REVIEW: From beginners to pros, Super Smash Bros entertains all


Courtesy Smash Bros

Staff Writer Jason Michalik writes that Super Smash Bros connects videogame players of all skill level.

Jason Michalik, Staff Writer

“Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” for the Nintendo Switch is the perfect balance of casual enjoyment and a competitive battlefield.  This game, which was released in December 2018, caters to a wide variety of audiences, from people who’ve never held a controller to addicts like me who have been playing older versions competitively for four years.  Oh right, it’s portable too. 

Super Smash Brothers originated as a fighting game with Nintendo’s classic characters on the N64 in 1999.  As the series progressed, more and more characters were added.

As Ultimate’s first birthday passed, it surpassed “Street Fighter II” for the best selling fighting game ever at over 55 million copies sold. This is no coincidence. From the soundtrack to the characters, this game is a true masterpiece.

Ultimate is a platform fighting game. Most fighting games are 2-D fighters, meaning they move side to side on the ground.  Smash has stages that float in the air. This means that your character not only fights on the stage, but above and below it, adding depth that many fighting games don’t have.  

With 80 characters to choose from, including classics like Mario and Sonic,  it can be difficult to narrow down to just a couple. There are many archetypes: zoners who space with projectiles, grapplers who grab for massive rewards, floaties that fall slow and are hard to combo, sword users and many more.  From the game’s release to now, I have “mained”, or used most often, three different characters: Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda, Chrom from Fire Emblem and The Hero from Dragon Quest.  

The game’s graphics and soundtrack are impeccable. Featuring over 850 songs and more than 100 stages like Pokemon Stadium, Great Cave Offensive and of course Final Destination, there is an aesthetic and style for just about everyone.  And with full HD and 60 frames per second, it looks fantastic. 

For $60 and a $25 fighter pass with new characters, stages and music, this game is a steal.

Ultimate is perfect for the casual gamer and the pros. While the game’s basics are easy to understand, it becomes increasingly complex the more you play.

Because Ultimate is a fighting game, the nature of the game is to be competitive. There are about 20 local tournaments held weekly just in New England alone, the biggest being Balance Patch in Boston.  Last time I went, there were about 75 players and the winner took over $150.

For some players, Smash is their livelihood and full-time job. Their schedule consists of constant practice, streaming on the website and attending major tournaments. Many top players even get burnt out and take necessary breaks.

The current best player is MkLeo, an 18 year-old Mexican phenom who has won almost every tournament he’s attended.  With all his winnings and sponsorships, he’s earned over $200,000

While Ultimate has an online feature where you can either play with someone random from anywhere in the world or make a room with friends, playing offline (in real life) is heavily preferred, in my opinion.  There aren’t many games that encourage people to go out there and make new friends like Ultimate and the whole Smash Bros. franchise.

There are so many wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through this game. Despite individual differences and backgrounds, the bond of Smash is something hard to break.

If you have any free time, any at all, find a friend who owns the game and play with them.  With all the stressors we students have in life, it’s always a pleasure to have a good competitive duel, and even better to imagine being Sans while doing so