Santa was good to me this year. When I opened presents on Christmas morning, the first gift to be unwrapped was a new Nintendo Switch packaged with a download code for SUPER SMASH BROS. ULTIMATE! Now that is what I call a Merry Christmas.
I’ve been excited to get the chance to put in some time with the fighting game, which features more than 70 characters. I’ve been a fan of the Smash Bros. franchise since its inception, and the games have maintained such a high quality, that they’re a must-own for every generation of Nintendo consoles. SUPER SMASH BROS. ULTIMATE is no exception. Bandai Namco and Nintendo provide a fun game with a variety of modes to experience, which will no doubt keep the replay value of the game high.
And being able to take the game from the television to the Switch screen to take it with me on the go is such a great feature. But that’s something for another time (Like, a year and a half ago, when the Switch was originally released…). Even on that small Switch screen, the graphics for the game are beautiful, and perfectly rendered for the kind of all-ages fun that it’s meant to be.
SUPER SMASH BROS. ULTIMATE, like many of its predecessors, rewards exploration. Starting out with just 8 characters, the player needs to navigate various modes of the game in order for new challengers to appear. Beat them – either through the main World of Light game mode or in other random encounters – and the characters get added to the roster. Lose and you’ll just have to try again.
The World of Light game mode has been where I’ve spent most of my time. The adventure begins with Kirby – a character I’ve never really been fond of – going around and battling brainwashed characters and collecting stats boosters known as Spirits to help make it through the vast landscape. The Spirits can either give your character new abilities or counter the abilities of your opponent. They’re an added wrinkle in the game to give players something else to collect, but I’m not sure how much they add or take away from the overall gameplay in my first dozen or so hours of play.
As Kirby defeats mini-bosses, new characters make themselves available for play in the World of Light. So far, I’ve found myself drawn to the Mii Swordfighter to get me through battles. It’s probably because I haven’t managed to unlock Link in this game mode. But I enjoy the Link-like properties of that particular Mii. Running towards an opponent and smashing it with a sword, sending it flying off the stage, is a cathartic act. I can’t imagine ever getting tired of that.
Having recently unlocked Donkey Kong in the game mode, though, the Swordfighter may have a challenger to my favorite. That ground pound of Donkey Kong’s is one of my favorite moves. I love using it during the Century Smash mode – where you have to quickly dispose of 100 opponents. It may be cheap, but it’s definitely effective.
Players can also take part in tournaments and other game modes for a little bit of variety in the gaming experience, and each character has its own battle ladder to go through. With more than 70 characters – and DLC on its way starting next month – that’s an awful lot of events to get through in order to finish a complete experience.
Overall, in my limited experience so far with SUPER SMASH BROS. ULTIMATE, it is a fantastic game that I imagine I’ll be spending a great deal of time with over the next year. As with other entries in the franchise, it is absolutely a must-own for any Switch owners.