Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is, as the name suggests, the ultimate party-fighting game. It is packed with 70+ iconic and obscure characters from games like Super Mario and EarthBound. There are so many items and stages that it is practically impossible to pick your favorite. This game can be enjoyed by brand new players, while also being fun to the hardcore veterans of the series. So, where did this game come from, and why is it such a cultural phenomenon?
The original Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64 was released in 1999, and was created by Masahiro Sakurai, who also made the Kirby games,. The original had a roster of a mere 8 Nintendo characters and 4 characters to unlock. This was the first game of its kind; a game where so many different Nintendo franchises come together in one package. This original Nintendo 64 classic sparked the interest of gamers all over the world, and the spark continues.
The next game in the series was Super Smash Bros. Melee for GameCube, which added 14 new characters to the original 12. Even at this point, games had never witnessed a fighting game with such an extensive roster. This entry in the series is a fan favorite and is still being played competitively to this day.
The next game was Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii. This entry added 15 new characters as well as characters from third-party game developers, those characters being Sonic the Hedgehog and Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid. This game also had the first story mode, being dubbed the Subspace Emissary. This added a narrative to the previously fun and light-hearted game, and the plot had all the villains and heroes battle each other in a huge brawl spanning worlds and series.
Next was Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U. These two games were essentially the same, but are considered different entries due to differing game modes and mechanics. This game added 12 new characters while also removing some previous characters. At this point, the game had a total of 58 characters, including the 7 DLC characters that were later released.
This now brings us to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: World of Light, the 5th and newest game in the series. This game brought back every single character that has ever been in a Super Smash Bros. game. There were also 11 newcomers with 6 DLC characters to come. As of now, the game has 78 total characters, which is astounding. It also has 103 stages and 100+ items. The combinations in this game are astronomical.
Sophomore Gavin Toth says, “Ultimate is the most polished Super Smash Bros. yet, they improved elements from all the previous games.” Everyone that I have played this with says it exceeded their expectations.
Now that we know about the game’s history and what is, why is it so popular? One of the main reasons is it’s so easy to pick up– and equally hard to put down! No matter how many times you lose, you just want “one more round.”
Another reason it is so popular is the extensive character roster that Toth says is his favorite aspect of the game. A big part of this game is the memories it leaves us with, as John Navicky states, “My favorite Smash Bros. memory was when I went to a tournament with a bunch of my friends and just got to see how many people love this game.”
The idea that you and a couple friends can get together and duke it out in these crazy battles with all these unique characters is something really special, and that is what makes Super Smash Bros. the biggest crossover event in history.