There's a line in The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again that could apply to Super Smash Bros for the Wii U: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Fans of the N64 original, plus Melee and Brawl, will find that they are on very familiar ground with the Wii U's edition of Nintendo's madcap bash 'em up. It's very much in the "if it ain't broken, why fix it" mould.
It introduces a few new additions. You can fight as Pac-Man, the villager from Animal Crossing, Mega Man, the Wii Fit Trainer (which is simply hilarious) and a few other newcomers to the franchise. Plus, you can decide to battle as a pimped up version of your Mii. And a massive cast of returning characters are available, including Sonic the Hedgehog, to make up a choice of more than 30.
The game is effectively the same; jump around platforms, trying to knock your opponents off in order to score points, using weaponry and power-ups that appear (including the SNES Super Scope, huzzah), and unleash incredible super moves. And from six or so plays on the Nintendo stand at E3 we can guarantee that it's just as fun as it ever has been, perhaps more so thanks to the better, more crisp HD graphics.
Up to four players can battle away on the same screen. We played with three and that actually felt like an ideal amount. We played locally, but it does have online play for times when you haven't got your friends or family around. You can play against chosen family or friends over the internet, or you can just enter random battles - either way, you'll get the same outcome, you'll be laughing yourself silly by the end of it.
We particularly like the fact that we got to play with GameCube controllers, that are better suited to the game than any of the console's existing control methods. If you already have some lying around, a four controller adapter for Wii U will be out this Christmas, the same release date as the game. And if you don't already own any, Super Smash Bros branded GameCube controllers will also be made available by Nintendo.
Super Smash Bros for the Wii U will also be compatible with Nintendo's new Amiibo toys; the Skylanders-style figures that can interact with the game. They aren't extra collectable characters you can play as, but might add a companion to fight alongside you, or a new AI competitor. That way, players no owning an Amiibo are not punished or locked out of content.
Super Smash Bros is another prime example of why Nintendo isn't giving up on the Wii U yet. It is fun, frenetic and pays lip service to fans with every pixel. We cannot wait to play the final game when it arrives this Christmas.