There’s little denying that 2013 was a marvellous year for videogames, a well deserved swan song for the sternly loyal long lived last generation of consoles – Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. 2013 was arguably one of gamings best years in recent memory. But who cares, old game is old – right? The moment Playstation 4 and Xbox One were released last year gamings most dedicated communities suddenly cast their expectant gaze forward. So then, to celebrate the beginning of 2014, and a hopefully yet another fantastic year for gaming we’ve decided to count down a top ten list of our most anticipated titles slated for release this year, kicking of the top 5 is Super Smash Bros 3DS/WiiU.
Melee! Super Smash Bros fans in the audience should immediately recognise the bellowing exclamation from the series second, and most fondly remembered entry – subtitled Melee, but I’m sure you worked that out. Whenever I booted up Super Smash Bros: Melee in my faithful black Gamecube, and excitedly punched the start button at the main menu the short sound bite would triumphantly play sending a wave of unbridled anticipation down my spine; even now just reading or quietly uttering the quote to myself fills me with comforting nostalgia. Undoubtedly then my love of Nintendo’s unconventional charming mascot fighter runs incredibly deep, entrenched even, so there’s little surprise that the upcoming fourth installment has me ready to enter the fray once more, after getting withdrawal from sitting out for the last entry on Nintendo Wii – Brawl.
The latest in the series is set for release on Nintendo’s home console the WiiU, and for the first time ever on a portable platform with a version specifically developed for 3DS also on the way. A handheld version of the mayhem ridden fighter is something of a long awaited dream for fans, and it’s arrival will undoubtedly be a landmark for Nintendo – their choice to create a 3DS version likely a symptom of the WiiU’s current woes and 3DS’s monumental success. They’ll be no hanging around for 3DS owners either, as the handheld version is planned arrive day and date with the console version later this year. Though the two editions will share many similarities like the roster of Nintendo favourites, and returning collectible trophies it’s the differences that really provide excitement.
First and foremost many stages will be version exclusive, the WiiU edition paying homage to Nintendo’s extensive home console history featuring more arenas based on their home classics, whilst the 3DS version will focus on providing battlefields based on their successful portable properties. Unavoidably though the most noticeable difference is the visual fidelity, afterall the WiiU version will be the first in the series to be presented in HD. If recent character reveal trailers have been any indication the graphical boost afforded by new hardware has been used to great effect as each of the fighters look marvelous in both design and motion. That’s not to say the 3DS version looks poor, opting to use a style reminiscent of cel shading with thick black outlines on character models, the design is still rock solid surrendering absolutely no charm in the transition to the smaller screen. Still, there’s something undeniably gorgeous about seeing the iconic fighters in full HD glory – many for the first time.
As if the anticipation for Nintendo’s signature brawler wasn’t high enough the publisher is still systematically unveiling tantalising new character trailers until the release finally rolls around, and the unbearable wait comes to a close. The frankly awesome trailers thus far have confirmed some surprising new combatants including Megaman, Animal Crossing’s Villager and Mario Galaxy’s Rosalina. The generous selection of trailers are bound to keep the community engaged until release at an unspecified time later this year; besides it’ll keep them excitedly speculating who’s next. It’s a good bet that the full roster will be inclusive of a mixture of iconic, and lesser known Nintendo favourites. If the last entry Brawl was any indication Nintendo could further expand the amount of third party mascots like Sonic and Solid Snake that the WiiU and 3DS versions will include – though that seems doubtful so far.
Regardless of which colourful combatants will be added or return we can be pretty sure that Super Smash Bros simplistic, fast paced and tactical fighting system will remain intact. It’s unusual percentage twist on battle that focuses on players forcing rivals out of the ring is a quirky approach to the genre – very Nintendo to defy a standard. In that sense Super Smash Bros is the perfect homage to the long lived videogame company, a game that approaches the norm, twists it and throws in a stack of Nintendo stars before adding a copious amount of charm to create something totally new. Every other entry in the mascot fighting series has been well devised, addictive and moreover joyously fun, and we don’t see that changing. While both versions share many similarities including Miiverse integration, the HD console version has the edge in our mind potentially becoming the most compelling reason to own a WiiU yet.
Be sure to check back for entry number five tomorrow, in the mean time do share this with your friends or, follow us on twitter @Gamerree.
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