The Super Smash Bros. series has always championed one core element throughout its illustrious history: pure unadulterated chaos. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is no exception, as many of the multiplayer bouts we played during our recent hands-on with the game quickly proved.

Characters are plentiful (over a whopping 70), stages present unique twists and challenges, and items remain the trusty equaliser – ready to turn the tide of a match at a moment’s notice. But where Ultimate really seems to be focusing a lot of its attention is on its single-player offering – especially via the addition of World of Light and Spirit Board.

Acting as Ultimate’s new Adventure Mode, World of Light will follow everybody’s favourite pink puff Kirby (at least initially), as he attempts to save his friends following a devastating attack that brings up bad memories of Avengers: Infinity War.

Long story short: You must work your way through a map shrouded in fog, engaging in battles to collect new fighters and Spirits. The latter are a new addition to the series – collectible characters you can equip and level-up (kind of like a gear item) which grant you new abilities or alter your battle in some way.

One, for example, might make you more resilient to poison, while another will provide you with an item from the very start of the match. The more Spirits you collect, the more flexibility you’ll have to customise your fighter and increase their chance of winning a particular challenge. Spirits are an unexpected sprinkling of RPG-like mechanics, but definitely provide extra depth to overall experience.

Super Smash Bros. ultimate

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Spirit Board, on the other hand, is where Ultimate’s real addiction will surely stem from. It removes all story elements and provides another opportunity for you to obtain Spirits.

Operating like a pseudo bounty board, ten randomly selected Spirits will be on offer for a period of time – each packing their own difficulty and conditions. Our selection of an Elite Beat Agents theme, for example, saw us facing off against a team of well-dressed Miis who, together, posed a substantial threat.

These subversions on classic characters is actually a rather intelligent solution to present the look and feel of each Spirit, without having to include them in the game as a full-fledged fighter.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Both World of Light and Spirit Board certainly sound confusing and feel slightly intimidating from the outset, but the game knows it’s throwing a lot your way, so thankfully walks you through each basic step one at a time. Once our brief taste of what they offer was over, it was easy to imagine the countless hours we’ll be spending honing our skills.

Sure, outside of these new modes Super Smash Bros. Ultimate offers more of the same, but that’s hardly a fault when the experience remains so polished and wholeheartedly enjoyable. The amount of work and passion put into the game is instantly evident, so bring on December 7.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be available for the Nintendo Switch. You can pre-order it here.

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