Super Smash Brothers has long struggled to escape the shadow of its own past, specifically the fanatic love that their most hardcore players have for Super Smash Bros Melee, the second game in the long-running series. Super Smash Brothers Ultimate has had a good run as a temporary go-to, on account of it having the largest roster of characters, more competitively viable stages, and the most robust online mode, but thanks to the mad lads who refuse to give up on the 19-year-old game (ugh), professional players now have a reason to go back to Melee.
As you may be aware, most competitive players of Melee don’t actually use the Gamecube version of the game anymore, but rather the Dolphin emulator, which has allowed people to port the game to PC and, more importantly, mod it with fan-made patches and content. But just the other day, those modders unveiled their biggest plug-in to date; Slippi, which introduces rollback netcode to the game.
Rollback netcode, you see, is considered a must-have for online play in fighting games, as it eliminates lag and input delays. And while Nintendo (obviously) doesn’t have that for Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, the modded version of the game on the Dolphin emulator does, which will probably make it the go-to during this whole social distancing situation.
Slippi also adds matchmaking and a number of other small changes to the game, so if you’ve already got the emulated version of Super Smash Brothers Melee, there’s really no reason not to check it out. That said, Nintendo has always had a rather bad attitude towards this kind of thing, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they decided to step in and shut it down as it gets more visibility.
But I doubt it’ll be easy to shut down something this big.