It has gotten a lot easier to be matched with the ruleset that you want in Smash Ultimte online battles. Also patched were some characters and difficulty levels.
One of the biggest downfalls of the release copy of Smash Ultimate was the horrible online matchmaking. As I wrote in my review, it felt like Nintendo took one step forward with ranked matches, and two steps back by taking out For Fun and For Glory.
At the risk of repeating myself, my review reads “Without For Fun or Glory, every match is a casual match. You wanted a one-on-one match for seven minutes, no items with three stocks? Sure, here’s a four-player battle in Great Cave Offensive with casual players that want to hit each other with homerun bats and baseballs.” Now, that’s all but mostly fixed.
After the 1.2.0 Smash Ultimate patch went live late last night, I was able to get 10 one-on-one matches with different players in a row, sans items. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it felt more like a miracle.
The patch notes warn that it might take longer to find Quickplay battles because of the more specific ruleset matching, but I was still getting nearly instant battles. I was getting a mix of stocks and times, but that was nothing compared to the vanilla stages others were choosing, with at least hazards turned off.
It’s likely going to take a while before we finally get the Smash Ultimate online matchmaking system that we deserve, but for the meantime, I’ll take this single step forward as a win.
The Smash Ultimate 1.2.0 patch notes also reference patches for the following characters, with no specific details as to what exactly was done to them: Donkey Kong, Link, Kirby, Luigi, Ice Climbers, Young Link, Olimar, Toon Link, Villager, Greninja, PAC-MAN, Duck Hunt, and Isabelle. From the games that I played last night, I’d venture a guess at Isabelle being one of the patched characters that received some buffs. Sadly, the overpowered and broken King K. Rool remains unnerfed.
The difficulty of the CPUs when unlocking new characters was definitely cranked up a bit too high, but that has apparently been adjusted to a lower difficulty setting.
Smash Ultimate released for the Nintendo Switch on December 7, 2018.