December 17, 2014
My lack of Wii U was solved pretty darn quick. On the day Super Smash Bros. for Wii U was released, a colleague sitting right beside me had stepped out of the office, only to return brandishing a brand new copy of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (along with the special collector's metal box). Suddenly a thought triggered as to what I was thinking not totally being involved in a major Super Smash Brothers release, just as I had done in every other release past. On my lunch break, I immediately picked up a copy of the newly released game, even inquiring about the GameCube adapter (more on this later!). After work, I picked up a Wii U, Mario Kart 8, two Wii U Pro Controllers, and a Yoshi Amiibo, and drove to my friend's house to get in some Day 0 action!
At this point of the night is where I had my "Nintendo, you're killing me here!" moment. All I wanted to do was play my brand new Smash Brothers game on my brand new Nintendo system! In the old school days of the NES, one just had to hook up the console, pop in a game, press power, and go. My have times changed.
First of all was the pretty complicated setup. Honestly, even I was pretty intimidated by it, and I wondered how parents managed! Once everything was finally hooked up, I powered on the system, only to discover that I was forced to update right off the bat! Well that's fine... it would be good to be up to date from the beginning. Should only take a couple of minutes right? Well it took 30 minutes just to download the updates. I stood there with my friend watching it, thinking it would be quick. Then it took another 10 mintues after that to install. After that, I was forced through agonizing forced menu setups that I wished I just could have skipped: Mii creations, system settings, parental controls. After that, I had a "Day 0" update to apply to the game. By the time we were finally able to play the game, it had taken 2 hours. We timed it. Honestly, this is totally the "first impression" stage of a new system, and my experience left a lot more to be desired. I just imagined what awaits very eager and impatient children on Christmas Day that just want to play their dang new gaming system!
Finally I was able to play this game! My first few characters chosen were Bowser, Charizard, Bowser Jr. (In that order). That should come as a surprise to absolutely no one! My first most-pleasing impression was "this is not Brawl". I'm sure I share that sentiment with many. Just like Sakurai had claimed the speed or "feel" of the game is somewhere halfway between Melee and Brawl. I totally agree with this suggestion.
Being out of luck without a GameCube adapter, my friend and I fell back on the Wii U Pro Controllers. Although it definitely took a lot of getting used to at first, surprisingly it's not nearly as bad as I thought. After switiching the default Sheild/Grab butttons, it felt very similar to a GameCube controller, just with the C-stick and buttons switching places. I still hit the wrong button from time-to-time, but this is just to tide me over until I can get that legendary GameCube adapter
Honestly though, how the heck did Nintendo manage to underestimate the demand for using GameCube controllers in such colossal fashion? I'm hearing stories of adapters being scalped online and marked up hundreds of percent in price! Really Nintendo, did you think we would have rather used your Gamepad or Wii Motes with a game this advanced and involved? Gosh it can be so frustrating to be a Nintendo fan with how often they seem to drop the ball. I am still hunting for this adapter, only hoping they are manufacturing more!
As stated in my release day update, I did attend "Smash University" at the University of Alberta for the highly anticipated "Day 1 Tournament". This is a unique time where the slate is basically wiped clean when it comes to skill/experience, because everybody sucks! The game is brand new and has to be learned and mastered. This isn't entirely true though, since the 3DS version had come out about a month before, and both games are quite similar. Then there are the hardcore gamers who were playing it since the midnight release all the way up to the tournament on Saturday to try to get as much XP as possible. It was fun times for sure! My Bowser made it to about middle-of-the-pack in the tourney results. There was even a Melee tournament still going on simultaneously, so I got to relive my old stomping grounds.
I've been pretty amazed by my addiction level to the game since its release. My younger brother has been acting as my sparring partner as he always has, and we just can't seem to put the game down! So many hours have already been sunk into smashing and not-doing-Bowser-Shrine-updates =p
My early impressions of Bowser are mixed. He is definitely improved in a very many ways. I love his assortment of kicking moves! I am absolutely addicted to his hilarious forward smash (Flying Dropkick). Plowing that move into your opponent is almost a guaranteed KO. I'm a bit concerned though on the front that Bowser was originally rated as middle-of-the-pack in Brawl, before falling down the slope-of-no-hope back to near Bottom Tier. Something nags at me suggesting that this could be the case again. While Bowser matches up fine against other powerful and large opponents, it seems that he could be countered by small and fast characters, or characters that out-range him. I am having tremendous trouble beating a Shulk opponent. Perhaps that character has just way too much going for them and is top tier.
Well, that's my SSB4 musings for now. I hope you found them... amusing (couldn't help myself! XD)