Super Smash Bros. is a dual-platform edition of the Super Smash Bros. series for both the Wii U and 3DS. The games are titled in a straight-forward manner as simply "Super Smash Bros. for Wii U" and "Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS." The 3DS version was released first, in Japan on September 13, 2014 and North America on October 3, 2014, while the Wii U version released first in North America on November 21, 2014 with Japan and PAL-regions following on the first December weekend starting December 5, 2014. The 3DS version is the first handheld entry in the series.
Both versions of the game feature the same roster, but their line-ups of stages and gameplay modes are largely version-specific. The games do not feature cross-play compatibility, but there is some interactivity in the form of character customization. It is also possible to play the Wii U version by using a Nintendo 3DS as a controller.
The roster of both the 3DS and Wii U versions of Super Smash Bros. is identical and features the largest cast of characters in the series to date with 49 (51 if one counts the three types of Mii Fighters separately) unique fighters which includes three iconic third party characters with Sonic (making his second series appearance) from SEGA, Mega Man (a new challenger) from Capcom and Pac-Man (also a new challenger) from Bandai Namco.
The full character roster is comprised of:
Note: Characters marked with (*) appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a combination with at least one other character. However, these characters are now standalone with independent move sets and abilities.
** = Captain Olimar first appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Alph, an alternate skin for Olimar, is new as of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
*** = Mewtwo was made available in April 2015 as a DLC character. Players who registered both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U version on Club Nintendo were able to get Mewtwo for free and a few weeks before the wide release.
**** = DLC character.
For the first time, Super Smash Bros. allows players to fight using their Miis. There are three styles of Mii Fighter; Brawler, Gunner, and Swordfighter. Each style has their own unique movesets and properties. However, unlike the game's other fighters, their use online will be restricted to matches against friends.
This entry of the Super Smash Bros. series introduces the ability to fully customize characters. Adding equipment to a character will change the character's basic parameters and impart special effects, and additional special attacks can be unlocked to alter a character's moveset. Multiple customized versions of each character can be saved, each with a unique name.
Customized characters can be used in select game modes, and match options allow for their use to be turned on or off.
Super Smash Bros. retains the core fighting mechanics that are the series' trademarks, pitting up to four fighters against each other in 2D arena spaces populated with a variety of platforms. The objective is to knock the opponents out of the arena and win by either scoring the most K.O.s, or in stock matches, until they are the only fighter left standing.
Returning from the previous entry, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, are a pair of mechanics introduced in that entry; Final Smashes and Assist Trophies. The Final Smash is a character-specific super move with effects that vary wildly from character to character. Assist Trophies are items that can be used to spawn the appearance of an NPC character or characters that can deal damage or impart some effect.
Online play will appear in both the Wii U and 3DS versions of Super Smash Bros. The online features and functionality have been expanded upon over Super Smash Bros. Brawl to include a greater variety of gameplay options. The most significant of these changes in terms of gameplay come in the form of new game modes for playing against strangers; For Fun, and For Glory.
In For Fun, the stage is randomly selected, and all stages except for Final Destination are possible battle locations. All items are also made available, but the mode is limited to Smash Battles only and there is no stat tracking of wins and losses. In For Glory battles, players are restricted to playing on Final Destination, but the stage now comes in a variety of skins that allow it to resemble flat versions of most of the games' other battlefields. For Glory matches also restrict the appearance of items, and it is possible to be placed into one-on-one bouts. For Glory mode also keeps a tally of the player's win record.
Global Smash Power
Rather than use traditional online leaderboards, global online rankings will use a stat called Global Smash Power. GSP is measured via parameters across the game, and rather than assign a rank such as being number one in the world, it instead calculates the player's position relative to other players with lower GSP ratings. For example, a user with a GSP of 300,000 has a higher rating than 299,999 other players (not counting ties).
Wii U Version
A board game-like mode for local multiplayer.
Master Hand challenges.
Smash Run is a gameplay mode exclusive to the 3DS version. In this mode, up to four players have five minutes to run through a maze-like dungeon and defeat enemies while collecting stat-boosting power-ups that affect a variety of parameters. Once time is up, the players then face off against each other with their powered up characters. This mode supports local multiplayer only but can also be played solo against CPU opponents.
Custom characters used in Smash Run can be outfitted with additional powers that can be triggered via the touch screen. Such powers include triggering auto-healing or invincibility, the use of items such as hammers, or powering up specific attack types such as kicks.
This mode is part of the 3DS version's StreetPass functionality. Players met via StreetPass can be taken on in a top-down arena battle which has the player trapped in a rectangular platform with no bounds. To win, the player must charge at the opponent characters and push them off the stage and avoid being pushed off themselves. Winning in Street Smash yields various random rewards from Trophies to coins and other things.
Home Run Contest
A mini-game seen in previous Smash Bros. games, the 3DS version once again features the Home Run Contest. In this mode, the player must try to send a sand bag flying as far as possible after dealing damage to soften it up.
A new mini-game that functions like a cross between the Home Run Contest and games like Angry Birds. The player damages the bomb, which triggers a countdown. After enough damage is dealt and the bomb is sent flying, it will explode when the countdown concludes. The objective is to launch the bomb in such a way that the blast destroys blocks and walls to produce a cascade that will destroy as many targets as possible.
An endurance mode in which the player faces off against other characters with a limited supply of health restoration items. Each stage features multiple opponents to fight. When in the rest area, the game indicates which opponents are coming next, and also indicates the year in which these characters first appeared in a video game. More opponents become available to fight in this mode as more characters are unlocked.
Added via day-one patch (1.0.1) to the Japanese release, Conquest Mode is an online mode that, when selected, randomly triggers during online matches. Players can battle for special Conquest Battle Points and the winning characters will receive special in-game prizes. After each Conquest Mode activation, there is a cooldown period before the mode activates again.
The following characters are confirmed to appear in the game as Assist Trophies. Some Assist Trophies are only available in one version of the game.
The current list of stages is as follows:
Most if not all stages feature an "Omega" variant. These variants feature an alternative flat, platform-less design meant to emulate the stage Final Destination, while offering a different theme and music selection. This option was created in response to the competitive community's tendency to favor Final Destination over other more complex stages in previous Smash Bros. games.
Players can switch back and forth between the standard and Omega version of a stage from the stage select menu.
As in previous games in the Super Smash Bros. series, the player can unlock and collect a variety of trophies that represent characters, items, and locations taken from throughout Nintendo's deep library of video games. The Wii U version has a total of 714 trophies (730 including DLC) and the 3DS version has 685 trophies (707 incuding DLC). This is much higher than Super Smash Bros. Brawl's 544 trophy count. It is also possible to purchase trophies from a shop using Play Coins in the 3DS version.
The Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. was one of the first Nintendo titles to support Amiibo; a line of NFC figurines that can send and receive data to and from the game through a chip in the Wii U GamePad. In the case of this game, the player can store custom data for a particular character in the respective figurine and then later spawn CPU controlled characters to fight either alongside a player-controlled character, or against other CPU, player-controlled, or Amiibo-generated characters. Players can also train their Amiibo through continued use of the character to level up their Amiibo to unlock new abilities and increase its stats.
The Nintendo 3DS version will also support Amiibo figurines in 2015 when the New Nintendo 3DS launches in the west and an NFC adapter is released for the original Nintendo 3DS and 2DS models.
GameCube Controller Support
The Wii U version will be playable with GameCube controllers via a special adapter that plugs into the Wii U's front USB-ports. Up to four wired GameCube controllers can plug into the adapter. It is also supports the use of wireless Wavebird GameCube controllers. The Wii U version will be sold in an optional bundle containing the game, the adapter and a Super Smash Bros.-branded controller. In Japan, a white Smash-branded GCN controller is also available. For 8-player Smash, two GameCube Controller adapters can be used at the same time.
Additionally, officially licensed GameCube controllers from third party manufacturer PDP will be available around the game's launch. They come in various Nintendo character-themed colors such as Mario, Peach and Yoshi. Unlike standard GameCube controllers, the PDP controllers connect to a Wii Remote like a Wii Nunchuk or Classic Controller. PDP's controllers also use analogue sticks based on those found in the Wii U GamePad instead of the regular GCN analog stick and the yellow C-Stick. The +Control Pad is based on the Wii U GamePad equivalent.
New Nintendo 3DS Enhancement
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS will be enhanced when played on a New Nintendo 3DS system by supporting the built-in C-Stick. While Circle Pad Pro compatible Nintendo 3DS software is also compatible with the C-Stick built into the New Nintendo 3DS, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is not compatible with the Circle Pad Pro accessory. It is also the case that the Circle Pad Pro requires the use of the 3DS IR sensor to function, and the upcoming Amiibo scanner peripheral will also require the use of the IR sensor.
Additionally, playing on a New Nintendo 3DS will allow access to Miiverse and the internet browser, which is disabled when playing on original Nintendo 3DS models due to the game using up all available system memory. The New Nintendo 3DS system has more memory available and thus do not have this restriction.
The game was announced during Nintendo's E3 2011 press conference, but development had not yet started at that time. During a Nintendo Direct presentation on June 21, 2012, it was announced that in order to get the game done more quickly, Nintendo is partnering with Namco Bandai Games and Namco Bandai Studio with oversight by series creator Masahiro Sakurai at Sora. Development officially began after the completion of Sakurai's previous game, Kid Icarus: Uprising.
The team at Namco Bandai working on the new Smash Bros. includes Masaya Kobayashi, Yoshito Higuchi (producer and director of the Tales... series), Tetsuya Akatsuka (producer and director of Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs.) and the art/sound director of the Soul Calibur series as well as the main development staff from the Tekken series.
The first footage of the game was revealed during a Nintendo Direct video stream on June 11, 2013. The video revealed a select few playable characters and also demonstrated that the game will use two different art styles; cel-shading on the 3DS, and a more standard shading on the Wii U.
On the June 11, 2013 E3 Nintendo Direct, the first three additions to the roster were revealed: the Villager from Animal Crossing, the female trainer from Wii Fit, and Mega Man. Since the game's unveiling, a special Miiverse Director's Room community for the game has been established, and Sakurai regularly posts screenshots, unveiling characters, stages, techniques, or simply images he finds amusing as a way to keep fans informed on the game's progress. Though characters or features are frequently announced outside of the Super Smash Bros website, they're typically added to the site within minutes of their unveiling.
Over the weekend of August 23, 2014, screenshots surfaced purporting to display the full character selection roster of the 3DS version. This was followed by a collection of videos uploaded to YouTube that spread across the internet on August 25th. The videos featured various game footage and a user identification of ESRB0083 that suggested the video footage was meant for submission to the ESRB for rating evaluation purposes. Both the screenshots and video featured characters that had not yet been announced or confirmed as members of the game's roster. It was eventually confirmed that the leaked images and video were real.
The videos were pulled down from YouTube at Nintendo's request on August 25th. It has been rumored, but not confirmed, that the person behind the leak was an employee of Nintendo of America responsible for sending rating evaluation material to the ESRB. This individual has since been fired, and Nintendo intends to file a lawsuit against the ex-employee for violation of the company's nondisclosure agreements.
A demo for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS was released in North America and Europe on September 19, 2014. On September 12, Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe sent early demo codes to Platinum Club Nintendo members over e-mail. The demo is very limited in scope; players can play either single-player or local multiplayer two-minute Smash battles. The only available stage in the demo is Battlefield, and the only characters available to play as are Mario, Link, Pikachu, Villager, and Mega Man.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
In its Japanese opening weekend starting September 13, the game sold 1 million retail and download copies. In its Western launch weekend starting October 2, the game managed to sell about 1.4 million retail and download copies, bringing the total global numbers to 2.8 million copies sold. As of September 30, 2016, the 3DS version has sold 8.35 million copies worldwide.
The 3DS version received generally positive reviews with many praising the fluid 60fps gameplay and full Smash experience being faithfully recreated on a handheld. Points of criticism were the small screen size during hectic battles, unfamiliar control ergonomics due to the platform's nature and occasional lag during online matches. The 3DS exclusive Smash Run mode was criticized for not supporting online players and taking too long at five minutes for preparation with randomized match rules.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
The Wii U version of the fourth Super Smash Bros. game has received very positive feedback and has even gained a strong presence in competitive tournament circles. However, some criticism was levied at the lack of an engrossing singleplayer/adventure mode similar to previous entries. This version of the game has sold 4.99 million copies worldwide as of September 30, 2016.