This Week’s Purchase: Super Smash Bros. (for Wii U) with adapter + GameCube Controller
What’s everyone’s favourite version of Super Smash Bros.? Mine is Melee for the Nintendo GameCube, although the N64 original is a close second. The game was always well suited to the Cube’s smart controller design, and due to a distinct lack of buttons on the Wiimote this also became the optimum way to play its sequel, Brawl. For the newest game Nintendo have undeniably gone all out, and this includes the option to use the fan favourite controller with the Wii U for the first time. Today I’ve been doing just that, and will look at the items needed to enjoy new Smash Bros. the old school way.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U currently comes in three different versions; the game on its own, the game bundled with a Mario amiibo (out 5th December), and the game bundled with the GameCube controller adapter (above). This item can also be purchased separately, so although visually it resembles the ‘Limited Edition’ Nintendo games we’ve seen in the last few years, the actual quantity in which this bundle has been manufactured, and for how long it will be stocked alongside the standard game, is currently unclear.
The package itself is fairly modest, and inside the box you have the adapter, which in turn has its own packaging, as well as a copy of the game. As expected (and I know I complain about this every time) the ‘big box’ version is a European release, and therefore you’ve also got the incredibly ugly USK age rating logo on the cover that sets it apart from the standard retail game.
The Smash Bros. branded GameCube controller is sold separately to the bundle (£24.99 on the GAME website, although currently out of stock). You can enjoy the game with any old GC pad, but this edition replaces the logo with a silver Smash Bros. emblem, and matches the colour of the black Wii U nicely. There’s also a white version, but this is due for release in Japan only. I’ve got one on order, although the game isn’t out there until December 6th and then there’s international postage, so I wont be seeing it for a few weeks.
Update: the white controller finally arrived, and unsurprisingly it looks completely awesome. The Japanese box is remarkably similar to its UK counterpart, with the only real difference being the logos and text.
Aside from cosmetic differences, the Smash Bros. pad is a GameCube controller through and through, which is a good thing really. Nothing has changed; it still feels as great as it did in 2002 (or 2001, North America), and for many gamers (including myself) it’s still the number one controller for playing Super Smash Bros. with.
What did surprise me is that unboxing and using a new controller is a really great feeling. Whilst the ten year old pads I already own are great for multiplayer, it’s nice to once again enjoy the feel of a brand new GameCube controller. Oh and incase you are wondering, Super Smash Bros. isn’t the only game it works with. You can also use it with any original GameCube game you can imagine.
But seriously, the GameCube controller would work great with other Wii U titles such as Mario Kart 8 and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (obviously). Hopefully Nintendo will change their stance on the item’s compatibility with the Wii U (which is currently that Smash Bros. will be the only game it will work with), and with the possibility of Virtual Console GameCube titles in the future, it would be silly for them to have made the adapter but then not let gamers use it for GC games.
If the only thing you like more than the Nintendo GameCube is wires, then you’re in for a real treat. That is unless you own a Wavebird (or four), and what’s great about the adapter is that you can plug in any combination of old Cube controllers you can get your hands on.
The adapter itself connects to the front of the Wii U and takes up two USB slots, presumably to draw enough power to run four controllers simultaneously. Other than that it functions exactly as it should do, and integrates into Smash Bros. with absolutely no fuss. The only real complaint I can think of is that perhaps Nintendo should have considered putting GameCube controller slots on the front of the console in the first place, much like they did with the original Wii. Clearly it’s still a controller of relevance, and the only thing better than the adapter would be not needing one at all. Having said that, if you’re a retro gamer who’s already got GameCube controllers lying about, then the adapter is at least a cheaper purchase than additional Wii U pads.
From what I’ve played so far, Super Smash Bros. on Wii U is a really fun game. As a fan it’s been great to jump in with my controller of choice and kick some serious ass online. I understand that newcomers might not see the appeal, and if you’re happy to play with the Wii U Pro Controller or whatever, that’s fine (as long as it’s not the nunchuck, that’s not fine). But for retro gamers who have been with the series for a long time, there’s only one pad that will do. The GameCube controller has stood the test of time, it’s got great character, and is one of the best controllers Nintendo ever made. The adapter works well, and for local multiplayer it’s a great option to be able to connect and use all your old GameCube pads.