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'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate' Is a Massive Monument to Itself

The game is Nintendo doing what Nintendo does best—but at times its deference to history threatens to overwhelm it.

The greatest thing about the Super Smash Bros. series is its dedication to impact. Every time a punch, kick, slash, or blast lands, it has a high likelihood of sending the victim flying—like a good superhero movie, or an anime. Every strike resonates with invisible power; smoke plumes follow these cartoon characters as they careen around their environments, almost ready to explode.

For the casual player, Super Smash Bros. has always excelled as a balance of satisfaction and chaos: the joy of Nintendo's best and most interesting characters pummeling each other, fighting against the disorder of items and bodies being constantly flung from one side of the screen to the other. It's like ballet, only with your little brother's action figures, and instead of dancing they're being thrown at your television set. OK, maybe it's not like ballet at all. But it is, in its best moments, graceful.

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