This morning’s Nintendo Direct was all about following up on the reveal of Super Smash Bros Ultimate at this year’s E3 2018 in Los Angeles. Our first impressions of the gameplay and that initial announcement can be found here.
These are today’s major announcements.
So, many folks woke up to a solid 30 minutes worth of constant jam-packed info about the latest installment of the Smash series, and a good amount of it was lord and savior Masahiro Sakurai saying “wow we did way more than ever before look at these numbers! we’re working hard! Stop asking for Waluigi. Look at everything we’ve already done for you, shut up.”
After a gorgeously rendered cutscene that shows Luigi back in action with his Poltergust 3000, and is brutally murdered on camera with a dramatic reveal of the added Simon & Richter Belmont from Castlevania, who are both presented series spiritual move sets, as well as a stage in Dracula’s Castle, and boss fights with Dracula himself modeled after Symphony of the Night, and a ton of musical additions.
They added Chrom from Fire Emblem as an echo character, and Dark Samus as an echo character from Metroid, and because Sakurai and his team are a bunch of trolls, they announced King K Rool at the end for all those starving Donkey Kong Country fans.
That puts the game’s character roster at 73.
On that note, as soon as K Rool’s announcement came, I found myself looking at the hoard that is the YouTube Live comments, witnessing the hunger of the masses chanting “WHERE IS SANS! I NEED UNDERTALE! WHERE IS FORTNITE? DING DING CHICKEN DINNER!”
I need to plea to Sakurai-san, please. You’ve given us everything. There needs to be a moment where we say “no more.” But for all we know, Sakurai really just wants this to be the most overstuffed Thanksgiving turkey of a game just so that he can say he did it, I just fear the internet will get the best of him.
He also announced the number of stages in the game, almost entirely a list of classic ones totaling 103, each with a Battlefield version, and omega version, and if they have event hazards like at Dr. Wiley’s Castle, you can turn them off. New stages include Dracula’s Castle from Castlevania and New Donk City from Super Mario Odyssey.
Every one of these stages are available as soon as you start playing the game. No need to hustle to unlock that classic map like Brinstar Depths (I hate you Kraid.)
Now we just need to bring back Pokefloats. #justiceforpokefloats
They also have a mode where you can select two stages for the game to jump between in a fight, called Stage Morph. Taking a note from fighting games like Injustice, the battlefield style stages can swap between each other on a timer or at random.
Sakurai proves his team’s dedication with the reveal of 900 music tracks in the game, 28 hours of music total, and the ability to make custom playlists, and similar stage customization from games before, but all categorized nicely, like an album listing per franchise. Basically, Sakurai knows that the nerdiest of us use our Nintendo consoles as an iPod of sorts anyway, so he’s made it much easier for us, including the ability to continue the music play in sleep mode on the Switch.
In this direct, once the hype of added characters winded down, we’re told about all kinds of small quality of life changes that are clearly a result of spending years on building this franchise and surveying fans. Now, for instance, players will be selecting their rules before anything else, so no need to worry about accidental 2-minute knockout warm-up rounds before jumping into your 3 stock training sessions.
There have been moves to better the game’s built-in tournament mode as well, with up to 32 available participants per bracket. Single-player challenges are back with Classic mode and training mode. New features include 3 v 3 and 5 v 5 combat entitled Squad Strike, and the Smashdown mode, allowing players to solo fight their way through the roster, each disappearing from the board after each match occurs.
They showed a bunch of new Pokemon and assist trophies, a lot of favorites returning, but also some fan favorites that are making first-time combat contributions like indie icon Shovel Knight, Knuckles from Sonic and Knuckles and Knuckles, ZERO from MegaMan, and Majora’s creepy moon from the Legend of Zelda. They’ve also added the classic dragon, Rathalos, as an event boss that can appear on any stage, a first-time appearance from the Monster Hunter franchise.
Towards the end of the direct, they showed the menu and it looks…. eh. It looks like an improvement, and at least everything that is a game mode is pretty visible, but from a general fundamental graphic design, I’m not into it. However, the one interesting aspect is a hidden menu they state they can’t talk about yet.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate will release on December 7 this year on the Nintendo Switch, saving dozens of lives and making millions of dollars.