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Freshman, Computer Engineering
Finally, after years of hoping and waiting, it’s here: a new Super Smash Bros. game. For six long years, since the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii, fans have been biding their time, waiting for the next big game in the series. Well, the waiting game is over, and we finally have the game open to the public, and on two different consoles as well. And what a game it is! With a resounding cast of playable characters, a great selection of stages to play on, a handful of modes to play by yourself and with friends, and new ways to customize the game to your liking, Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and for the Wii U (alternatively called Smash 4) is a fantastic game that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing.
In order to fully understand the game, a little bit of background would be helpful (especially for those that are completely unfamiliar with the Super Smash Bros. series). The concept of the game is simple. Nintendo (the company which produces the games, along with many other series) picks famous characters from each of their series, and puts them together into one giant fighting-style game, with the goal being to knock an opponent off the screen. This is a bit different from normal fighting games, where you win by reducing your opponent’s health to zero, but it’s easy enough to become accustomed once you start playing. While the concept is simple, the gameplay can be as complex as you want it to be. Each character has their own style of combat and learning the more advanced techniques found in higher levels of competition and using them in conjunction with the styles of each character takes time and a certain commitment to the game. Being able to take advantage of all the niche aspects of the game and its mechanics is what drives players to take the game from being a simpler one to a great competitive game.
So, what’s new in this version? Well, for a start, there are two different versions of Smash 4, one for the 3DS and one for the Wii U. Both bring a whole heap of new characters to play, as well as new stages to play them on. The roster in this game is the largest roster to date at 49 playable characters (including the newly introduced, completely customizable Mii Fighter character). Furthermore, the stages, though not all playable at a competitive level, add fun to the casual side of the game. Plus, with there being a handful of different stages between the 3DS and Wii U version, there is an even wider variety of stages to play on. The benefit of this large cast of characters and stage choice is the variety it brings to the game. There are so many different styles of play with each character, from the classic but updated swordsmanship of Marth (from the Fire Emblem series), to the quick, ground-based fighting style of Little Mac (from Punch Out!), and even the ranged attacks of Duck Hunt Dog (from Duck Hunt), there is certainly a character out there for everyone. .
There is a single-player and a multiplayer side to Smash 4, both of which provide excellent gameplay. For those looking for a single-player experience, you always can play the traditional style of the game by brawling against computers in Smash mode. Alternatively, you can adventure through Classic and All-Star mode, collecting cool prizes like trophies and character customizations by playing against and beating a variety of computer-controlled characters. There’s also Stadium mode, which is essentially the game’s arcade mode. There are three different Stadium events to play: Multi-Man Smash, Home-Run Contest, and Target Blast. Multi-man Smash and Home-Run contest are returning mini-games from earlier games in the series. Target Blast is the newest event, and is a combination of both Target-Smash from the older games, in addition to Home-Run contest. Outside of the gameplay, there are challenges that you can complete to unlock new things like costumes for your Mii Fighter or trophies.
Perhaps you’re looking for something completely new to the series. Well, both versions have a new game mode for you to enjoy. On the 3DS, you now can experience playing through Smash Run. Smash Run is Smash 4’s version of City Trial from Kirby’s Air Ride, a classic game from a few years ago. You spend the first half of the game collecting power-ups for your chosen character, and then after time runs out, you are pitted against your opponents in a randomly-chosen challenge which can range from normal fighting to racing to the finish. This is a fantastic mode to play on by yourself or with friends, both providing their own fun. The Wii U version offers Smash Tour, which is similar to Smash Run, but is instead in a board game style of progression. Both offer a fun new way to play the game, and I recommend everyone play each at least once to see if they enjoy it.
The multiplayer experience is just as good as ever. In fact, it may be even better! Whether it’s local or online, there are no limits to how, or where, you can play the game. With regards to the 3DS, because this version is on a handheld console for the first time in the history of the series, you bring the game with you anywhere you go, assuring that the fun never stops. Basically everything that’s available in single-player is now open to multiplayer, so you can bring your friends along to the battle however you want to. It’s all up to how you want to enjoy the game.
The most interesting feature for multiplayer is found on the Wii U, and that is eight player smash. Yes, eight. With the amount of large maps available, if you and seven other people wish to play the game, you don’t just have to keep swapping in and out anymore. No, you can all play at once. Plus with how many different controllers there are for the game, it is relatively easy to have that many people play at once. This has been one of my favorite things to do in the game, and I believe that many fans of the series will find it an enjoyable way to play the game. As they say, the more the merrier.
Overall, Smash 4 is an incredibly fun game to play, and is my favorite game for the 3DS to date, as well as my favorite game for the Wii U. Although it doesn’t have the high-skill style of play that Super Smash Bros. Melee has, Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U is still a fantastic game which any fan of the series can enjoy. I beseech you: just go and try the game out. I’m sure you’ll find it as fun of an experience as I do.