“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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”