Hello ladies and gentlemen, Bulba here and something that only happens once every half a decade has happened again. We got a new Smash game, and not only that, but the ultimate Smash game. Although Shadow is not coming, my opinion on this game is strong enough to where that does not even matter to me anymore. So, does Super Smash Bros. Ultimate live up to it’s name? Is this truly the best Smash game ever? That’s what I’m here to discuss!
First of all is gameplay and mechanics. Although I’ve never owned every Smash game, I’ve at least played them all. I’ve gotta say Super Smash Bros. Ultimate feels the most refined in terms of mechanics. It balanced out the slowness in gameplay of Smash 4, and the fast pace of Melee making for a game that can be enjoyed by both casuals and competitive players. While at first it was hard to keep track of who you are on screen, that quickly improved as I got used to the game. Also, I really enjoyed how you unlock characters rather then just having them all at the start. Although unlocking the characters got very challenging, I would be lying if I said I did not have fun.
Next up are the modes. Let’s start with online, as I have a lot to say. I think people are over exaggerating; the online is not terrible or a laggy mess. While I have experienced a few laggy matches, they are usually few and far between. Rather then the For Glory mode for competitive play and the For Fun for casual play, online is handled with a new ranking system called Global Smash Power. The way it works is that each online player has a GSP of their own, and it can increase by winning battles online or decrease by losing battles online. The game sets you to fight others with roughly the same GSP and preferred rules. While not the best way they could have approached online it still works for me. Once you reach a higher GSP then most other players as a character, you unlock elite Smash… which I haven’t unlocked myself. Other then that, there are arenas where multiple people can join (whether friends or randoms) with specific rules. Overall, while not perfect as there are still laggy messes, it is definitely an improvement from Wii U and especially 3DS.
Next up is World of Light. World of Light is interesting to say the least, it is not the greatest story mode nor anywhere near bad. The way it works is you fight specified CPU battles with special effects to match the character whose spirit you are working to unlock. A spirit is a character image whom you equip that can grant special deeds which assist you during battle, and those deeds are usually related to the character themself. For example, if you have a Risky Boots spirit equipped, it would grant you a Bomb Omb at the beginning of the fight. The story revolves around saving spirits as they were turned evil by the antagonist Galeem, some of which are fighters to play as and some of which are spirits for you to equip in this mode. There are four cutscenes in total, and a playthrough can last to around twenty five hours. Apparently the final boss is amazing and makes it worth playing through the mode, though I have not gotten there myself. While a very neat addition to the game, it is not a story mode in which I feel the need to complete. Don’t get me wrong, it is still worth your time.
There are a few other modes I need to discuss before moving on. The next biggest mode in the game (other then regular Smash) is Classic Mode, which I found very entertaining. Although it consists of CPU battles, a final run and a boss, they are themed around a prominent trait of a character. For example, in Sonic’s classic mode you will fight Captain Falcon who is also known for his speed, three Kirby’s who are colored red, blue and yellow to represent Sonic, Tails and Knuckles while the Sonic Heroes theme plays, etc. No two classic modes are the same; each have a unique set of appropriately themed CPU battles. There is also Squad Strike, a mode where you can play either three or five fighters each acting as a stock. For example, you can have a team consisting of Sonic, Cloud and Isabelle. Once Sonic dies, rather then being Sonic again, Cloud would be your next stock followed by Isabelle. Squad Strike is a neat edition, but gets boring after a while if not playing multi player. Finally, there is special Smash where you can create scenarios consisting of silly rules such as always having the giant mushroom on.
The last mode which is note worthy is of course regular Smash. In regular Smash you can now turn on stage morph, which allows you to switch between two stages which each stay for a set time period for one match. There is also the return of stocks which is my preferred way of playing regular Smash. You can set a time limit for the length of each battle as well as set a final Smash meter, which gives you your final smash after recieving a certain amount of damage. Finally, you can control what items can be on if any, who can pick stages, damage handicaps, allow spirits and alter the difficulty level of the CPUs. Overall, these are the most modes we have had in a Smash game, and most of these modes are fanominal. Not to mention there are also Smash Down, Smash Tourney, Training and Mob Smash but discussing those at length would make this article way too long. You will definitely get the most replayability out of online, however. (I’m sorry to inform that there is no Stage Builder).
Next up is the Vault, which includes music, replays, challenges, movies and a shop. If you thought the new song additions/remixes in Brawl were phenomenal, or that Smash 4 has an incredible amount of songs, then you have not seen Ultimate. Smash Ultimate has over eight hundred songs to listen to, even allowing you to create playlists and listen to the music while the Switch is on sleep mode. Not only that, but the new remixes Smash Ultimate has brought to the table are my favorite new remixes of any game (especially the Castlevania themes). If you came to Smash Ultimate wanting quality music, you will definitely not be disappointed. Next up are replays, challenges and movies. They are all neat additions but not worth talking about at length. Finally, we have the shop which allows you to buy music, Mii gear (yes, Miis do indeed return from Smash 4), and spirits. All the money you get to use in the shop is via the game itself and is not challenging to get, making for no microtransactions or in game purchases. Also, it is important to note that items will appear at random at the shop after some time, not allowing you to buy everything the shop has to offer at once. Overall, these are neat additions to the game, some of which add a lot to my enjoyment personally.
Next up are the graphics, controls and performance. The game runs at a steady 1080p 60 fps. I have experienced a few frame drops, but they are extremely rare and even when they do happen they are not too noticeable. For the first time ever, you can set custom controls which is amazing. However, for me the regular controls work perfectly but the option to change is nice. Then there are the graphics, and let me say this is the best looking Smash game of all time. While it may not be noticeable at first, when you compare Ultimate to Wii U side by side, the game looks much better then Wii U. It is obvious that Sakurai went through the effort of remaking all of the stages, character models, etc from scratch. Overall, this Smash game has the best performance, control options and visuals.
Finally, I wanted to discuss the huge amount of content this game offers. There are over 100 stages, all of which are completely unique from the others and look better then ever. There is also the option to put each stage at either a battle field or omega form. As I stated earlier, this game has 800 music tracks wether they are regular songs, previously made remixes, or brand new remixes. It also has 74 fighters in total, the most any Smash game has ever had. Those 74 fighters include everyone from every single previous game as well as new newcomers and echo fighters. The old characters feel amazing, and the newcomers are a mix of fan favorites such as King K Rool and Ridley or newcomers who people would end up liking although they were not too specifically asked for like Isabelle and Chrom. There is also Piranha Plant coming next February as a free DLC fighter, and a $25 Fighters Pass which comes with five DLC fighters whom each comes with a stage and music tracks and will be released each within the span of 2019.
Overall, this game deserves a 10/10. While many of the single player modes are based around CPU battles, I never got sick of them. Also, this being a 10/10 makes this the best Smash game of all time wether for competitive or casual players. Although my scale goes up to 11/10, a game must be (in my opinion) perfection and Smash does have a few amount of minor flaws which subtract a tiny bit from the overall experience. Thank you so much for reading! Let me know what you think on Twitter, Discord, or the comments below and I’ll catch you all later!