Now that I’ve worked my way through the majority of Super Smash Bros Ultimate, the biggest game of its franchise to date, I thought it was time to write a little review. Since this game is so big, it would be difficult to discuss everything thoroughly without creating a very long post indeed, so I’m going to be sharing my thoughts, good and bad, on the topics that stood out to me the most.
Characters and Stages: There’s no denying that this game has the most characters and stages of any Smash Bros game thus far, including some, characters and stages alike, that had disappeared from earlier installments. Despite this huge selection of characters, I actually really liked the fact that, when you first start the game, you only have the characters you began with in the original game on the N64. It really illustrates just how far the Smash series has come in the last 20 years.
- Tons of unlockable characters
- Everyone’s back
- Characters can be unlocked in multiple ways
- Nothing really, but I guess it could have been cool if some stages had been unlockable
Classic Mode: I really love how Classic Mode’s difficulty adjusts depending on how well you do. I’m sure we all want to maximize our rewards, but in the past, I would often pick a difficulty that was too high or too low. Now, if you choose a low difficulty, odds are, you’ll do well, and it will increase fairly quickly. If you pick one that’s too tough, however, it will not increase by quite as much, so you won’t get as overwhelmed. Classic Mode also feels much less tedious in this game because every character has a different route, and the mode in general isn’t very long. This is great, considering we have over 70 characters! Who wants to repeat a super long series of battles over 70 times? Not me. Not anyone.
- Difficulty adjusts depending on how well you do
- Money is no longer required to play, only to continue after a KO (unlike the Wii U Smash Bros)
- Classic Mode is short, with six battles, a bonus stage, and a boss battle
- Every character’s route is different
- The credits at the end get boring after a few playthroughs
Adventure Mode: This game’s adventure mode is called World of Light, and it’s…not quite what I expected. Yes, you have a massive and pretty cool map to explore, but in order to do so, you must fight your way through tons of battles reminiscent of event matches. And let me tell you, it gets old…really fast. On a few occasions, you get opportunities to break up the monotony with simple puzzles, but most of the time, you’ll be progressing across the map inch by painful inch.
On a more positive note, as you fight your way through these battles, you earn spirits, which represent various characters and items from various games. Basically, they are a replacement for trophies, and the character(s) you fight in order to obtain them are meant to most closely resemble that particular spirit. Spirits are pretty cool, as they can grant you different abilities and/or increase your stats. Primary spirits can be leveled up, and most of them have 1-3 slots for support spirits, which can range from granting you immunity to poison to healing your health over time to making you much harder to launch.
Aside from the battles feeling rather tedious, my other biggest complaint is that I really would have liked more of a story, and more cut scenes, like Brawl’s Subspace Emissary. To be honest, after watching some really good reveal trailers for the game, I had hoped this would be a sign that the story for World of Light would be really awesome. But it wasn’t. The few cut scenes we got were cool and all, but it was not what I was hoping for.
- Spirits add a fun layer of strategy to battle
- Very large map with many, many different paths one can take
- Some of the sub-worlds have fun, if simple, puzzles or are just outright nostalgic
- Some very cool boss battles against some familiar faces…
- Multiple endings
- You can earn Adventure Skills for added abilities or stat increases
- With a grand total of 615 potential battles (many are not required), it can feel pretty tedious
- Very little story
Spirit Board: In addition to earning spirits in World of Light and being able to buy them in shops, you can also earn spirits on the Spirit Board. Random spirits will be shown on the board for a limited time, and you must win the battle in order to earn the spirit. It’s really the same concept as World of Light, except for one key difference. Once you win a battle, you have to shoot the fighter you just defeated through a gap in this spinning shield. Sometimes it’s really easy, but other times, the shield spins so quickly, it’s nearly impossible to time your shot with any real accuracy. You can use items to widen the gap in the shield or slow it down, but I don’t really understand why winning the battle is not enough.
- You can use items to make a battle easier
- You can earn A LOT of spirits this way
- There are events from time to time where spirits from certain franchises or themes appear or where extra rewards can be earned
- Having to shoot between the gap in the shield is frustrating and feels unnecessary
- If you lose a battle or hit the shield at the end, you have to wait until the spirit reappears to try again (unless you use a Rematch item)
In general, Ultimate does indeed live up to its name by being the most massive Super Smash Bros game we have ever seen, with tons of playable characters, stages, and things to do. Between everything I discussed above, in addition to Challenges and other modes I didn’t mention, along with simply playing with friends, this game will surely keep you busy for countless hours to come. While this was by no means a comprehensive analysis on the game, I think I’ve talked for long enough, don’t you?
Wait, don’t answer that.
Anyway, this post has come to an end, which means there’s just one thing left. Scroll on down to the comments section, dear readers, and let me know what you think about Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Do you think it’s the best, most comprehensive, Smash Bros game to date or do you prefer one of the older entries?
Lede image is official Super Smash Bros. Ultimate key art.