‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ provides ultimate fighting game experience

GRANT SCARBORO, Reporter

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Ever since the release of Super Smash Bros. in 1999, gamers have fought each other with various characters from Nintendo’s franchises. After five installments, the sixth title was released for the Nintendo Switch on December 7, 2018, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, much like its predecessors, is a fighting game with platforming elements that pits many of Nintendo’s star characters against each other, from the Mario Bros. to Pikachu, along with some more obscure characters such as Isabelle from Animal Crossing New Leaf, and even the Duck Hunt Dog from the 1985 NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) title, Duck Hunt, who goes by the name, Duck Hunt, in the actual game.     

       Beginning with the third Smash Bros. title, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in 2008, some third-party characters, characters not owned by Nintendo, have also joined the fray. The case is no different for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as not only have all previous third-party characters from previous installments returned, but there also happen to be two newcomers from Konami’s Castlvania franchise in the form of Simon and his echo fighter, Richter Belmont.

      On the topic of returning characters, part of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s marketing was that all characters that appeared in the series would return, often featuring the phrase “Everyone is here!” This has indeed been the case for this title, even featuring the fighters Young Link and Pichu, who previously hadn’t been playable since the Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo GameCube in 2001.

   Like previous titles, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has various playable modes. The ‘Smash’ mode is the standard gameplay mode where players can have their preferred characters battle others in timed battles, stock battles, etc. the mode also comes with various ‘sub-modes’, such as Squad Strike, Tourney and Special Smash. One of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s new features in comparison to previous installments are ‘spirits’, a type of power-up in the form of non-fighter characters that comes in two forms, primary spirits and support spirits.

     They have their own mode which includes this game’s adventure mode, World of Light. In this, after a burst of ‘light’ consumes nearly all the roster of playable fighters, Kirby from the Kirby franchise must venture across the new world created by this burst to free the other fighters and spirits, who must then team up to defeat the combined forces of Galeem and Dharkon.

      Other modes include ‘Games & More’ which includes various sub-modes, such as ‘Classic Mode’, a staple of the series since the 1999 Nintendo 64 Classic, ‘Vault’, the home of saved replays of fights, the sound test, other minor features, and ‘Online’, the online mode which requires a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online to access.

    Shockingly, while Super Smash Bros. Ultimate may potentially be the most ambitious game in the series, this title is not without its faults. The stage creator was a feature introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and, while absent in Super Smash Bros.  for 3DS (perhaps due to hardware limitations) was upgraded in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, yet this feature is absent in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

   While both amiibo compatibility and the customizable Mii fighters from Smash Bros.  for 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U return, only amiibos from the previous installments can be transferred over to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate whereas Mii fighters can’t. The online mode has also been criticized by gamers for its ‘laggy’ performance.

    Overall, though, fans of the Super Smash Bros. franchise new and old will likely adore to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The game features every playable fighter in the series, both Nintendo and third-party alike. Spirits are a fantastic new addition that add a new layer of strategy to the game.

     The soundtrack is top-notch in both quality and quantity. According to Variety, the game sold over three million copies in its first 11 days in the U.S. alone, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is very well-deserving of those sales numbers.

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‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ provides ultimate fighting game experience