Why Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Should be the Last Game in the Series

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Disclaimer: This piece is purely the opinion of its author, and does not reflect the position of Smashboards or its affiliates.

With the semi-recent announcement of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Switch, many thoughts about the game itself and what’s in store for the series as a whole, have been running through my head. I’m excited for it, but I’ve also had some controversial thoughts.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate should be the last game in the series(at least for a long while). I’m talking at least ten years, if not twenty.

I know, it’s a wild take, but hear me out on this.

1. Where will the series even go after Ultimate?

You know how many Melee fans choose to stick to Melee? If Ultimate is done well enough, why even bother with a totally new Super Smash Bros. game unless it’s going to reuse assets? It already features over 70 characters, with the final roster expected to be somewhere between 75-80. Ultimate contains over 100 stages from various Smash Bros. games, both new and old. The new game will have practically everything, which will have many players asking, “why bother migrating to a new game when we have this one?” There’s simply so much content in it that it would be difficult to replicate.

To my previous question, I tried coming up with a few answers, and well...

2. To put it lightly, asking Nintendo to cater to esports is a stretch.

I know Nintendo Versus now exists (which is fantastic) but there’s still a long way for Super Smash Bros. with its relation to esports as a whole. In the grand scheme of things Smash is a very small speck of dust. Meanwhile, there are other competitors in the Platform Fighting genre, Rivals of Aether, Icons: Combat Arena, Slap City, and more can help garner more esports popularity. If Nintendo decided to fully commit to esports for another Smash Bros. game, it would take a long time.

3. Super Smash Bros Ultimate is, as a whole, a game with a 7-year-long development cycle

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U began formal development in early 2012 (informal development and business chats could have been sooner, starting from 2010-2011) Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is coming out at the end of 2018, assuming there are no delays.

As an indie game developer, I do know that development tools get better, but there’s nowhere for the series to go unless its creators export a significant amount of content.

4. New content doesn’t need to be in a new game.

I can understand the concern about Smash Ultimate not having enough new content, but that won’t be as big of a deal on launch day. Back in the old days of gaming, expansions needed their own separate disc. Now, we see all forms of expansions, such as DLC, and season passes. New content is nice, but with a ton of content already, why even bother making a whole separate game when it could easily merge into this one?

5. Nobody has the answer, or will for a long time

If it’s going to have a reboot, a big break is necessary. Sure, a lot of people will be sad over character and stage cuts. People will try preemptively ask “How do you top Smash Bros. Ultimate?” or “How do you go in a direction different enough to avoid complaint and still gain traction?” but frankly, that’s a tough question for anyone to answer. It’s a question that deserves a lot of thought, and nobody has the answers. No, a roster cutting almost every character won’t fix the main problem. Yes, people won't have the answer for a along time, if ever.

However, not all is gloom. I believe there is an answer to this: I’ll be covering this answer in the Part Two of this article.

Author's Notes: What are your thoughts? Do you agree? What direction would you like to see a Super Smash Bros. Reboot in? Let us know in the comments below!
 
Lucas "Thirdkoopa" Guimaraes

Comments

#2
I definitely think SSBU should be the last game in the series that incorporates Smash as we know it today. I know opinions like mine gains a lot of criticism and, sometimes, attacks, but I am fully on board to see a reboot in the next 10-15 years after Ultimate that takes a different path from Smash Bros. of today with a different roster and mechanics. Maybe even a new director to boot. I also think there is some merit to seeing Smash come to mobile platforms like how Mario Run and Heroes.
 
#4
I'll make it simple and clean. Smash Ultimate should be the final game, because the word "Ultimate", implies the best version possible. That said. DLC should last for years. Give us more characters, stages, music, a fresh single player mode (Subspace 2) that does not have to be in the base game. People will buy it no matter what.

They should release Newcomers throughout the years to promote things along the way rather than waiting almost 5 years to make a sequel that *some how* will overshadow the previous game. This is just my opinion. To me, it makes more sense for the DLC to be endless. Characters, skin packs, more Mii Outfits, more game modes, and other single player options. Anything! The sky would, should, and could be the limit for Smash Ultimates future.

A reboot won't touch this game at its best. A big thing is 3rd party characters. At this rate Smash has many more 3rd party fighters than in Brawl. It may be difficult over time to make them a mainstay of the franchise, so the game with the most (seemingly Ultimate) will be more attractive to the wider gaming audience, due to just simply having more to offer in terms of sheer character fan-service. At the very least, Nintendo should make this games life span last as long as the Switch.

We saw how Snake was not in Smash 4... It felt like a cool thing that use to be there was missing, so taking away Snake, Cloud, Ryu, and any others they can't keep their hands on would decrease the value of the franchise. It feels like Smash accumulates more fans and widens its player-base each time a 3rd party is added. Taking any of them away will never feel right to many fans, but adding new 3rd party fighters always brings the crowds, especially now that we have the vast majority of older to modern 1st party characters. (except Waluigi..)
 
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#5
Melee fans stick with Melee because their either elitist, nostalgic, too afraid to get good at a new game, or all the above. Content may be the selling point, but just like Brawl and Sm4sh, some people are going to complain and jump back to Melee. Which has minimal characters, stages, and overall content in comparison. You can dress up a game and make it look amazing, but more content doesn't necessarily mean a good game.
 
#6
Nintendo should focus on long-term support for Ultimate, like they are with Mario Kart 8. A game like Ultimate is the perfect base for a living game with numerous content updates over the years, both free and paid. If people were willing to pay for veteran characters in Smash 4, they'll be chomping at the bit for new content. We get one Smash game per system, and Nintendo has gone on record saying that they want the Switch to last for 10 years. It's going to be a long, long time before a new Smash is even on the horizon.

Sakurai was right when he said that he opened Pandora's box by eliminating all cuts. There is no way in hell they could release a game with any substantial cuts, let alone a reboot without significant backlash that would lose them a non-trivial amount of sales. Melee to Brawl was controversial enough as it is.
 
#7
Melee fans stick with Melee because their either elitist, nostalgic, too afraid to get good at a new game, or all the above. Content may be the selling point, but just like Brawl and Sm4sh, some people are going to complain and jump back to Melee. Which has minimal characters, stages, and overall content in comparison. You can dress up a game and make it look amazing, but more content doesn't necessarily mean a good game.
Or we just really enjoy the game.
 
#8
Melee fans stick with Melee because their either elitist, nostalgic, too afraid to get good at a new game, or all the above. Content may be the selling point, but just like Brawl and Sm4sh, some people are going to complain and jump back to Melee. Which has minimal characters, stages, and overall content in comparison. You can dress up a game and make it look amazing, but more content doesn't necessarily mean a good game.
Gotta agree with Dixie Kong Dixie Kong here. Sure, some of them are elitist or nostalgic, but generally, Melee players just really love the mechanics and speed of Melee. That's why it's my favorite.
 
#9
While I agree that Ultimate should be the last game of it's kind and should have extended DLC support for years to come, I would also like to see the Smash IP have a spin-off game.

Many people loved the cut scenes of Subspace, why not create a spin off game that can capitalize on a cinematic story like an RPG or something of that type. People love smash for its gameplay, but I'd like to see the Nintendo cross over aspect explored in different ways.
 
#10
I wouldn't mind a reboot that turns Smash into a 3D fighter. Something akin to Power Stone, or even arena fighters like Dissidia and the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm games. The "knock off the stage to KO" mechanic could still be implemented here too.

There is also the potential to make a traditional 2D fighter, but I think that goes against what the Smash Bros name represents (being an accessible, non-traditional fighter).
 
#11
If we're going to get a Smash sub-series that veers off from the platform fighting genre, I'd definitely want an Arcsys fighter in the style of Dragon Ball FighterZ and Guilty Gear.
Plus, for that game, there'd be no pointless arguments about whether it's a "fighting game" or not.
And maybe, we'd get a new look at non-relevant characters like Lyn.
 
#12
I know how to top this game: Super Smash Bros. Penultimate.
By the miracle of the universe and Sakurai's social life, everyone came back one last time to fill in any spaces missed the first time around.
 
#13
This is the type of game I'll happily accept a port for on the next console life cycle. Probably even moreso than a sequel.

To be honest though, as long as Cloud Strife and Shulk are in the game I will play whatever new game competitively. And because it's Smash, I'll continue to get it either way. This doesn't have to be the last game, but if they ever do this again, I will be astonished.
 
#15
Smash can either make a new game using everything in Ultimate plus more (changing character models, adding new lines, new stages, etc., so how Ultimate was/is developed pretty much) or continuously port the game without changing much. Smash doesn’t have to end...but a reboot wouldn’t be the best answer (another MvCi but in Smash form doesn’t sound right)
 
#17
Melee fans stick with Melee because their either elitist, nostalgic, too afraid to get good at a new game, or all the above. Content may be the selling point, but just like Brawl and Sm4sh, some people are going to complain and jump back to Melee. Which has minimal characters, stages, and overall content in comparison. You can dress up a game and make it look amazing, but more content doesn't necessarily mean a good game.
Melee fans stick with melee because they enjoy the game mechanics more.
 
#19
One point that's pretty important IMO is that Nintendo wants to have the Switch be a thing for, what, 10 years IIRC? They're really happy with where the console's at and maybe we'll get a Ps4 pro thing, where some games need the Switch + or Switch U (lel) or whatever they call it but most games still just work.

I'd be very fine with that if we get somewhat constant updates with new stages, maybe a few characters and other DLC.

Also as someone who prefers PM and Melee over Smash 4 and Brawl, I just like the mechanics more. That's it. Super hyped for Ultimate and played 4 for a good while, not competitively, but in general.
 
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#23
Tbh a game like Smash Ultimate has been my dream for years and it has finally become a reality. I wanted a new Smash game after Sm4sh because it felt like having two separate games on two separate pieces of hardware had held back the development and potential of smash wii u and 3ds as a whole. Now that there is nothing holding back this Smash game I feel like it has finally reached its true potential and thus I would be completely fine with this being the final game. Or at the very least the last one made until many many years from now.
 
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#24
>has a stage selection that will likely never again be equaled
>has a character selection that will certainly never again be equaled
>very unlikely Sakurai will push competitive aspects beyond what we're seeing with Ultimate
>can continue making profit via DLC and port the game to future consoles and never again have to listen to complaints about character cuts
>seizing development of new Smash entries would free up Sakurai's time to pursue exciting new endeavors

If there was ever an opportunity for the series to go out with a bang, this is it.
 
#26
Please try to keep Melee vs any other Smash game debate from exploding out of control. Assuming fans of Melee think a certain way and pointing fingers does nothing for the conversation. And assuming anyone who plays anything other than Melee as a filthy casual doesn’t help either. This is about the future of Smash - not about Melee or Melee players.

I would like to remind everyone that while Smash Ultimate is the English name, the Japanese is Smash Special. I feel that title lacks the sense of finality which is important as the game and its developers are technically Japanese.
 
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#27
I definitely think SSBU should be the last game in the series that incorporates Smash as we know it today. I know opinions like mine gains a lot of criticism and, sometimes, attacks, but I am fully on board to see a reboot in the next 10-15 years after Ultimate that takes a different path from Smash Bros. of today with a different roster and mechanics. Maybe even a new director to boot. I also think there is some merit to seeing Smash come to mobile platforms like how Mario Run and Heroes.
My thoughts exactly. Given that the competitive aspects of Smash were snubbed after Melee, most of the hype for Smash has resided with the character roster and now we have one that can't be topped. The series will likely get stale after this point unless they take the series in a new exciting direction. Only they probably won't do it out of fear of upsetting the fan base.
 
#28
Smash is similar to Mario kart 1 per console. Smash 4/ultimate gap was different due to the wii u failure.
The amount of hype and excitement these games produce is amazing for marketing a console such as the switch and is special in how it brings nintendo fan bases together.

Sakurai pointed this out in his Famitsu interview in what smash ultimate meant to him.
https://sourcegaming.info/2018/07/02/smash_special_complete/ (translate article by source gaming)
He even stated he would come back to support the franchise just because of what it means to him. (he needs a break)
Smash ultimate took 4 years (assuming development started soon after 4) with a 100 person with extreme work loads.
https://gonintendo.com/stories/3163...ent-challenges-with-smash-bros-ultimat?page=1 (Gamescom interview couldn't find original source)

Yes smash may needs to be rebooted in a future title however that doesn't mean it will be worse. Change is always hurts in the short term but is good in the long run.
Personally I would like to see Sakurai help another director with whatever comes next as a passing of the torch and Nintendo to treat it with a larger team (100 is small when compared to other companies AAA games)
 
#29
Smash Ultimate? Should be the last game of the series?! And you want no more Smash games for 10 or 20 years?!

So what? Am I supposed to continue hoping and dreaming to play as Toad and Meowth in Smash for 10 to 20 more years, totaling 30 to 40 years of hoping and dreaming for the 6th game that still doesn't add Toad and Meowth?!
 
#30
#31
I'm 99.9% sure this will be Sakurai's last Smash but I don't think it'll be the last Smash for Nintendo. It's a money-making series that Nintendo could bank off of. I don't think future games will have many returning characters besides the original eight. Probably not even the original unlockables but I can't imagine Mario, Link, Kirby and Pikachu especially ever leaving the series. I think it'd be a brand new cycle.
 
#32
I'm 99.9% sure this will be Sakurai's last Smash but I don't think it'll be the last Smash for Nintendo. It's a money-making series that Nintendo could bank off of. I don't think future games will have many returning characters besides the original eight. Probably not even the original unlockables but I can't imagine Mario, Link, Kirby and Pikachu especially ever leaving the series. I think it'd be a brand new cycle.
I think a cool question to ask would be how many characters would be an ideal number for a complete reboot of the series? (I have heard 40 before)
 
#33
This sounds like a lazy, cash-grabbing idea... but I would be happy if Nintendo just kills the expansion of Smash as we know it, and instead just focused on tweaking and perfecting the game as-is.

Like, after Smash Ultimate dies down in a couple of years, Nintendo simply re-releases a "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate EX" or something. It would be a polished port of the game we already have, but maybe one extra character, minor tweaks and adjustments, maybe a new tech mechanic, and stages with the competitive scene in mind.
Hell, they could even do it with a Melee HD. Just keep the same engine, add some new characters, slightly buff low tiers, and support the game with minor patches.

(Just think of what Street Fighter does with "Super Street Fighter" "Arcade Editions" and whatever. Even SF2 and 3 have gotten updated re-releases over the years)
 
#34
Ultimate definitely looks to be the best way to end the series- whether for a few several years or longer- and I've seen people debating on where to go from here and how long Sakurai and the rest of the Smash team can keep this up.

Ultimate seems like the kind of Smash game that will last for a very long time- I think it should become a platform much like Mario Kart 8 has. DLC for Smash Ultimate seems kind of a no-brainer, anyway- I don't want to ask for much more from Sakurai, but Ultimate DLC would sell like hotcakes.

I kind of hope Ultimate is the last Smash game for a while- so much about the game looks so good, and we're only in the 2nd year of the Switch's lifespan. Plus, I think Sakurai has well earned some time to rest, and I know a lot of people who'd love to see him work on a non-Smash game again.
 
#35
I've been disappointed with what Ultimate has become, so I wouldn't want it to be the last game. I'd prefer a sequel akin to the other games in the series. As in, a good newcomer list, and the selling point not being veterans and clones. I'm sure there will be plenty of popular choices for newcomers, with a lot of them not existing yet, so we should see them playable in Smash eventually.
 
#37
>Icons Combat Arena
>a competitor to Smash
>_>

Other than that, I agree, lol.

I've been disappointed with what Ultimate has become, so I wouldn't want it to be the last game. I'd prefer a sequel akin to the other games in the series. As in, a good newcomer list, and the selling point not being veterans and clones. I'm sure there will be plenty of popular choices for newcomers, with a lot of them not existing yet, so we should see them playable in Smash eventually.
Disappointed how?
 
#38
I know how to top this game: Super Smash Bros. Penultimate.
By the miracle of the universe and Sakurai's social life, everyone came back one last time to fill in any spaces missed the first time around.
don't mean to be the grammar police, but "Penultimate" mean's second to last, where as Ultimate is last. It's a common confusion that if implemented wouldn't make any sense.
 
#39
I think the only way to move forward with the series is a reboot, and that's what I'm hoping for. Unpopular opinion, but I'm not a fan of the quantity-over-quality mindset behind this game's development. We only have four new stages, four actual newcomers, and four filler clones.

I hope this series takes a step back and refines the gameplay, the mechanics, etc. I wouldn't mind cutting the character and stage count to around 30, as long as we still get new stuff.

30 characters, with maybe 5 newcomers and returning characters being reworked, 30 stages with at least 15 brand new, while overhauling the gameplay and keeping in all the fun modes. That is what I feel should be next.
 
#40
Probably one of the most absurd and s****d post I've ever seen on this website. I can't understand why someone wouldn't want sequels to Ultimate. The original title is "SSB Special" and not "SSB Ultimate". Yes there is a lot of contents but there's no reason for Nintendo to discontinue one of the best franchise they have. While we might not have a game for years, they might do a "deluxe edition" or something like that on the next-gen console by adding more contents to the game. A game can always be improved by adding contents and there are a lot of possibility in Smash. It shouldn't be the last game.
 
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