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It’s about time. Smash Bros is *finally* back!

This topic contains 0 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  UltimaterializerX 2 years ago.

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    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

    Rating: 5.0 – Flawless

    It’s about time. Smash Bros is *finally* back!

    With Super Smash Bros Brawl engaging in open sabotage of the series and Smash 4 having literally no single player content, one wondered if Masahiro Sakurai had simply lost his touch. Smash 4 was good and all, but come on. No single player content? Questionable newcomers? Maybe he just got lucky with the first two games and we’re seeing that he isn’t very good?

    Turns out we were just idiots. Super Smash Bros Ultimate is everything Smash fans have wanted since Melee. Since Melee happened, all we’ve asked for is a game with Melee’s mechanics, minus having to master using literal glitches to win, and a good roster. Ultimate decided to give us exactly that, plus so much more. Super Smash Bros Ultimate is the best game in this series and it frankly isn’t close. It might be the best game ever made outright, but time will tell on that.

    By the way, am I allowed to say a video game is better than Melee? Will I be excommunicated for heresy over that belief? We shall see!

    Everyone is here!

    At its core, Smash Bros is a party fighter where a bunch of Nintendo characters from across gaming history come together with their own flavor of battle stage and items, and fight to knock each other off of the stage. There are lots of different rule sets one can use to do this with, such as timed matches, stock matches, or custom rule sets, but the core gameplay remains the same. You’re trying to stay on a level and knock everyone else off of it, all on a 2D fighting plane. This series started with 12 Nintendo characters. With Ultimate we now have 76 playable characters, including lots of cameos from outside Nintendo.

    Oh, and this section is titled "everyone is here" as an homage to the big roster reveal video — because everyone is back in this game. Snake may have skipped Smash 4, but he’s back. Pichu and Doc Mario and Roy are back. The Pokemon Trainer is back. The DLC characters from 4, including even Cloud and Bayonetta? Yeah, they’re here too. There is literally nothing whatsoever to complain about with this roster, because no one is actually missing. Almost every stage from the past is back. Every item is back, and all this is before even talking about the new stuff.

    You want Castlevania? You got it. You want a random Pirahna Plant or a pokemon acting like a pro wrestler? You got it. Ridley wasn’t too big to get in after all. Even Flow Chart Ken makes an appearance. There is nothing to complain about with this roster or the game’s content at large, because nothing is missing.

    Anything not directly playable (Geno from SMRPG, for example) pops up as spirits, which is this game’s version of a trophy. There is a ton of single player content available in this game, from the old standby classic mode, all-star, and 100 man, but the main single player content are two modes involving the spirits. One is a light story mode where a giant light lord kills everyone off right at the jump except for Kirby, and then you have to go out as Kirby and slowly save everyone. You do this on a giant map with a series of spirit battles, which are essentially Smash fights with a light twist or two. As you unlock more characters and more spirits, you’ll gradually get stronger via the bonuses they give when equipped.

    As a random example, Gardevoir is a spirit battle in this game. When she pops out of a pokeball, her whole thing is reflecting stuff. So for the actual spirit fight, you’re up against Reflect Rosalina (because Rosalina kinda sorta looks like Gardevoir) and only Gardevoir will pop out of pokeballs. The spirit battles are all cute little things like that, with shows an incredible attention to detail by the designers. The adventure takes a little while to finish up, and any spirits you don’t get there are supplemented on a spirit board where things pop up randomly at timed intervals. Think the Smash version of whack-a-mole. Some people complain about the spirit stuff taking too long, especially if you’re relying on the adventure to unlock all the characters, but I loved it. The entire spirit gimmick felt like a tribute to video games, and the insane attention to detail Nintendo put into designing all those spirit battles should be appreciated instead of complained about. I’ve shoveled my fair share of crap on Nintendo over the years, but the job they did with this game is insane.

    If I had to sum up Smash Ultimate in one phrase, it actually would be "attention to detail". There are hundreds of videos out there about this if you care to look them up, so I won’t go nuts explaining it all, but the job Nintendo did here with every character and just every spirit is phenomenal. Some characters, like Charizard, take damage while in water. If a grenade goes off near Snake in the MGS stage, he ducks for cover. Little things like that are all over this game, and it shows the love that was put into making this. All that paired with the spirit tributes really makes Smash Ultimate feel like a tribute to gaming history. Where else will you find shout outs to Game and Watch, Pac-Man, Mario, Xenoblade Chronicles, and Flowchart Ken all in one game? Where else will Sonic’s drowning animation appear alongside Great Bay from Majora’s Mask while Bloody Tears from Castlevania is playing?

    No where. That’s why Smash is gaming’s best series. As of this game, it’s overtaken Final Fantasy, Mario, Zelda, Halo, Mortal Kombat, or anything else you want to name. No other series makes you feel as good about playing video games as Smash Bros does. No other series does as good a job as Smash does of introducing you to new characters and new games, either. It’s worth noting here that for physics and graphics, Ultimate does by far the best job in the series. I don’t only mean "this game is new so the graphics are good", either. If you actually look at character attacks, they look beautiful and all of them make sense. The days of Snake’s up tilt hitting like 97 feet in front of him are long gone, thankfully.

    Lastly are the aesthetics. Nintendo always goes all-out with bringing a lot of different worlds together, but Smash Ultimate by far does the best job of this. There’s over 1000 spirits, almost 80 characters, over 100 stages to fight on, over 850 music tracks, a jillion Mii costumes to try out, and endless tributes to everything we love. If I may quote Jim Rome on this one, if you have a problem with Smash Bros Ultimate, you have a problem with yourself. They even went all-out with the graphics to make sure it looks beautiful on whatever TV you’re using. It’s a marvel to pick Great Plateau Tower and just stare in awe. They really and truly went all-out with this game. The best part of the collect-a-thon in Ultimate is how you don’t face the coupon collector’s problem when trying to get everything. The math actually changes to be in your favor as you get more stuff. For a good comparison, a sticker in Brawl had the same odds of showing up no matter how many stickers you had, and there are horror stories online of people needing several HUNDRED hours of grinding just to get the last one they needed. I’m one of them. I had 699 stickers and it took me over 75 hours to get Car Yoshi. Never again. If the exact same collection were in Ultimate, Car Yoshi would guaranteed show up, either in the vault shop, on the spirit board, as a reward from Classic, or somewhere else with math in my favor for appearance. Nintendo very clearly learned their lesson here after everyone got annoyed about this in past games. To give an idea of how well done this is in Brawl, I work two jobs and I’m finishing up a nursing degree and still had 100% completion in under a month.

    Final point. A lot of new Smash players look at pro class videos and get discouraged by the skill level involved, or the crazy tech. Smash has always sought to simplify things by making sure every character has the same inputs. You get A moves, B moves, directional inputs, a shield, aerials, and a grab. That’s it. The skill level comes in knowing each character’s strengths and planning accordingly. Melee, for as good as it was, went way too far in making pro level play complex, in large part because the design period of that game was rushed. That’s how we got dumb stuff like wavedashing, shield dropping, double jump cancels into back slide L cancels on every hit, and other dumb nonsense. Brawl went way too far in the other direction and made the game way too defensive, unless you picked Meta Knight. Smash 4 was a step in the right direction, but bad balancing with DLC characters and no single player ruined that game’s competitive environment.

    Smash Ultimate gets it perfect. It’s very clear that the #1 goal with this game was streamlining the process between casual play and advanced play. If you want to go all-out with items and such, you can. If you want to turn everything off and be competitive, you can do that as well because everything is streamlined to make advanced play more accessible. For example, in the past it was very difficult to do short hopped neutral airs. In Smash Ultimate, just lightly press A + X and watch what happens. All of the mechanics are like that, which makes things very fun to play and makes most characters viable. Given how fast this game plays, it’s an incredibly welcome addition and is probably the best reason this game feels like the Melee sequel we all wanted. We finally have a fast-paced Smash game that doesn’t rely on glitching to work. I can’t actually put into words how happy this makes me, but anyone who knows me knows I adore Melee. It’s my #2 game ever, behind Final Fantasy Tactics.

    That was until Smash Ultimate came along. This is the game I’ve waited for for nearly 20 years, and now that it’s here, it definitely exceeds the hype. This is solidly my #2 game ever, if not #1. It really is that good, and is worth the price of a Switch all by itself.

    Rating:   5.0 – Flawless

    Product Release: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (US, 12/07/18)

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