Nintendo has a set of games that everyone looks forward to every console generation. There is always the guarantee that they will release a new Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, and Smash Bros. Most of the time these games just evolve over time with the core of the game still easily being seen, especially compared to the previous games in the series. Sometimes they innovate heavily between iterations, and this is not really one of those times. That however is not a bad thing.
First off you will not like this game if you were never a fan of Super Smash Bros. before. It is really the Wii U version with some new bells and whistles and a metric fuck ton of fighters. There are 74 in total with 6 as DLC to be released next year. Some fighters got updates such as Kirby’s Final Smash not boiling your opponents, but instead summoning the giant sword from Kirby’s Return to Dreamland. Samus and Zero Suit Samus are now two separate characters and not a costume swap activated by their Final Smash. To be honest I actually really like that change.
The online is as you’d expect and really depends on your internet and if Nintendo Online isn’t being persnickety. For me it was nice and smooth during matches though a few times it could not connect to the service. When choosing the online function you can go in solo, with the option of two people on one console. You can even spectate matches if you want. When you first start up the online matches you are asked to create a “Smash Tag” by choosing a background color and picture. Whenever you defeat someone you claim theirs and it is added to a collection of them as trophies which is a nice touch.
The new story mode is a lot of fun but has some really frustrating moments. You start with Kirby and have to follow branching paths on an over world where every so far a fight is blocking your path. You fight a dark clone of one of the other fighters that is being controlled by a spirit. After defeating them you get the spirit to add to your party to boost your strengths. They have various affects like giving you items at the start of a battle, increasing damage for certain attacks, or even negating or reducing stage hazard affects. There is also an option to use these in normal matches too. Every so often when playing the World of Light story mode you come across a no frills boss fight and beating said boss gets you that character to use in the various modes.
This is the only one way to unlock characters, you can just play the game and every 10 minutes or so of playing you can come across a new challenger and if you win unlock that character to play as. If you lose you will need to play enough for a little double door icon to appear in the Games & More section on the main menu to be able to get a chance to fight them again. Loosing to them again means having to wait for that door icon to appear again. The difficulty of these fights will ramp up as you go, but sometimes the A.I. will do something stupid that gets them killed and give you an easy win. The fastest way to unlock all the character, is very tedious. Set up a game mode that is 1 stock, start a match and run off the edge, defeat the fighter, rinse and repeat. However after a while that won’t work and you need to have moved around an unknown amount before a new fighter will appear. This can take you a few hours or more depending on your skill level.
Everything that is in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate makes for a rather robust game. The game offers many hours of play. Smash is always fun to play with friends and since this has an online match making system you can always find someone new to fight. The Mii fighters and the Amiibo system is back as well as all the old fighters. So if you missed out on Smash 4’s DLC fighters now is your chance to play them. If you haven’t picked it up yet I’d recommend this game to people who enjoy the series or even have a remote interest in it. – TS