There's almost no point in discussing whether Smash Bros. Wii U is worth buying. Of course it is. Smash Bros. is a unique quantity among Nintendo franchises. It's an e-sport; it's a massive party game; it's a mad mashup of all Nintendo characters and lore, from the mainstream to the head-scratchingly obscure. And, it's a hard-core fighting game. If that doesn't express the franchise's surprising cult following, we found it to be.
was its predecessor companion piece, a fairly similar shrunken-down experience that was incredibly impressive for its depth but was a little hard to control. A core fighting game is a puzzle to master on a handheld. That's no problem on the Wii U: there are a ridiculous number of ways to play, from the GamePad, to Wii remotes, to the classic GameCube controller -- or even using a Nintendo 3DS. Some work better than others, but you can't say Nintendo didn't offer plenty of alternatives.
If you have one from the original Wii's legacy, we found its Pro Controller to be the best performing device, though Nintendo is selling a GameCube controller adapter for Wii U that can support up to four players. If you share the opinion that the GameCube console enjoyed the best controller Nintendo ever offered, Super Smash Bros.-branded throwbacks are also available for $30 each.
The difference on the Wii U, and what makes it a better experience than it was on the 3DS, are those improved control offerings, the sheer size and detail of the game's impressive fighting stages, and the ability to play either online or with friends, in up to eight-player brawls that become numbingly chaotic -- and undoubtedly difficult to follow at times.
Rest assured that the extra modes, power-ups, character leveling, newly added Mario Party-like board game battle modes, trophy collecting, character-unlocking and soup-to-nuts customization mean this game is inexhaustible. As a sport, it's also got infinite replay value. But you have to buy into wanting a game like this. If you're a Nintendo fan, which as a Wii U owner you have to be, this is the title you just need to blindly buy. Like a good bottle of whiskey, it'll be nice to offer to guests.