Developer: Bandai Namco Studios, Sora Ltd.
Rated: E 10+
Release Date: December 7, 2018
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
What is it: Super Smash Brothers Ultimate is the latest in the line of fighting games, that features characters from the various Nintendo Universes, as well as guest participants from other popular video game franchises. Ultimate is the fifth game in the beloved series which is directed by Masahiro Sakurai. This iteration is the first to appear on the Nintendo Switch. The Smash Bros. series is loved by many and this latest installment has been highly anticipated. Does it live up to the hype? Read on to find out.
Gameplay: The game play in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate follows the previous games in the series. Up to eight players can select their favorite fighters and duke it out. The game plays fast, yet precise, with solid controls. It never seems to be so fast as to make you feel out of control. The balance is just right. Characters move across the screen smoothly, pulling off visually impressive moves that fit the characters like a glove.
Speaking of characters, the roster is vast. The game features 74 playable characters. The roster is a who’s who of Nintendo characters. From Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, and Kirby, to characters from non-Nintendo franchises like Snake from Metal Gear and Cloud from Final Fantasy there is someone here for everyone. The games roster will expand via DLC. Gamers who buy the game at launch will receive the bonus Piranha Plant fighter from the Mario universe. There is also a pass that will add 5 future characters, the first of which will be Joker from the Persona series. Smash Bros. Ultimate features both single and multiplayer options.
The single player modes feature a Classic Mode and World of Light. In Classic Mode players choose their fighter and compete in 6 fights that feature a boss fight at the end. Upon defeating the boss, and after the credits roll, players will face the challenge of a mystery fighter. This is one of the methods of unlocking the extra fighters outside of the original eight. The other main single player mode is World of Light. World of Light see players loosely following a story that sees the worlds heroes captured apart from Kirby. As Kirby players will traverse a board game like stage that leads to unlocking spirits and fighters. Spirits act as a bonus to the fighters helping them to complete the mode. These spirits are characters from all the franchises represented in the game, and then some. Many fan favorite and some obscure characters appear.
The online multi-player has had an up and down launch. When it works, it works well. Fights are fast and smooth. However, many reports of connection issues have emerged. Especially when matchmaking. Dedicated servers would go a long way to cure the games online issues. There is a lot to like about the online play, when it works.
Visuals: The graphics in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are top-notch. Nintendo knows how to get the most out of their system, and it shows in Smash. The character models and stages are beautiful.
Audio: This is yet another area where Smash shines. The soundtrack is ridiculously deep. Well over 800 tracks are included. Each DLC pack will include more songs to increase this staggering number. A nicely included touch is the included option to adjust how often songs will play on each stage.
Fun Factor: If you are a fan of Nintendo there is so much to love in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In fact, this game feels like, a love letter from Mr. Sakurai to the fans of the series. From including every character to ever appear in the series, to the ridiculous depth of characters in World of Light, to the insane sound track. If you’re playing solo, or enjoy the thrill of online battles, there is something in this game to enjoy. If you have a Nintendo Switch, and are a fan of fighting games, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a must own.