Smash Review (Part 1)

Smash Bros Ultimate Review

Smash Ultimate is the latest instalment in a franchise often forgotten to be the brainchild of the Kirby franchise; Masahiro Sakurai from HAL Labs (EarthBound, Part-time UFO). Kirby came along as a unique platformer held up against its past platforming contemporaries, Super Mario and Donkey Kong. It stood out for its hyper-combat driven aesthetic pitched alongside it’s cute and harmless cloudy-foresty environments with its mini-game stylized architecture woven throughout the overworld and menu. That’s what I mean by hyper.

That “hyper” results in an exclusive soup-algorithm. So when you open up Smash you will be greeted with a soupy explosion of options, preferences, character choices, campaign modes, and item preferences. That selection mayhem carries over directly to the fighting. What makes it such a different kind of fighting game is that the abilities (the choices) of each character are one menu option away. What I mean is that every move is one button press away, either a single press or a double press (Forward Joystick, + Button Press). That is why this game is hyper and other fighting games have failed to come close to it.

Now, there is another secret ingredient that makes this game pop. It is a rare combination of fighter genre plus the platformer genre. It takes the simple allure of Kirby 2D (based off the architecture of Mario Bros.) and transposes it onto the fighter genre. Jumping, in order to attain the mechanics of the platformer, is enabled in each character at a minimum of two jumps; your baseline single jump in virtually all fighters, and then your mid-air jump. By enhancing this non-fighting feature (dodging, evading, movement) you allow an enormous range of permutations in character interactions to be unlocked for the start. Why from the start? Because of the Single-Press magic installed into the genetics of the Smash Franchise, kind of like the single press SMAAAAASH from Mother 2. Ahem,

So, Smash is out-of-bounds. Its formula is truly magical and beautiful. Single-Press option mayhem with Platforming Permutations. And Smash Ultimate has simply come along (after Smash 64, Melee, Brawl, Smash 4/WiiU/3DS) to add to the roster, streamline the Classic Campaign, Unleash the Adventure Mode (Spirit Board + Spirit Cards/Characters), emphasize Online Play, and, in my honest opinion, break open the seeds for E-Sports that Melee sowed in the Earth decades ago. I was there for all of them, not favouring anyone in particular!

The game is a hamburger.

– Roberto

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