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I enjoy Nintendo’s lighthearted nature with the Smash Bros. Series, letting their prized mascots pummel each other for our enjoyment. The fact that the games tend to be pretty good, too, doesn’t hurt anything. With the release of Super Smash Bros Wii U, has Nintendo set a new high water mark in the series, or should you keep brawling?

Before anyone gets up in arms, yes – I am aware that Smash Bros. Melee is seen as the pinnacle of the series, not Brawl. Personally, not being a serious competitive Smash Bros. player, I personally prefer the Wii’s Smash Bros. Brawl to Melee for its wider roster and myriad of unlockables. SSB Wii U has a better roster than either of those previous games, and the palette swap-style characters are implemented better. For example, by pressing the color change key on the fighter selection screen Bowser Jr. can be swapped out for any of the old school Koopa Kids, and you can choose between a male and female Animal Crossing villager without having to eat up two roster spots. I love the roster selection in general, with Pac Man and the Villager being two of my surprise favorites. However, I find myself leaning back to playing as Mii – or should I say, myself.

Super Smash Bros Wii U

You can now create a fighter from any Mii that you have, selecting from brawler, gunner and swordsman as their fighting style, selecting their attacks from a list based on their style, customizing them with badges that change their stats and then dressing them up with collected costume pieces. There’s something fun about playing as a character that you designed yourself, even if the attack options aren’t as varied as I would like. If you want to unlock more stat badges and costume parts, you can do so in the Smash Tour mode.

Smash Tour plays allot like a simplified Mario Party, where you – as s Mii – parade around a board, collecting items, fighters, and stat-boosting power ups before an end-of-game brawl consisting of all of the fighters you collected, augmented by the stat boots you picked up. The end results are really random. I have had rounds that ended with me having just a handful of fighters and a little attack power but a maxed jump boost, and I’ve finished with a huge crew of max smash attack characters. It isn’t really a lot of fun solo, but if you can get another player (or three), it can be a competitive good time.

Visually Smash Bros. Wii U doesn’t match up with Mario Kart 8’s sharp, crisp look, but it makes up for that in serious graphical overload. The amount of things going on at one time, especially in the 8 player melee mode can be intense and the fact that the framerate never wavers is amazing. The soundtrack is one of the best I have ever heard, with an absolute plethora of classic and remixed tunes from the characters’ various series.

Super Smash Bros Wii U

I do have to complain about the controls a little bit. I didn’t’ acquire a Gamecube adaptor when I got SSB Wii U, so I adapted to using the Wii U gamepad. It works well but I would prefer to swap the jump and attack face buttons. This is easily done in the profile menu, but the game automatically defaults back to its standard configuration in each mode unless you specifically select your profile for your character. Since you log in under your Nintendo profile when you start it would be nice if the game would remember your preferences.

Super Smash Bros Wii U is great, with a huge lineup of colorful characters to pick from, surprisingly good roster balance, a ton of modes (we didn’t even get into the deep challenge mode or Master Hand mode here), solid controls, strong visuals and one of the best soundtracks ever – at least for gamers old enough to remember these iconic tunes. Along with Mario Kart 8, this is a must-buy for Wii U owners.

Final Score

9.0

Pluses:

Minuses:

+ Great fighter roster

+ Tons of modes

+ Flashy visuals

+ Splendid soundtrack

+ Top-notch multiplayer experience

– Profile system could use work

– Not as fun solo

 

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