Nintendo fanboys all over the world will be glued to their Switches today as Super Smash Bros Ultimate, the newest instalment of the Super Smash Bros franchise, finally hits the streets. With the release of the Nintendo Switch in 2017, it was just a matter of time before one of Nintendo’s best selling games would get a new version for their flagship console.
The official slogan for the blockbuster multiplayer fighting game is “Everyone is here”, and when they say everyone, they truly mean every single character from all previous Smash games is back.
This means that the full roster will contain 74 playable characters, from your classics like Mario, Donkey Kong, and Link to newer characters such as Snake (from the Metal Gear series) and Pokemon Trainer from Pokemon.
Characters are slowly unlocked by winning a one-on-one battle with them when they appear in the game. There are also many new playable characters in this version as well. For example, Inkling from the Splatoon franchise will be spewing paint left and right, while Simon from Castlevania will be showing off his whip mastery, so there is plenty of new content to unlock.
Smash mode is the major draw for the game, where you can select your own stages, rules and smash it up with up to eight of your friends. Other modes include Squad Strike, where you can team up with your friends battling your opponent’s squad in a 3 on 3 or 5 on 5 fight. Tourney mode makes it easy for players to hold local LAN tournaments, where you can choose the type of bracket you want with a maximum 32 players.
Special Smash mode is here for those who want to play custom matches. You can set special features such as equipping your character with bunny ears (which obviously makes you jump higher) or increasing your size or weight.
As for the single player experience, you can venue into the Spirits tab to battle through a series of worlds and collect Spirits to upgrade your character’s abilities. Each Spirit you earn will unlock new worlds and content, while upgrading your character’s skill tree to your preference of play.
In a two-hour gameplay session this morning, the controls felt tight and responsive. The special moves look better than ever and the huge variety of characters and modes make this the ultimate couch party game. Many different outfits for the characters are also unlocked by default so you can smash others in style.
Overall Super Smash Bros Ultimate is a great game. Veteran players will have the full roster to experiment with, and can slowly their their way through the meaty campaign. Newcomers are also welcome to smash with its basic and user-friendly fighting system. It's hard to make a well-balanced and fun fighting game, but Nintendo does it gracefully while bringing back all the franchise favourites.