Some words from my brain to yours about whatever game has been occupying my time over the last 7 days. Once a week, EVERY week for the duration of 2015. God help us.
My partner bought me a Wii U for Christmas as a lovely surprise (read: due to my incessant hinting) and I subsequently spent the remaining few days of 2014 hoovering up all of the Wii U games that I’d been salivating over from afar for the last few months. The entire experience of being a Wii U owner has been, in no uncertain terms, an absolute joy. Aside from linking my existing Nintendo ID to my new console (a process I can only compare to pure horror) every aspect of my time with this machine has been a shot of happiness delivered directly to my blackened soul. I’ll say one thing right away : if you’re on the fence about buying a Wii U, if purchasing Nintendo’s latest console is something that you’re considering; if the act of buying one is something that you’re 99% committed to but can’t quite decide if it’s the right thing to do and as long as in doing so you wouldn’t be leaving your family without food or heating, then – do it. Do it now. Stop reading, get out your wallet and swap monies for a Wii U. It is a fabulous machine with a bewilidering array of quality games available for it.
I’ve amassed a hefty catalogue of those games in the space of a week : Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, Smash Bros, Bayonetta’s 1 and 2, Hyrule Warriors and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. An obscene amount, really. And all of them, of what I’ve played, are excellent. I’m sure you’ll see all of them appear in this column as we stumble onwards into 2015, but for now I’ll talk about one that managed to entertain a 3 year old, a 9 year old and a 30 year old all at the same time – Smash Bros.
Y’all probably know the deal – it’s pure Nintendo fan-service dressed as a button mashing brawler and garnished with a generous serving of insanity. You don’t play Smash Bros, you hold on and hope for the best. The amount of content packed onto this disc is ludicrous. It feels like it should’ve cost twice what it did. I’ve barely scratched the surface of what Smash Bros has to offer but it’s a testament to the game that the 2 hours I’ve spent with it has already formed an experience that’ll be hard to beat this year.
My 3 year old daughter has only a passing interest in videogames at present; the fact that she struggles to competently navigate a character in a 3D space means she gets bored fast and will usually soon be back to doing whatever she was doing before I called her over. Smash Bros’ side-on view combined with the way that it will eventually reward the hammering of buttons at random saw it click for her perfectly. After I taught her what the special move and jump buttons were, she was away. Screwing me and her brother over with gleeful abandon; leaping into the middle of our duels and unleashing hell by spamming the special moves before darting away, laughing herself breathless. At the end of one round, she actually came in 1st place.
It’s an irritating cliche, the whole ‘family gathered around the games console having a good time’ thing, but – fuck me – it actually happens. Let me tell you – 3 player Smash Bros with 2 children is a whole new level of madness. We didn’t look like a family from a Wii U advert (I was wearing a Napalm Death t-shirt for one thing) and at the end of it all, both kids were in a mood because … well, because kids. But for a couple of hours, all that mattered was whether Link could pound Diddy Kong’s face into mush before Peach could ram us both of the stage by throwing a barrel at us. I don’t think any of us were truly in control of the action on screen (I hope to spend more time soon getting to know the intricacies of the combat), but we had a fucking great time regardless.
2015 will be a better year than 2014 because I own a Wii U. It’s that simple.