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8/8 Smash Direct: New Information On Smash Ultimate

Today, Nintendo shared a 30-minute video that revealed a plethora of new information regarding the characters, stages, and content that will be included in the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-kQWJrjRV4

Similar to Nintendo’s previous “Direct” release, much of the information given is translated from a developer update with Masahiro Sakurai.

The direct revealed a number of new characters that will be making their debut in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. These characters are…

Simon Belmont, the game’s first representative from the Castlevania series and a highly-requested character by fans in many countries. Simon’s flail attacks have the longest average range of any character in the game, and his special moves are based off of the special weapons from the Castlevania series. These include a holy water attack, a thrown axe, and a cross that acts as a boomerang. Simon’s recovery appears to be a simple uppercut that travels a short distance upwards and slightly forwards. This recovery could be one of the character’s main weaknesses, however, as it does not appear to travel very far.

Richter Belmont, the game’s second representative from the Castlevania series, is an Echo fighter of Simon. For those unaware, Echo fighters have the same attacks as another character, but include their own unique animations, dialogue, and have a few key differences in the way they operate. During this short trailer, I was unable to find any mechanical differences between Richter and Simon, though Richter’s holy water attack produced a blue flame while Simon’s produced a red flame.

K Rool, the primary antagonist of Donkey Kong in his games, is a totally new addition to the franchise. K Rool’s attacks appear to have a lot of armor, allowing them to keep moving even if K Rool is struck while attacking. The character also has a counter special attack.

Dark Samus is the game’s fourth representative from the Metroid series behind Samus, Zero Suit Samus and Ridley. Dark Samus is an Echo Fighter of Samus. While Dark Samus has a very unique visual style when compared to Samus, I was unable to find any mechanical differences between the two fighters in this trailer.

Chrom, one of the game’s numerous representatives from the Fire Emblem RPG series, is a sword-wielding Echo Fighter of Roy. Despite being an Echo of Roy, he appears to have borrowed Ike’s AEther recovery special attack. His similarities to Lucina, another Echo Fighter, might hint at what’s different about him versus Roy: Roy’s sword has a special mechanic where it deals more damage the closer the opponent is to the hilt of the blade when an attack lands, and less damage the closer they are to the tip. Chrom might lack this mechanic, instead using a blade that deals the same amount of damage regardless of where on the blade the opponent is hit.

The trailer also revealed the total number of stages in Smash Ultimate: 103. In addition, a new feature called “Stage Morph” allows the game to seamlessly transition from one stage to another mid-match, without disrupting the action.

All stage hazards can be toggled on or off.

The game features around 900 full music tracks, or approx. 28 hours of music.

A new “Smashdown” mode sets up a number of matches, with one important twist: Players cannot pick a character in the next match if that character was played in a previous match. The more matches played, the smaller the character pool becomes. This sets up for interesting strategies: One player could purposefully pick a fighter they know their opponent is good at to prevent their opponent from picking that fighter in the future.

A built-in tournament mode facilitates setup and ladder matches. Players can select who gets to choose the next stage after a game ends in a multi-round set: The winner, the loser, or whoever wants to. “Loser’s Pick” is a common rule in competitive Smash Brothers.

This is far from everything revealed in the trailer: There’s also a number of interesting new items, cool new Pokemon, and exciting assist trophies that will be making an appearance. Check out the Smash Direct video yourself for the full rundown of what to expect for Smash Ultimate, which releases in December of 2018 only for the Nintendo Switch.

There were hints in this trailer that fans have not seen every character that will be making an appearance in the game, and one of the game’s primary main menu modes was blurred out to be revealed at a later date. Make no mistake: We have not seen the last of Smash Ultimate.

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