I arrived at Nintendo’s booth just a couple minutes before E3 opened, which afforded the chance to see the area fill up as fast as Smash Bros.’ biggest fans rushed to the area at the start of the show. The many demo stations had dozens of people camped out, waiting for a few rounds with the first playable version of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. And I have to think those fanboys and girls were satisfied, because the demo plays exactly like Smash Bros. veterans expect.
I battled through three brief rounds, all in time limit matches. I tried out new characters in the first two rounds, lacing up Little Mac’s gloves in the Dr. Wily stage ripped straight from Mega Man 2. It was a lively fight, and my skills didn’t feel too rusty--no doubt it helps that I played on a GameCube controller. Mac is quick and packs a few powerful charge attacks, like a mini-Donkey Kong (though not as tough). My second round was spent as the Wii Fit Trainer, whose moves look more in sync with a yoga instructor than a martial artist. There’s an extra feeling of accomplishment from knocking folks off the screen with the graceful movements of a fitness expert.
Then came the final round. The Nintendo representative mentioned that the winner of the round would get a free t-shirt, which isn’t an incentive for me, but it certainly was for my opponents. Everyone switched to their most familiar characters (Mario in my case), and gave it their all. As I played with my goto character, on a GameCube controller no less, I realized the core of this series was truly unchanged. And that’s the best news me, and the fanboys that surrounded me, could’ve heard.