Super Smash Bros: The Ultimate Iteration

Alexander Yagoda, Opinion Editor

Title: Super Smash Bros: Ultimate

Genre: Fighting, Action, Platforming

ESRB: E 10+

Developer: Nintendo

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Release Date: December 7, 2018

Our Rating: A+

Well, Reggie, you did it again. A masterpiece. Truly the best version of Smash that has come out, “Ultimate” brings together under one title all the best parts of every past game in the series. The smoothness and playability of the more recent titles with the mechanical balance of “Melee” make for a stupendous game, fantastic for both casual plays as well as larger tournaments that are sure to start sprouting up. In essence, “Smash Ultimate” captures the soul and body of everything a Smash game has ever hoped to be and grows it into what will likely be the most prominent brawler of the decade.

“I can’t speak much for the ‘Smash’ community because I’m not a gamer, but if I was, I would say that everyone is very impressed with the new game,” junior Christopher Brazda said.

Inkling has been declared by “Smash” pro ZeRo the best character and will, unfortunately, most likely see lots of use.

Then again, this is expected from the Japanese game studio Nintendo, of “Mario” and “Pokemon” fame. And in true Nintendo fashion, the faults in the game are minuscule and, for most people, irrelevant. With this new game comes new characters and new content, but the same old Nintendo online multiplayer. Seemingly connecting each Switch to the Nintendo Online Headquarters with a line plucked straight out of the 90s, the current online system has been widely criticized for being laggy, unreliable and clunky. With the only way to enter a friend’s lobby being through a specific friend code and the fact that it is impossible to directly connect via username or lobby finding, the entire shell of the Nintendo online system is a hollowed out husk of the greatness it could easily be. There is absolutely no reason for a game as polished as “Ultimate” from a studio as reputable as Nintendo to have such a buggy and overall awful online system.

With that gripe out of the way, it can now be said that the rest of the game is utterly fantastic. Even if someone, for whatever reason, bought “Ultimate” for a new spin on a level-based action game, they would not be disappointed. “Ultimate” comes ready with two single-player modes, a classic story mode carrying on the story depicted in pre-release commercials and a funky new adventure mode; it acts and plays like an RPG with fighting game mechanics nestled within the fighting game. However, this is not what makes “Ultimate” great.

Nothing says “cutting edge fighting game” like a large Pokemon beating up a small child.

The newest volume in the “Smash” anthology reaches what might be the optimal form of the local multiplayer game, a genre that has been on the decline since the rise of online multiplayer. With a massive and solidly balanced roster, there is a seemingly endless amount of variance that can be achieved in one versus one couch combat. This means that a multiplayer fighting game, which of all the genres currently in existence might be the one with the most replayability, has a whole other layer of replayability tossed on top of it. Plus, the learning curve is pretty forgiving for people trying out new characters, so there is no major downside to experimenting with new fighters or play styles. This, in turn, allows for each and every game played to have the possibility of being a new experience, keeping at bay the worst enemy of game developers: boredom that stems from excessive repetition.

“‘Smash’ has been one of the things I’ve been looking forward to most this year, and, thankfully, it hasn’t been a flop,” junior Jaime Perez said.

In fact, Nintendo has done such a good job in that department since the release of “Super Smash Bros: Melee” in 2001 that “Melee” continues to have competitive tournaments on a large scale, propelled by a significantly-sized dedicated fanbase. Despite being released on the Nintendo Gamecube, which became obsolete before many of today’s children were even born, people still find reasons to keep it around and continue playing “Melee.” So far, “Ultimate” seems to be heading the same way. With just a little more polishing in the online department, it would be no surprise if “Ultimate” stuck around for the next 20 years, as the larger scale spiritual successor to the hopes and dreams of “Melee” and “Brawl.”