Countdown to Smash – Seven things to know about Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is just a short week away from dominating the living room, as well as your morning commute, this Christmas for Nintendo Switch. Though a week may be short, we understand that it may feel like the longest week ever. This is why I’ll be writing an article a day, for the next seven days, to top up your Smash Bros. fix. Some of it is useful information, and some of it is just for fun!

Today, I’m bringing you seven things that you need to know about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, so you are prepared for launch. Check them out after the break!

Everyone is here!

Though this is the most obvious ‘thing’ you’ll read in this article, it’s actually a VERY big deal. Every single fighter that has been in a previous Super Smash Bros. game will be playable in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and I mean everyone. Be prepared to welcome back the likes of Ice Climbers, Wolf, Pokémon Trainer, Snake, Pichu, and, most importantly, Young Link… because there just wasn’t enough Link representation.

That’s not all though, there are also 12 confirmed newcomers. They are Daisy from Super Mario Land (echo of Peach), Inkling from Splatoon, Ridley from Metroid (yes that massive monster), Simon Belmont from Castlevania, Richer Belmont from Castlevania (echo of Simon), Dark Samus from Metroid Prime 2 (echo of Samus), King K. Rool from Donkey Kong Country, Isabelle from Animal Crossing, Incineroar from Pokémon Sun/Moon, Ken from Street Fighter (echo of Roy), and Piranha Plant from Super Mario Bros. (DLC). Not only that, but it has been confirmed that five new fighters will be announced post-release as DLC! This brings the total character count to about 82 (including the Pokémon Trainer characters and all DLC)

Though there are a boat load of playable fighters, you’ll actually start the game with only eight fighters to choose from. This is actually a call back to the original Super Smash Bros. as these eight characters are the original starters.

Though not everyone in Nintendo history could make it into the roster, that would just be insane, there are other ways some characters are referenced… and yes, Waluigi is still an assist trophy. Assist trophies, for those who do not know, are an item which, when picked up, transform into a random character to help you out in battle. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, there are a total of 59 different assist trophies, some of which can now be defeated, and they may even fight other assist trophies.

Your favourite character still didn’t make the cut? Never fear, as they still be in the game yet in the form of spirits. Spirits are sort of a weird combination of trophies and stickers. They once had a physical form, but have since been transformed into spirits by the mysterious Galeem. Think of them as a trophy/sticker hybrid, they are a collectible which has the power to grant fighters special abilities. At the time of writing, it is thought that Ultimate will include at least 500 different spirits.

When Sakurai said that everyone is here, he really meant that everyone is here!

The World of Light falls

Adventure Mode finally returns in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, this time in the form of World of Light. The sole survivor of Galeem’s purge is on a quest to return the world from mass destruction.

You’ll traverse a huge world map going from challenge to challenge, fighting a range of different characters and rescuing spirits. Each battle has unique factors, such as the enemy having powerful armour or the enemy is huge… think of it for pre-made custom smashes.

You can bring a range of different spirits in to help you out. Primary spirits raise your attack power in certain areas and have their own strengths over other spirits. Grab will overcome shield, shield will overcome attack, and attack will overcome grab. Secondary spirits on the other hand, will grant you special skills. Some may automatically equip you with an item at the start of battle, other may offer resistance against specific attacks.

Squad Smashdown

There are a few other modes new to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Squad Strike involves players creating two teams of three or five characters. Players will then compete in one continuous battle, playing each character in their squad one after the other. Though this is primarily a two player mode, it may be interesting to have controller swaps when a player gets smashed.

Think you’re a well rounded smasher? After a battle in Smashdown, all previously used characters become off limits. Each player must select a new fighter. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favourite character. Or maybe this would add a bit more excitement to your next smash tournament.

Returning classics

Plenty of classic modes make a comeback. Can’t have a classic mode without ‘classic mode’. As always, this mode pits you in consecutive battles against increasingly more difficult characters.

Multi-man smash gets a brand new name… Mob smash! Century smash acts similarly to 100-man smash. Fight a horde of mii fighters to beat your best time. No polygonians in sight. All-star smash is similar to all-star mode, instead of fighting the entire roster in consecutive battles, you fight them in one big battle. Not much is known about cruel smash, though it’s probably safe to assume it’s like previous games, pitting you against very difficult AI players.

Perfect for big parties, tournament mode also returns for the first time since Brawl. Set up offline tournament with your own rules and with up to 32 players.

Training mode gets an upgrade. Not only is there a training mode exclusive stage, but it also includes a bunch of useful features. The stages comes with a grid, allowing you to judge distances with ease. There are also guides that predict launch trajectory. Red line for 0% damage, and blue line for 100% damage.

Many more classic modes await, such as custom smash, challenges, replays, and, of course, regular smash!

On the line

Ultimate comes packed with brand new online features. Matchmaking has changed; for fun and for glory are no more. Instead matchmaking will be based on three different attributes: Global Smash Power (GSP), preferred rules, and proximity.

GSP represents how many players you outrank globally; the better you play, the higher your GSP. Players can set preferred rules to play online such as whether or not to use stage hazards, which type of smash format to play, and more. Proximity refers to how close players are globally.

Players can set up their own lobbies called a battle arena for either strangers or friend only. Battle arenas allow friends to battle it out online. Depending on where a player places their token will determine whether they are waiting for the next battle, spectating, or actually participating in battle. 

Battle arenas also make use of the Nintendo Switch Online app for smartphones. Players can use the app for voice chat, as well as the brand new Smash World service. This service keeps players up to date with their own records, along with your friends’ records. You’ll also be able to post and watch replays, with more update to come. The service will start in early 2019.

Refined experience

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate also includes a load more subtle/specific changes and improvements. First of all, everything has been sped up with much smoother gameplay… it plays so good! Final smashes and KOs have also been sped up to keep the momentum going.

When kicked off the screen, a small mini-map appears in the corner of the screen. The mini-map will tell you how close you are to the blast zone. Remember, entering the blast zone will KO you!

To make battles even more tense, during sudden death, the screen will slowly shrink, forcing players to the middle of the stage. Bob-ombs will start to appear at random the longer you take. That’s not all! Sometimes, during a potential final hit, the screen will zoom in and pause gameplay for a moment… how’s that for tense.

Ultimate comes packed with a bunch of new advanced techniques too. Air dodging does just that, allows you to dodge mid-air gracefully. Short hop attacks allow you to hop a little into the air while performing an attack. A perfect shield, when performed correctly, completely nullifies an attack. 

If I listed every single change, this article would be a lot longer, instead I’m only whetting your appetite.

The ultimate package!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is incredibly huge… and I mean HUGE! If you haven’t gathered that yet, I have even more statistics to prove this. Not only are there more than 80 different fighters (including DLC), but Smash Ultimate also comes with around 103 stages. Every stage also includes Battlefield and Ω forms, technically bringing the total to more than 300 stages… did we also mention that all stages can be played with up to eight players?

Smash Bros. Ultimate should also provide a delight for the ears. The game comes packed with more than 800 different compositions, totalling to around 28 hours of music.


There we have it then, seven things you need to know about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I’m only scratching the surface here, there is still a bunch more to the game… but I’ll leave that for you to discover.

See you tomorrow for the continuation of our Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Countdown! I promise you won’t have a lot to read next time.

About the Author:

I am a huge Nintendo fan, hence why NintyBuzz exists. I especially love all things Zelda and Metroid. NintyBuzz was started by me back in the Summer of 2014, it started out mainly as a hobby, though the site has gradually grown, and I hope it grows for many years to come!

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