Spontaneous Saturday 1/17/15: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Because this blog is called Vouiv-review, I actually decided to do something a little review-like. This post will consist of two parts: a review part and an anecdotal part.

Review

Overall rating: 9.5/10. It’s a Super Smash Bros. game. It has a broad selection of characters (which improves after every installment) trying to rack up percentage on each other and knock each other out of the field of play. I’ve been on the hype train since the first installment, but I don’t remember said installment too well. I haven’t played Brawl in longer than I can remember and I haven’t played Melee since summer 2014, but I will offer this much: this game has enough playability to last at least a month. I have no say on the 3DS version because the only experience I have with that one is through the demo.

Even though they’ve removed a few characters from the roster since Brawl (Pokémon Trainer, Ice Climbers, Lucas, Wolf, Snake), they made up for it with original new additions (Rosalina, Bowser Jr., Little Mac, Palutena, Robin, Duck Hunt, Greninja, Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, Shulk, Dark Pit, Lucina, Pac-Man, Mega Man, Mii Fighter), changes to existing characters (Samus/ZSS and Zelda/Sheik separated, Pokémon Trainer replaced with Charizard), returning additions from Melee (Dr. Mario, and Mewtwo via DLC), and custom moves that bring to mind similar characters (Ness with Lucas moves, Fox with Wolf moves). I say it’s a fair tradeoff; even though I will miss some of the veterans (especially Lucas and ICs), I have no right to complain about their omission.

Other changes from Brawl:

  • No more random tripping; good riddance.
  • Pit codecs in Palutena’s Temple. This presents entertaining skits involving Pit, Palutena, and Viridi with sprites from Kid Icarus: Uprising, with Dark Pit featured in his own skit and Chrom with his Fire Emblem: Awakening sprite featured in Robin’s skit.
  • The stage selection has changed quite a bit. Good riddance to New Pork City. Palutena’s Temple has those codecs. Boxing Ring has a title for every character plus a number of alts (all listed here: http://pastebin.com/iZet7GNP). Omega form is the bomb.
  • They removed gliding, which I suppose was an unnecessary mechanic to begin with.
  • New ledge mechanics. Before, you could not grab the ledge if someone else was doing so; now, grabbing the ledge while another fighter is grabbing that ledge, one of two things can happen: 1) you grab the ledge and push the other fighter aside, or 2) you grab the ledge and the other fighter is unaffected. The latter only happens if the other fighter is about to climb up the ledge. Also, ledge immunity only works for the first ledge grab unless, after the first ledge grab, you touch the ground or are hit in midair.
  • Custom parts. Headgear, equipment, and special moves can be used to enhance characters. This is optional, but it flatly cannot be used in Stadium modes (or competitive play, I’m assuming).
  • Smash Tour, to which I like to refer as Smashio Party (because it’s a lot like Mario Party). This game mode is required to unlock 5-10 challenges (I don’t remember the exact number) and, in a manner of speaking, it enhances Smash 4’s potential as a party game.
  • 8-player Smash. I don’t know how to feel about this. Fighting seven people at once is difficult, relatively speaking, and some of the stages make it seem really cluttered (here’s looking at you, Yoshi’s Island). Still, without it, Classic mode and Special Orders would not be the same.
  • Speaking of Classic mode, it and All Star have changed. I don’t know to what degree because I don’t remember the modes in Brawl, but chances are it was for the better. Master Core is pretty much the most notable addition to Classic mode—a fun boss, but not easy to KO on the first try, especially going through 8.0-9.0 Master Fortress. Kinda makes up for lacking an adventure mode.
  • Freeform Stage Builder. No more having to worry about placing blocks and stuff on a grid. I haven’t dabbled much into this, but it’s really interesting, the potential involved in this new paradigm. Here are a few examples of this potential:

  • Special Orders. On one hand, there are Master Orders, which present a trio of tickets that each cost more gold and yield better rewards depending on their difficulty. On the other hand, there are Crazy Orders, which require a one-time entry fee (or a pass), go through a series of ticket trios that advance in difficulty as the turns rack up, and remember most of the percentage taken from prior tickets. These modes are far from trivial as far as solo play is concerned; besides that there are challenges involving them, they (especially Crazy Orders) are pretty much the best way possible to gain things like gold, custom moves, and headgear.
  • Trophy Rush. I feel this is not a very efficient way to gain anything but trophies (it’s difficult to make the slightest bit of profit in gold, and custom parts are few and far between), but it is required for challenges and…well, it is innovative.
  • Trophy Shop. It’s quite a trip through the menu to swing by periodically, but it’s a nice and direct way to get missed trophies.
  • Photo Studio. This can be accessed through Trophy Hoard and requires an SD card (apparently). I realize there is a feature just like it in Brawl, but they improved it by making it possible to adjust the height and size of trophies. I don’t have the creative brain to put the feature into practice, but here’s an example:

  • Target Blast, which looks somewhat like Angry Birds. Not a very interesting game mode; I only played it for the challenges.
  • amiibo and new online play, with which I have no experience whatsoever.
  • There’s also apparently a function where you can draw on snapshots, but I can’t seem to access the snapshots I take for some stupid reason. Honestly, when I accidentally take a picture of something, it says I took the photo, but when I go to the album, it’s completely empty. Still, the snapshots can be accessed on the SD card through a computer but not deleted, which is the weirdest part. Like, what the heck…
  • Other less important changes like new alts, new Pokémon and Assist characters, lower item limit in Training mode (which is quite a bother), Mii Fighters instead of Alloys, more controllers (Wii U gamepad and pro controller, 3DS with a copy of Smash Bros. 3DS), new music additions (Grand Finale from Bowser’s Inside Story and Psycho Bits from Metroid Prime Hunters are my personal favorites), new and longer Masterpieces, and that the percentage option in Training mode sets both fighters’ percentages rather than just the computer player.

That’s all from a review standpoint. Now for the anecdotal part.

Anecdotal

I’ve put 100 hours into this game, none of which I regret. However, the experience was not without issues. For example:

  • As mentioned before, the snapshots are behaving weirdly. Why do I not have access to them through the Album, even though they’re clearly on the SD?
  • A few days ago, the disk got scratched to the point where the Wii U could not read it if I loaded a certain character’s custom move screen or initiated a battle in Crazy Orders (RIP pass). So, I had to get it cleaned. That’s ridiculous, a game’s disk getting scratched without even three weeks of ownership. I mean, the Wii U was moved around with the disk in it, but that shouldn’t matter too much…
  • This is not exactly an issue, but I still have 3 challenges left to complete, all in row 1: “Clear Classic at intensity 9.0 without losing a single life.”, “Collect all of the special moves.”, and “Collect all of the custom headgear.” As a way to challenge myself, I decided to use as few custom parts as possible. The five challenges I’ve had to hammer are:
    • Row 1 column 6 (“Clear Solo Classic in 12 minutes at intensity 9.0 while playing as Marth.”) – Classic on 9.0 is difficult as it stands, and I don’t want to do it as a character I’m not used to, let alone in a limited time.
    • Row 2 column 1 (“Clear All-Star on hard difficulty with all the characters.”) – Too tedious, and All-Star with 8 characters was hard enough. I just can’t be bothered taking on such a challenge with every character.
    • Row 2 column 2 (“Destroy a total of 50000 or more blocks in Trophy Rush.”) – I thought this would be a gimme, but when I went through the entire roster and encountered a 5000 block milestone halfway (and realized there’s no way to keep track of the blocks you’ve destroyed), I just gave up and smashed the case. Funnily, this was before I got 8 fevers with Dr. Mario.
    • Row 2 column 8 (“Clear Crazy Orders after 20 or more turns while playing as Mario.”) – I’ve tried this many, many times, but I just can’t seem to complete it. I really thought I could if the odds were in my favor, but I just couldn’t. Heck, I don’t think I can complete 20 with anyone.
    • Row 12 column 7 (“Recover the stat boosts a Metroid stole from you in Smash Tour.”) – After I dabbled into Smash Tour and got all challenges but this, I decided I didn’t want to continue any longer and, well, I just didn’t feel capable of making this particular situation happen.

In Classic mode, I managed to beat 9.0 as Captain Falcon, 8.0 as Yoshi and Charizard, and 7.0 as everyone else (Mii Fighters included). In All-Star mode, I beat Hard as Captain Falcon, Yoshi, Lucina, Bowser, Kirby, Duck Hunt, Ike, and Toon Link; Normal as Mario, Robin, Marth, Palutena, Charizard, and Lucario; and Easy as everyone else (for their trophies). I got every reward in Events, the particular toughies being “The FINAL Final Battle” (which I did as Toon Link…somehow), “Unwavering Chivalry”, and “Kirby’s Crazy Appetite”, as well as the challenge requirement to beat “All-Star Battle: Secret” on Hard (which I did as Bowser). “Wrecking Mario” was no easy feat either.

I didn’t spend much time in Stadium, mostly limiting myself to whatever was required. My Target Blast record highs are not impressive, but I’ll list them anyway:

  • Stage 1: 225310 as Ike
  • Stage 2: 317250 as Ike
  • Stage 3: 495020 as Fox (had to look up a video for help on this one)

My record highs in Multi-Man Smash are:

  • 10-Man Smash – 15:40.21 total; fastest 11.56 as DK
  • 100-Man Smash – fastest 2:07.28 as DK (not completed with all characters)
  • 3-Minute Smash – 363 total (among 3 characters); highest 122 as Bowser
  • Rival Smash – 332 total (among 7 characters); highest 92 as DK
  • Endless Smash – 346 total (among 4 characters); highest 125 as Palutena
  • Cruel Smash – 28 total (among 4 characters); highest 12 as Palutena

Incidentally, here’s how I managed to get 8+ (10, to be exact) Cruel Smash KOs as Lucina:

Home Run Contest total is 19230.6 ft among 9 characters, with the highest being 5595.8 ft as Ganondorf. I noticed about HRC that the mechanics have changed; bat throws don’t have as much knockback as they used to, and the barriers are apparently infinite much sturdier.

In Crazy Orders, I could only clear as high as 13 with Mario, 11 with Yoshi, 5 with Palutena, 11 with Greninja, 12 with Captain Falcon, 12 with Lucina, and 2 with Villager. Note that clear scores are only recorded when Crazy Hand is defeated, so I could probably do better with most of these characters (especially Palutena and Villager).

In recent happenings, I managed to accumulate over 300000G (which is stupid that they don’t tell you to “accumulate”, but rather, to “collect”; ambiguous wording can be quite problematic at times), and my elder brother and I got rewards for all the Co-op Events but “The Ultimate Battle”; we managed to beat Normal mode, but Hard just seems out of our reach for the time being. We had the second-hardest time with “Final Battle Team-Up” and the third-hardest time with “Secret Smash”.

In summary, Smash for Wii U a great new addition to the Smash Bros. franchise with plenty of playability in Challenges, as well as features through which to express creativity (e.g. Stage Builder). I suppose the main issues as it stands are the tedium involved in some of the challenges and my inability to do anything with the snapshots I take, both of which are nothing in the face of what the game has to offer.

Currently, my three characters of choice are:

  1. Captain Falcon. What little chance I have in competitive Melee I owe to this character. His aerials are great, his smashes are powerful, and his specials are fun. It’s always nice to get a good Falcon Punch on an opponent, however infrequently it happens. Thankfully, thanks to the new ledge mechanics, Captain Falcon doesn’t have to worry about getting edge-hogged any longer.
  2. Yoshi. He’s been one of my favorites since the days of casual Melee, and apparently he’s high-tier as well. Yellow Yoshi all the way! (Too bad there’s no orange.)
  3. Lucina. I’ve mentioned before how much I like Fire Emblem Awakening, and the best part is that Lucina has an alt with Nowi colors (the green one). That is why I am so interested in the character.

 

1/25 update: First of all, the photos are now working the way they should (although it’s still beyond me, what was going on before). Second, I’ve decided to break my vow of not using custom parts, but only for 9.0 Classic deathless (which is obscenely difficult, if not impossible, without) and the co-op final event (which was so much more of a cinch with parts than without).

Nowi Wins That’s all for now!

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