Smash Bros. is, at its very core, a multiplayer experience. The game loses something when you’re playing by yourself. Over the years, Smash’s developers have tried different ways of offering a solo experience, like story modes, to varying degrees of success. But Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which launches tomorrow on the Nintendo Switch, has finally cracked the code. The game introduces a new “spirits” mode, which, while initially very confusing, actually manages to turn the frantic fighter into something approaching a single-player role-playing game. It has everything you’d expect from the genre: equippable gear, lots of battles, and a melodramatic story. And it’s fantastic. It all starts out with a very intense opening video, in which virtually every character in the game — all 70-plus of them — is captured. Their spirits are then removed from their bodies, which, in turn, are operated by sinister beings for battles. There’s only one survivor: Kirby. You take on the role of the cute pink ball, with the goal of rescuing your fellow video game mascots from the clutches of evil. It’s like the Avengers, but slightly more anime. The “spirits” name is derived from one of the new gameplay features introduced in Ultimate. Spirits are, essentially, characters that you can collect and equip, giving your main fighter different characteristics. It’s all very weird and convoluted at first. As Kirby, your quest comes in the form of a series of battles, each one with a different set of rules. At one point, you’re… [Read full story]
The Verge is an ambitious multimedia effort founded in 2011 to examine how technology will change life in the future for a massive mainstream audience.
Our original editorial insight was that technology had migrated from the far fringes of the culture to the absolute center as mobile technology created a new generation of digital consumers. Now, we live in a dazzling world of screens that has ushered in revolutions in media, transportation, and science. The future is arriving faster than ever.