Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is just that, Ultimate! Every single character from every single Smash Bros. title is here, and it makes for a great fighting game that still brings up mixed feelings. On one hand, every player from casual to hardcore will find something to love about this game, but on the other, the sheer amount of options makes it feel impossibly unbalanced. The online mode is a welcome addition, but it’s a pain to find friends to play with and the matchmaking code is passable about half the time. Set your match preferences to 1v1 with no items, but be ready to play literally anything other than that. Complicating matters further, you have to leave quick play almost entirely to change your character. If you do wanna switch it up, you’re thrown into the random match making process yet again. Ultimate shines when it’s played with friends sitting next to each other shouting and talking smack, which is a shame because it’s 2018 and Nintendo really should have this online thing figured out by now.
There’s nothing more satisfying than experiencing four characters from completely different franchises fighting on the back of The Great Fox in space. I’ve been a Smasher since the N64 days, and I’m always excited for the latest in the series. While some versions have been more innovative than others, the good news is there’s plenty of good content in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to keep you busy in between bouts with friends.
The World of Light single-player campaign is the biggest innovation. It was a lot of fun over its 20 or so hours, and kept me smiling throughout with all the game references both in spirits and dungeons. I’m really glad they also brought in some new bosses from other games rather than sticking to the usual master/crazy hand and random spirit monsters. I figured spirit collecting would be tedious, but I’m actually enjoying the variation of the battles that come with each. The Spirit Board mechanics can be a bit annoying, but once you get the swing of it you can capture spirits with little trouble.
I’ve played matches with others both locally and online, and can say that this version of Smash is definitely the most energetic I’ve played (not a bad thing in my book). That being said, the sheer number of items is overwhelming, and some of the assist trophies border on abusive, so I’m glad you can set custom rule sets as always. The new characters are fun and add some variety (mostly increasing the heavy fighter roster) to an already huge cast. There is definitely some lag in online play, but that comes with the territory due to people with subpar internet connections.
I only wish there was a bit more variation in Classic mode – running through the same bonus course gets tiring. Now if Nintendo could just fix their online play system so you could simply send an in-game invitation to friends for a match, it would be a near perfect game!
Based on all the trailers and Nintendo Direct videos, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate delivers exactly what it promised: a mash-up of all the previous Smash Bros. games into one. The characters, stages and items we love are all here. The layout is simple with lots of different options to choose from: Smash, Spirits, Vault, Online, as well as Games and More. Anything you want can be found in any of these five sections.
Similar to Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U, Classic mode is under Games and More, and is six stages instead of the 10 that were in the original game. What’s interesting about Classic in Ultimate is that it’s tailored to each individual character. They all have a unique name for their mode, and the enemies, items and stages are suited for each character. I haven’t played this mode that much yet, so might be too early to say, but it seems the highest difficulty you can select is five and you need a ticket if you want to increase it. The intensity increases as you beat each stage, but the fact that you can’t set it higher from the beginning is a little irritating.
One new mode and feature that I like in this game is Spirits. The past few Smash Bros. games have offered some sort of secondary story mode where it’s more of an adventure with a story instead of just facing off against challengers. The spirits have essentially replaced the trophies you would have collected in the other games, but have different effects to boost your character. I think this is a much better because you have characters from those worlds helping you instead of sitting on the digital shelf not doing anything. To get the spirits you need to fight them in the first place, which I love because it’s like having those characters in the game, without actually putting them on the already crowded roster. For example one of the spirits is Latios and Latias from Pokémon. Instead of creating them with their own unique skins and moves, you fight two Charizards (one blue, one red) to get the spirit. While some of these fights are definitely more annoying than they are challenging, the spirits are a new variable people might have to take into consideration when battling. Overall, I’m really enjoying Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and everything it has to offer!