It should come as no surprise, or maybe a big surprise, that I enjoy a good video game. I also enjoy some good crossovers. Flintstones and Jetsons, Avengers Infinity War, that one time The Critic went on The Simpson’s and Matt Groening hated it, the list goes on. And last Friday December 7th, the best of these both worlds was released for the 5th time (6 of you count the Wii U and 3DS Smash games as separate entries, which I don’t) in the form of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
The reason I have no more free time.
Ultimate’s main claim to fame and tag line is, “Everyone is here.” And they mean everyone. There are 74 different fighters to choose from with about 6 of them being “Echo” fighters, or clones of other fighters. And it’s a regular whose who of Nintendo and video game icons. From legends like Mario, Donkey Kong and Link, to the obscure like Pit, Shulk and Incineroar, to the more WTF like Ice Climbers, Duck Hunt and the soon to be released Piranha Plant, everyone really is here. Not to mention the gaggle of non-Nintendo created characters like Sonic, PAC-Man, Ryu, Cloud and Snake. Everyone is really here. And you only start the game with 8.
Now I know what some of you might be thinking, “Mr. Churro, does Nintendo really expect me to unlock almost 90% of the roster on my own?” And I’d say, “Suck it up buttercup.” You need to unlock a VERY large portion of the roster on your own, roughly 90%. No codes. No paid unlocks. Just like in the gaming days of old. Thankfully it’s super easy. As of this writing I’ve played the game for a good 12 hours and I have unlocked all but about 10 fighters. You play one round of classic mode or a few games of multiplayer and you are given the option to fight to unlock a new character. You blink a certain way and you can get this option. Even if you lose the unlock fight, a button will appear on the menu which allows for a rematch which cuts down on the frustration even more! It happens super frequently and anyone who complains about the grind can do the formerly mentioned action involving buttercups.
The end result of the grind and it is worth it!
But the other way to unlock characters is the games adventure mode, World of Light. You travel across a map ala Super Mario 3 and fight different spirits of video game characters or objects that have inhabited the copied bodies of the 74 fighters in the game (it’s a weird set up that is best checked out for yourself). This is a more slower way to unlock characters from what I found because you come across them less often. However you do collect spirits by the buttload in this mode. Spirits act as buffs and this game’s version of trophies. It is cool collecting these and seeing your collection grow as a fun little trip down video game memory lane and swing how much art styles have changed for different series. It’s a fun mode all together.
Mechanically speaking, the game handles wonderfully. It’s more fast paced than the previous Wii U entry, but not as fast as Melee. A new addition is that every time you deliver a kill blow, the screen zooms in on you and shows the final blow in slow mo with the most satisfying “PING” sound. It’s wonderful to hear when you cause it and devastating when you’re the one receiving. A lot of the newcomers are fun to play too. My personal favorite being King K. Rool. He’s a super heavy weight, but he’s fast. A draw back is that his attacks take a while to hit. But when they do, it deals massive damage. Him and Incineroar are my two personal favorite newcomers.
So here I am gushing about this game, but do I have any complaints. Yes I do. First, classic mode. The bonus stage before the final boss fight is the same for EVERY fighter. So while the fights change, this stage doesn’t and I was over it by my 8th play through of it. There’s also a surprising lack of things to do. There is Smash, Classic, Adventure and Multiman modes. But they removed things like Home Run Contest and Break the Targets. They aren’t essentials, but they were nice diversions from the main fighting. But that’s about it.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a phenomenal game released in a year of amazing big budget games and Fallout 76. It is packed with content from the amount of fighters, spirits, stages and music, I’m going to have my hands full unlocking everything. And with 6 new characters on the way, Piranha Plant and Joker from Persona 5 being the only 2 announced so far, with new stages and more songs with them, this game is only getting bigger. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is great and I can’t wait to play it for years to come. I’d call this the Fun Spot of games. Why? Because, IT’S HUGE! (I’ll show myself out)