A couple months ago, I got to go hands-on with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!
I stuck with the long lines at PAX twice to get to play the game, for a total of four separate matches. Reflecting on that experience, here are some of my impressions of Smash 5:
- It’s faster. Due to higher damage ratios, as well as knockback that plays out faster, there’s no dilly-dallying. That appears to be why 3 stocks is the default instead of 2.
- Returning characters feel new. This is especially true of Link, who has been reworked from his visuals, to the bombs he throws, to his grab, to the addition of a 0% blade beam attack.
- It’s more animated than ever. Characters are super expressive, explosions and hits look beautiful in person and at 60fps, and even the stages come to life more than ever before.
- Attention to detail is off-the-charts. Sakurai is truly making this the Ultimate entry in the series, fine-tuning quality of life improvements like having stage select before characters, allowing rule presets to be created, giving a visual representation of all character colors available, and much more.
- There’s a lot to learn. This is no port of Smash 4, and the clearest examples of this may be air-dodging and perfect-shielding, mechanics that have been completely revamped. Gamers will need to break habits, adapt, and relearn how to play.
- And… it’s fun!
There are still dozens and dozens of characters I can’t wait to try out. Come quickly December 7th!