A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Super Smash Bros.Wii U is the Wii U installment of the long-running fighting series. Characters otherwise generally portrayed as friendly/heroes -- like Mario, Yoshi, and Pac-Man -- beat, stomp, and attack each other in an over-the-top, cartoonish free-for-all. While it sounds violent, there's no blood or gore, and defeated enemies are knocked off screen; think of it as a video game take on "king of the hill." The game is most fun to play with people on your friend list, though it's also possible to play against strangers from around the world (but there's no direct communication with strangers). The addition of amiibo -- real-world figurines that look like Skylanders or Disney: Infinity toys -- could prompt kids to ask for those.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In SUPER SMASH BROS. WII U, it's every character for him or herself in a battle royale between Nintendo's most popular characters, as well as characters from other franchises, including Pac-Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Mega Man. Each comes with their own unique abilities and power attacks, which are used to fight and weaken opponents (whether computer controlled, friends, or strangers online) to knock them off their platform. The game accommodates up to eight players, and there are two main single-player modes: Classic Mode, in which players fight through a series of enemies until reaching a boss battle, and All-Star Mode, in which players battle characters in the order of the year they debuted. There are also shorter mini-games.
Is it any good?
We've already raved about Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS; given how remarkably similar the Wii U version is, it's safe to assume we feel the same way about it. Rather than repeating our praise of elements that work so well in the mobile version, we'll call out two significant additions for the console version: eight-player multiplayer and amiibo. Eight-player mode is something many fans have wanted for a while, and it can be lots of fun in a crowded room, since no one has to wait for their turn. But it makes for a very busy screen, and it can be tricky to keep track of your character. That's fine for fans of the silliness of the game, but if players are taking a match seriously, they could be annoyed.
Amiibo, the real-world toys that "learn" as you play, are a nice addition that add a fun twist to the game, letting you take figurine characters to friends' houses and even use them as a way to improve your own skills. All this said, the game still has shortcomings: It's hard for newcomers to the franchise to learn, and online mode can be glitchy. But ultimately, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is still a strong addition to the Wii U's library.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games like Super Smash Bros. Wii U. While it's fun to see familiar characters brawl like this, why isn't it acceptable in the real world? What are other ways to solve conflicts?
Talk about what makes a game fun. Can you explain why cartoonish fighting might make a game more fun and appealing than more intense violence/blood would? Do you think the graphic images are gratuitous in most games or necessary for some stories?
- Platforms: Nintendo Wii U
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: November 21, 2014
- Genre: Fighting
- Topics: Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Sports and Martial Arts
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief, Mild Suggestive Themes
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.