It’s been a busy year for us gamers in 2014 and you were spoilt for choice in our Reader’s Game of the Year 2014 poll. With some surprises (no votes for GTA V!), all of your top games have the right to be as highly regarded as they are. To kick off our rundown of your most popular picks, we have in fifth place Super Smash Bro. for Wii U.
Placing joint 5th with the Binding of Isaac: Rebirth in your Game of the Year 2014 list, but with a superior overall Metacritic critic review average of 92, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U firmly delivered on the lofty expectations held by long-time fans of the series. The game managed to squeeze in and finely tune over 30 years of Smash history, but also added in important new features such as eight player brawls.
Releasing in late November 2014, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is the latest in a series of crossover fighting games from Nintendo, featuring a dizzying variety of popular characters from established video game franchises: Mario, Link, Kirby and Pikachu all feature. Your aim is to knock your opponents off of a variety of nostalgia-inducing stages from popular games, rather than depleting their health bars as you would in other side-scrolling fighting games.
The opening instalment in the series was released in 1999 in Japan only, but its commercial success led to a global reception, culminating in a further four entries which included the first handheld version that came out this October, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS.
Nintendo needed to strike a balance between appealing to the nostalgia of the series’ fans, whilst making sure that the game could be accessible for those introducing themselves to Smash for the first time; a balance that Nintendo has nailed. Every combatant in the roster—a list that has now been expanded up to 51 playable characters—uses the same button presses for their special moves and standard attacks, but each has their own distinctive style that is fun to learn and adapt to.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U can eat up plenty of your time for this reason, but the game is also suited to the casual player looking for a quick fighting fix. This is thanks to the vast array of game modes to keep things interesting: Classic, Special Orders and All-Star are some of many that put your characters in endlessly creative, chaotic scenarios in which to learn and hone your skills.
The virtues of Super Smash Bros. have only been strengthened on the Wii U, Nintendo’s latest console. All of the manic Smash action is now beautifully rendered in 60 frames per second and can be played on the Wii U’s gamepad, or even with the classic GameCube controller—if you have the necessary adapter— which is another boon for loyal fans. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is also the first game to take advantage of Nintendo’s new amiibo technology, although no actual figurines are included in the box.
Critics have registered complaints with the awkward menu systems, a less than desirable regularity in custom special move drops and certain modes that don’t always hit the high points of others—like Smash Tour, a virtual Smash-orientated board game. However, the overall quality and reputation of the series means that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U might’ve expected to finish higher in your Game of the Year 2014 standings. Looks like we have plenty more exciting things to come!
Online Games and Tech Editor
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