Review: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Published March 7, 2019 by Amanda B. Greene
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Image found on Google, taken from here.

Even though it’s been four months since Super Smash Bros. Ultimate came out (December 7th, 2018), I still wanted to write a review for this amazing game (You can check out my first impressions here.). I mainly waited till I finished the Adventure mode, World of Light. I won’t be able to talk about any of the online features since my internet connection is not good enough for online gaming, but I still have a lot to say and I hope this will be useful to you if you’re still deciding on whether or not to pick up Ultimate. Let’s get started!

** Review: 9.75/10 **

Story
While fighting games are not really known for their campaigns, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate does offer an interesting experience with World of Light. However, it’s not as great as what Super Smash Bros. Brawl had with Subspace Emissary in my opinion.

All the fighters unite to face against what is perhaps one of the most powerful beings in the Nintendo universe, Galeem, only to be instantly defeated in minutes. Kirby is somehow the only one to survive, and he finds himself in a distorted world. It is up to you to free the spirits and fighters from Galeem’s control and restore balance. A few more things happen after that later on in the story, but I won’t spoil any of that.

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I was disappointed with the number of cutscenes and how the characters barely interact with each other despite having the largest roster yet, but it was surprising to see multiple possible endings. It just feels like a missed opportunity as they could’ve done so much more.

You mostly explore a large map going immediately from one battle to the next with a few or so puzzle segments or minigames in between (turning on switches to open paths, collecting enough food Pac-Man style, etc.). The illustrations are beautiful for each area and there are definitely some clever parts to it that are fun to figure out.

Here’s a tip though: Because I often went to the Spirit Board, I had to do a lot of the same battles over again in the campaign at a easier difficulty due to the abilities and buffs unlocked gradually from the skill tree, which made World of Light feel like a chore sometimes. I suggest going through most of World of Light first before playing a lot on the Spirit Board.

Gameplay
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a popular platforming-fighting game where you can battle against up to eight players at once on many different stages. The objective is either to get the most kills in timed battles or to outlive your opponent(s) in stock and stamina battles. Each attack builds up the damage percentages shown along the bottom, so the higher that is the easier it is to launch or be launched off the screen.

Each character is unique with their own moves and most of them are easy to play as, so even if you’ve never played a Super Smash Bros. game before you can jump in right away. There are two sets of moves, standard and special, that change depending on the direction; dodging works the same way. This is one of those games that is simple to get into, but difficult to master.

I greatly appreciate how the computer AI is smarter and more difficult than before, acting more like actual players this time around. They were not nearly hard enough in previous installments. Bosses, new and old, also require more skill to defeat as well.

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Found on Google, taken from here. This is a screenshot of the Ridley reveal trailer.

When it comes to options, they really improved the multiplayer by allowing for more customization. You can choose to add or remove features, such as the new FS Meter and Stage Morph, and save your preferences so you can quickly get to smashing.

Instead of the “For Fun” or “For Glory” divide in Super Smash Bros. 4, there is now a new online matchmaking system that tries to put you with others who want similar battles (1 vs. 1 or 4-player free-for-all, for example); I heard there were many problems with this, but hopefully it has been fixed. It’s been enjoyable to see people get excited over obtaining enough GSP (Global Smash Power) to join the Elite Smash ranks, something I hope to eventually be able to do.

A lot felt removed from the single-player side of things, but the spirit battles mostly make up for that as they are uniquely challenging with their own conditions and references. Spirits may not offer the same amount of satisfaction or nostalgia as trophies did, something I’ve talked about and briefly mentioned in previous blog posts like this one, but overall they are an improvement from what was there before as you can do more with them.

I think the most important part of all of this to point out is that the game balancing is the best it’s ever been. There is no one character that is better than everyone else with the worst case being Meta Knight in Brawl. Tier lists are still around, but you should just stick to who you like the most regardless. It’s the most fun that way!

Music
I don’t want to sound like a broken record, repeating a lot of what I’ve already written before, but the soundtrack is incredible. There are hundreds of music tracks to unlock, so you can get a good taste of everything from each fighter’s franchise and even obscure titles.

You can just tell they went all out, doing as much as they could to best represent everyone equally, returning to older songs and updating them, and even creating new remixes.

Final Note
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a staple for any Nintendo Switch owner, so I highly recommend it as the gameplay is truly engaging, addicting, and exciting. If this is the final entry for the Super Smash Bros. series, then they ultimately did the finale right.

For me at least, it’s always a crazy dream to have crossovers like this with many of my favorite characters, and Super Smash Bros.¬†in particular as a whole somehow continues to stay special. I really look forward to what they do next with the DLC as Joker comes in April (You can read my predictions for him here.).

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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