With all of the excitement for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in the air, I thought I’d spend some of my Saturday afternoon reminiscing with the latest entry in the Smash Bros. franchise. Sure, I haven’t played any Smash games in a very long time, let alone Smash 4, but I was excited to try it out anyway. Plus, I’ve never tried to play it online! I was sure this would be an entirely jovial and pleasant experience.
I was wrong. I was wrong about ten times over. To start, the game needed to update to play online. Okay, I thought, that’s reasonable. I don’t think I’ve updated Smash 4 since before Bayonetta and Corrin were in the game. Let’s just update the game and… oh, you need the gamepad to be on to update it. Alright, well I’ve got the charger right here… oh, the system needs to be updated to access the eShop. Starting to notice a trend? On top of all of that, I had somehow filled the system storage to its exact maximum. Zero bytes of the massive 32 GB hard drive were available. At this point I started to remember why people hated this console.
The updating process took about half an hour. The updates themselves didn’t take long, but the Wii U user interface is so unacceptably slow that each small step towards online Smash goodness took thirty seconds to a minute longer than it should have. It also doesn’t help that the system has to ask “are you sure you want to close your current application? Any unsaved data will be lost!” Wii U, the application is the eShop, and I never got into it in the first place.
Finally, I’m in the most recent update of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Updating the system gave me time to realize that I should probably try some warmup matches against CPUs before I stepped into For Glory. I did exactly that and… oh man. Was the game always this slow and sticky? There’s a million years of endlag on everything but shield, and I can’t seem to tech properly. Oh well, I thought, I was used to it at one point, no reason I couldn’t get used to it again. So long as I stick to Lucina, my old main, I shouldn’t have too many problems.
At last, I was ready to hop into some matches. I didn’t expect to be the best, but I’ve spent an absurd amount of time on various games in the Smash franchise. I shouldn’t be that bad, right? Well, I didn’t get the chance to find out. I was paired up against a Corrin player that, frankly, didn’t know how to play the game. They did nothing but spam side-b and neutral-b, never shielding or dodging. Everything they did was incredibly predictable and poorly executed. I lost to this person. The combined lag from the unfamiliar Smash 4 mechanics and my internet connection made the game virtually unplayable.
After that I gave up. I tried a couple For Fun matches to see if the connection issues would subside, but they inexplicably seemed to get worse. I suppose if I want to enjoy Smash Bros. again I’ll either have to make some local friends or wait until Smash Ultimate comes out in December. The moral of this story is: don’t go back to the Wii U. It’s not worth it.