Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Review

OVERVIEW | REVIEW SHOP

For a few months prior to release I was anticipating this new installment of Smash Bros. having pre-ordered it since it first became available to do so. So you can imagine my excitement the moment I found it in the mail on December 7th! I delved into hours of game play for the first couple days after receiving Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and this is how I felt about the new addition to one of my favorite fighter franchises.

Ultimately Ultimate

Firsts off I would like to make note that probably my favorite part of this entire game is the fact that they brought everything back and than some! 74 characters and 103 stages which include all characters and stages from ALL previous releases! Not only does that make an awesome variety to choose and play from, but for Nintendo to bring together everyone and every stage all on one game with the addition of fresh new content is worthy of all the hype it has been given in my opinion! As a devout follower/fan of the series, It almost feels like a huge family reunion when diving into this massive cross-over collaboration fun fest of a Smash Bros.

Although I can sincerely appreciate all the old stages and characters coming together in Ultimate, keep in mind that the actual new content provided is a bit thin in both stages and characters. View Characters and/or Stages to see more details.

You will also only start with 7 characters at the start and have to unlock the remaining 67 so have fun there. Adventure mode might prove a little easier for unlocking them as the random battle spawns get excruciatingly difficult.

SMASH-tastic!

Smash is the first option presented on the Main Menu and is the place to be for the quick play Smash sessions we all have come to love through the series. Upon selection, you’ll find that although this is, at its core, the same game as that of the Nintendo 64, it has clearly been given such an overhaul over the years and even since the fourth and last installment before this one.

When setting up for a Smash Session the options (which they refer to as the rulesets for your match) has evolved into such a game changer in the realm of smash bros. What used to be preset, default settings back in the day, over time has truly become an element placed in the players hand to customize each and every battle to their liking.

I can appreciate the way Nintendo managed to keep things as basic as the classic but branched out to areas that provide whole new ways of playing the game. For instance, beating up your opponent with the purpose of increasing their damage percentage to make it easier to launch them into oblivion was and is the base objective but now you can deplete their health with every hit until exhausted or have yourself a stock of lives to burn through. Battles are more customizable than ever and really opens up a lot of room for personal preference and steer away from the arcade approach that the first release delivered

Classic is ClasSICK!

Classic is back and this time your journey progress will be determined upon the progression of a huge mural. The further you progress upon the long horizontal picture the more difficult the fight will be resulting in better rewards. Every character now has a path of which he/she will follow and in some cases ends with a battle against the character’s arch nemeses if not the typical and notorious Master Hand. The obstacle course still remains but has been placed just before the final boss and consists of one single trial of which you will be required to traverse, obtaining as many points as possible without being sucked into the black hole that looms behind you. Why all variety of the obstacle courses has been removed beats me, luckily its not the highlight of the game.

Get in the Spirits!

Since Super Smash Bros. Melee, we were introduced to this game-play option called Adventure which I enjoyed to death (sometimes quite literally) as you went on a journey though a 2D side scrolling platformer style level where you would have to utilize your characters battle techniques to successfully complete it and face off with fighters throughout. Unfortunately we don’t get the enjoyment of the 2D Platformer anymore, guess you’ll have to look for the New Super Mario U Deluxe for that!

Adventure can be found in the tab called Spirits on the Main Menu and Nintendo went all out and crazy with this new addition. In Adventure, The primary objective will be to destroy Galeem, an evil entity that apparently leads a whole army of Master Hands and has taken control of all fighter via his possession power, turning them against their will to do his bidding. Kirby is a lone survivor of which you will start your adventure with and add to your roster by freeing the fighter brought under Galeem control.

Along the way you will find that an essential part to your success in this journey will be in obtaining spirits through successfully winning battles. One primary spirit along with a few support spirits can be equipped at one time and will need to be swapped out to better suit the challenge being faced. Spirits are quite literally stat boosts and come in the form of many game creatures and characters, 1250 of them to be precise. I addition to this, you will also have a skill tree of which you will spend skill points earned in battle to progress in. Spirits will level up with use and can be sent out on expeditions or trained in what is called a dojo shop or fed what is called snacks for quicker leveling. Spirits can also be summoned or dismissed as well. You see where we’re getting at here? Smash Bros. just went RPG hard core!

There is a learning curve required for sure in this mode but once understood it is actually a lot of fun! Even though I think the aerial map and its artwork of which you will traverse is quite awesome and its concealing clouds you push away to unveil the mysterious beyond with each win is intriguing. I will still prefer the 2D platformer a little bit more. What can I say. I’m a classic Mario fan… its in my blood.

Online Has a Hard Time

Alright, so everyone likes to jump online and duke it out with the world, good news… you can and its a blast! Bad news.. It’s got some problems and I’m not talking about the problems where I get my but kicked like always… I just suck! No, online is sadly a bit of a let down for such an awesome game. You may as well accept that you’re going to get what you’re going to get when going into battle, obtaining your desired setting for a match or the number of contestants just doesn’t work. Matchmaking needs a complete overhaul before it can actually deliver the proper functionalities to be expected in today’s online gaming capabilities.

Also, lagging comes and goes, sometimes more severe than others and this is not a connection problem, lagging on Smash Bros. is very frustrating when every move counts. This issue has been fairly consistent in the Smash Bros. games and its too bad to see it persist onto the Switch as well. Updates are underway, so we’ll have to see how and if they manage to resolve this.

Aiming for Some Training?

Okay, I felt it worth mentioning that they have put training in the game for those looking to either learn how to fight or sharpen their skills and this is truly the most player friendly training module I’ve ever experienced within any game. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has its very own training stage that is literally made up of a grid so you can measure your moves and that of your opponents. You also have full authority over your opponents (dummies) moves so that they do exactly what you need them to, to better assist your training needs. I spent a good amount of time here sharpening my rusty smash skills and let me tell you, I left there a lot sharper than I started! The struggle’s real, thanks for realizing that Nintendo!

Pros:

  • 74 fighters is more than we’ve ever seen before and makes for a great variety of both game play and aesthetics
  • 103 stages offers a great selection
  • brought back everything from past titles and than some
  • smooth and user-friendly controls and animations
  • this game is loaded with a vast amount of content
  • well designed creative adventure mode
  • exceptional customization and user interface for smash especially
  • everything other than Adventure can be played as couch multiplayer
  • Amazing training

CONS:

  • If you appreciated the 2D platformer play style on previous installments you won’t find it here
  • This game can be ferociously difficult which is not necessarily a “con” for some people, just beware newbs! You’re in for a whoop’n
  • Actual new content is a little thin when it comes to characters and stages
  • Adventure is only for single player
  • Online isn’t good with matchmaking system
  • Online experiences lag, some time very severe

The Verdict

if you have enjoyed any of the previous installments of Super Smash Bros. than you are in for a treat with Ultimate! This game provides enough variety, play styles and modes to keep things fresh and interesting for a VERY long time. I personally find myself constantly going back for another round despite the many hours played. This is truly a 5 star game had the online not been so unreliable. If you are only after the online aspect I would advise you to wait until Nintendo has fixed the glaring issues. 

If you have any further questions or would like to offer your own input I encourage you to leave your comments below and I will assist or participate in anyway I can Thanks 

Anthony Peru

VGG

Video Gamer’s Guru 

 

VGG

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