Like many other collegiate communities, University of Georgia students hold Nintendo’s “Super Smash Bros.”series of video games as a recreational favorite. Such an appreciation is particularly present among UGA’s Super Smash Bros. Society, whose members meet every week to play the games against each other.
As enthusiasts of the series, the society’s members are well-informed of the publicized details concerning the upcoming “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” set for release on the Nintendo Switch in December.
Overall, these details have received a positive reception from the society.
President Christopher Bahn, a senior economics and international business major, especially admires the game’s “inclusive” and “diverse” character selection.
“It’s pretty much including every single character in every previous iteration, and then including all the new characters that everyone wants, so I think it will be an interesting game for that reason,” Bahn said.
Of the new characters he calls “fan favorites,” Bahn identifies Ridley from the “Metroid” franchise as one of the more surprising inclusions.
“Ridley, I think, was a character notorious for the developer [being] like, ‘No, this character is never going to fit, just because it doesn’t make sense. He’s too big,’” Bahn said. “But there he is.”
Senior advertising major Gabriel Newbern, a two-year member of the society, also feels “Ultimate” will be inclusive but in a different way.
“I think that Nintendo and the developer have been keeping what the competitive crowd wants in mind but also keeping it to where it’s fun and casual so that everyone can enjoy it,” Newbern said.
To Newbern, this consideration of both casual and competitive players makes “Ultimate” an improvement over the series’ previous two entries, “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS” and “Super Smash Bros. Brawl.”
“The other iterations after [“Super Smash Bros. Melee”] . . . are primarily party games. They’re games to play with your friends with little to some amount of knowing what you’re doing,” Newbern said. “For the past iterations, they’ve been trying to back away from [“Melee”] and make [the series] appeal to more casual gamers, kids, et cetera.”
Newbern said the new entry’s “game speed” is evidence of Nintendo’s regard for the competitive community.
“In ‘Smash Ultimate,’ it seems like Nintendo has put an emphasis on aggressive options to make it a more fast-paced game,” Newbern said.
As someone who plays 2014’s “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U” competitively, junior cognitive science major Charles Tantillo, another member of the society, doesn’t share Newbern’s stance the entry is too casual.
Because “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U” satisfies his standards as a competitive player, Tantillo is happy about the similarity he discerns between that iteration and “Ultimate.”
However, Tantillo agrees with Newbern in his belief “Ultimate” will please more of the competitive community than “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U” does.
“A lot of the things that some players didn’t like about the current game led to people playing ‘Melee’ or maybe not even playing ‘Smash’ altogether,” Tantillo said. “It seems like most of those common complaints have been fixed in ‘Ultimate.’”
Most complaints concern the defensiveness Newbern mentioned.
“Some examples [of complaints] would be it’s a little bit too defensive, it’s too easy to play safe, and there are certain characters and strategies . . . that primarily revolve around running away from your opponent or timing [the clock] out,” Tantillo said. “Those sort of strategies seem to be weaker in [“Ultimate”].”
Though Bahn also predicts competitive players will embrace “Ultimate,” he believes it will be too like “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U” to surpass “Melee” as the majority’s preference.
“I don’t think [“Ultimate”] will replace [“Melee”],” Bahn said. “I think it will cater to a different audience, just because the way you have to play . . . compared to ‘Melee,’ it’s two different styles.”