Nintendo’s mega-hit of the holiday season is finally here and, based on the early reviews, critics are absolutely in love with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Perusing the early reviews for Smash Bros. Ultimate, it looks like you can’t actually have too much of a good thing. One of my biggest fears heading into the game’s launch was that there would be so much content that the game might actually crumble under its own weight.
I’ve always felt that you can either do a bunch of things pretty well or one thing great, so seeing Nintendo decided to cram in nearly 100 playable characters, more than 100 stages and a large roster of game modes, my concern was that some of the series’ quality would have to be sacrificed in favor of quantity.
According to the first batch of reviews, that’s definitely not the case. I suppose it helps that the Smash series is built on 20 years’ worth of iterations and, while that isn’t necessarily a guarantee for success, it would have been hard for Ultimate to fail when it was built on such a sturdy foundation.
Depending on which aggregate site you peruse, Nintendo’s latest Switch dynamo is resting comfortably at a score in the mid-90s. And we’re not just talking about a handful of early reviews here. On Metacritic, where Smash Ultimate is currently enjoying a combined score of 93, a total of 33 critics are already chiming in.
One of the game’s perfect scores comes from Nintendo Insider who, unsurprisingly, kicked things off by looking at the game’s tweaked fighting engine. We learned through multiple Nintendo Direct presentations that some tweaks would be introduced to make the game more technical and competitive but, according to NI, the game is still easy for anyone to simply pick up and play.
It still has its complexities and depth for those that want to explore it on a competitive level, but Super Smash Bros. Ultimate remains accessible to all…This (and battling it out online) is undoubtedly where friendly gatherings will spend the bulk of their time, and, with the chance to create your own Time, Stock or Stamina-based rulesets, means that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a perfect fit for every occasion.
Over on Destructoid, their review clocks in at a 9.5 out of 10. Reviewer Chris Carter posts a couple of gripes concerning the new fighters and stages not being unique enough, and he also wasn’t thrilled with the need to unlock most of the game’s roster but, otherwise, he was pretty smitten.
I’ve used phrases that evoke the monumental achievement that is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate a few times in this review and I can assure you it’s not hyperbolic. Despite that a lot of the old content isn’t as hard-hitting the second, third, fourth, or even fifth time around, the fact that it’s all here, and in a manageable file size, is more than enough.
The Smash Bros. series has always maintained a wonderful balance of chaotic beat-em-up fun and tense fighting game action, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate refines and improves on both sides of itself without abandoning either one.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate, for all its accessibility and riotous multiplayer fun, may be one of the few mainstream Nintendo games that isn’t necessarily for everyone. But that’s okay.
You probably already know if the latest Smash Bros. is for you, but it can still be nice to confirm quality before rushing out to pick up the latest game everyone assumes will be a home run. Thankfully, in the case of Ultimate, it sounds like Nintendo aimed for the fences and smashed it out of the park.