All-Star mode is also playable in co-op, and is available from the beginning of the game. In All-Star mode, you have one life each, and are trying to defeat all the characters in the game consecutively. The foes appear in pairs, and after each pair, you have a brief respite to use a scarce amount of healing items and other power ups. All-Star mode is a real challenge, and requires careful planning and a high level of skill to complete; I have little of the latter, so even lots of the former left us far short of defeating all the dozens of characters available.
Our favorite co-op mode, by a large margin, is Events mode. These are short scenarios where you are assigned characters to use, and put in unusual, thematic situations. When you play in co-op mode, with two players available, the Events change to reflect this. One early event puts Mario and Luigi against Bowser Jr. If the Bros. foe isn’t defeated quickly, a titanic Bowser appears, making the whole affair more difficult. The next Event might put you inside a Pokemon battle, or in the boxing ring with Little Mac and the Wii Fit Trainer. Going through Events is quite fun, and feels very much like the campaign mode in Brawl.
Nintendo has a mixed reputation for online play, but Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is a step in the right direction. The focus is online multiplayer battles in the standard Smash, which is to be expected. However, there is an option for online co-op. Multi-Man Smash pits two players against several waves of Mii Fighters, very similar to the fight near the end of a Classic mode run. I was unable to test this due to my lack of online Wii U friends and generally terrible internet connection, but it’s nice to see the inclusion of even a limited form of co-op in the online offerings.
Just discussing the co-op options available in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U has taken many words, but there is far more to discuss. Eight-player matches are now available for the first time, which is either great news or bad news, depending on how many controllers you own. Still, you can sub in computer controlled characters, and doing so makes for an enjoyable, over the top session of Smash carnage. You can make custom characters, using parts obtained by playing through all the various game modes. There are even Skylanders-like Amiibos, which learn your moves, and can be used as AI characters in matches. You can even make custom levels! Like I said earlier, there is just so much to this new Super Smash Bros. that it’s difficult to adequately cover it all.
Suffice it to say that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is the greatest version of the game yet. I believe it is the best game available for the system, surpassing even Mario Kart 8. It’s a very good reason to own a Wii U; there is quite simply nothing else like it out there. No other game even comes close. Even though co-op takes a back seat to the competitive Smashing, there is a lot to do when you want to work together instead of beating each other up. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is a masterpiece, and is so wonderful it will keep Wii U owners happy for many years to come.
The Co-Op Experience: Up to two players can combine forces to progress through a variety of game modes: Classic, All-Star, Event, & Trophy Rush.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.