Here is HOTKEY’s Game of the Month. Every Month we will release our pick for the game that has made our week.
These can be old, new, singleplayer or multiplayer, the list is endless!

FULL GAME TITLE: SUPER SMASH BROS. ULTIMATE

GENRE: FIGHTING

DATE OF RELEASE: 7TH DECEMBER 2018

PLATFORM(S): NINTENDO SWITCH

OUR HOTKEY RATING: 5/5

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSB.U) is the latest instalment in the Smash Bros. series for just over four years, and it definitely has come back in full force. What started in 1999 with just twelve characters to fill the roster over a basic selection of maps, has evolved into an astonishing SEVENTY-FOUR characters, with all affiliated maps, and all third-party characters from every previous Smash Bros. title included.

To put it bluntly, the game is ambitious to its core. With such a vast array of things to choose from, you’d think the smallest of the eighth console generation would struggle to handle such a burden – but fear not; SSB.U runs like a dream on the portable Nintendo Switch, with both docked and portable modes well playable and consistently, leaving nothing but a pleasant experience to be had.

The controls are simple, the gameplay is basic and the principles are one-dimensional: destroy everything. For most games, this approach leads to quick boredom and the poor game settles in dust. However, for SSB.U, even with such a basic approach to a fighting game (in the words of Todd Howard) “It just works”. It doesn’t miss a beat, with an engrossing roster of characters that generally are unique, with simple inputs that are easy to learn, but hard to master, SSB.U gives an easy-to-pickup experience that is most definitely best enjoyed with friends, but still great alone. The bonus is that, due to it being tied to the Nintendo Switch – that party-portability is more than easy enough. A quick HDMI and power-plug into your dock, and you’ll be embarrassing your friends in no time.

The only issue you could possibly have with the game, is the surprising lack of characters you start off with in the roster – you are only given access to the original Smash characters from the 1999 release. But, run through the challenge mode, and every time you are guaranteed an attempt at getting that character you really want (or if you’re beaten, you’ll get a retry after another run). But in perspective, the game forcing you to grind for those characters, for me, was a nice bit of training for when I knew inevitably, the player vs player combat would commence.

All-in-all, I would say very well-done to Nintendo; this is our favourite Smash release to date and we will certainly be playing it for years to come, and it is a scary thought that they may one day have to try to top it.

Have fun, and show your friends how it is done.

K