Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – More fighters than ever, more fun than ever

Courtesy Nintendo
“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” Poster. Features all playable characters. Used with permission.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a 2018 crossover fighting game developed by Bandai Namco Studios and Sora Ltd. and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. It is the fifth installment in the Super Smash Bros. series, succeeding Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate gets its name from the fact that it includes all of the characters from previous Super Smash Bros. games, including past DLC fighters, plus some more. It has 70 characters, unless you count the echo fighters as separate characters, which I do, making it 74 characters. 76 if you also include the upcoming DLC fighters Piranha Plant and Joker.

Courtesy Nintendo
“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” poster. Used with permission.

When you first open up the game, you’ll notice that you’ll only have a few characters available to play as outside of World of Light, the other mode available to play. Those characters are Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox, and Pikachu. The reason for this is that the rest of the fighters are unlockables, and can be unlocked in various ways. The most obvious way to unlock them is to keep battling with the characters you have. Eventually, characters will show up and you’ll have to beat them in battle to unlock them. If you fail to beat them, don’t worry, you’ll have a chance to fight them again later on. The other two ways to unlock characters is by battling on the Spirit Board or progressing through World of Light. Of course, you’d have to play some of World of Light, then save and leave it for any fighters to show up. It might take a little bit of time though, as there are 66 characters to unlock.

If I were to consider World of Light to be a story mode, I would consider it to be one of the worst story modes ever created. It has a basic plot and a cut-scene with a few voiced lines at the beginning, but that’s about it. That’s exactly why I wouldn’t call it a story mode. Instead, I’d call it more of an “adventure mode.” In 2008’s Super Smash Bros. Brawl, we were given the Subspace Emissary, which was in every sense a story mode. However, now that there are over seventy characters, a story mode seems like a lot more work than it’s worth, so I think it was smart to not go that far with it. It’s enjoyable enough just the way it is. I’ll admit that, at times, I get extremely frustrated while playing World of Light, but that is probably due mostly to the fact that I am playing it on the hard difficulty. I enjoy the challenge that playing on hard presents. It forces me to be more resourceful with the items dropped on the stage and more thoughtful of the spirits I choose to place on my team for each battle.

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“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” gameplay screenshot. Shows Inkling ink rolling chracters into the ground at the Mario Kart stage. Features (from left to right) Link, Samus, Mario, and Inkling. Used with permission.

Spirits are a new concept in Super Smash Bros. You can gain them through progressing in World of Light or by going to the Spirit Board. Most, but not all, spirits have certain abilities that make them useful in World of Light and Spirit Board battles. Some will make it so you start off the battle with a certain weapon equipped, others will make you immune to some of the special conditions of some battles (such as strong winds, sleep-inducing floors, poison floors, lava floors, zap floors, etc.). Often times, you will need spirits with specific abilities or the battle will be almost impossible (though that is certainly not always the case, especially if you are an extremely skilled player).

Courtesy Nintendo
“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” gameplay screenshot. Features (from top left to to top right) King Dedede, Bayonetta, Kirby, (from bottom left to bottom right) Cloud, Fox, Snake, and Yoshi on the Arena Ferox stage. Used with permission.

One difference from the previous game, Super Smash Bros. 4, is the graphics. Though it’s not too noticeable by most people, it was something I was really happy about. Not only do the characters look better and more improved, they move a lot more smoothly than before. Many have also been nerfed and buffed, or made weaker and made stronger. Characters, such as Jigglypuff, who were very weak in past installments, are quite noticeably more powerful. Likewise, characters who have been known to be too strong have had their stats weakened a bit, especially Little Mac and characters who were DLC in Smash 4 (Corrin, Bayonetta, etc.). I’m really glad these changes were made, because some characters were just too weak, while others were too strong, and it took the fun out of the game, since everyone wanted to play as the same characters.

Courtesy Nintendo
“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” gameplay screenshot. Features Mario (left), Inkling (middle), and Donkey Kong (right) on the Battlefield stage. Used with permission.

This game has been hyped up ever since it was announced last summer. Of course, I was excited as well, but I was also afraid that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. However, I now realize that I had nothing to be afraid of. The game is almost better than I thought it would be, unless you take into account the many complaints about how terrible playing online is. At 60 dollars, the game isn’t exactly cheap, but I definitely don’t regret spending my money on it. Not only can you play it by yourself, but you can also play with friends and family, the way that it was intended. Nothing beats doing something fun with the people you care about, and this game is the perfect way to do just that. So, if you’re looking for a game to play either by yourself or with friends and family, I recommend getting this game. It’s totally worth it.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate