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Super Smash Bros. for 3DS / Wii U

大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U

Developers: SoraBandai Namco Entertainment Publisher: Nintendo
13 September 2014
Super Smash Bros. for 3DS / Wii U [大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U] - cover art
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A surge of existentialism washed over me when I first played the fourth Super Smash Bros. title during its release date back on November 21, 2014. I’ve commented in my reviews of the previous Smash Bros. games that every entry stamps a milestone of Nintendo’s history since the previous title was released on the former Nintendo console. Of course, six-and-a-half years since the release of Brawl on the Wii isn’t just a lengthy swathe of time reserved for Nintendo to advance their IPs and introduce new ones. Time is a constant that alters the circumstances of the world for everyone. Back in March of 2008 when Brawl finally saw the light of day, I was but a pre-teen boy in the sixth grade, the perfect age demographic to anticipate the next Super Smash Bros to the point where it was infiltrating my dreams. When the fourth Smash Bros. game emerged to represent the Wii’s successor on the aforementioned date in my first sentence, I was 18, almost 19, nearing the Thanksgiving break portion of my first semester of college. I became a legal adult that year and realized how my time as a teenager had all but passed since Brawl became an encapsulating source of joy as a twelve-year-old. My pubescent years were formative to how I perceived the world. I was a completely different person when Smash 4 came out, and the prominent sense of cynicism I had adopted during the growing pains of adolescence had affected my gaming habits. For two years of high school until I graduated, I practically left the gaming world behind in favor of indulging in other interests of mine such as music and film. My intention with sharing this revelation is that I assumed that Nintendo’s brand had evolved with the same rate of rapidity as my life. New releases from Nintendo hadn’t been a concern of mine since I purchased an Xbox 360 in 2009 and joined my friends in the expletive-filled trenches of online gaming and Nintendo Power became a glad-hand, corporate shill of its former self. Upon playing Smash 4, I expected that I’d be alienated by all of the new Nintendo content the game would be highlighting, and that playing it would serve as an educational tool for all that was trendy with Nintendo. Sadly enough, Smash 4 rather conveyed to me that poor Nintendo was experiencing a dry spell and only a crumb of the content represented was unfamiliar to me. Still, at this point, Nintendo could supplement their fallow streak of tepid splashes in the gaming zeitgeist by scrounging up a wider array from gaming’s past.

Can I just take a moment to express my utter disgust at the fourth entry’s name? Instead of continuing the pattern of finding synonyms for melee to convey how rambunctious the bouts between Nintendo’s characters are, the developers opted for a god awful pun that will never hesitate to make my tongue shudder upon saying it. I’d snarkily ask how hard it is to find a thesaurus (quarrel, skirmish; I’d be over the hill if the game was called Super Smash Bros. Donnybrook.), but really; I admit that “Smash 4…” may be an appropriate title from a practical standpoint. The corny wordplay is actually used to differentiate between the console release of Smash 4 on the Wii U and the handheld version of the game on the 3DS. Yes, Smash 4’s greatest point of innovation is that one finally could kick the shit out of Sonic as Mario (or vice versa) while on their morning commute, during a hearty bowel movement, or if they’re feeling reasonably antisocial around a family reunion. In the time that I had turned my head away from Nintendo, what astounded me when I shifted my gaze back is that a handheld system could competently support a Super Smash Bros. game in its three-dimensional splendor. As novel as a mobile Smash Bros. game is, I ultimately decided on the console version because the impetus to purchase every subsequent Nintendo console is based entirely on its Super Smash Bros. entry (for me at least). That’s why the Wii U version is also going to serve as the base for this review. While sticking with the blocky piece of hardware that is confined to a home television isn’t as hip or convenient, rendering any game on a console as opposed to a handheld is always going to come with a few nifty perks. For one, Smash 4 on the Wii U is the first game in the series depicted in glossy HD, truly a landmark feature that ushers it into the modern age of gaming. Obviously, high definition helps all of the characters we adore shine like diamonds, especially since Brawl had adopted that murkier shade that seemingly plagued every game in its generation. On top of that, the developers decided not to let the natural 720p visual fidelity simply speak for itself, as they rendered Smash 4’s graphics with cel-shading. Like with most video games rendered in this animated aesthetic, Smash 4 looks lively and effervescent. One cannot discern every seam of Mario’s overalls anymore, but applying a realistic graphical tint to a game revolving around a collective of Nintendo’s cartoonish characters duking it out was always a misguided decision on Brawl’s part.

But the charming, buoyant visuals are but a mere perk of Smash 4. I think it goes without saying that the core aspect of Super Smash Bros. that causes fans to hyperventilate is the prospect of who is going to join the Smash Bros. roster among Nintendo’s revered cabinet of characters. As far as broadening the representation of a franchise that already exists within the Smash Bros. canon, everyone could figure that Mario and Pokemon would again be the highest priority for another character stimulus. Fan favorite fully evolved water starter Greninja from the (then) latest iteration of Pokemon games will now swiftly swing past unsuspecting combatants with his slippery, amphibian reflexes akin to the Japanese agents of ninjutsu his name alludes to. For Mario, Super Mario Galaxy offers its entry exclusive; the mother of the cosmos Rosalina, who is accompanied by one of her squishy Luma guardians she can use as an accessory for long range damage. Technically, the implementation of the Koopalings hovering around in their mechanized clown cars as skins for Bowser’s legitimate son, Bowser Jr., swells Mario’s representation and the total roster with EIGHT characters. To my surprise, the preexisting franchise that exports (technically) its characters as prominently as Nintendo’s top earning captains is Fire Emblem. If what was a Japanese-exclusive series merely represented in Melee as a lark or a eastern brag has surpassed its obscure status and has been promoted to an executive position among the likes of Mario and Pokemon in the time I was estranged from Nintendo, five total representatives in Smash Bros. seems like enough logical evidence to infer it. Anyways, the gender-neutral sorcerer Robin revels in summoning elemental spells to damage foes from a distance, while Lucina is essentially a gender swapped Marth. I groan at the continued influx of clone characters seeping into Smash Bros. after I thought they had learned their lesson from Melee. Dr. Mario’s significant footnote as the first returning character to Smash 4 after a one game absence conveys that they’ve learned absolutely nothing. At least Dark Pit, the edgy, mirror image foil to Kid Icarus’s protagonist, Pit, offers a noticeable level of variation on the saintly original. Speaking of Kid Icarus, the fully-characterized goddess Lady Palutena from Uprising extends the presence of her series as well, now that a new entry has given the series more than one personable character in the first place.

The slew of new characters that are bound to generate more excitement are ones that represent a deferred Nintendo IP, and the ones that the developers have chosen to further highlight their illustrious history range from essential to…interesting. The first trailer for Smash 4 saw a male villager from Animal Crossing snatching up Mario in his bug-catching net, and the representative from Nintendo’s homespun simulation series can be adjusted to several other shades of the avatar if the base male doesn’t fit your fancy. I can’t imagine anyone clamoring for a reminder of Nintendo’s whole peripheral fitness craze that came with the casual audience of the Wii, yet both the anemic male and female Wii Fit Trainer are here to pump you up and remind you to stretch your calf muscles. Representatives dug up from Nintendo’s archives are the plucky Little Mac from Punch-Out, as well as a combination of a familiar basset hound attached to a mallard as a combined duo called “Duck Hunt.” Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles seems to be the sole representative from a franchise that debuted during the timespan between Brawl and Smash 4’s development, and his status as a proper Nintendo brand figure is debatable.

While digging deeper into Nintendo’s vault for some fresh faces is neat, Brawl showcased an exhilarating evolutionary aspect of the series by including Sonic and Solid Snake. The category of characters that fans expressed the greatest excitement for were the potential third-party gets, and Smash 4 have acquired two that rival the reputability of the ones from Brawl. Nintendo’s partnership with Bandai Namco for the task of developing Smash 4 practically calls for their mascot, Pac-Man, to enter the fray, and the 3D iteration seen in Pac-Man World is the choice depiction for the seminal, pie-shaped glutton. One of my wishlist characters, Mega Man, is the other gaming icon visiting from beyond the Nintendo pond, and his inclusion is the one announcement that sparked ecstatic feelings within me. I’m glad that Nintendo and Capcom have let bygones be bygones (look up “the capcom five” for a quick laugh) and settled on an agreement to let their robot boy out to play, who is a requisite third-party pick as far as I’m concerned.

Because the roster is gargantuan at this point, Smash 4 unfortunately had to trim down some selections from the roster. The licensing rights for Solid Snake evidently expired, the afterthought of Wolf to include another villain wasn’t expanded upon, and the saddest omission are the Ice Climbers due to some technical discrepancies of the 3DS version. How else are the couple going to pay the bills if they’ve been axed from Smash Bros.? Deleting the trio of pokemon commanded by a Pokemon Trainer has been slimmed down to a solo Charizard, which is a commendable shift on all fronts. One might be wondering why I’ve neglected to mention a missing Lucas, who is probably absent so Nintendo can backpedal and create a Mandela effect for American audiences knowledgeable to Mother 3’s existence. The reality is that he’s merely unavailable on the base roster. Another innovation Smash 4 debuts is expanding the total number of playable characters beyond the confines of in-game unlockables to the realm of DLC, and Lucas soon became purchasable as supplemental content for a small fee. Suspending the brief absence of Lucas is certainly relieving, but I was really jazzed when the DLC granted both Mewtwo and Roy a second wind after I expected them to be indefinite Melee exclusives. But let’s be real here: the full potency of DLC is not limited to resurrecting old fighters. The possibilities of DLC content that made every fan erect with anticipation was the prospect of doubling, no, tripling the amount of third-party characters. Firstly, Smash Bros. was practically the only crossover fighting series that Ryu from Street Fighter was denied entry from up until this point, so he’s a shoe in. Cloud from Final Fantasy VII and “Dante in drag,” aka Bayonetta, are certainly bound to shock and awe. Concerning the unorthodox foreign guests invited to the shindig via DLC, I mentioned when speaking on Brawl that Nintendo seemed to neglect the movesets of both Sonic and Snake comparatively to their own flesh and blood IPs. Considering Cloud’s super move meter that the player can manually charge and Bayonetta’s slow motion counter maneuver with an incredibly long window of sluggishness for those entrapped, the developers overcompensated and put some serious juggernauts for Nintendo’s characters to watch out for. Oh, and I guess adding the therianthropic dragon Corrin also made for a neat DLC purchase, even if it means that Smash 4 will be bursting at the seams with Fire Emblem representatives.

The developers thought that both versions of Smash 4 sharing the exact amount of characters was an inalienable factor that should bond the two. Regarding the stages, however, the selections couldn’t have been any more dissimilar. Unfortunately, I think the Wii U version received the short end of the stick with its new stages. No, the Wii U version does not suffer because of the developer’s proposition to create stages “based on console-related games” and “handheld titles” for each version respectively. Where the enhanced graphical power of a fully-fledged home console is a blessing for the Wii U version, the developer’s inability to restrain themselves from crafting stages that flaunt the superior hardware equally amounts to a curse. The majority of Smash 4’s stages on the Wii U are a collective of the busiest, bothersome, and bombastic 2D fighting arenas across the entire series. Firstly, a select few stages in Smash 4 bring out a colossal, antagonistic character related to the series the stage stems from, and their presence has designated their arenas as “boss stages.” Ridley, Metal Face, and my arch nemesis, The Yellow Devil, will join the player who tests their might in their domain like a yappy little mutt submitting to the alpha dog who bites them on the nape of the neck. Beneficial as these bosses can be, I can’t think of anything more distracting or unfair than an outlying contender introducing themselves with neutral stakes in the battle at hand. They supersede the element of a regular stage hazard to the point where they eclipse the bout entirely, and no one signs up for Smash Bros. to fight giant NPCs like it’s Monster Hunter. This isn’t to say that the other stages introduced in Smash 4 don’t include features that will prove fatal if the player isn’t fearfully cautious. The WarioWare inspired stage “Gamer” emulates a common sensation of staying up past one’s bedtime as a child to covertly play games or engage in some other activity while the tension of being caught by a parental figure looms overhead. The arena is the room of hyperactive video game savant 9-Volt, but the fighters are the ones who pay for his disobedience. His mother’s watchful gaze will stun anyone in its sight and deal out an inordinate amount of damage. The “Peckish Aristocrab” is sure to knock the block off of any contacting fighter in “Garden of Hope,” and the eclectic array of Pokemon types found in the “Kalos Pokemon League” will inconvenience everyone with their elemental abilities. As fervent as the opposition towards scrolling stages as the Smash Bros community have vocally expressed, the pervasive complaints have not halted the production of them for future Smash Bros. releases. I didn’t mind the scrolling stages in Melee, but now I regret not standing valiantly with my Smash brethren to protest Poke Floats and Icicle Mountain when they were relevant. Their scrolling stage offspring featured here in Smash 4 are significantly worse, unchecked by the developers as if they are totally unaware of how maligned these types of stages really are. PAC-Land is a faithful depiction of the arcade game of its namesake, but the journey through the three levels doesn’t exactly gel with the flow of combat in a fighting game. Likewise, taking the player on a grand tour of a Star Fox level in “Orbital Gate Assault” is fine and dandy rendered in the rail shooter genre, but the extreme firepower of an ongoing space battle encompassing both the foregrounds and background of the stage practically makes surviving the stage the objective. A Smash Bros. depiction of “The Great Cave Offensive” hides all pretenses of glorified stage gimmicks as the first legitimate novelty stage. Still, one doesn’t have to settle for Punch-Out’s “Boxing Ring” or the curved “Mario Galaxy” for a fight with no distractions to speak of. Somehow, the new implementation of the “omega stages” displays an understanding from the developers that Smash Bros. fans simply wish to duke it out on a still platform suspended over oblivion with a Smash Bros. franchise theme in the background as a wallpaper.

I didn’t make the correlation between Sakurai’s relationship with Kid Icarus: Uprising when I first played Smash 4. Upon playing Uprising for the first time last year, I stated in my review that the game was so exemplary that Kid Icarus should headline the next Smash Bros. game with the popular IPs serving as opening acts. Of course, this statement was somewhat glib because realistically, placing Kid Icarus front and center in a Smash Bros. game would’ve been career suicide for Sakurai. However, besides the gorgeous (and exceedingly large) Palutena’s temple immaculate enough to be the subject of a Sistine Chapel painting by one of the Italian Renaissance masters, Sakurai integrates features from his misunderstood bundle of joy into minor facets of Smash Bros. such as the items. The blustering Ore Club, the mannered X Bomb, and the handy back shield all appear from Pit’s sole 3D iteration to highlight Uprising’s existence. Smash 4 also includes Link’s Beetle and Gust Bellows gadgets from Skyward Sword as complementary offensive tools, as they were arguably the most admirable aspect of that particular Zelda title. The charging cucco chickens and bombchus from the respected, older Zelda titles also appear as items as well. The chain of fireballs that rotate clockwise in Bowser’s Castle from the first Super Mario Bros. game are weaponized like a sword, the beehive the Villager unknowingly knocks out of trees in their Animal Crossing community will swarm fighters with irritating stings, and the Boss Galaga ship that sucked in the player’s ship in the classic Namco arcade title will abduct a fighter and carry them off screen. Sakurai takes further opportunity to extend the occupancy of Kid Icarus: Uprising in Smash Bros. by adding supporting characters from the game like Phosphora and Magnus as attacking assist trophies, as well as other notable secondary figures from Nintendo’s other franchises like Ghirahim from The Legend of Zelda (Skyward Sword), a Starman enemy from Earthbound, and the Chain Chomp tethered to the ground by a stake from Bob-Omb Battlefield in Super Mario 64. I recognize maybe a couple of the new Pokemon that emerge from their pocket-sized cocoons, for I abandoned that franchise long before I passed by Nintendo entirely. Still, whenever I’m feeling freaky and decide to press the on switch to unleash the items, I became well acquainted with Pokemon like Zoroark and Abomasnow because of their pension to dish out far more damage than should be allowed. This is discounting the fact that most of the new additions to the Pokeball item are vigorous legendary pokemon, who seem to appear as frequently as the regular pokeballs despite their synonymous status with rarity. Still, it doesn’t seem to matter because every item I’ve mentioned in this paragraph offers enough combative potency for the player to use as a crux to victory. The items the series has stacked since the first game have officially overstepped the boundaries of supplementing the combat to overshadow it completely to total reliance. Fortunately, the honest players should find the base combat using only the characters movesets to be far more agreeable than the flighty controls in Brawl. It feels as if the developers have finally honed the pacing and balance of combat they’ve always wanted.

It’s especially opportune for Smash 4’s platform fighting gameplay to feel so adroit and nimble because it doesn’t have the spectacle of a Subspace Emissary campaign to fall back on. Miyamoto pulled the plug on offering another side-scrolling story mode because, and I quote, “people were uploading the cutscenes on Youtube and spoiling it for others.” I’d poke fun at Nintendo’s supreme leader for being a fuddy-duddy luddite except for the fact that I watched the Subspace Emissary’s cutscenes exactly in this fashion because the ache of experiencing the game in some capacity was paining me. I was not disappointed that another Subspace Emissary wasn’t awaiting me in the menu, for Smash 4 still supplies plenty of new ideas intended to accentuate the essentials of Smash Bros. while the Subspace Emissary admittedly distracted from them. The difficulty of the tried and true Classic Mode is split in specific 0.10 decimals points, and conquering the randomized challenges in the harder regions of the scale will unlock an additional boss fought after Master Hand that will even prolong the climax of Classic Mode into a whirlwind of another level to be finished. The trophy gallery’s visual representation of highlighting information on the history of Nintendo’s various franchises and their characters are curated as a museum exhibition with the best sense of organization thus far. For fresh features unseen beforehand, the player can create their own fighter using a Mii, rounding out the total roster with a character whose moveset is in conjunction with shooting, brawling, and sword tropes as the collective “Mii Fighter” figure. I’d protest this feature in Smash Bros. because my own creations are usually my standby fighter in any other game in the genre, but I suppose this factor of Nintendo history should be featured in some sort and this is the most creative way to implement it. Other than the character customizability, the other new subgame is something I do not recommend trying. “Smash Tour,” a minigame that mirrors the board game gameplay of Mario Party, is by far the most half-assed, boring, and unfair extra mode featured across every Smash Bros. game. The fact that it’s featured so prominently on the main menu signals to me how much faith the developers had in this, which is just embarrassing on all fronts.

It’s about time that Nintendo recognizes that the demographic for their Smash Bros. series can be likened to a group of cats. You can buy your feline friend a bed advertised as the state-of-the-art in kitty comfort, but the ungrateful furball will always tend to rest inside the box that the expensive piece of furniture came in. Because the fourth Smash Bros. title didn’t expand on the narrative-intensive campaign that Brawl offered as what seemed to be a vital point of progress in the series, I assumed that Smash 4 would take the time to emphasize the basics of Smash Bros. to craft a game that would make the hardcore Melee purists get with the times and update their Smash Bros. habits. In the finished product, the developers perhaps injected too much content into its base with the items, stages, and arguably the character roster to the point of an overdose. I don’t think Smash 4 is going to make the Melee loyalists trade in their CRTVs anytime soon and swap their Gamecube for the (then) newest Nintendo console. Still, for those who give every subsequent Smash title a trying chance will find it smoother and more complementary to a bonafide fighting game than Brawl. That is, if one manually omits all of the excess themselves, which is a conscious effort I did more fastidiously than in any Smash Bros. game before. I guess this results from a series that only accumulates properties and ideas instead of picking and choosing them to indicate the full extent of how Nintendo has grown. After all these years, Nintendo's history is getting too prodigious to curate in one game.
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I don't have much to say about this as a party game or a single-player game - that's never where my interests have lied for Smash Bros. As far as that goes, hey, you've finally gotten the chance to pit the dog from Duck Hunt against the trainer from Wii Fit, Bowser's son in a car, and, uh, Cloud Strife. M.U.G.E.N., but a real game! I do wish the custom moves had been implemented better - I think I only know one other person who bothered to unlock them all, and it's a painful chore barely worth the reward once you realize no one else gives a shit - and most of the single player sucks (but who really cares?).

As a competitive game, well, I've been involved in that scene since the game came out, so I do have plenty of thoughts on that. I'm by no means great - usually in the top 5 of my local rankings, as if that means anything - and I haven't gotten deep into the community in other roles. I've been a tournament organizer and commentator on a few occasions, but in roles that are peanuts compared to what others have accomplished. Still, I've thought way more about this game than is probably healthy for someone who supposedly considers this a mere hobby, so here we go:

1. Right outta the gate - rage is the single worst mechanic about this. Basically, the idea is the the more damage you've taken, the stronger your moves become. As a party game, it's brilliant. Competitively, it's complete horseshit. (This is a frequent dichotomy in this shitty, amazing game.) It's not just that a player is rewarded for losing, allowing for "comebacks" that feel more engineered than earned. It's also that, in the 2-stock format standard to tournaments (inspired by the game's own settings - that's the format they chose for their online "For Glory" matchmaking system, and also the most logical for the game's speed), rage can amplify the advantage of the winner. Once you've taken the first stock, that's huge, because the other character won't have the rage that would have let them nab the kill a few seconds ago. The winner then has a chance to build up more damage while the other player struggles to find the kill, and can then use their own rage to secure the kill before the losing player gets rage of their own. (And to be clear, most of these kill moves are balanced around rage - the percent where most damage-racking combos stop working is usually around when kill moves will work with rage, but not without.) Even if the losing player does take the stock, the rage they have accumulated will probably be juuuust enough that their early combos won't work as efficiently, significantly harming their damage output and making the comeback they were supposed to be able to get more difficult to get. That they can still get the kill earlier balances it somewhat, but it still feels like a random opportunity where they can suddenly land one move and win. Smash 4 is extremely inconsistent, and this is a big reason why.

2. The other reason is that the game is designed around what some have dubbed the "Smash 4 factor" - the big low percent kill option a character has that can completely change the flow of the game. Some characters are built entirely around one of these - such as DK's "ding dong" combo off of a grab - while others have a few, less potent choices but don't rely on them as much, such as Fox (who can kill you 20 different ways from Tuesday). Now, if every character was balanced like, say, Diddy Kong or Pikachu, where they can be tricky things to land that can be equated more with "clutchness" than luck, that'd be great. But that's not always the case, and in some cases it's borderline unfair. Too often you say a player dominate the neutral, racking up damage the entire game and brutalizing every opportunity in advantage, before losing due to one or two mistakes. It's a very unforgiving game, which makes it both exhilarating and terrifying. I hated it for a while, but after a while you kind of learn to accept it as a design choice of the game, and now I kind of like it. Still - it too often sucks to lose to something that feels like bad luck.

3. Patches have made this game waaaaaaaay better. I haven't liked all of them - a lot of bad characters got improved simply through a grab combo that kills, a Smash 4 factor that artificially inflates how good they are through one overcentralizing option. But for the most part, they've done an amazing job fixing a game that, in all honestly, was kind of bad to start, Never mind that the 3DS version was practically unfinished - Yoshi glitched back to the ledge pretty easily, Olimar was straight-up broken, and many characters had hitboxes that didn't work properly - the design philosophy behind a lot of these characters even by the release of the Wii U version was just behind. The Smash 4 factor didn't really exist yet; instead you had a few characters who had one really good move that they could spam all game long, and it'd work. Diddy Kong has been nerfed 2 or 3 times now and he's still a top 5 character; his banana peel gives him insane control over what the opponent can or cannot do, allowing Diddy to sit in his shield and react to most approaches by throwing an item that combos into guaranteed combos that rack up lots of damage and eventually kill. But now, his kill options are a little more limited - up smash kills later than most moves, and forward smash only kills near the ledge. His up throw combos into up air to kill at only very specific percents. But before the patches? He would down throw into up airs every single time, as it was his best way of dealing damage and his best kill option, killing earlier than most smash attacks. He had the best neutral and the best kill confirms. They nerfed him hard, and eventually reworked him (through some buffs, as well) into a fair and very well-designed character.

They did a similar thing with Sheik, who had a 50-50 kill option that basically just required the player to guess between two options, and if they guessed right they won the match - on top of her incredible ability to work up damage through safe moves and fast movement. Now, she has the same ability (even better, actually - players have gotten much better at creating unique combos and kill confirms with her), but she struggles to kill. (She falls victim to the Smash 4 factor very often.) They took away Luigi and Zero Suit Samus's absurd kill options. And in the meanwhile they fixed some characters whose moves didn't work properly, like Marth's and Mewtwo's, both of whom went from among the worst characters in the game to some of the best. Some still don't entirely work, like Samus and Wii Fit Trainer, but they still work well enough. Most balance changes work towards fulfilling a specific design philosophy behind a character, making them not an awkward mishmash but characters with a purpose.

4. That said, Bayonetta and Cloud are badly balanced and occasionally threaten to break the game. I'm absolutely thrilled that both are in the game, but their execution just shuts down a lot of what makes the game great. Both have been nerfed twice, but are still clearly the two best characters in the game. Bayonetta is frequently compared to a Marvel vs. Capcom character, who can kill you off of a stray hit at nearly any percent. In addition, her recovery and keepaway game are stellar, able to rack stray damage from afar with her bullet arts while keeping a strong defensive option in Witch Twist, which will hit basically anyone who whiffs a move in front of her. And that's not even mentioning Witch Time, which freezes the opponent for 2-3 seconds if she uses the move when they're about to use an attack, which usually leads to instant death, or at least enough damage that death isn't far off. Her combos work at almost every percent, and because most of them ladder you way into the sky, most characters can die at just about any percent. Because of this, and Witch Time, just trying to land even a weak attack can be insanely scary.

Cloud, meanwhile, has an enormous sword that works incredibly well offensively and defensively. It makes it so his advantage state is nearly impossible to escape, and so that he can be near impossible to approach if he spaces his moves right. His Limit Charge ability forces characters to approach so that he doesn't get access to a few incredibly fast and powerful kill moves. His only weakness is that he can die really early if he gets thrown off stage, since his recovery is really bad and easily interceptible, but he's still difficult to get there (and even then, he's not quite as simple to edgeguard as it seems - plus, with limit charge, he can recover from just about anywhere).

Both of these characters just about shut down most mid or low tier characters, and even a few top tier characters. Cloud, in particular, is one of the easiest characters in the game to pick up, and even an untrained one can oppress some mid tiers who just don't have the options to contest with him. In the context of the good characters, he's actually fairly balanced, but he just destroys most of the weaker ones. In addition, he's insanely good in doubles because he can swat opponents to his teammate from just about anywhere, and his teammate can then send them back to him to combo into any one of his crazy strong limit moves. Bayonetta just beats everyone, and the more her combos are optimized, the more difficult she becomes to beat. Salem - the best Bayonetta in the world - is starting to look like the best player in the world, and it's absolutely scary,
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Azdiff 2016-04-06T17:55:39Z
2016-04-06T17:55:39Z
3.5
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Smash 4 probably best represents Nintendo's growing pains with finally latching onto Web 3.0 marketing, which blew its load way too early with a series of cool character vignettes...that would make up the entirely of the in-game opening. Such is Smash 4, which is so focused on singular spectacle that the whole package suffers. The character roster features some surprises but also notable omissions and feels a lot more lop-sided, and an attempt to bring the adventure mode into the multiplayer mode means the single player suite suffers greatly for it, almost going back to the original were it not for the mission mode.

Not a bad game, but certainly a step down in aesthetic completion, and even technical prowess (3DS multiplayer can lag even locally).
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Lowlander2 2017-08-13T17:33:51Z
2017-08-13T17:33:51Z
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Catalog

Megistotherium Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 2024-06-15T21:27:20Z
Wii U • US
2024-06-15T21:27:20Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Megistotherium Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 2024-06-15T21:25:37Z
3DS • US
2024-06-15T21:25:37Z
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noahcritic 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U 2024-06-15T07:13:04Z
2024-06-15T07:13:04Z
3.0
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vsevoldo 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U 2024-06-14T09:01:42Z
2024-06-14T09:01:42Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Tjconey12 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U 2024-06-14T02:51:27Z
2024-06-14T02:51:27Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Pizza_gamer_pizza 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U 2024-06-13T08:11:43Z
2024-06-13T08:11:43Z
3.5
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arranm6 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U 2024-06-12T11:36:19Z
2024-06-12T11:36:19Z
4.0
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idkpokeit 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U 2024-06-10T10:40:34Z
2024-06-10T10:40:34Z
3.0
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japan
White_Album_Meatrider 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U 2024-06-08T01:26:02Z
2024-06-08T01:26:02Z
3.5
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Jacksxn17 大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U 2024-06-06T12:26:12Z
2024-06-06T12:26:12Z
3.0
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goeie_oko Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 2024-06-05T15:01:08Z
Wii U • US
2024-06-05T15:01:08Z
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dev. sora pub. nintendo franchise. smash bros
goeie_oko Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 2024-06-05T15:00:20Z
3DS • US
2024-06-05T15:00:20Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dev. sora pub. nintendo franchise. smash bros emulated
Content rating
CERO: A
Player modes
1-4 players
Media
1x Game card
Multiplayer modes
Deathmatch / FFA, Team play
Multiplayer options
Local, Online
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Also known as
  • Super Smash Bros. for 3DS / Wii U
  • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
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  • Previous comments (27) Loading...
  • renegadexavier06 2023-04-02 09:08:45.011695+00
    reply
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  • pigserpent 2023-07-18 18:33:14.247119+00
    Obviously this just feels like worse Ult but if Custom moves had a reasonable unlock system and were actually able to be integrated with a more competitive ruleset, this could potentially be my favorite in the series. How much they squandered that potential makes me upset.
    reply
    • Gavel 2024-04-04 19:05:22.073964+00
      Sm4sh is about on par with Ultimate, honestly. Both fun casual games and severely flawed competitive experiences.

      Obviously Ult is better in most ways and a flat-out improvement for the casual player. However, its dogshit buffering system, input delay and all the general inconsistencies of the engine hurt it ALOT. The most imprecise gamefeel of the entire series by far. Sm4sh is slow and wonky but also much more reliable and responsive. It's much easier to fight against the other player rather than the game engine itself.
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  • Incidius 2023-09-07 21:04:13.712794+00
    Why are these not 2 separate games. Both versions have a lot of differences
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  • JGar40 2023-10-21 22:47:32.848781+00
    it was awesome when you knew someone with a wii u who had this game but like in the era of Switch, there is really nothing special about it
    reply
    • JGar40 2023-10-21 22:48:48.833307+00
      i can love brawl still because it has identity
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  • OK_REVENANT 2024-06-02 14:07:38.866401+00
    Only reason I still play this one is Smash Run, Ultimate really fucked up by not including a Kirby-esque platformer mode like previous games
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