The Super Smash Bros. franchise has been held to an extremely high standard since its debut for the N64. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate exceeds those expectations by providing a fighting game experience that appeals to both hardcore competitive gamers and casual players. It encapsulates the long history of this franchise into one package while providing new options distinct to this version and doesn’t sacrifice any of the elements that made this series such as hit. The online matchmaking requires some patience but Super Smash Bros. Ultimate shatters every expectation with blinding explosion.

A Legacy Reborn

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate takes every character, stage, and musical track and combines them with new options. It’s an overwhelming amount of options that start small, giving the player access to only 8 of the original N64 roster before building up to the core 69 characters. With so many ranging from Mario, Link, and Donkey Kong to Metal Gear’s Solid Snake and SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog, you’re guaranteed to find someone you recognize and love. Nintendo has also added 11 new fighters unique to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate such as King K. Rool, Ridley, and Inkling Girl and Boy to give the players even more options!

The character selection may seem unnerving but the accessibility of the game is easy. Every character has the input commands, allowing you to control every one of them using the same controls. Despite this simple control scheme, the density of mastering each character and facing off against opponents rivals some of the best fighting games around. Each fighter has their own strengths and weaknesses that play a vital role in competitive play. Some are fast, others are slow, and few can juggle opponents; knowing how to counter each character is just as important as knowing how to play them.

If that wasn’t enough players can customize each match to their ideal settings. Everything from item spawn rate, CPU handicap, and music is available to the player to choose from. The newest addition available is Stage Morph which allows the player to change the stage during a match, adding another layer of strategy to each fight. With so many stages to choose from Stage Morph also allows players to see all the stages they would usually ignore.

A Good Single-Player!?

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate suprisingly offers a lengthy and varied single-player mode. Called World of Light players travel through a 2D map in search of spirits and facing against specifically challenged matches. Spirits work as the game’s RPG system, where you obtain, level, and equipped them to make your character more powerful. Those who invest into the correct spirits can easily blow through much of the game’s campaign. What breaks up the matches is the inclusion of boss fights which offer distinct fights that players of Super Smash Bros. Brawl will greatly appreciate.

The single-player takes about 20 hours to complete and is the best campaign featured in the franchise. The world is decorated with so many nods to not only Nintendo’s history but other franchises seeing everything was just as exciting as playing through the matches.

A New Foe Has Appeared!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is all about the competitive arena. Pick and choose your characters works the same here with plenty of variants for each of the 69 characters. Those who’ve played Super Smash Bros. Wii U or Super Smash Bros. 3DS will notice that the speed has been slightly increased but the overall concept of increasing your opponent’s percentage through damage and knocking them out still holds strong here. This system has always been ideal for newcomers as a depleting health bar can become frustrating for players just joining into the experience for the first time.

A popular new feature is a freeze frame that occurs during the final blow that ends a match. When a player successfully lands the final deciding blow in a match the camera zooms in and the action slows down at the point of contact. This small addition can either make you shout in joy or yell in anger but it’s an amazing way to end a match. It’s especially satisfying if you happen to land a Final Smash, a devasting attack that channels the history that character using it for a powerful attack. This includes Mario using his fire powers or Mega Man calling on his many versions for a powerful charged blast.

Despite the strong controls and gameplay Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s biggest weakness is the online matchmaking. Despite Nintendo launching its paid service this year Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s matchmaking is unreliable. Often I was dropped from matches, even with a LAN connection, and either forced into a free-for-all match or having to queue for another. It’s extremely vexing to have such a highly competitive game such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate work poorly within the online sphere.

A Smashing Good Time

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate recaptures the same fun and glory of the Super Smash Bros. while improving on it. Adding a lengthy and amazingly crafted single-player coupled with such a large selection of options is staggering. The only problem that holds Super Smash Bros. Ultimate back is the online matchmaking which needs a lot of work. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate meets and surpasses the expectation this legendary franchise has within the gaming community. If you own a Nintendo Switch and do not get Super Smash Bros. Ultimate you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Review
  • Lots of Incredible Characters
  • Accessible to All
  • Appealing to Both Competitive and Casual Gamers
  • Matchmaking Problems
9Overall Score
Reader Rating: (3 Votes)

About The Author

Adam S
Sr.Staff Writer

Adam is a Senior Staff Writer for GAW with over 15 years of experience in writing and is completely obsessed with video games. He holds a BA from Brooklyn College and lives in NY.