[Review] Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – Nintendo Switch

Written by Kieran Fifield
  • Developer: Nintendo / Sora Lt. / BANDAI NAMCO Studios Inc
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release Date: 07/12/2018
  • Price: £59.99 / $59.99
  • Review code provided by Nintendo

Everyone is here

Rarely does a game invoke such extreme levels of nostalgia as the Super Smash Bros. series of games. You see, Smash isn’t any normal game, it’s a culmination of decades of quality content to have been published across the Nintendo hardware models of every 3D system. From its N64 inception and starting roster of 8, through Melee, Brawl and across the duality of Smash 4, this is a series that has always delivered on nostalgia. On top of that there has always been an incredible party game paired with an insane amount of replay value, game modes and unlockables  to boot.

With Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Nintendo; along with series veteran, the forever young Masahiro Sakurai, has made an entry so omnipotent that it’s a marvel in itself that they didn’t retail this game for twice the price of any other game to have ever released prior. 

With a jaw dropping 74 base characters available to play as, the roster of this brawler is quite unlike anything ever seen before. On top of that however you also have over 100 stages to choose from and over 850 pieces of music from games of yonder to enjoy. The sheer quantity of content on offer is utterly absurd, bordering on obscene and  anybody who says otherwise is an absolute monster. Not only is there a lot on offer here, everything that is offered is absolutely deserving of its place in these most illustrious of ceremonial  centres offering quality in abundance.

Quality and quantity!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the perfect example of Nintendo absolutely nailing it.

World of Light

The newest mode offered is World of Light, the single player content aimed at recapturing some of the elusive magic and sheer charm found in the Wii’s offering, Subspace Emissary.

This new mode begins as every great story does, with the entire cast of the games enormous roster being killed off. I say the entire cast, obviously there needs to be a sole survivor, somebody to wax lyrical about the events that unfolded, to warn future potential rebellions of the folly of trying to go up against Galeem and his army of Master Hands. This most heinous of tasks falls to that most lovable of scamps, Kirby, who in no way receives preferential treatment due to HAL laboratories longstanding association with the Smash series…

Anywho, with all of the usual suspects – Link, Mario, Samus and Donkey Kong to name but a select few, inconveniently indisposed, it falls at the feet of Kirby (who escaped proceedings on a warp star FYI) to save the day and free all of the fighters who have been cloned and are being used for the most nefarious of affairs.  Once a fighter is rescued they become playable in both World of Light and in the base game modes, although why anyone would chose to play as anybody other than our precocious pink puff is way beyond me.

This mode plays similarly to event mode matches from previous iterations, with specific battle conditions being implemented to make the many fights seem varied and more interesting. For example you might find yourself up against Mega Man, except there are eight of him that you must battle against and they are all made out of metal. 

Whatever the scenario presented before you, you can use Spirits to augment and amend your team. Different combinations of spirits offer different buffs, and can alter everything from how quickly you take damage to how resilient you are to fire damage. With the sheer amount of different spirits available to unlock, the amount of possible combinations and resultant effects is mind boggling.


Local Multiplayer

Through a mixture of various brain washing techniques and just outright general bartering, I work with 4 guys who all possess shiny Switches. For the sake of both professional integrity and outright fun, I decided to test the functionality of the Local area network (LAN) feature of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

For the most part, it’s pretty decent, albeit it with one crippling deficiency, Lag. Unfortunately it made some matches unplayable, Rainbow Ride with 3 others was not a pleasant experience in the slightest. It seemed that the busier the level, the more toll it took on the systems ability to communicate effectively between systems. That being said, jumping in and out of games is a seamless experience, incredibly simple to set up and setting up custom rules is very straight forward. The main thing as well, is it’s an absolute blast playing with others in the immediate vicinity as it allows communication and banter which really adds to the enjoyment. Nintendo might not have a clue about implementing an online infrastructure, and the tech in the Nintendo Switch might not have enough about it to handle the breakneck pace of LAN matches, but what they do know better than any developer out there is how to create an unparalleled couch co-op experience.

Hey good looking, something something cooking…

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as well as being a content rich experience is an absolutely gorgeous game to boot. The presentation values on offer here outweigh anything else on the system, hands down. With the aforementioned plethora of magical melodies on offer, not just from Nintendo games but also incorporating pieces from the multitude of 3rd party studios who have helped to influence this most impressive of projects. Also, two songs from Square Enix…

Visually Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is about as good as I think a Nintendo game will ever look. The character models, as you would expect are all spot on and animations are all fluid and the battles really flow like an extremely well made cartoon. On top of this though, the thing that I found most striking upon initially playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was just how much is going on in the background. The environments are all interactive and full of little details and moments that genuinely make you want to go and give Sakurai – san the biggest hug. Assist trophies and weather conditions further add to proceedings 



This review  doesn’t even scratch the surface of just how much content Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has to offer. Aside from the game modes that I’ve touched upon, there are a even more on offer and I won’t ruin the whole experience by listing them all in great detail.

What I will say about this game is that it will be hard to top. Every aspect of this title is polished to the nth degree and delivers spectacularly in immersing you in this quite splendiferous of crossover worlds. 

This really is the ultimate Super Smash Bros. game and with the potential of DLC for years to come, will be the game that keeps on giving for a very long time.

If it wasn’t for the frustration of local multiplayer, this would be a perfect scoring title. As it stands, it’s a near perfect offering that with a possible future patch, could become a fabled Fifield five.

The result of an incredible amount of work from Masahiro Sakurai and his team which is reflected in this beautifully presented package.


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