Paige FTW: ‘Smash Bros.’ Sequel Truly Is ‘Ultimate’

Super Smash Bros. was one of the first games I had for the Nintendo 64 — my first console, one that fundamentally changed the course of my life at the tender age of 9. And I loved it! I’m not pro-level by any means, but I am perfectly competent enough to enjoy relative dominance amongst my equally casual friends.

When they announced Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch, that was it. I had to get a Switch. No further persuasion needed.

I am happy to report (after spending 16 hours with it) that the game fully lives up to the hype — in certain respects.

The massive, 70-plus character roster has rediscovered the speed and tension of its Melee days (arguably lost during the floaty, slower transition to Brawl), and Smash mode offers hyper-customization that will ensure you can enjoy hours and hours of local co-op fun (800 songs! 100 stages!) — which is how I’ve always enjoyed the series best anyway.

New characters are all fun — Inkling is a standout in particular, but they’re all quite good (with the exception of Ridley for me, personally). The abundance of swordsmen on the roster is getting a little crazy, though.

I have not had any personal problems with online play, but I’ve seen a lot of complaints online. Your mileage may vary.

Honestly, the fighting has never been better, which makes the rather lackluster single-player modes rather … disappointing. The World of Light “adventure” mode is every bit as tedious and bloated as you’ve heard. Its insistence on following RPG leveling and grinding is a chore. Many other single-player stalwarts like Home-Run Smash have also disappeared with no particular replacement.

It’s fine, I guess, but if you aren’t keen on playing with others or grinding through a terrible RPG mode, there isn’t much to do.

Thankfully, Smash knows what it does best, and future DLC promises to add more interesting and unexpected fighters to the mix … like the Piranha Plant, or, more pertinent to my interests, Joker from Persona 5.