Nintendo definitely stole the show at E3 with their showing of the hugely anticipated Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch. With a release date of December 7, 2018, the game is closer than many expected. Some feared that the game would be a poorly put-together port of the previous title. However, it is obvious after watching the official announcement that real work was put into the title in an attempt to make it the best SSB yet.
Specifics of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Unveiled at E3
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all came when the game announced the ridiculous roster it will carry. Every single character ever to appear in the series is back. Originals like Mario, Samus, Kirby, and Link return yet again. Melee staples like Marth and Roy are there. But more niche characters like Ice Climbers and Mr. Game and Watch also make appearances for the first time since the Gamecube days.
Ultimate also features third-party and downloadable characters who reprise their roles. Snake, from Metal Gear Solid, is playable in Smash for the first time in ten years. Cloud Strife of Final Fantasy VII, who was a DLC character in the Wii U version, along with Street Fighter’s Ryu can be unlocked.
Creator Masahiro Sakurai warned fans that since so much focus was put into making sure every old character made it into this title, they should not expect much new content. Still, a few new faces will be added, including Inkling, from Splatoon, and Ridley, from Metroid.
Basically, this will be the biggest crossover in history (sorry, Avengers). Sakurai did note that the original roster will be as limited as the first title, but recruitment will be streamlined. He emphasized he wanted the roster to be constantly expanding for players.
Sakurai did touch on the fact that the characters will get a few updates in terms of looks and movesets. Characters like Mario will get new moves based on their newer titles. A few characters, like Ike, will have alternate costumes, and even alternate voice actors to go with them. There are even options for playing as a male or female for characters like Pokémon Trainer or Inkling.
Other characters will get specific features to make them play more like they did in their original title. Ryu, for example, will always face towards the other player in one-on-one matches. Players will be able to see Cloud’s “Limit Break” bar, and R.O.B. will have a visible fuel bar.
There will also be echo fighters, which Sakurai described as “similar but different to each other.” One of these is Daisy, who will play similar to Peach. This is not much different than what we have seen in the past with characters like Link and Toon Link.
Finally, there will be Assist Trophy characters activated by picking up and throwing a trophy item. Sakurai emphasized that while some assist characters cannot be KOed, others can be. Players will be awarded points for doing so.
Although it was not explicitly stated, it looks as though all (or at the very least, most) of the old stages will also return in Ultimate. Old favorites like the dangerous Big Blue were showcased, along with Peach Castle, Green Hill Zone, and Great Plateau Tower.
One great feature is that each stage will have a Battlefield and Omega form. Many more hardcore players enjoy Battlefield, because it emphasizes a player’s skill, with less random impact from the unique environments of certain stages. With the Battlefield and Omega forms, players can still focus on showcasing their skills, while enjoying the background music of some of their favorite games.
While the gameplay will stick to the tried and true simplistic controls that made the game a hit in the Nintendo 64 days, there will be some updates. Players will be able to do directional air dodges, but overusing them will make them more vulnerable. Short hop attacks add an extra dimension to battles. Final Smash attacks look to be overhauled. Sakurai noted that this is an attempt to get “straight to the point” and keep the action flowing.
There are even a few minor changes to old moves. Players must carefully time when they use perfect shields, or they will backfire on the player. Also, damage dealt in one-on-one battles will be higher. Finally, one of the most interesting features is that in timed battles, the player that is in the lead will sometimes flash, in order to alert other players of their status.
Last Word on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Though we will have to wait until the actual release, so far this game looks like it will fit the “Ultimate” tag it was given. With the entire crew available, fans of any of the Smash Bros. titles will be able to use their favorite character. Classic Nintendo Gamecube controllers are also in the works before release, so the controls promise to be as smooth as ever. All Amiibo figurines will be compatible with Ultimate, and all data and levels will be transferable.
All in all, fans should be extremely pleased with the details of the next installment of the Smash Bros. series.
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