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Dumb Things We All Ignore About Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is easily one of the most beloved fighting games on the planet right now. And why shouldn't it be? Everything's working to its benefit, from its vast array of characters, to its impressive downloadable content, to its easy-to-pick-up but hard-to-put-down controls. 


That said, it's not quite perfect. While it's great to get into a skirmish with friends and even watch fights unfold from the sidelines, there are little things here and there that may leave some of you scratching your heads. And yet, for the most part, most enthusiasts tend to ignore them just for the sake of getting into the next match-up. But are the mistakes really that crucial, or simply blemishes in an otherwise well-oiled fighting machine? Let's take a closer look at dumb things we all ignore about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Getting Into a rematch Isn't as easy as it should be

Let's say you find a groove fighting against an opponent in an online battle, but you're stuck with a character that isn't fun to play. So you want to try someone different. Alas, there's a catch.

With the way that Nintendo has its online system set up with Smash, rematches with online opponents work a certain way. You can either play with the character you've selected to take them on again, or you have to take on someone new if you go to the fighter select screen. There is no happy medium, per se, when it comes to choosing a new competitor and then matching it up with the person you were up against before, as it's randomized.


Why Nintendo has it set up this way, no one is certain. It does bug select hardcore Smash fans that want nothing more than to match up with the same opponent again. But most fans just accept the system as it is, either sticking with their character for a few more select matches or rolling the dice on an entirely new one.

Piranha Plant ... is here

The roster for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is packed with serious competitors like Bayonetta, Link, Ryu, and Cloud. And then there's ... Piranha Plant from the Mario universe? Yep, what originally started as a joke became a reality months ago, when it was initially offered as a freebie to fans before becoming paid DLC.


There are a few out there that feel that this character's inclusion is laughable, especially compared to long-time favorites that could have been introduced. But some have grown to love him, with effective moves such as the Ptoooie (yes, that's an actual move) and the Long-Stem Strike. And his Final Smash, where he calls upon Petey Piranha to lend a hand (er, stem?), is impressive.

Still, there are very few competitive players that will take Piranha seriously. In fact, some may only choose him out of curiosity or maybe due to a side bet with friends. But he's there, folks, so you'd best accept him now. He's here to stay.

Matchmaking is more complicated than it needs to be

With most fighting games — on other platforms, anyway — matchmaking is relatively simple. Jump into a lobby, find an opponent, and get ready for battle. But with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it's a relatively complicated process that takes more time, simply because of the hoops players have to jump through.


First off, where to begin: Quickplay or Battle Arena? And once you choose a mode, how many rulesets to root through? One on one battles? What type of weapons can be used? What isn't allowed? Once you do select something, how long until you find someone that wants the same thing?

That's not to say it's impossible, but it can take a while to sort things out to find just the right opponent looking for a fight. Once done, it does pay off. But it'd be nice for Nintendo to throw in something for those folks that simply want a skirmish with no strings attached. It almost sounds like a perfect reason to add an online Classic Mode.

Playing with a GameCube controller is a real hassle

There are various ways to enjoy playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. You could go with the JoyCons, or you could use the Pro Controller, which seems like the best default option. But hardcore Melee fans know it's all about the feeling of Nintendo's re-released GameCube Smash controller to work specifically with its Switch console. Alas, if only setting it up was as easy as snagging it off of eBay.


That's because in order to get the controller to properly work, a secondary adapter must be purchased. It then needs to be plugged into the system when it's set up with the dock, as it doesn't work outside of TV mode. It's way more elaborate than one might think.

There is some relief, in the form of PDP's wired Fight Pads, which go for a relatively low price ($24.99) and work similarly to the classic GameCube controllers. And they connect directly, so no worries about that adapter. But they're third party and not like Nintendo's official pad. And you can only connect one at a time, leaving other players to look for alternative options.

The JoyCon ... is not the best option

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a game that's excellent for on-the-go fighting sessions. That said, most people won't be carrying around four Pro Controllers with their Nintendo Switch. That means someone will likely get stuck having to play with a ... JoyCon.


Yes, if push comes to shove, someone could play Smash with a dinky little solo controller from the Switch. It does have the button functionality, and the solo analog stick can handle player movement, provided that it doesn't suffer from drifting. That said, it isn't the greatest option out there. The shoulder and face buttons aren't the best for executing fighting commands.

Some players won't care, but it's times like this that it doesn't hurt to have a spare Pro Controller on hand, just so you can sync up and play Smash Bros. the proper way — and without hurting your thumbs from functioning a tiny little JoyCon unit. The last thing you want to do is Final Smash your hands.

Classic Mode has been trimmed down.

It is great that the developers have kept Classic Mode within Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, so nostalgic players can enjoy a staple that's been in the series from the very start. But the real question is, did it have to be condensed so much?


The mode does have a few challenges to its credit, with a mix of fighters to take on before you get to the final boss. But they're fewer than in previous games, and there are barely any bonus stages to speak of. In fact, Classic Mode is only a highlight because you can whip through it to quickly to unlock a number of fighters. That's the only reason some people mess with it at all.

As wishful thinking, it'd be great if Nintendo expanded it at some point, with online play (as previously mentioned) or additional bonus stages. As it stands, it's still a noteworthy feature for players to check out, but it's a mere shell compared to what it used to be in the past. At least the hand-drawn artwork is a hit.


Where are the bonus stages?

We couldn't help but notice that Classic Mode was also missing bonus stages. They're just gone for the most part. It's like Nintendo wanted to focus more on the fights and less on the side activities surrounding them. And while that's good for those itching for a bruising, it does hurt those looking for a nostalgia hit.


For instance, there's no sign of either Break the Targets or Board the Platforms. There is a game that neatly combines the two, but it's quickly slapped together, and comes to an end all too soon. More variations of this type would've been a welcome treat, instead of simply finishing the stage and then getting back to the action.

For that matter, what happened to Home Run Contest? That was a classic game and a real treat, where you could smack around a sack (with eyes!) and see just how far you could hit it off the stage. It's nowhere to be found in Ultimate, and that's a letdown, because it was a big hit with old-school Smash fans.

World of Light could use more balance

When we were initially introduced to the World of Light mode in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it looked absolutely devastating. All the characters were wiped out, save for Kirby. That could've easily set the stage for a comeback story for the ages, one in which he fights back and rebuilds the Nintendo universe while turning the tide on his faceless opponent. And yet ... the mode loses some balance along the way.


In fact, World of Light in general feels like a real grind, with barely any story to tell whatsoever. It does have some cinematic sequences that set the stage for something bigger, and it eventually does get to that point — but only after going through too many fights across the maps. Eventually, there does come a great boss battle that leads to either a good or bad ending (and a redeeming point), but some players simply don't get there because of the time it takes.

Those that have gotten through the mode enjoy what it has to offer, but this is one of those times where balancing should have gone a long way. Kirby's story could've done with a little more tweaking. The beginning was fine, and the ending was fine. But it's the meat in the middle that could've used some trimming down.


Most of these stages look awfully familiar

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's stage design is absolutely compelling. The Switch brawler features a huge assortment of backgrounds to choose from, ranging from nostalgic to vivid to absolutely jaw dropping, depending where you go within its sprawling universe. Yet with all its tranquil beauty, there's one rather odd fact: we've already seen a majority of these.


That's because, with this being Ultimate and all, a good portion of these locales are recycled. They have been improved, mind you, and look better than they ever have. But their familiarity can't be denied, as a number of them have been seen in the likes of the original Smash, as well as Brawl, Melee and the Wii U and 3DS games. Fans are pleased to see them, but they leave little room for new territory.

There are some new stages, don't get us wrong. This includes the ones coming via DLC with each of the new characters, including some great-looking Banjo-Kazooie terrain. So that's not to say things are getting stale. But it would've been great to see some twists on classic areas, instead of places that make you go, "Hey, I've been here before."


Some of these items are just too powerful

Items are great to utilize in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, whether it's smaller weapons or a big game-changer. But there are some that could use a fair amount of balancing, as they can shift the tide of a match just a little bit too quickly.


Case in point: the fake Smash Ball. We know that the original Smash Ball is great for getting your Final Smash on, but the explosive decoy just feels like an act of cruelty. Not to mention other items that look seemingly weak but can clear a screen the second someone picks it up. This, combined with particular items in the environment, can cause your match to end sooner than expected.

It's a minor complaint at best, as some fans like the chaotic nature of these items and how the quick comeback victories they can get out of it. But there are those that will curse the existence of the classic Donkey Kong hammer every time it shows up. And probably for good reason.

So, the trophies went where?

Collectibles are the name of the game in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and there are more than enough to go around. Spirits are often available through various events, there are various CDs to unlock songs in My Music, and there are costumes to customize Mii Fighters with. But that leaves an interesting question: wasn't this series about Trophies?


First introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Trophies were available by either collecting them in action or purchasing them with in-game currency, adding them to a virtual collection. Fans can also proudly display the dozens — or even hundreds — of Trophies they collect over the course of the game on their virtual desk. These were a big hit with the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game as well. So why'd they go away with Ultimate? To focus on the Spirits instead?

That's not to say that fans necessarily miss the Trophies. They seem happy with the Spirits going the way they are, as well as the other goods. But parts of us still yearn for having a virtual collection of Trophies to call our own in Ultimate


No love for Waluigi

The main reason that fans were so cheesed off by the inclusion of Piranha Plant is because Waluigi isn't playable within the game. Wario is fully playable, but the evil arch-rival of Luigi has yet to make the roster. He is in the game, but in Spirit. No, literally, as a Spirit, with a three-star Ace class. But that isn't enough for his die-hard legion of fans.


Some have actually gone as far as to hold protests dressed as Waluigi, demanding he be added. And Sakurai, in several cases, has become aware of the fan demand surrounding the character, though an official decision has yet to be made.

The Spirit does beat nothing, though. And Waluigi still lives on in other Nintendo games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Mario Tennis Aces. But will he ever find his way to Smash champion glory? Only time will tell. There are two slots still left open in the current season, as well as a possibility for more downloadable content in the future. So he could still make his way to the roster. But at this rate, it's more of a matter of "if" rather than "when." Wahhhhh, indeed.