Well, it’s been over a month now since the release of the hotly anticipated Smash Bros. for Wii U. Instead of writing your basic review gushing over all the things it knocked out of the park, we’re going to do something different here because you’ve likely already read about how great it all is (about thirty separate times) and/or played the game yourself.

I don’t want it to seem like I don’t like the game. That isn’t the case, as it’s just these few pieces short of an absolute 10 out of 10 masterpiece. Simply put, we got almost everything we wanted. I’m sure some of the Melee holdouts are unhappy with the speed, but I feel like a fine balance has been struck between Brawl and its predecessor.

My gripes lie mostly within the online realm of play.

The red flags started waving back when the 3DS version was released with laggy, inconsistent online game play. It was disappointing, but I still had hope that the Wii U version would be a smooth experience.

Fast forward to today, and unfortunately that hasn’t been the case. Most of my online games of Smash are absolutely, unacceptably riddled with lag. It’s sad, as Nintendo really did a nice job of setting up the For Fun and For Glory modes and allowing online guest play. All the pieces are in place for an addictive and engaging online experience of the likes no Nintendo game has ever seen. However, the matchmaking and networking still isn’t there.

A game like Super Smash Bros. is entirely dependent on smooth game play to work. Even minor latency issues are enough to make you want to put your controller through the TV – especially when “CoolDude69″ is doing nothing but falcon-kick-farting his way around the stage.

The issues go as far back as Brawl. Believe it or not, the now six year old game had an online component with the same problem. Smash 4 isn’t nearly as bad, but it isn’t okay that a game released at the end of the year 2014 has so many problems with online latency. What we’re seeing is another example of Nintendo neglecting something that it deems non-important for reasons unknown. It’s almost like the way the American motor companies neglected gas mileage for so many years when all the while Honda was spending big bucks on researching ways to maximize MPG. When the price of gas skyrocketed, Honda was looking good while Ford and Chevrolet struggled to play catchup.

Nintendo is Ford and Chevrolet in this analogy, and you can guess who Honda is. It’s a full generation behind in online game play, and that is a damn shame.

It’s not only online lag issues that are hurting the experience. Consider the way team For Glory matches are currently locked in as: time-only matches with team attack disabled.  Why are there no stocks? 1v1 For Glory is a timed stock match. Inexplicably, 2v2 is not. Also, I hope you have a main that you can counter projectile spamming scrubs with, because you’re going to need it if you venture into this mode. Team For Glory is filled with soul-less projectile launching anuses. I’m serious about that, and I hope that paints the picture I’m trying to illustrate properly.

When your opponents don’t have to worry about hitting their own teammates, they’re free to mash buttons and attack wildly. That’s right, your randomly assigned online opponents can choose any infuriating combo of characters and exploit the lack of team attack to deadly effect. Add a dash of lag and you’re guaranteed to want to run straight towards the nearest living thing and strangle it.

It’s not out of the question that these issues could be resolved via any number of patches, but Nintendo doesn’t have a great track record of listening to it’s hardcore audience and I don’t see it happening. I hope I’m wrong.

About The Author


John is a full-time web developer who writes and streams for multitoad.com. He started Multitoad with Luke "Yogzula" VanTrieste. John loves multiplayer gaming, his wife (known around the site as Queenie), his dog (Marble), horror movies, and sitting down with a nice craft beer. If you want to contact the author of this post, feel free to do so on the community forums.

One Response

  1. Luke VanTrieste
    Luke VanTrieste

    Agreed. It’s really a shame that Nintendo neglects online play so much in the year 2014 when every other system knows it’s a core feature. Nintendo is pretty consistent with neglecting core features in favor of gimmicky tomfoolery that nobody truly cares about, resulting in sales but ultimately ending in disappointment.

    My biggest gripe with smash 4 was, as you said, the lag and the 2v2 for glory. They had the good sense to make 1v1 for glory use stocks and a timer, just like in a competitive setting. Why they thought 2v2 for glory should not use stocks is beyond me, and why they thought they shouldn’t use the same competitive ruleset they use in 1v1 ie: all competitive smash 2v2 tournaments having friendly fire on, is also beyond me.

    I simply can’t play a game that lags as much as smash 4 online does. It’s a massive disappointment and it’s impossible to ignore. Get it together Nintendo.


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