Watch Waypoints Austin Walker, Natalie Watson and Ricardo Contreras play Smash Ultimate above!Nintendo's long run Smash Bros. The "Platform Fighter"…
Watch Waypoints Austin Walker, Natalie Watson and Ricardo Contreras play Smash Ultimate above!
Nintendo’s long run Smash Bros. The “Platform Fighter” series means different things for different people, meaning “developers need to serve many different audiences when a new title starts. For some, it’s a goofy good time with friends. For others, it’s a gateway to explore Nintendo nostalgia or a toy to move on in free time. For many, it’s a nailbreaking competition game. (And hello, if you’re curious, or even skeptical about competitive smash, give East Point Pictures outstanding documentaries about the subject a bell). I would bet that for most, what Smash “is” has changed over time.
I’ve played Smash Bros. on and off since I was ten when the first game in the series was launched in 1
999. With three siblings were its four players against fashion the perfect setting for my family. I would sit around the tv with my sisters and brother, have a silly and goofy time together and I ended up winning a lot because I was the oldest one meaning that I could always claim a job manager.
Smash’s appeal  We played each of them until 2008, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but then I moved on my own to live my life as an adult. Since then I’ve followed Smash much more temporarily, to the point where it became a game that I only played when I went home. I still wanted to watch the temporary Smash tournament, but because I did not own a Wii U (and Smash 4 demo did not feel like playing 3DS) I never felt the need to own that game.
Write Super Smash Bros. Ultimate . I had a Switch, so immediately I was interested. Perhaps it would be worth the purchase just to relive some of these childhood moments when I came home? I was on the fence, was it really enough to motivate buying this game in a year where I already fall behind my already big lag games? Would it have enough for me, the player who can no longer walk into the living room and find people to play with?
Then, Nintendo announced World of Light, a single mode focused on collecting and leveling “Sprit”, characters from Nintendo’s wide game history, including third parties. The fast and dirty is this: You fight these spirits to add them to your collection.
Each battle is created in a unique way to capture the character of the character: Eevees spirit, for example, you have fought against three Yoshis, each of which holds an elementary object to mimic the three evolutions of Eevee from the original Pokémon- play. Once you’ve won the game, you get your breath and can now equip it, improve your fighter with a host of state moves and special abilities in the World of Light (and in multiplayer battles where you choose to allow the use). There is even a mounting of rock paper-scissor mechanics where some spirits have advantages over others, and spirits can also be leveled up by winning or losing fights.
All of this is essentially a series of fun, handsome fights that actually consider my loadout and what liquor to level when. There is an unexpected depth of mechanics that adds a lifetime that was missing from the single player’s content in previous Smash games. It constantly changes me with what characters they have included and how the fights will imitate their abilities or personalities.
An early battle that does this especially well is the fight against Celeste from Animal Crossing. She is an owl you often sleep in the AC franchise, so the fight is against a Jig glypuff who benefits from using Rest-Move, which puts her in sleep, but makes unbelievable damage and knockback to someone unhappy to be too close to her. This would be fun enough on your own, but then AI in this game has also got up: This Jigglypuff is out to win, and the battle instantly bounces off to the harrowing for the Smash player intermittently.
Ultimate has hit on something special in the World of Light, which offers solo players the kind of experience you can already get from multiplayer. Nintendo’s deep wells of characters and worlds enrich this experience not only through its extensive roster, but also through the many stages and music you have access to. The library is deep and they go from everything they can, and with the Polish and care you expect from Nintendo. Being able to play in this nostalgia, not just for Nintendo as a whole, but for Smash itself is a big draw of this game for me.
It’s easy to take the various stages as just a series of platforms. The game also gives you the opportunity to turn something into a “Final Destination” variant by itself. But it was a moment when one of these levels immediately transported me back to my childhood and played at home with my family. It was under the spirit of a spirit against Zelda and Young Link, to unlock Zelda’s spirit. None of these fighters were in the original game, but the match took place on the Nintendo 64 version of Hyrule Castle. The great polygonal level was part of my childhood, even though everything was new to Ultimate I felt like I was back when I was 10, saw something that was so familiar to me – Hyrule Castle – transformed into a multiplayer battlefield.
Smash Ultimate leans into this mix of old and new. The bursting system is unique and surprising, but it is based on knowledge of previous games that I sometimes forgot that I even had. The Jukebox like the “Sound” mode makes me not just go to classic tracks, but also exciting new remixes. Even “echo fighters”, which offer new variations on other playable characters, mix the old and the new in smart new ways. It’s impossible to know about Smash Ultimate could ever serve everyone. But with this strategic mix of nostalgia and experiment, it could do something I did not expect: Take me home.
Have thoughts? Swing by Waypoint’s forum to share them!