Thursday, October 23, 2014

Deus Ex Nintendo: Smash Bros. for the Wii U Hype

It is uncommon for me to yell "Holy shit!" multiple times during a promotional video, but today's Super Smash Bros. Wii U 50 Facts Extravaganza video was pretty ridiculous. I encourage anybody who likes Nintendo or Smash Bros. to watch the whole thing, it will make you buy a Wii U and reserve the game (or so Nintendo hopes). Instead of recapping all of the facts shown, I will touch on what some of these announcements meant to me as a Smash and Nintendo enthusiast.

The general consensus I have seen from critics and fans of the Wii U is that if more systems languish on shelves, Nintendo could face a failed console and significant losses. As a fan of Nintendo and a current Wii U owner, I don't want this to happen. Has the Wii U catalog been a little disappointing? Yes, but I know it has potential. Smash may be the game that really pushes people to purchase the console and turn it around for Nintendo, and out of nowhere, we were all granted a glimpse of this probable best seller. Here's my selection of moments that made my hope for the Wii U Smash skyrocket

Co-op everything- I have always preferred playing with a buddy to going solo. This preference has limited my enjoyment of many titles in the past, including previous Smash games. Based on what the video showed, just about every aspect of Smash Wii U will have the Co-Op option. It's a great way to unlock everything without having to shun a friend. A major plus for shared systems and people with S/Os who like Smash. It is an straightforward addition that I am grateful for.

Hello, Mewtwo my old friend- As an early 90s born Pokemon lover it is hard to not love Mewtwo. He was my first favorite antihero (think Mewtwo Strikes Back), and he was the first Pokemon I ever had to save and restart multiple times to catch. While I wasn't great with him in Melee, he is one of the most prominent Gen 1 Pokemon and deserves a little respect, at least from that punk Lucario. It's great to see him back in the lineup and he signals potential other DLC down the road which would be great for Smash.

So many battlers on the field- I can't say I ever felt limited by the 4-player cap in battles, but the idea of having up to 8 characters running around in all their craziness sounds wonderfully appealing. It is certainly a major blow to other big-bucks games which seem to be abandoning the multiple players on one screen model that has made multiplayer fun since home console inception. I am very excited to try it out and my ever increasing pile of wii/gamecube controllers will get some good use.

Super-Scope of content- I have never been a very good completionist, but I do enjoy the pursuit for a while. There seems to be a ludicrous amount of collectibles and side content that one can get during this game. It's not necessary to a good game, but since this is the ultimate Nintendo mash-up, where else would it be appropriate to have this many trophies, songs, classic games, and other crazy stuff. Every Smash should be treated like a little museum of Nintendo (and guests) at the time, and therefore it's always growing. Nintendo video games have been around for over 30 years, there's a lot to fit in, kudos for trying to get all of it.

Smash is a very important game to me. It's brought me way too many hours of fun, a good way to play with friends, and so many introductions to video game characters. Like my previously mentioned "museum", Smash has preserved some otherwise marginalized characters (Ness, Pit, Game and Watch, etc.) with kick-ass battles. It keeps Nintendo rolling and makes a lot of people happy. This iteration looks to be the best yet, not just because its new, but because there seems to be enough innovation on top of the classic formula that I've loved for 15 years. I can't wait to get it next month and I hope others are excited too.

-Peter