Review: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Smash Bros. is the ultimate franchise in which almost all of Nintendo's worlds come together. The characters in Smash compete against each other in creative battles with different weapons and fields based on Nintendo and other gaming franchises. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate takes all this one step further.
The fifth installment in this series is truly the ultimate Smash experience. The game features all the fighters from previous Smash games, and even more! Ultimate offers no less than 74 different playable characters, 11 of which are newcomers such as the Inklings from Splatoon, Ridley and Dark Samus from Metroid and Princess Daisy from the Super Mario series. There are 103 different playing fields in the game and hundreds of pieces of music that come from or are based on the Nintendo franchises.
That is already a nice package, and with the standard battles you can already spend seas of time on Super Smash on Nintendo Switch, but there is much more. First, let's take a look at the concept of Super Smash Bros.:
If you're not completely familiar with the franchise, but are interested in the game after reading this intro, I'll briefly explain how Super Smash Bros. puts together. It's all pretty simple and easy to pick up, but as simple as it is to learn the game, it's that hard to get really good at it. It all starts with the different characters. There are 74 characters to choose from in Ultimate, but most of them must be unlocked first. You start with a handful of characters. All others are unlocked by simply playing your way. If you are about to unlock a new character, you must defeat it in combat. If you've managed to do that, you've unlocked a new character to control yourself in the game.
Most of Super Smash Bros. you will spend fighting popular faces from the gaming world. Battles in Super Smash Bros. go a little different than you might be used to from traditional fighting games. You don't have a life bar, instead you start with 0% damage per battle. Attacks deal a percentage amount of damage. The higher your percentages are, the more impact the next attack will have on you. You will not be defeated after a certain number of percent, but only when you fly out of the playing field. You will fly in a certain direction for each hit you receive, depending on the attack and the percentage you have will determine how far you will be launched if you are attacked.
It is not cast in stone who will win, even if you have more percentage damage than your opponent, you can still win due to a certain factor that can turn the whole fight upside down. Different items can give you an advantage, or the fact that many stages are very dynamic can sometimes cause you to accidentally end up outside the level.
World of Light
New in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the World of Light game mode. World of Light is a single player experience where you start out as Kirby and slowly have to save all the other fighters from the hands of the light creature Galeem. After battles you will unlock new 'Spirits' that will support you in subsequent battles. A certain Spirit can then be supported by other Spirits. It all sounds quite complicated, but once you get into fashion it is quite simple. And a learning curve.
In this new game mode you travel through a 2D map that reminds me a lot of play mats where I used to have hours of fun with toy cars as a small child. This time I can have hours of fun with such a mat again, only on the Nintendo Switch.
Every battle in this new game mode looks slightly different. You fight against one of the many characters from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but these take over the character of their Spirit. This can sometimes turn out to be very strange, but also very difficult and funny battles. It is the ultimate outcome for an alternative Smash experience that we have not yet experienced and is therefore a more than pleasant surprise in Ultimate. However, I'm not completely convinced of the new and many Spirits in the game yet. Eventually you can't see the wood for the trees and you stick with a certain Spirit, purely because you already had him in your 'party'. It might be a bit similar to Pokémon.I hardly change Pokémon in my party because my current ones are the strongest and with this I can easily reach the end of the game.
The Spirits all have a particular focus. Think of it as rock-paper-scissors. Before you start a fight, you see that your opponent's Spirit is weak or strong against your type. Before the fight starts you can quickly choose a Spirit that might be better against your opponent's, but I didn't really notice that the outcome of the fight relies very heavily on this. Overall, it still feels too gimmicky to go into too much detail about it.
A classic in a pleasant new jacket. Classic Mode has always been my favorite game mode in the Smash franchise. In Super Smash Bros. Melee I spent hours in this mode to get better and get as many trophies as possible. The visual feedback after each run felt very rewarding and satisfying. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate seems to have tackled the Classic Mode a little differently. The essence is the same, but it's a bit different. Through the fashion you see a beautiful mural. The further you get in your run, the more of it you'll see. Your result will depend on your performance in the battles and the starting point of the mural.
The elongated artwork is nothing more than a visual form of difficulty for the battles. You can choose an intensity before the first fight and each fight shifts it slightly, making the next fight a bit more difficult. If you lose a battle you can continue playing but the difficulty level, and therefore your final score, will decrease. Popular minigame 'Break The Target' is missing from Ultimate, and in Classic Mode was always a nice distraction from the endless fighting. This is really a nostalgic loss. In its place there is a Bonus Game reminiscent of 'Race To The Finish', where in Ultimate you have to run from a black hole while collecting as many orbs of light as possible. Master Hand returns in the Final Battle, but there may be some variation here too, which was a pleasant surprise.All Classic Mode attempts are tailored to your fighter by theme – this is a great tweak. For example, in Ryu's Street Fighter-inspired Classic Mode you will only play duels, with stamina battles on flat playing fields. In this way, each Classic Mode felt like a little personal story with character interaction, which I found quite lacking in World of Light
This essential gaming museum merges old and new into one complete picture that looks stunning. All stages from previous installments look polished on Nintendo Switch and also the amount of music to unlock is truly amazing. It almost feels like you're entering a game that has been on the market for years and has gradually gotten more content, but this is the launch version! Quite a bit of additional content still needs to be added! At first, the game has so many choices and options that you don't know what you want to do anymore. I would like to train my amiibo fighters, but on the other hand also further in World of Light. It's a rare sight to see such a complete game on release, which should go without saying.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the ultimate variant of Super Smash Bros. Although the game, besides World of Light, does not add much new to the franchise, this is the most complete and overcrowded Smash game ever made. There is more than enough content in it, although not everything is equally fun or exciting, there is a fashion for every mood to delve into. There's Classic Mode and World of Light to keep yourself entertained for hours with a single player experience. Multiplayer to compete against friends or other players through online play, or a quick battle in between. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has it all. There are some mainstays missing from the series, such as Break The Targets and Home-Run Contest, but with the promise of DLC being a speck on a diamond of a game.
After all, it's all about the countless hours of replayability that Smash offers and Ultimate definitely more than lives up to this. The lack of some modes and trophies are equally unfortunate, but soon fade into the background once you see the beautiful-looking stages from previous installments shine in HD while the hottest battles will be the outcome of your friendship for the rest of your life .
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