Updated: Jan 20, 2019
In what may come as a brief surprise, Super Smash Bros Ultimate marks the first entry in the franchise that I have ever played. Its iconic status has been impressed onto me through its praise as a spectator activity, dazzlingly obnoxious fights, and faithful recreation of the franchises it portrays. And with the release of 2018’s Super Smash Bros Ultimate, with what is reported to be the largest and most complete version of the franchise that can be found, the game fails to have compromise, always searching for the most complete way of accomplishing a task. From its ridiculously large roster to minor details regarding spirits, Ultimate never hesitates to put in the effort to pull off what is unquestionably the most ambitious fighting game of all time. Its worlds pop with radiant color, bursting onto every scene. Each moment of gameplay is seamless and fluid, with each move blending together in a flurry of manners. And yet for all its staying, calming elements, Ultimate is anything but, delivering a bombastic, delightfully obnoxious experience that melds many inventive franchises and characters into a seamless and fluid fighting title.
One of the most eye-catching details of Ultimate is its 79-character roster, starring highlighted franchises such as Nintendo’s in-house properties, namely Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, etc., and exciting third-party properties, with Snake from Metal Gear Solid easily taking the cake for me. And while each character never feels wholly unique from each other, the amount of effort that this roster affords is impeccable. Never before has a roster size in this franchise been so dense and dripping with content. It’s clear that Nintendo strived for the most “ultimate” version of this franchise, not saving a single punch for a roster that contains delightful newcomers such as King K. Rool and classic, nearly forgotten favorites such as Snake. It’s an outstanding collection of character that never ceases to amaze.
As a newcomer to the series, I was most curious about how the game would actually play. Thankfully, however, it plays masterfully, a true masterclass in family-friendly fighting action. And while I wish it would give beginning players more options, it’s definitely friendly to any familiar Smash player, retaining its heart and soul to a peak. Running at a smooth 60fps, fights are dense, smooth, and dripping with color.