Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Review
20 years ago, Super Smash Bros. debuted on the Nintendo 64. Since that time, Nintendo has released one Smash Bros. game for all of their major consoles, as well as one for the 3DS. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate takes the best of these games and puts them all together.
Starting out with 12 characters, the roster has expanded enormously to include characters of all kind. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, you will embrace the culmination of 20 years of evolution in the single biggest game Nintendo has ever made!
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate unites all Smash characters from previous games, as well as newcomers, like Isabelle, from Animal Crossing, and Incineroar, from Pokemon! This fighting game features one of the fastest engines designed for competitive play.
But fear not! If you enjoy casual play with 2-8 players, then Ultimate is the perfect party game for your Switch!
Featuring a new, subdued color scheme, Smash Ultimate’s animations pay attention to detail in a way never done before. Checking out the idle animations of Donkey Kong’s facial expressions or the brilliant textures of Ike’s outfit, you’ll notice a major step up from the last incarnation, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
Smash Ultimate unites the series with tons of content from the past. You’ll find stages not seen in the series since 64 or Melee, such as Saffron City and Fourside. This includes many returning musical tracks, as well as new ones!
Many series got a plethora of remixes, some more than others. Mega Man, Pokemon, Mario, and Castlevania received the lion’s share of remixes. But you’ll still find beautiful remixes from nearly all other featured series as well!
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate defines its own genre. A fighting game at heart, it includes party game and platforming elements as well.
The single-player modes include Classic and Spirit. You can fight through an Arcade-style gauntlet and find a boss at the end, some of which are unique. You can also bring a friend to clear Classic mode in co-op!
Spirit Mode is the main single-player Story mode. While it’s billed as “Adventure Mode,” it plays more like the Event battles of the previous titles. You’ll explore a map and unlock characters as you fight your way to save the universe. However, all battles include preset conditions. So instead of scrolling stages, like Melee’s Adventure Mode or Brawl’s Subspace Emissary, these conditional battles branch out with items, gimmicks, and features seen in the aforementioned Event Mode.
Unlike the past Event Modes, however, there are hundreds of matches to fight through!
In Smash, you’ll duke it out against other players. You can fight against CPUs to your heart’s content. But you can also battle with 2 or more players as well. While online mode is limited to 4-player skirmishes, you can play with as many as 8 players on a single setup offline!
You’re allowed to customize the rules to suit your play style. In addition to time, stock, and items, you can now also adjust new comeback features and Final Smash Meter. For your friends and family who don’t play competitively, this is the perfect opportunity to get them to join in the fun. These boosts will allow returns to keep them in the game, giving them powerups where they need it most!
Much of Smash’s culture is centered around its tournament scene. The impact the tournament scene has on Smash can hardly be put into words. Granted, the best way to break it down is by rulesets and engine.
While Smash 4 featured a mode to allow “Omega” or “Final Destination” stages, new to the ruleset are Battlefield stages. This means all stages will feature the Battlefield layout. Moreover, you can also play on all stages with Hazards Off.
In addition to standard modes, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate also features Squad Strike. This new mode is reminiscent of the “Crew Battles” featured in larger-scale tournaments. Players can engage in a gauntlet match with an opposing team, bringing in as many of 10 players, fighting 1-on-1 until one team’s left standing.
Smash Ultimate plays at a much faster pace than Brawl or Smash 4. Similar to Melee, it allows for combos and faster falling, but it’s not as input-heavy. Yet feels fast, smooth, and great for competitive play. The physics feel great, the hits feel hard, and characters will die a bit sooner.
New mechanic changes include the parrying system. Replacing powershielding from past games, you can now release the shield, at the impact of a hit, and retaliate shortly after.
Airdodging also functions similarly to Melee. You have one directional air dodge anytime you’re in the air. This increases your landing options as well. Furthermore, you can air dodge without direction and it will allow you to act sooner once the animation ends.
Smash Ultimate is geared more towards combos and offensive pressure than in past games, which were a bit slower and based around defensive play. Regardless, Ultimate brings out plenty of options for both. That said, with 70+ characters, you will certainly find the character that suits your playstyle!
Unlike Smash 4, “For Glory” is replaced with “Quickplay.” Matchmaking now allows players to find others of a similar rank, known as GSP. In addition, you can now customize rules, such as stage type (any, no hazards, Battlefield, Final Destination), time limits, and so forth.
Unfortunately, it isn’t perfect. One of the main flaws is that matchmaking will not match you up perfectly to the rules you’ll set. Sometimes you’ll fight players who play 4-5 minute matches. Others, you’ll fight those who play “Stage Hazards Off,” meaning you’ll still play on wacky stages, like 75m or Mario Bros.
On the flip side, Battle Arenas allows you to host your own room. You can bring in several people to play, swapping out matches in a rotation mode. Or you can do a 1v1 with players, allowing stage selection. You can even randomize stages based on which ones you want, following a tournament procedure if you wish.
Battle Arenas also allows you to enter and host matches without the use of a Friend Code! This means a 5-digit code and a password with no more adding needed! This marks a huge step-up from the adding procedure of the previous Smash titles.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate is the culmination of 20 years. Not just with adding characters and content, but for Mr. Sakurai and Nintendo for following up with the Smash community at large. Melee players wanted a faster, more competitive game while Smash 4 players wanted another Smash game with a more balanced roster. Smash Ultimate brings the entire game and community together with one beautiful title.
Smash Ultimate features a more subdued color scheme, prettier animations, and a ton of new modes, such as Spirits and Squad Strike! The customizability of My Music also allows players to pick a track before a stage as well!
Thanks to the new Battlefield and Final Destination modes, players can also choose any stage to fit their own personal aesthetic. No hazards also builds a bridge to using more stages in tournaments as well. For the competitive player, this is the ultimate Smash game.
And for the casual player, collecting Spirits, playing Smashdown, Final Smash Meter, and with power boosts gives everyone a chance to play the best Nintendo game out there. The Switch allows you to take the game with you anywhere. But I recommend bringing a Pro Controller or GameCube controller as they’re the most viable ways to play the game.
If you love competition, collecting Spirits, building characters, and the history of Nintendo, Street Fighter, Mega Man, and more, then Smash Ultimate is the best game for your Switch. Get this game as soon as you can!
Thank you for reading our Super Smash Bros. Ultimate review! Which mode do you enjoy the most? Who is your favorite character? Let us know in the comments below!