Hanging up the Crown: Smash Wii U’s Losing its Tourney Mode

It’s a day that ends in “Y,” so you know what that means…more random Nintendo news! There was a rumor that started circulating recently that the Nintendo NX might be region-free, which would be wonderful news! This could lead into a whole new age for Nintendo gaming not seen since the SNES.

The duality of Nintendo news is that there’s always a stoutly negative announcement alongside these rumors. Confirmed to be true, the almost dead-on-arrival “Tourney Mode” added as DLC into Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is going to cease activity on September 30th. The mode, an online-only version of the Tournament Mode introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee and returned in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, was advertised before the game’s release in the “50 Fact Extravaganza” months before the release of the game – but it didn’t see implication until roughly a year later.

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The mode isn’t a total loss; the “Tournament” mode is still going to function – the player-made, convoluted setup that functioned similarly to the tournaments in Mario Kart 8 isn’t going to be shut down, despite it being subjectively the lesser-quality of the two modes. As to why they’re not both being shut down or the Tournament mode instead of Tourneys wasn’t said, however it could be due to the overall lack of player use. There was a large buzz online when the mode was released complaining that it wasn’t offline so it could be played with local friends instead of hoping to make it into the same online room.

[Remember how fun this was?]

[Remember how fun this was?]

This isn’t the first puzzling online decision Nintendo has made by far in the last few months: Splatoon’s Splatfests, the periodic themed competitions ended last month after just a year of service. This came abruptly to the many Splatoon fans, but it begs the question as to what Nintendo has planned for the future when two of their three biggest online Wii U games have key features taken away.

Maybe Nintendo really is going to port their popular Wii U titles (or, since Nintendo themselves published less than 60 titles, all or most of them) to the NX, and they’re shutting down game modes to prepare consumers to purchase the game again on the new console? One could easily wonder why they’re shutting games down so early then. It’s understandable that the DLC for both of these games – as well as Mario Kart 8 – has run dry, but I don’t personally get why we’re losing reasons to play their games. What we do know for sure is that a lot of Nintendo gamers are losing lots of ways to play.

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At least Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games still has online play. Table Tennis, anyone?

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