Super Smash Bros.

A chaos of details and features come together for one of the Switch's most generous - and exhilarating - games.

Key events

Nintendo accidentally confirms Smash Bros. Ultimate stage builder

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is getting a stage builder mode, according to the blurry corner of a new Nintendo trailer.

Last night, eagle-eyed fans spotted gameplay in the latest Smash trailer was actually from an upcoming build of the game - one which lists the stage builder mode on its main menu.

It's not a huge surprise - Smash Bros. Brawl for Wii and Smash Bros. for Wii U both included the feature, which allows players to construct their own levels using pre-existing objects - but it's something Nintendo has stayed silent on adding so far.

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"I just get an IV drip and go to work like normal"

Nintendo fans are still concerned about the health of Smash Bros. boss Sakurai.

Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai has fans concerned about his health once again, after describing how he hooks himself up to an IV drip to continue working on Nintendo's multi-million selling series while sick.

Nintendo Switch sales smashed it over Christmas

Nintendo Switch sales smashed it over Christmas

But will still miss its own ambitious targets.

Nintendo bossed the Christmas sales season with an impressive set of hardware and software sales - but this still wasn't enough for the company to meet its own ambitious targets.

Switch hardware sales were up almost 20 per cent year-on-year, game sales were up 100 per cent year-on-year, and all of Nintendo's new releases were hits.

Super Mario Party has now sold 5.3m copies, Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee notched up a combined 10m copies, while Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sold a whopping 12.08m just in its first month.

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Does Super Smash Bros. Ultimate deliver a generational leap for Switch?

Digital FoundryDoes Super Smash Bros. Ultimate deliver a generational leap for Switch?

How Ultimate compares to the last-gen Wii U and 3DS titles.

With Switch the single platform it needs to focus on for its latest game, developers Namco Bandai and Sora Ltd. are able to create the most feature rich entry in Super Smash Bros. series yet. Graphically speaking, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the best-looking game in the franchise: its 75-strong cast and many stages get revamped textures and lighting compared to the Wii U release of four years ago. It also succeeds as a sequel to two previous versions, by offering the de facto home console successor to Wii U, and more impressively, a stark upgrade over 3DS' visuals on the handheld side. Over the last week we've pored over the game from every angle, figuring out what makes - and breaks - the game next to these two versions. It's a remarkable achievement, but is it truly the greatest Smash title ever made?

First, let's acknowledge the sheer scope of the project. Weighing in at 14GB, Ultimate contains every character, mode and stage from the series' history - including previous absentees like Ice Climbers and Solid Snake. Notably, the Wii U and 3DS removed Ice Climbers, with HAL's determination to keep roster parity between the two machines. It's understood the 3DS struggled to render two characters per player - a technical limit that meant the home console version also missed out. On Switch? Well, everything is reinstated - though some aspects of the game still make Ice Climbers a tricky proposition. More on that later - but the bottom line is that this version at least gives you that option, along with many more, to play Smash however you like.

But with the new Ultimate, what's changed, and what stays the same? Compared to the Wii U version, there's a big distinction in the method of lighting. Director Masahiro Sakurai and his team could easily have rested on their laurels and handed in a direct port from Wii U to Switch - and for some that would have been enough. But instead, they've gone much further. For a start, its lighting model is drastically overhauled, giving every stage a starker, more vibrant appearance. Both current and last-gen versions run at a native, fixed 1920x1080 on your TV, by the way - but the new lighting gives Switch a brighter, cleaner presentation.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is Switch's biggest UK launch yet

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is Switch's biggest UK launch yet

And the best launch ever for the series.

Smash Bros. Ultimate has punched its way to the top of the UK charts, with the best ever launch for the series and the best ever launch for any Nintendo Switch game.

In its first weekend of release, Smash Bros. Ultimate sold more physical copies than Zelda, Mario, and even the combined sales of Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee.

It's also the best UK launch for any game in the Smash series - more than 300 per cent higher than the game's Wii U version, and more than 60 per cent higher than Smash Bros. Brawl on Wii.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate review - a messy, magical festival of video games

Where, exactly, to start with a game like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? Maybe it's in one of the 74-strong roster of fighters, such as newcomer Isabelle, who has the same propensity for getting shit done here as she does in her native Animal Crossing series. She's savage, a flurry of toy hammers and candy umbrellas plus a fishing rod used to reel in her opponents, and for her final trick she calls in the muscle, summoning Nook and co who immediately construct their town hall over your poor foe.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate review

Developer: Sora/Bandai Namco/Nintendo

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Like a round of punches on a sprinting Fox McCloud, the Super Smash Bros. series' various campaign modes have always been hit and miss. Brawl's memorable Subspace Emissary, where your favourite characters teamed up in cutscenes offering the kind of fanservice Avengers movies now feast on, also forced you to slog through lacklustre side-scrolling stages. Smash on 3DS had the decent but forgettable dungeon crawler Smash Run, while Smash on Wii U had board game Smash Tour - the less said about that the better - and now Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has World of Light - possibly the strongest offering yet.

Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch finally confirmed

Animal Crossing for Nintendo Switch finally confirmed

Before that, Isabelle joins Super Smash Bros.

Nintendo has at last announced an Animal Crossing game for Switch. It's coming in 2019.

During tonight's Nintendo Direct, the company also confirmed series mascot Isabelle - your doggy secretary - will be playable in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Woof!

Up until now, Animal Crossing has only been represented in Nintendo's big crossover brawler by Villager, the generic player character. He (or she) debuted in Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS.

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Nintendo confirms Castlevania crossover, King K.Rool and plenty more for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Nintendo confirms Castlevania crossover, King K.Rool and plenty more for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Simon Belmont coming as new fighter - plus more from today's Direct.

Nintendo just wrapped up a Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Direct where it went into more detail on its big fighter, confirming the Castlevania crossover that introduces Simon Belmont as a new fighter plus plenty more.

Belmont, who made his debut on Nintendo hardware back in 1987, will wield his whip as a signature item and the Grand Cross forming his Final Smash, and his echo fighter - a character with a similar moveset but a different skin - will be none other than Richter Belmont, from Rondo of Blood amongst other Castlevania games.

Belmont will also have his own stage, Dracula's Castle, which features cameos from the vampire himself. It'll be one of 103 stages in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which is an all-in bundle of everything that's ever featured in the series and plenty more besides.

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