I have long been a fan of the Super Smash Bros. series. From its inception on the classic Nintendo 64, through Melee on the Gamecube and Brawl on the Wii, the series has been well regarded, and for good reason. The combination of a deep roster of favorite Nintendo characters with a chaotic but incredibly deep combat system is something special. My family has spent countless hours playing Super Smash Bros. in all its various forms, and made many fond memories doing so. It’s a rare series indeed that is rewarding to hardcore gamers while still being accessible to the casual fan, or even non-gamers.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U continues in the grand tradition of its forebears. It takes everything good about prior games in the series, and turns it up to eleven. The roster of characters is larger than ever, and pulls from non-Nintendo franchises like Sonic, Pac-man, and Mega Man. The nostalgia factor is through the roof, featuring an astounding amount of easter eggs and other fan service. You can even play with up to eight players now, which is both maddening and gleeful at the same time. To be honest, I feel as if I have only scratched the surface of what Super Smash Bros. for Wii U offers; there aren’t many games that are this robust, on any system.
Since Co-Optimus is mainly concerned with the cooperative aspects of games, we will spend most of this review looking at the various options in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U that allow for for co-op. There are many gameplay modes that allows you and a friend to team up in various ways. Keep in mind that the Co-Optimus definition of co-op does not include one human team working against another; this is considered competitive, even though it features teamwork. Of course, you can always make a human team and take on a computer-controlled team, but that’s really the weakest form of co-op in Super Smash Bros for Wii U (though it sure is fun to comp stomp).
Sadly, the highlight of the Wii version of Smash Bros., Subspace Emissary, has no equivalent in the sequel. Subspace Emissary was a full on campaign mode, which added some platforming elements to the Smashing. Two players could experience the story of Subspace Emissary, such as it was, and it was a rollicking good time. For whatever reason, there is nothing in the Wii U version that could be considered and campaign or story mode, and that’s truly a shame.
Classic mode does return, though it is modified, and allows for two player co-op. This works basically as a tournament, where the two-player human team takes on various other characters over several matches. Defeating your opponents rewards you with trophies and other collectibles, and culminates in a battle against a horde of fighting Miis, followed by a fight against Master Hand. Classic mode seems to last just long enough, and there is a sense of progression which gives it more of a cooperative feel than simply comp stomping over and over again.