Thanks to a special Smash-Bros-focused Nintendo Direct today, there is a ton of new information on both the 3DS and Wii U versions of Smash Bros. Let's take a moment to recap both the major news, and some of the smaller things you might've missed, shall we?
The 3DS version drops sometime this summer. The Wii U version drops sometime in winter 2014. Why they're staggering it like that, who knows—maybe to get more people to buy the 3DS version?
3DS vs Wii U
Visually, obviously, there will be a difference between both versions of the game. But beyond that, though all the characters will be available in both versions, some stages and music will differ depending on the platform. You'll only be able to play some stages on the Wii U, and some stages on the 3DS. The Wii U stages will focus on locales that have appeared in console games, whereas the 3DS version will focus on locales that have appeared on handheld games, appropriately. Both versions will run at 60 FPS, though.
Oh, and the 3DS version will include a special "Smash Run" mode. Basically, players will traverse dungeon-like levels, collecting all sorts of power-ups. At the end, players will fight against each other—and their power/abilities will be based on what power-ups they collected during the earlier portion of the mode. Sounds like a party mode, which brings us to...
For Glory vs For Fun Modes
Playing online, you'll get two enjoy two different modes: For Glory, and For Fun. These modes are meant to mitigate one of the biggest tensions in the Smash Bros. community, as some players like to play seriously, and some players like to play for fun. Now there's a mode for each type of player.
For Glory is a mode for the hardcore, where only the Final Destination stage is playable, no items are selectable, battles will likely mostly be 1 on 1, and wins and losses will be recorded. For Fun, by contrast, will have random stages—none of which include Final Destination—all items will be available, and only wins are recorded.
And to further assuage fears that this entry in the title would piss-off hardcore fans, every stage included in the game will include a 'Final Destination' version, which is meant for more serious play.
Remember, though: these are the settings when you play against strangers online. If you play against friends, you get to enjoy full customisation—which allows you to set rules, stages and items however you want.
Here are the new faces you can expect to see in Smash, and their accompanying gameplay:
Something to note about these characters: they won't transform. Which is to say, Zelda and Sheik are different characters, and Samus and Zero Suit Samus are also different characters.
We also got a closer look at some of the other characters—mostly, what we saw were small details. Olimar now only has three Pikmin. Lucario now has a mega evolution. Rosalina and Luna can separate, and each 'character' has individual attacks. Little Mac is rather powerful on the ground, but in the air, he's rather weak (and this is hilariously visualised):
Wii Fit trainer looks particularly interesting—she can use Deep Breathing, which powers her up. It'll also assuredly enrage people, since you're essentially battling with yoga. Oh, and there's a male version of the trainer, too.
And the villager continues to look absolutely amazing:
That Tom Nook smash. Hell, that chopped wood move. Yesssss.
--You might be interested in knowing that players will be banned for the following behaviour...
Most people are confused about the 'relentless targeting,' though. What if you're playing a 1 v 1 match? Repeated self-destructs would also curb tactics like Kirbycide, something that I'm frankly pretty happy about.
--Boss characters also make a return: today we saw Yellow Devil in Dr. Wily's Base.
--Master balls contain rare Pokemon, such as Arceus. Oh, and it looks like the Elite Four location will be playable in the 3DS version of the game, judging from the footage shown today. Neat.
-Sakurai also mentioned "custom movesets," which sounds rather exciting—but they didn't really go into detail about it, unfortunately.