It goes without saying. Super Smash Bros. is definitely on the top of most Wii U owners’ holiday wishlists. And why wouldn’t it? It features Nintendo’s beloved gaming mascots and a handful of third party characters fighting to the death. I got a chance to try the game out today, and it’s shaping up to be another winner.
The playable demo allowed users to play as Mario, Pikachu, Zelda, Kirby, Bowser, and other familiar faces, but the true highlight of the demo was the ability to tryout newcomers such as Mega Man, the Wii Fit Trainer, the Animal Crossing villager, Rosalina, Little Mac, and the new Pokemon Greninja. I chose the blue bomber as the group I played with used Rosalina, the Wii Fit trainer and the villager.
Obviously with all these characters being new, we weren’t necessarily in it to win it. Winning was a bonus, but with a 2:00 time limit, the emphasis was on enjoying whatever was there while getting used to the game’s adjusted feel and mechanics.
Mega Man in particular has respectable speed, and he played very true to his 8-bit past. The sliding kick was a good and effective running move, but what people will have to get used to is that he doesn’t play like Samus. Almost all of Mega Man’s moves come out of his blaster, so don’t expect Mega Man to be shoulder charging anybody or punching anybody in the face either the way Samus can.
While rolling around a little bit, things got intense right away with the Wii Fit Trainer performing some graceful yet powerful moves, while I was dodging everything coming at Mega Man and messing around with the various weapons I had at my disposal. The villager also caught some action using the net, but it was Rosalina who went off with her Final Smash throwing dangerous stars all over the place… only to have everything dodged while the Wii Fit Trainer claimed the victory at the last second with one knockout.
All of us were playing with the Wii U Pro Controller, and while it felt comfortable, things got awkward, especially for those used to playing Smash Bros. using a GameCube controller. The positioning of the right analog stick caused for some screwups here and there by all players. Thankfully, for those that can’t give up the GameCube controller, Nintendo will be releasing a $20 peripheral so players can continue to use the GameCube controller and will also be releasing a $25 GameCube controller with improved build.
Competitive players might be a bit disappointed to know that this new Smash Bros. is more of a follow-up to Brawl if anything. The gameplay is thankfully a lot tighter, but it’s nowhere near as fast-paced as that of Melee on the GameCube.
Super Smash Bros. on the Wii U marks the first time the series is playable in full 1080p at 60 frames per second, making it one of the best looking games available. Even onlookers who had no intention of getting the game were surprised at how nice the game looked.
Nintendo hasn’t announced a concrete release date, but the game will definitely be ready this holiday, and we’ll be sure to have a review at around that time. Stay tuned to SmashPad for more E3 and Smash Bros. coverage.