20 years ago, one man decided to make a fighting game. That game would go on to become one of Nintendo’s best selling franchises, and spawn 4 sequels. Now, a fifth sequel, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, has arrived, and like its title suggests, this game is the ultimate experience for any fan of smash brothers.
The roster for Ultimate features an insane 74 characters. Every fighter from past games, from Mario to Bayonetta make their return in Ultimate, including fan favorites Wolf, Solid Snake, Pichu, and Ice Climbers.
Newcomers to Ultimate include longtime fan requests K. Rool, Ridley, and Isabelle, along with Inkling, Incineroar, and the Echo Fighters.
Introduced in Ultimate, Echo Fighters are essentially clones of existing heroes, with only minor differences to separate them. The current list of echo fighters includes Dark Samus, Chrom, Richter Belmont, Lucina, Dark Pit, Ken, and Daisy, who are clones of Samus, Roy, Simon, Marth, Pit, Ryu, and Peach respectively.
Out of the box, Ultimate has 8 characters unlocked: Mario, Kirby, Link, Samus, Fox, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, and Yoshi. Each additional character can be unlocked through adventure mode, playing a certain number of matches, or through completion of classic mode.
The massive roster alone guarantees hours of fun and a near infinite number of possible matchups, and coupled with over 100 stages to select from, Purely playing Ultimate for the traditional smash mode would warrant the $60 price tag, but there are still three more options on the menu screen.
Games and More
Under the games and more section, in addition to training and Mii Fighter creation, there are three options: Mob Smash, which features 100-man smash, cruel smash, and all-star mode, Amiibo, which manages Amiibo (obviously), and Classic mode.
Classic mode has received a massive revamp. Rather than have one path to follow for all characters and a set difficulty, Classic mode now vamps up in difficulty as one progresses, and features unique encounters and bosses based on what fighter has been selected. After each completion, a Spirit of the selected fighter will be awarded, alongside various other rewards ranging from currency to additional Spirits. Also, after each completion, a new fighter will challenge the player.
Online lets players participate in online matches. For those with Nintendo Switch Online, this feature is just icing on the smash bros cake. For those without, It is just another reason to get Nintendo Switch Online.
Spirits brings with it the long-awaited return of Adventure mode, as well as a replacement for the stickers and equipment from previous smash bros incarnations. Spirits can be either primary or support spirits. Primary Spirits serve as the basis for a team, and provide type and power level when equipped to a fighter. Support Spirits can be equipped to primary spirits in order to give a fighter certain boosts or items at the start of a match.
Also within the Spirits mode is the highly anticipated “World of Light.” The plot is fairly straightforward: A creature known as Galeem decides to pull a Thanos and snap all life out of existence to recreate the world. He captures the spirits of all characters across the gaming multiverse, save Kirby, who must now venture out and save the world.
The vault features the usual items found within: Replays, Music, and Tips, but in Ultimate it also features a shop. The shop uses gold won from Classic mode and from playing matches as currency, and sells Spirits, Mii costumes, and Music tracks. This addition finally adds a use for gold, and makes it significantly easier to unlock all Mii costumes.
Not much has changed in Smash Ultimate in terms of combat, but the few changes are quite significant. Air Dodges can now have directional inputs, which enables all fighters to have better mobility in the air, and a new engine has significantly reduced end lag on all attacks and animations, thus dramatically speeding up combat.
Various Characters have had buffs and nerfs applied to them, thus fixing many of the issues smash 4 had. While a complete list is not readily available, many of the top fighters from smash 4 have been nerfed in some way. For instance, Cloud’s limit breaks now expire after 10 seconds, and Corrin’s reach has been reduced. Likewise, some of the lesser characters have been given massive buffs. Zelda’s mechanics have been overhauled so that she is now a viable character, and Roy, Marth, and Lucina have had their Side Special move reworked so that it is useable.
Overall, there is little wrong with smash Ultimate, but there is also very little that stands out. Sure, there is an astronomical number of fighters and stages, and the Adventure mode is outstanding, but beyond that, there isn’t anything that overly jumps out at players. This by no means makes Ultimate a bad game, if anything it only makes the future DLC characters even more exciting. With that in mind, Smash Ultimate is well worth beyond the $60 it is selling for, and is a must-buy for any switch owner.