Super Smash Bros Ultimate | Nintendo Switch Review

I didn’t like Super Smash Bros Ultimate at first. There, I’ve said it. We can address it on and off during my following comments but it’s nothing to do with the latest version, more so the brand.

Fighting games have long been a favourite of mine. Mortal Kombat, Tekken and various versions of Street Fighter II are just some of the titles I like to play. There are a few lesser-known fighting games, one, in particular, reminds me of the Smash Bros franchise: Kung Fu Chaos.

What’s going on?

Kung Fu Chaos came after the Smash Bros series but I didn’t play any of them before this. It was a free-for-all battle over a variety of stages, jumping from platform to platform. It was alright – I enjoyed it – but it didn’t resonate with me. I think it was the manner of jumping from level to level to get to your opponent – this was open for exploitation as I always had a mate who would just keep jumping away from me and I spent the majority of the time chasing them. I also found that the stages were a little hectic and messy. That doesn’t happen as much in a conventional beat ‘em ups. But Super Smash Bros Ultimate isn’t a conventional beat ‘em up but to me, it’s hectic and messy.

The worst part of Super Smash Bros Ultimate is I don’t know what’s going on half the time and that is an issue for me. I like to have a bit of an idea of what is happening without relying completely on button mashing. The goal is simple: fight a group of players all at the same time, picking up power-ups along the way to knock off their health or knock them off the platform to their doom (they’ll come back). I want to like this as much as most people do. The same with Undertale. Maybe I’m missing something fundamental. Again.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Dr. Mario dodges a punch

A HUGE roster with more to come!

This is a game for Nintendo fans and though I am one – I love Mario Kart and Zelda – unlocking the characters at first was a grind. With regards to characters, this does have a huge roster – even I’m impressed. Apparently, there are 76 characters to choose from and you are spoilt for choice. I say ‘apparently’ as I’m far from unlocking that many so far. Ignoring the mainstays of Mario and company, the options include Samus, Link, Pikachu and even Snake.

Even better, there’s more to come as you can get new characters via the eShop. They’re very steadily being released but at the time of writing this (12:07), the Piranha Plant has been released as well as Joker from Persona 5. Awethome. A character announced at the recent E3 was Banjo-Kazooie. I’m just holding out for Ryo Hazuki of Shenmue fame. Bring him in and I might change my mind about Super Smash Bros Ultimate.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Donkey Kong victory

My initial thoughts were

I could imagine that this is a lot of fun with others in the room but thus far, I haven’t been able to persuade people to play as they either prefer something like Mortal Kombat or don’t get it either and end up button mashing (and still beating me). It’s tricky for me to be impartial about something that doesn’t click with me. Would I recommend this to Nintendo fans? Sure, but if you’re a Nintendo fan, you’ll already be familiar with this. Would I recommend this to beat ‘em up fans? I would suggest it but the people I know who like beat ‘em ups don’t appear to like this either. Then again, aside from Mario Kart, they don’t really like Nintendo games and feel they’re solely for kids.

I bought Super Smash Bros Ultimate as everybody else did. A triple-A title and a must-have for any Nintendo fan. I only played it for a few days and then moved on to eShop titles. On this basis, Smash Bros got a little neglected and I regret not giving it more time.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Single player map

Turning into a beautiful butterfly

Fast forward to today and my opinion has slightly changed. I didn’t even explore the options of the game – not realising that there is a single-player campaign. No idea. I booted it back up and started from scratch. This mode is like a tutorial. Get accustomed to one particular character until you unlock a new one, then master them and so on. On top of that, you unlock spirits that help you tackle a level.

I didn’t pay attention at first as thought it was a novelty, but spirits can decide if you win or lose. You can keep them and level them up or trade them in for cores. Cores allow you to summon other spirits – sometimes unique I was surprised how big this side of the game was, even if a little repetitive. It was hardly an after thought for us Billy No Mates who want to play on their own now and again.

I’m still fiddling around with this review and it’s a work in progress. I will come back to this at some stage, but look at the reviews online – this one is a no-brainer. As it stands, this is ace and I’ll play it a bit more before updating. Scores are likely to remain the same though.