Review: Super Smash Bros Ultimate explained to parents

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Featured

Choose your fighter from over 74 characters from across the video game universe and battle it out in epic battles in Super Smash Bros Ultimate!

Super Smash Bros Ultimate BoxartRelease date: 7 December 2018

Developed by: Sora Ltd/Bandai Namco Studios/Nintendo
Published by: Nintendo
Available on: Nintendo Switch

Type of game: Fighting game
Average game time: 15 minutes

Estimate of the total duration of the game: 23 hours for the story. Complete everything takes about 62 hours. Otherwise as long as you have fun with opponents, the lifespan is endless.

Topics: Powers, fights, a tribute to video games

Business model: Need to buy the game once. Then it is possible to buy additional characters. Or costumes for the Mii character of his choice.

Number of players:
1 8-player player on the premises
1 to 4 players online.

Available in physical (cartouche) or digital (download on the console).

To digitally purchase, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, click here.
This supports Shared Screen. Thank you!

Possible configurations of the Nintendo Switch:

Nintendo Switch Handheld modeNintendo Switch Tabletop modeNintendo Switch TV Mode
Players3+ 7+ 12+16+18+
NeophytesCroix 2 01 Ecran PartageCroix 2 01 Ecran Partage Croix 2 01 Ecran PartageCroix 2 01 Ecran PartageCroix 2 01 Ecran Partage
IntermediateCroix 2 01 Ecran PartageCroix 2 01 Ecran PartageCrochet 2 01 Ecran PartageCrochet 2 01 Ecran PartageCrochet 2 01 Ecran Partage
ExperiencedCroix 2 01 Ecran PartageCroix 2 01 Ecran PartageCrochet 2 01 Ecran PartageCrochet 2 01 Ecran PartageCrochet 2 01 Ecran Partage
The look, marketing, and characters make the game feel like the game is for everyone, but the progression curve is pretty big and challenging.

If the player puts enough effort into understanding the mechanics of the game, he will have a lot of fun. There are many challenges for hard-working players.
Jauge Verte Ecran Partage

The game is almost infinite. When the main adventure is over, there are still multiple quests to complete, hundreds of spirits to collect, and many challenges. It’s multiplied if you play with your friends and online.

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It will take perseverance to get to the end of the adventure. After that, many challenges will still be available. Fortunately many difficulty modes will be available.

Violence, fear, nudity?
Jauge Orange

The characters compete in many fights. No blood. When the characters lose, they’re knocked out. Attacks of fire, ice, electricity… are used.

Level of language used
Jauge Orange

Developped enough. Suitable for children from the end of primary school, or secondary or more.

Positive message
Jauge Orange

A great tribute to the strongest licenses of the video game. It is a fighting game above all, but you can also play as a team and in cooperation.

Minimum reading level required
Jauge Orange

Must have a few years of reading experience. Menus have icons but there are plenty of descriptions and texts to describe minds and other features.

Additional costs ?
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It is possible to buy characters with their own levels separately or in batches. You can also buy additional costumes for Mii characters (characters that can be created).

Minimum level of execution on the controller required
Red Orange Gauge

Very high. It will take a lot of training for the neophytes to have a decent level that will allow them to enjoy the game.

Principle of the game

Super Smash Bros Ultimate is an unusual fighting game. Firstly because it allows to compete 1 to 8 players simultaneously, instead of the traditional 1 vs 1, second because it has many objects and interactions with the levels, and finally because a huge tribute to video games with its ultra-complete gallery of characters coming from many different franchises and developers.

The principle of combat is also different. In a 2-dimensional arena, the characters hit each other, throw projectiles at each other to increase the percentage of their opponent. The higher the percentage, the more the opponent is propelled far into the air when he receives blows. Characters who come out of the arena by getting ejected or falling lose a point.

Players who lose all points, or who have the fewest points at the end of the allotted time, lose the game. A very original and unique concept that makes the games frenzied.

74 characters are available in the original game and more than 300 levels. It is possible to buy extensions (see Extensions below)

Local game modes


The main mode for fighting each other. All the rules of the game, all the characters, and all the levels are playable in this mode. From 1 to 8 players. One joystick per player.

Squad Strike / Smash in tape:

2 opponents clash in this mode. They each choose 3 or 5 characters, and they will try to defeat their opponent with as many characters.

From 1 to 2 players.

Tourney / Tournament:

A tournament to determine who is the best in turn. Up to 32 players can register in this mode, but only 2 or 4 players compete in the pools.

32 players in turn. 1 to 4 players simultaneously.

Special Smash:

A mode offering special rules to face each other like: everyone jumps very high, everyone can hover, everyone is tiny or gigantic.

A still-sudden mode, and a character elimination mode (General Smash) are also available.


Adventure:is a gigantic single player mode where you browse a huge map to unlock all the characters in the game little by little. More than 600 fights with many rules, characters, staged are waiting for you. 3 difficulty modes present.

For 1 player.

Spirit Board:

Allows you to replay the adventures mode fights at will. Also allows you to replay what you missed at first. You can also get help from 3 friends in this mode.

From 1 to 4 players.

DLC Spirits:

Every time you buy an extra character (See Extensions below), it comes with themed fights available in this mode. Example: Buy Steve, allows you to fight Zombie, Creeper, Skeleton or equivalent in this mode…

From 1 to 4 players.

Classic Fashion:

A cooperative mode to face opponents controlled by the console. The fights are thematic. If you choose to play as Mario, for example, the game will make you face many opponents from these old games, or equivel.

From 1 to 2 players.

Training :

To train without being disturbed by an opponent.

From 1 to 4 players.

Mob Smash :

To face a horde of enemies in a single arena and break records.

From 1 to 2 players.

Home-Run Contest:

Deal as much damage as you can to a punching bag to ship it as far as possible to break records. Available in Solo, Coop (2 players), Versus (4 players in turn)

From 1 to 4 players.

Stage Builder:

If the 300 levels already available in the game don’t suit you, you can design yours also with many settings.


You can also listen to the entire game soundtrack whenever you want, and even in portable mode with the screen off.

You can check the slow motions/highlights/replays of previous matches.

You can buy items for adventure mode or collect spirits you don’t have…

Online gaming modes

Online gaming modes require a paid subscription to the Nintendo Switch Online service.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate is unfortunately not very well optimized for online games. If you still want to play, it’s of course possible, but you have to expect many slowdowns, disconnections.

To minimize this, we recommend connecting a USB network adapter in the dock of the Nintendo Switch. It is purchased separately and costs about 15-20 CAD. This will allow you to connect a network cable into this adapter and get a more stable connection.


Lan Adapter Nintendo Switch

If you have a Nintendo Switch Lite or play in portable mode, this is not possible. It is then recommended to connect your console to the Wi-Fi network, 5 Ghz available. This improves the conditions a little bit.

If you have a Nintendo Switch OLED, you don’t need that. The network socket is already included in the dock.

  • Quickplay: Playing against strangers with rules you’ve chosen but that won’t necessarily be applied (yes it’s weird, it depends on the players available online and their preferences as well). Can be played in cooperation, as a team. Fights are limited between 2 and 4 players.
    From 1 to 2 players.
  • Background Matchmaking: same as Quickplay, but allows you to browse menus while the console searches for opponents
  • Battle Arenas: lobbies allowing you to play with your friends or strangers with standard rules or not. Lobbying can hold 1 to 8 players. But fights are limited between 2 and 4 players.
    For 1 player.
Online Tourney :

For 1 player


See old matches of unknown players and bet on the victory of one of them to get points.

Shared Content:

Watch and retrieve slow motion, personalised characters, levels, movies from other players.


The character of the Piranha Plant is sold separately from everything else, for about 7 CAD on the Nintendo eShop.

Then there are 2 main extensions. Each contains its share of characters with their associated levels and music. These 2 extensions can be purchased as gift cards in stores such as EB Games, BestBuy or Amazon. They can be purchased directly digitally also on Nintendo’s website or via the links below.

Pass Fighters 1

The Fighters Pass 1 contains 5 characters, a level and associated music for each of them.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Fighter Pass 1
The price in the photo is in USD.

To buy The Fighters Pass 1, click here. (This supports Shared Screen. Thank you!)

Fighters Pass 2

The Fighters Pass 2 contains 6 characters, a level and music for associate for each of them.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Fighters Pass 2 Ecran Partage

To buy The Fighters Pass 2, click here. (This supports Shared Screen. Thank you!)

The characters (and level, and associated music) of each of the 2 extensions, can also be purchased individually but this is of course more expensive.

In addition to these 2 possibilities, it is possible to buy costumes separately for about $1 each. These costumes are dedicated to Mii fighters and are the color of many video game characters that are most often part of the same games as the main characters.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Mii Costumes
This image of Mii costumes is an example, there are many others. Check out the Nintendo eShop for more details.


Super Smash Bros Ultimate is an indispensable game of the Nintendo Switch, an ultra-complete blockbuster. It will provide months, years of fun as long as one learns to play it. And the players made no mistake about it. More than 20 million units have been sold to date.

It is unfortunately spoiled by an online mode that has performance well below the standards known on other consoles, games, or PCs.

More information about the game:Official game page

Official page on Nintendo’s website

About Marc Shakour

Former video game programmer, columnist, teacher, competitor ... Marc has always been very familiar with the world and industry of video games. He decided to help neophytes about it, to discover new universes, worlds and fantastic creatures.

View all posts by Marc Shakour