[Review] Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – Nintendo Switch



I have been a casual video game player for most of my life. My favourite systems through the years have included SEGA, PlayStation 1 & 2, GameCube (which was my favourite system, more on that later), and the Nintendo Switch. I got my Switch about two years ago after not having owned a personal system since high school, if you can believe that! I figured the Switch would be the perfect way for me to de-stress, while I was working on my master’s degree. I quickly found the Nintendo Switch to be one of the most intuitive and captivating Nintendo gameplay experiences I’ve had since the GameCube. If you have ever played Breath of the Wild, you know exactly what I mean.

Anyways, In addition to my interest in gaming, my cousin Trevor happens to be the Surrealrager! Recently, he and I have been discussing our experiences playing different games on the Switch and recommending games to one another. For some time now, he has been encouraging me to write up one of my own reviews so I figure why not give it a try, and give my impressions of Super Smash Bros Ultimate! Here we go.



The Review

Some of us have been playing Smash since 1999, but some kids are just picking up Smash for the first time on their DS or Switch. Whatever level of experience you find yourself having with Super Smash at this point, I would say don’t let it keep you from playing this one. I have friends who only like to play Mele, never got into Brawl, I feel like most of us never owned a Wii U and now the Switch is here with the most expensive version of Smash ever created and for a former die-hard Mele fan like me, I think it’s awesome!

Potentially unpopular opinion here, but I generally think games get better each version and to me Smash Ultimate delivers. I’ll review a couple of the modes you can play and provide recommendations for beginners, but I primarily have been playing this game online with people around the world and I will be basing my overall review of the gameplay through this perspective.




For starters, there are more than 60 characters including every character ever included in the game (Banjo & Kazooie being one of the most recent additions), GameCube controllers are supported and there are more than 24 hours of glorious Nintendo music! This edition of Smash makes it quite literally, the largest crossover game in history. So I loved Mele. I remember playing Melee with my friends when it came out and then still playing until today, even over Brawl usually. I was needless to say, really stoked for Smash Ultimate.


Story Mode

Most versions of Smash, to my knowledge, contain a story mode. In Ultimate, the story mode is pretty extensive and provides some fun challenges. When you begin playing Ultimate, you’ll start off with the original Super Smash Bros 64 characters. However, if you are playing alone you can begin unlocking them right away by playing through the story mode.

Throughout the gameplay you will have a chance to fight shadow versions of fighters and defeating them means they end up in your smash roster. If you aren’t one to play through a smash story mode, you can also unlock characters by playing a bunch of brawls with your homies. If you find yourself traversing the story mode, it plays mostly like any other Nintendo adventure series, as you wander around a map a defeat baddies. My preferred way to play Smash solo is definitely Classic Mode, Spirit Mode, or Online Quickplay.



Classic Mode

In classic mode, you choose one fighter to take on that fighters specific path. For example, my main fight is Lucas from the Earthbound/Mother series. Lucas’ classic mode is titled Magic, Sacred Powers and PSI!, this is because Lucas deals primarily psychic blows. Each character will fight a series of different fighters followed by a unique boss or the classic Master Hand. Ultimate also includes the Crazy Hand as well, meaning you have to fight both Master and Crazy hand at the same time, which in my opinion is a bit ridiculous, but I digress. I like Classic mode for the simple fact that it gives you a perfect no-pressure opportunity to experience gameplay with all of the characters and its fun! The game also provides items called Classic Tickets.

Classic tickets can be used before beginning and after losing a classic mode to keep your difficulty, and therefore your overall score, higher when you lose or begin a series. Finally, my favourite part of classic mode is gunning down all the credits at the end. Similarly to Raiden V and other like style games, Classic Mode incorporates the sliding shooting style game, only you are the character you’ve selected for Classic Mode on a hoverboard, shooting the superscope at the names of the creators of the game.



Online Quickplay

The last part of Super Smash Bros Ultimate I’d like to talk about is the online playability. When Mario Kart 8 Deluxe came out for Switch, I played that game for hundreds of hours online to distract myself from my responsibilities and of course to whoop on people globally, duh. Nintendo games may not always come off as that competitive initially, but as you get better or level up your gameplay, Nintendo’s background matchmaking sets you up to vs. other people with a skill level similar to yours. Needless to say, Mario Kart got extremely competitive and I liked that about it, and much like Mario Kart, Smash Online is competitive and I love it. The background matchmaking feature allows you to customize the rules/style of smash battle you like. Are you the person who loves insane amounts of items, Pokeballs, final smashes, and team style battle? You can do that! This feature tends to work well most of the time and provides you with challengers that are more than likely at your skill level or better.

Smash Ultimate also introduced Elite Smash for online play as well, which to no surprise, is home to the most Elite of the Smash players. Smash ranks their players numerically by something called Global Smash Power or GSP. Currently, to be invited to elite smash with a character you must possess a GSP of about 5.4 million and up. In addition to being better than 5.4 million other players with a given character, all Elite Smash battles are 7 minutes, 3 stock battles, with no items and they are frequently fought on battlefield style stages with no hazards. This style of gameplay means it’s your technique against your opponents and this is where the game gets intense, but really fun if you can keep up.


With my main fighter Lucas, I have reached just over 5.2 million a couple of times, but I struggle to compete with people at this level usually. During these fights, players waste no movements or space, they are patient, unpredictable, and quick to punish you for making a mistake. This is a great way to practice and learn new tactics and skills. Initially, I felt overwhelmed with anxiety trying to compete with players online because quite honestly I would get trolled a lot by better players, but now I’d say I am a steady 4.4 or 4.5 million GSP Lucas fighter and I enjoy playing against someone who is better than me. The more you know the character you like to play as and other characters in the game the better you will become.



Final Words:

I’d say, for Smashers new and old, Ultimate is a great place to jump in. You get to play at just about every level that has ever been made for the game, there is so much delightful music and modes to play, and you can play as virtually every character even included in a game.

My recommendations to players would be to pick up your Joy-Con and Smash! Smash is one of those games I think you should refuse to miss and I’ve always loved kicking back with friends and having some competitive brawls. I look forward to challenging my friends when they visit and likely destroying them with my ledge guarding abilities and aerial attacks!



Review code provided

nintendospacerPlatform: Nintendo
Release Date: 07/12/2018
No. of Players: 1-8
Category: Fighting, Action
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Website: www.smashbros.com
Twitter: @Nintendo
Download link: eShop

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