Gamers have been waiting a long time to learn more about Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. While it’s true that daily screenshots and spaced out roster reveals have been quenching the thirst for knowledge thus far, images just don’t equate to experiencing the game in action. The 4-player frantic combat that’s made the series so popular to begin with is always best experienced from a first-hand perspective, and after going hands-on with Nintendo’s highly anticipated beat ‘em up, it’s safe to say that fans have a lot to look forward to.

The demo for the game that was present during E3 2014 had a few selectable characters based on the combatants revealed thus far. Newcomers like Mega Man, Greninja, Villager, and Little Mac were instantly appealing choices, while existing fighters like Bowser, Olimar, and Zelda were ripe for the picking because of the changes they’d received in the transition to the new hardware. The list of playable fighters was only a fraction of what awaits fans in the final game, but the demo managed to provide a good enough glimpse at the experience that’ll be arriving later this year.

As for the new additions to the roster, they each had their own unique feel and we could see why they were included in the game to begin with. For example, Greninja is a fast and complex character capable of chaining together quick combos that require precision to execute. On the other hand, Little Mac is a very fast and powerful character who essentially has a useless air game and little chance of recovery once ejected from the stage. Villager has a very unique move set capable of delivering high damage — although some moves take a while to setup.

Super Smash Bros Wii U E3 2014 Hands On

Meanwhile, Mega Man has a bevy of weapons at his disposal that make him a viable threat to players in close or medium distance. Wii Fit Trainer does the bulk of her damage up close and personal, with the option of keeping foes at a distance with a powerful ball of energy that can be charged up. Last but not least, Rosalina is a floaty but powerful fighter capable of chaining together some solid juggling-based combos for anyone willing to master jumping between controls of the space princess and her partner Luma.

As for the gameplay itself, franchise creator Masahiro Sakurai has opted to stick with the tried and true formula that made the series such a hit to begin with. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U establishes a nice pace that falls between the high speed antics of Melee and the more casual pace of Brawl. This makes the game accessible to new players, while still maintaining the depth that competitive players have been enamored with since the series’ installment on the GameCube.

Super Smash Bros Wii U E3 2014 Third Party Characters

Every Wii U station at E3 that featured Super Smash Bros. also came equipped with four GameCube controllers for gamers looking to test their mettle in the new fighting game. As many longtime fans will attest, the announcement that the Wii U will receive GameCube controller support is great for the competitive community, and the controls feel just as natural as they have in the years following Melee‘s release. Other methods of control weren’t available on the show floor, but there will allegedly be a few methods of control in the final product.

There’s a lot of hype that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U must live up to and what I’ve played has assured me that it’ll deliver on many fronts. The new characters, items, and stages present in the E3 2014 demo provide a convincing argument that the best Smash iteration could very well be arriving in 2014.

There’s still a lot of mystery surrounding the Wii U and 3DS versions of this title, but with surprise characters like Pac-Man joining the fray it’s hard not to be excited to see what other secrets Sakurai is hiding from the masses.


Super Smash Bros. on the 3DS will release on October 3, 2014, while the Wii U version will be arriving in Winter 2014.

Follow Riley on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.