Buckle up for the ul­ti­mate cross­over scrap

Games Master - - Contents -


Re­cently Nin­tendo de­liv­ered an ex­haus­tive primer for its up­com­ing mas­cot brawler. While it may have gone over­board with the minu­tiae, the game looks mint. 65 con­firmed fight­ers, span­ning 30 IPs. Eight-player bat­tles. Lad­der at­tacks. Re­fined dodg­ing. A cer­tain wed­ding cos­tume. (Told you it was de­tailed.) Su­per Smash Bros. Ul­ti­mate looks to be the largest gam­ing cross­over ever. The near-70-fighter ros­ter in­cludes ev­ery char­ac­ter who has ever ap­peared in a pre­vi­ous Smash, with that hefty num­ber also fea­tur­ing ev­ery DLC star who’s ever popped up in the fran­chise. All your old favourites have been sub­tly tweaked, too. Link gets his Cham­pion’s Tu­nic from Breath Of The Wild, and Don­key Kong is rock­ing new fa­cial an­i­ma­tions, while Sa­mus can now power up moves in mid-air. The likes of Bowser, Fox McCloud, and Earth­bound’s Ness also get tweaks to their Fi­nal Smash fin­ish­ers.

Ridley’s game

Nin­tendo prom­ises that char­ac­ter un­locks will be stream­lined (they’ll need to be, with this many char­ac­ters), though it has hinted the start­ing ros­ter could be as small as the N64 orig­i­nal – around 12 by our semi-hazy rec­ol­lec­tion. Se­ries di­rec­tor Masahiro Saku­rai also doesn’t want to get your hopes up about the pos­si­bil­ity of lots of new fight­ers com­ing down the line. While both Spla­toon’s cheeky In­klings and Su­per Metroid’s dragon beastie Ridley make their Smash de­buts here, Nin­tendo hopes no more new fight­ers will be needed, what with the ros­ter be­ing so packed. “We’ve made in­clud­ing ev­ery sin­gle fighter ever our num­ber one goal, so I’m kind of hop­ing you aren’t ex­pect­ing too many new chal­lengers,” says Saku­rai.

There’s no ques­tion Ul­ti­mate looks like the per­fect love let­ter not only to Nin­tendo’s sto­ried his­tory, but also the se­ries’ loyal fan­base. The fact all Ami­ibo fig­ures are com­pat­i­ble with Ul­ti­mate, along­side con­firmed sup­port for GameCube con­trollers via an adap­tor to make them work on Switch, speaks to a game that both re­spects legacy, and ap­pre­ci­ates those gamers who’ve stuck by Nin­tendo for years.

As for the Pikachu-pum­melling ac­tion, Ul­ti­mate feels like a sub­tle re­fine­ment of Wii U’s al­ready ex­cel­lent Su­per Smash Bros. Sud­den death mo­ments are now de­liv­ered with quicker, flashier cam­era cuts, while Nin­tendo has added a per­fect shield block to re­ward beat-’em-up fans who like pre­ci­sion coun­ters. Some of the new Fi­nal Smash moves are won­der­fully over the top, too. Just take Ridley’s ridicu­lous fin­isher, a move that in­volves the pur­ple mon­ster hurl­ing his op­po­nent into space to slam into Sa­mus’ ship, be­fore blow­ing both up with a laser blast.

The pres­ence of ‘Echo Fight­ers’ (char­ac­ter re­skins who get their own ros­ter places, such as Daisy and Dark Pit) and new stages, such as Spla­toon’s Mo­ray Tow­ers, should fur­ther freshen the ac­tion. Nin­tendo and Bandai Namco clearly aren’t rein­vent­ing the punchy wheel for Smash’s Switch de­but, but they are serv­ing up a great­est hits smor­gas­bord of scrap­ping that should have long-time fans sali­vat­ing.

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