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Those looking for a very fun and extremely entertaining game to play either alone or with friends this summer should consider Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch. It’s the latest entry in the iconic Super Smash Bros. crossover fighting game franchise created by the legendary video game director, Masahiro Sakurai. New and experienced players will each find something to enjoy in this content-heavy title. 

The game has the largest roster ever in the series with over 80 playable characters across a variety of notable Nintendo franchises and third-party developers that include The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, Street Fighter and Final Fantasy, to highlight a few. Accompanying the large roster are an even bigger selection of playable stages, items and music pieces. There are over 100 playable stages, which are a combination of both new and returning stages from previous Smash games. Players are given several options to have fun with these stages through the stage builder, stage morph and dynamic stage features. Additionally, those familiar with the use of items on stages can rejoice. 

Continuing with Ultimate’s theme of bigger and better, there are many more items at your disposal to cause additional mayhem on the battlefield. Assist trophies are back and add a lot of excitement to multiplayer matches. To avoid spoilers, expect to be both joyfully amused and stunningly terrified by some of the character trophies that can assist you in battle. More Pokemon and general items were included to also spice things up, which helps to keep the game interesting and fresh in each match. The massive music library consists of over 800 tracks of music across the represented video game franchises and music unique to the Smash Bros. series. A music player was also included that allows players to organize and listen to tracks whenever they want. 

There are several game modes in Ultimate that provide diverse experiences. The only pure single-player experience is the adventure mode, “World of Light.” It’s the game’s story mode, where a mysterious enemy from the skies attacked the series’ heroes and defeated them in battle. The player then starts out as Kirby, the lone survivor of the attack, and must explore a huge map, battling spirits of fallen Nintendo characters along the way. The player can choose how to interact with the story, and the decisions you make can influence the final ending, for better or for worse. 

The rest of the game modes in Ultimate can be enjoyed solo but are best enjoyed being played with others. Classic mode, which is traditionally single player, now allows co-op with another person. It’s valuable having someone else assist in fighting the increasingly difficult enemies and bosses. A few of the multiplayer focused game modes are Smash, Mob Smash, Special Smash, Squad Strike and Tournament mode. Most of the multiplayer modes allow more than eight players to play together simultaneously, which is a great way for friends and family to get together to bond. Online play is also available, which allows you to play with others locally and globally. Ultimate is packed with other fun game modes that can provide hours of entertainment beyond story mode and the aforementioned multiplayer modes.

New characters, stages, music, and items are still continually being added until at least the end of 2021. As indicative of its name, it’s the ultimate Smash Bros. experience, which is friendly to newcomers and satisfying to veterans. Smash Bros. Ultimate provides incredible value and is a great way to play games with friends and family this summer.