The First Hour: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Beginning life as a side project from Kirby creator Masahiro Sakurai, the original Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 64 almost didn’t get localized outside of Japan. The unorthodox mascot fighter has since become one of the most popular fighting videogames in the world, with the Melee entry in particular serving as an early standout in competitive esports. As with any series with a passionate following, each new installment’s balance and roster changes are immediately divisive. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, newly released on Nintendo Switch, seeks to alleviate some of these fan complaints by bringing back favorite levels and characters who were cut from previous entries, including many who have not been seen since Melee. From Dr. Mario to Snake to Cloud, no matter how unlikely their return, everyone is here.
Smash Bros. competitive Vs. Mode, present in every title since the first, is familiar, but new entries have struggled to offer a popular single-player mode to carry over from entry to entry. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate brings us the World of Light, which casts players into an open world filled with empty shells of the Smash Bros. competitors. Beginning with Kirby as the only playable character, players engage in highly specialized matches to open up new areas of the map, add specialized Spirits to their party that empower fighters with new abilities, and add new Smash fighters to their roster. It is the most ambitious single-player mode added to Smash Bros. since Brawl’s Subspace Emissary, and you can watch Andrew (@playcritically) play through the first hour in the embedded video below.