Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Review

Author: Diego "Syd" Cinelli
Date: 2020-07-30 23:17:48
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, before even going out, has already set a record, the most preordained game for Nintendo Switch. The wait, even for us, has been feverish: you will certainly have noticed it, given the number of articles that we have proposed to you in the last month to "cheat time" pending this review. And to make us ready and loaded properly. The new chapter of a highly successful saga is always called to raise the bar, even a little: woe to make it "fall". This Ultimate wants to go one step further by overwhelming the player with an unprecedented amount of content: to understand how much quality there is in the midst of such a mass of material, you need to proceed step by step, to avoid getting lost. Take a torch and follow me.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a strange cocktail. Already from the first hours of the game, it drags you into a whirlwind of experiences always in the balance between the epic and the ridiculous, facing battles to the death ... armed with fairy wands or banana peels. Although the strongest emotions manage to give them, as always, in multiplayer experiences (especially in clubs, where you reach peaks of involuntary nonsense humor that are difficult to match), even the single player component this time binds harmoniously to the rest not resulting - as happened at other times in the past - a part detached from the whole.

First of all, the basics. Super Smash Bros. is a fighting game saga that appeared for the first time in 1999 and has now reached its fifth chapter. It is unique in many ways: first of all, because it composes its roster with well-known characters, coming from both the Nintendo multiverse and external galaxies. So initially Mario and Link had to go out of their way to defend themselves from Pikachu, Fox and Falco, and now even Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter, or Cloud from Final Fantasy VII have decided to join the fight - indeed, perhaps it is better to say that someone has decided for them.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate offers a wide selection of game modes, which are divided into five sections in the main menu. Under the Melee label there are: Normal match, with the classic fights against other players or against characters controlled by the CPU (all against all or in teams), Group Smash in which to confront two sides of wrestlers (3v3 or 5v5) Tournament, which allows you to manage up to 32 participants with direct elimination, arranged in clashes with 2, 3 or 4 participants (with different configurations to choose from).

Warning: if you are a regular fighting game player, or even if you know only by hearsay the genre, there are mainly three elements that will displace you. First of all, the aim of the game: in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate you don't aim to use up your opponent's energy bar to knock him out. At least, not in the basic settings. Your task will be to send it away from the ring, in any direction (above, below, to the side) as long as it is not far enough to return.

The second peculiar element is precisely the scenarios: between volcanic eruptions and legendary Pokemon that appear and destroy parts of the battlefield, everything really happens. However, there is the possibility of choosing "neutral" versions of each arena, for those wishing to fight ... in peace. The third and last are the tools, weapons that fall from the sky ready to be used, many times capable of reversing the fate of a battle. For more information on basic mechanics, consult this article!

Finally, special Melee, where to face more bizarre clashes with numerous variables available: mini or maxi characters, with invisible or steel bodies and whoever has more, more of them. But in moderation, because there is a high risk of not understanding anything anymore and bursting out with every step. It should be noted that in each of these modes it is possible to set a personalized set of rules, in which to choose from a large amount of variables: type of meeting (screw, time, or at the end of an energy bar), timer, regular if and what tools to appear and, if so, how often, or even limit the choice to certain scenarios and set which player is responsible for choosing the next, at the end of a game ... and more.

The second section in the menu is Spirits, the main one for the single player. Inside is the Adventure mode, which presents a story titled "The Star of Hope": the world (what it is is not clear, but all 74 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters are found there) is threatened by a mysterious entity, a sort of avatar of light called Kiaran, who managed to subjugate the wrestlers, using them to create clones in his service. Only the bravest pink ball in the world of video games can be saved: and it is precisely by controlling Kirby that the player begins his journey.

In this mode it will be possible to move on various paths, in an incredibly vast game environment, facing characters and spirits fallen under the control of Kiaran: the first, once defeated, will become selectable (not only in Adventure), while the others will go to compose a very particular arsenal. Meanwhile, they are divided into two categories: on one side there are the Spirits, divided into four types (Attack, Defense, Grip and Neutral) that cross each other like a stone, paper and scissors, if equipped they increase attack and defense of the character (in addition to providing him, in some cases, various bonuses).

On the other we have the helpers, who are placed in the appropriate slots of each Spirit and serve two purposes: they increase the power of the spectrum in question and provide the player with particular skills, which allow both to contrast the various modifiers against which it will happen to encounter ( incendiary ground, rushing wind and so on), both to start the game with special tools - and much more. The system is absolutely intuitive (also thanks to the ability to automatically fill in the most suitable combination of spirit and helpers for the next fight) and at the same time manages to further increase the depth of the Adventure mode, adding a simple strategic element and an avalanche of collectible material.

In the same section there is the Collection, where you can manage Spirits and Helpers released along the way and the Spirit Scoreboard. The latter has six spectra, which give way to as many after a certain interval of time, and which can be addressed and freed. Some items obtained during the adventure can be used to make these encounters easier, increasing the chance of success.