With less than 24 hours to go until its release, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is nearly upon us. After watching the Nintendo Direct that highlighted 50 previously unknown facts about the game and seeing the breadth of content it contains, it became clear that this would be the version of the game to get if you had to choose between it and the 3DS version.
And yet, despite the Wii U version's obvious superiority, I can't help but feel a bit sad about certain features that won't be in it. Granted, there isn't a whole lot of content that is exclusive to the 3DS version, and not all of it is great (certain exclusive levels aren't all that great), but at least some of it is. And since we won't be seeing them making the hop over, here are five things I'll miss from Super Smash Bros. for 3DS that won't be in the Wii U version.
5. Dream Land
The stage based on Kirby's Dreamland for the Game Boy was one of the biggest surprises for me, having not had it spoiled before-hand. Design-wise, there isn't anything that makes it a particularly amazing level to play on, but for Kirby fans who grew up with series, it definitely hits that nostalgic sweet spot and ends up being one of the more clever retro-inspired levels the game offers, complete with areas from multiple stages throughout the original game and a few that even scroll through the level. Of course, seeing the Game Boy outline around the screen and the greenish monochrome visuals really sells the whole experience and makes it one of the more charming levels to play in.
Unfortunately, this is one of the levels specific to the 3DS version, due to its handheld theme. With the Wii U slated to focus on console game-based stages for the characters in its roster, hopefully we'll get a level that's similar to this; perhaps one based on Kirby's Adventure or Kirby Super Star.
4. 3DS-Specific Trophies
While not a huge loss given that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will feature even more trophies than the 3DS version did, it's still a shame that we won't see some of them. Specifically, each character's Alt trophy (which were attained through beating All-Star mode) will likely disappear in lieu of Final Smash trophies coming back, and trophies that are focused on items, enemies, and many (but not all) characters in handheld games (like Spirit Tracks, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Fire Emblem Awakening, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, etc.) will be gone in favor of those series' console games instead.
On the flipside, this is one of the cooler 3DS-exclusive aspects of the game, and while it's by no means a main reason to buy the handheld version, it does remain an interesting one for those who are interested in seeing/collecting everything.
3. Tortimer Island
Yet another stage exclusive to Smash 3DS, Tortimer Island is based on the location of the same name from Animal Crossing: New Leaf. It's one of the most interesting and best new levels introduced in the 3DS version due to it being mostly flat (and thus being ideal fighting terrain), but also because it isn't a virtual clone or visual palette swap of past stages like some others are (like Unova League, Arena Ferox, Rainbow Road, and Paper Mario).
What also makes it interesting is that the layout changes each time you play on it, meaning that the stage could be barren except for one tree and a pier on the left end while another time there might be two or even three trees occupying the middle of the stage with the location of the pier reversed. The trees themselves can vary as well, and drop health-restoring fruit or ones that are hard and can be thrown at your opponents to damage them.
Above all else, it gets the location just right, with charming little touches like Kap'n coming and going with his boat, one of his family members appearing in the background (along with the family hut), an occasional shark in the water that will attack if you get too close, and more.
2. Spirit Train
The last exclusive level on this list and probably my most favorite of them is the Spirit Train stage, based on The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. In addition to having a great stage theme (with the Spirit Tracks medley playing), Spirit Train is just an exciting stage to fight on given the movement and idea of fighting on a moving train, especially given that you might lose a life if you fall off and onto the tracks.
It also has a number of surprises and events that happen, such as other trains approaching from the front or behind, platforms appearing above, and even large platformed areas popping up in the rear of the train, keeping things entertaining. But more than anything, it's also one of the best looking levels thanks to its colorfulness and sweeping vistas in the background.
While the Wii U version will be getting a level based on Skyloft from Skyward Sword, Spirit Train will definitely be missed, especially since it seems to be more unique between the two levels.
1. Smash Run
Love it or hate it, Smash Run is the single biggest exclusive feature/mode that Super Smash Bros. for 3DS has going for it (aside from its portability, that is). Outside of Classic and All-Star Mode, it could be considered the closest thing to a campaign that this version has. Essentially, it's almost a story-less, revamped version of the Subspace Emissary mode from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but with one single, massive level to explore and a time limit.
At first, I was indifferent to it, but over time, it actually grew on me. Fighting various enemies from different franchises that you could only see in this mode is one part of why I enjoy it, but it really is like an adventure and it's fun to explore around, finding stat increases, treasures, and the like. More than anything, it's fun to see how far you can raise your stats before time runs out, watching your character grow stronger and stronger along the way.
If Subspace Emissary didn't do anything for you, Smash Run probably won't either, but it's an inclusion that I'm glad director Masahiro Sakurai decided to add, and I expect it to be the main reason I'll still pick up and play Smash 3DS even after the Wii U version releases.
Do you agree with my list? Disagree? Which features exclusive to Super Smash Bros. for 3DS do you like best? Let me know in the comments below!