Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s spirits mode turns Nintendo’s fighter into an RPG

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…

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