It’s been six years since Super Smash Bros. Brawl graced our Nintendo Wii consoles in 2008. Finally we’re due for Super Smash Bros. for the the Wii U, the HD Nintendo fighting game we’ve all been waiting for. The 3DS version has been out in the wild for a decent amount of time, but nothing compares to brawling on a TV from the comfort of your couch with a few buddies at your side. Play as your favorite character from Nintendo’s and others’ franchises like Pikachu, Link, Samus and even Mega Man and show your opponents what it takes to be the best brawler in the land.
Before you dive headfirst into some frantic fisticuffs, though, here’s what you need to know about the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros.
1. There Are Eight-Player Battles
One of the biggest changes to the Super Smash Bros. formula is the inclusion of eight-player battles for the Wii U version. In every subsequent release leading up to this one, only four-player brawls have been possible. Well, no more. When the Wii U version launches November 21, you and up to seven friends can duke it out in one frantic, chaotic battle. Reviews of the 3DS version of the game reported it was difficult to follow characters in four-player battles on the small handheld screen. Even on an HDTV, it might be difficult to keep track of your character when seven other fighters are running around using powers and items, so good luck!
2. There Are Unique Stages
There are ton of stages in both the 3DS and Wii U versions of Super Smash Bros., and plenty of them are unique to one version or the other. The 3DS version, for instance, has tons of stages based on handheld games while the Wii U edition has stages based on console games and more levels in general, including giant ones for eight-player battles. Even Battlefield, the standard flat arena available in both games, is different in aesthetics depending on the console you play on. The 3DS edition features only two songs per level, but the Wii U supports several more. The Wii U version also has a custom stage builder similar to the one found in Brawl.
3. Cross-play Isn’t Possible
Let’s say you’ve got the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. and your buddy has the 3DS edition, and you two wanna battle it out either online or locally. Sounds plausible, right? Wrong. Due to the unique stages found in both games and the fact that both systems aren’t on par technically, cross-platform play isn’t possible. If you and and a friend want to “settle it in Smash,” you’ll have to play locally on the Wii U or both own 3DS systems. It’s a bit of a disappointment, but it makes sense given the two consoles limitations. There’s always the next game, though, right?
4. There’s No Smash Run Mode, But There Are Others
Smash Run is a mode unique to the 3DS version in which players participate in a dungeon crawl lasting five minutes. Players gather power-ups, stat boosts and other customization abilities by defeating baddies and opening chests. At the end of the five minutes, players duke it out with their gathered stat boosts. While this mode isn’t coming to the Wii U version, other modes are to make up for it. For instance, Smash Tour is a Mario Party-like adventure in which participants play a board game that ends in a free-for-all melee. There are other modes of play, too, including Special Orders, Special Smash and more.
5. The Wii U Version is HD
One of the biggest differences between the two versions of Super Smash Bros. is immediately evident: their graphics. The 3DS edition features a cel-shaded style while the Wii U version is in glorious high definition. The reason cel-shading was used for the 3DS version was to allow the game to run at a high framerate and to make it easier to see characters on the small screen. Obviously this isn’t necessary for the Wii U version, so the game is in full HD. The difference in graphics is another reason cross-platform matches don’t work, but who’d want to play the Wii U version with 3DS graphics just to make cross-play possible? Not I.