As an aficionado of complex games brimming with achievements, unlockables, and collectibles, “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” initially seemed like an odd fit for my preferences. This genre—casual fighting games—often feels too breezy for someone who delights in the deep intricacies of role-playing titles. However, this installment of the iconic brawler series somehow manages to integrate elements that cater to a more completionist mindset, making it a surprisingly rewarding experience.

“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” brings an exhilarating array of gameplay mechanics that will hook both newcomers and veterans alike. The game boasts a roster of over 70 characters, each meticulously crafted by the illustrious Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of Kirby. This isn’t just a brawler; it’s a celebration of Nintendo’s rich history. Sakurai’s expertise shines through in the mechanics, providing fluid character movement, intuitive controls, and a wide array of special abilities that make each fighter unique.

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However, as with every shiny penny, there’s a flip side. The game includes an abundance of Fire Emblem characters—something that even Sakurai himself has mentioned as overkill. The decision, made by Nintendo, rather than Sakurai, tips the balance slightly towards an over-saturation of sword-wielding protagonists, making the roster feel somewhat repetitious in terms of fighting styles.

Graphically, “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” is a visual spectacle. Environments are beautifully rendered, brimming with intricate details that pay homage to the games from which they originate. The animation is fluid and fast-paced, keeping even the most intense battles clear and engaging.

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The sound design deserves special mention. The iconic themes and soundtracks accompanying each character and stage provide a nostalgic trip down memory lane. It’s a treat for the ears and perfectly complements the on-screen action.

The game’s single-player mode, “World of Light,” is an ambitious campaign that provides hours of content. While the storyline isn’t groundbreaking, it offers a compelling reason to traverse through various battles and unlock characters. Key figures like Banjo and Kazooie from the classic platforming series and Joker from “Persona 5” bring unique abilities and styles that add much-needed variety.

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Despite the plethora of characters, some feel neglected in terms of depth. While there are plenty of beloved icons, the overwhelming number of Fire Emblem characters dilutes the diversity of fighters. Captain Falcon remains a personal favorite due to his dynamic moves and electric personality, but even he can feel overshadowed in the vast roster.

“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” manages to be an accessible yet deep game that can captivate both casual gamers and completionists like myself. Its extensive roster, coupled with a compelling single-player experience and countless collectibles, offers a bounty of content that can easily push playtimes to 74 hours or more. Despite its minor shortcomings, this game is undoubtedly a high point in the fighting genre.

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

For fans of Nintendo’s legacy, complex gameplay mechanics, and a treasure trove of unlockables, “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” is a must-play. While it doesn’t quite achieve perfection due to some over-saturation of specific character archetypes, it still stands as a monumental achievement in gaming.

screenshot_4_Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: An Epic Brawl of Unparalleled ProportionsWant to check it out yourself? Click here to see it at Nintendo.