Super Smashing greatness
My living room has been dripping in fight game nostalgia of late as I have had the pleasure of reviewing Mortal Kombat 11 and now - somewhat belatedly - Super Smash Bros Ultimate.
Both have become video game institutions over the last 20-odd years and with good reason.
But with that comes high expectations and pressure whenever a new iteration hits our consoles.
Super Smash Bros feels like it was made for the brilliant bit of kit that is the Nintendo Switch but I personally found it a touch harder to follow in the frantic action in handheld mode - so I have stuck to playing on TV and with the proper wired battle pad controllers.
When you think about it logically, it seems crazy that SSBU even exists given the sheer amount of characters crossing over from various game franchises. It just doesn’t happen.
Ardent fans will be pleased to hear that all 63 fighters from past entries are present while there are 11 new ones. Yes that’s right 74 characters.Damien Lucas
There is a mammoth 74 fighter roster, 108 stages and nearly 1,300 Spirit characters to collect.
The crowning achievement for me, though, has to be the fact the developers have taken a famously multiplayer royal rumble of a game and given it a genuinely excellent single-player Adventure mode .
At around 30 hours of gameplay to completion it tells you just how much bigger and better this fifth instalment of Super Smash Bros is compared to the previous four.
Speaking of the previous games, ardent fans will be pleased to hear that all 63 fighters from past entries are present while there are 11 new ones: the Inklings from Splatoon; Princess Daisy from the Mario series; Ridley and Dark Samus from the Metroid series; Simon and Richter Belmont from the Castlevania series; Chrom from Fire Emblem: Awakening; King K. Rool from the Donkey Kong series; Isabelle from the Animal Crossing series; Ken Masters from the Street Fighter series; and Incineroar from Pokemon Sun and Moon.
When you first start out you only have access to the eight starter characters from the original 1999 Super Smash Bros. It is your job to unlock the rest by completing various challenges. Therein lies the beauty of this collectable hunters dream. And my god is it rewarding.
Like Mortal Kombat the fighting system has been refined over time to be somehow accessible for relative novices yet also complex for the hardcore element. There is just so much content for both single player and multiplayer and it is so polished and slick. It is a time capsule of heart-warming nostalgia from the classic stages to the iconic characters and music.
Online performance and matchmaking can be inconsistent and some people may not like the collectables/character unlock grind.
But overall Super Smash Bros. Ultimate really is just that. Superb.