Is Smash Bros for Switch a new game or a port? It’s the question that has been asked since the newest Smash Bros. game was first announced. But why do we care about the answer to this question?
Ultimately, it boils down to whether a gamer will feel it is worth buying the same game again. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze? Clearly a port. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Also a port. Some people feel strongly that they’re not going to spend $60 on a game they already purchased on another platform. I get it, I’m the same way most of the time. But with Smash? Clearly, the question is not even relevant.
Smash Bros is mostly the same game from title to title. The core fighting mechanics are intact. Most of the character roster and even the stages carry over from game to game. Those in the competitive Smash Bros community will see big changes in each iteration, but the majority of the millions of Smash fans often treat the game as a fun multiplayer party game. For those players, Smash has never been anything other than a port. They just want the opportunity to play a nicer-looking game on the newest Nintendo platform.
In my view, Smash Bros Ultimate is like a substantial patch for the Wii U version. The game definitely feels different to play, but at its core, this version of Smash Bros has probably well over 90 percent of its content from the previous games. Each character has tweaks and refinements, but these changes could have been launched as a patch for the Wii U version. After all, patches aren’t new for the series. Many characters had already been tweaked thanks to patches on Nintendo’s last system.
The whole discussion about whether Smash Bros Ultimate is a new game or not takes away from what the game actually features. Who cares whether the game is a port? Ultimately that’s just a label used to minimize what the game hopes to accomplish. Regardless of whether you consider this an all-new game or not, Smash Bros Ultimate has over 65 characters, with more likely to be announced. There are more than 65 stages too-this game is huge. There are countless skins, mini-games, and things to do in Smash when it launches in December. The fact that the content is remade for the Switch doesn’t make it any less fun.
When you play a single-player game, it makes sense that a remake would make you less likely to pick the title up. After all, you’re simply replaying through a long experience you already had. You perhaps won’t have as much fun as the first time around. If you really wanted to, you could go back on your old platform and replay the title.
But when it comes to fighting games, you’re already replaying the content anyway. That’s part of the core of what a fighter is. Nobody complained that Smash Bros. on Wii U wasn’t worth picking up because you could play as Kirby on Final Destination, something you could do in previous Smash games.
Super Smash Bros for Switch is going to be an unprecedented title. It’s massive, there’s going to be a ton to do, and the fact that you’ve played as many of these characters before doesn’t make the game any less fun. After all, you’ve probably played as your character of choice for thousands of matches already. What’s a few thousand more?
Eli buys virtually every Nintendo title that comes out but has expanded his collection to include amiibo. He hasn’t taken them out of their boxes, though, so he might be a bit insane. When not playing video games, Eli likes writing about politics and games. He also runs a decent amount. Outside.