Earlier today, Nintendo held one of their regular Nintendo Direct briefings. Today’s was all about the upcoming modern versions of Super Smash Bros for the 3DS and Wii U. Below you’ll get all the points you want to know, without having to watch the entire 40 minute brief.
No specific release date was announced, but a window for each version was. The 3DS version will be released first, and is currently slated for a Summer 2014 release. Wii U owners will need to wait until this winter to playfully beat the crap out of each other.
Analysis: Some fans on Nintendo’s Facebook page are saying the Wii U version’s later release date will be bound to doom the Wii U. Let’s be honest here, the Wii U definitely is NOT in good shape, but that’s not the case with the 3DS. We actually don’t even know what’s inbound for the 3DS come summer, so Smash Bros. is definitely welcome there. We also wouldn’t be surprised to see Nintendo drop the price of the Wii U during the later part of the fall, leading up to Smash’s release. Nintendo would see sales grow exponentially by making such a move.
A Technical Note
The 3DS version will be running at 60 fps with 3D enabled. Assist trophies will be limited to 30 fps. How exactly they’re managing two framerates simultaniously is a mystery.
Differences Between the Two Platforms
Each of the two versions will have distinct stages. For stages that appear on both systems, their designs will differ slightly. The 3DS version of the game will also have two music tracks per stage.
Each system will get a selection of stages from past Smash Bros. games. Along with that, the Wii U version has a Mega Man Stage, with an interesting boss to contend with during fights. Boss characters will also appear in other stages, adding some extra competitiveness to the matches. The explosion that ensues from defeating a boss acts as an attack for the player that scored the final hit, so you can bet people will be vying for that boss kill.
Analysis: The addition of the yellow man in the Mega Man stage definitely is a good move, as a lot of these stages have lacked unique substance. Not many of the stages involve such strategy, and it’ll definitely be welcome in Smash.
One of the more underrated additions to the stages are the various versions of Final Destination. The most hardcore of hardcore fans only play on Final Destination because of its lack of gimmicks. You don’t have to worry about leaping platforms or random contraptions to help players recover–it’s just a space to fight. Realizing the popularity of this kind of stage, a “Final Destination” version of every stage will also be available in the game. That way, people won’t be overly bored by the overdone outer space look to it.
Both the 3DS and Wii U versions of the game will support Online Play. You’ll want a fast connection to get the best results, but that should go without saying at this point.
The Wii U version will support two game modes. For Fun basically equates to a Player Match. Stages are picked randomly and all items have a chance to appear. Only your victories will be tracked, so no need to worry about a poor Win/Loss record. For Glory mode will be limited to one stage, Final Destination. There will be no items, and your Win/Loss record will be tracked. It’s also fair to mention that when playing with friends you will have full control of the rules, attempting to replicate the ‘same couch’ experience from past games.
Anonymous matches have been removed altogether. All players will be linked to their Nintendo ID and a Code of Conduct and enforcement policies will be put into place to try to cut down on cheaters and griefers. Nothing too surprising here, it’s just what a good online service host ought to do.
An interesting tidbit of news. There will no longer be character transformations in Smash Bros. Now you will only need to worry about one moveset per character. With that in mind, Zero Suit Samus, Sheik have been added to the roster as selectable characters.
All the returning fighters have been tweaked and rebalanced. Pit has lost his glide ability, but gained a damage boost. These are the sorts of changes one can expect, just enough change to keep things fresh, but not so many as to feel unfamiliar. Yoshi is also back in its modern form, without the hunch.
As for new characters, Charizard and Greninja the third-level evolutions of the starters from the first and latest Pokémon generations respectively have entered the fray. No longer is Charizard attached to the Pokémon Trainer, who likely won’t be making an appearance in the game, instead playable on its own the same way players can now have free reign with Zero Suit Samus and Sheik. Greninja, the water-fighting type, has some slick moves in its disposal and should definitely please Pokémon fans.
Analysis: Sakurai went into a good amount of detail about the movesets about the new characters, but didn’t go into a lot with the original cast. Should we expect more of the same there?
Custom Move Sets
Not a whole lot to say here. During online games with friends, or while playing locally, you will have access to custom move sets. No real details have been revealed as of yet.
3DS Smash Run Mode
A new mode will appear in the 3DS version of the game exclusively. Smash Run mode has up to four players explore a large, dungeon-like battlefield, collecting powerup items. There is a set five minute time limit. After which, the powered up characters will duke it out in a more traditional arena.
And that’s all the important bits, in one place. For a short presentation, it definitely had a lot of information to offer.