Super Smash Bros. Ultimate looks like more of the same. That is fine.
Nintendo showed off the latest iteration of the Smash Bros. series, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, on the show floor at E3 2018. They had two variants of the demo on display: casual with items and points (For Fun), and one-on-one competitive Stock play (For Glory). I opted for Fun.
Ultimate is aptly named, as this really does feel like a best-of iteration of the series. Lots of characters, lots of stages, and very snappy controls. The new Inkling fighters are quick and have a formidable arsenal, including an effective Up-Special and the Splat Roller, as well as their use of their special ink powers to sneak around. The other character I played as was the Pokémon Trainer, which felt very similar to my memory of his team from Melee, only quicker. (Still love Squirtle!)
Only two new levels were in the E3 demo--the new Moray Towers level left far more of an impact than the Breath of the Wild. Its verticality encouraged some different strategies in four player, and it kind of felt like a riff on the classic Donkey Kong level. The Zelda level, on the other hand, was thoroughly unmemorable and may as well have consisted of a single flat platform. I’m also a big fan of the fake Smash Ball—surely inspired by Mario Kart 64—which will blow up in your face after a few hits.
Unfortunately, attendees were limited to one pre-registered play session—I opted for Fun—so it was tough to get a full sense of the control tweaks and other changes to the formula in such a short time. The demo also provided no control options for the Pro Controllers, which also impacted my first hands-on experience.
That said, Ultimate is Smash Bros. The Nintendo Direct focused on a lot of the minutiae, but to the less technical players out there, this demo felt very, very similar to the Wii U game, only without Ridley (who seemed awfully powerful on the receiving end of his wrath)! So if you want to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, go play that until this one comes out. They are really very similar.