Hugh Likes Video Games: Super Smash Bros Ultimate

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Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Published by Nintendo
Played on Nintendo Switch


The Skinny: The venerable nostalgia-fighter returns with a massive entry on the Switch

It’s no secret that I love me some Smash Bros. My first Hugh Likes Video Games review was for the last iteration of the series, specifically the 3DS version. And this version has, well just more of everything I love about the concept, with a giant roster of returning characters and stages, and lots of brand-new content as well. I actually hesitated getting this version, but I think Ultimate might actually live up to its title.
Ultimate does a lot of things right. The roster is particularly large, and the new additions, from Castlevania protagonist Simon Belmont to Animal Crossing’s helpful assistant Isabelle are a delight to play. While there aren’t a whole lot of brand-new stages, we get nearly all of the returning stages, with multiple layouts, so there is sure to be someplace to pick. Smash mode is easy to get into, and takes full advantage of the Switch’s joycon pairing capabilities to get a large group of players in quickly.
Classic mode returns with a twist. Each character has their own finely tuned campaign to maximize their nostalgic hit. For example, Ryu fights in a series Street Fighter-like stamina battles, while Richter only fights other Echo Fighters.
As clever and nostalgic as Classic Mode is, Spirits is where the game really stretches. Building on modes in previous versions of the game, Spirits turns Smash Bros into a giant nostalgia-fueled Action RPG. Traveling around a huge map, the player fights ‘spirits,’ essentially Nintendo characters that didn’t make the cut, in the guise of tweaked battles with specialized conditions. Winning the battle nets you that character’s ‘spirit,’ which you can equip and level up in a bunch of different ways in order to take on more powerful fights. These take the place of collecting trophies or stickers in past games, and they’re neat, but the game doesn’t give you as much information about these collectables as in past installments, which is a shame.
Overall, Super Smash Bros Ultimate is another entry in the series that won’t change the minds of non-fans, but is full to the brim with attention to detail and affection for the source material. I haven’t ventured into the dark woods of online multiplayer yet, but so far couch battles have been chaotic but a heck of a lot of fun.
You can download the game yourself from the Nintendo eshop, or find a physical copy at the usual suspects of video game retailers.
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Hugh Likes Video Games: Super Smash Bros

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Smash bros

Developer: Bandai Namco Games

Nintendo 3DS

Smash Bros. is one of those love it or hate it gaming franchises.  Its pick-up-and-play style and four player vs. mode have always made it as much a party game as a serious fighter, and nostalgia has always been baked in.  As a fan of Nintendo games, and a much more casual player of fighting games, it is right in my wheelhouse.

Nintendo has certainly delivered another helping for the 3DS, with a huge roster of characters and a slew of new gameplay modes, many of which focus on customization.

In addition to playing with a customizable set of Miis, Players can also tweak any of the  characters making them hit harder or move faster, or upgrading special attacks.  This gives more traditional fighting and wrestling game fans a chance to balance out a character just the way they want, and build them to fight their friends.  But it can be turned off at the flick of a button, which ensures players who aren’t willing to spend a lot of time can still sit down and play.

All-Star Mode, a special battle royale mode where characters are fought in the order they were published, and Smash Run, in which players build up a character by collecting power ups, then fight one on one, are quick and fun diversions.  Classic mode also returns, this time with branching paths that let you choose your opponent.

Nintendo seems to have wrung every drop of power they could out of the 3DS, with a huge roster of characters, and a collection of new and returning stages that look great.  But the 3DS does present some limitations.  The loose analog stick on the original 3DS makes movement a bit muddy and tough to control.  The game has trouble differentiating inputs, particularly between up and side attacks.  The screen resolution is also a bit lacking, with tiny figures occasionally lost amid the clutter.

If you are a Nintendo fan, you likely already have this one.  It is a worthy successor to previous installments, and the sheer variety of gameplay modes and characters ensures there’s something for everybody.  Smash Bros is available from Nintendo, Amazon, or your local games shop.

By the way, my Friend Code is 5327-0999-1447.