Super Smash Bros. has evolved considerably since its debut on Nintendo 64. From Melee to Brawl to making the leap to HD on Wii U, Nintendo’s popular fighting game continues to look better and better, and the freshly-launched Switch iteration is the best yet. Digital Foundry just completed a deep dive into the graphics and performance of Smash Ultimate, and they’ve put together a fantastic comparison between it and the 3DS and Wii U iterations.
Ultimate shines with drastically overhauled lighting that makes environments more vibrant. Backgrounds are for more clear and detailed, and in many (but not all) cases resolutions have been upgraded substantially as well. Even the clothes the fighters wear have been upgraded or changed to new styles. Shadows are also cast in a more realistic way, although strangely they are at a lower resolution than on Wii U, especially in handheld mode. Donkey Kong’s ultra-realistic fur has also been removed, but that may have been a stylistic choice.
Even with all of these upgrades, the game still runs at a silky smooth 60 frames per second in both docked and portable mode, although there is one notable exception. Remember how the Ice Climbers were left out last gen due to technical difficulties on 3DS? It turns out they’re still the most taxing fighters in the game. The one exception to the near-perfect frame rate is that playing in eight-player mode with nothing but Ice Climbers (giving you 16 characters on-screen) causes the frame rate to hover around 45-50 with occasional dips down to 30.
All in all, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has improved on the already-impressive Wii U iteration in numerous ways. For those who enjoy the handheld experience, it’s also a massive improvement over the 3DS iteration. You can check out Digital Foundry’s full breakdown by clicking above!