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WiiU

North America

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Review

by Neal Ronaghan - November 23, 2014, 7:48 am PST
Total comments: 67

9.5

Throwing in everything including the kitchen sink, Super Smash Bros. on Wii U is jam-packed with content in the best way.

Note: After playing everything Smash Bros. Wii U has to offer online, we have updated our review with a score and tweaked the text. Enjoy!

When playing through Super Smash Bros. on 3DS earlier this year, something felt missing. There was certainly a lot to love about the first appearance of the series on a handheld, but it still felt slightly off. After spending a ton of time with Super Smash Bros. on Wii U, I now know what the issue was: the single-player content wasn't quite as deep. The multiplayer was more personal and less revelatory. Smash Bros. on Wii U blows the pants off of its 3DS predecessor by including tons of content and delivering one of the deepest, most complete games I have ever played.

It all starts with the multiplayer, which is just as frenetic and amazing as it was in past games. The biggest tweak to that tried-and-true formula is eight-player Smash. Hopping in with seven friends is sublime, and while the limited stage selection when playing with more than four players is disappointing, it doesn't ruin the unbridled chaos that transpires when you have so many people fighting at once. Still, while the sheer audacity of this mode is fantastic, eight-player Smash is ultimately just a novelty, something to savor when you have that many willing participants in the same room. The real meat and potatoes of Smash Bros. is and forever will be four-player battles (or two-player battles depending on your personal preference), which is aided by the varied array of characters, items, and assist trophies (all carried over from the 3DS version). The Wii U version also adds an amazing assortment of stages, the majority of which are far less gimmicky than the 3DS version's stages. There are still some miserable ones (What's up, Pac-Land?), but there are also amazing concept stages such as Gamer and Duck Hunt. Throw in a deep and highly customizable Stage Builder and some great returning classics, and Smash Wii U easily has the best set of stages in the series so far.

While local multiplayer is incredible, the online multiplayer leaves a little bit to be desired at times. Lag isn’t a regular occurrence, but it shows up often enough that it’s a nagging issue. Like the 3DS version, it features For Fun matches (timed matches with items) and For Glory matches (one-on-one matches with no items on the Omega stages). Friends matches are easy to start up and join; you can even do so from the friends list outside on the Wii U system menu. Voice chat is possible in-between matches, which is functional but the game would benefit from actually having voice chat during matches.

Aside from the traditional Smash multiplayer experience, the Wii U version also adds a bevy of solo modes. Smash Tour, which is a fast-paced Mario Party-lite board game, is the lone dud. Even with ample instructions, it's a confusing random mess. If you can find four people who actually understand the entire concept of Smash Tour, you might have some fun, but it's such a difficult idea to wrap your head around that every time I played it with friends, everyone would beg to quit halfway through and just play regular multiplayer. It’s a testament to how much fun the combat is that people just want to do that, but it also highlights how stale Smash Tour is that no one really wanted to do more than try it out once. It feels like a missed opportunity considering how much better Smash Run is on 3DS.

My favorite Wii U-exclusive mode is Events. Much like the same mode in past Smash Bros. games, you are tasked with completing a wide variety of unique challenges. Instead of the linear list of past games, Events in the Wii U game are revamped as a series of branching paths, more of which unlock as you complete them in different ways and unlock new characters. The events almost always contain a novel, interesting gameplay twist that ties into character’s backgrounds and histories. For example, one matches pit four Toon Links against each other in a call to the Four Swords game. Special Orders is another mode that is similar to Events. Master Orders, starring Master Hand, are generally more conventional challenges while the more intense Crazy Orders are series of events that get progressively harder until you attempt to defeat Crazy Hand. Since the orders are all randomly generated, those two modes are near limitless (they are also an awesome way to grind for items).

Aside from the unfortunate lack of Smash Run, all the other modes from the 3DS version made it to the Wii U version. The biggest change is to Classic Mode, but it still is the same idea just with a different wrapper and a different final boss. You can also run through most every mode in two-player co-op, which changes up how you approach Home Run Contest and more. It makes grinding for all of the unlockable items a little more fun than the 3DS version, though there is so much stuff to unlock that it’s hard to believe. There are more than 300 songs, including some fantastic new musical remixes. The trophies seem almost limitless and include surprising, wonderful callbacks to Nintendo’s history. Most of these can be unlocked randomly through playing virtually any mode, while some can only be unlocked by completing the challenge wall, which features a little more variety than the 3DS one. And if you did play the 3DS version, you can bring over your customized characters and even use your 3DS as a controller. Unfortunately, the implementation is very clumsy. You have to import characters one by one, which makes it an arduous task if you customized a majority of the 45+ characters.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is filled with so much content it is overwhelming at times. While the best mode of play will always be sitting back and fighting with friends, so much varied peripheral content is added that it is a continual delight to play through every challenge and mode, regardless of whether I played through a similar mode on 3DS recently. The online multiplayer isn’t perfect, but it’s light years beyond what was present in Brawl and comparable to the 3DS version. Even still, the easiest way to say it is like this: The Wii U release is the best version of Smash Bros. to date.

Summary

Pros
  • Amazing music and sound
  • Event mode is fabulous
  • Incredible local multiplayer experience
  • Mind-boggling amount of content
  • Online mostly works well
  • Superb stage selection
Cons
  • Occasional lag in online matches
  • Smash Tour isn’t great

Talkback

SorenNovember 19, 2014

Smash Tour shaping up to be the Smash Run of this version.

Can we guess the score? I'll go 9.5.

Great review, Neal.

AdrockNovember 19, 2014

Nah, 7.5 so the Internet can cry.

Nice review. I was going to buy this regardless (in fact, I technically already did), but it's still nice to see that people are enjoying the game.

Score is still in flux, but I'll give an eShop game download code to whoever gets it right.

broodwarsNovember 19, 2014

Based on the praise and the Nintendo's likely netcode issues, I'm going to go with a 9.0 guess.

NemoNovember 19, 2014

Sounds like a 10.0

coltsfan0489November 19, 2014

Guessing a 9.5. Online could change that to a higher score but I don't see it being lower...

CericNovember 19, 2014

Well being Neal we can't base this off his past reviews...

8.2

I have no faith in the Netcode.

StogiNovember 19, 2014

9.8


10


Smash Tour was boring and the lack of Smash Run was disappointing, but, seeing as both modes are really just little side-bonuses added onto the main game, I don't think they will really offset the overall score. Otherwise, I was perfectly satisfied (especially considering that they went to the effort to produce a GCN controller adaptor).

ClexYoshiNovember 19, 2014

As the staunch defender of Smash Run, I... don't know how I feel about Smash Tour. I mean, I actually like the idea of a mode framed around drafting fighters and making whatever you end up with work. Lots of Yugioh and a bit of Magic the gathering experience has lead me to perform booster drafts there, and those are really fun and exciting to play under that context. What perplexes me, however, is the board game framing mechanism for all this and how potentially confusing and how luck Vs. Skill based this mode is. Smash Run requires some luck, but I find that if I go in with a general strategy that I form on the fly that I'll win 9 times out of 10 thanks to knowing the map and trying to hit up hot-spots while vanquishing more worthwhile enemies that happen to get in my path.

By the way, for those of you who are interested and aren't just buying the game at midnight and doing something similar, I'll actually be streaming tomorrow evening into friday morning as I play various Nintendo stuff leading into Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

Embedded the video review. Check it out!

Mop it upNovember 19, 2014

I'm gonna guess 10, banking that the online will work for him.

Leo13November 19, 2014

8.9-

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Score is still in flux, but I'll give an eShop game download code to whoever gets it right.

7.5.

KhushrenadaNovember 19, 2014

Is this The Price is Right rules. Closest guess without going over?

If so, then I guess 0.1 provided we are using a 10.0 scale.

rlse9November 19, 2014

I'm guessing it's going to be a 9.0, assuming that the online play is good but not without flaws, which seems to be par for the course with Nintendo.

I hope the online play is good, I have no one locally to play with and the single player in Smash is always fun but does get old after a while.

pokepal148Spencer Johnson, Contributing WriterNovember 19, 2014

I'm guessing 8.7.

StogiNovember 19, 2014

I should probably say a bit about the review instead of just guess.

I'm surprised by your opinion of Smash tour. It looks interesting, but I can see how it can become tedious. I feel like it could be more fun if you focus on running into players rather than collecting.

This feels like the best smash to date. Loaded with features and modes and most importantly, characters. Getting a Wii U this year and this is the first I'm gettting.

Retro64zNovember 19, 2014

I think a 9.7

Y'all know NWR only uses .0 and .5, right?

SesshaNovember 20, 2014

9.2

Retro64zNovember 20, 2014

Ok, then a 9.0

KhushrenadaNovember 20, 2014

Y'all are gonna be so stunned when Neal announces his 7.4 score and I rake in all the prizes because you've all overbid.

ObbyDentNovember 20, 2014

7.0

KhushrenadaNovember 20, 2014

Aw.  :(

pokepal148Spencer Johnson, Contributing WriterNovember 20, 2014

Ok then 9.0

ObbyDentNovember 20, 2014

Quote from: Khushrenada

Aw.  :(

Just for you. <3

PhilPhillip Stortzum, November 20, 2014

A!

StratosNovember 20, 2014

If online is good then 9.8. If online is poor 9.2.

Triforce HermitNovember 21, 2014

9.5 or 10.

Veitch11November 21, 2014

I'm guessing a 9.6

Ian SaneNovember 21, 2014

So last night I was looking for a gift for my friend's birthday and naturally hit up places that sell videogames.  I encountered honest-to-God BUZZ for SSB at every store.  A Wii U game's release being an event?  Really.

Toys 'R' Us - clerk talking to a parent about Amiibo and SSB and how the two connect.
EB Games - seemingly every single person in line was asking about it.  When does it go on sale?  Will they still have copies beyond the pre-orders?
Willow Video (local chain) - I could hear an employee on the phone talking about when they start selling the game.  This place also had all of the Nintendo stuff coming out tomorrow - SSB, Pokémon remake, Gamecube controller, Gamecube controller adapter - on the shelf behind the counter with the sign "on sale tomorrow" next to it.

It was pretty cool.  Haven't seen that kind of anticipation for a Nintendo game in a long time.  Maybe Reggie's hopes for the title aren't as unrealistic as I thought.

Leo13November 21, 2014

I went to my local Best Buy Wednesday and they had a big Amiibo display and were completely sold out of Wii U consules

I'm guessing 9.7

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7289/8735595989_f302c868ac_z.jpg

GKNovember 21, 2014

Well it's lost points with me. What good is it to customize your button layout when it switches back to default when you play online?

Leo13November 21, 2014

Quote from: Shaymin

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7289/8735595989_f302c868ac_z.jpg

I don't get it. Why this implied face palm?

GKNovember 21, 2014

Quote from: GK

Well it's lost points with me. What good is it to customize your button layout when it switches back to default when you play online?

Oh wait. Forgot my NinID & Smash Bros names are the same. Nevermind, points refunded.

Quote from: Leo13

I don't get it. Why this implied face palm?

Quote from: Shaymin

Y'all know NWR only uses .0 and .5, right?

Quote from: Shaymin

Quote from: Leo13

I don't get it. Why this implied face palm?

Quote from: Shaymin

Y'all know NWR only uses .0 and .5, right?

There's a first time for everything.

KhushrenadaNovember 21, 2014

Quote from: Shaymin

Quote from: Leo13

I don't get it. Why this implied face palm?

Quote from: Shaymin

Y'all know NWR only uses .0 and .5, right?

Normally yes. But Smash Bros Wii U is incredible it is going to cause an exception to the rule when it is awarded a 10.1 score.

Leo13November 22, 2014

Quote from: Khushrenada

Quote from: Shaymin

Quote from: Leo13

I don't get it. Why this implied face palm?

Quote from: Shaymin

Y'all know NWR only uses .0 and .5, right?

Normally yes. But Smash Bros Wii U is incredible it is going to cause an exception to the rule when it is awarded a 10.1 score.

I love it.

Neal,
Make it happen!

WiiUIVLifeNovember 22, 2014

As close as it gets... 9.5 out of 10.

AVNovember 22, 2014

9.9 , online is rough but still amazing.


I ordered mine via toys' r us to get free ammibo and got free shipping so who knows when I'll get it, I got 3DS version so I'm good.

Leo13November 22, 2014

Quote from: AV

9.9 , online is rough but still amazing.

How rough is online? Is it just slammed or is it broken like on Wii?

broodwarsNovember 22, 2014

I think Smash Tour alone is awful enough to be worth removing a full point for, let alone the online play.

Leo13November 22, 2014

Quote from: broodwars

I think Smash Tour alone is awful enough to be worth removing a full point for, let alone the online play.

The game has so much content. If there's 1 more you absolutely hate and will never play to me it shouldn't hurt the score. Just ignore it and judge it off the modes you'll actually play that still leaves plenty of content.
The mode want designed for you and I, it was designed for my 3 kids that love Mario Party. Just give it whatever score you would have if that mode was completely left out.
Adding an extra mode should never hurt a score unless you're somehow required to play it

marvel_moviefan_2012November 22, 2014

That is your opinion, some people look at the whole product not individual pieces. Look at Star Wars, as a whole it is an awesome product but putting Jar Jar Binks into Phantom Menace tainted that film, the movie is less enjoyable because he is in it and even though you can mute it and fast forward the parts he is in you can't unwatch this terrible performance nearly ruin Star Wars for an entire generation. So yes you can judge the whole product if it includes something you think is distracting and taken into consideration that development of said distraction took away from development of additional costumes, characters, stages, or modes people asked for, then YES it is a valid reason to dock the game a point.

broodwarsNovember 22, 2014

Quote from: Leo13

Adding an extra mode should never hurt a score unless you're somehow required to play it

If you want to unlock all the stages, you are required to play it at least 3 times (once for each board).

Leo13November 22, 2014

Quote from: marvel_moviefan_2012

That is your opinion, some people look at the whole product not individual pieces. Look at Star Wars, as a whole it is an awesome product but putting Jar Jar Binks into Phantom Menace tainted that film, the movie is less enjoyable because he is in it and even though you can mute it and fast forward the parts he is in you can't unwatch this terrible performance nearly ruin Star Wars for an entire generation. So yes you can judge the whole product if it includes something you think is distracting and taken into consideration that development of said distraction took away from development of additional costumes, characters, stages, or modes people asked for, then YES it is a valid reason to dock the game a point.

That is the stupidest comparison I've ever heard. Yes Jar Jar sucked and made those movies worse, but I have to choose to play smash tour and many people never will, but when I saw that movie in the theater I didn't get to choose which characters to watch and which ones to not see and hear

Leo13November 22, 2014

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: Leo13

Adding an extra mode should never hurt a score unless you're somehow required to play it

If you want to unlock all the stages, you are required to play it at least 3 times (once for each board).

This is actually a legitimate point.

It wouldn't hurt my personal score because I'm not a completionest like that so it wasn't a thought that crossed my mind, but I can certainly see how that could affect the score for some people

StogiNovember 22, 2014

I get where Movie_Fan is coming from, but I watch Star Wars through my hands.

Evan_BNovember 23, 2014

Wow Neal. A 9.5? Really? Scoring a Smash Bros. game this low just reeks of clickbait. I'm honestly a bit disappointed in this site right now, I'm just waiting for another staff member to give it a 9.5 too and I'll be leaving this place for good.

Triforce HermitNovember 23, 2014

I am looking forward to the 20 new accounts that will come on here and argue that it deserved a 10. Because this is just being done to lower the metacritic score. This is a Nintendo site and should have given it a 10, just because.

So would Smash Tour be better if it was fixed or if it was just trashed and replaced by something else.?

AdrockNovember 23, 2014

Quote from: Triforce

So would Smash Tour be better if it was fixed or if it was just trashed and replaced by something else?

I'd rather it be trashed and replaced with something else. The idea of Smash Tour isn't that interesting to begin with. In Mario Party, you play a variety of mini-games. In Smash Tour, you play special matches and if I wanted to do that, I could do so very easily without dealing with the board game part. It's isn't a good or different enough distraction from the regular Smash matches to be worth the trouble.

CericNovember 23, 2014

The more I think about it the more I think 9.5 is generous.

broodwarsNovember 23, 2014

Quote from: Adrock

Quote from: Triforce

So would Smash Tour be better if it was fixed or if it was just trashed and replaced by something else?

I'd rather it be trashed and replaced with something else. The idea of Smash Tour isn't that interesting to begin with. In Mario Party, you play a variety of mini-games. In Smash Tour, you play special matches and if I wanted to do that, I could do so very easily without dealing with the board game part. It's isn't a good or different enough distraction from the regular Smash matches to be worth the trouble.

Not to mention, the board game section is completely ****ing pointless anyway because it's actually in your best interests to enter the final battle with the fewest number of fighters because of how the final match is scored. Because it only counts kills, not deaths, if you only have 1 fighter and your opponent has 5, you only have to kill your opponent twice to win the match. Meanwhile, he can get at most 1 point off you. It's very badly scored.

Mop it upNovember 23, 2014

You should have given this game a 10, it needs to sell Wii U systems.

Triforce HermitNovember 23, 2014

So Smash Tour basically is a) pointless and b) badly designed. Yeah, that sounds like garbage. Maybe could be salvaged if the mini game idea was applied differently, but they won't do it.

Quote from: Mop

You should have given this game a 10, it needs to sell Wii U systems.

Total clickbate.

8.5/10 for me. The online is better, but still pretty broken at times. If a player joins your room with a crappy internet connection (red circle) your match is ruined. The result is either constant lag spikes or a straight up slow-motion match. It's pretty terrible when it happens and makes your match unplayable.  I'm docking a point for that right out of the gate.  It's 2014. Nintendo needs to do better. This stuff was ironed out a decade ago.

I haven't touched single-player but from what I'm reading I'm docking a half-point for that being likely underwhelming.

It's a really good game though. If you want Smash stupidity an out-and-out fan service it does not disappoint. It's the best game on Wii U by a long shot.

Back of the box quote: "As good as The Conduit." - Jon Lindemann, Nintendo World Report.

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Back of the box quote: "As good as The Conduit." - Jon Lindemann, Nintendo World Report.

You laugh, but that's another game that made good use of it's console's features but had horribly broken online.

Mop it upNovember 24, 2014

This might be grounds for a separate topic, but, can the online really run any better than what they've made? Not that I'm an expert, but, Smash Bros seems like a more complex online game than anything else out there. Unlike games like Mario Kart and Call of Duty and all those, Smash Bros has to actually synchronize every little thing, they can't just do the extrapolating position data thing that most other online games do.

I think the only other online games that work like this are other fighting games, which I believe also encounter the same issues when people don't have a good connection. But even in that case, Smash Bros has way more stuff to synch up, such as 4 fighters as a time, their projectiles, all the items that can appear, the crazy stage hazards, etc. It's a lot of stuff to synch, at a goal of 60fps no less.

I'd be interested in hearing about this subject from someone who actually knows how this stuff works, because I'm wondering if there really is something they could have done to compensate for bad connections to make the online run more smoothly, or if it really does need to be reliant on good connections.

StratosNovember 24, 2014

I think you would need a dedicated server to get those issues hammered out versus being a peer-to-peer match making system where one of the actual systems is a "host" for the game.


Maybe Smash 5 could have premium "For Glory" servers set up for a fee. Those are the people who would care most about lag and performance issues.

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)November 24, 2014

Quote from: Stratos

Maybe Smash 5 could have premium "For Glory" servers set up for a fee. Those are the people who would care most about lag and performance issues.

i actually like this idea!
Of course you would have cheap-skate pro players who just stayed on the For Fun servers destroying everyone('s enjoyment)

Luigi DudeNovember 24, 2014

Quote from: famicomplicated

Quote from: Stratos

Maybe Smash 5 could have premium "For Glory" servers set up for a fee. Those are the people who would care most about lag and performance issues.

i actually like this idea!
Of course you would have cheap-skate pro players who just stayed on the For Fun servers destroying everyone('s enjoyment)

The funny thing is the For Glory online is the one that actually works really good.  I've played both For Fun and For Glory and the majority of all online issues I've seen are in the For Fun matches since the things like items and transforming stages are what become too much for some connections to handle.  Since For Glory matches are No Items on flat static stages, they're less of an issue resulting in the 1 on 1 matches being really smooth.

So the people who would actually be willing to pay for better online servers, have no reason too since their way of playing Smash Bros online isn't the one that suffers from problems.

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WiiU

Game Profile

Dairantou Smash Brothers for Wii U Box Art

Genre Fighting
Developer Namco Bandai,
Sora
Players1 - 8
Controllers & Accessories Wii Remote
Wii Nunchuk
Wii Classic
GameCube
Wii U GamePad
Wii U Pro Controller
Amiibo

Worldwide Releases

na: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Release Nov 21, 2014
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone 10+
jpn: Dairantou Smash Brothers for Wii U
Release Dec 06, 2014
PublisherNintendo
eu: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Release Nov 28, 2014
PublisherNintendo
Rating12+
aus: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Release Dec 06, 2014
PublisherNintendo
RatingParental Guidance
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