Friday, November 19, 2021

Super Smash Brothers Ultimate - I finally Understand the Spirit Board

When I first picked up Super Smash Brothers Ultimate I was pretty disappointed with the removal of adventure mode in favor of "spirits". Spirits, for those of you who doesn't know, are like cards that you can unlock by killing your enemy where the fights are usually in your disadvantage. You can equip these cards to gain bonuses in future fights such as resistant to wind, stronger magical attacks etc...

Originally, I hated this mode as there was nothing more frustrating to me than to have to fight an enemy under weird conditions, such as inversed controls, that made the game simply frustrating. I didn't understand the purpose of it at the time but now I do.

One of the problem that we face when playing fighting games is that we come to a point where we're on autopilot: We find a combo that we like, with a character that we like, and we tend to stick to that strategy. We stop learning about the game at this point because every subsequent matches are attempts to re-create that combo with that character.

This is where, I feel, the spirit board in SSBU comes into play as it forces you to play the game in a different way. Sure, you can try picking the same character, to do the same combo as you're used to, but you'll likely fail. This one time, I had to fight an army of metal Megaman and couldn't win no matter what spirits I equipped to my favorite character. The game forced me into trying out different characters, with different spirits, in an attempt to find the solution and I eventually found it in Lucas. Those metal Megaman kept firing their weapon and I found that Lucas has a power that can turn energy into health which was obviously helpful when you had 2-3 Megamans firing at you at all times.

The Spirits adds longevity to the game as you can unlock many and it also keeps the player from falling into that autopilot mode. If you feel like you're in a rut in SSBU, start including spirits battle into your training regiment.

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