Review: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros is one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises and definitely one of our favourites. It brings together characters and stages from all parts of the Nintendo multiverse and makes them fight each other. Ultimate is the newest title in the series and answers the question: How long can smashing Pikachu’s face in with Donky Kong’s massive hairy arms stay fun for?

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate boasts a massive roster of fighters to choose from. There are 74 playable characters in-game. These range from well-known characters out of popular franchises like Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear Solid, Metroid etc to very niche fighters like R.O.B. and Mr. Game&Watch. When you first boot up the game, there are eight fighters to choose from, the rest is unlockable by playing. The amount of choice in this game is one of its strongest features.

The biggest drive to keep playing Ultimate in the early stages of the game is to unlock all of these fighters. You can do so by simply playing matches against friends or the computer (with fully modifiable rule sets) or by playing one of the singleplayer modes. World of Light features a main storyline and a map that will keep you playing for dozens of hours. In this mode you will gradually unlock more fighters and spirits. These spirits work as buffs in the form of side characters, for example, one can make you immune to poison damage. Don’t like the spirit system? Just turn them off! The other singleplayer mode includes choosing a character and winning some increasingly difficult matches with them, including a boss fight at the end.

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So, there are plenty of modes and there is a lot of stuff to unlock, but that’s not all. There is an incredible amount of stages to fight on, all of them being recognizable in some way. They each come with their own set of music scores and are a ton of fun to play on. The fighting itself does not include many difficult to remember button combinations and is very easily accessible for new players. However, anyone who has played the game knows there is plenty of room for professional gamers, for there definitely is some skill level involved. The combat feels incredibly rewarding and there has been put in a lot of work to ensure this game stays fun way after the initial 30 hours of play.

Does this mean Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a perfect game? No, there are some negatives which need to be discussed as well. The online mode is a typical display of Nintendo’s incapability to make playing online with friends fun. Just like not being able to play an online board in this year’s Mario Party, you are unable to set up grand tournaments. One other point of critique we have is that the game needs to be played on a television screen. When using handheld mode, the screen often gets too crowded and crazy to really be able to tell what’s going on.

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In the end, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is an amazing game. It has a giant roster, loads of unlockables, engaging singleplayer modes and lets you customise matches in a lot of detail. The fighting is fast-paced and feels rewarding. The characters are well-balanced and all have great unique final smash moves. The less worked-out online mode and hectic handheld mode are but small blemishes in the games’ otherwise perfect resumé. We can’t wait for the season pass to bring even more content.

Rating: 9.5/10

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Developer: Nintendo, Bandai Namco Games

Publisher: Nintendo

Price: €59.99/$59.99

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