Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has got me excited and hyped up for its release. The amount of content offered is ludicrous. Over 100 stages and 70 characters, with more possibly on the way. They weren’t kidding when they called it Ultimate. I bow to the master that is Masahiro Sakurai. One of the most striking things about Smash Ultimate is just how inclusive it is. The player is given many options and choices. It starts with the characters and the attention to detail they all have. The development team went above and beyond with the gameplay options, accommodating casual and competitive players alike. New, unexpected features were also added. Perhaps it will be the Smash Bros. title that pleases everyone.
As with any Smash Bros. game, so much attention to detail is paid to the characters included. So much love and care are put into every minute detail. The movesets and animations were not simply copied and pasted from Smash for Wii U. Some characters were completely overhauled, with new alternate costumes, movesets, and updated for their most recent game appearance. The question of if this will be a port was answered with a resounding “no.” While it most likely uses the same engine from the Wii U edition, many changes were made. Then there’s the new fighters added to the roster. Sakurai clearly listened to what fans have been asking for. Chrom, King K. Rool, Inklings, motherfucking RIDLEY. Solid Snake was brought back and the Castlevania series finally got long overdue representation. Daisy and Dark Samus came out of nowhere yet feel like natural additions. None of these things needed to be done. People would have bought the game regardless. Sakurai ain’t about that life though.
Sakurai and friends went all out to have this game live up to the Ultimate title. This game might be the most inclusive game when it comes to play styles. Competitive or casual, there’s something here for you. Every stage has a Final Destination version as in Smash Wii U, but new to Ultimate is each stage having a Battlefield form. Many of us find Final Destination to be boring. This is an excellent edition. Another new feature in stage selection is the Stage Morph. Not gonna lie, this blew my mind. Stages can transform mid-battle into another stage. Why would anyone think to add that? I didn’t know this was something I wanted until I saw it. Another edition is being able to toggle stage hazards on and off. Brilliant, just brilliant. All these decisions point to a development team keeping in mind the competitive and casual player. Players can have the experience they want. Now you can enjoy every stage, regardless of your play style.
With less time devoted to developing a brand-new engine, more effort was put into adding new features. Small things like altering the select screen to stack an Echo Fighter (clones) with their original counterpart. The Smash Ball can be replaced with a Final Smash Meter. You can eliminate the randomness of the Smash Ball if you so desire. Another option added is Smashdown. In this mode everyone must select a different character after each match concludes. This is great for adding a challenge to use unfamiliar characters. Training mode was revamped where players can study the trajectory of Special moves and the knockback. Ultimate has over 900 music tracks and more may be on the way. The music options have been altered as well. A stage can now have any music from the series it hails from, giving players more choices for music selection. For example, Peach’s Castle can have any music from the Mario series. When the Switch is in handheld mode, music from the game can still be played even in sleep mode. You can even make your own playlists. I cannot wait to go on a long car ride and play my favorite songs from Smash.
Choices, choices, choices. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate gives so many choices to the players. Many decisions were made with inclusivity in mind, to please as much of the player base as possible. The characters were modified and improved, adding new costumes and movesets. Long sought-after fighters were added along side a few surprises. Players of all types have something to be happy about, be they competitive or casual. Its like Nintendo finally acknowledged that people play Smash Bros. for different reasons and accommodated them. So many features were added that enhance the experience. I hardly scratched the surface of all the tweaks and additions Ultimate has. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. All these small additions and details add up to be something special. Every decision revolves around player choice. Such inclusivity is a rarity to behold. More game developers should keep that in mind. My mouth continues to water every time I see footage or read up on Smash Ultimate. Its rare for a game to give me that type of reaction. I just want it in my hands right now.