Nintendo releases a ‘Smash’-ing good time

Nintendo releases a Smash-ing good time

By Austin Miller

Nintendo fans have enjoyed pitting their favorite characters against each other for 15 years, and “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U” is the crown jewel of the popular fighting franchise.

“Smash” has been an installment on every Nintendo console since the Nintendo 64, but this is the best version yet.

Watching Mario and Luigi fight each other seems like it would get old, since it began in 1999. But Nintendo polishes and improves each title to make sure it’s still fresh and fun.

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The roster is something Nintendo always nails for “Smash.” Favorites like Mario, Yoshi and Kirby return to battle while Mega Man, Pac-Man and the Wii Fit Trainer also join the fray. There are nearly 50 playable characters, including customizable Mii characters, which appear for the first time.

Character mastery has always been a highlight of the franchise. Characters like Bowser and Donkey Kong are heavier, bruiser type fighters. Fox McCloud and Falco use aerial attacks and laser guns. Finding the right character is as tough as winning a round of “Smash.”

“Smash” only takes a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master. Just picking a character and expecting to succeed is a fool’s errand.

The controls for “Smash” have always been fairly easy, especially compared to other fighting games like “Mortal Kombat” and “Tekken.”

Aside from new characters, there is also a new game mode.

Smash Tour sends players across a board game collecting characters and power-ups to use in a final battle. Think of it as a shorter round of Mario Party, but with less resentment and anger from your friends.

Eight-player battles are a new feature making the game shine. The standard four-person brawl has been doubled, creating some of the most fun moments in gameplay this year.

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Eight players fighting at once is pure chaos. The overall battle breaks down to smaller showdowns, but those are enclosed in small bubbles. Every inch of the map is covered by cartoon carnage, so fleeing one battle only throws you into another.

Random items also spawn into the arena, giving every player the chance for an additional weapon. A beam sword, baseball bat and dreaded blue shell from “Mario Kart” can all swing the momentum from character to character.

Then once the Smash Ball—a power-up which grants a signature move—is introduced, multiple players are defeated in an instant. The aspect of chance, plus level transitions create an atmosphere of apprehension.

A properly working game released within the last two months is a breath of fresh air. Critics can only criticize Nintendo for making the same franchises every few years, but at least they are putting out quality and functioning games.

For every awesome “Mario Kart,” “Mario Party,” or any other variation featuring every gamer’s favorite plumber, Microsoft and Sony put out stinkers like “Playstation All-Stars” and “Fighter Within.”

Nintendo has a nostalgic formula enticing our inner child and they knock it out of the park each time.

4.5 stars out of 5

Austin Miller can be reached at or on Twitter @AMiller_DE

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