Super Smash Bros Ultimate Review: Bigger and the best crossover in the history of gaming

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Super Smash Bros is one of the oldest franchise of games from Nintendo. The Super Smash Bros Ultimate is the new addition to already huge lineup of games under the franchise. The idea of the Super Smash Bros game and what the player can expect from it has been different throughout the 20-year history of the game.

What started with the offline accessible multiplayer featuring the characters from Super Mario has now turned into a game that has characters from almost all game studios out there, has a full-fledged offline and online multiplayer mode and a big single-player campaign. The director of the series Masahiro Sakurai said during the release of the game: It’s a miracle that the Super Smash Bros Ultimate game exists.”

The library filled with characters from the Super Mario series, Zelda series, Pacman, Megaman, Sonic the hedge hunter, Metal Gear Solid, Street Fighters, Final Fantasy 7 in a single game is weird and wonderful at the same time. But it is the only game that can handle crossover on such scale and deliver a game and this time its done big and done the best.

The series is notorious for having a single player story mode, virtual museum catalog, knowledge of the histories of the characters from their original games and a huge library of soundtracks from the games.


Ultimate not only embraces all of these but also enhance them to make them better and well built for the game. It has every fighter that has previously been featured, it also all the fighting stages alongside the flexibility to play and enjoy them the way player likes.

In a nutshell, the game can be described as follows: It has 74 characters, 108 stages almost 1300 spirit characters to unlock and a compelling story mode that can take around 24 hours. All of that is built on the good old smash formula that allows the button smashers to have fun and skilled players have their way during the fight.

The core formula

If you have ever played a Smash game you know what is the core of these games. Competing players deal damage to the opponents hoping that it will become easier to knock off the opponent with lower health. It’s as simple as the original Super Smash Bros and can become as difficult as a puzzling platformer game.  Nintendo has introduced many optional features to increase the overall experience of the game.

You can enable dynamic stages, what it does is basically the havoc that you are creating with your players affects the stage and you can use it to your advantage. It opens an entirely new door of how to approach the game for the skilled peeps and also adds a fun element to the already satisfying gameplay. You can also enable the use of items and super finishes. Random items will spawn at random times and random parts of the stages, the player who gets the item will have a certain ability that can be used to dominate the opponents.

The use of super moves is exactly what every other fighting game does. It is a special combination of moves that deal a huge damage to the opponent.

You can find complexities in the gameplay beyond these too. These are for the players who want to master the skill sets of the characters. You can think about the optimal positioning of the character, figure out what attacks can easily knock the opponent off the stage and work your plan of action for the game.

Well, it is not entirely for the hardcore fans, anyone can reach that level of maturity in the game. That’s what the main allure of the game is, its accessibility and it makes it better than other fighting games out there.


Since the new game has been designed for the switch there are nuanced differences in the core gameplay. The controls are designed such that one can play using a single Joy con. You only need an analog stick and two buttons to do every move for any character. It includes the complex advance moves too which many games require different combinations of 4,5 buttons.

For many players it better to play when you only have to deal with 2,3 buttons rather than looking up the move lists and practice different combos.

The fact that the characters don’t even have health bars makes the overall experience less intimidating. Instead of depleting the health bar of the opponent you are increasing their chances to knock you off the stage using a single move. The higher it goes the easier they are to smash you away from the playing stage. Whenever all the opponents are knocked out of the stage the game ends with your victory.

While it’s scary to be at a higher percentage, the game does not knock you out of the ring as an effect of a slight hit from the opponent. Thus the game addresses the major problem of every fighting game which affects the player dramatically.

Super Smash Bros always gives another chance to the player so even if you are at a high percentage level you can make your way to the victory. It has an additional advantage, of course, you can never guess when or how is the going to end like in every other game.

Single player

The single player campaign is fun to play too. AI is good enough to knock you out after a great fight. Every character that you unlock has its own set of opponents that you can unlock throughout the journey. There is another single player mode which has a nice element in it. It includes the soles characters, which the player have to fight repeatedly.


Super Smash is all about the multiplayer system. You can have up to eight players fighting each other on screen. Though tracking your character will cause pain in the head but the experience is worth it. It offers both Offline and Online multiplayer modes. Offline mode is very easy its just “plug and play.”

For the Online experience, you would have to buy Nintendo’s online service. The matchmaking is quick you will find your preferred match in less than a minute.

The game tries to match players according to their regions that’s a plus considering the multiplayer system they are using is peer to peer. It means both players are affecting each other directly rather the intervention of the server.

The problem it creates is that if you or your opponent have crappy internet both of you will suffer as the opponent with a good internet will also suffer from hiccups.


Like any other switch game, there are two graphical modes in Super Smash Bros. The docked mode and the portable mode. How the game looks and feels is completely different in both modes.

Actually, I would say the portable mode is just not there for the game like this. Since there is a lot happening on screen the hardware should provide enough horsepower so that the game runs smoothly.

The docked mode is completely fine the game runs at 1080p and due to the big screen, you can track your player easily. The framerates are steady too the game mostly plays at 60FPS. There are certain points when it dips below 60 but the overall experience is smooth.

The handheld mode, however, cannot provide enough power to sustain the chaos happening o screen. As a result of the, there are huge frame drops and the game stutters a bit. We can not argue about the resolution here since every title runs at 720p in portable mode and for such a small screen 720p is enough.

Due to the smaller screen, it is difficult to track your character when they are farther apart. Which is the main reason why I earlier stated that this game should only be played docked.

Image: NintendoSoup
Image: NintendoSoup

Last words

Super Smash Bros Ultimate is a game that any person who owns a Switch console should play. Even if you have no one to play with the single-player mode is enough to keep you busy. The controls are so easy to master you can even invite those people who have never played the game. Overall it is one of the must play games of 2018.


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