The brawling game “Super Smash Bros.” for Wii U comes on the heels of a version for Nintendo 3DS a few months back. Credit: Nintendo

“Just give it 20 minutes,” I said as I handed my girlfriend a controller and booted up “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.”

And just like that, we were brawling.

“Super Smash Bros. for Wii U” stays true to the franchise’s party game origins — it’s incredibly easy to pick up and play. You don’t need to know a lot of complicated combos, just how to jump and attack. But underneath the hood, as with all good games, there’s a deep and rewarding system for those who want to explore further.

But mostly, the game is about smashing your opponents off platforms. And you have a vast array of 49 different characters to choose from – ranging from favorites like Mario and Donkey Kong to the relatively obscure (like Ness from the cult hit “Earthbound”). And the levels are a trip through 30 years of gaming history. In one, you’re fighting amid what looks like an active game of Donkey Kong in all its retro glory. In another, you’re dodging oncoming “Mario Kart” traffic. There’s also online functionality but that wasn’t available as of the writing of this review.

As for the game, it’s fun and fast-paced, although it feels sluggish compared to its predecessor “Super Smash Bros. Melee.” For the Wii U version, there’s an 8-player version that’s complete chaos and the screen is chock full of people trying to blast each other to oblivion.

There are also a number of training and adventure modes that allow you to learn the basics of the game, advanced movesets and fight in different environments.

But playing the game with my girlfriend, I was reminded of an earlier time in video games, when nobody had the Internet to access all the best combos. We were just learning as we went, mashing buttons and figuring out new and exciting ways to pummel  each other.

Three hours later, her Princess Zelda had repeatedly battered my Ness into submission. We called it quits for the night.

But we’re both hooked. I can’t wait to get revenge.

“Super Smash Bros. for Wii U”

$60 for Wii U
Rated E 10+

[See also: review of “Super Smash Bros. for 3DS.”]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPy4vefsvcw