SUPER SMASH BROS ULTIMATE [E3 2018]: Christmas Is Coming.

“Monsignor” Travis Moody

I guess being an early bird — or early Pikachu to be precise — has its benefits. Day Two of E3 started off with a bang, as I was able to jump into arguably the Expo’s most praised hands-on game, Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Indeed, it was an ultimate experience, given the choice to play not two rounds (as people demoing the game by appointment are only allowed to; my host will go unnamed), but four! We wound up tied at 2 a piece, which led to huge grins on both of faces. We realized we just played something special, something that we’ll be eating countless hours away–all in the palm of our hand.

My favorite character so far has to be Final Fantasy VII‘s Cloud (no surprise to those who know me), although Pokeman Let’s Go‘s coverboy won my other match too with a little bit of luck. And that’s the thing with this version of Super Smash Bros–luck is indeed a factor, as the most “rando” elements will come into your match: Wii Parties andddd.. every other wild Nintendo IP sequence imaginable.

Thankfully for most fight gamers with a competitive edge, button mashing is not one of them. If your opponent steers to close to combat, a combination of timely A button presses and right stick shifts can work in your favor. But SSBU actually plays a lot more strategic than imagined; my opponent had a few moments of “camping” — which, while not exactly the smartest strategy, definitely got this impatient Moody to often fall for his bait.

Other techniques include playing a bit of cat-n-mouse near the edges of a stage, pending areas. They look fantastic by the way, and all of the pop-up graphics range from the humorous 8-bit (my Pika had Mario’s mallet from the original!), and HD. In all, it’s the dichotomy between the much beloved, ultra cartoony classic Nintendo characters, and the more realistic, gritty fighters that makes a Smash Bros so special. And with every character from previous editions at your disposal (throw in Ridley from Metroid, and Inkling from Splatoon) — 66 in all! — and Super Smash Bros Ultimate is the gift that keeps on giving. 5/5 Bibles.