Nintendo has finally revealed all of the fighters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the Switch’s big gun for this holiday season.
Ken Masters and the Gen 7 Pokemon, Incineroar, join the battle! Ken, an Echo Fighter, uses his signature kicks, and his Shoryuken and Hadoken differ slightly from Ryu’s. Meanwhile, newcomer Incineroar fights like a pro wrestler, with a lot of grapple-based moves including a clothesline off the rope and even a lariat (neutral B).
The game’s new Spirits Mode was finally revealed. It’s a series of Event matches of sorts where you challenge Spirits, which, represented by icons (mostly of non-playable characters), are heavily modified versions of existing fighters with tweaked parameters to suit the ‘spirit’ of the character in question (for the Lakitu and Spiny Spirit, for instance, you’ll fight Iggy Koopa and a bunch of small red Bowsers, and for the Guts Man Spirit, you’ll fight a Mega Man who spams grabs). Items can be involved, and various levels can also be modified in these often-chaotic fights. Once you unlock Spirits, they can be equipped to bolster your stats for fights in the mode, trained, leveled-up, and sacrificed to power-up Amiibo fighters.
Kirby Goes on a dark adventure!
The Direct ended with an announcement of World of Light, the game’s Adventure Mode, and revealed a voice-acted story mode cut-scene showing how the characters were all turned into Spirits. While it appears that you start with just Kirby, will be traversing a large smattering of overworld maps based on the game’s various franchises to reach your destined fights, and will need to be unlocking fighters as you go along, it’s not clear whether there will be much of a text- or cut-scene-based story or bosses in this involving mode, which appears to be tied closely into Spirits.
Online play was also detailed. Players will be able to set Preferred Rules for online games, and this will help greatly with matchmaking. When the battle starts, one of the opponents’ conditions will be chosen at random. You can also choose pre-set messages to send to opponents, and you can participate in certain other game modes while waiting for online battles to start. Battle Arenas are a new addition. In these lobbies, players can congregate, freely drop in and out of battles, get in queues, and spectate. These Battle Arenas will thankfully be supported by voice chat via the Nintendo Switch App and the just-announced Smash World app, which will also support the uploading of videos.
Piranha Plants pipes up as a pre-order bonus
A final, surprising, additional fighter was also announced. If you pre-order Super Smash Bros. Ultimate or register the game online within the first month or so that it comes out, you’ll receive a DLC character, the Piranha Plant, for free. No details were available on how much this fighter will cost after the grace period.
Finally, Mr. Sakurai revealed their plans for DLC. There will be five individual Fighters packaged in bundles including a stage and multiple music tracks costing $5.99 each, and a Fighter Pass that includes all five for the discounted price of $24.99. Mr. Sakurai did not reveal any of the fighters, but he did add that a purchase of the Fighter Pass will include the bonus of a Mii Costume of Rex from Xenoblade Chronicles 2, who may or may not end up being one of the DLC characters (my money for the Bandai-Namco rep is on Lloyd Irving or Yuri Lowell as a Tales of rep given that directors for that series did a lot of work on Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U and Ultimate and Tales of Vesperia is getting a re-release in January).
So there you have it. Unless there are any other surprises in store in the coming month, after a long information drought and a glut of fake leaks, we now know all there is to know about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Was it worth the wait? Will it truly be the ultimate Smash Bros. experience? Wait and see, because the Switch bundle comes out tomorrow, November 2nd, and the game itself will release in just over a month, on December 7th.