Super Smash Brothers for the Wii U is one of the best party games in recent memory. From the standpoint of accessibility, there are some problems, but compared to the 3DS version, the Wii U version is miles ahead when it comes to being playable for disabled gamers.
The biggest issues will come for gamers with visual disabilities. The frantic action can often make it easy for players to lose sight of the characters in the match. Even though the art-style makes things easy to see, the occasional problem of fighting someone who looks identical to you except for a color swap is present in Super Smash Brothers for the Wii U. That being said, the art style is flamboyant enough and there are enough characters that players with visual disabilities who want to play Smash Bros will probably be able to get at least some enjoyment out of this newest title. Even though the items that pepper each arena can be hard to distinguish between, players can choose which items they want in each match, allowing those with visual disabilities to select only the items that are easily distinguished between.
For further thoughts on this, check out our review of the 3DS version. All of those criticisms hold true except for the fact that players can now play on a large TV, instead of a small handheld screen.
For players of Super Smash Brothers with fine motor disabilities the biggest problem will be the inherent fast pace of the series. Battles can be anywhere from 2-8 players, and even on easy difficulty, the computer displays a quickness that can be hard to match for players with fine motor disabilities. The good news is that each match is incredibly customizable; there are dozens of playable characters unlocked from the very beginning, which makes it easy for players to find one that suits their specific needs. Beyond that, matches can be heavily customized with things such as handicaps to help less experienced players, particular items, or even changing the very rules of the match. The biggest deal however is the controller customization, even though players cannot change the layout of the individual controllers, the fact that they can use a Wiimote, a Wii U Pro Controller, or the Wii U gamepad means that it will be easier to find a layout that fits your needs in this game, then it is on Super Smash Bros for the 3DS.
The good news for deaf or hard of hearing players is that Super Smash Bros was barrier free on the 3DS and remains barrier free on the Wii U. There is no in game dialogue, and nothing in the game relies on the ability to hear or distinguish between sounds.
On the whole, Super Smash Brothers is a great game, and while it has some inherent accessibility issues, there’s enough there for most players to enjoy something that Smash Bros offers.
Overall Rating: Thoroughly Accessible
Visual Rating: Thoroughly Accessible
Fine-Motor Rating: Thoroughly Accessible
Auditory Rating: Barrier Free
Released For: Wii U
ESRB Rating: E10+
GameInformer Score: 9.75
– Items now have a white arrow that appears above them to tell players where they are.
– Items are hard to distinguish.
– Players can choose from 1 of 3 different controllers.
– Quick reflexes required.
– Nothing in the game relies solely on the ability to hear audio cues.
This article has been transferred from DAGERSystem (now AbilityPoints). Scores, formatting, and writing style may differ from original CIPT content.