I love the Super Smash Bros. series and throughout the first three installments I felt like it got better with each new game. When Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS came out, I felt that despite some nice additions, it was a step down from its predecessor. I heard people say that the reason for this step down was because it was on a handheld console and that the Wii U version fixes all the issues with it. I didn’t play it for a long time, because I wasn’t that excited, but when I finally did, I felt that it was actually a further step down…
There were still things I liked though, so let’s start by talking about the positives. The game adds some pretty cool new levels. There’s a Wrecking Crew level which imagines what the levels of the game would look like in realistic HD, which is amazing. There’s a Pilotwings level which had you riding on planes which fly between the islands of the SNES original and WuHu Island from Pilotwings Resort. I love the world building that’s gone into each of these, they’re pure fan service. Speaking of WuHu Island, it’s the focus of it’s very own level, with several unique areas (such as rocks in the ocean, a rickety bridge and the top of a volcano). I also liked new ones based on Donkey Kong Country Returns and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword as well. Overall, the level selection was quite good, which I did think was a weakness in the 3DS game.
I do also like the selection of characters. Duck Hunt Duo are a fantastic addition, Pac-Man is really fun to be, Lucina and Robin was super cool, Villager is a perfect representative of the Animal Crossing series, Wii Fit Trainer is fun and hilarious, it’s nice to have Dr. Mario and Mewtwo back (even if the latter is DLC) and Bowser Jr. is a really fun and unique character, classics like Donkey Kong, Mr. Game & Watch and Link have all returned too… but it’s hard to be that excited by the characters, since they’re exactly the same as they were in the 3DS game and by the time I played this, I’d already spent lots of hours playing as them all.
And that’s the problem with the game overall. It didn’t feel new. I played the 3DS game a lot and got as much fun out of it as I could, then when I played this one, it just felt like more of the same – except, other than a nice new selection of levels, it’s actually less of the same. For some reason, the fun new Smash Run of the 3DS game is replaced with Smash Tour – a mode where Miis walk around a game board (Mario Party-style) and then get into fights with each other where everyone plays as random character under random conditions. I played it once or twice and will never play it again. It was not fun.
The single player Classic Mode also feels worse – the random assortment of characters you fought (sometimes up to eight at once – far too many, it’s just chaos) just feel like a bunch of Nintendo characters haphazardly thrown together and made to fight. In fact – that sums up the game overall: a bunch of Nintendo stuff randomly thrown together. It has some nice elements, but overall I didn’t think this game was well executed.