Super Smash Bros.: Blast or Pass?


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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a great game, which is evident by it’s fan and fanart, like this cover created by RainsyArt.

With variants emerging, such as omicron, people are staying home more often, and having people staying home also brings up what activities to do as well such as playing video games. One of those video games that had an explosion in sales is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU) released December 7, 2018. With a Metascore of 93, the numbers do not lie. Super Bros Ultimate is an amazing experience and worth the gameplay.

Super Smash Bros. is a fighting platform featuring many Nintendo characters and third-party ones too, but it doesn’t work like any other fighting game. It has damage percentages instead of health that determines how much overall damage you’ve taken. Higher percentages equals how farther you’ll be launched into the blast zones. The blast zones are either above, below, or on the side of the stage. Purpose of Smash is to be the last one standing, or have the most lives or stocks in Stock Mode.  There are two other modes to fight in, Time and Stamina. Time removes the stock counter and instead has the player with the most taken stocks. Defeat more players until time runs out. Stamina Mode is the classic health percentages. What is special about Stamina Mode is that players are at a fixed 20% launch rate. Get fighters down to 0% health and lose a stock, last fighter standing wins or whoever has the most remaining stocks at the end of time.

Smash was first released in 1999 on the Nintendo 64 directed under Masahiro Sakurai. According to an interview with Game Informer, Sakurai said he created the game as a response to violent fighting games, wanting to make a game “accessible, simple, and playable by anyone,” as shown in the age rating of E for Everyone. Super Smash Bros. contain characters from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) up to the newest Nintendo console, the Nintendo Switch.  Over the years, other consoles have had different releases of SSB such as the Nintendo Gamecube with SSB Melee, Nintendo Wii with SSB Brawl, and Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, both being dubbed Super Smash Bros. 4 by the community. 

Shown numbers show that  the ingenious idea of famous Nintendo characters fighting each other exploded in popularity being titled as the third-best selling title on the switch with a unit sales of 25.71 million world wide. So much so that tournaments or competitions were made for SSB, even for the first game of the series, to this day. Though the number is small, being the largest number of contestants is 314 according to SmashWiki, it expresses the amount of popularity SSB has to the gaming community. These tournaments also sparked popular clips such as “Wombo Combo ” all the way back in December 2008. The video is about a doubles match, two teams fighting each other, and one of the teams winning the game by repeatedly knocking their opponent into their teammate, creating a chain of hits.

There are many reasons why it is recommended to purchase SSBU. First of all reasons, it has the largest roster of fighters in the series with a staggering size of 69 playable fighters, an additional 13 fighters of downloadable content (DLC), and 7 echo fighters which are fighters with similar or exact moveset for the reason to include more fighters with less stress on the development team (compared to Smash 4’s 58 with 7 DLC fighters). Big names such as Mario, Pickachu, Ryu, and so much more are included in the most recent entry of the series. 

Along with fighters, players will find a more  in-depth game with many smaller activities such as Homerun Contest, World of Light, and Mob Smash. For those who enjoy collectibles in their games, SSBU also drags in Spirits, which are character arts or official drawings from the characters original games. They give damage and defense boosts and other spirits called Support Spirits boost fighters even more. It had a base of 1,297 Spirits ,with additional DLC spirits and more included in various updates.  Smash also plays up to eight players, becoming a perfect party game for friends and family. 

Super Smash Bros.


Though Smash is full of content and has been respected in the gaming community, there are minor problems with it. First are the stages. In SSBU there are over 100 stages, not to mention the DLC stages, but some are a nuisance to play on. These are particularly big stages specifically made for eight player matches such as Great Cave Offensive and Palutena’s Palace. Most players play with 2 or 4 players, and giant stages don’t make those matches fun. It takes too long for matches to finish and some players tend to run away with fighters with fast mobility. Other stages have hazards that either kill your fighter with one hit and badly damage them. Stages can be selected and deactivated and hazards can be switched off to fix this issue.

Another gripe to expect is graphic quality. Nintendo isn’t normally known for their graphics, but moreover fun in their games. If you do not  expect Playstation 5 graphics, Nintendo’s graphics are still excellent at the end of the day. 

Finally, is the online gameplay. Nintendo has an online membership, just like other consoles, such as Xbox. However, it comes with a fault. Smash does have the most input lag in the series. According to Polygon, “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the least responsive game in the series… There are between 87.87 and 112.87 ms of input latency between hitting a button in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and a character reacting. That means there are between six and seven frames of animation that pass between hitting a button and seeing a character move on screen.” No matter, as  this applies to all players, and players will get more accustomed to it over time.

For those who have the chance to purchase the game, it is highly recommended to do so. It is fun  to play with friends or competitively online. There are many strategies within the game and a lot of miscellaneous modes too. For those who grew up with a Nintendo 64, SSBU is also a great throwback with returning fighters from every part of the series. Overall, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a great game to get when purchasing a Switch and extremely hard to put down.