Wow, that Nintendo Direct was exhausting, but in the you just exercised feel good for yourself kind of way. Sakurai talked about enough to keep people excited, but left enough secrets to keep us wanting more, he even left a very big reveal for the end which fans have been wanting for a while.
If you have been living under a rock the past week, or if, like Sam, you only had a five minute break at college, don’t you worry, I have written a rather spiffing summary for your convenience. If you aren’t the reading type, then I’ve conveniently embedded the recording below just for you. Even though it will not get me an extra click, I still think it is a very generous trade-off for reader satisfaction!
Now, for you linguists out there, our written summary of the event can be found right after the break!
The Full Belmont-y
Undead ghouls of Dracula’s castle may be able to fell Luigi rather easily, but those from the Belmont family are sure to pose much more of a difficulty. Simon Belmont of Castlevania has joined the roster as a new fighter, along with an echo varient, Richter Belmont.
Their signature weapon, the whip, is perfect for close range action, especially since it’s range is a bit longer compared to other fighters’ close range attacks. The Belmonts also come equipped with axes, crosses, and holy water. Their Final Smash? Whack your opponent in a tightly locked coffin, then succumb them with the power of the Grand Cross!
Every fighter needs their own stage, and what a more suited stage than Dracula’s Castle. Items appearing from candlesticks may be exciting enough, but did you know powerful enemies from Castlevania’s past will also appear at random? Additional to this new stage, the Belmonts also bring a new assist trophy; the son of Dracula, Alucard.
If you recall back to E3, you may remember that Sakurai talked about how Echo fighters are essentially fighters that have identical move sets to another fighter, but look completely different. It’s a great way to include a wider representation of a series without having to come up with a completely new moveset.
Today, Sakurai had even more Echo fighters to reveal in addition to Richter: Chrom from Fire Emblem will be an Echo of Roy, and Dark Samus from Metroid will be an Echo of Samus! That’s not all. Players can choose whether they wish every Echo fighter to be displayed as separate fighters during character selection, or if they should be on toggles to save screen real estate.
Sakurai revealed that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will contain over 100 different stages. If you included every battlefield, omega, and 8-player form, then you are looking at over 300 stages… the Ultimate subtitle is definitely living up to its name.
There are a bunch of new old stages which were revealed today, they include: Great Bay, Shadow Moses Island, Guar Plain, Pokémon Stadium, Brinstar Depths, and Final Destination. It was also revealed that, though the N64 stages have been remastered, their original looks were still retained to induce nostalgia on the fighters.
A brand new stage was also revealed: New Donk City Hall from Super Mario Odyssey. The entire stage is set in front of, you guessed it, the New Donk City Hall, however a floating platform will transport fighters to different levels of the massive skyscraper. Members of the New Donk band may pop in to say hello, and I’ve even heard Mayor Pauline may make a special appearance too!
Chaotic fiends, prepare to be enthralled by this upcoming news… every single stage has a 8-player form, which means every single stage can be played with 8 players! If you are on the other end of the chaotic spectrum, you can instead choose to turn hazards off completely.
Ever had the situation where you found it hard choosing between two different stages? What if I told you that you will not have to worry about this question ever again? You’re probably thinking I’m pretty crazy, and though you may be correct, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate now comes with a Stage Morph option. Pick two stages you wish to play on, and you will find that your fight will switch between the two stages at random or set intervals. One moment you’ll be taking a smashing tour of Isle Delfino, all of a sudden you’ll be transported to the Brinstar Depths. Now, what if you want to choose three stages… well, you’re on you own with that predicament.
My Music, the mode which allows you to set the probability of specific music track to play on specific stages, returns in Ultimate, this time with a big improvement. Instead of a specific selection of tracks being available for each stage, music will be shared across all stages of the same series, allowing more musical options.
Music has always played a big part in the Smash series, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is no exception. Ultimate contains approximately 900 different compositions, adding up to around 28 pure hours of Nintendo music. That’s not all, similar to Smash for 3DS, you can also create your own playlists and even listen to music through headphones while your system is in sleep mode. Now that’s music to my ears.
Break the Rules
Looks like battles are about to receive even more customisation in Ultimate with a range of new rule options and game modes. One option in particular looks to be very useful, the ability to save specific rule sets. If, for example, you run competitions/tournaments which have specific rule regulations, you can now save a specific rule set to save you having to set specific rules each time you launch the game.
Stamina Battles are back, and this time they are treated as standard battles, rather than being lumped separately in Special Smash mode.
You may have noticed from gameplay footage from previous events that stage selection now takes place before character selection. This now means that you can strategise your character selection further as you may know which character plays well on which stage. There is also now an option to let the looser from the last match to pick the stage.
When there is a tie in a match, drawing players will enter Sudden Death and start with 300% damage, meaning that just a single attack could send someone flying. Ultimate makes some changes to this feature. The play area will slowly shrink to add more urgency, and when a final blow is given, the game will pause momentarily to build up tension.
Ultimate also introduces Final Smash Meters into the fray. With the FS Meter option switched on, each fighter will have a meter that gradually fills up. Once filled, you can then perform a weaker version of your Final Smash. It is currently unknown if it’s possible for Smash Balls to appear with the FS Meter option on.
Mode less travelled
Now it’s time for some battle modes. In the brand new Squad Strike mode, it’s 3 vs 3 or 5 vs 5 elimination style. Both players will select either three or five fighters to use consecutively. Think of it like a Pokémon battle, but in Smash Bros. instead.
Tourney mode from Brawl returns! Perfect for large Smash gatherings, you can easily set up tournament style brackets in this mode for up to 32 players (including CPU).
The new Smashdown mode is perfect if you want of diversify your play style. Following each battle, previously selected fighters will no longer be available to use for the rest of the session.
Training mode is another returning mode, however this time is has a brand new dedicated stage. The training stage has various grids and measurments in the background to get a good sense of distance and heights. Guides will also appear to give a sense of the trajectory of launching other fighters.
It wouldn’t be Smash without Classic mode, and luckily this one also returns in Ultimate. As usual, the aim is to get through multiple rounds of different fighters and rulesets.
Pick me ups
Though most professional players like to turn these guys off, you can’t deny that a Smash battle is more enjoyable with items, Assist Trophies, and Pokémon. Sakurai took this opportunity to talk about some of the new stuff under this category.
It may look like a Banana, but don’t go eating this Banana Gun, use it to shoot your foes instead. The Killing Edge is one powerful blade, watch it glow, strike, then watch your foe fly away. The Bomber may look all cute and innocent, but it packs one powerful explosion if it’s lifted into the air. We seem to be in the presence of the Grim Reaper, one swoop of Death’s Scythe may cause a one-hit KO if your foe’s damage is high enough. Gun type weapons should always be good at long range, and this Staff is no exception; the further the target, the higher the damage! Sometimes Mushrooms can be good for you, other times they can be bad, throw the Ramblin’ Evil Mushroom at someone to reverse their controls. The Rage Blaster is all the rage, the more damage the user has, the more damage the blaster will output.
New Pokémon have also been added. The Alolan Exeggutor will create a tall blockade, it could even completely separate fighters from each other for a little while. Abra will come in and transport fighters to another dimension… a.k.a. another part of the stage. Solgaleo will create a devastating beam of solar power, whereas Lunala’s will generate a blast of lunar energy. Mimikyu will drag a fighter under its disguise and then do ‘things’ to them, tormenting them enough for a KO. Pyukumuku may look like a black and purple blob of nothing, but cross path with it, and be prepared for a slap. Vulpix is another cute but deadly Pokémon that will give you a nice burning sensation over your entire body, Alolan Vulpix on the other hand will cool you down… into an ice cube! Marshadow will hide in the shadowy depths until the right time to ambush a poor and unfortunate soul. Ditto will transform into an exact clone of another fighter, bringing meaning to two heads is better than one.
New Assist Trophies next! Zero will fly in and hit your opponents with a barrage of high energy attacks. Knuckles (pre-Sonic Boom) will dig his way towards your opponents and go dash attack crazy. Krystal jets in and will freeze you with more than just her looks. Klaptrap will scuttle its way to an enemy and chomp away at their dignity. Kapp’n gives a new meaning to kidnapping, get caught in his path and you’ll be taking a bus journey against your will to a KO. Chef Kawasaki can make a meal out of anything, including your fellow fighters. Gray Fox will dispose of your foes with swift swordplay. Nikki is more than happy to provide some drawing lessons, even if these lessons can be used against you. Shovel Knight will either bury your foes into the past, or dig up useful items. Only a few seconds remain for your foes when the Moon comes into play. Rathalas will swoop in for the kill, but defeating him will reward you with a kill. Oh, he will also appear as a boss on a specific stage!
What’s on the menu?
Before signing off, Sakurai gave us a glimpse at the super sleek main menu of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and boy does it look cool… though unfortunately one section has been blurred out for another date… perhaps it could be a Subspace Emissary styled single player mode?
What’s pretty cool is the little dashboard on the right of the screen, which can be accessed at any time on the main menus by pressing ZR. It looks like this is a good place to quickly get to things like settings, controls, and online invitations… there’s another blurred icon here too
K Rool intentions
It wouldn’t be a Smash Direct without one of those ‘One more thing’ moments. What could it possibly mean though… hang on a second… it couldn’t be… it’s…
… no, wait. It’s…
KING K ROOL!
Yes, the Kremlin king is finally back after ten long years (last appearing in Mario Super Sluggers), and what’s a better time than in a brand new Smash Bros. game.
This beast with a belly seems like a formidable foe equipped with the blunderbuss, a gun that can fire cannonballs and OTHER FIGHTERS. He can also throw his crown like a boomerang. His Final Smash is an ode to Donkey Kong 64 as he fires a massive beam upon Donkey Kong Island. He should still go see a doctor about that eye though.
What a presentation! We saw five new character reveals, a brand new stage, exciting new modes and rulesets, and a barrage of item reveals. It still looks like Nintendo will have even more details to reveal, possibly regarding what was blurred out towards the end, but unfortunately that will have to wait for another time. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this lovely image of all the fighters announced so far… does it look like there is space for a few more?
What did you think of the Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct? What are you most excited for? Tell us in the comments below