May 17, 2022

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – Nintendo Switch Review

4 min read

Ultimate is defined as being the best achievable or imaginable of its kind. That is what can be expected when purchasing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This game was developed in part by Bandai Namco. The other developer is Sora Ltd., a company founded by Masahiro Sakurai, the director of SSBU. The Smash Bros. series has survived the test of time, always evolving but not always improving, from Nintendo 64 now to Nintendo Switch. Let’s review the ultimate Super Smash Bros.

There is no proper way to approach this game. It all depends on how the player wishes to proceed. World of Light provides various challenges. There are many paths offered and often choosing one blocks another. Each encounter has its own set of rules. The player might happen across a stage where the floor is lava or a match with an irritatingly persistent assist trophy that knocks out HP insanely fast in a stamina battle. The goal is to use Primary and Secondary spirits to your advantage. Use a variety which will best counter the opponent’s spirits and the stipulations of the match. Pressing ‘Y’ in the Spirit Select screen automatically gives the player the best choices, but feel free to customize. Along the way will be the opportunity to unlock fighters, or free them from the clutches of Galeem. All efforts eventually lead the player to take revenge for what happened to the characters of the different universes. Was it the story mode fans of Subspace Emissary hoped for? Not entirely. World of Light offers enough initiative through rewards to create a minimal ambitious drive for completion but overall most players will need to force themselves to trudge along through the maps just to reach the next unlockable fighter. One slight note: fighters unlocked outside this mode are not available in the player’s saved game for World of Light.

The other option is to jump right into the fray. Try a traditional Smash, or one of the alternatives, Squad Strike, Special Smash, or play in a Tourney. Items and rules remain customizable. Choose from Time, Stock, or Stamina modes. Select to have every item appear, a few, or none at all. Enable or disable Spirits and decide where the Final Smash Meter should be on or off. But wait, what’s this? Only eight characters to choose from? Luckily, this seems to be the quickest path to unlock characters. Solo or with friends, expect to spend several hours grinding out matches to fill the roster. Good news is, if you fail against the approaching challenger, there is a hidden door in the Games & More menu that appears after a while to offer the player another chance. Classic mode is back, including the two player option, with a particular set of matches designed for each character. Playing as Richter? Prepare to face Dracula. Choosing Pikachu? MewTwo awaits, along with Master Hand. Prefer to play as Link? Expect to enter into a challenging Ganon battle. Some characters fight Master Hand and Crazy Hand as their final boss. In addition to Classic mode, this menu includes an option called Mob Smash, which leads to Century Smash, All-Star Smash and Cruel Smash. Each one is more difficult than the last, and each is about endurance, launching and defeating as many of enemies as you can, if not all of them, before you die just once. The player also has the option to train and perfect smash attacks, and customize their Mii Fighter and Amiibo Fighter Player. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will provide many hours of enjoyment through the different Smash options alone.

The fighting style remains as unique as ever. No button combinations, only combos created by the player. Mastering a quick guard in the air, utilizing swift jabs, and skillfully landing those perfectly timed smash attacks will help lead to more victories. When playing with both Joy Cons the joystick on the right is still a quick option for smash attacks. Otherwise, B is a neutral attack, B plus a directional is one of the fighter’s feature moves, and holding a directional plus A sets up a smash attack, which can be held for longer than before.  Every character has been tweaked, making this move slower or that attack faster. Some attacks that take time to charge are only interruptible by a powerful attack, not just a neutral attack. This has worked both to my advantage and disadvantage. Be aware, a style you were comfortable with on your favorite fighter may not act the same anymore, for better or for worse. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has already received an update to make additional adjustments to a select few characters.

There was a good reason Masahiro Sakurai pleaded with fans to ensure a stable Wi-Fi or LAN connection when playing online, and even suggested purchasing the LAN adaptor. Peer to Peer is not a perfect system. Delays and lag are bound to happen, but the same could be said if they provided dedicated servers.

Undoubtedly, countless hours were poured in by everyone that helped create this game. And the work is not yet complete. DLC has been promised throughout 2019 but completing Challenges for rewards should be enough to keep me occupied. From the incredible depth and rendering of the stages to the tiniest features of character animation, this game is astounding. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate raised the bar for the graphics and capabilities of Nintendo Switch. The updates and refinements to characters, music tracks, and stages, no matter how trivial the detail, are truly grand, but overall we have another Super Smash Bros. game.

Final Score: 4.4/5

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