Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launched last week and, so far, folks seem to love everything about the game. Well, almost everything. Based on the latest buzz, the online brawl has been something of a disaster.
The above tweet is just one of countless comments popping up across the internet concerning online multiplayer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which has had a very, very rocky first week of performance. What sets this remark apart from the pack is that it comes from William Peter Hjelte, also known as Leffen, a Swedish professional gamer who knows a thing or two about online fisticuffs. If you've got the professional fighter crowd calling your game out, chances are that you need to address things with a quickness.
In Nintendo's defense, it's Nintendo. As snarky as that may sound, Nintendo's online gaming has never been up to par with the competition. On the other hand, it's one of the biggest names in gaming, so it's understandable that folks are no longer giving the company a free pass for being so behind the times in this particular category.
Another couple of issues have perhaps led to the extra frustration folks are experiencing with Nintendo's online service as it pertains to Smash. For starters, Nintendo recommends that anyone who wants to play online who doesn't have blazing fast internet should probably use a wired connection. The problem with that statement is that the Switch dock does not have an outlet for a wired connection, so folks need to go out and spend more money if they want to connect their console directly to a router. There's also the fact that the whole point of the Switch is that I can take it out of the dock and play anywhere in the house or really just asnywhere, so damn-near needing a wired connection kind of defeats that purpose.
Also, as Twitter user Etika points out, it's kind of odd that Nintendo went all in on this latest Smash game only to fall flat on its face with the online.
Finally, and probably the biggest gripe of them all, is the fact that Nintendo now charges for online multiplayer gaming. Back in the day, it was easier to forgive Nintendo's wonky online service because, hey, you get what you pay for and the cost used to be zero dollars. Now they're charging $20 a year and, while that's still low compared to the competition, people tend to expect a thing they're paying for to work.
But, as Twitter user @MeegsMachine and many others are saying, that's simply not the case.
Still, it's very early going for Smash on the Switch. No matter the developer or the platform, online games typically have issues during their first week or two on the market. While it would have been nice for Smash to work well online from day one, maybe Nintendo just needs some time to get their ducks in a row. If this is still an issue in a couple of weeks, though, it might be fair to argue they're officially out of excuses.