To begin, no, I did not play a pirated copy of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which has unfortunately been recently circling around on the internet. Instead, I got to have hands-on experience with the upcoming entry to the Smash franchise at the Nintendo Holiday Experience event a mall near me was hosting. And let me say – considering the limited amount I got to play, I had a ton of fun!
I wasn’t allowed to take any photos while playing the game aside from the results screen (likely to keep certain things a surprise), but from what I could tell, there wasn’t anything I didn’t know about already.
Quick disclaimer: My hands-on impression shouldn’t be compared to any reviews we’ll be doing of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, since our other writer @SebazWorld will be covering it – as such, our opinions of the game may differ, so please just keep that in mind if you read the article when it releases.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Gameplay & Controls
Let’s talk about gameplay first. Even though Ultimate has been built from the ground up, both the controls and gameplay feel very similar to how they were in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. This made the game super easy to pick up, which is something I appreciated, seeing as I only had a limited time with the game.
The controls were pretty responsive in terms of actual combat, and character movement felt smoother and quicker than ever before. However, for some reason, there was sometimes a bit of lag, but I assume that must be from either their setup or the giant Samsung 70″ to 80″ish display we were playing on causing it. Seriously, that display was huge and brought out all of the small details within each stage!
Speaking of stages, it definitely felt like some of the stages I played were a tad small, but it easily could have been the screen making it seem that way. Overall, the new stages were pretty fun, and I even got to play the Mushroom Kingdom stage from Brawl – which is very nostalgic indeed.
One minor annoyance I had while playing was that when a player is launched they’d start slow, and then go full speed afterward. Maybe that can be turned off in the final game, but it was slightly annoying having to adjust to this one new feature.
Something I was really hyped to experience when I was getting to play Ultimate for the first time was all of the new added little features, such as the little translucent box that showed your exact position while you were flying out of control. It certainly turned out to be very helpful, especially for carefully planning a way back without wasting that valuable recovery move too early. (I don’t know the name of that feature and I’m too lazy to find out. Don’t @ me.)
Another feature they had on during the demo was the Final Smash Meter. It might have looked like a very cool feature before I actually played the game, but it turned out to be very annoying. We only had very short 2-minute rounds, and since the characters’ final smashes are all very cinematic (to a certain extent), then with the meters fill somewhat quickly, it seemed like there was always someone using their Final Smash every ten seconds. Plus, since they are full cutscenes it really disorients anyone not involved, causing me to constantly have to figure out where I was afterward.
All 74 (76 depending on who you ask) characters were available to choose from while playing, and I went with some of the classic characters like Sonic, Captian Falcon and Mii Fighter. I have to say, they perform flawlessly compared to their SSB4 versions. All of their Final Smashes are virtually the same as they were since the last Smash Bros., with the exception of Sonic’s, which now has him zigzag around the stage as Super Sonic instead of being controllable by the player.
I also got to play as newcomer Simon from Castlevania.
Simon feels like a heavyweight fighter, and something I find really cool is that he basically has all of the weapons from the first game – such as Holy Water, Boomerang Cross, and Throwing Axe. His main attack is his classic monster-slaying whip, and while it does dish out some major blows, it takes a bit to charge up and use. It’s definitely great for when your opponent has 60% damage or more because then it can send them flying out of bounds almost instantly – if used right, that is. Sadly though, I didn’t get to use his Final Smash, because I wasn’t able to trap anyone in Dracula’s coffin.
I didn’t get to play as King K. Rool or Ridley, but I can safely say they’re absolutely OP!
Overall, my experience with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate felt very familiar, yet new at the same time. It was very fun, and I can’t wait until it finally releases to the public so I can play World of Light and everything else Ultimate has to offer.
By the way, about what was mentioned in the first paragraph – we here at NintendOtaku do not condone piracy under any circumstances. Please buy Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from an official retailer.
And that’s it for this hands-on experience article! Are you hyped for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as much as we are? Let us know in the comments below. As always, any feedback or suggestions you have are always appreciated.
Thanks for reading!