Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: Four Months Later
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U released in the U.S. on November 21, 2014. In this article, Drew and Jon get together to reassess their thoughts on the game after putting a solid four months of time into it. Take a look to see what holds up, what doesn’t, and why Dark Pit still sucks an egregiously fat dick.
Launch Day Nostalgia
Drew: Yes, late November. Got it on day one. It was a glorious day.
Jon: I did not get it on day one. I got it on day ten. When all the fucking GameCube controller adapters for the Wii U were already sold out. And, four months later, THEY’RE PRETTY MUCH STILL SOLD OUT.
Drew: LOLOLOLOLOLOL. Nintendo is at it again!
Jon: Sigh… Did you stay up all night playing this one like we did on the Brawl launch?
Drew: Not all night, but pretty late if I recall. I went directly to Best Buy after work, got my pre-order, and came straight to my house to play. Other people came over from there.
Jon: I bought a Wii U bundle at Target along with Smash. We had to leave our house the next day at 3:00am to catch a super early flight out for Thanksgiving. I hooked everything up around 11:00pm and said screw it… I’m not sleeping. Smashed all night like a fucking boss.
Drew: Goddamn, you are much cooler than me.
Jon: I AM SO COOL.
Jon: What was your initial impression of the character roster?
Drew: I mean, they have a lot of new characters unlocked for you right out of the gate, which is awesome. All I wanted was Duck Hunt, but I had to earn him later on. Mega Man, Shulk and Robin were amazing stand-ins for me, super unique movesets, very different from other people. I really, really dug it.
Jon: I wanted Duck Hunt really bad from the beginning as well. Now that I have him, I play as him all the time. I’m not entirely convinced I actually like him as a character… it’s just that you can be such an annoying bitch playing as him. I love pissing people off by bombarding them with his projectiles.
Drew: People just cannot handle the shit that is Duck Hunt. They rage so hard.
Jon: At least we all exhibit consistent behavior when you beat us with Duck Hunt. You dick.
Drew: You know, I am just the saddest of the bunch.
Jon: Who is your favorite new character, as well as your least favorite (or maybe most forgettable) new character?
Drew: Favorite is between Duck Hunt and Shulk. Least memorable is probably Dark Pit, because fuck you, what a waste. Lucina is a copy of Marth, but at least she kinda tries to be different. Dark Pit is literally a skin change… fucking pointless.
Jon: Dark Pit sucks, end of story. We can both agree on that.
Jon: If you’re reading this and disagree, then you should probably sell your Wii U. No one wants to play with you, or your shitty choice of character.
Drew: Seriously. As Dark Pit would say, “GOODBYE!”
Drew: How about you? Who is your favorite from the new roster?
Jon: Duck Hunt is, as we already discussed, fucking awesome… my favorite would be a close tie between him, Pac-Man, and Villager.
Drew: Holy shit, Villager is goddamn amazing, I forgot. DAT BOWLING BALL. Jk, DAT TREE.
Jon: God, landing a hit with the tree feels amazing.
Drew: It truly does. Little Mac has that feeling as well with the KO Punch. Just sends people flying.
Jon: Nintendo has done a great job creating movesets that feel good, and in turn lead to “OH DAMNNNNNN” moments when you’re playing with friends. I love that about the game more than anything else, and even after playing this new one for months, those moments still happen frequently.
Miis, Amiibo & Beanii Babiis
For those unfamiliar or uncaring, Amiibo are essentially Nintendo’s answer to Skylanders and Disney Infinity. Pictured above, they are small figures that utilize near field communication (NFC) to interact with certain video games. In Smash, you can create a computer-controlled character to fight alongside you or against others. By fighting you or another CPU, it gains levels and “learns” from the battles, becoming smarter over time.
Drew: Have you used the Mii Characters much?
Jon: I have created several Mii Characters, and I have to say, I like them WAY more than I expected to originally. Being able to customize their abilities is really cool, and I think the devs struck a good balance of making them fit in with the rest of the roster. The Mii fighters don’t stand out too much and don’t feel awkward, which is a good thing.
Drew: Exactly my thoughts. I never pictured myself playing with them much, but damn do I love to do so.
Jon: Although, being beaten by your “Cowboy Drew” Mii while he wears that stupid fucking cowboy hat just infuriates me even more than you beating me with Duck Hunt.
Drew: Listen, it’s Cowboy D, please get the name of the Champion Mii right.
Jon: OH, so sorry. Have they made an Amiibo for him yet?
Drew: I have contacted Nintendo. We are in negotiations currently.
Jon: What do you think of the Amiibo? Specifically in the context of now… four months after launch. How often do you actually use them?
Drew: I have used the Yoshi Amiibo…a handful of times? CPU battles are pretty boring, but I imagine at higher levels, and with betting or a drinking game, it might be fun. Despite all that, I have spent an UNDISCLOSED amount of money on other Amiibo… I want them all Jon. I want them all and I need help.
Jon: You have a problem.
Drew: I do. And Nintendo was counting on that.
Jon: It’s Nintendo Beanie Babies.
Drew: Pretty much, and I love Nintendo IP a lot, so that’s most of the reason I’m buying them. I honestly do hope they get used in more interesting ways down the line, but that’s all up in the air. The usage in Smash is okay, but I don’t see it happening that often unless I’m trying to find a way to change up the usual gameplay when we’re bored.
Jon: Agreed. As long as Nintendo IP can continue to create potential drinking games, I think we’ll all be okay.
Drew: Nothing beats a good drinking game with Nintendo characters.
DLC (Sans D and L)
Drew: We’ve had several OH SHIT! moments due to funny things happening in stages alone.
Jon: Uh… Smashketball? Yes, please. If you don’t know what that is, check out the video below and go build it. I would say download it, but let’s not forget, you can’t fucking download it.
Drew: God, that is a problem. To my knowledge, you still cannot download player-created stages, which is just insane. Although, the online community has been amazing with uploading maps and detailing how to create them. There are some really, really good ones.
Jon: No way to download community-made levels, very limited voice chat, massive shortage of Gamecube controller adapters, and, oh, let’s not forget how laggy multiplayer is. Goddamn you Nintendo.
Drew: Goddamnit… Online is an improvement over the Wii, but the lag that’s there is still too much to ever have any real competition without a crippling effect on gameplay. And that sucks for a game based around twitch controls and fast movement. It’s even more frustrating due to the fact that Mario Kart 8 has online that runs smooth as can be… no lag, no hiccups. It’s not flawless by any means, but it makes no sense that they couldn’t do that again with Smash.
Jon: If you have a shitty internet connection, it’s going to happen. But when I have a 120 Mbps connection, have the console hooked up with an ethernet cable, and can confirm that my friend who lives less than 10 miles away has the same setup and internet speeds… we should not have a quarter second of input lag when playing against each other online. It’s awful.
Drew: FUCK YOU NINTENDO GODDAMN. But seriously, fix this, wow.
Jon: What do you think about the other modes?
Drew: There are other modes?
Jon: Yes, the other modes besides… goddamnit, you’re being sarcastic, you know what I’m talking about. Fuck you. TO YOUR POINT though, the other modes aren’t very memorable. I don’t really care about other ways to play the game, because this franchise is built around local multiplayer through-and-through. That’s where all of my replay value will come from. That being said, I do enjoy challenge mode for a break, but can we talk about how stupidly fucking difficult the glass shatter challenges are on this game versus Brawl?
Drew: They are insanely fucking difficult. To the point where I’m doing almost cheater-like methods to beat them, and that’s not really fun or the point.
Jon: When I’ve tried to beat the same challenge dozens of times and I’m not making any progress, I just get burned out and turn to YouTube to show me how to do it. Difficulty gives me enjoyment when I can learn as I go, and when the game is constructively and subtly teaching me how to win. Not continually pounding me in the ass with no lube because I haven’t figured out the hidden workaround mechanic to beat the challenge. I signed up to play Smash, not Dark Souls.
Drew: Some of the challenges aren’t a challenge, they’re just broken. And some of them, like the “Kill all the Game & Watch guys before they hit the ground!” challenge, are really just not that fun. I have very few left to do, and they are going to require a lot of luck, which sucks.
Jon: Thankfully, there’s a new mode that I think we can agree makes up for all of the game’s shortcomings. Smash Tour! AmIrite?
Drew: Ah, you read my mind. What a JOYOUS addition to the game, taking the place of the BORRRRINNGG snoozefest that was Subspace Emissary. What a TERRIBLE adventure that I DON’T MISS AT ALL. Smash Tour is certainly not the poor man’s Mario Party. Certainly not.
Jon: Never. It’s another engaging mode with ample depth to keep you coming back for more. I think the replayability is best illustrated by the number of times we’ve both played Smash Tour.
Drew: Oh entirely so. One time.
Jon: I played Smash Tour once, and probably won’t ever play it again. Unless it’s to knock out another challenge… achievement… trophy… whatever the fuck it’s called. I wouldn’t even say Smash Tour plays poorly. It’s just not very fun, and is really forgettable.
Drew: Yeah, it’s not broken or anything. It’s just unmemorable in every way. And when you can just fight, why bother with this nonsense board game getting in the way? A new mode I do like, however, is 8-player smash. Insane, and almost impossible to really fathom what is happening, but so much damn fun.
Jon: I enjoy not knowing what is going on most about it. More so on the regular-sized stages. When you spread everyone out, it doesn’t feel any different than 4-player smash, except you don’t have friends rotating out controllers after each match when you have more than four people playing at your house. Put all 8 characters in a small stage though, preferably with items turned on, and it’s absolute chaos. I think it’s also more enjoyable for players at lower skill levels since they can get decent results by button-mashing and throwing any items they can find into the fray. It makes the game more accessible and is pretty damn fun.
Drew: Exactly. We have a few friends who don’t play very much, and 8-player is a perfect way to add them in without them getting bored.
Jon: We’ve been talking for a while… maybe we should recap and then GTFO?
Drew: New characters are mostly all amazing and fun to play as, the Mii creator is a perfect addition to add your own style to things, and characters having swappable movesets is a great feature for added variety. I’m still working on unlocking more moves and I’m tinkering with the ones I have four months later, which adds an element of replayability.
Jon: Online has its issues with multiplayer lag and the current inability to share and download community-made stages. The “new and improved” modes get a big fat “meh” from us, except for 8-player smash. But, even considering its faults, I think it’s safe to say that we both really like the game, and we’re still playing it a lot, even though it’s been out for four months now.
Drew: It’s a highly recommended title for any Wii U owner, especially if you’re a fan of the series.
Jon: It holds its own against any prior Smash release, and is another very worthy entry. It’s a great game, and I feel confident we will play it for years to come. Definitely check it out if you haven’t yet.
Drew: BUT, be prepared for the lamest opening cinematic ever. RECOGNIZE ALL OF THESE SCENES FROM PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS?? Make an original opening for fuck’s sake.