I absolutely adore Super Smash Bros. Brawl, so am naturally quite excited for the new releases this year. While we were expecting these to release at the same time, the 3DS version will actually be coming first, this summer, with the Wii U version coming in winter.
Firstly, the game will run at a smooth 60 frames per second, even in stereoscopic 3D on the 3DS. That’s quite impressive, and is achieved by having some of the background things – such as assist trophies – at 30fps, while the fighters are locked at 60fps. Smash Run mode will also be only available on the 3DS version, and is a series of challenge rooms through a dungeon, with a five minute time limit and up to four player multiplayer. There are power-ups to collect, such as speed, defence or special, and then after the five minutes, the fighters will go head to head with these power-ups intact.
It’ll be the same roster across both versions, but there will be completely different stages, many of which are only available on one console. Even the ones which are the same layout – such as the series staple Battlefield – will differ across versions in terms of visuals and design. So, you can expect small variations of Battlefield and Final Destination between each versions.
3DS exclusive stages include Reset Bomb Forest, 3D Land, Sprit Train, Gerudo Valley, Arena Ferox, Tortimer Island, Living Room from Nintendogs, Prism Tower from Pokémon, Rainbow Road, Find Mii, and Balloon Fight, while Jungle Japes will be remade for this version.
The Wii U version features new stages including Mario Galaxy, Pyrosphere, Town and City from Animal Crossing, Boxing Ring, Pilot Wings, Skyloft, Windy Hill Zone, Garden of Hope, Wii Fit Studio, Palutena’s Temple, and Wiley Castle, while Halberd will be one of the remade stages. There will also be boss enemies which appear in certain stages, which can then be fought and interacted with to change the gameplay.
Both versions will be able to connect together, but exactly how this will work has not been announced, and since the levels are different, it doesn’t seem as though you’ll be able to play across both versions.
There will be online multiplayer though, on both Wii U and 3DS. This will have two modes: For Fun, where it’s random stages with items, and only your wins recorded, or For Glory, which is for the hardcore players, removing items and recording both wins and losses. Only Final Destination – the completely flat level – will be available here, but there will be a Final Destination version of every level, meaning different themes to keep it fresh.
There’s no online ranking system, and instead it works across the entire game. It’s named Global Smash Power and shows how good you are at everything Smash Bros. with a number, and this will influence the matchmaking despite not being a purely online rank.
Items returning include the smart bomb, motion sensor, bumper, and beam sword, though new items include the beetle, fire bar, POW block, back shield, bombchu, fairy bottle, ore club, X bomb, Hocotate bomb, rocket belt, and steel diver. That’s a lot of items, and should provide plenty of variety. Beyond that, there will be plenty of assist trophies, such as Andross, Devil, Knuckle Joe, Saki Amamiya, Lyn, Nintendog, Waluigi, Dr. Wright, Skull Kid, Mother Brain, Midna, Ashley, Dark Samus, Chain Chomp, Isabella, Elec Man, and version of Pong named Color TV-Game 15, which looks absolutely brilliant.
And, of course, there’s the Pokéballs, which will have Pokémon such as Meowth, Electrode, Eevee, Staryu, Metagross, Fennekin, Meloetta, and Gogoat, but there’s also Master Balls, including Legendary Pokémon. These will be more rare, but include the likes of Arceus, Entei, Deoxys, Palkia, Kyurem, Victini, Keldeo, and Xerneas.
The real bread and butter of the game comes with the fighters, and there’s a notable change in how fighters will work – they’ll only have one form, so Samus won’t be able to become Zero Suit Samus, although she’ll exist as her own character. Likewise, Zelda won’t transform into Sheik, but that character is still present. Tons of new attacks were detailed, and the game seems very much balanced, with new final smashes for many characters such as Kirby’s Ultra Sword and Lucario’s Mega Evolution. They’ve also removed gliding from Pit and made Yoshi stand upright, for a fairer fight.
The previously announced new characters seem well-balanced too, with Rosalina and Luma working much like the Ice Climbers in that they can separate for some attacks. Little Mac is also extremely powerful, with a one-shot K.O. move when his power meter is full, but this is matched by his inability to attack well in mid-air, and a terrible recovery. Wii Fit Trainer even has some unique moves, such as deep breathing which focuses power for stronger attacks.
Aside from the Pokéball-activated and AI-controlled Pokémon characters, there will be at least two new Pokémon present alongside Lucario and Pikachu. Charizard is now one character, rather than Pokémon trainer being able to switch between the three original starter Pokémon, while Greninja is another playable Pokémon character and seems very fast – I think he might actually be one of my new favourites.
Finally, something that seems absolutely amazing to me is the ability to customise individual movesets for local play. No more will my friend and I share the exact same character.