Review: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate


Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate exploded into the series fastest seller in history.

Harry Cowen, Staff Writer

It’s clear that Nintendo listened to the fans and finally made a smash game that satisfies every type of gamer. “Smash Ultimate” is the newest installation in the series, releasing on the Switch after much anticipation by the dedicated Smash community. Nintendo has previously ignored the Smash community, not supporting the continued competitive play of older games in the series like Melee and Smash 64. Now, Nintendo has finally realized the opportunity of a new competitive Smash game and seemed to embrace this more serious set of gamers.

The game includes characters from previous Smash games, as well as fan favorites like Metroid’s Ridley, bringing the total to 77 playable characters. While this number is almost overwhelming, it doesn’t take too long to unlock all of them, really only taking about three hours for a newcomer. Each character looks true to their own series, but includes a shiny new glow that only Nintendo can seem to perfect. Some of my favorites (and best in my opinion) are Inkling from Splatoon, Pokemon Trainer, and Diddy Kong. There’s a wide range of viable characters for all experience levels, so there is less of a skill gap than previous Smash games.

The actual game play is a perfect balance between something competitive and something fun. With the resurrection of old techniques like perfect shields and directional air dodges along with new ones like easy aerials, Nintendo has introduced the fun side of competitive Smash to the causal audiences without increasing the difficulty. While Nintendo did bring back aspects to make it more competitive, the game still follows the traditional party game style with tons of easy and powerful moves and ready-made combos that just about anyone can do. I would say the combo game is easier, but it’s also more satisfying than ever before with the new cinematic game camera. If a character is hit at a high percent, the camera will enter slowmo, zoom in, and add an explosive visual effect which makes beating your friends much more gratifying. The core game play of grabbing, specials, and smash attacks is, in my opinion, the best of the Smash series. Unlike previous titles, grabs no longer miss for no reason. Characters will now follow your movement with precision, preventing the struggle of turning around at random times due to controller movements.  Overall, the game play has been equalized, making the game completely fair without too much “cheese” or cheap tricks someone might utilize to get an edge.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is truly the ultimate culmination of what Smash fans like me have been waiting years for since Brawl. It’s not too casual for the competitive scene but still casual enough to not alienate the typical gamer. Because of the Switch, the game is portable which makes it easily playable anywhere. I’m a huge Smash player, mostly playing the competitive Melee scene, which is notorious for hating newly released Smash games. So, it’s truly shocking to me that I feel Ultimate lives up to spirit and legacy of Melee and the whole series.