Nintendo launched Super Smash Bros. Ultimate last December to glowing reviews and record-setting pre-order numbers, and it quickly reached 12 million sales and shipments before the end of the year. Nintendo’s popular crossover fighting game has continued to sell well through the first three months of 2019, and according to the new data in Nintendo’s earnings release, it just achieved two major milestones.
With nearly two million more units shipped over the past three months, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate now stands at 13.81 million units sold. That number is impressive by itself, but it’s even more amazing in context.
As pointed out by Stealth on Twitter, this means Ultimate has officially passed Super Smash Bros. Brawl (13.30 million units sold, per Nintendo) as the top-selling game in the franchise. The possible exception to this would be if you consider the Wii U and 3DS iterations of Smash to be one game. Nintendo lists them separately in sales reports, so we treat them as such.
Seeing as Brawl was previously the highest-selling fighting game of any franchise, this also gives Ultimate the title of most popular fighter. With just four months under its belt, that’s an unbelievably fast start! Switch should continue to sell millions more units for years to come, so Smash Ultimate will just keep setting the bar higher and higher.
“The Nintendo Switch Online app sure is a thing that exists,” I often thought to myself. Since its September 2018 launch, the companion application to the Switch’s online service amounted to little more than mobile software fodder, what with Nintendo’s own afterthought-like support of the feature. The underwhelming app touted an unnecessarily complex and tacked-on voice chat feature as its main selling point, something fans can already accomplish on their own with simpler workarounds through the likes of Skype and Discord. It’s always left much to be desired.
Last night, however, everything changed with the formal announcement of Version 3.0 for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and our first look at the supplementary “Smash World” feature for the NSOnline app. I’m happy to say that, with Nintendo’s familiar approach for additional support behind their fastest and highest-grossing Switch title, the app might finally be worth downloading on our mobile devices at last!
Now, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate isn’t the first compatible Switch title to receive special features through the Nintendo Switch Online app, preceded by Splatoon 2 and its companion “Splat2Net.” By itself, Splat2Net is a fun little optional app that enhances the Splatoon 2 experience by allowing players to track their battle stats, order special gear, see how much ink they splatted compared to the size of real-world monuments, and then some. The main problem is that Splat2Net was all by its lonesome in the first place, carrying the Nintendo Switch Online app as its only special feature for a single specific Switch title, thereby offering very little incentive for players to bother downloading the app.
That changes with Smash World. Backed by the staggering popularity and wide-spanning appeal of Smash, Smash World may be just the thing to make players sing a different tune. One word came to my mind as yesterday’s deep dive into Version 3.0 spoke of Smash World, and that word was “Miiverse.”
Miiverse was a fun and immersive Nintendo-centric social app that was criminally held back by the Wii U’s niche appeal and short shelf life. Nonetheless, the now defunct social network was a welcome addition to the two Super Smash Bros. games at the time. With Miiverse, players were able to share and download pictures and recorded videos from brawls, their own Mii Fighters, and custom stages. Plus they could follow other users and “Yeah!” each others’ content. Naturally, this all came to an unfortunate end as Miiverse shuttered in November 2017, but Smash World is picking up right where Miiverse left off for Smash players and then some.
All of these old features have returned, but the best part is that you can now take advantage of the same features on the go from the convenience of your mobile device. When last night’s presentation revealed that I can even queue downloads for custom stages right from the app, I could not help but gawk in disbelief, realization, and then excitement. The gimmick in creating new Spirit teams from your phone is also a fun perk, but one I feel might not be as utilized in light of the overhauled social capabilities backing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, starting later tonight.
Smash World is bringing exactly what the Nintendo Switch Online app was missing, something I wanted so much without knowing it until I received it: social networking à la Miiverse to further enhance the NSOnline experience. I can concede that it may be unrealistic for every single Switch release, especially given the exponential number of games releasing on this system, but at the very least the app should strongly support Nintendo’s own online multiplayer games in a similar capacity to Splatoon 2 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
For example, the Miiverse-like integration in Ultimate demonstrates that certain re-releases and sequels from the last generation can regain these features thought long gone. Mario Kart TV could return to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, once again giving players a proper platform to share their highlight reels and best races. A similar feature could easily be applied to Mario Tennis Aces, ARMS, and Nintendo Entertainment System NSOnline, each with their own unique flair and special features to further compliment the basic experience like dedicated tournament setups.
Hell, if Smash World will allow players to share their own unique stages, there is absolutely no way that Super Mario Maker 2 won’t do the same later this year with its own NSOnline mini-app. If anything, Super Mario Maker 2 could be the best thing that will happen to the mobile app when it comes to integrating special features. It could allow players to upvote their favorite levels, upload their own creations and download others, and comment on other users’ levels both within the game and from the comfort of the app.
In fact, why limit NSOnline to just a mobile phone app? Ease of accessibility will only lead to a wider appeal, after all, as Miiverse took further advantage of your browser with its own website — a given since it was its own little social media network. There is no reason why the complementary features within NSOnline should be limited to just an app! How much more convenient would it be if we could order special gear via Splat2Net, queue custom stage downloads via Smash World, and follow our favorite Mario Makers via a dedicated Super Mario Maker 2 mini-app all from the convenience of our computers?
Let’s be honest, we only subscribed to Nintendo Switch Online out of necessity so that we could keep playing online multiplayer games with friends. The fact that the online service itself didn’t even improve since we started paying for it only left a bad taste in our mouths, which makes the likes of Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus much more appealing in spite of their higher price points. Selective save data backups, few special offers, NES NSOnline replacing the Virtual Console, still no special game discounts, and an underwhelming smartphone app only soured that taste further.
As of tonight, however? Things might finally be taking a turn for the better. Nintendo Switch Online is finally starting to draw some appeal thanks to the inclusion of the service-exclusive Tetris 99, and from where I stand, the companion app has begun scratching the surface of its full potential at last by using Miiverse as its inspiration, and we have Smash World to thank for it. Hopefully, this momentum will carry forward into the future with NSO both as a service and as a portal continuing to improve.
But sheesh, it took them long enough!
We asked before what you thought of Nintendo Switch Online back with the service’s launch, but has your perspective on it changed in recent times? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
The Phantom Thieves of Hearts’ calling card has been sent, and the long-anticipated Treasure finally materializes! Within a day’s time, Joker from Persona 5 will touch down in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as Challenger #1 from the Fighters’ Pass DLC, four months after his show-stopping reveal at The Game Awards 2018. Joker won’t be coming alone, bringing the whole crew of Phantom Thieves along for the ride and a stage based on the Palace born from everyone’s hearts — Mementos!
From the above manifesto, Joker makes full use of his handgun, dagger, and tripwire with the expected panache of a phantom thief. He can summon his main Persona Arsene to amplify his attacks and grant himself counters, as well as a better recovery. His Final Smash calls on his cohorts to assist him in unleashing their trademark All Out Attack, complete with the familiar black and red end card!
Within Mementos, you’ll need to keep an eye on the subway trains as well as intruding borders in order to survive. That said, while this iteration of the collective conscience is pulled right from Persona 5, its appearance can change based on the music being played! That’s right, even Persona 3 and Persona 4 are getting some love with the new stage, with new music and new Mii Fighter Costumes based on their protagonists, Morgana, as well as the returning Tails and Knuckles costumes from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (new costumes sold separately).
Not only that, Ultimate is also getting the hefty Version 3.0 update that brings with it a few surprises, in the forms of Stage Builder, video editing, and the long-awaited Smash World feature that takes full advantage of the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app. Ready yourselves for April 17 — tomorrow — as we have never seen all of this coming!
Sadly, the reveal video didn’t provide any insight on who Challenger #2 might be, but E3 is right around the corner…
Nintendo’s been mum about what exactly is in the big 3.0 update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate aside from Persona 5‘s Joker. However, it looks like someone on Nintendo’s marketing team done goofed. A new Smash-centric commercial was uploaded onto the official Nintendo YouTube page earlier today, and it revealed a brand new mode within the first seconds of the video.
It’s a bit blurry, but from the look of things, Stage Builder will be making a comeback. First introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, players could create customized stages using pre-set blocks, platforms, and hazards. This feature was carried over to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, where it was expanded upon thanks to the ability to actually draw the stage with the Gamepad. The feature was cut from the release version of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but it looks like it won’t be long before we’re able to create the stages of our dreams once again. Exactly how the new Stage Builder will work is unknown, but considering the exponential improvement it made from Brawl to Wii U, it’s probably going to be even better than the last version.
What else will join Joker and Stage Builder in the 3.0 update? No one knows for sure. Many speculate that Home-Run Contest will make its return, or maybe a more traditional All-Star mode is on the way. All we know for sure is that it’s swiftly approaching and will probably bring many, many amiibo along with it.
Excitement is just around the corner as E3 rapidly approaches. As per usual, Nintendo will in attendance at the convention in June, and they’re bringing more than just a lineup of show floor games. Nintendo just opened up their official E3 2019 website, and it confirms that both Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2 are getting tournament events in Los Angeles.
Saturday, June 8th is the big competition day featuring the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate World Championship 2019 3v3 and the Splatoon 2 World Championship 2019. Then you can look forward to the show floor opening up from June 11th through June 13th. Presumably, Nintendo will also broadcast a Nintendo Direct just prior to letting people onto the show floor, but a specific date and time has not yet been confirmed.
The first new playable character coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate via the Fighters Pass DLC is set to arrive any day now. Ren Amamiya of Persona 5, better known by his Phantom Thieves of Hearts alias “Joker,” infiltrated the theatre hosting The Game Awards last year with the show-stopping reveal that he would debut in Ultimateas Challenger #1 of the season pass. Now it looks like that long-awaited time might be right around the corner.
Straight from electronics retailer Best Buy, their weekly flyer for March 31 to April 6 came with an ad for the Fighters Pass, featuring a never-before-seen render of the illustrious Joker himself, featured below.
We have yet to see the new fighter in action aside from a backshot tease from the February Nintendo Direct. We do know that Version 3.0 is being touted as the ” ULTIMATE Spring Update,” with new content being added; it stands to reason that this update will tie in with Joker’s addition. And if the weekly ad is any indication, this update is coming really soon. Whether it will follow a possible Smash Bros. Direct for a more in-depth look prior to its release is yet to be seen.
Aside from this render leak — assuming it’s real — Nintendo has been tight-lipped about the future of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, though dataminers have looked into the game’s files and have discovered some interesting tidbits. It has been uncovered which stage pulled from Persona 5will likely be released with Joker, as well as the possible return of Homerun Contest and Stage Builder as extra game modes. One thing’s for certain: Joker is bringing a ton of goodies with him once he starts stealing the show in Smash, and hopefully that occasion will come with an early look at the Fighters Pass Challenger #2.
In related news, last week’s premiere of the Persona 5: The Animation OVA “Stars and Ours” ended with a tease of a possible definitive edition of Joker’s home game, titled Persona 5: The Royal. More information on the PlayStation 4 title, which features a new character, is expected to drop following the Persona Live Concert on April 24.
With Cuphead and Mugman coming to a Nintendo platform, could this open the door to a Super Smash Bros. appearance? Jared Moldenhauer certainly hopes so! Speaking with Game Informer and Kirk Scott, Nintendo’s manager of publisher and developer relations, Cuphead’s creator was ecstatic about the possibility.
“I’ve dreamed of Smash Bros. [Cuphead and Mugman] belong in there. So basically if fans want it, I couldn’t see how Nintendo wouldn’t want the fans to get what they wanted. I think they would because they support their fans a lot . . . So if Nintendo was keeping their fans happy, then I’d be more than pleased to make that the easiest transition. Just a piece of paper, we don’t need anything. You can have those characters make an appearance.” — Jared Moldenhauer
Obviously, it’s not really as simple as just signing a piece of paper, but it’s an exciting possibility for the future. Nintendo has already decided Smash‘s DLC fighters, but they could potentially do a second wave of DLC down the road. There’s also the possibility of Cuphead and Mugman getting in as assist trophies rather than playable fighters, and personally, I’d love to see a Cuphead-themed level.
Nintendo first unveiled Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with a tagline of “Everyone is here,” and indeed, Ultimate boasts an incredible roster that includes every past playable character in franchise history. That said, many fans are never truly satisfied with any roster, no matter how big. For those ever-insatiable Smash players, there’s always mods.
The latest Smash Ultimate mod to make the rounds adds everyone’s favorite ogre as a playable character. That’s right, thanks to modder Hefty, you can play as Shrek in Smash. At this point, the mod is really just a visual change, as Shrek doesn’t have his own move set. Instead, he’s sporting Ganondorf’s hard-hitting attacks. Of course, the real question is this: when will Donkey be playable?
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate lives up to its name with an ultimate roster consisting of every past character as well as a handful of new fighters. It’s not nearly as comprehensive when it comes to game modes, but that could be changing. Nintendo recently announced that Smash Ultimate is getting a Version 3.0 update soon, but they declined to say what would be added in that update.
Thanks to the efforts of data miners, we might have our answer, or at least part of it. It was recently discovered that the file names “howtoplay_stage_builder.html” and “howtoplay_homerun.html” both exist in Smash Ultimate‘s code. While the data miners weren’t able to find anything to further cement the existence of these modes, it seems likely that they’re on the way. The upcoming big update seems like the perfect opportunity for Nintendo to re-introduce them.
Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai is one of the hardest working people in the video game industry, often at great consequence to his own well-being. Throughout the development of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, Sakurai suffered from calcific tendonitis. Since then he has made a recovery and is working fewer hours, but he’s still pushing himself pretty hard.
These days Sakurai usually works from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM (which is somehow a shorter shift than he used to work), and his tendonitis is no longer an issue. However, in a recent interview with Nintendo Dream, Sakurai revealed that he’s been struggling with stomach issues. Rather than take time off to rest, Sakurai says he simply takes an IV drip to work.
So you didn’t have any stomach issues or anything?
Sakurai: Well, actually… I still had a lot of stomach problems.
You did? (laughs)
Sakurai: Yeah, a ton.
So what do you do when that sort of thing happens? I actually had a case of acute gastroenteritis recently.
Sakurai: That sounds rough. When you’ve got symptoms like food poisoning, you definitely have to go to the hospital, right? I’ve had that situation once or twice before during development. It was like I got food poisoning from some oysters that I didn’t eat.
Even though you hadn’t eaten any. (laughs)
Sakurai: It was like my food had come into contact with them or something. But I cook my food thoroughly… Why did I get sick?
Uh, so… Do you take some time off when that happens?
Sakurai: No, I don’t. I just get an IV drip and go to work like normal.
Are you serious?!
Sakurai: I guess I’m a hard worker? (wry laughter) I’m a freelancer, so I don’t have any strict rules on my time. As long as I can complete the game, I could show up to the office once per week and I think it’d be within the realm of forgiveness. But instead I make sure I come to work every day and write proper daily reports and such. I’m always working, but there’s a lot of things that keep me in good spirits!
Sakurai’s history of quality game releases is impressive, but it’s disheartening to hear that he still seems to be prioritizing game development well above his physical well-being. It’s good to hear that he’s scaled back his hours somewhat, but it sounds like he’s still putting himself through a lot of pain. Please take care of yourself, Sakurai!
After years of faithful service, EVO appears to finally be retiring Super Smash Bros. Melee from its lineup. EVO released its official lineup for EVO 2019, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has ousted Melee as the resident Smash Bros. game at the fighting game tournament. Ultimate will join modern favorites like Dragon Ball FighterZ and BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, while Melee is nowhere to be found.
Super Smash Bros. Melee, the second game in the Super Smash Bros. series, was a beloved game in the fighting tournament scene since its release in 2001, despite being a more “casual” fighting game. Melee was much more popular than the other installments of the series because it had a faster pace and higher skill threshold that was more in-line with more traditional fighting games like Tekken and Street Fighter. Over the years, EVO had experimented in adding Melee to its fighting game lineup, but Nintendo was hesitant to let them. In 2013, Nintendo actually sent a cease and desist letter to EVO to stop them from streaming the game. The next year, however, Melee was added to the lineup with Nintendo’s approval. Since then, Melee has been a highlight of every EVO. However, now that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has released, it looks like the almost 20-year-old game is finally being replaced with the newest title in the series.
EVO released a “farewell” video to commemorate the joy and excitement that Melee brought to the tournament over the years. While it’s entirely possible that Melee could return in a future EVO, it’s more likely that Ultimate will be a permanent replacement for Melee and EVO will only use the most up-to-date version of Super Smash Bros. from now on.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Nintendo Switch has by far the biggest lineup of fighters and stages in Smash history, but Nintendo isn’t stopping there. At least six DLC characters (including the recently-released Piranha Plant) are planned, and five will come with their own stages. The next DLC fighter to drop is Persona 5‘s Joker, and based on some code discovered by data miners, we have a pretty good idea what his stage will be.
After digging around in the game’s code, data miner Dr. HyperCake has discovered the phrase “Jack_Menentoes_” in association with stage name strings. “Jack” was the code name for Joker discovered in the data weeks back, which makes it likely that this is referring to the Persona 5 stage Mementos, also known as the Prison of Sloth or the Prison of Regression.
Obviously, this does not constitute an official announcement, and it’s possible that a code name could be intended to hide the truth, but thus far data miners have been fairly spot-on with predicting upcoming content based on the code. We’ll just have to see how this one plays out when Joker launches, which should happen by the end of April.
No Our Verdict
Digging through LVD files in Ultimate, and I found "Jack_Menentoes_" lying around amongst the strings. The format of this string matches stage name strings in ui_stage_db ("[Series]_[Stage]"), and Joker's internal name is "jack". Mementos stage confirmed? pic.twitter.com/eCh3PxU2bR
We’ve been eagerly awaiting any update on the status of Joker’s inclusion in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster since he was announced last December. In today’s Nintendo Direct, it was revealed that Joker will be joining the already humongous roster by the end of April. Joker is available individually as part of the Challenger Pack 1 or as part of the Fighters Pass, which unlocks the next five downloadable fighters.
In addition, Nintendo also announced the version 3.0 update for Ultimate, though no further details were given on what this entails.
A forthcoming major installment of a heralded Nintendo game franchise like Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, or Pokémon is enough to drive their respective fanbases into an absolute tizzy. These new games, often boasting a lavish premise with plenty of promise, building on the solid foundations of its predecessors, lead us to high and often met expectations, with each landmark title continuing to surprise and amaze.
Super Smash Bros., on the other hand, isn’t your average gaming franchise.
No, a series like Smash Bros. sits in a hallowed position as the beloved and increasingly ambitious crossover helmed by the revered producer Masahiro Sakurai, bringing in all of Nintendo’s major players and honored guests under one unbelievably packed roof for an all-star battle royale like none other. Rumors alone of a new entry on the horizon are enough to stir a massive frenzy of discussion and speculation, and we were no stranger to the hype here at Gamnesia. When that familiar insignia blazed anew at the end of the March 2018 Direct, the collective Internet jumped out of its chair and screamed in total euphoria, as the long-awaited marriage of Smash and Switch has finally happened, later sporting the appropriately weighty title of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Since its inception, Super Smash Bros. sported its own distinct gameplay style that sets itself apart as a hybrid platformer-fighter-party game. It foregoes flat planes and health bars that the traditional fighting game genre has established since the days of Street Fighter, in favor of platform-based stages and damage percentage buildup. The higher a fighter’s percentage, the further they are sent flying off the map, and once beyond the stage’s borders, they are KO’d.
The biggest draw of Smash Bros. is, of course, its mind-boggling cast of playable characters. Each new entry over the years presented a bigger and more impressive roster than the last, although there were some fighters from a previous title not making the cut in a subsequent installment due to time constraints, rights negotiations, or technical difficulties—but not this time.
Living up to its name, and the lofty slogan “Everyone is Here!!,” Super Smash Bros. Ultimate goes above and beyond in bringing back each and every single fighter from across the franchise’s 20-year-long history. These include the return of one-off characters like Solid Snake and Young Link, and further cement the presence of the downloadable characters following the release of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and for Wii U, like Corrin and Bayonetta.
Prioritizing the return of every fighter for Ultimate did lead to a lower number of brand new fighters being developed for the game next to previous entries, but these new contenders are excellent additions that make up for the comparative lack all the same. Metroid‘s own “larger than life” Ridley and King K. Rool of Donkey Kong Country fame make triumphant debuts under the spotlight as highly requested legacy characters from Nintendo’s rogues gallery, with fresh faces like Inkling from Splatoon and the chipper Animal Crossing secretary Isabelle joining the fray. To top it all off, there are the special third party appearances by two of Castlevania‘s famed vampire slayers—Simon and Richter Belmont—adding to the already insane guest character lineup including Mega Man, Pac-Man, and Cloud.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s roster aimed for both quantity and quality from the outset, and succeeded in both fronts in spades. Every fighter, old and new, plays smoothly with a variety of bonkers movesets at the heightened pace of combat this game presents compared to its predecessor, inching it closer but nonetheless comfortably distant from Super Smash Bros. Melee when it comes to gameplay speed. The additional control mechanics like a streamlined short-hop attack and the return of directional air dodges have also been welcome additions that help spice up ways in which you can approach your opponent.
The stages also mostly comprise of returning maps, bringing in over one hundred stages for up to eight players to go toe-to-toe in. Returning favorites include Fountain of Dreams, Arena Ferox, and Jungle Japes, all with an HD facelift that make them look better than ever—as well as new additions based off of Nintendo’s recent hits like Moray Towers and New Donk City. For competitive players, not only does each map include a Final Destination variant like in for 3DS and for Wii U (this time bearing a consistent floating island layout), but a Battlefield off-shoot as well, let alone a dedicated Tournament mode and the team-oriented Squad Strike.
Throw in the brand new Stage Morph option to switch arenas mid-match, a Stage Hazard toggle to do away with hindrances and left-field surprises, and an incredibly thorough ruleset for players to mess with, and you’re all set for hours of fun fisticuffs with friends.
When you’ve had your fill of the multiplayer portion of Ultimate, the game has a few dedicated single player offerings as well. The ever-familiar Classic Mode takes on a new form this time around by having each fighter tackle a specific set of approaching challengers in their own specially themed campaigns, typically culminating towards a boss battle. Kirby, for example, faces off against fellow fighters known for their voracious appetites, leading towards a superstar-studded showdown versus Marx, and poor Luigi is thrust into his worst nightmares by clashing with the scarier fighters before confronting the dreaded Count Dracula Vlad Ţepeş. Most of these tongue-in-cheek references and thematic Classic routes are subtle slices of fan service that only endeared me further towards the labor of love and attention to detail Sakurai and company have put into each campaign.
The only real knocks against Classic Mode, personally, were how most of the campaigns simply end in a battle against Master Hand (occasionally featuring Crazy Hand) when certain other bosses would’ve been a better fit for certain fighters—say Badnik-busting expert Sonic the Hedgehog going up against the robotic tank Galleom—and the lack of dedicated Mii Fighter campaigns.
The other two single player game modes are Training Mode and Mob Smash, the latter being an umbrella category for Century Smash (100 Man Melee), Cruel Smash, and All-Star Smash. While Training Mode further expanded on the concept with a dedicated Training map with graphs and launch distance measurements, and Mob Smash provides some fun distractions, it does make one miss some of the more banal mini-games like Homerun Contest and Break the Targets.
All of that aside, the big crux of the game’s single player content revolves around Spirits Mode, and I have to say, the phrase “attention to detail” does not do this feature justice. Gone are Trophies, instead replaced with Spirits embodying a wide litany of characters from the collaborating franchises under Ultimate and then some. You earn Spirits primarily in battles via the Spirit Board, this game’s equivalent to Event Matches from previous titles, where you’re set up against computer players with a specific set of rules, enemy behaviors, and victory conditions. It put a big smile on my face to go up against a Shantae-possessed Zero Suit Samus favoring her whip, or Rayman possessing the ever agile Sonic with a helping hand from the limbless Sukapon Assist Trophy. A bit of a shame that the Spirits aren’t accompanied with a descriptive blurb on the character or item it represents, sadly.
It is also in Spirits Mode where Smash Bros. once again bears a fully-fledged Adventure Mode, this time going by the name “World of Light,” but those seeking something akin to the Subspace Emissary will be disappointed. There are no cutscenes featuring character interactions beyond the opening cinematic, let alone any substantial scenes aside from the finale and halfway point as WoL is mostly gameplay-driven, with Spirit Battles galore and no platforming segments like its predecessor. That is not to say the mode is devoid of any enjoyment, as you explore world maps and specially themed submaps in your quest to liberate Spirits and your fellow fighters, battle against Galeem and a litany of bosses, and train your Spirits to become stronger. It is, however, a bit of a grind to complete that could take a couple dozen hours, but the true final boss is a hell of a spectacle, including a certain surprise that will delight longtime fans, that helped validate the long road to reach it.
Tallying the Primary, Support, Master, and Fighter Spirits, the base game totals 1297 Spirit for you to catalog, and that’s only the final count that came up at launch. With a ton of Spirits to collect and several methods to obtain them, Spirits Mode will certainly keep you busy!
l was also pleased to see Smash Bros. Ultimate run at a consistent 60fps for the most part on my Switch in either Docked or Handheld mode, with the graphical fidelity hardly taking a hit when playing portably, perfecting the dream of on-the-go Smashings that for 3DS first realized four years ago. The game’s soundtrack, much like the fighters and stages, mostly comprise of returning favorites, but the new remixes for Ultimate are absolutely phenomenal, both in the creative approach of letting artists choose what they would like to cover and their subsequent execution. For example, hearing ACE—famous for composing many fantastic tracks from Xenoblade Chronicles and its sequel—tackle David Wise’s “Gangplank Galleon” from DKC was one of the best experiences I’ve had listening to an arrangement ever. The fact that the game even has a soundtrack totalling over 800 music tracks is so very surreal, but it’s all the more believable given it’s Smash Bros.—of course they had to go over the top!
Finally, that leaves one remaining portion that I feel is Ultimate‘s weakest pillar across its otherwise stellar foundation, and that is the online mode.
Pros first, the Battle Arenas have been improved considerably since for Wii U, as players can now host private lobbies with friends and invited guests for up to 8 participants, compared to the limit of 4 players among friends only the last time around. Only up to four at a time can throw down at once, but the remaining players can either queue themselves up to go up next or simply spectate each round as they come. Additionally, the Background Matchmaking feature helps immeasurably for those not willing to put up with waiting in a training lobby between brawls, as I found myself squeezing in some offline gameplay while waiting for the next match I’d be paired into.
The real down points with the online portion, however, come first with Quickplay. There are no “For Fun” and “For Glory” distinctions like last time, with players now choosing preferred rules before being paired up with others. This often leads to going into battle without the rules you wanted for yourself as the matchmaking system seems to choose one players’ rules at random rather than matching you with someone with rules more closely reflecting your own. While I can swing either casually with items or competitively without, I found it to be a bit of a drag going up against my opponents without the playing field I initially envisioned.
And my last point against the online is less a bad grade for Ultimate alone and more a scathing indictment of Nintendo Switch Online, but the lack of dedicated servers do hurt the appeal of fighting against your friends via the Internet. You can minimize lag for yourself with a decent service plan and investing in a USB-based LAN adapter, but if your opponent has a bad connection in this head-scratching Peer-to-Peer environment, so will you and everyone else. It’s a shame that Nintendo has not fully invested in an online infrastructure what with a paid subscription for a service that was freely available for a year and a half after the Switch’s launch, especially for a game as massive as Ultimate. It doesn’t exactly paint a pretty picture as Nintendo got caught fibbing on the matter when the North America Open livestream openly displayed said lag during one of the matches.
There is also a feature to share recorded match videos via the Smash World service on the Nintendo Switch Online app, but this has not yet been made available at the time of writing this review. It is also a shame that the Nintendo Switch’s video capture feature is disabled, as there are several moments in Classic Mode and Spirit Battles among others that I wish I could’ve saved, seeing as you can only record your multiplayer battles.
Online woes aside, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate stands proud as the most ambitious crossover in video game history, bringing together an impossible collection of fighters made reality thanks to the good faith Nintendo and Sakurai have accrued for the franchise since its humble beginnings on the Nintendo 64 twenty years ago. There’s plenty of replay value in store with the timeless frantic multiplayer and limitless combinations of dream fighter matchups, familiar gameplay modes that have been refined in most ways, and a long list of Spirits to collect and familiarize oneself with, so trust me when I say you’re in for a smashing great time.
Those looking for even more Smash for their buck will surely come back for rotating events on the Spirit Board, at times updating with new Spirits to collect, and keep an eye out for even more fighters on top of the insane number of 71 already present in the base game. Piranha Plant was one newcomer I could never expect, but its design and moveset make this timeless bitey, planty Mario baddie a welcome and hilarious addition to the roster, and with the surprise reveal I never saw coming with Joker from Persona 5 on the horizon, I can hardly wrap my head around how much further Nintendo can press the envelope with the four other mystery guests yet to be unveiled. Who else is there left who could possibly join? I can hardly wait!
All that and more is to say the thrill ride that is Ultimate has no end in sight just yet, and I am more than excited to be a part of it all.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available now for the Nintendo Switch.
A digital copy of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was provided to Gamnesia by Nintendo of America for the purpose of this review.
No 9 Our Verdict Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Every fighter from previous Smash Bros. games returning for the craziest and biggest roster of playable characters in Nintendo history. Long-awaited newcomers that fit well into the mould. Gameplay tweaks compared to “for Wii U” that speeds up pacing. A wide variety of gameplay modes in both single player and multiplayer to keep one busy. Fan service galore with hundreds of Spirits to collect. Gorgeous graphics and absolutely phenomenal soundtrack. Lack of familiar mini-games such as Homerun Contest and Break the Targets. World of Light’s paper-thin story. Lackluster online service, in part due to Nintendo’s own subscription-based online platform. Inability to record every moment of gameplay aside from multiplayer battles. Top
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a massive success with high review scores and record-setting sales numbers, but it also has its flaws. In addition to a handful of significant glitches that have been discovered since launch, some players have experienced considerable lag when playing online. This issue was amplified during the recent Super Smash Bros. Ultimate North America Open when Nintendo appeared to mislead viewers about the choppy state of an online match.
During the bout between Seth and Isnacks, there was a significant amount of lag. At one point, the camera cut away from the game itself to a panel of announcers who claimed that the lag was only happening on the stream, not in the game itself. Viewers were told that the players weren’t experiencing the lag and that it wouldn’t show up in the video on demand after the fact.
Ever since Nintendo launched the Version 2.0.0 update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, some players have been reporting problems with save data corruption. Early reports suggested it was linked to playing certain characters (like the newly launched Piranha Plant) in All-Star Mode or Century Mode, but Nintendo couldn’t replicate the bug when they tried.
The latest buzz from Reddit suggests the problem may actually be linked to a specific memory card. While discussing the various save corruption bugs, several Reddit users realized that they all had the same memory card. Specifically, the Samsung 256GB 100MB/s (U3) MicroSDXC EVO Select Memory Card with Adapter (MB-ME256GA/AM).
One user suggested that the problem could be caused by counterfeit cards, but others who have experienced the save data corruption claimed that they took steps to authenticate their cards and they are legitimate. Reddit user rynoweiss posted a screenshot as evidence that he had experienced corruption despite having an authentic card.
It’s unclear if everyone impacted by the glitch has the same card or not, but there seems to be a correlation. Nintendo has not yet commented on this new potential development, but hopefully they’re a step closer to resolving the issue now.
About a week ago, Nintendo launched the Version 2.0.0 update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, adding Piranha Plant as a new fighter. Unfortunately, it seems that patch may have also added in some bugs, as players began reporting save data corruption under certain circumstances. Nintendo was silent on the issue for days, but now they’ve finally chimed in.
Some players reported that playing through All-Star Mode as Piranha Plant destroyed their save data, while others encountered a similar problem triggered by playing Century Smash as Duck Hunt or Mii Swor,dfighter. Here’s what Nintendo has to say about the whole matter.
“We are aware that some users are posting about possible issues with the latest Super Smash Bros. Ultimate update. After extensive testing, Nintendo has not been able to confirm that there is an issue, although we will continue to investigate and monitor the situation.” — Nintendo
It’s certainly not great news that Nintendo can’t seem to find the problem, especially for those with corrupted save data. However, they seem committed to a continued effort here, so hopefully it’s just a matter of time. Until then, we’d advise you to be cautious about the characters and modes you play to avoid the possible loss of data.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate already has the biggest roster in franchise history, but Nintendo isn’t stopping there. Piranha Plant just launched as a free download to early buyers, and five more DLC characters are planned over the course of the next year. One of them was revealed as Persona 5‘s Joker, but what about the rest? The next DLC fighter appears to be have been unmasked thanks to a recent hint.
You may recall that last month Smashdata miners discovered what they believed to be code names for upcoming DLC fighters. One of those code names was “Brave,” which set off a flurry of speculation. Could this be a character from the Bravely Default series or someone related to Brave Vesperia in the Tales series? Another possibility put forward was Erdrick from the Dragon Quest series, as his Hero class, or “Yuusha,” can also be translated as “Brave.”
It now appears likely that the final of those options is the truth. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate supervisor Kumazaki Shinya recently uploaded an Instagram post featuring Erdrick’s shield alongside Kirby with the caption, “The brave’s shield.” At this point, I can’t imagine any other interpretation of this message other than an Erdrick confirmation.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate‘s massive roster of new and returning characters just got a little bigger thanks to the debut of the first DLC character. Piranha Plant joined the fight last week, and millions of players are familiarizing themselves with the potted combatant. But according to the latest info from data miners, it appears this newcomer may have been nerfed before ever entering the ring.
Data miner Meshima reports that Piranha Plant was originally coded with three jumps, but that count was reduced to two via a launch day patch. Nintendo decreased the “jump_count_max” parameter to two, but they left the third jump animation in the game’s data. You can view it for yourself in the embedded tweet below.
It’s unclear why Nintendo made this apparently last-minute decision. Based on your time with the character, do you think Piranha would be greatly aided by that extra jump, or is it fine the way it is now? Sound off in the comments!
No Our Verdict
Fun fact: Piranha Plant was initially planned as tri-jumps character, however, they decreased "jump_count_max" parameter to 2 from 3 in day 1 patch for some reason. The unused 3rd jump animation is still in its motion folder. pic.twitter.com/CiRzhzeVY0
There’s nothing quite like a new Super Smash Bros. game to excite the Nintendo fan base. The crossover fighting game has long been a huge hit, and the latest iteration is the biggest yet with a roster of over 70 fighters that includes every past playable character. We already knew Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was off to a fast start based on early reports, but Nintendo’s latest update is just jaw-dropping.
According to Nintendo’s third quarter earnings release, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate had sold an incredible 12.08 million copies as of December 31st. That’s not too shabby for a game that launched on December 7th. Currently, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is the top-selling game in the franchise with 13.29 million sales, but Ultimate will certainly unseat it in a matter of weeks, if not days. The sky is the limit!