Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Kicks the Butts of Previous Installments

Warning! This review will be the Ultimate compilation of game-ruining spoilers.

The Super Smash Bros. series has brought gamers together since the days of the Nintendo 64. As the franchise grew, so did the fanbase, and when Nintendo revealed a teaser for an upcoming Smash game for the Switch, Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of the series, had the attention of all gamers.

The hype was intense, every previous fighter would return to the upcoming game, plus more. Each new Nintendo Direct usually revealed a new character. Either it be the villainous Ridley from the Metroid series or the lovable mayor’s assistant Isabelle from Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Every week new “leaks” would come out that would shake up the fanbase. Who would make the cut, what will be included? Everything was answered in the November Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct. Since that point, all everyone could do was wait. Which became difficult as copies of the game were leaking online, and avoiding the spoilers became its own battle. Then on December 7, 2018, the game that held the most pre-orders in the franchise released on the Switch.

When booting up the game, all modes are readily available. Spirit, Smash, Classic, Online Play, and a lot more. Though, unlike the previous installment, not all fighters are unlocked right away. A basic starting roster is available, but for anyone who’s main isn’t there yet, unlocking characters is necessary. There’s a multitude of ways to unlock the rest of the roster, which makes the game more appealing to those who want the complete selection right away or want to take their time.

The main way to unlocking all characters is through Spirit Mode. Spirit Mode is what holds The World of Light, the Subspace Emissary of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It is a grand adventure mode that has a beginning so dark, Thanos would be envious. Everyone within the Smash universe is terminated besides Kirby, and as the lovable pink ball, you must work to resurrect your friends. Within this mode, get ready to spend hours upon hours working hard to save everyone. Not even halfway through the mode, twenty plus hours are easily spent. After the completion of the World of Light map and the defeat Galeem, the surprise of whole new board appears. So after days of grinding, with hours upon hours worked into this mode, you’re not even halfway done. If Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was only made up of this mode, it wouldn’t suffer at all.

The two other ways to unlock fighters is through Smash and Classic Mode. Smash is the main mode of the game, where players can create their own rules on how to play matches. After each battle, an unlocked fighter will approach to challenge player one, and if player one is successful, their roster will grow until completed. This mode also is notorious for ruining friendships, so be warned. In the single-player Classic Mode, the player can choose a fighter and face predetermined matches to unlock the rest of the roster rather quickly. Both modes are enjoyable and offer hours of playthrough long after purchasing the game.

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Now, you may be thinking, where else can hours of playtime go to? Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has got you covered with Online Play. Now, how good can the online mode of a game be when the Nintendo Online Service has been laughed at since the mere mention of its existence? Well, that’s where you’d be surprised. Even if the Nintendo Switch lacks the quality of internet that the PlayStation and Xbox are capable of, fighting battles online is a competent mode. After a player completes one battle online, a Global Smash Power is given, which is the rank of said player. The Global Smash Power represents how many fighters you’re stronger than. If it is over 9,000, then you’re stronger than over 9,000 other players. Not only does wanting a higher rank have players go back for more, but so does collecting Smash Tags. Whenever any online battle is won, a Smash Tag is collected, which has the defeated gamer’s info on it. The more tags, the larger of a trophy collection a player has. This mode is what will bring players back each day, as it is fun to lengthen your collection. Stay away from Local Online Play, though. It is filled with lags.

Smash wouldn’t be the lovable series without its ever-growing roster. When Snake was revealed to return to the franchise, fans rejoiced. Not only was he making a grand return, but so was other lovable fighters such as Popo, Nana, and Pichu. Along with these characters, new characters were also coming to the game, as what is expected. What wasn’t expected, however, was for echo fighters to join the fight. Echo fighters are very similar to clones, but offer enough differences to cater to multiple needs. An example being Daisy’s moveset carrying out in a less frilly way that Peach’s. Most of the time, an echo will either be superior or inferior to who they copy, rarely standing on the same pedestal.

Not every stage made a grand return in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, there are over 100 unique stages this time around. This doesn’t include the fact that most have three variations. One of the best returning stages is Pictochat 2, where it encapsulates the childhood of anyone who owned the earlier generations of the Nintendo DS. Other favorites include the Living Room, Tomodachi Life, and Wuhu Island stages.

Every addition to this franchise has brought memorable music, and this game is no exception. Lifelight is a promising successor to the Super Smash Bros. Brawl opening. Also, all franchises featured has playable music for fans to listen to. The best part about the music menu is the feature allowing for songs to play when the Switch’s screen is off. With over 400 tracks and 24 hours of songs, there’s no need to use any music service ever again. Also, being able to create playlists of favorite music tracks allows for further investment. Not every track is unlocked at first, which adds a sense of determination to hunt them all down. Then there’s the fact that the upcoming DLC packs will come with even more tracks to fill the time.

Even though the game is already shiny and perfect, the addition of DLC and pre-order exclusives will solidify returning players. The DLC includes five new fighters, one of which is Joker from Persona 5,  that come with a new stage and multiple music tracks. What is most exciting is that all five new fighters will come from franchises new to Super Smash Bros., so thank goodness there is no more Fire Emblem characters. Also, the pre-order add on announced pre-launch will be Piranha Plant. This hilarious fighter addition best represents why everyone loves Masahiro Sakurai. Fans will argue over who should be included, such as Geno or Skull Kid, but the character picked could be someone no one was asking for. The DLC is promised to satisfy fans, and if they live up to the presence of Joker, it is worth the gamble. Also, with the hints dropping of a certain joke-telling skeleton joining the roster, the DLC package is a must have for fans.

This Super Smash Bros. Ultimate review doesn’t cover everything included in the game. There’s so much within this game that makes it hold the ultimate title fairly. Customizable Mii Fighters, Amiibo training, Mob Smash, Replays, Challenges, Records, and more. There are endless features and ways to play to explain the record sales.

Never ask Masahiro Sakurai for anything ever again. 10/10