There is a lot to do in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I mean, this is a substantial fighting game. But as I go through the game and talk about it with friends and fellow fans, I find the conversation tends to gravitate toward certain areas. Namely, it seems like most people tend to talk about World of Light, Classic Mode, or standard Smash matches. Which is fine, because all of those modes are great and deserve attention. But, people should try to make time to test out Mob Smash and Special Smash too.
Both Mob Smash and Special Smash are modes that allow you to tweak certain elements of the situation. The former is pretty self explanatory. You pick a character and head into matches against mobs of enemies. You are essentially swamped by foes, and it is up to you to triumph. Special Smash is a bit more nuanced, as it is an area with three options grouped together. One lets you customize a match’s certain specifications, another is a sudden death option, and the last has you going through the entire roster of character with each character only appearing in a match once. They all allow these extra options that give us new parameters to play with.
I’m a big fan of 300% Super Sudden Death. This has everyone start at 300%, then lets you set up all the rules as usual. Every match feels more strategic, because you have no second chances. You need to know both your character’s range and each opponent’s moveset. Having some familiarity with your human foe is critical too, as you need to know if they will try and wait you out or go for a quick win. The layout of stages and awareness of effects is important too. I love the thought that goes into this mode’s fights.
But then, these other possibilities under Special Smash do a lot for players too. Custom Smash can be a delight, because it is almost like you are setting up the sorts of matches you see on the Spirit Board or in World of Light. You determine character’s size or if they have bunny ears or a flower on their head.You can choose from different body options, even making people invisible. Status can be toggled, as can weight or speed. I have been using it for setting up photos. (Like if you want one of those blushing Curry status pictures, this is a great way to get one.)
Smashdown can be as tactical as 300% Sudden Smash. You can play up to 35 battles in a row (with a Mercy rule in effect if it is impossible for one person to win), and know that each character can only be used once. Do you use your favorites first to establish a lead and make sure your enemies can’t use them? Should you choose characters you have trouble beating, to eliminate them from play? Is it best to save your main for later, risking losing them, so you have an ace in the hole? After almost two weeks with the game, I am still unsure which method I prefer. It might even be as great a test for a group activity as a normal tournament, since it is a great indicator of a player’s skill.
With Mob Smash, it can be fun to just see how well someone can handle huge numbers of opponents. Each one is about surviving as well as you can against the hordes. All-Star Smash, which has all of the fighters appear, is a good way to start. You have an idea of who is coming in and how many will be there, and you can rely on attacks that you put your weight into to knock them all away. Century kicks things up a bit, since 100 people are coming at you. But once you really see yourself doing well in these areas, maybe even after completing Century Smash, you can start attempting and maybe beating Cruel Smash, where everyone is much stronger than usual. It helps you learn to handle yourself, as well as enjoy the sort of chaos that comes when all you can do is keep smacking people with your strongest attacks to force them away.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a great game to explore. So many different ways to fight are here, and each one has its merits. It is a good idea to peek into every mode and play around. People might find something like Smashdown could be as helpful for learning to use characters as a Training Match or might want to go all out with Mob Smash for the sake of practicing in a crowded space and managing a chaotic situation. Every mode has its moments, and people should take the time to test them all out.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available for the Nintendo Switch. Also, as a head’s up, Siliconera will be hosting a community night for the game tomorrow at 6pm PT/8pm CT/9pm ET, so stay tuned tomorrow at 12pm PT/2pm CT/3pm ET for details on what those matches will entail and how to get in!