Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Review

This is an off-topic post. Aside from being a huge fan of AR technology, I am a gamer at heart. A few years back I bought the PlayStation 4  so I can play games in my free time. However, my passion was for Nintendo games. I actually wanted the Wii U, but because it wasn’t available in my area, I’ve bought the PS4. I remember wanting to play Super Smash Bros. so much, but that dreamed was postponed to many years later, until a few days ago.

A few days ago, I’ve sold some of the PS4 games and other things and bought the Nintendo Switch console, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, affordable MSI gaming headphones, and the Nintendo Pro Controller.

Please note that I am evaluating the game without the online feature, which I yet to try out. I will update this review once I try it.

My First Nintendo Console

It’s worth mentioning, that although I was a fan of Nintendo games and was excited of Nintendo introducing a mobile console, it’s the first Nintendo console I ever owned and I never played a Nintendo game in my life.

Nintendo Switch
My Nintendo Switch with the screen protector, cover and joycon covers.

The console felt great in the hands and in the perfect size that made it easy to hold and a screen large enough to make you enjoy handheld gaming, like a large phablet (the Switch screen size is 6.2-inch to be exact).

I was super excited and the best moment was yet to come.

Finally Holding Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in My Hand

I know it’s sound weird, but that moment holding the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game in my hand felt like being a kid again, being able to play a game that reminds me some of the games that I used to play when I was a child.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate box near the Nintendo Switch
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate box near the Nintendo Switch

I gave this moment a few seconds to things to sunk in and then I opened the box.  The box art is stunning, so colorful, bright and inviting. It reminded me of the box opening excitement that I had as a child when opening games for the Sega Master System.

Game cartridge of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The game cartridge in the box

Back then those were big cartridges lying inside the box. I can still remember until this day opening the box of “Wonder Boy III The Dragon’s Trap” game, how excited I was when that moment arrived. Every game that I”ve played was something big, exciting, and I felt like when I put the cartridge in, I am going to go into another place and have a blast playing. So reviving this moment was amazing and this is the reason I wanted to buy a physical copy of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate than having a digital copy of it.

I was surprised to see how small the cartridge was. It shows me how much time has passed since I used game cartridges and reminded me that time fly so fast and how fast technology progressed.

After finishing the emotional unboxing ritual, I was ready to finally start playing the game.

Launching Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate installed on the Nintendo Switch
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate installed on the Nintendo Switch

I connected the new MSI DS501 gaming headset to the console. I wanted to try it handheld. I wanted the first encounter with the game to feel more intimate and personal.

The game downloaded an update, I then launched the game and the magic happened. The first encounter with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate felt like it was meant to impress a new Nintendo Switch user like myself. The opening movie scene of the game was breathtaking. The Nintendo Switch screen washed my eyes with vibrant and striking colors, I felt a great joy. The music was like no other, so captivating and stimulating. That moment listening to Super Smash Bros. theme song was an unforgettable experience.  This is something that is missing in so many games, and it was perfectly executed in this game, I felt such a great satisfaction from that moment, something I rarely felt previously.

Prior to having the Switch, I’ve read people saying that the screen is bad, pixelated and have low quality, but after trying it out myself, all the worries were gone, I was amazed how beautiful things looked and never looked back.

Playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the First Time

First of all, let me start by saying that this game has plenty of content. I won’t dive into every single detail and as of the time of writing this review, I haven’t yet to try the online section of the game, so just keep that in mind.

When I first start playing, I start doing the “Smash” part of the game and start unlocking characters. I took the long route, no shortcuts, as I wanted to enjoy learning to play the game and having some time with each character. In fact, it took me like three days, playing a few hours each day to unlock all of the characters.

The gameplay was even better than I expected it to be. I played  Brawlhalla and Brawlout before, and although new from playing those games that I will enjoy playing other brawler games, they didn’t satisfy me. Something about the fluidity of the game, the user interface, the level design, the music, and the controls felt a bit off to me. Seeing gameplay videos of Smash Ultimate, listening to the music,  seeing the levels and reading opinions from people who played Smash for Wii U and those who played these games, made me understand that those things will be better on the Smash Bros. Ultimate, but of course, I needed to play to find out.

Another thing that got me excited is the amazing enthusiastic community that surrounds the game, including the eSport aspect of the game.

I’ve clicked that “Smash” game mode button and start playing the game. Everything from that rumbling vibration feeling on the Pro Controller, the elegant and vibrant UI design, the enthusiastic announcer voice and the amazing sound effect when locking a fighter already gave me amazing first impressions.

Let’s take a look at some screenshots taken from the game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

The game level looked amazing. I’ve chosen the first one because it was a big level and I liked the beautiful vista views at the back. The gameplay felt so fluid and although I am a total newbie, I could already feel that SSBU has better fluidity and gameplay rhythm compared to other brawler fighting games that I’ve played before. In act, it felt like a completely new experience. The music, the sound effects, and the visual effects ‘really helped elevating the experience.

Here is me playing the game with the Switch on the cabinet and using the Pro Controller.

The camera movement was perfectly implemented in a way that it made it easy to focus on your characters when playing on the relatively small screen of the Nintendo Switch when playing the game handheld. Some stages weren’t that good in that aspect and it was harder for me to detect my characters. Sometimes it was hard for me to detect and follow my character with so many vibrant and splashy visual effects, but most of the time things play very well, so I have not many complain about that.

There are so many characters in this game, each one has its own unique personality and move set. To learn those moves I went into the “Training mode” and start practicing the moves there.  I wish there was a way like in Mortal Kombat X that can guide new players, but the guide only shows certain moves and even then it’s in an overlayed window so it wasn’t easy to follow. In that aspect, I think there is room for improvement, especially for new players whom for them this is the first time playing an SSB game.

The game has plenty of single-player content, and I definitely going to give it plenty of time until I feel confident playing with the three characters I’ve decided to main first, including Meta Knight, Pikachu, and King K Rool.

The adventure mode is really fun and I personally didn’t find it repetitive in a negative way. Anything that can help me become better is good. That game mode puts you in so many different situations that by the time I finished it, I think I’ll be more familiar with most of the characters and I’ll become a much better player. The other game modes like the Classic mode, Tourney, and Special Smash, makes the single-player experience even more fun and exciting.

I was disappointed that Nintendo didn’t enable the 30-sec clip recording functionality. However, you can save a replay of a Smash match and save it for video later on.

In fact, one of the features that I really liked is the Replay editor, that allows you to rotate the 3D camera through the environment and take some really cool snapshots. In fact, it made me appreciate the work behind making this game even more and even made me understand some mistakes I did when playing while searching for the perfect screenshot frame-by-frame.

Here is a video of me explaining this replay snapshot feature in-depth.

Here are some high-res snapshots that I’ve taken. There are plenty more, but I think you can see how cool this feature is. You can create snapshots for your YouTube videos (thumbnails), as wallpapers for your phone or tablet, etc.

Replay Value

The adventure mode will definitely keep me busy for a long time, but for me, the replay value comes in the form in trying to become a better player in the game. The same goes when I play Overwatch. Overwatch is quite a barebone game in terms of content, still, I enjoy playing it because I try to master more heroes, the gameplay is fun and I want to become a better player and rank up higher.

I see the same things happening in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, although here you have much more single-player content.

The thing that I do look playing next is the online mode. I’ve read many negative things regarding this but I haven’t evaluated it just yet. It’s very important for the game to have a good online experience, because people who love competitive games, want to be able to play against other people online, rather than fighting AI opponents or waiting for friends to come over and play with and against them. I do hope that once I try it I get a good experience, but at the same breath, I hope that the experience will be smooth for everyone and Nintendo will work to solve this out if it is solvable.

The good thing is that I enjoy playing the game even without the online game mode, something that I rarely do when playing competitive games. Of course, once I become confident in playing a few characters, I am going to jump straight to the action and fight some real players online!

Conclusion

My initial impressions of playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate were very positive. It turned out to be even more exciting than I expected it to be. The gameplay is so much fun, addicting and exciting. The music is so good that it feels like a big chunk of the game.

It’s one of those games that once you play it, your mind is all into it and you are in a completely different place having a blast.

I really love being a part of a great community and this is why I’ve decided to share my opinion about this game, so others who were on the fence like me, and haven’t played SSB yet, know what to expect, more or less.

Again, I will update the review once I try the online feature, but even without it, the game is a blast to play. Thank you Nintendo for making such an incredible brawler game and thanks for making the Switch – I am a very happy customer.

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Buy from Amazon.com: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, MSI Gaming Headset DS501Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.