Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U

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Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
SmashNintendo3DSBoxart.png

Super Smash Bros for Wii U Box Art.png
North American box art for the 3DS (top) and Wii U (bottom) versions of the game.[1]
Developer(s) Sora Ltd.[2]
Bandai Namco Games
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Masahiro Sakurai
Producer(s) Shinya Saito
Masaya Kobayashi
Composer(s) Junichi Nakatsuru
Keiki Kobayashi
Hiroki Hashimoto
Hiroyuki Kawada
Eriko Sakurai
Akihiko Ishikawa
Yoshinori Hirai
Series Super Smash Bros.
Platform(s) Nintendo 3DS
Wii U
Release date(s) Nintendo 3DS
JP September 13, 2014[3]
NA October 3, 2014[4]
EU October 3, 2014[4]
AUS October 4, 2014[5]
Wii U
NA 20141121November 21, 2014
EU 20141128November 28, 2014
AUS 2014-11-29[6]
JP 2014-12-06[7]
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Single-player
Multiplayer

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (Japanese: 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ for Nintendo 3DS Hepburn: Dairantō Sumasshu Burazāzu Fō Nintendō Surī Dī Esu?) and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ for Wii U Dairantō Sumasshu Burazāzu Fō Wī Yū) are fighting video games developed by Sora Ltd. and Bandai Namco Games and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U consoles in 2014. The two games respectively represent the fourth and fifth installments[8] in the Super Smash Bros. series of games.

Like the rest of the series, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U are non-traditional fighting games where players use attacks to weaken their opponents and knock them out of the arena. The games are both crossover titles that feature characters, items, music, and stages from various Nintendo franchises such as Mario, Pokémon, Metroid, and The Legend of Zelda, as well as from the third-party franchises Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man, and Pac-Man. New features include having up to eight players fighting at a time on the Wii U and using Miis as fighters. However, some older features have been removed, such as the story modes in predecessors Melee and Brawl and the presence of characters with multiple forms (for example, Zelda and Sheik, formerly one character, now must be selected separately).

A sequel to Brawl was announced at E3 2011, but development did not begin until 2012 and the game's official unveiling did not come until E3 2013. The gameplay was designed to be somewhere between that of the faster, more competition-oriented Melee and the slower, more casual-friendly Brawl. The 3DS version was released in Japan on September 13, 2014, in North America and Europe on October 3, and in Australia on October 4. The Wii U version came out in North America on November 21, in Europe on November 28, in Australia on November 29, and in Japan on December 6. Both versions have received positive reviews; critics have applauded the fine-tuning of existing Super Smash Bros. gameplay elements but criticized some issues with online play. Both versions have sold quickly, with the 3DS version selling over 3.22 million copies as of October 2014.

Gameplay

Like in previous games in the series, Super Smash Bros. is a fighting game in which up to four players use various attacks, techniques, and items to deal damage to their opponents. The aim of the game is for players to increase their opponents' damage percentage, causing them to fly back further when attacked, and knock them out of the playing field. To assist players during fights, items appear on the battlefield, including items from the various video games represented in the series or items unique to Super Smash Bros.. Among these are the Smash Ball, an item that allows players to summon a powerful and unique Final Smash attack,[8] and Assist Trophies, which summon various other video game characters onto the field to attack opponents or help in other ways,[9][10] both previously introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Like its predecessors, Super Smash Bros. features collectible in-game trophies based on characters or items seen in various Nintendo or third-party games.[11] Each stage now features an alternate Omega form, which replaces the stage's layout with a flat surface and removes all stage hazards.[12] Certain stages, collectible trophies, and Assist Trophies are exclusive to each version of game, with the Wii U version primarily featuring elements taken from console titles and the 3DS version taking elements primarily from handheld games. Both games feature revisited stages from past entries in the series.[8][11][13]

New to the series is the ability to customize both existing characters and Mii Fighters, altering their movesets and giving them unique power-ups. These characters can be transferred between 3DS and Wii U versions of the game, as well as certain items earned in specific modes. Additionally, players can use Amiibo figurines to train computer controlled players and import them into a match.[14][15] Both versions of the game support local and online multiplayer. Whereas local and online matches with friends have fully customizable rules, online matches with strangers are divided into two modes: "For Fun" and "For Glory." For Fun features random stages and items, with Smash matches only and Omega stages omitted, while For Glory limits matches to Omega stages, alternate versions of stages that consist of a single platform and no stage hazards, with no items and features both Smash and 1-on-1 battles. Customized characters, Mii Fighters, and Amiibos cannot be used in online matches against strangers. Additionally, solo play once again features Classic mode, which features an intensity setting similar to Kid Icarus: Uprising, in which players can make the game more difficult in order to earn greater rewards. Both versions share two new modes. Target Smash has players beat up a ticking bomb before launching it into a set of targets, with the goal of earning as many points as possible by causing chain reactions.[16][17] Trophy Rush has players smash crates to build up a Fever meter and earn new trophies and customization items.

In addition to a moderation system to prevent griefing, the game features an online ranking system called "Global Smash Power" for a player's solo mode score, which shows how many other players someone has outscored, rather than listing their position on a leaderboard. Although the game does not feature a ranking system for online matches, matchmaking between players of similar skill levels was introduced.[18] Online also features Spectator Mode, where spectators can place bets on other players to win more gold, and Conquest, in which players can support selected characters by playing as them online, earning rewards if their supported team wins.[19]

Nintendo 3DS exclusive features

The Nintendo 3DS version features stereoscopic 3D graphics with optional cel-shaded outlines to make characters more visible.[20] The game also features two exclusive modes; Smash Run and StreetSmash. Smash Run, based on the City Trial mode from Kirby Air Ride, has players navigate an open environment, fighting computer-controlled enemies to earn stat-increasing power-ups, before facing each other in a randomly selected match,[21] such as vertical or horizontal races against each other or battles with various special rules. StreetSmash is a StreetPass-based game in which players control a disc and attempt to knock their opponents out of the arena.[22] The 3DS version supports the additional controls featured on the New Nintendo 3DS, but is not compatible with the Circle Pad Pro peripheral.[23]

Wii U exclusive features

The Wii U version features high-definition graphics and a special mode that allows up to eight players simultaneously. This mode is restricted to certain larger stages, one of which features 'Danger Zones' which will KO any fighter with over 100% damage, and cannot be played online.[24] Various modes from the 3DS version, such as Classic mode, feature various changes in the Wii U version, with some modes allowing two players to play co-operatively. The Wii U version also features three exclusive new game modes; Smash Tour, Special Orders, and Event mode. Smash Tour is a board game-type mode in which up to four players aim to assemble a team of fighters and earn stat increasing power-ups, triggering various battles and events along the way. Special Orders is a series of challenges set by Master Hand and Crazy Hand, which players can attempt to earn rewards. Event mode similarly has up to two players attempt specific challenges. The Wii U version is compatible with the Wii U GamePad, Wii Remote, Wii Remote and Nunchuk, Classic Controller, Classic Controller Pro, Wii U Pro Controller, Nintendo GameCube controller, and Nintendo 3DS systems containing the 3DS version of the game.[25] Returning features unique to this version include Special Smash, allowing for unique rules, Stage Builder and Photo mode, which allows players to create personalised stages and dioramas, and demo versions of classic games. A later update will add a special stage which incorporates Miiverse posts, as well as online tournaments and content sharing.[26]

Playable characters

Screenshot of the Wii U version featuring (from left to right) Villager, Mega Man, Wii Fit Trainer, and Mario.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U features a roster of 49 playable fighters taken from both Nintendo's first-party franchises and some third-party franchises, 15 of which are new to the series. The new characters are the Wii Fit Trainer, Animal Crossing '​s Villager, Rosalina and Bowser Jr. from the Mario series, Little Mac from Punch-Out!! (who previously appeared in Brawl as an Assist Trophy), Greninja from Pokémon X and Y, Palutena (who previously appeared as part of Pit's Final Smash in Brawl) and Dark Pit from Kid Icarus: Uprising, Lucina and Robin from Fire Emblem Awakening, Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles, the Duck Hunt Duo, third-party characters Mega Man and Pac-Man, and the Mii Fighter, which can be customized with one of three play styles: Brawler, Swordfighter, and Gunner (technically bringing the roster to 51 characters). Additionally, Mewtwo is scheduled to be released as a downloadable character in early 2015.[27][28] Some characters such as Wii Fit Trainer and Bowser Jr. have multiple variations, such as different genders and alternate character skins, which are selected in the same manner as alternate colors. Some returning fighters who could previously change between separate fighters during a match in previous titles, such as Zelda and Shiek, are now playable solely as individual characters.

Following its announcement at E3 2013, new characters have been introduced through both daily screenshots, posted on the game's official website and Miiverse communities, and special trailers shown during Nintendo Direct presentations. In late August 2014, a series of allegedly leaked photos and videos of the game's 3DS version were uploaded to the Internet, revealing several unannounced fighters. The original videos were removed shortly thereafter citing a copyright claim by Nintendo of America.[29][30][31] These leaks were confirmed on September 11, 2014 when various gamers in Japan and Taiwan obtained the 3DS version two days prior to its release date and streamed footage of the game on Twitch.[32] The Ice Climbers, who were previously playable in Melee and Brawl, were originally planned for inclusion, but ended up being removed due to hardware limitations concerning the Nintendo 3DS version.[33]

Development

Director Masahiro Sakurai first announced that a new Super Smash Bros. game was planned for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U at E3 2011 in June 2011, but development only officially began following the completion of Sakurai's other project, Kid Icarus: Uprising, in March 2012.[34][35] The game was later revealed to be a joint-project between Sora Ltd. and Bandai Namco Games, with various staff members from Bandai Namco's Soulcalibur and Tekken series assisting Sakurai in development.[2][36][37] Sakurai, who was previously the sole person responsible for balance in the series' multiple fighters, has involved more staff to further improve the game's competitive balance.[38] The game was officially revealed at E3 2013 on June 11, 2013 during Nintendo's Nintendo Direct presentation.[39] Along with screenshots being posted each weekday on the game's official website and Miiverse community,[40] various cinematic trailers were released, introducing each of the brand new fighters. Sakurai chose to use these trailers, which benefit from Internet sharing, as opposed to including a story campaign similar to the Subspace Emissary mode featured in Brawl, as he believed the impact of seeing the mode's cinematic cutscenes for the first time was ruined by people uploading said scenes to video sharing websites.[41][42]

At E3 2013, Sakurai stated that the tripping mechanic introduced in Brawl had been removed, with him also stating that the gameplay was between the fast-paced and competitive style of Melee and the slower and more casual style of Brawl.[43] While the game will not feature cross-platform play between the Wii U and 3DS, due to each version featuring certain exclusive stages and gamemodes, there is the option to transfer customized characters and items between the two versions.[44] The game builds upon the previous game's third-party involvement with the addition of third-party characters such as Capcom's Mega Man and Bandai Namco's Pac-Man, as well as the return of Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog. This involvement expands beyond playable characters, as other third-party characters, such as Ubisoft's Rayman, are also included in the game as trophies.[45] The addition of Mii characters was made in response to the growing number of requests from fans to have their dream characters included in the game. To prevent potential bullying, as well as to maintain game balance online, Mii Fighters cannot be used in online matches against strangers.[46] The decision to release the Wii U version at a later date from the 3DS version was made to allow each version to receive a dedicated debugging period.[47] Hardware limitations on the Nintendo 3DS led to various design choices, such as the removal of mid-match transformations, the absence of the Ice Climbers, and the lack of Circle Pad Pro support.[48]

Music

Like previous games in the series, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U features many original and re-arranged tracks from various different gaming franchises. Both versions have multiple musical tracks that can be selected and listened to using the returning "My Music" feature, including pieces taken directly from earlier Super Smash Bros. titles. The 3DS version features less music altogether than the Wii U version however, and only has two songs per stage because of size limitations.[49] The 3DS version also has a "Play in Sleep Mode" option, allowing players to listen to the game's music from the sound menu whilst the system is in sleep mode.[50]

On August 22, 2014, the Super Smash Bros. website revealed the list of composers and arrangers for the game. Various well known musicians such as Masashi Hamauzu, Yuzo Koshiro, Yasunori Mitsuda, Motoi Sakuraba, Yoko Shimomura, Mahito Yokota, along with many others, provided new arrangements for both versions of the game.[51] The original music was created by Bandai Namco's in-house sound team. The Wii U specific musicians were revealed on October 23, and feature contributions from Akari Kaida, Michiru Yamane, Koji Kondo, Kazumi Totaka, and Hiroshi Okubo, among others.[51]

A two-disc promotional soundtrack is available for Club Nintendo members who register both versions of the game between November 21, 2014 and January 13, 2015.[52]

Release

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS was released in Japan on September 13, 2014, in North America and Europe on October 3, 2014, and in Australia on October 4, 2014.[3][4][5] A playable demo was released on the Nintendo eShop on September 10, 2014 in Japan[53] and on September 19, 2014 in North America and Europe.[4][54] Select Club Nintendo Platinum members in North America and Europe received early access to the 3DS demo which, unlike the public demo of the game, had an unlimited number of plays.[55] The Wii U version was released in North America on November 21, 2014, in Europe on November 28, 2014, in Australia on November 29, 2014, and in Japan on December 6, 2014.[56][57] Players who purchase and register both versions of the game before March 31, 2015 will be able to download Mewtwo as a playable character for free upon its release in 2015.[58] The character will also be released as paid DLC at a later date.[59]

In an announcement for the Super Smash Bros. Invitational, a tournament which was held at E3 2014, Nintendo revealed an official Nintendo GameCube controller adapter for the Wii U, which allows players to use GameCube controllers with the game,[60] as well as a Smash Bros. themed game controller. The adapter and controllers were released alongside the game and are also available separately, but vary depending on the region.[61][62] Bundles containing Amiibo figures were available at launch.[63][64]

Reception

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 85.70% (51 reviews)[65]
Metacritic 85/100 (74 reviews)[66]
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 9/10[69]
Eurogamer 7/10[71]
Famitsu 37 of 40[68]
GamesRadar 3.5/5[76]
GameSpot 8/10[75]
GameTrailers 7.4/10[77]
IGN 8.8/10[72]
Joystiq 4.5/5 stars[73]
NintendoLife 9/10[74]
Polygon 9/10[70]
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 92.42% (49 reviews)[78]
Metacritic 92/100 (55 reviews)[79]
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 9.5/10[81]
Eurogamer 8/10[82]
Game Informer 9.75/10[89]
Game Revolution 5/5[83]
GamesRadar 4.5/5[91]
GameSpot 9/10[90]
GameTrailers 8.5/10[92]
IGN 9.8/10[86]
Joystiq 4.5/5 stars[88]
Polygon 9.5/10[87]
Cheat Code Central 4.6/5[84]
Hardcore Gamer 4.5/5[85]
Awards
Publication Award
IGN November 2014 Game of the Month[93]
The Game Awards 2014 Fighting Game of the Year

Reviews for the 3DS version have been positive, with a current rating of 85/100 on Metacritic and 85% on GameRankings.[65][66] The game has been praised for its large and diverse character roster, its improvements to game mechanics, and its variety of multiplayer options. Some criticisms include a lack of single player modes and issues concerning the 3DS hardware, such as the size of characters on the smaller screen when zoomed out and latency issues during both local and online multiplayer.[76][94] There were also reports of players damaging their 3DS Circle Pads while playing the game excessively.[95][96] The 3DS version sold over a million copies in its first weekend on sale in Japan,[97] and has sold more than 3.22 million copies worldwide as of October 2014.[98]

The Wii U version has received critical acclaim, with a Metacritic score of 92/100[79] and a GameRankings score of 92.42%,[78] being among the highest rated games of 2014. The game was lauded by improving everything the 3DS version offered and significantly improving the online experience. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U became the fastest-selling Wii U game in the US, with 490,000 copies sold during its first three days of availability, beating the record previously held by Mario Kart 8.[99]

Daniel Bischoff of Game Revolution states that "It's true that Super Smash Bros. evolves every time with regard to new features, items, and characters to choose from. While your favorite character may not return or a few annoying pickups may force you to turn off items altogether, this represents the biggest leap forward Smashers have seen yet."[83] Daniel Starkey at GameSpot criticized the inconsistent online performance in the game, but still called it an "incredible game", noting "With the Wii U release, Smash Bros. has fully realized its goals."[90] Jose Otero from IGN, praising the replay value of the game, states "Nearly every aspect of Smash Wii U seems fine-tuned not only to appeal to the nostalgia of long-time Nintendo fans, but also to be accessible to new players."[86]

Accolades

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

List of post-release awards and nominations for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Year Awards Category Result Ref.
2014 Destructoid's Best of 2014 Best Multiplayer design Won [100]
Best Overall Game Pending [101]
The Destructoid Community Choice Award Pending [102]
The Game Awards Best Fighting Game Won [103]
Game Revolution's Best of 2014 Awards Best Nintendo Console Exclusive Won [104]
Best Fighting Game Won
GameSpot's Game of the Year Wii U Game of the Year Nominated [105]
GamesRadar's Best Games of 2014 Game of the Year Nominated [106]
Best Fighting Won
GameTrailers's Best of 2014 Best Fighting Game Won [107]
Best Multiplayer Nominated [108]
IGN's Best of 2014 Best Competitive Multiplayer Pending [109]
Best Music Pending [110]
Best Overall Game Pending [111][112]
Best Sound Design Pending [113]
Best Wii U Game Pending [114]
Metacritic's Best Video Games of 2014 Game of the Year Won [115]
Nintendo Life's Staff Awards 2014 Overall Game of the Year Nominated [116]
Wii U Retail Game of the Year Nominated
USA Today Game of the Year Won [117]


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