Yesterday, November 1st, 2018 was the FINAL Nintendo Direct before the release of Super Smash Bros Ultimate on December 7th, 2018 for the Nintendo Switch.
The 40+ minute long conference was all Smash Bros, the entire time. The conference has a lot to say and revealed a plethora of previously unknown details about the content that will be included in this latest, greatest, and possibly last-ever iteration of the much-beloved platform fighter.
Here’s a quick brush-up on everything that went down:
I. The Characters
Three characters were revealed at this event, officially busting a previous and very convincing Smash Leak. Two of those three – New pokemon rep Inceneroar and new Street Fighter rep Ken will be available at launch, while the third (Link That to the Pirhana Plant one) will be available sometime afterward, for free to those who Pre-Order or buy near the release date.
Inceneroar is a grappler-type character who performs dynamic and expressive taunts after every landed strong attack – being a wrestler at heart, he can’t help but show off for the crowd. He’s got some interesting timing-based special attacks and a unique counter move that doesn’t strike back instantly – Instead, it stores attack energy and unleashes it when Inceneror strikes next.
Ken is an echo fighter of Ryu, with a few key differences. First, he moves a bit faster than Ryu, and similar to his representation in the Street Fighter saga puts a greater emphasis on his kicks than his punches. In addition, his strong Shoryuken attack has a fire effect, hitting multiple times. While this is not directly shown, this suggests the attack will be more of a tool for dealing damage than the kill option it is for Ryu, and that Ken may want to look into other methods of securing K.O. finishes.
The heavily discussed new mode that was blurred out of the main menu screen in previous Smash titles has been revealed – Spirit Mode! Spirits will be replacing Trophies from previous titles, with game director Masahiro Sakurai admitting that Trophies were “a nightmare to develop” and that switching to spirits, which more closely resemble 2D art, gave the team a much easier time.
Spirits can be equipped onto a character to increase their overall power, which improves their statistics, which take the form of static increases to their attack power and defensive power.
But where things get much more interesting is with the addition of Support Spirits. Support Spirits can be equipped onto the main spirit that is powerful enough to contain them, and these supporters provide a wide range of interesting and unique benefits. Only a small number of these benefits were shown, but what we’ve seen includes bonuses along the lines of…
Stronger forward throws, starting the battle with a specific item, increased duration of transformations from items that supply transformations, a slow automatic heal effect, “Made of Metal” (Whatever that means), gaining super armor during charged final smashes, a higher jump, having items gravitate towards you, “Critical Health Status Up” (Increased power while you’re at high damage percents?)
From what was shown, there are LOT of these spirits, so there are sure to be a massive number of additional effects that we’ve never seen before.
Spirits are acquired by defeating an AI opponent equipped with that spirit, as players will do in the spirits mode. As players use a spirit, that spirit will level up, and upon reaching max level spirits can be consumed to gain a powerful orb that can be sacrificed to summon new and more powerful spirits.
There’s a LOT to this mode, so I’m just going to stop here for now. If you’d like a full rundown, click here to skip straight to the part of the Direct that talks about Spirits.
III. Rapid Fire Mode!!!
-Online battles are now organized by ‘preferred rules’, meaning you can choose to play a 1v1 time match or a 1v1 stock match depending on which you’d prefer. The game will try its best to match you with someone as close to you and with as similar preferred rules to you as possible.
-Being really good at the game will get you into a special elite matchmaking section for people who are really good. Now you can feel good about yourself for being really good and stuff.
-Repeatedly Self-Destructing will now get you kicked from online games. Please don’t do that.
-Players create “Smash Tags”, which you’ll gain upon beating them. They won’t lose their tags, however – It’s just a way for you to track how many times you’ve played against and beat certain people. But you can also…
-Sell your smash tags for gold coins, which you can use to buy cosmetic Mii items, character stat-effecting equipment used in special custom modes, a random Spirit, or some food that can be used to quickly level up an Amiibo. There’s a little ‘shop’ section now, and it’s adorable.
-Guile from Street Fighter, Akira from Virtua Fighter, Vince from Art Academy, Dr. Willy from Mega Man, Flies & Hand from Warioware, Spring Man from ARMS, Black Knight from Fire Emblem, a THWOMP from Super Mario, Isaac from Golden Sun, and Yuri Kozukata from Fatal Frame will all appear as assist trophies.
-The game will receive a total of five DLC character passes. These fighters will not be echoes – they will be totally original characters, each coming with their own music and stage for an individual price of $5.99 each. On the other hand, you can buy a fighter’s pass for $25.99 and get all 5.
Aaaand that’s about it for this Nintendo direct. Except there’s one more thing.
One more small thing.
One more thing that’s not small at all.
The new adventure mode, World of Light. But that’s a story for another day. Another day that can be accessed right here.