Entertainment Blog
12/13/2018
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    The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, full of joy and giving. Many cultures and religions have holidays at this time of year where people give and receive presents to those in their lives. While receiving gifts is fun, sometimes finding the right gift to give is tough. Whether you are shopping for a family member, significant other or a friend, picking out the perfect gift to surprise someone with can be a challenge. For those on a strict budget or who do not know what to get a person, it can be hard to find the right present.  

    Some tips for thinking of a present is to not put so much pressure on finding the absolute perfect gift. Not every gift needs to be something extravagant or an item the person has only dreamed about, sometimes the perfect gift is simple. Think about their life and what they need, in order to figure out a gift idea.  Sometimes people need simple items such as basic clothing items, bath products or other things daily essentials. Pay attention to what the person talks about and if they mention any problems that they are having in their life. For example, a person who drives and has started complaining about the ice on their windows may need an ice scraper. While it may seem like boring gift, if the person needs the item, they will likely be happy to receive it. Finding things that people in your life may need but have neglected to buy for themselves can be a good starting point for gift giving.  

    If there does not seem to be an item the person necessarily needs, look at the person you are buying for and figure out a few things such as what movies, video games, sports, or other things they like. Figure out what general items the person likes, do they like plush toys, sports paraphernalia, books or cute things. Then, simply find something that relates to their interests. If they like a sports team, try looking for something related to that sports team, such as a jersey, keychain, banner or lanyard. If they like books, find out their favorites type of book or their favorite authors. Then look around for a book they do not  have, some good places for that are Barnes & Noble and Half-Priced Books.

    For those on strict budgets, homemade gifts may be the way to go, as long as the craft takes time and effort and is not just a last minute project. Think about the skills that you have that can be used to make a creative gift. An original art piece or portrait would be a great gift idea for friend or family. A original craft is also a good ideal, perhaps a sewn plush ornament or homemade desk supplies.



 

$5- (Luxe Collection Sherpa Blanket from Five Below) (LED desktop essential oil diffuser, $5 Five Below) (Simple Pleasures ™ Bath bombs $5 Five Below), (LED Hover LED speaker $5 from Five Below) (bluetooth® slide wireless earbuds w/ mic $5 Five Below) (Pick Me Up (A pep talk for now and later) by Adam J. Kurtz $5 from Five Below)

$10 - (Burts Bees Essential Everyday beauty Gift Set $8.07 Amazon) (Jelly Belly Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Jelly Beans Gift Box Amazon $7.84) (Faux Potted Succulent with copper pot, $9.95, Walmart)

$15 - (Gourmet Hot Chocolate Gift Box Set - Hot Cocoa, Mini Marshmallow and Crushed Peppermint, $13.39, Amazon) slippers, pajamas set, chapstick sets

$25 - (Holiday Cocoa Variety Gift Set - 9 flavors, $19.99, Amazon, comes in cocoa, coffee or tea) (gift card to favorite store; Amazon, Walmart, Bath & Bodyworks, Target, Gamestop, Michaels, Best Buy 20<), (Echo Dot Smart Speaker with Alexa (Second Gen) - Black, $24.99, Amazon)


 

These suggestions are general items that most people would enjoy receiving as a present. However, presents are not the most important part of the holiday season. While gifts  are a nice gesture, one should not feel pressured to give or entitled to receive presents. If there are reasons that prevent the giving of presents, such as personal issues or financial issues, do not feel bad about not being able to get everyone gifts or not being able to find the perfect gift for someone. The holiday season is based around spending time around the people you love, and presents do not necessarily have to be part of that.


 

12/12/2018
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null     Ugly holiday sweaters are a recent tradition that has swept through the younger generations. Originating from the bizarre, festive holiday looks from the parents in the 80s, the youngsters from this generation took this look and put their own twist on it, highlighting the extraneous fashion trend from the 80s. Being able to spread holiday cheer just by wearing a sweater is a powerful thing, it can help spread the joys of the holidays in a simple, yet grand way. These sweaters have no limits. They can be dedicated to television shows, great memories, inside jokes or just be a cute design. Ugly holiday sweaters can be extraneous and spontaneous or simple and sweet. But at the end of the day, they all share one common goal: to spread the holiday cheer. Although it seems like creating these projects can be overwhelming, holiday sweaters are actually a lot easier to make than one might think.

First, understand that when it comes to decorations, nothing is too dramatic for your holiday sweater.

     If you are creating a sweater dedicated to Hanukkah, do not be afraid to buy a whole menorah to glue or sew into the sweater. In the past, I have managed to put candy-cane slots, stockings, cup-holders and ornaments onto sweaters. Nothing is too much for an ugly holiday sweater. Holiday sweaters are fun and should be a reflection of the creativity inside one’s mind.

Second, find your inspiration for your sweater

     What is your favorite show? What is a huge thing that’s impacted you this year? Who inspired you the most this year? Ugly holiday sweaters are supposed to draw attention, make people turn heads and celebrate the great season of giving. These are all very valuable questions to ask yourself while coming up with an ugly sweater idea. Every year, I have a different idea for my sweaters. Last year was “Christmas is LIT,” so I created a sweater that featured  battery-powered LED Christmas tree lights. This idea was inspired when my dad took me downtown to see the Circle of Lights light up for the first time.

Third, buy your materials

A common misconception for holiday sweaters is that one should already have a sweater fully planned out before buying materials, but that is not the case at all. It is hard to visualize what to put on a sweater if you do not see what you have to work with. It is hard to match sweater colors to the colors of things to put on a sweater if you do not have the supplies. Now that the idea has been established for the sweater, it should not be hard to understand what materials to get. For my own sweaters, my list of materials usually consists of colored felt, puffy paint, cotton balls, jingle bells, thread, holiday-themed cloth, ribbon and, of course, a blank sweater. However, these materials can vary, depending on the idea. For example, for my “Christmas is LIT”sweater, I had to get myself some LED lights. I ended up cutting up a light-up necklace along with the battery powered LED lights to be able to get the effect I wanted.

Third, make a game plan

     How is it going to look? Don’t immediately start putting stuff on the sweater. Maybe start with a sketch. I usually choose quotes or small phrases to put onto a sweater, but that is not how it always has to be. One must understand what he or she is putting onto it beforehand. The ribbon I buy is used for the lettering of the words. I lay out the ribbon in the shape of the letters, pin them down with sewing pins and go back in to sew the ribbon on the sweater.

 

Four, lay down the basics

     For me, the “basics”  would be the phrase that I want to feature on the sweater. For example, this year’s sweater theme is dedicated to “The Grinch.” The phrase that I chose to put on the sweater is “Grinch don’t steal my vibe,” which I made sure to sew on it before starting anything else. However, if your sweater is inspired by the aesthetic of gifts, then maybe lay down the design of the tied ribbon bow first. If your sweater is dedicated to Kwanzaa, maybe start with sewing on some felt shaped as a candle to represent the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Going back to the first rule, do not be afraid to put actual (unlit) candles on a sweater dedicated to Kwanzaa to represent the seven principles if you want to.

Five, go crazy

     Once the basics are laid down, let the creativity take over. You have the materials and foundation of the sweater laid out, so, put all of the creative ideas flowing through your head onto your canvas. Do not second guess anything. If anything “goes wrong,” understand that they are called ugly holiday sweaters for a reason and virtually no mistakes can ever be made on a sweater. If puffy paint horribly smudges and you want it gone, cover it up with some felt, holiday-themed cloth or ribbon.


 

12/12/2018
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    The Christmas Chronicles is a new Netflix original that offers a fresh take on a classic story. Every year, Christmas movies reuse the same plot line, where a child takes it upon themselves to prove that Santa is real but ends up almost ruining Christmas when Santa gets caught in the trap the child laid for them. Then, the child has to right their wrongs to save Christmas. Even today this is a popular story that is still used by filmmakers. This plot was used recently in the 2014 movie “Santa Hunters” as well as the animated film “Gotta Catch Santa.” However, Netflix has added a new flare to this old tale by presenting a different take on how people view Santa Claus.

    This movie tells the story of siblings Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy Pierce (Judah Lewis), who have recently lost their father, who was a firefighter, in the line of duty. The children’s mother, Claire Pierce (Kimberly Williams-Parsley), is forced to work extra hours in order to keep the family’s home. With a lack of parental guidance, Teddy turns to stealing cars as a way to get attention and begins to ignore his sister. Kate focuses her attention on Christmas as a way to cope by writing letters and making videos to Santa Claus in hopes that she can get in contact with him.

    On Christmas Eve, Claire has to fill in for a coworker, leaving Teddy to look after Kate. After Kate demands her brother’s help in setting up an elaborate plan to catch Santa, they are surprised when the trap is set off by the real Santa Claus. Santa manages to escape, but not before Kate and Teddy sneak into his sleigh. When they make their presence known to Santa, he crashes the sleigh and loses his reindeer.

    The Santa in this movie is a lot different than the ones in many other Christmas movies. He is younger and more fit compared to the Santa that we are used to seeing. This version of Santa is not as jolly as the others, either. He constantly berates Kate for believing in all the myths that people have spread about him, such as believing that he actually says “ho ho ho.” In one part of the movie, Santa assists Teddy in stealing a car and distracting the police in an effort to find his lost reindeer. His helpers also have a whole new attitude in this movie, as there is a scene where Santa’s elves beat up a group of thugs who captures Teddy.

    The movie also stands out by not having the traditional happy ending. In the end, Teddy reveals to Santa that his only Christmas wish is to talk to his father one last time. Santa tells him that he cannot grant that wish, but he does give him an old ornament that allows him to see his father’s reflection. This is different from most endings, where every character’s wish is granted and they all live happily ever after. Netflix gives this a pleasant twist at the end where Santa compromises.

    Overall, this is a great movie that would be fun to watch before Christmas. It is funny, yet also serious and heartwarming when it needs to be. It gives a phenomenal twist to a Christmas cliche and has an amazing ending that wraps up the movie beautifully.


 

12/12/2018
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     The Game of the Year award was created in 2014 to recognize and compare video games across the globe. The nominations are picked by the directors of Game Awards and are chosen based on how well they deliver a creative and advanced technological experience.

     This year’s one hundred nominations have been narrowed down to five choices that have stumped voters around the world. The Game of the Year directors have chosen “Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey,” “God of War,” “Celeste,” “Marvel’s Spiderman,” “Monster Hunter: World” and “Red Dead Redemption 2” to possibly be Game of the Year. However, two choices have left voters wondering what to choose: “God of War” or “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.” Both games are similar in mechanics and story and have left a great impression on critics across the world.

     “Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey” the eleventh installment in the series, was released on Oct. 5 after being announced by Ubisoft in May. Ubisoft has provided an engaging interactive experience for players and an adventurous storyline. The game follows the story of a Spartan mercenary who is attempting to find and reunite with his family after years of separation.

     The creative team surprised players with a choose your own adventure style game that was accompanied by a feature that allowed players to choose their own gender. Unlike in previous games, where the players had to play as the set protagonist, gamers can now choose between playing as the Spartan mercenary named “Kassandra” or her younger brother, “Alexios.” On top of this new inclusive gaming experience, the game also has options to pursue same-sex relationships or to not have any relationships at all.

     The Ubisoft team did not hold back on new and creative ideas, while also giving a convincing retelling of Ancient Greek history. Players get to receive flashbacks of their character’s life in Sparta that feature true aspects of Spartan history and their ways of life.

     The story is also unique to the series because of its premise. The “Assassin’s Creed” games have usually carried themes of revenge in their stories. However, this story primarily focuses on family and forgiveness. The protagonist wants to atone to their parents and sibling for their actions when they were younger and go searching across Greece to find them, even if it means putting themselves in perilous situations.

     Ubisoft has worked hard to make a game that is inclusive and interesting for all players. It is evident that they have analyzed previous games to see what parts of their content audiences enjoy and what they wanted to see change. In the past, Ubisoft was shamed by players for continually producing games featuring straight white male characters that followed the same plot as the rest of the games. Ubisoft was also scrutinized for saying that there would be no games with female assassins in them because they were too hard to animate. Ubisoft has stepped up and has tried to improve how they represent their characters in their games. The creative team is becoming more aware of the diversity in their audience and is making an effort to represent a wider variety of players.

     “Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey” is an amazing game that still has players talking. The developers have worked hard to include a fun and diverse experience for their fans and have made a game that will set a new precedent for the rest of the series.

     “God of War” has shocked the world with its amazing characters, story and game mechanics. “God of War” was created by Studio Santa Monica and released on April 20 by game director Corey Barlog. The game follows the story of Kratos, the Greek god of war, who has fled North after killing the entire pantheon to get revenge after Zeus and his children murdered Kratos’ family.

     In the foreign land, he creates a home and family for himself. But after his wife, Faye, dies leaving him with his eleven-year-old son Atreus, the two embark on a journey to spread Faye’s ashes at the highest peak of the nine realms. However, new gods are chasing after the father and son and will stop at nothing to capture them.

     “God of War” is actually the fourth main installment of the series but was published without the number in its title because Barlog wanted to show that this game would mark a new beginning in the “God of War” franchise. In the previous games, the content was considered a “hack and slash,” where players were encouraged to take out large amounts of enemies and focus primarily on combat rather than plot. Barlog, however, changed how combat is considered by adding an upgrade system that forces players to compare certain items and upgrades to see how they benefit Kratos’ weapons and the developers also included customizable armor. He wanted to players to slow down and consider their actions before continuing on in the game because he wanted the gameplay to reflect the characters.

     Kratos was an out of control monster determined to get his revenge, but now he is a lot older and does not want his son to make the same mistakes he did when he was a young god. Barlog wanted these new mechanics to show players that not only has Kratos changed but so has the “God of War” universe itself. These improvements accurately represent the change that Studio Santa Monica wants to show in their work.

     The studio has worked on “God of War” for over six years. The series itself had come under fire by Sony directors who own Studio Santa Monica. Previous games from the series had failed to meet their sales goals and Sony wanted to pull the plug on the series altogether, but Barlog took on the task of directing and assured Sony that he could produce a game similar to Sony’s other video game bestseller, “The Last of Us.” He proved this by later on selling 3.1 million copies of the game in just three days. “God of War” was a giant improvement to the series but was also a welcome change to fans who were pleased to see a softer side of their favorite protagonist.

     Despite both games following similar paths and having impressive reviews from critics worldwide, players should give their vote to “God of War.” Studio Santa Monica devoted six years into creating an amazing game that utilized its mechanics to reflect its story and kept things interesting and new for players. While Assassin’s Creed also introduced new elements to stories and mechanics, they did not utilize them in a way that would make a great impact on the series itself.

     “God of War” makes players reflect on Kratos’ actions in the past games as well as make them wonder what else Studio Santa Monica has in store. While “Assassin’s Creed” created an interesting game, they only succeeded in providing a singular good game that did nothing to improve upon its past titles. “God of War” has proven itself to be deserving of the title “Game of the Year.”

12/12/2018
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     Every year, numerous specials based around Christmas and the holiday season are released and aired during November and December. Many people grew up watching these Christmas films and have developed a love for these movies. Many of these specials are still airing and are perfect to watch in order to get into the holiday spirit.

 

“Polar Express”

     “The Polar Express” is an animated Christmas-classic based on the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. What unfolds in this movie is the adventure of a doubting young boy named Chris who takes a magical train ride to the North Pole. Upon visiting Santa’s home, Chris learns the valuable life lesson of self discovery, prompting him to receive a special gift, one of Santa’s bells, that only believers of Santa can hear. “The Polar Express” has been considered a Christmas favorite since its 2004 release due to its catchy songs and heartwarming message.

 

“Home Alone”

     “Home Alone” is a comedy movie that was released in 1990. The film centers around a young child named Kevin who was accidentally left at home when his family goes on a Christmas vacation. Kevin must defend his family’s home against two burglars who attempt to break in. Kevin uses a variety of homemade traps in order to defeat the dimwitted burglars. After a while, Kevin’s parents realize they left him at home and frantically attempt to get home. This movie is a beloved classic due to its comedic nature and humor.

 

“Rise of the Guardians”

     “Rise of the Guardians” is an animated film that was released by Dreamworks Animation in 2012. The movie centers around Jack Frost, who wakes up with amnesia, after being frozen in a lake for three hundred years. Jack soon finds the guardians, a group of mythical creatures, including the Tooth Fairy, Sandman, Easter Bunny and Santa. These creatures, known as the Guardians, get their powers from the belief that children have in them. Due to an evil entity called Pitch, more and more children stop believing in the Guardians, causing them to lose power. Pitch is also in possession of the only thing that can give Jack his memories back. In the movie, Jack and the Guardians must defeat Pitch in order to get kids to believe in the Guardians again and for Jack to get his memories back. This movie is highly suggested for anyone looking for a deeper Christmas film with more action and plot.   

 

“The Santa Clause” Series

     The “Santa Clause” is a trilogy of comedic Christmas movies starring actor Tim Allen. The series revolves around a man named Scott Calvin who accidentally causes the death of Santa, resulting in Scott becoming Santa’s replacement. Throughout the rest of the series, Scott lives as Santa, dealing with his newfound responsibilities and hardships. Kids and adults alike enjoy “The Santa Clause” series for both its family-humor and holiday cheer.

 

“The Nightmare Before Christmas”

     “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is an extremely popular holiday musical by Tim Burton, released in 1993. In the film, the king of Halloweentown, Jack, stumbles into Christmas Town and wishes to recreate the joy of it among his own bats, ghouls and goblins. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” proves to be a wonderful movie for all ages through music and Tim Burton’s one-of-a-kind imagination.

 

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

     “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” is an animated Christmas special released in 2000, based on the song of the same name written by Randy Brooks. The Christmas special revolves around a young boy named Jake Spankenheimer whose grandma goes missing after being hit by Santa. The whole special centers around John trying to get his Grandma back, save Santa Claus from being sued for damages and protect his grandma's store from being bought by a CEO. This movie has become beloved after many years of being aired.

 

“Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer”

     “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” is a stop-motion animated Christmas film based on a song by Johnny Marks. This classic movie follows a misfit reindeer whose nose, unlike the other reindeer, glows red. The movie is about Rudolph learning to accept himself and his attempts at getting the rest of Santa’s village to approve of him as well. The movie has strong morals of accepting people even if they are different, making it a beloved children's holiday special.

 

“Miracle on 34th Street”

     “Miracle on 34th Street” is an award-winning holiday film that aired in 1947. In this Christmas classic, a man named Kris Kringle fills in for the Santa in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. Kringle, proving to be a hit, gets promoted to appear regularly in Manhattan’s main store, where he claims to be the real Santa. Kringle’s claims lead to a court case aimed to determine his authenticity. “Miracle on 34th Street” proves to be a heartwarming story about the importance of childhood love and trust.

 

“It’s a Wonderful Life”

     “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a 1946 film about a man, George, who is so unsatisfied with his life that he thinks about ending it during the holidays. The movie takes the audiences back through George’s life, narrated by angels. One of the angels rescues George as he prepares to jump off a bridge. Clarence, the guardian angel who saves George, shows George what his town would have looked like without all that he has done. “It’s a Wonderful Life” brings cheer into the homes of those who watch it and teaches the valuable lesson of appreciation.

 

“A Miser Brother Christmas”

     The Heat and Snow Misers, who first appeared in the 1974 Christmas special, “A Year Without Santa Claus,” received their own stop motion Christmas special in 2008. The plot of this holiday special centers around the Heat and Snow Misers, two brothers with a strong rivalry, setting aside their differences in order to act in for Santa Claus, who was supposedly injured by the brothers' feud. Not everything is as it seems, though, as the misers' other brother, North Wind, plots to permanently replace Santa. This movie, at its emotional core, is about family, and how the holidays can bring the family closer.

 

“Frosty the Snowman”

     “Frosty the Snowman” is an animated holiday classic that was released in 1969, based on a song by the same name. In “Frosty the Snowman,” a group of schoolkids bring a snowman named Frosty to life during recess on Christmas Eve by placing a magician’s top hat on the snowman’s head. The magician, after seeing Frosty brought to life by the hat, decides that he wants his hat back, but the children will not let him have it. As the day grows warmer, one of the schoolchildren, Karen, decides that she should take Frosty to the North Pole so that he does not melt. Then, hijinks ensue as Karen and Frosty reach the North Pole and must stop the magician from taking Frosty’s hat. Eventually, the girl must head back home, so she says goodbye to Frosty. Frosty promises her that they would meet once again someday. This classic is a beloved movie with an emotional ending.

 

“A Charlie Brown Christmas”

     “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is an original animated Christmas special that is based on the Peanuts comics by Charles M. Schulz. This special first aired in 1965 and has since become a beloved Christmas classic. The special follows Charlie Brown, a mellow kid who is not in the Christmas spirit, in his attempts to try to get into a festive mood. While Charlie Brown is the main character, there are plenty of other characters in the movie that bring a sense of comedy and charm to the movie, including Snoopy, Charlie Brown's dog, and Lucy, a friend of Charlie Brown.

12/12/2018
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Overview

     “Super Smash Brothers” is the largest crossover game series, bringing together characters from many different Nintendo games to fight it out in a party fighting game. The “Smash” series, as it is commonly called, has a large community of dedicated fans who play the game both competitively and casualty. The series, which was created by Masahiro Sakurai, was first released on the Nintendo 64 in 1999, but since then, has had four more games that were released on the Nintendo Gamecube, Wii, 3DS and Wii U, each with their own changes. The newest game in the series is “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate,” released on the Nintendo Switch on Dec. 7 of this year. The game was promised to be the biggest and best entry in the “Super Smash Brothers Series.”

 

What's New

     “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” was revealed in March 2018, and fans of the series have been eagerly waiting for the release. This game sets itself apart from the other games in the series by adding new modes, characters and mechanics. There are multiple new modes including Smashdown, where two or more players must play as each character once until there are no more playable characters remaining. Another new mode is the new Spirit mode, where players fight characters that have specific power ups. After defeating these characters, the player receives the same power up in form of a “spirit.” These power ups can then be used to power up the players’ own character. Along with new modes, over a ten new characters have been added to the roster, along with many new stages. The game adds a lot of new content to the game, while also improving the pre-existing content.

 

Gameplay

     The “Super Smash Brothers” series is a fighting party game meant to be played with friends. “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” does this perfectly, having fun and addictive game play. With fast game play and a large roster of playable characters, the game is an absolute joy to play. The main gameplay of the game is, of course, the fighting, whether it be against people next to you, people online or computer controlled characters, there is always a way to play. The fighting is fun and addictive. Each match feels fun and fast, lasting for only a minute or until a certain requirement is met, depending on your settings. The basic fighting mechanics remain the same, but the entire game has a faster feel to it. Matches and battles now feel quicker and more decisive.

 

Characters

     One of the biggest selling points for this game that was used in its advertisements is that “everyone is here,” meaning that all playable characters from previous games return as playable in this game. Some of these returning characters include fan favorites that were cut from the previous games, such as the Ice Climbers, Snake and Wolf.  

     Alongside the returning characters, there are plenty of newcomers in form of unique fighters as well as a new class of fighter called echo fighters. Echo fighters are characters that are essentially clones of unique fighters with a few changes in some of their attacks and animations. These new fighters include some heavily fan requested characters such as Ridley from the “Metroid” series, who make their playable debut in the game after years of fan requests. Other new characters represent more recent games, such as Inkling from “Splatoon” and Incineroar from “Pokemon Sun and Moon.” Though the new class of echo fighters are essentially costumes for previously existing characters with a few changes, this class of fighters brings some interesting new faces to the roster such as Princess Daisy, an echo fighter of Princess Peach, from “Super Mario.”

     With all characters from previous games returning and many new characters added, “Smash Ultimate” offers over 70 fighters. This is a massive amount of playable characters, all with charming animations as well as unique attacks and attributes that make each character feel different and fun to play. With all these fighters, and more characters coming in the future as paid downloadable content, such as Piranha Plant from ‘Super Mario,” “Smash Ultimate” has at least one character who is a good fit for everyone.

 

Spirits

     One of the largest additions to “Smash Ultimate” is the new Spirit mechanic. Spirits are collectibles that are earned through the game’s adventure mode, classic mode or through spirit battles. Once collected, a spirit can be attached to a playable fighter and will essentially power up the fighter. Spirits are represented as an image of a character, some of these characters include Shantae from the “Shantae” series, Octoling from the “Splatoon” series and Waluigi from the “Mario” series.  

     In the adventure mode and in spirit battles, the player must battle the spirit in order to obtain it. The battles are interesting and fun, adding a new level of variety when it comes to single player battles. The spirits change fights in ways that the player may not expect, sometimes limiting an opponent to a certain attack or changing parts of the stage. Spirit battles are addicting, as each battle is something new and offer a unique way to battle.

     There are over 1,200 spirits in the game, each with different attributes that affect how they power up the fighter. Some spirits affect the movement speed and power of the fighter's attacks while some spirits affect the stage or grant the fighter an item that can be used. The characters these spirits represent come from many game series from past and present. These spirits help represent characters and game series that would otherwise not be represented in the game

 

World of Light

     “Smash Ultimate’s” World of Light is an adventure mode that takes the player on a grand quest to collect spirits and fighters in order to stop the villain Galeem from taking over the world. This mode has the player start out with one character, Kirby, and progress through a large world in order to gain more playable fighters and usable spirits. This mode opens with a wonderfully animated cutscene that sets the stage for the story. The entire world, except for Kirby, has been engulfed by Galeem’s light, and it is up to Kirby to save the other fighters and stop Galeem, who is a mysterious floating winged ball of light.

     This mode is fun, with a variety of battles that utilize spirits and are tied together by an overarching story. This mode is long as well, taking about 20 hours or longer to complete, depending on the player’s skill level. As the player progress and unlocks new characters in this mode, the challenges become increasingly difficult. Though, if anything, the story does feel generic, with not too much character interaction other than the opening cutscene.  World of Light adds a decent story that is fleshed out enough to give the player a reason to fight through the countless battles presented.

 

Review

     Overall, “Smash Ultimate” is a must buy for any fan of the “Super Smash Brothers” series or of fighting games in general. With its addicting gameplay and new mechanics, the game feels fresh and different from other games in the series.  With new, fan requested characters added and the addition of a story mode, the game is well worth the price of 60 dollars. “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” can be purchased digitally on the Nintendo Switch eshop or physically in many retail stores such as Gamestop or Best Buy. In all, “Smash Ultimate” feels like the best entry in the “Super Smash Brothers Series.”

 

9.5/10