For the majority of players, unlocking new fighters in Super Smash Bros. games is an exciting process. In the case of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Switch, it's got some players concerned about tournament play. Due to the sizable roster of 70 fighters currently available in the game, unless you're resorting to particular methods to unlock each of these characters as fast as possible, it's going to take a while before you can play as every single one of them.
Some of the game's fanbase finds this to be a worrying sign for lower-end tournaments, that might not have Nintendo officials present to presumably unlock every character in the game with their magical powers. A user by the name of 'KillstealWolf' on ResetEra, raised the potential concerns tied to tournament play, that could make these types of events a nightmare for organisers, who would potentially have to unlock characters across multiple units for larger-sized events:
"You think unlocking all the characters once is frustrating? Try being a Tournament organizer where you will need to unlock all the characters on multiple units. Even when a fully optimized unlock method as planned [is] out it’s still probably going to take at least 3 to 4 hours to unlock everyone on one unit (and assuming you are fairly competent enough to beat the challenges on their first try as well for time saving)...Smash Ultimate saves are locked to that one switch, and you’ll need a Online Subscription Service if you want to create a backup of that save. And save transfers are one way at present. It’s a lot of unneeded hassle for tournament organizers to set up and might actually affect the tournament scene for the game in the long run."
Other UItimate players said how the character unlock system should not have been attached to every mode in the game. One user mentioned how a tournament option, like the one in ARMS, would have been a helpful inclusion:
"I do wish there was a tournament mode like ARMS had which unlocks everything for quick play, my siblings and I aren't even going to try playing it together until one of us has everyone unlocked, so it's gonna be a bit."
Many others who are not concerned about competitive play defended the character unlock system in the new entry, saying how it's fun to simply play the game and grow the roster over time. In July, the creator of the Super Smash Bros. series Masahiro Sakurai said he didn't really consider professional players or a potential audience when developing new entries in the Smash line:
"I feel like a game, at the end of the day, is about playing the game. But if we focus too much on the top level players - or the audience - then the game skews a little bit too much on the technical side."
In the same interview, Sakurai said how Nintendo's philosophy did not align with competitive gaming and likely never would:
"The philosophy behind them doesn’t go in line with Nintendo’s philosophy in that some of these players are playing for the prize money...it comes to a point where they’re playing the game for the money, and I feel that kind of direction doesn’t coincide with Nintendo’s view of what games should be."
What do you think about this? Do you believe there should be a standalone mode allowing players to access every fighter immediately? Is the 32-player tournament option per Switch enough? How many characters have you unlocked in Ultimate so far? Tell us below.