“Smash Bros. Ultimate is a love-letter to video games, celebrating the rich history of the industry through its unique fighting game mechanics.”-Sam Hall
I played my first Super Smash Bros. game when I was eight years old. Smash Bros. Ultimate is an experience that is no less magical than the the moment I first discovered the series ten years ago.
Playing it felt like taking a trip ten years back in time, huddled around a box-shaped television with my best friends.
Considering the scope of Smash Bros. Ultimate, the most recent entry in the beloved franchise, series creator Masahiro Sakurai said that the new game’s existence is a miracle. The fan-favorite fighting game touts an impressive roster of over 70 characters, each one having originated from iconic titles pulled from video game history.
With countless intellectual properties involved from Super Mario to Pac-Man, Smash Bros. Ultimate is the largest gaming crossover event of all time.
Smash Bros. is a love-letter to video games, celebrating the rich history of the industry through its unique fighting game mechanics. Nintendo has marketed the new game as the most ambitious entry in the series’ legacy, pledging to bring back every character that has ever appeared in the series to date while also introducing a slew of new content.
Ultimate will capture the hearts of Smash Bros. veterans and newcomers alike with its precise gameplay and irresistible charm.
The core of the game is found within its smash mode, pitting characters against each other as up to eight players attempt to knock each other off a stage. It takes skill and strategy to launch your opponent, so a player must choose a character that fits their playstyle from the game’s varied cast and learn to use all the offensive and defensive capabilities of their character’s move-set to achieve victory.
Ultimate differs from its predecessors with its faster and more fluid gameplay that causes characters to move around and attack with ease. Matches are also streamlined, usually lasting about two to three minutes because of the emphasis on quicker game elements.
The game’s engine cuts down on time by using less frames in the start-up and end lag of many moves. With weaker defensive options in the air than ever before, competitive players will need to learn how to edge guard and snap to the ledge with ease. Due to these changes, I enjoyed playing lightweight characters with superior recoveries and strong off-stage options.
For people who are brand new to the game but interested in learning its fundamentals, I recommend trying out Mario or Kirby to grasp the basics. They are simple to understand and their techniques can be applied to many other characters. For advanced players, I recommend Roy as an excellent rush-down character, and Young Link if you prefer to space out your opponents. Every character is a viable choice, so I encourage everyone to try out the entire roster to find what fits them best.
No matter your experience level, Ultimate has something for everyone. It is the most customizable game to date, thanks to several new options that allow each player to experience the game in their preferred way. There are over one 100 stages, 850 music tracks, and plenty of items to choose from.
The new stage morph option adds a random factor, while the final smash meter caters to players who are more used to traditional fighting games.
The game’s presentation displays an impressive level of polish. Many characters and stages have been visually overhauled to match Ultimate’s colorful art style. Legendary composers return to deliver an incredible and diverse score made up of notable songs from the franchises represented in the game.
The main attraction outside of the main smash mode is the single-player adventure titled “World of Light”. It opens with a detailed cutscene that sets the story into motion and an amusingly epic theme song. The goal is to challenge and defeat characters from Nintendo’s storied library called “Spirits”, which the player can use to customize their fighter’s stats to aid them in tough boss battles. This fifteen-hour mode is consistently compelling throughout because players can choose to take on its challenges in whatever way they like.
The game deftly balances the concept of “simple to learn but difficult to master.” On the surface, Ultimate can be played with minimal button inputs and is easy to understand, but it also offers a deep learning curve for players who enjoy competitive games. Smash Bros. has always had the power to bring people together, but Ultimate’s inclusivity makes it the perfect party game to enjoy with friends and family.
Smash Bros. Ultimate is suited for players of all ages. It is available for download now, exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.