Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Nintendo Switch) Preview

By Neil Flynn 12.08.2018

Review for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Nintendo Switch

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is only a mere matter of months away and the Internet is in meltdown on characters that will be added to the roster. As the title implies, this will be a huge collection of playable fighters who can duke it out on over 100 stages. After Nintendo's lengthy E3 presentation it was evident that Super Smash Bros. will be the marquee game for 2018. Ultimate marks the second shortest wait between sequels, which has many questioning "what exactly has changed?" Buckle up and find out as Cubed3 has had a lengthy hands-on session with the upcoming title.

Nintendo has now taken Ultimate on the road for demonstration and Cubed3 got an extensive play session with the all-star brawler. Ultimate is the 5th iteration of Super Smash Bros. and has collaboratively brought back all 60+ fighters and numerous stages, all while adding more of both to the mix. Initially starting as a Nintendo dream match fighter, pitting legends such as Link, Pikachu, Mario, and Donkey Kong against each other, Super Smash Bros. has now evolved to include a roster of Third Party fighters, which is impressive in itself as it includes gaming icons such as Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog), Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid), Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy), Bayonetta (Bayonetta), Mega Man (Mega Man), Ryu (Street Fighter), and now Simon/Richter Belmont (Castlevania). Other Third Party properties include Bomberman (Bomberman), Shovel Knight (Shovel Knight), and Rathalos (Monster Hunter) as Assist Trophies. Nintendo is going all out to ensure that Ultimate is the essential package for the series, while still adding desirable new additions to the already huge roster.

Screenshot for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Nintendo Switch

A large selection of stages were available to choose from, including returning stages like Saffron City from the original Super Smash Bros., Princess Peach's Castle from Super Smash Bros. Melee, SkyWorld from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Suzaku Castle from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS. Each stage has been refined and re-tuned for the Nintendo Switch, allowing for crisp visuals and even more levels to battle on. Masahiro Sakurai (the game designer and director) has openly stated in the August 2018 Smash Direct that the team put a lot of effort into enhancing and rebalancing the older stages. New stages, such as Great Plateau Tower (from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) and Moray Towers (Splatoon 2) made an appearance in the demo. The Great Plateau Tower has a small playing field, with a destructible stage element, and when weapons get involved, it can be hectic to stay on the screen.

Moray Towers is a vertical-based stage, with platforms directly in the middle to run up and down, which can be jumped through. Stages can be toggled to Battlefield and Omega form, which means there are three options to each stage, thus increasing the total number of stages three-fold. Other stages that have hazards on them can be turned off to help make things less frantic, so for anyone fed up of gusts of wind on the Dream Land stage or Pokémon appearances on the various Pokémon levels can breathe a sigh of relief. Making things less chaotic is what some players might want to do, as a common observation by many who played the demo have stated that there is so much to concentrate on that it is very easy to lose track of where your character is. Often or not it was a bit of a burden to keep up with everything that was going on, so being able to customise the stages can help alleviate the insanity of the various visual effects, such as stage hazards, Pokémon, Assist Trophies, and Final Smashes. To help with the strategy, stages are now selected before characters, which Sakurai claims will help players pick the right character for the right stage.

Screenshot for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Nintendo Switch

Graphically, not much has changed since Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, with only minor changes to character models and stages. While not much transformation has been applied to the look of the game, a fair few subtle touches have been made to the feel; for example, some characters now have a heavier touch to them, like Snake and Mewtwo, which helps with controlling them in faster-paced matches. The same could even be applied to Sonic and Fox, who are normally notoriously fast but now feel much sturdier to play with. Each hit and smash move feels like utter satisfaction as they now have harder vibration and screen animations that give the impression of a hard-hitting connection. This is particularly even truer when using characters like Ike, Ganondorf, and the newly added Ridley.

The legacy of Super Smash Bros. Melee signifies that the GameCube controller will always be the designated controller of choice when playing any Super Smash Bros. release. The new controllers are almost identical to the original GameCube controller, although they do feel a couple of grams lighter than the original pad. There is also the option of playing with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, but this pales in comparison to the GameCube controller. Those who have the twitch muscle memory for the GameCube controller will find it difficult to play with anything else.

Screenshot for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 spent hours with Ultimate during the NintendoUKVS Live event in London and attempted to settle rivalries with other media outlets on the live stage. Needless to say, a mistake at the start of the match saw Cubed3 miss out on the sudden death final but it was an intense match right down to the end. The full battle can be viewed on YouTube.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is gearing up to be a huge game, with over 100 stages, 70 characters, and a staggering 900 songs. There are features returning from previous entries, such as being able to create a playlist of music and listen to them on the go in sleep mode (just like the 3DS version of Smash Bros.), but numerous new features include Stage Morph, which transforms the battlefield to another stage mid-fight; Squad Strike, a 3vs3 or 5vs5 elimination match that pits together a selection of fighters against each other; and Smash Down, which forces players to battle with different fighters after each match until the whole roster has been depleted. There are still more modes to be revealed later this year, but for now many fans will be elated to see many of the most frequently requested characters finally beginning to make the cut… although it still seems that Waluigi will have to miss out.

Screenshot for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Nintendo Switch

Final Thoughts

Super Smash Bros. has turned itself into a must-have staple over the past 20 years and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch will not disappoint. There is a sense of graphical familiarity that will make many feel that little has changed, but the subtle adjustments will be noticed once a match has been played. It will quite possibly be one of the largest collaborative projects ever undertaken by a gaming company, and will feature a swathe of lore, content, and unlockable content that will brighten up the winter months when it lands in December 2018.


Sora Ltd







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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