Hands-On With Super Smash Bros. For Wii U

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Later this week, Nintendo launches Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the fifth game in the wildly popular fighting game franchise that brings together all the company’s biggest characters. We’ve had a chance to play through some of the game this weekend and wanted to share some quick thoughts before our full review.

From the first time you boot up Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, you can jump right into regular 4-player battles with dozens of characters and the option to play against friends, CPU opponents, or strangers online.

If that isn’t intense enough for you, this latest release is the first in the series to allow for 8 players to battle it out at once. This mode is perfect for those with big TVs to play on (and 7 GameCube/Wii U Pro/Wii-mote controllers lying around), as the action can get a little hectic on smaller screens when people are fighting in different parts of the arena and everything is zoomed out.

Super Smash Bros. Wii U

Instead of putting players through a set series of fights and challenge levels (or through a barebones story mode like in Super Smash Bros. Brawl), the new Classic mode lets you pick groups of opponents to fight. As usual, this leads to a big battle with series mainstay Master Hand.

Super Smash Bros. Wii U

Nintendo has pulled in more characters from its various franchises than ever before. As usual, you can expect Mario and friends as well as mainstays from The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, and Pokemon. But there’s also a few more niche characters, with contenders from old NES fighting games, the Xenoblade series, Animal Crossing, and even Wii Fit. If those aren’t enough, Nintendo added even more fighters from other companies’s games than were available from Brawl — all of which seem to be very well balanced.

Super Smash Bros. Wii U

The new Smash Tour mode is like a mix between Mario Party’s game board and the series’s traditional fighting gameplay. Each turn, players move a random number of spaces (but can decide which directions to move), collecting items as they go that affect their stats in combat. When players bump into each other on the board, everyone fights — though the game lets more casual players have the CPU fight on their behalf so they can just focus on their board strategy.

Super Smash Bros Wii U

Hardcore players experienced with a wider range of characters will enjoy the new Events and Challenges, which put you in shoes of particular characters to take down tough objectives. These range from having you fight the game’s fastest characters as Sonic to surviving with 200% damage for a few minutes as Star Fox.

Super Smash Bros. Wii U

There’s a lot more content in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U that we’ve yet to try out. For our thoughts on that (and a more in-depth look at how the games performs and controls) be sure to check back for our review later this week.