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Monday, December 10, 2018

First Weekend Thoughts On Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - That was a fun KoopaTV staff meeting!

As we've been alluding to for some time now, KoopaTV just concluded a big staff meeting at our Sierra Leone headquarters. We all got together and discussed the site's future and progress, including what to do with our publishing schedule.

We also played a lot of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and ate a lot of chips with salsa. (But not homemade salsa donated by our readers. Store-bought's still pretty good, even in Sierra Leone.) Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a game our whole staff was looking forward to.

I have a lot of things to share about my thoughts, so I'm going to tell you what's on my mind. I'm also giving the opportunity for the other staff members to do the same!

Ludwig's Thoughts

First of all, in case you're wondering about the result of our play, I'm the best Super Smash Bros. player on the staff. It's not even close.

I've only played VS mode, Online, and Classic Mode as of writing. Yeah, I'm going to save Spirits for another time, but it's obvious that the game's in-game prizes and stuff revolve around Spirits. Spirits look to be Trophies, Stickers, and Equipment all put into one collectible.

The game feels incredible to play. It's very smooth. After I unlocked King Bowser (I have a whole article dedicated to my unlocked characters that I'll publish after I actually unlock all the characters), the universal 3-frame jump squat (which, in normal words, means “how much time passes between when the character prepares to jump and when the character is off the ground”) is a huge improvement for my dad, and he feels much faster and better. His work-outs from Wii Fit Trainer for Super Smash Bros. 4 have intensified for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and he's so flexible for someone with a giant shell!

I've also unlocked Jigglypuff, and I'm so happy that she's buffed compared to her days of Super Smash Bros. 4. Her moves can actually string into each other now, and her attacks like Forward Smash and Pound got a range increase. Plus, Rollout is now a viable attack and you can jump out of it!

The last thing I did in Super Smash Bros. For Wii U was play as Jigglypuff against a Bayonetta in For Glory. I lost. Pretty fitting end for that game.

I haven't actually unlocked myself yet, but I've discovered something that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fixed that was a giant flaw in Super Smash Bros. For Wii U... perhaps the biggest flaw:

I can now select my own picture for the online tag! Look! It's Ludwig! (The other Koopalings, too!)

In the previous game, you could only pick Bowser Jr. The game had several non-fighters’ pictures to choose from, such as Tingle (who I used) and Chrom (ew). But not me? Horrible.

Not that my current Bowser art is bad or anything, but I also wouldn't mind having Ludwig as a picture for the Nintendo Switch profile as well. Putting it out there.

Classic Mode is awesome, which I never thought I'd say about Classic Mode, a traditionally non-awesome mode. As we found out in the Nintendo Direct, Classic Mode is individualised for each fighter. The first one I did was Kirby's, right after playing Kirby Star Allies, particularly the new DLC. Let me just say... Kirby's is done very, very well. I don't want to spoil it, but the transition between Kirby's real game for the Nintendo Switch and Kirby's Classic Mode was seamless.

Jigglypuff's and Bowser's Classic Modes weren't quite as amazing (spoilers for Jigglypuff's: It's just fighting the other fighters who were introduced in Super Smash Bros. 64, as if Jigglypuff doesn't have an existence outside of being in the “Original 12”. Props to the boss being Giant Donkey Kong, a real miniboss in Super Smash Bros. 64's Classic Mode. Though not a 3 vs. 1). Guess I'll find out how the rest are whenever I get to them.

I tried playing with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. It's good, but then I played with the GameCube controller that the Nintendo Switch lets us use with the USB adapter. (As shown in the E3 2018 Direct, the game recognises the GameCube controller as its own compatible customisable controller category.) The GameCube controller is still the best controller for a Super Smash Bros. game. It just feels... better for this particular game.

As for my online experience, I'm a little concerned that once I become an ELITE Smasher, I apparently can't go back to playing non-elite Smashers with my favourite characters in Quick Smash. ELITE people just want to play one vs. one matches. I want to play Teams!

I saw Ashley come out of an Assist Trophy.

Anyway, I like the game a lot, and I look forward to playing a lot more Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in the future. And... it's not a port. It's not even an enhanced port.

As for my Wii U... yeah... guess that's it.

Kamek's Thoughts

Don't let Ludwig's excessive ego patting fool you. I'm still a contender and have defeated him more than a few times. I didn't know that the game had a difficulty hike and I thought I was just very rusty. When I finally got my legs back underneath me I was able to see the lay of the land and felt better about myself.

Ultimate does a lot of things well however there are definitely some issues. I'm not talking about the online matchmaking. You can find someone else to speak about that. What I'm talking about is the sharing aspect. Previous installments made it so easy to share content like photos and videos with each other. For whatever reason even though the photo mode on this game is the pinnacle of all Super Smash Bros. games it's an absolutely dreadful experience to share videos! I cannot begin to describe how disappointed I am by this. Our good friend RawkHawk2010 has already had plenty to share about it. I felt the need, no the absolute necessity to stand on my soapbox and proclaim the atrocity of this. There's no excuse for this kind of behavior especially in a generation of sharing content where gaming videos are shared so easily on other platforms (even Nintendo's own older platforms!).

My computer ate my previous thoughts on Spirits so I'll condense it. Spirits are nice and well done yet mediocre being nothing more than glorified stickers. The World of Light mode feels a little hollow after Subspace Emissary, but the nods to previous games and franchises are nice and appreciable even for franchises you're not familiar with. Spirit Board is an interesting challenge mode, but the circle shooting to get the spirit is annoying and infuriating and feels like a cheap and easy way to up the tension. Managing the spirits looks like fun, but again seems hollow.

The music is definitely a strong suit. I'm listening to classic Smash soundtracks right now as I type this. So many characters and so many tracks are represented here that it's amazing. I impressed Rawk with my choice of N64 Final Destination music during our fights. The sound design is also top notch. Hits feel solid and impactful on the appropriate characters and is probably aided by the HD rumble of the switch.

Classic Mode is brilliantly done. I enjoyed all the journeys the characters have taken so far that I've played. Mob Smash is a welcome return of old concepts we've had in the past; Cruel Melee, Multi-Man, etc.

So far Ultimate is the best catalogue of years worth of Nintendo's most celebrated collaboration and, dare I say it, the most ambitious crossover in all of history. Still it is far from perfect in my eyes and is best enjoyed with others, as single players will eventually feel their own loneliness after their own multi-player sessions with friends.

Wendy's Thoughts

I had more trouble setting up the game than actually playing it. Also for your sanity, get a goddamn Pro Controller. Also current (messy) setup sans cat and the phone used to tether me to the interwebs:

Wendy O. Koopa dual monitors Super Smash Bros. Ultimate KoopaTV computer
Wendy's dual monitors. (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the left, this article being written on the right.)
(Incidentally, Ludwig has the same set-up.)

Yeah, that headset there? It's connected to my monitor. I don't have built-in speakers. But at least I can stream it now. :D

RawkHawk2010's Thoughts

I spent enough time writing last week (my creative liver really is dead) so I'll mostly show, not tell.

I have no on-hand evidence of me, Kamek, and Ludwig's three-for-alls, and in order to acquire some I would have to go through Ultimate's arduous video-preservation/upload process (which Kamek already alluded to the dreadicity of) and by that point this article will have already gone out.

However, I have indeed already secured some clips (which required YouTube's own built-in editor since video-editing software destroys Ultimate's video files for some reason?) from my Battle Arena matches with some guy named Jordan. The same Jordan whose sister was playing Super Mario Party on-stream with him and she really didn't like my "Why can't you fool an aborted baby? Because it wasn't born yesterday!" joke. Oh, the KoopaTV audience probably never heard about that. Okay, well anyways:

He didn't latch onto those Starmen quite quick enough in the first vid (not that that would have turned the tides anyway). The second vid is of him winning, but I was actually okay with Shulk being Shulked due to the fact that the final KO was pure art both visually and audially. And the third vid features Jiggs' double perfect-shield parry! (Didn't realize what happened until way later but yeah it was pretty great.)

Final thought: Wendy and Tron Bonne? Wendy and Tron Bonne were discovered in the first ten minutes of World of Light by someone actually being permitted by Nintendo to play what they were playing, but it's been six hours and I haven't encountered them yet because I clearly took a different path. (...Wendy herself is actually sort of present in the "thoughts" above mine but that doesn't count.)

Real final thought: Monado Kong needs to be preserved in image format because it just looks too cool:

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Donkey Kong meteor smash Shulk monado wheel close-up KO

Really real final thought: Fuck the giant meme that is no conventional Video Capture but seriously I can't keep on going. (In the words of a famous Heropon, "Riki sooooo tired.")

Witch Princess was nowhere to be found for this article. Hopefully she didn't go and die or something. Or get stuck back in Sierra Leone. That would be... quite bad. In any case, feel free to share all of your thoughts about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in the comments section, including if you agree or disagree with any of the staffers. And... if you don't have the game yet, then... well... you can always help pay for it by participating in the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program!

By comparison, here were the first weekend thoughts for Super Smash Bros. For 3DS.
Ludwig unlocked all of the characters in the game in this order.


  1. My first weekend is me being overwhelmed about locking all the characters as a parent and full time worker. I thought to unlock a few via Classic Mode each day. then a faster method was found about running back and forth for 20 minutes then resetting the game again and gain while SDing in VS mode with one stock to keep unlocking character after character until the game decides not to let you unlock like that anymore so got the last few via Classic mode again. At least I got them all this time. Had no chance to test online yet as of this comment's posting.

    1. I'm in no particular rush to unlock all of the characters, so I'm not going to do any particular exploiting. You'll see in the character unlock article... but who knows when that'll be published.

      The only downside is that I still haven't unlocked myself yet.

    2. It is a good thing I rushed because I got to experience the extreme AI difficulty of the characters that needed to be unlocked and I felt like i earned them all. Now their difficulty got patched to be less intense.

    3. I've been playing with level 9 CPUs the entire time, and I can tell you that compared to those, the Challenger Approaching AI has been crappy before and after the update.


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