Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Articles RSS Feed | Super Smash Bros. Ultimate RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Nintendo Announces Tekken Smash Bros. Ultimate Crossover Tue, 15 Jun 2021 14:39:52 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Kazuya from Tekken is the new Smash Bros Ultimate DLC character, Nintendo announced during its E3 2021 presentation. Kazuya joins the 60+ strong roster of characters sometime this summer, with more information to come on June.

Kazuya is the protagonist in nearly every Tekken game and joins the likes of Ryu from Street Fighter and Terry Bogard from classic SNK games as a hand-to-hand melee fighter.

Series creator Masahiro Sakurai will show Kazuya in Smash on June 28 in another installment of his Smash Direct-style video series. As ever, expect to see breakdowns of Kazuya's moveset and some strategies for how to use the new Smash DLC character to his full extent.

As for when Kazuya will release in Smash, there's still no firm date as yet. These characters usually release soon after Sakurai shows them off, so we could see Kazuya in Smash on June 28 or not long after.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Arms Fighter is Min Min Mon, 22 Jun 2020 11:39:07 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Nintendo delivered on its promised reveal of a new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Arms fighter today in another episode of Mr. Sakurai Presents. It turns out fan-favorite Min Min is the latest Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character, and she'll be available for download on June 29, either as part of the Fighter Pass or individually for $5.99.

Sakurai said the reason it's Min Min and not other characters is pretty simple: the Arms producer Mr. Yabuki said he wanted Min Min.

Min Min is strong against heavy fighters but has trouble with lighter characters and those who excel in mid-air combat. Min Min's basic directional attack is just her ARMS extending, and the same for her side smash. You can actually bend the extendable ARMS, jump during the attack, and even execute a smash in mid-air.

If you tap "A" quickly instead of holding the button, Min Min performs kung-fu style kicks. These act as Min Min's neutral attacks, and they can be combined with movement for a dash attack, an upward kick, and a kick that reflects enemy projectiles.

Min Min's special is different from most. Pressing "B" extends her right ARM, where pressing "A" uses the left ARM. You can launch two attacks at once and create a number of combos or smashes. If you do launch two smash attacks at once, the left always goes out first.

The "up" and "down" "B" specials are different. The "down" special changes the right ARM out, with new extensions like the Ramram (low power, high range), the Megawatt (super strong, but slow), and Dragon, which is just a replica of the left ARM Min Min uses.

The "up" special lets Min Min jump using the ARMS, though Sakurai says it's best used to escape from opponents instead of working as a normal recovery move.

Finally is Min Min's Final Smash. Like the Dragon Quest Hero fighter, Min Min's Final Smash summons all the other ARMS fighters for a full-on assault.

Min Min isn't suited for close-range combat because her attacks are easy to dodge, though her direct attacks aren't affected by counters. Since the ARMS don't extend that far, you'll want to be careful from fighters that attack from above. 

Best Kids Games for Keeping Them Entertained — Anytime Tue, 31 Mar 2020 19:28:52 -0400 Josh Broadwell


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate


Unfortunately, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is only an option for Nintendo Switch owners. If you’ve got one (or more), though, then you’re in luck. It definitely earns the “Ultimate” part of its name with the amount of variety and content on offer here. There are over 70 characters to choose from, along with every stage from the series’ history.


It offers several robust single-player options if you aren’t keen on online matches, plus plenty of co-op options. But if online is what you’re looking for, it’s usually top-notch as well. The ranking system means you typically won’t get matched with someone way out of you league, so everyone can enjoy their time with Smash Ultimate.


If you're looking for another brawler for other systems, Brawlhalla is another great choice — and it's a lot like Super Smash, but in the best ways possible. 




Whatever the reason you need to keep the kids entertained and out of trouble, these games should give you plenty of options. Let us know what your fail-safe games are for keeping the kids busy, and be sure to give us a like and share on social media if you enjoyed what you read!


Be sure to check out these other awesome kid-centric games in case you didn't already find what you were looking for: 


Madden NFL 20


The most recent Madden game, Madden NFL 20, packs enough content to keep any football fan busy for a long, long time. Its story mode, Face of the Franchise, lets you create a career football player and follow them through the college divisions all the way to the top of the NFL. It might not be quite so engaging the further you get into it, but it’s still a very solid experience. The real magic is on the field in normal matches, though.


Madden 20 introduces a new feature to the formula with X-Factor Superstar Abilities. These are unique to star players, created with their own real-life strengths and abilities in mind that shake up how you execute your plays and approach each situation. Madden 20 also offers challenge modes, dynamic Playbooks, and basically anything football lovers might want in a Madden game.


Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age


Speaking of Dragon Quest, If monster-catchers and MMOs aren’t really your kids’ thing, then Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age fills that RPG niche very well indeed. It’s the latest and arguably one of the best in the long-running Dragon Quest series. It’s brighter, more colorful, absolutely jam-packed with things to do, and as always, the localization is some of the best in the industry. 


You’ll do the usual RPG things — gather a party of misfits, journey around the world, and try to save it from evil — but like all Dragon Quest games, XI offsets the familiar with a huge heart and plenty of character.


Despite being the 11th title in the series, you don’t really need any prior experience with Dragon Quest to appreciate it, though references to earlier games mean fans get the most out of it. Better yet, it’s available on every platform except Xbox One. The Switch version has added content, but the base version on PS4 and PC is still a modern classic and an excellent single-player experience.




Minecraft is a pretty obvious choice for games to keep your kids entertained. Heck, they (and you) might even be completely sick of it by now. If that’s the case, fear not. There’s still plenty more you can do with Minecraft. Multiplayer games, either of your own creation or on dedicated servers, are always an option to shake things up, as are survival games.


Minecraft has countless excellent creative servers for building themed or guided worlds as well and frequently demos new “snapshots” of upcoming features on PC (like the Busy Bees trailer above). Basically, Minecraft never stops, and there’s always something new to try — even if it’s just venturing into a new world.


But if you're absolutely fed up with Minecraft, there are other alternatives. Roblox is one, a combination of world builder and game designer where you can create your own games within the game. Dragon Quest Builders 2 is another, offering a more guided take on the "build anything" idea, a story, and tons of the series' trademark charm. Even though it's not as open as Minecraft, you can still create pretty much anything you can dream of.


Cities: Skylines


Cities: Skylines is one for the older kids. It’s an incredibly deep, immersive simulator-strategy game where you’re in complete control of your very own... well, city. And we mean “complete. control.”


You’ll determine everything from road layout and economic strategy to sewer maintenance and development zoning. Every choice you make determines how your city grows — or collapses in a spectacular mess around your ears.


Cities: Skylines has a number of well-realized expansions, too, adding even more content. Some focus on nightlife, while others focus on industry and parks and recreation. Still others focus on tourism and alternative energy production.


It’s on the Switch and PlayStation 4 as well, though the PC and Xbox One versions are the only ones that allow for modding. Also, note that the Switch version doesn’t always perform the best.


Of course, you could always go old-school and pick up the ultimate classic, Sim City 2000 on Good Old Games. It's perfect for any age group. 




You might have heard about Temtem when it entered early access back in January. It’s pretty obviously inspired by Pokemon, but there are some key differences that make it worthwhile even if you’ve caught ‘em all elsewhere.


Temtem is essentially an MMO — designed to play with others and explore together — while Pokemon is essentially a single-player experience. Temtem takes place on a brightly colored archipelago, too, and really cranks up the Indiana Jones feels: the sense of exploring a strange, magical new world.


And there’s even more, though. Developer Crema Games has a host of new content additions planned for the next year. These are designed to flesh out the end-game content and provide even more ways to enjoy the game.


If you’re looking for something more traditional, though, Pokemon Sword and Shield on Nintendo Switch would definitely fit the bill. The latest Pokemon games don’t shake the formula up that much, but they’re fresh, fun, and full of life.


LittleBigPlanet 3 or Super Mario Maker 2


LittleBigPlanet 3 or Super Mario Maker 2 are tied to PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, respectively. But if you have either of those systems on hand, both titles offer a mind-boggling amount of content to keep the kids busy and encourage imagination. Maybe they'll learn a thing or two along the way.


Both games have a story mode of sorts, traditional platforming adventures that put your skills to the test. They’re really just for getting ideas for the main attraction, though: level building.


At their cores, Little Big Planet and Super Mario Maker 2 are level creators. You’ll choose from a vast array of tools and themes to design anything you can imagine. Obviously, Super Mario Maker 2 is all about making Mario levels, but Little Big Planet really lets your imagination run wild. Plus, both have multiplayer modes so you can play together or with friends.


A Hat in Time


A Hat in Time is another product of the 3D platformer renaissance, but it’s far from derivative. Hat Kid travels through space — until she doesn’t anymore. She’s lost all her space fuel and must explore all the worlds she can reach to find more. Fortunately, Hat Kid gets special powers from all the hats she creates, so there’s never a dull moment on her travels.


Whether you’re solving The Murder on the Owl Express or dealing with the ruthless Mafia of Cooks, the worlds are absolutely stuffed with things to do and uncover. It’s cute and funny, plus a little bit chaotic when it needs to be. There really isn’t anything quite like A Hat in Time.


LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga


Pretty much any Lego game is worth trying out if you’re interested in the franchise. But for sheer breadth of content, you can’t get any better than Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. This isn’t the new Lego Star Wars, though; it’s the 2009 Complete Saga, which means Episodes 1-6.


Aside from meaning you’ve got six Lego games to play through in one package and more playable characters than you can shake a lightsaber at, it also means basically any computer can play it. There’s co-op play involved as well if more than one person wants to join in the fun. With character customization, hidden bonuses, and challenge modes, busy you and your younglings will be for a long time.


Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair


We considered Yooka-Laylee one of the best PC games for kids a while back (and it's made it on almost every list for kids we've done since it released).


But we can’t deny Playtonic improved the formula even more with Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair. It foregoes the original’s devotion to the 3D collect-a-thons of old and combines Donkey Kong Country style platforming with top-down exploration and puzzle-solving inspired by 2D Zelda games.


It’s gorgeous, it’s colorful, and there are enough hidden collectibles and secrets to encourage multiple playthroughs. In short, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is just plain fun. Even better, it’s available on all modern platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.


It's tough keeping the littl'uns occupied at the best of times. But if you're stuck at home for any reason, finding ways to keep the kids busy becomes a necessity. Fortunately, video games fill that need pretty darn well. There's a ton of kid-friendly options to choose from, but picking out the best ones can be more difficult than it might seem.


That's why we've put together this list of the best games for keeping the kids entertained at any time. They're all good for any age, and none can be completed quickly.

Byleth Joins Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as Fifth DLC Character Thu, 16 Jan 2020 11:06:57 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The fifth Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighter Pass fighter is Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Byleth will be available on January 28 for $5.99 or will unlock automatically if you have the Ultimate Fighter Pass.

They were revealed in today's Mr. Sakurai Presents episode, along with the usual overview of the series and character and refreshing joviality from Masahiro Sakurai himself.

If you're thinking, "What? Another swordsman?", don't worry. The development team knows that and even parodied it in Byleth's clever reveal video, with Sothis criticizing our hero for daring to venture into battle with just a sword.

So, they get three different weapons instead, all of which are Hero's Relics (important items in Three Houses).

The Sword of the Creator is Byleth's default attack and dash attack. It turns into a whip for the up smash attack and the up attack, and it's a grappling whip of sorts with a huge attack range and multiple hits for the up special.

Areadbhar is the side weapon, offering even greater reach than the whip. The side smash using it can even be angled up and down. Because the lance's tip is more powerful, it's best to try and attack enemies at a distance to deal the most damage. The side special is a powerful upward swing taking advantage of that extra reach, but it also has Byleth charge forward.

The axe Aymr is the down attack. It's a tremendous axe blow that can be used with a meteor effect if you're brave enough. The down special is a charged axe strike that also lets Byleth pass through platforms. It's slow, so you'll need to plan carefully to effectively pull it off. Fortunately, it's got a splash effect that damages foes if they're nearby, even if the actual strike misses.

Failnought the bow relic is the neutral special. It's more powerful than Link's bow but can't be fired until the arrow is finished charging. If you keep the button held down after the initial charge, it powers up even more and fires off a beam of light. However, you can't actually do anything else while the bow is charging, though shielding during the charge will cancel the attack.

Byleth's Final Smash is Progenitor God: Ruptured Heaven, a move which sees Byleth channel the power of Sothis into a tremendously strong strike using the Sword of the Creator in its whip form.

The new stage should come as no surprise: Garrag Mach Monastery. It will cycle through the Marketplace, Cathedral, Bridge, and Reception Hall, and each area has its own special guests, like the Marketplace hosting prominent Blue Lions students. One other thing to note about each area is that it has fully destructible objects you can smash to expand the stage's size or use to your advantage.

Some of the music tracks shown off include the ever-popular Fodlan Winds and Between Heaven and Earth, though it's not certain whether more tracks will be added as well.

We've still got six more Fighter Pass characters on the way between now and December 2021, so if you didn't see your all-time favorite in the first round of five, there's always next time. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Smash Ultimate news as it crashes in.

Latest Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC Character Coming Soon Tue, 14 Jan 2020 12:03:17 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fans have eagerly awaited an announcement for the latest Fighter Pass addition since Terry Bogard was unleashed last year. That announcement is coming in a new Mr. Sakurai Presents episode this Thursday, January 16, at 9 a.m. EST/6 a.m. PST.

Like previous demonstrations Smash Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai hosted for new DLC characters, this one will be roughly 35-minutes long. That's plenty of time to discuss the character and go in-depth with what they can do.

There are all kinds of rumors about who the new character might be, with a lot of emphasis on Capcom franchises; Resident Evil's Jill Valentine, Phoenix Wright from, well... Phoenix Wright, or a character from Devil May Cry are all popular bets. But this is Nintendo, which means it will probably be something we never would have guessed. It's a company good at surprises, after all.

Lest ye think this is the last Fighter Pass character, don't forget Nintendo promised an additional round of new Smash Bros. Ultimate characters on top of these initial five — at some point in the near future. We don't know when, though.

We'll be watching the presentation as soon as it goes live, so stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Super Smash Bros. Ultimate news once the dust settles.

Fatal Fury's Terry Heads to Smash, More DLC Fighters Coming Wed, 04 Sep 2019 19:21:58 -0400 Josh Broadwell

SNK's Neo Geo games have had quite a presence on the Nintendo Switch since the system launched in 2017, and that presence is about to get even bigger with the inclusion of Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

In a not-so-surprising surprise announcement, Nintendo confirmed SNK's Terry will be added to the Smash Ultimate roster as the fourth Battle Pass DLC character.

Apart from a flashy intro video, we didn't get a whole lot of information about the newest roster member, though Terry will be available sometime in November.

That's not all, though. Banjo and Kazooie's Smash debut release date was revealed as well — and it's today, presumably right after the Direct finishes (read: now).

Smash fans hoping for even more characters are in luck, too. Not only is Banjo-Kazooie landing in the roster later today, but Nintendo confirmed more characters outside those originally promised.

As of now, there are no hints who these characters may be, how many might be coming, and when they can be expected after the fifth DLC character launches — but they're coming, nonetheless.

For more on the latest Nintendo Direct, be sure to head here

ELEAGUE and Nintendo Partnering Again for Mutli-Part eSports Showcase Thu, 15 Aug 2019 18:32:49 -0400 Josh Broadwell

ELEAGUE and Nintendo are teaming up again for an eSports initiative — but it's not the start of a proper Nintendo eSports program.

Instead, it's a three-part series showing off some of the top players and tense moments from the Big N's pre-E3 tournaments this past June.

It's officially titled ELEAGUE Presents The Nintendo 2019 World Championships and focuses on taking viewers behind the scenes. The series will show off the backstage areas and the various teams from around the world that took part in the summer's Super Mario Maker 2, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Splatoon 2 competitions.

The first episode is set to air August 25 (Sunday) at 1 p.m. EST on CBS, with the following two episodes airing at 2 p.m. EST on September 7 and 1:30 p.m. EST September 14, both also on CBS.

ELEAGUE is one of the more widely broadcast eSports brands, with games running the gamut from FIFA to Gears and Mortal Kombat. It's the brand's second partnership with Nintendo, following last year's Super Smash Bros Ultimate-centric broadcast, and it's safe to say Nintendo is sort of the black sheep in ELEAGUE's lineup.

That's because Nintendo has yet to create an official eSports league or recognize some of its most popular multiplayer games as candidates for a proper eSports competition.

Instead, it emphasizes special tournaments. These usually take the form of the yearly pre-E3 competitions or in-game competitions, like the Smash Ultimate online tournaments or recently departed Splatfests, as ways to focus on "fun" competition.

Still, the company is focused on bringing a variety of experiences to as wide an audience as possible, with broadening the Switch's install base a primary goal. With all that in mind, it's not entirely surprising Nintendo hasn't taken The eSports plunge yet, however much its fans might want it.

Dragon Quest Hero Kaswooshes Into Smash Bros. Ultimate Today Tue, 30 Jul 2019 10:51:44 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The Hero from Dragon Quest is making his way to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate today, bringing a new fighting style, plenty of DQ whimsy, and a brand-new stage. That's not all, though, as version 4.0.0 is bringing with it a range of other new updates as well.

Hero is free for those who purchased the Fighter Pass, though the character can be purchased separately for $5.99

Today's brief video with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's director Masahiro Sakurai provided a detailed overview of the game's latest addition. As we already knew, the Hero comes in four variants: DQIII, DQIV, DQVIII, and DQXIS. Each has the same fighting style, though is voiced by a different voice actor.

Hero's moveset is, unsurprisingly, based heavily on the Dragon Quest games. The Frizz family serves as the primary special, with the Zap spells for left and right attacks, and Woosh for the recovery/up attack. Holding the button longer allows Hero to charge spells further, so for instance, Woosh becomes Swoosh, which then becomes Kaswoosh.

The down special pulls up a menu of random spells from the series, ranging from the instant-KO spell Thwack to Snooze, Heal, and Zoom, among others.

All these require MP, which Hero recovers by performing basic attacks. Hero's Final Smash is similar to Mega Man's, in that it brings together all the heroes from every mainline Dragon Quest game for an ultimate attack.

Hero brings with him the Yggdrasil's Altar stage, featuring a moving platform that flies around important landmarks from Dragon Quest XI, including the holy tree itself. The background tracks are pulled from each DQ game represented, such as VIII's battle theme or XI's overworld exploration theme.

What Else is in the 4.0.0 Update

Smash Bros. Ultimate version 4.0.0 is adding even more to the game than just the Hero, though.

There are the usual new Mii Fighter costumes that go along with the new fighter, like a Slime hat or Veronica outfit.

There's also a new Online Tourney mode that lets players compete in huge tournaments against other players — and, of course, requires a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. These online tourneys have pre-set rules and will regularly feature special themed events.

Spectate Mode is getting a prediction feature, where players can guess who will win and earn points for their involvement; these points can then be spent on in-game items.

Those finding Adventure Mode a tad too challenging can take advantage of the new Very Easy difficulty level, designed for those who want to enjoy the experience without the stress of difficult combat. However, Final Smashes are getting a time limit, so players can't just hold on to their FS move until the best moment.

Finally, the video editor is getting some new features, including the ability to place a saved screenshot in the middle of a video and to play videos that have been added to Shared Content back to back.

This makes two of the promised five fighters coming to Smash Bros. Ultimate via the Fighter Pass. The first was Joker from Persona 5, and next is Banjo-Kazooie, but that leaves two as-yet still unknown slots to fill.

Sexism Prevents Female Gamers from Achieving the Same Level of Popularity as Their Male Peers Fri, 12 Jul 2019 15:58:04 -0400 JacobDennis

Ever notice how the vast majority of top streamers on twitch are male?

It's probably not surprising to hear that since video game personalities and competitors are generally male, and there is nothing wrong with that. At least there's nothing wrong with it if everyone was competing on a level playing field.

Female personalities trying to get to similar levels of popularity face very different challenges compared to male streamers.

Female personalities are generally reduced to being a girl, and being very attractive rather than having actual merit in their respective games. Quite often the attention that certain female gamers get is only attributed to their gender, which can often be a very harmful thing to hear when they know that they deserve more recognition for their accomplishments.

Take for instance popular streamer itsHafu.

Her gaming career started over a decade ago when professional gaming was not viable as a career choice. She won tournaments in World of Warcraft, Bloodline Champions, and spent most of her streaming career playing Hearthstone arena (which she has recently quit). Hafu was well known as a top arena player consistently placing within the top 100, with several showings in the top 30.

Over the last several years she has steadily grown her following. At the time of her retirement from playing Hearthstone, she would average at around 2000 viewers. Recently she has been playing the new auto-battler from Riot Games, Teamfight Tactics, which has exploded in popularity. Since her switch over to the new game, she has been averaging in the area of 10,000 viewers every stream.

To further her claims as being a very talented eSports professional, she was recognized by Riot Games as being the number one player during the game's beta period. With all these accomplishments, pretty much anyone would be able to say that her popularity is driven by her talent at her chosen games, and her otherwise very well run stream.

Unfortunately, not everyone would agree with her success.

Many of her accomplishments have been dismissed as her getting carried, the games not counting, or her getting lucky. Many people would say that there are dozens if not hundreds of men that are better than her. This is a problem that she would speak very candidly about after Riot Games' recognition of her Teamfight Tactics ranking.


The sad part is that this is relatively common. Hafu clearly deserves to have her achievements recognized, but people seem reluctant to do so because she is a woman.

It's not just about accomplishments being reduced to nothing, but rather their entire online persona can be called into question depending on how they present themselves.

A large number of female streamers end up having their conventional beauty be both a boon to career and their biggest setback.

Streamers such as Pink Sparkles and Amouranth both market themselves as sexy women who use said sexuality to attract people. This is perfectly fine. People are allowed to use whatever they have to their advantage and if that means being sexual, then more power to them.

Pink Sparkles and Amouranth are more akin to pin-up models playing video games than outright sex icons. They are very aware of the fact that they are using their sexuality to their advantage and it is 100% within their control, which is why they do not care that maybe their streams are more risque.

However, it results in a lose-lose situation for them and other streamers.

A popular term to describe female streamers like this is "Twitch thot". This term helps to ruin female streamers' ability to exist on the platform. Any woman, whether she uses her sexuality or avoids it completely, can be called this for basically no reason. It removes any amount of quality from their stream or their popularity and boils it down to, "You're hot, so creepy guys follow you".

It's an insult to what they do because it takes their agency away. When they or anyone else is being called a "Twitch thot", it robs them of that agency, and the viewer is trying to take control of the streamer's sexuality by telling them that they should cover up more or that they are popular just because of their body.

Even when it's not about their body, female streamers may have their viewers focus on other aspects of them.

The most popular female Twitch streamer, Pokimane, deals with people worrying about her personal life. Frequent topics of debate include: does she have a boyfriend, why is she hiding her boyfriend, and is she hiding her boyfriend to get more donations from her fans. This is a continuous problem that has plagued her for several years.

This unhealthy obsession with her life stems from people not understanding that the relationship they have with a streamer is almost 100% one-sided. The viewers do not know a streamer, nor do they hang out. Rather the streamer lets the public in on their lives akin to how celebrities have their lives followed. Viewers often do not understand that and believe that they are entitled to know more about the streamer than they deserve.

The streamer is allowed to set whatever boundary they want with their audience.

All of these are unhealthy topics for people to obsess over about a person that they only have a parasocial relationship with. In some of Pokimane's IRL videos, she actually ends up talking about some of these topics to dissuade the rumors.

Fortunately, everything listed above can be seen as female gaming personalities challenging the problems they face and coming out on top. There are several less fortunate people that have gone through much worse.

Bocchi is a 15-year-old trans-female competitive Super Smash Bros. Ultimate player who recently gained a lot of notoriety for beating long-time player Ally. Bocchi mained the low-tier character Isabelle and managed to barely eke out a win against Ally's Snake. The match was absolutely insane and she took the win in a very stylish fashion.

Fast forward a day or two and Bocchi starts to get harassed for the amount of notoriety that she gained. Many people on Twitter were claiming that she did not deserve the boost in popularity, that her win was a fluke, and that she was actually bad at the game.

Sound familiar yet?

Bocchi, being 15, could not reasonably expect this to happen, nor really handle the backlash that she received. At the time of writing, she was disabled her twitter account and turned down a deal for Gravity Gaming to become both a competitor and a content creator.

One of the worst parts is that at a similar time, 17-year-old newcomer Puppeh placed 5th at CEO 2019 beating top Smash players Samsora, Abadango, and Nairo, all while playing mid-tier Pokemon Trainer.

Was this particular accomplishment more noteworthy than Bocchi's? Maybe, but the more important thing to note is that Puppeh did not receive backlash for beating top smashers with a mid-tier character, nor did he get harassed by people saying his victories did not count.

Puppeh and Bocchi both deserve a lot of credit for the accomplishments that they have, but Bocchi managed to be the right gender for people could not accept her accomplishments. No one knows if or when Bocchi will return despite the outpouring of support that she has gotten in the wake of people putting her down.

These are just a few examples of the wide variety of problems that female gaming personalities go through just for trying to do what they enjoy. Hafu just wants her accomplishments to be recognized, Amouranth and Pink Sparkles do not want their sexuality to be the only thing that defines them even if it is their main selling point, Pokimane does not want people to creepily obsess over her personal life, and Bocchi just wanted to improve and be a good Smash Bros. player.

The vast majority of people in every gaming community are male, and that is for the most part, fine. In fact, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to say that most of the men are not the problem, but a vocal minority of guys that decry female Twitch streamers and competitors as bad at games or as "Twitch thots" need to either change or stop their harassment.

Remember, if you don't like a stream, or you don't think someone is good at a game they are popular for playing, you can always just not watch them, and support other people rather than harassing them.

It's that simple, but a lot of people need to change to make that dream a reality.

Nintendo E3 2019 Recap: Surprises, Sequels, and Remakes Tue, 11 Jun 2019 14:35:48 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Nintendo got in on the name pub fun introducing new NOA president Doug Bowser after a slight mixup where the other Bowser tried to take the stage first. Poor big guy.

Order was restored, and things really kicked off from there. The company's E3 2019 Direct wasn't as long as some others, but there was a lot of information to be had. 

Smash Ultimate Fighter Pass DLC Characters

The E3 2019 Nintendo Direct opened with a look at the next Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC fighter: the Luminary, aka Hero, from Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age. Not quite Erdrick, but not too far off. The Hero will use a sword for melee attacks, but they also have access to magic spells like Zoom for recover and Zap for ranged attacks.

But they're not alone. The heroes from Dragon Quest IV and Dragon Quest VIII, plus Erdrick himself, are making their way to Smash Bros Ultimate as well. Each has access to a similar skill set, including Zap, Kamikaze, and Zoom. While we didn't get a firm release date, fans can expect them in the game this summer sometime.

Speaking of Dragon Quest XI, the Definitive Edition coming to Switch got a new trailer, showing off a special speed-up feature, previous worlds from the Dragon Quest universe, and that lovely 2D sprite-work as well. Look for it on September 27.

Luigi's Mansion 3

Luigi's Mansion 3 was up next, with a brand-new trailer showcasing some of the game's overarching story. Luigi, Mario, Toad, and Peach are invited to a luxurious hotel, but things soon go awry when Luigi finds himself alone, at night, in a storm.

Luigi's new Poltergust G-00 sports lots of new features, like the Slam. While Luigi attacks a ghost, he can use Slam to inflict extra damage, including on other ghosts.

The Suction Shot lets Luigi destroy furniture, take on specific ghost types, and deal extra damage.

When Luigi faces a swarm of ghosts, he can use Burst, a powerful, well, burst of air that evens the field a bit.

Then there's Prof. E Gadd's new Gooigi. Gooigi can slip through metal fences, walk on spikes, and overcome many other obstacles regular Luigi can't handle. He can also be controlled by another character in co-op mode.

The ScareScraper makes its return as well, challenging players to defeat as many ghosts as possible in a set time in local and online multiplayer.

No firm release date for this one either, but it is set for a 2019 release still, with plenty of gameplay coming up during Treehouse Live.

Dark Crystal Tactics

The next game shown off was The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics, a tactical RPG featuring medieval style combat and lots of Jim Henson style. It's based on the Netflix show of the same name, only the game will delve further into the world's lore and the Gelfling clans. Players can choose from 15 different job classes, each with customizable equipment and abilities that lend themselves to high replay value.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Switch

Link's Awakening's remake got a lot of love in a new trailer showing off the game's gorgeous visual upgrades and an excellent soundtrack to boot. From the looks of it, there are going to be new areas players can explore on Koholint Island and some new puzzles to tackle as well.

Players can earn special chambers over the course of the game and arrange them to create their own Chamber Dungeons for near-endless exploration — and lots of rewards. All this and more is coming September 20.

Collection of Mana and Trials of Mana

Square Enix's recent trademark filing for the Mana Collection is paying off in form of Trials of Mana and the release of the Collection of Mana. The first game is getting a global release on Nintendo Switch and is a remake of Seiken Densetsu 3. It'll be shown off more this week, but it's expected to launch in early 2020.

The Collection, featuring the Game Boy Adventure of ManaSecret of Mana, and Secret of Mana 2 will be available in the Nintendo eShop And yes, this is the original Trails of Mana, aka Seiken Densetsu 2, which means we're getting it twice now. When it rains and all...

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt Switch

Rumors of The Witcher III making its way to the Switch turned out to be true as well, with Wild Hunt: Complete Edition coming sometime later this year. It will bring all of the game's currently-released content. It's worth noting all of this content is on one game card too, and the visuals don't seem to be taking much of a direct hit from the required compression.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem: Three Houses got a meaty new trailer giving players a glimpse at the game's story. It's one of truly epic proportions and emphasizes the three main heroes' missions to bring order and justice to their lands. And voice acting — lots of voice acting.

Byleth's role in all this still isn't completely clear, but it seems like it's going to be a tragic one. The possibility of time travel is there too, with the three heroes looking back on their school days before engaging in a new battle. Expect more soon, and don't forget the game launches July 26.

Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6

Those who forgot Resident Evil, Resident Evil 0, and Resident Evil 4 are on the Switch now got a friendly, creepy reminder in a new trailer that really served as a way to lead into this announcement: Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 are coming this fall to Nintendo Switch.

No More Heroes III

Next up was an irreverent pop-culture based game with plenty of mech action, a smooth anime style, and lots of self-referential humor. Yep, it's Travis Touchdown, in No More Heroes III. The latest entry in the franchise is set for a 2020 release date.

Contra: Rogue Corps

The storied Contra franchise is getting a new release too: Contra: Rogue Corps, coming September 29. It's a hectic, mad mix of third-person action, destruction, aliens, bugs, and more destruction.

The Contra Collection is available today in the eShop for those who can't wait for more alien-shooting action.

Daemon X Machina

After a long silence, we got to see more of Daemon X Machina today. A short cinematic trailer showed off some of the game's characters and vast environments, along with on-foot combat, huge enemy ships, and lots of cel-shaded explosions. Expect it on the Switch September 13.

Panzer Dragoon

Missing Panzer Dragoon? Nintendo was, too. That's why it's getting a reboot on the Switch this winter, plus this new trailer.

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield

As promised, Pokemon Sword and Shield got a short update as well, following on from the big June 5 Pokemon Direct.

There wasn't really anything new except showing off the water Gym and leader Nessa, as well as the announcement that the Pokemon Plus accessory is compatible with Sword and Shield. It's like the Pokewalker and lets players take their favorite 'mon out for a walk. It doesn't work as a controller, though.

Astral Chain

Astral Chain, first revealed during the February Direct, got a story trailer, too.

Evil creatures called Chimeras are trying to pull humanity into another dimension, and a team of researchers banded together to create an anti-Chimera weapon merging humans with The Legions. Those Legions are the player character, but the special power has some negative drawbacks that cause some kind of havoc in the host body.

Look forward to more when the game launches August 20.

Empire of Sin

If you like guns, gangsters, and death, then Empire of Sin, a new game also set for a 2020 launch, might be one to check out. For now, make do with the trailer below.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance III: The Black Order

The Switch's exclusive Marvel game got some love during the Direct with an intense new story trailer showing off villains and heroes and announcing some new DLC content players can get now. The game itself will be available July 19.

Cadence of Hyrule Gets a Release Date

After a month of speculation and several of waiting, Cadence of Hyrule got another new trailer showcasing enemies players will take on as Link or Zelda — and a release date: July 13. Check out the trailer below.

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games 2020

It wouldn't be the year before an Olympics year without a new Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, and this year is no exception. The game will feature the usual mashup of Mario and Sonic characters doing Olympic sports like fencing, tennis, and the long-jump.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

It's here! The first Animal Crossing Switch news, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, was shown off in an adorable new trailer. The game centers on populating a deserted island and crafting tools after flying there as part of the Nook Inc Getaway Package. Nook apparently wields great influence here, as not only will the player purchase homes from him, but furniture and other items will be crafted using the special Nook Crafting Bench.

There will be plenty of new ways to interact with the environment and neighbors, including pole jumping and, of course, paying Tom Nook for everything, even your tent. It is his island getaway package after all.

The bad news? It's delayed to March 20, 2020, to help ensure the game is the best it can be. On the bright side, it's gorgeous, with a bright, yet muted color palette that reeks of coziness, a chilled out soundtrack with tones of New Leaf, and a sense of unity that only comes from trying to survive together in a lonely island.

Upcoming Games Highlight Reel

It's tough to follow an act like that, but Nintendo managed to with a sizzle reel highlighting the year's upcoming releases, including Spyro: Reignited Trilogy, Ni No Kuni, Minecraft Dungeons,  Dauntless, The Sinking City, and  a lot more.

Banjo-Kazooie Coming to Smash Ultimate

One final Smash Bros. announcement was the long-awaited and much-hoped-for addition of Banjo-Kazooie to Smash Bros Ultimate, with plenty of character footage and what looked like a glimpse at the duo's special stage, Gruntilda included.

These are the next, next Fighter Pass DLC characters and will be added to the game in Fall this year.

Breath of the Wild Sequel

The Direct ended with the usual surprise announcement, and this one was a pretty big surprise. It's a Breath of the Wild sequel set in what looks like a post-Calamity world.

Link and Zelda approach the skeleton of Ganondorf who gets revived by the creeping purple darkness associated with the Calamity. It's only in development as of now.

That's it. Looking for more E3 2019 coverage? Be sure to head over to the other recaps below: 

Labo VR Support Added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — But It's Limited Fri, 31 May 2019 08:59:39 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate version 3.1.0 is out in the wild now and confirms earlier rumors about VR implementation.

Yes, Smash Ultimate has VR now. The rumored new Amiibo mode has been added, too, but Nintendo didn't release much information about it.

Like Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, Smash Ultimate VR relies on Nintendo Labo's VR Kit, specifically the Toy-Con VR Goggles accessory. The update is also free and doesn't interfere with any existing data.

The trailer accompanying VR implementation gives some additional information about how the new mode works. It's only available in timed, offline matches and only with a limited number of stages. The recently-released trailer says "dozens" of stages without giving any details, but we rounded them all up below — roughly three dozen, to be exact.

VR in Smash works sort of like it does for BoTW. Part of it is a spectator event, where players can view CPU battles through the Toy-Con VR Goggles; they can also look around the battlefield, seeing what's above, below, and to the sides. This is the default mode.

However, it also lets players fight against the CPU by replacing the P1 CPU with a human player, like in any other match.

Here's the full list of Smash Ultimate stages compatible with VR:

  • Battlefield
  • Big Battlefield
  • Final Destination
  • Kongo Jungle
  • Mushroom Kingdom
  • Rainbow Cruise
  • Kongo Falls
  • Jungle Japes
  • Great Bay
  • Brinstar
  • Yoshi's Story
  • Green Greens
  • Corneria
  • Onett
  • Big Blue
  • Fourside
  • Delfino Plaza
  • Figure-8 Circuit
  • WarioWare Inc.
  • Port Town Aero Dive
  • Castle Siege
  • Smashville
  • Summit
  • Shadow Moses Island
  • Luigi's Mansion
  • Pirate Ship
  • Paper Mario
  • Spirit Train
  • Prism Tower
  • Mute City SNES
  • Tortimer Island
  • Living Room
  • Find Mii
  • Tomodachi Life
  • PictoChat 2
  • Mario Circuit
  • Skyloft
  • Garden of Hope
  • Town and City
  • Pilot Wings
  • Wuhu Island
  • Suzaku Castle
  • New Donk City Hall
  • Great Plateau Tower
  • Moray Towers
  • Dracula's Castle

Note that all fighters can be used in VR mode. As always, the experience is recommended with adult supervision and for limited periods of time.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Might Get the Labo VR Treatment Soon Thu, 30 May 2019 11:19:55 -0400 Josh Broadwell

New information dataminers gathered from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's source code suggests the game might be getting Labo VR support very soon — tonight, in fact.

The news comes from SSBUbot, a Twitter feed that posts regular updates taken from Smash Bros. Ultimate's servers. Allegedly, the new Smash Ultimate update, 3.1.0, will include VR mode, offering a "whole new perspective" in the game by letting players use the Toy-Con VR Goggles.

There's no other information right now to support the find. However, despite source codes often changing, and some including dummy information, Smash Ultimate does have a history of suddenly and unexpectedly dropping new features.

Should it get VR support, the phrasing "a whole new perspective" might offer some clue as to what the experience would be like. Similar phrasing was used to describe the Breath of the Wild VR experience, which was meant to be enjoyed as a view-only situation; moving around too much was uncomfortable, to say the least.

Given the frenetic action in Smash Ultimate, it seems likely that, if VR is included, it would be connected primarily to replays, a speculation making its rounds on Twitter as well.

In other Smash Ultimate update news, 3.1.0 might also be including new Amiibo features. Specifically, the same source suggests Amiibo fighters can be sent on "journeys" to help them train and can then be put in a Battle Arena to duke it out with others.

With the update set to launch tonight, we'll know soon enough how much of this turns out to be true.

10 Best Custom Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Stage Builder Stages So Far Thu, 25 Apr 2019 11:06:37 -0400 Josh Broadwell


Pokemon battle




Created by: wy18


Many custom stages are re-creating classic scenes or characters, from 8-bit Mario and Link to Kirby stages and more. This one takes on the ambitious task of re-imagining an early first Pokemon battle, making good use of the foreground and background elements to do so.


Distance drawing is obviously rather difficult to realize with stage creation, so putting Squirtle in the background helps achieve the same affect without sacrificing the feel of the source material.


Charmander's flaming tail is particularly appreciated and actually serves to limit recovery options should you fall off the top left platform.


The stage background itself is fitting, too, since this is very much in the same vein as the first stage and Final Destination: no traps, no gimmicks, just two big platforms, some height variation, and a lotta smashing.


Like the Dr. Phil stage, one of the main draws here is atmosphere (though admittedly of a rather different kind than the Dr. Phil stage). This stage combines the best of nostalgia for those of us who grew up with original Pokemon Red and Blue, with a similar appeal from the simple-yet-solid mechanics and stage design so common with earlier Smash games.




It's hard to pick just 10 stages from a huge and ever-growing list of Smash Bros. stage builder creations, but there you have it — our top 10 choices for now.


Whether it's dancing on the frozen tears of Waluigi or falling to your doom in warp-trap hell, hopefully, these stages give you some ideas of your own to share with the world too.


Nintendo Switches




Created by: Legal


This is a really good trick stage. The title hints that it's going to be one of the many stages re-creating the Switch itself in handheld mode, but obviously, that's not what it does. It's a stage full of switches instead.


The best part? They do absolutely nothing when activated. Invite a friend and don't tell them, then sit back and watch the fun.


Or if you want to enjoy it like a decent human being, that's fine too, because there's a good stage without the switch-y deception.


As you can see, falling off a platform gives you a good chance of landing in lava or a cannon that might shoot you off-screen. There is some deception there too, though.


The cannons are positioned to where they just shoot you into the magma for the most part. Anticipating a bigger blast means your first reaction is to try and move or jump, which ends up positioning you in or right near the next cannon anyway.




Vinesauce Grapes




Created by: Danny


There are a lot of outlandish custom Smash stages, but this is certainly one of the more... interesting ones.


The man's face resembles a mid-20th-Century cartoon design. Despite being a little creepy, it's actually quite good, particularly the use of texture and how the hair was handled.


What message Danny is trying to send to us about him isn't as clear, though. Is he lonely? Did he turn to grapes to heal his lonely heart? Or is he choosing grapes over loneliness? We may never know.


At the very least, it makes for a varied Smash match. The three main surfaces lend themselves to different kinds of combat, so it's never a dull moment with Mr. Thing.


Hurling foes off the grapes is satisfying in itself. However, the lonely letters make for a different kind of fight that mixes offense and defense and forces you to use powerful moves to get opponents out from their alphabetic trenches.


Or if you want, there's the more traditional kind of brawl waiting for you on top of the hair.


The Octo Calamari




Created by Squiggly


The Octo Calamari stage is a nicely balanced example of how several features come together effectively. It's nice to see a central Splatoon theme included in a quieter fashion as well, unlike, say, Dr. Phil.


This one is a more straightforward stage without specific gimmicks meant to alter your experience. You've got several platforms to fight on, but the gray ones and larger green block are the only stable ones.


The round pink platform that seems it would be the perfect recovery tool rotates, which makes grabbing on rather more difficult than you might think at first. Those two blue ones don't offer firm footing either.


One of the things that makes this stage worthwhile is the second main platform towards the stage's bottom. These out of the way areas aren't too common in Smash stages; the Temple of Time and Palutena's Temple come to mind, but not many others.


Off-center fighting areas like this are perfect for larger matches if you're trying to lure a single fighter to you or want the added risk of being so near the boundaries.


The warp points deserve attention too. A lot of creations are using them, but not necessarily in an effective way. These actually add to the experience because while they do transport you away from immediate danger, they also put you in a dangerous position.


Crying Wal




Created by: Liggy


Poor Waluigi. All one of his friends, plus every enemy, joins the fun in Smash, while he's left by himself in a support trophy container. This rendition of a very sad Waluigi probably isn't far off the mark for everyone's favorite purple anti-hero.


There are other Waluigi stages, but this one breaks the fourth wall so well and encapsulates the general mood surrounding his absence from Smash. The use of background elements is noteworthy too.


Plus it's a fun stage with a lot of movement.


The shorter platforms don't work for long, drawn-out combat. You'll either get knocked off or move about to escape and draw your foe into a fight on your own ground.


The lower levels might look slippery, but they actually aren't, which provides an additional fighting area away from the main focus. There's just enough room between the bottom-most platform and Waluigi's crystallized tears to make recovery difficult for hurled opponents.


Waluigi's nose, left 'stache, and hat brim are another good risk area. The space is small, and there's hardly anything to break a fall to the left. A strong smash could send an opponent flying off-screen or at least force them to climb all the way back up, granting a major advantage to whoever occupies the hat.


Pls Dont Fall




Created by: Lau


Pls Dont Fall is another stage built around challenge and careful movement. There are very few actual spaces for combat, which makes this stage perfect for heavy hitting melee fighters like King K. Rool and Link.


That being said, it lends itself to characters with very good recovery, too, like Kirby and...Kirby.


That's because falling off the platforms almost inevitably means losing a point. It's possible to try and reach the warp point, but it just throws you out to the left by the icy-looking platform, which is pretty difficult (read: almost impossible) to get back from.


The canons are one major reason why. As you can see, each points to the center of the map. Most chuck you into the left warp point, but the others shoot you out to fry in the central magma pool. Even if you make it out, there's no helpful canon to get you back into the action.


This is also an example of how devious bumpers can be. There's a 50/50 chance the stage's bumpers will keep you from the death trap, depending on how you hit them and how fast you react.


It's brutal, but it certainly keeps players on their toes.






Created by: shaane


Sanic might not be quite as ubiquitous as SpongeBob in the custom creations area, but there are quite a few of them roaming about. This is one of the better ones for a few reasons.


The first is that you can't help but look at it and think "Gotta Go Fast." It embodies everything meme-ish about Sanic, and he just looks so earnest and determined. It's a good rendering of an intentionally bad illustration as well, which is interesting in itself.


Fortunately, it doesn't just look amusing. It sets itself apart from other Sanic stages by making for a good Smash arena.


The screenshot doesn't quite show it, but anything behind Sanic gets blown back to the left by a surprisingly strong wind. The front side isn't affected though (which would seem like an oversight on the creator's part, but this is Sanic after all).


Any battle naturally becomes a scramble to remain on the top or the right, then. Accidentally jumping too far, getting tossed off-screen, or starting on the left makes remaining in the fight pretty difficult. It also gives players an extra focal point in battle as they try to push opponents off Sanic's head.


Molten Moonlit


ID: 4000KRD5


Created by: Ohyou


Molten Moonlit is one of many molten-themed stages, and they all present unique strengths with how they place their lava traps.


Moonlit is a bit different, though, and really lends itself to a sudden death style match or one-on-one combat (or a four-person match if you like chaos).


For one thing, those two platforms you see are essentially the only landscape you get for fighting. The earthen platform up top isn't practical to reach, though you could with certain characters like Kirby.


Jump too high or get tossed too far off the stage, and you get punished with the lava chunks. Apart from making combat a bit more difficult than usual, the way the stage is set up means damage counts are going to get a lot higher, since there are only a few openings out of the molten center.


The effects Ohyou used make the stage stand out as well. The metal platforms shine in the "moonlight", and there's a nifty blur effect as you run around on them, mimicking the heat blur you'd expect from being so near a hot surface.


Dr Phil




Created by: 8vitecek


It was bound to happen eventually. There's already a Steve Harvey and some other daytime television notables, so Dr. Phil couldn't be too far away.


The likeness is uncanny. Well, not completely, because Dr. Phil's eyes don't pop out of his head. But it's pretty impressive how a few textures, colors, and well-placed bits of virtual hair can strongly resemble something in real life.


Like Sanic (featured later in this list), this stage isn't just for looks. It's a solid Smash stage as well. The letters spelling his name serve as useful side platforms for escaping the melee if need be or storming back in from above. They also act as a hindrance if you're trying to get back to the middle of the stage, but can simultaneously keep you from getting launched too far.


The eye parts and mustache are handy regular platforms not unlike something you'd see in a Sora-built Smash stage.


Unlike World of Bump, the Dr. Phil stage is focused solely on hand-to-hand combat, with no gimmicks getting in the way of the showdown except the name from time to time.


Just try not to think about how your every move is being evaluated by a trained TV psychologist.


World of B U M P




Created by: El-Emerald


World of Bump is pretty impressive for a few reasons. What initially looks like a haphazard mess is actually a carefully planned layout of bumpers that adds a nice layer of difficulty to each match.


It's possible to begin a fight without being affected by the bumpers, but inevitably, you'll get tossed around as the fracas progresses. The spacing is enough so it's not an endless bounce, though; there's a chance to recover and hop in between the other bumpers.


It's actually an effective way of getting players used to how each character moves and how to vary jump heights and ranges.


The ones on the edge of the stage are the most interesting, though.


If you've played Smash even a little, chances are, you know how it works when a foe chucks a bumper on the edge. You'll either get a nice recovery bounce, or you're chucked down to your doom.


That's basically every time characters fall off the stage here. Expect plenty of score variations in World of Bump and some hectic, frenetic matches on whole.


At long last, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fans have access to the Stage Builder mode once more. It was a staple feature in Brawl and the Wii U installment, but with no mention of anything like it from Nintendo when the game first launched, many wondered if we'd ever see it again.


It's a robust mode too, letting players experiment with foreground and background elements to create interesting features and pretty much opening the door to whatever takes the player's fancy at the time.


Naturally that leads to some unique creations and lessons in anatomy, but there are a lot of interesting and just plain fun stages as well.


This list compiles 10 of the best in those latter categories. Some are quirky, some are just plain weird, and others demonstrate solid design principles.


Overall, though, each stage, however varied they may be, makes for a different kind of Smash match, from those suited to tense death-match style fights to others emphasizing movement and strategy to overcome tricky obstacles.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.0 Incoming With Stage Builder, Joker Details Revealed Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:23:16 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's 3.0 update launches today, April 17. The patch introduces Persona 5's Joker as a playable fighter, along with a stage builder, video editing, and more.

In an unexpected mini-reveal on April 16, Nintendo debuted a 15-minute long video detailing Joker's moves, stage, and music selections, along with everything else fans can expect from the new update.

Here's what we know. 

Joker Comes to Smash Bros. Ultimate

Joker utilizes a diverse and flexible fighting style. He's fast and uses a gun and sword for close and mid-range attacks. Joker's left and right special is Eiha, which fires a burst of dark energy at opponents; it's weak at first, though deals greater damage over time.

His up special is a grappling hook, which, similar to Samus' grappling beam, can pull opponents closer and latch onto ledges.

Much like Cloud's Overlimit mode, Joker's down special, Rebellion Guard, fills a gauge that eventually transforms the character and introduces new, powerful attacks. It also acts as a barrier that reduces damage and can unleash a weak counter. A full Rebellion Gauge means Joker can summon his Persona, Arsene.

Arsene grants Joker more power for each attack and changes his specials. The neutral special turns into Gun Special, which fires more bullets per shot. The up special is Wings of Rebellion, which sees Arsene lift Joker into the air, and the side special turns into Eigaon, dealing more initial and gradual damage than Eiha.

The down special turns into Tetrakarn or Makarakarn, Persona's traditional physical and magical counter moves, and these will automatically counter melee or projectile attacks.

Joker's Final Smash also borrows heavily from modern Persona games: it's an All-Out Attack.

As promised when the Fighter's Pass was first announced, Joker brings with him a new stage and music arrangements as well. The stage is Mementos, borrowing from Persona 5's mini-dungeons, based on the collective subconscious of society and featuring the Phantom Thieves of Hearts cheering on the sidelines.

The update introduces 11 music tracks spanning Persona 3, Persona 4, and Persona 5, including Mass Destruction, Reach out to the Truth, and Last Surprise, along with a special arrangement of the series staple Aria of the Soul.

The Mementos stage color and background change depending on what track is playing, as does the victory screen should Joker win the match.

The Joker fighter pack launches April 17 for $5.99 and also includes a Classic Mode route for Joker, along with special Persona-themed Spirits.

Additional Paid Content

Nintendo's surprise announcement also detailed a new round of Mii Fighter costumes, including Morgana from Persona 5, the Persona 3 and Persona 4 protagonist costumes, a Teddie costume, and Tails and Knuckles from Sonic the Hedgehog. These are also available beginning April 17 and will cost $0.75 each.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.0

The rumored Stage Builder mode was officially unveiled as part of the free SSB Ultimate 3.0 update, too. It supports the touch screen in handheld mode and lets players draw their stages and obstacles, and it also provides a range of pre-made items and stage pieces to choose from.

Additionally, Stage Builder lets players create different layers to their stages, allowing them to change the perspective in battle to emphasize certain layered elements they added.

The Video Editor functionality received some attention, too. This feature lets players splice videos to form longer pieces, add background music, and edit the final product or chosen clips, add subtitles, and include scene transition effects as well.

Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will get access to the Shared Content tab too, allowing them to upload their videos and view submissions from other players, and download built stages and Mii Fighters.

Finally, Nintendo briefly outlined Smash World integration using the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app. Along with the voice chat that already exists, Smash World lets players access Shared Content without booting the game or Switch up.


More content is planned for this year, and those wishing to can purchase the Fighter's Pass for $24.99 instead of individual content packs as they launch.

Nintendo Quietly Teases Stage Builder for Smash Bros. Ultimate Wed, 10 Apr 2019 09:50:40 -0400 Josh Broadwell

A new Nintendo Switch commercial released via YouTube on April 9 appears to show off a Stage Builder mode coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, no official announcement has been made regarding the supposed new mode.

The commercial does not demonstrate the mode or show any details about it, but it wouldn't be the first time the mode-select screen was used to tease new content.

After showing the mode-select screen in Smash Bros. Ultimate, the commercial switches to showing off general Smash gameplay, unlocking the Inkling, and then ends with an underdog victory scene highlighting the value of playing together.

Stage Builder mode is only visible for one second, and the text is slightly blurry. However, the camera angle is positioned so "Stage Builder" can still be seen. It is also an angle and shot that does not show anything new or particularly important about the Switch and its functionalities.

For example, the child in the commercial is playing in docked mode and doesn't remove the console, nor does he take it with him when he joins others to play.

Marketing analyst and Twitter user "Stealth" took to Twitter to voice his ideas on the matter as well.

It is true that Nintendo's Switch commercials have been carefully and intentionally crafted since the system was first announced, and early ones didn't even use real footage. Stage builder has also been rumored for a while, uncovered by dataminers back in March.

Of course, until Nintendo makes an officially official announcement, this all remains unconfirmed, and it isn't out of the realm of possibility that what the commercial shows is only a mistake. 

A new Smash Bros. Ultimate announcement wouldn't be the Big N's only news this week, though. It's Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime's last week as president before Marketing VP Doug Bowser takes over.

Recap of Announcements from February Nintendo Direct Thu, 14 Feb 2019 15:48:57 -0500 Ceedi

Yesterday, Nintendo held its first Nintendo Direct of 2019. During the 35-minute presentation, the company unveiled quite a few games, as well as the release windows for some future Switch titles.

There were also new details on Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and the surprise unveiling of a Zelda remake.

Here is a quick recap of the announcements from the direct.

  • Super Mario Maker 2 was revealed and is planned for release in June 2019.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 was revealed, confirmed to have online co-op and launch this summer.
  • The 3.0 Update for Super Smash Bros Ultimate is planned for this spring, with the Persona 5 DLC pack coming before April.
  • BoxBoy + BoxGirl was revealed. The game features 270 stages and two-player co-op.
  • Captain Toad Treasure Tracker for Switch received an update that adds co-op; paid DLC is coming that adds 18 courses. A pre-purchase is available today that gives early access to one of the DLC stages.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is scheduled to release this summer.
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2 is set to release July 12.
  • Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition is set to release this fall.
  • Disney Tsum Tsum Festival was announced; it is scheduled for release later this year.
  • Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: EVERY BUDDY! is set to release in March.
  • Starlink Battle for Atlas' next update will introduce Star Wolf squad and the rest of the team to Star Fox, Falco, Peppy, and Slippy.
  • A Rune Factory 4 remake for Switch was announced.
  • Rune Factory 5 was revealed to be in development.
  • Oninaki, an action RPG from Square Enix, was announced; it is set to release this summer.
  • A Yoshi’s Crafted World demo is available now; the game is set to release March 29.
  • Fire Emblem Three Houses is set to release July 26.
  • Tetris 99 is available to download now. The game is a free-to-play battle royale where 99 players compete for supremacy.
  • Dead By Daylight is planned for release this fall.
  • Deltarune Chapter 1 is set for release for free on February 28.
  • A Daemon x Machina demo is available now; some participants will be sent surveys to give feedback on the game, which is set to launch this summer.
  • GRID Autosport is set to come to Switch this summer; the release will include all DLC.
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is set to release on the Switch this spring.
  • Mortal Kombat 11 is set to release on April 12.
  • Unraveled 2 is set to release o nMarch 23.
  • Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered was announced; the release also includes the game Assassin’s Creed Liberation; it is set to release on May 21.
  • Final Fantasy VII is set to release on the Switch on March 29.
  • Final Fantasy IX is now available on the Switch eShop.
  • Astral Chain, a new Action game by Platinum Games, is set to release August 30.
  • A remake of the Game Boy classic, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, is due out later this year.

The latest Nintendo Direct provided a solid layout of the releases coming in spring and summer 2019.

However, notably absent were a few titles that are scheduled for this year, like the new Pokemon RPG for Switch, Luigi's Mansion 3, and the new Animal Crossing. There were also no games announced for the Nintendo 3DS.

It is very likely that further details for these games will be announced later this year at Nintendo's E3 2019 presentation.

Super Smashed Bros! 5 Ultimate Drinking Games for your Next Party Night! Fri, 28 Dec 2018 05:00:02 -0500 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been out for a little bit now, and most folks have finally been able to get to grips with the latest, greatest entry in the series. Sure, you can buffer, shorthop nair, RAR, and pivot with the best of them, but what else is there once you've mastered Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? Well, allow us to suggest you get casual with these 5 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate drinking games! 

We've created these games from scratch with the game's new mechanics in mind, and most work best with a larger group, so call your pals, fix up a nice big bowl of Falcon Punch, and get ready to get smashed! Just remember to drink responsibly, and that if you choose to play on 75m, even casually, you are a horrible person and I hope you get a horrific hangover tomorrow morning.

Classic 3 Minute Smashed

Perfect for beginners, this mode is a riff on the classic Nintendo drinking game Beerio Kart, where players must balance their game and drinking expertise simultaneously.

  • Set rules to time, with a time limit of 3 minutes. Set pause and score display to off
  • All competitors must prepare a 12-oz beer
  • Pick characters and stages. Items are okay, but do not pick stages that are easy to camp in, like 75m, Hyrule Temple, Duck Hunt, or Great Cave Offensive (among others)
  • All players MUST finish their beer before time expires. Players must put their controllers down in order to drink
  • Get smashing!

Super Smashed Bros.

For those of you who crave a more traditional "drink when you X" style experience with your gaming, we've got you covered. This ruleset works across all game modes, even adventure mode (if you're trying to drink alone tonight).

  • Drink if you're KOed.
  • Take an additional drink if you self-destructed or suffer a star or screen KO
  • Take 2 drinks if you pick up one of the following items: Beetle, Boss Galaga, Ore Club, Gust Bellows, or Beam Sword
  • Finish your drink if you're spiked into oblivion
  • Finish your drink if your shield is broken
  • 3 drinks if Captain Falcon lands a Falcon Punch, Ganondorf lands a Warlock Punch, or Bowser lands his dropkick
  • While the crowd chants, everyone drinks for the duration
  • If Waluigi, Shovel Knight, or Isaac appears in an assist trophy, all players must immediately drop their controllers and pour the remainder of their drinks in the sink to show respect for our brothers that got left behind
  • If you're hit by a Final Smash, drink for the duration
  • If a player ends the game without being KOed, everyone else takes a shot at the end of the match

Handicap Match (Smashdown)

Though this drinking game works best with the Smashdown rule set, you can adapt it for any other game mode! Unlike some other games on this list, this one is set up to level the playing field between more skilled players and folks who might be new to the game.

  • Begin a match in Smashdown mode
  • Turn mercy rule ON
  • Smash as normal for the first match
  • After the match ends, the winner takes a drink
  • Repeat until a winner is declared!

Spirits Battle

In this mode, first activate Spirits in your options. After that, the rules are simple.

  • Put together your favorite spirit team
  • Prepare a drink made with spirits. I recommend a gin and tonic with a twist of lemon! So refreshing
  • 1-stock, no items
  • Winner stays
  • The loser takes 1 drink for a loss, plus more depending on how powerful their team is
    • 1-999: No additional drinks
    • 1000-4999: 2 additional drinks
    • 5000-9999: 4 additional drinks
    • 10000+: 1 shot

Showdown with Rando Calrissian

"Rando Calrissian" is one of my favorite house rules in any party environment. Originating with Cards Against Humanity, Rando Calrissian is a non-human competitor who acts completely at random.

In the case of CAH, you play by adding the top white card to everyone else's submissions. Now, the key is that if Rando Calrissian wins a round, everyone feels deep, deep shame. 

It's pretty easy to modify this rule for inclusion in Smash!

  • Set up a Smash game with custom rules
  • Hide every UI element that you can, including score/name display, and percentage display
  • In the character select, every player must choose "random"
  • Add a computer player set to an appropriate level (I like Lv. 7 for drunken shenanigans) and set it to random as well
  • Nobody is allowed to talk or look at other controllers. Players shouldn't know who other players are controlling
  • When you lose a stock, drink
  • At the end of the match, if the winner is displayed and they're not a human controlled character, you must chug the rest of your drink while feeling intense shame

You and your friends will get smashed in no time playing these games, believe you me. Play it and drink it safe this New Years!

New Update Improves Super Smas Bros. Ultimate's Online Matchmaking Fri, 14 Dec 2018 12:56:17 -0500 QuintLyn

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fans who have been having issues with online matchmaking may find things a bit easier thanks to the game's latest update. Patch 1.2.0 offers a few improvements to the game, including things like adjusting difficulty levels, tweaking game balance, and adjusting several of the game's characters.

The primary online matchmaking issue this update seeks to fix is one where players who signed up for 1v1 matches would often find themselves in free-for-alls with different rules than expected. Patch 1.2.0 doesn't fix things completely, but it does attempt to prioritize the settings the player selected when queuing for a match. That said, players are still not guaranteed to get exactly what they asked for.

As for the character changes. Nintendo hasn't stated specifically what players can expect there, but they did provide a list of which characters have been tweaked. This includes:

Donky Kong, Duck Hunt, Greninja, Ice Climbers, Isabelle, Kirby, Link, Luigi, Olimar, Pac-Man, Toon Link, Villager, and Young Link.

The full patch notes from Nintendo's in-game notice system can be found below.

Offline Gameplay

  • Adjusted difficulty of approaching challengers

Online Gameplay

  • When matchmaking in Quickplay, the Format setting of your Preferred Rules will be more highly prioritized. This may cause matchmaking to take more time, and there’s still no guarantee that you’ll find a match that has your exact Preferred Rules.
  • Increased the stability of the synchronous connection within Battle Arenas.


  • Game balance adjustments.
  • Various gameplay fixes.
Smash Bros. Ultimate Way-Too-Early Tier List Sun, 30 Dec 2018 11:00:03 -0500 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

Remember when Super Smash Bros. for Wii U dropped and Diddy Kong ran ragged all over everyone for about two weeks before balance changes made more characters viable? Well, despite the fact that this tier list will be rendered fairly obsolete after more patches drop, it's still helpful for all Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players to have at least a vague idea of where characters land on the tier list in order to plan your matches out. 

So without further ado, here's our patented, way-too-early-nobody-really-knows-exactly-how-good-anyone-is-quite-yet tier list for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!

We've used our own experience with the game as a basis for this list, while taking into account tier lists from professional players like Zer0 and Leffen as well. And as a note, we're not including a few echo fighters like Richter, Dark Samus, and Daisy that either don't differ from their counterparts at all, or don't differ enough to land them in a different tier.

For our purposes, here's how we've organized our tiers.

S-tier characters are the ones you'll see the most at the highest levels of play. They all have great recovery, offense, and defense, but what really puts them in the top tier is the fact that they're not just strong, but they all have something about them that makes them really tough to approach: a strong command grab, insane edgeguard options, or reliable combo options that are versatile and work in a whole lot of situations.

A-tier characters are still competitively viable, for sure, but they land there instead of in the top tier because they usually have one small flaw: the lack of a good projectile, their recovery isn't great, or they're easily comboable.

You'll still see some B-tier characters at tournaments, but this is when the level of quality starts to drop off a bit. For characters in the A and S-tiers, you really have to know specifically how to deal with that character to be successful against them. In the B-tier, that's less important because those insane character-specific combo options are more limited.

Folks who choose a C-tier character will end up having to work really hard to overcome character flaws like slow smash attacks, bad recovery, or the lack of reliable kill options. They likely won't be played at major tournaments except for a few rare exceptions.

Finally, D-tier characters all have a glaring flaw that makes them easy to match up against, one that's more dire than any flaw in the C-tier. They could be incredibly light and floaty, making them easy to kill at low percents, or they could simply have trash recovery, meaning that if you camp by the ledge, you'll be able to simply throw your opponent overboard and there won't be much they can do about it.


  • Chrom

Imagine Roy but with a better up-B and no sweet/sour spot on the sword. At least here in Chicago, Chrom has been atop the rankings in most of the tournaments that have gone on, and it's for good reason. They're scary.

  • Pikachu
  • Pichu
  • Bayonetta
  • Inkling

One of the most unique fighters in the cast, Inkling lands in our top tier for many reasons -- her kill confirms, the range on her projectiles, her paint roller punish, and the range of her forward smash, but what really puts her over the top is the fact that defensively, she's a powerhouse as well. Her dash allows her to shimmy under a lot of attacks as she turns into a squid, as does charging up ink. It allows for a ton of mind games and supremely augments the way an attacker has to deal with you.

  • Young Link
  • Toon Link
  • Lucina
  • Marth
  • Wario
  • Roy
  • Palutena

Girl got a few buffs. Her neutral B is a whole lot better, and her weird invisible bomb side-B dealie is an amazing edge guard and mind games tool.

  • Peach
  • Ryu


  • Incineroar

Though grabs were changed a ton in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, reducing grab range for most characters and making them a whole lot less safe, Incineroar still finds himself as a formidable foe. His side-B attack is a great punish move (with kill power, if your timing is right or you manage to land a hit in the air up high), and since it's a grab, enemies can't shield it. Incineroar has the most powerful grabs in the game, and a toolset that is pretty adaptable. His neutral B is a great defensive option, and his down-B counter can turn most of his attacks into viable kill options.

  • Isabelle
  • Sonic
  • Sheik
  • Cloud
  • Luigi
  • Diddy Kong
  • Falco

In addition to his wide array of options in the neutral and the edge guard game, Falco can now dab, which makes him an automatic high-tier pick.

  • Fox
  • Rosalina and Luma
  • Meta Knight
  • Pit
  • Dr. Mario

Dr. Mario lands here, above his non-PhD'ed counterpart, because of the buffs he received to his side-B, and the fact that his down-B is a great kill option offstage.

  • Link
  • Zero Suit Samus
  • Lucas
  • Wii Fit Trainer

Take it from a Wii Fit Trainer main -- Wii Fit Trainer is scary in Super Smash Bros. UltimateShe retains all of her camp options from the previous entry, but has received buffs across the board. Her soccer ball is much more powerful now, with a wider angle of attack, and her neutral air combos into pretty much anything (with a pretty nasty kill confirm into her up-air at certain percents).

  • Corrin
  • Ike
  • Snake

Perhaps it's the fact that most folks have forgotten how to play against Snake, but even though he struggles to find kill confirms sometimes, his toolset is tailor-made for shield poking and edge guarding.

  • Olimar
  • Captain Falcon
  • Donkey Kong

Get ready for up tilt strings and stomp combos that seem to last forever. Fun!


  • Ridley

Nobody seems to know where to put Ridley on this list. He's as high as A tier on some lists, and as low as D on others. The reason he's at B tier here is because no matter how badly you think you're winning against Ridley, he has a ton of punish options that can take stocks at low percents. You'll have an aerial combo going, have Ridley above 150%, then land, make one mistake, and lose a stock. It's frustrating to play against, but satisfying to achieve.

  • Pokemon Trainer
  • Greninja
  • Villager
  • Mario
  • Mii Brawler

Miis actually ain't that bad now. Brawler, in particular, has a whole lot of special moves that are surprisingly powerful -- perhaps most notably Head-On Assault, which is blazing fast, and has a sneaky-huge blast radius.

  • Mii Gunner
  • Mii Swordfighter
  • Yoshi
  • Ness
  • Mewtwo
  • King K. Rool

K. Rool isn't as good as you think he is. Sure, he's got options, but his belly counter is actually pretty easy to break -- most characters can just shorthop over with an aerial attack and just poke him in the face.


  • Simon Belmont

Simon has a wide variety of tools, but struggles to find consistent kill options that don't leave himself wide open to counter-attacks. He's a heavy hitter, but the lengthy startup frames on most, if not all, of his projectiles and smash attacks means that your spacing will have to be perfect at all times.

  • Shulk
  • Ice Climbers

Though their down-B got a pretty significant buff, the Ice Climbers still aren't top-tier yet. At least until people figure out the desyncs and chain grabs.

  • King Dedede
  • Ganondorf
  • Bowser

Though they all have different movesets, the big slow evil bosses that return from previous Super Smash Bros. games are still high-risk high reward picks that will really struggle against top-tier competition, especially if they can put aerial strings together or space you out.

  • Bowser Jr.
  • Lucario
  • Robin
  • Zelda
  • Mr. Game & Watch
  • Duck Hunt
  • Wolf

Just like in Brawl, Wolf is just a bit less viable competitively than his Star Fox team counterparts. Poor guy.


  • Pac-Man

Yikes. Pac-Man wasn't great in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, but the jump to the Switch didn't do him any favors. The best buff he received was essentially a nerf to all non-ranged grabs that makes Pac-Man's grab more viable. If you're a Pac-Man main, though, you're used to playing as a low tier and know how to play mind games. Not much has changed there.

  • Samus
  • Jigglypuff
  • R.O.B.
  • Little Mac

Still super scary on flat stages, but still really easy to throw off the map and kill at 30%.

  • Kirby

Really, really cold of Sakurai to make his baby, the beloved character he created, one of the worst in the game. At least he gets top billing in World of Light!

Things are sure to change, but these are the current character tiers for Ultimate in December 2018 and I'm sticking to it!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Review: An Undeniable Triumph Wed, 12 Dec 2018 16:42:02 -0500 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

Something that a lot of reviewers struggle with, myself included, is defining what a perfect game looks like. What specific criteria must a game live up to in order to achieve a score of 100%, A+, or 10/10?

Of course, I can't speak for any writer but myself, but for me, the criteria center on a simple question: "Would I change anything about the game?"

There are precious few games that fit this description: We Love Katamari, Pokemon Sun/Moon, Dance Dance Revolution, Bayonetta 2, and Super Mario Odyssey are a few that tick all of the boxes for me. 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate not only joins that group but in terms of its sheer scope, becomes bar-none, the most impressive game I've ever played. 

Everything You Could Ask For Is Here

The first thing to know about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is that it is probably the most ambitious crossover project in the history of media. Right now, the game features 74 characters representing dozens upon dozens of games and companies, and that roster will expand to 80 with the addition of DLC.

Infinity War, eat your heart out. 

Add to that a staggering list of stages, over 800 music tracks, hundreds of items, and Easter eggs in the form of Poke balls and assist trophies, and the scale of this game starts to (barely) come into focus.

There's just so much ... 

For those of us who are longtime fans of the series, it can sometimes be easy to take a lot of this for granted, especially since director Masahiro Sakurai has had the unenviable job of topping his own announcements ever since they revealed that Sonic would be appearing in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

If the new announcement that Joker from Persona 5 will be joining the battle is any indication, though, the team still has the uncanny knack for topping itself and subverting expectations. 

Another way of putting it is this: the simple fact that this game was even made is a freaking triumph.

Taking Stock

From the minute you hop into battle, you'll notice how refined Super Smash Bros. Ultimate actually is. Every design choice feels painfully intentional, from the stunning new final hit animation to the revamped perfect shield mechanic and the way in which rolling has been changed.

Each modification comes together beautifully, like ingredients in the most delicate, delicious dessert you've ever had, and it's all meant to make Super Smash Bros. Ultimate an incredibly fun game not just to play, but to watch as well.

Aside from the Home-Run contest, the basic modes players have become accustomed to are all here. From a revamped Classic mode that sees each character in the roster follow a different path to victory and a much-improved training mode that is tailor-made for drilling combos, to series mainstays like Cruel Smash and 100-man Smash (now called Century Smash), Ultimate has something for everyone.  

Under the hood, there's now an almost-endless array of ways for you to customize matches beyond choosing time or stock and turning items off. There are tons of modes -- tournament, smashdown, squad battle -- that are designed for large groups or party scenarios, and even if you're not using them, there are lobby rules for local Smash that allow you to set up rotating battles where the winner stays (or drops out), leaving no pauses in the action.

We've Got Spirit

After Ultimate's Spirit mode was announced, I was skeptical. The way that Nintendo presented it, the mode seemed like some weird cross between Tamagotchi, Pokemon, and Super Smash Bros., without the charm of any. It looked confusing, inaccessible, and tacked on.

Of course, it became my favorite part of the game.

In practice, fighting a spirit battle is more like fighting an event battle in a previous entry in the series, with the caveat that there are literally thousands of spirits. The majority of the time, these battles take the form of incredibly clever battles that use and subvert the rules of the game to simulate battles between characters that aren't in the game. 

For example, the Venusaur battle sees players facing off a gigantic Ivysaur on a stage where the floor is poisoned, while the Squitter battle simulates fighting on a spiderweb by making the ground sticky. To win these battles, you need to equip spirits to overcome these deficiencies, to either get more powerful or to render yourself immune to hazards. 

I don't want to spoil anything, but suffice it to say that everything in the spirit section of the menu is brilliant, from the rotating bounties on the spirit board to leveling up spirits to enhance them and change their forms to the amazing story mode, World of Light. 

In World of Light, you'll find a relatively deep experience, but not one as deep as Subspace Emissary. The mode will take you anywhere between 30-40 hours to complete, and it is sprawling, packed full of intense boss battles, spirit fights, and climaxes that will tug at your heartstrings.

It's a triumph.

Online Matches

I can only speak from my own experience, but the new online system, one where players set their preferred game rules (whether they want to play 1-on-1 matches or not, whether they want items on, etc...) has worked very well for me, though it seems like I'm the only one.

I very rarely (maybe one or two matches out of every 10) get placed in a match that isn't being played by the rules I have selected as my preferred rule set.

In addition, though reports have been coming in of players experiencing terrible lag during online matches, in my week of testing, I haven't run into that yet, even playing without a USB LAN adapter. 

Given the discourse on Twitter right now, I'm part of a huge minority of people who haven't run into these issues, and make no mistake, they are issues. That said, even if the lag and rule set issues don't get resolved, the addition of public arenas where players can actually set defined rules for matches (as opposed to quickplay, where there's always a chance your rule set won't be picked) makes any quickplay headaches people might encounter into a non-issue.

There are public arenas for every rule set you can think of, and you can set up private arenas for you and your friends as well if lag is becoming an issue and you want to make sure you're only playing with folks who are using wired connections. It's inelegant, but there is a way around every online issue you're likely to find.

I hesitate to say this but... maybe this time Nintendo got online right? At least kind of?

We eSports Now

The most surprising thing about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is that finally, for the first time since the series debuted, the game seems to be catering to the competitive crowd as well as the casual crowd without making any concessions. 

There's no forced time mode here, no hand-holding -- the game gives you a toybox of rules, stages, and characters to play with and lets you loose.

Hazard toggle means that more stages than ever before will be tournament legal, and Stage Morph offers some pretty amazing variety for casual players, allowing them to essentially play on two stages at once.

The Smash Radar, a feature that allows players to see exactly where they are even as they're off-screen is incredibly helpful for competitive play and can lead to a whole bunch of amazing off-stage exchanges.

  • The Spirit Mode means the game has almost-unlimited replayability, even for single-player fans
  • The roster is absolutely insane
  • The new rules, stage lists, items, and ways to play make the game feel like a sandbox where you can play the way you want to
  • Online modes make sense, and generally work exactly the way they should
  • It's not looking like Waluigi is gonna make it in this time around, folks

The reason Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is such a triumph is that it says yes to the player at every turn.

It feels almost like a sandbox game at times, which is absolutely ridiculous when you remember that this is a fighting game. The level of freedom you have to smash how you want, in addition to the fact that the game itself has a ton of replayability for single-player fans, the party crowd, and the competitive scene means that this game is an instant classic already, and they're going to expand the game more through DLC.

It's the best entry in the series, despite what folks who have spent years perfecting Melee wavedashing will tell you. Once again, don't @ me.

[Note: Nintendo provided the copy of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate used in this review.]