Super Smash Bros Wii U finally released on Friday, and after my first day of playing, I am thoroughly impressed. The game is polished to an unbelievable degree, full of Nintendo charm, loaded with things to see and do, and it all melds together perfectly. I have only played the game around seven hours as of this writing, but already I’ve seen a lot that has me very excited to play it another 100 or more.
I am not normally that into the collection aspect of games like this, including past Smash Bros titles, but I am already doing everything I can to find and unlock all the trophies, soundtracks, characters, stages, and other collectibles – and loving it. Just the way it is done is so satisfying, and for the first time in the franchise they are actually fun to unlock and it really feels like you are building a collection instead of just randomly stumbling upon the collectibles as you go through a tedious chore like the Subspace Emissary was in Brawl.
Sure, the cutscenes were great, but actually playing through that mode was borderline physically painful. This time around Nintendo scrapped all that and, instead of shoe-horning the Smash Bros mechanics and characters into another game mode, they built the collecting and main chunk of the single-player game into the existing game.
Basically what it boils down to, in my very short time with the game, is that I’m actually having fun in single-player in a Smash Bros game: which hasn’t happened since maybe the original on the N64 when it was just so new that it was impossible for it to feel stale even against the computer. Once I got my first taste of multi-player in Melee and beyond, single-player has never quite hit the mark until now. No matter what you are doing, it always involves straight up fighting opponents, which is the obvious strength of Smash Bros. Sometimes there are different challenges within the fights, but it’s never just running from some place to the other or doing something else that slows the game way down.
This may all change of course after I put in a few dozen more hours for the full review, but as it stands now, collecting trophies and playing through the single-player is a blast.
I have not put much time into online multi-player yet, but the few matches I did participate in were pretty laggy compared to the offline portion. Luckily, the game will just slow down instead of just let you skip ahead and be all over the place so the lag doesn’t completely ruin fights, but it still is a drag after playing so flawlessly offline.
On top of Smash Bros Wii U I did also purchase two amiibo figures to try out (Peach and Star Fox), and they are actually pretty fun so far. Teaming up with your figure as it levels up is a fun enough way to play and the figurines themselves are extremely detailed and well made. I am a little disappointed that you can’t play through the co-op game modes with them, though (unless I’m missing how to?), which leaves standard brawls as the only way to level them up.
That’s about it for now, look for the full review in a week or two after I get a chance to really get some hours into the game, and be sure to catch me and some of the other MOARGeek staff as we stream it live at various times over at www.twitch.tv/MOARGeek and let us know how you are enjoying the game (or even hating it) in the comments below or on social media!