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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Posted by GG Goblin On December - 19 - 2018

Ultimate pretty much says it all.

There is something quite exciting about games that bring together popular characters from a variety of other titles, and anyone who has owned a Nintendo console in the last twenty years will likely at least have heard of Super Smash Bros. Part fighting game, part party game, part meeting place for a huge roster of different video game characters, the arrival of a new Smash Bros. game has become something of a highlight for any Nintendo fan. And so, just in time for Xmas 2018, Nintendo Switch owners are in for a treat with possibly the best Smash game ever in the form of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Smash fans come in two flavours, those who like to take everything very seriously and play competitively, and those who can appreciate the love of Nintendo and enjoy the chance to have fun. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate does its very best to give each of these types of fans exactly what they want, while also being very aware that Nintendo consoles are popular among the more casual gamers, and so ensuring that they are catered too as well. To be honest, it does a very good job.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a fighting game at heart, with up to eight players battling it out on a huge selection of different levels with a massive roster of fighters. The objective most of the time is to beat the opponents down enough to launch them from the battle stage, which is easier said than done when they are trying to do the same to you. Nearly all of Ultimate will revolve around this type of chaotic combat in one form or another.

The magic comes with the variety available in the game. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate comes with an absolutely huge roster of different playable characters from loads of different games. Of course, Mario is there, as is Link. But the roster just grows and grows with the likes of Kirby, Pikachu and Samus, through to more obscure entries such as Bayonetta, Ryu or Olimar. While having a roster of some seventy fighters is impressive in itself, and most players will find themselves gravitating towards their own favourites, it becomes even more impressive that each character has their own set of moves, feeling and fighting differently from the rest. This means that, for competitive play, there is a lot to learn and certain characters will become more popular. But even for the more casual players, the variety keeps the game feeling fresh even after more than a hundred matches.

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There is more magic thrown in with the different stages. Each of these stages brings a theme and is based, once again, on different video games. From Mushroom Kingdom and Luigi’s Mansion to the Pokemon Stadium, there are more than a hundred stages to enjoy, and while some just offer plain platforms to fight on, many of them will further confuse the action by moving, changing and giving players something else to worry about. Obviously, some stages will prove more popular than others, and some are more suited to competitive play, while others are better for party silliness. But with so many available, there is always something new to look at while being pounded by Donkey Kong.

With all of those fighters and all of those levels, there would already so much to do in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate if it were just a matter of picking a stage and fighter, then fighting. But there is so much more to Ultimate than that. With a few friends around, at a party or even at some kind of organised gathering, players will be able to set up their battles as they see fit, with the option to change the rules in some pretty impressive ways to suit whatever they want to get from the game.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a game that is at its best when played with others. But that doesn’t mean that the single player is left out. For starters, players will have to put in some serious work to unlock all of the fighters available in the game. They start out with just a few, and through regular play, new fighters will turn up and challenge the player, becoming unlocked if beaten. Players can choose to take a character and fight their way through a line up of opponents specifically chosen for them, which in itself will provide hours and hours of fighting fun. But the biggest star for the single players is the World of Light game which comes with a story of the Smash Universe fighters all being corrupted by the evil Galeem. That is except for everyone’s favourite pink puffball, Kirby. And so, players will move their way around a massive map, moving from point to point to fight whatever may be there, as Kirby to begin with. There are hundreds of battles in World of Light, and what makes them more interesting are spirits that the player can unlock along the way, represented by other, lesser known video game characters, that can be applied to the fighter in order to offer buffs or counter the buffs of other spirits. These spirits can be levelled up and improved, or changed out as the player wishes, giving the mode a management aspect.

As is the case with pretty much all Nintendo games, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is polished to within an inch of its life, with presentation that is second to none. The Nintendo Switch does a really good job of running the action, even when that action involves eight players and all manner of on-screen chaos. It is beautifully colourful and very easy on the eyes. To be honest, the only real problem comes with playing the game online, which is something that Nintendo always seem to struggle with. Lag can be a big issue in the online matches, which is all the more insulting as players now have to pay for the online play separately, and preferred rules seem to be more of a vague suggestion than anything actually binding.

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At the end of the day, most players will know what Super Smash Bros. is, and will know what to expect in this latest entry. In fact, Nintendo are so confident of this that there is very little by way of explanation for actual newcomers. Still, even not knowing what the hell is going on, I can see Ultimate being fun. And describing the game as ultimate is no exaggeration as it packs in the largest roster, the most impressive stages, and the best single player content ever in a Smash game. It really is that good. For the serious fighter, or the party brawler, and everyone in-between, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the best Smash game ever and an essential purchase for any Switch gamer.




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