a little out of place at first. Like in games when a menu pops up that looks unfinished, this game mode almost seems like a beta version of what it could be one day. The rules and objective of the game are confusing as well, as the game only guides you a little before you start, but throws you into it once round one begins. Once one gets the hang of it though, it’s actually pretty entertaining and a nice twist on the “rough ’em up” gameplay.
Doubling the number of players in a smash battle is insanity (in the best way possible). No longer will a friend have to wait on the sidelines waiting for their turn to play (unless of course more than eight people at a party is a thing in people’s lives). The game developers made sure to make some tweaks and additions to make this epic battle style work. There are new stages that are built to hold the extra characters so that it doesn’t end up being a clouded mess of punches and kicks. As helpful as the new bigger stages are, the stages built for up to four characters hold a special play style for eight. Since Melee, players have always had the option to make a custom style battle with added damage ratio, or giant characters. A fun way to utilize being cramped on a small stage with eight people is to crank the damage ratio up and watch everyone go crazy.
Apart from those three main new features, all of the added touches create a great new addition to the Smash library of games. The main joy from the original Super Smash Bros. title was being able to play as a beloved Nintendo character and watching them collide with other franchises. Melee and Brawl brought more characters and opportunities to change up the gameplay and try out new fighters, but Smash Wii U offers the most characters ever before which arguably makes it the strongest game in the franchise. Even the external experience of making a Wii U GameCube controller adapter for players shows that the developers wanted this title to be the best. Melee on GameCube was the greatest received and most enjoyable entry in the series which they wanted to harken back to while also moving ahead. Overall, Super Smash Bros. Wii U not only the newest, but it’s also the strongest in the series. Offering many new play modes, the biggest character library, online ranking system, and added external experiences, this game could be in the running for best game of the year.
Super Smash Bros. Wii U is available for Wii U.