Heads up, long reply but we’ll just consider it an unofficial, not-all-that important opinion piece from a guy with clear Mother and “Mascot character” biases and plenty of anecdotes:
Have yet to play a multiplayer experience, so I’ll focus on the single:
To get the biases out first, Magicant (and by extension, its music and Flying Man) are the best things ever. Mother’s Magicant is my favorite location in the series next to Moonside, and it seems like fan service done the right way. I like the idea of the Pac Maze stage and all of the Pac-Man related tunes in the game (hoping Wii U has more, I feel empty without Sandbox Land getting an arrangement too, and Pac-Man 2 music, dangit*), but I dunno it, doesn’t feel as solid in execution, when I’m actually playing it. It’s more of a spectator level, I guess.
I admit Dream Land feels like Sakurai pulling from his produced games yet again for Kirby material, a pattern that I feel any Kirby fan across the spectrum has undoubtedly picked up on by now, but I can’t be bothered by that after it “hit” me; when I played a team battle of Ness, Kirby and Pikachu vs. Dedede and I got to the scrolling Float Islands section, it felt like a childhood adventure seeing the characters “tour” Kirby’s homeland, and it kind of goes back to that silly picture I doodled about Sm4sh being AU: The Game. So now I love Dream Land (with original, changing BGM) if only to self indulge.
I also like Lumiose City with its original BGM. Apologies to those who with just the mere mention of the location brings up headaches. Maybe because Pokémon Y got me to at least pay attention to Pokémon again? I’ll concede that I’m a bit biased towards that game.
While I’m here, real quick, that off hand comment I made about Tomodachi Life not being appealing enough to me because of the lack of fantasy characters from Nintendo’s library (many of which are non-human)? Mii Fighter actually solves that problem just a bit! It’s shallower but it’s something! I can finally punch Meta Knight in the face. :P
As for everything else not related to preferred franchises?
All in one shot, the character roster is pretty cool, best they’ve had. So many characters I’ve yet to try, but everyone I’ve played feels useable even at easy levels (you wouldn’t want them to be otherwise). I’m hoping for some DLC though. I feel like, what with leaks (fake or not), we should have a Rhythm Heaven representative somewhere. The modes, ah… I feel like there isn’t enough meat? Again, having only played single player, and with unlocks being as easy as they are this time, there isn’t much to do after a while. Smash Run is fun and even addictive, especially in short bursts (I suppose the “point” of portable gaming) but I can’t shake the feeling that Kirby Air Ride’s City Trial is still superior and I don’t know why. Part of it is having the option to change settings in the mode, but the rest? Maybe because Air Ride was free roaming or had a thrilling sensation? I really don’t know, but I do know which of the two I’d rather be playing, especially when City Trial still holds up to this day.
Finally, and I guess my concern is, that I hope the Wii U version has something going for it that makes it worth anyone’s time, and I haven’t seen any news about Wii U exclusive modes. If it doesn’t, I get the feeling that Smash 3DS will result in a soft burn out of “been there, done that, no thanks” towards Wii U, multiplayer experiences notwithstanding (which helps, but didn’t save Brawl for me which I’ll get to in a bit). I play Smash too casually to care about the metagame, but I still feel the series peaked at Melee so far, but not for reasons tourney players say (I always play with favorites, even ‘til the bitter end as painful as it was with Ness and Kirby, so it certainly wasn’t for fighting reasons). I feel like Melee introduced too much at once when compared to the bare bones 64 version. Since then, it feels like the team didn’t have much more to offer, as they gave us all they had in Melee. Every Smash after Melee put too much emphasis on one new, big ‘n’ different mode as opposed to lots of smaller but fun ones, and that one new thing just doesn’t hold its own weight. Melee had Adventure and Event Modes/Matches, which went a long way towards replayability (and the ability to see worlds collide, as it were), especially given the unique, non-fighting segments of Adventure. I’d love to see the return of both. It also had a more randomized All Star Mode which at the time, was new.
With that, Smash for Wii U would have to be more content rich like Melee for the single player experience, and yet I fear it isn’t. With divided resources and things like roster parity actually leading to cut content for things that were once a given (alas, poor Ice Climbers), I can’t shake the feeling that instead of potentially getting one great package full of content like Melee, we get two good enough games for the sake of having a portable Smash. I can’t complain, the 3DS version is a smart move business wise and lets face it, more people, including myself, have one of these than a Wii U (which I don’t own), so at least people don’t have to miss out. We’re little more than a month away from Wii U’s release, and nothing about it has been propped up to the forefront nearly as much as Smash Run has. I find that to be worrisome.
That’s my $1.50 on Smash so far, the rest is up to Wii U…
PS: The Pokemon models are great this time around. Jiggly and Pikachu are top tier cute. Also, Mr. Game and Watch’s animations are greater than ever.
PPS: Why doesn’t Mega Man blink? I think Sakurai took him being a robot a bit further than Inafune would have imagined. It’s just creepy (hahaha, holy smokes it’s the Charlotte stare! I just thought of that).
*Speaking of, would definitely get behind more Mega Man music that doesn’t come from the NES games in the Wii U version too. Considering Danger Wrap’s inclusion, I would love an arrangement of Burst Man’s stage for starters, and the Rockman 25th anniversary soundtracks showed me that Mega Man 8 music is actually really great if arranged right.