Sim­ple, yet ad­di­tive

The big­gest cross­over game is worth the wait, writes Ai­man Maulana

New Straits Times - - BOTS -

THE videogame in­dus­try has cre­ated nu­mer­ous icons that vir­tu­ally ev­ery game is eas­ily recog­nised.

Now Su­per Smash Bros. Ul­ti­mate, for Nin­tendo Switch, has all of these char­ac­ters in one game.

In this in­stal­ment of the Su­per Smash Bros. se­ries, gamers are treated to a new story ti­tled World of Light. It starts with The Lord of Light Galeem com­mand­ing an army of Master Hands to at­tack Smash fight­ers with the aim of recre­at­ing the uni­verse in his own im­age.

The en­su­ing chaos re­sults in all the fight­ers turn­ing into spir­its ex­cept for one, Kirby, who man­ages to es­cape with the Warp Star. Galeem’s at­tack en­gulfs the uni­verse in a burst of light, leav­ing a bar­ren waste­land in­hab­ited by hos­tile spir­its and†pup­pet fight­ers cloned from the cap­tured fight­ers.

With no choice in the mat­ter, Kirby has to set forth on an ad­ven­ture to res­cue his friends, rid the world of these pup­pets and take down Galeem. Un­be­known to ev­ery­one, there is yet an­other threat lurk­ing in the shad­ows and wait­ing for the right time to strike.

UNIQUE SET OF AT­TACKS

At its core, Su­per Smash Bros. Ul­ti­mate isn’t a fight­ing game, de­spite be­ing treated as one. It’s more of a mul­ti­player party game with fight­ing game el­e­ments. In­stead of a health bar where a de­ple­tion will re­sult in a loss, play­ers have a per­cent­age me­ter in­stead. The higher the per­cent­age, the eas­ier it is for you to be sent fly­ing off the stage.

What’s the pur­pose of that? Well, you win, or at least get points, by keep­ing op­po­nents out of the stage or mak­ing them fall off it to their doom. In this sense, the per­cent­age me­ter is more of a dam­age ac­cu­mu­la­tion me­ter.

Each of the at­tack but­tons, Stan­dard and Spe­cial, has four dif­fer­ent modes de­pend­ing on the di­rec­tion — Neu­tral (press the but­ton alone), Side (press left and right sides), Up and Down.

Aside from that, you can grab your op­po­nents and sub­se­quently throw them, jump and shield. Just like the more re­cent en­tries, char­ac­ters can also do their Fi­nal Smash sig­na­ture move which will al­most al­ways elim­i­nate en­e­mies in style. Fi­nal Smash can only be used when you have bro­ken the Smash Ball which ran­domly ap­pears or when you have filled up the Fi­nal Smash me­ter.

In this sense, Su­per Smash Bros. Ul­ti­mate is a game that is sim­plis­tic in na­ture as ev­ery char­ac­ter uses the same com­mands to ex­e­cute the at­tacks but has his own unique set of at­tacks.

There are 76 playable char­ac­ters con­sist­ing of Nin­tendo char­ac­ters and third party char­ac­ters such as Snake from Metal Gear Solid, Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter and Cloud from Fi­nal Fan­tasy VII. It is a sim­ple game con­cept that is sur­pris­ingly ad­dic­tive, and it con­tin­ues to be ex­cit­ing as more char­ac­ters are ex­pected in the fu­ture.

GOOD VA­RI­ETY

There are a good num­ber of game modes in Su­per Smash Bros. Ul­ti­mate that gamers can en­joy alone and in mul­ti­player. For solo plays, you have Clas­sic Mode, Ad­ven­ture Mode and Mob Smash. For mul­ti­player, you have Smash, Squad Strike, Tour­ney and Spe­cial Smash. You can play with up to eight play­ers at once if you have enough con­trollers.

Clas­sic Mode is just like in pre­vi­ous en­tries where you select a dif­fi­culty and go through a set num­ber of bat­tles which will cul­mi­nate in a fi­nal boss bat­tle. The mode tai­lors ac­cord­ingly with char­ac­ters so each one has own unique ex­pe­ri­ence and vary­ing fi­nal boss bat­tles. Eight dif­fer­ent fi­nal bosses can be ex­pe­ri­enced in this mode alone.

Ad­ven­ture Mode is where you go through the game’s main sto­ry­line — you ini­tially play as Kirby, save the other fight­ers and have the abil­ity to switch to the ones you have saved. It is the length­i­est Ad­ven­ture Mode in

se­ries his­tory, and you have to fight through nu­mer­ous bat­tles with cus­tom rules that add en­ter­tain­ment value and, at times, frus­tra­tion due to how un­fair it is. This will cul­mi­nate in a fi­nal bat­tle against Galeem.

As for Mob Smash, it is a sur­vival-style mode where you fight against hordes of en­e­mies and see how long you can last. While these en­e­mies are usu­ally weaker than their usual it­er­a­tions, there is a mode where ev­ery en­emy ap­pear­ing in ev­ery wave is at full strength, and it is aptly named Cruel Smash.

As for the mul­ti­player modes, they are gen­er­ally the same but with dif­fer­ent rules set. In fact, you can set your own cus­tom rules which can take fun and chaos to the next level.

While play­ing all of these modes, cer­tain achieve­ments are recorded and re­sult in play­ers re­ceiv­ing in-game re­wards. This gives gamers in­cen­tive to try ev­ery­thing and con­tinue play­ing for a long time.

CON­CLU­SION

Su­per Smash Bros. Ul­ti­mate is ar­guably the most highly an­tic­i­pated game for Nin­tendo Switch and it is the big­gest in the se­ries in terms of con­tent. The game is sim­ple in con­cept, yet still as ad­dic­tive as ever with vir­tu­ally any­one be­ing able to en­joy alone or with friends both off­line and on­line.

With achieve­ments yield­ing in-game re­wards and gamers hav­ing to un­lock all the char­ac­ters by play­ing the game, gamers are of­fered in­cen­tive to con­tinue play­ing.

Nin­tendo has cer­tainly out­done it­self with this en­try of the se­ries, and there is still more to come in the fu­ture as Down­load­able Con­tent.

It is a must-buy game for Nin­tendo Switch own­ers. I award Su­per Smash Bros

Ul­ti­mate with a nine out of 10 rat­ing.

Su­per Smash Bros. Ul­ti­mate.

FROM LEFT: There are a good num­ber of game modes; Gamers are treated to a new story; The Lord of Light Galeem com­mand­ing an army of Master Hands to at­tack Smash fight­ers.

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