The “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” Nintendo Direct went live on August 8th (2018), and it certainly pushes the “Ultimate” subtitle. In this OP I’ll be covering some noteworthy content from the video, going from the Direct’s overall presentation to the new Fighters.
The Nintendo Direct kept the hype going for “Smash Bros. Ultimate” and adds more to it, though I think this was mostly thanks to the out of left field moments. While the start of the video was dramatic entertainment, it also showed some comedy. Setting the idea that while the developers are going all out, they wanted to have fun with the video. Overall it was entertaining as it was informative, with the closing ending at a funny high note.
In total, “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” will have one hundred and three stages, one hundred if you remove “Final Destination”, “Battlefield”, and “Big Battlefield”. These include new stages, enhanced and balanced stages from previous Smash Bros. games, and N64 stages that were purposely remade to look as they did from 1999.
All the stages have a “Final Form” option, but they now have a “Battlefield Form” as well. However, if you just want to play the stages without the gimmicks, you can turn off the Stage Hazards so you don’t have to keep changing to Final Forms.
Speaking of changes, the Stage Morph option can let you switch between two stages at times you want to set it to. Furthermore, to add more mayhem every stage can support eight players. All the stages will be available from the start, and the order of selections has been changed to choosing the stage before the fighters in multiplayer, so you can choose your favorite and pick the character best suited of it. As for map rotation, there are a few options to choose from, such as “Loser’s Pick.”
Of course, there are the memorable songs from the games which the stages are based on. The soundtrack in “Smash Bros. Ultimate” comes to around nine hundred songs, which is roughly 28 hours of music. Like in previous installments, you can adjust the frequency to when they’ll play, but now you can set any of the series songs to the stages that came from those games (such as any “Zelda” song on any of the Zelda stages).
So this also means you can’t have only Guile’s theme playing on all the stages. With so many tracks on the game, they’ve added a playlist feature so you can pick your favorite songs and listen to them on your downtime. Also in handheld mode you can listen to the soundtrack while the screen is off, turning it into a MP3 player. It’s an okay concept if you’re away from home and waiting for your friends, but this isn’t exactly an ideal for everyday casual use.
Compared to the Nintendo 3DS (I’m using this system as an example as “Super Smash Bros. for 3DS” has the same functionality) you can’t stick the Nintendo Switch in your pocket; you’ll need a purse or messenger bag in order to carry and listen to it while on the go.
Late in the video they’ve showcased quite a few Items, Pokémon, and Assist Trophies. The new items are a mix of balanced, trolling, and funny weapons. I’m sure some would consider that Death’s Scythe is over powered but this only works on fighters who are critically damaged, so it’s not like you can go off and KO a player who just came back.
The New Pokémon for the roster comes from Generation VII, though there are a few old friends seen in the Alolan Pokédex that made it in. While all these newcomers are effective in their own right the two that I can see more practical are Abra and Ditto.
Abra’s Teleport move can keep the other players on their toes as it can teleport them in a random location or off the stage instead of the Pokémon Center. And Ditto can use Transform to become a double of the fighter that tossed its Poke Ball, making itself like an Assist Trophy.
Speaking of Assist Trophies, “Smash Bros. Ultimate” has a nice list of newcomers. There are quite a few that I’m sure fans wanted to see as fighters instead of Assists since Zero from the “MegaMan X” series and others have a decent moveset that could be translated into Smash controls. That being said, at least they made it into Smash in some manner. It is like “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”: anyone who is anyone wants a role in a big project.
There are two Assists that I didn’t think would be included, though. First is the Moon from “Majora’s Mask” which perhaps left me dumbfounded. I guess you could have a terrible fate while having a good time. And the second one is the Rathalos from “Monster Hunter”, which will also be the series’s first of being an Assist Trophy and Stage Boss. I wouldn’t count on there being hunters coming to Smash, but then again, who knows what Nintendo and Sakuri are planning.
There have been a few changes and additions to gameplay as you might have expected. When beginning a multiplayer match you’ll be prompted to the rules first, but now you can create and save rulesets to be used in future battles. Sudden Death will now have the blast zone closing in while the camera zooms in on the fighters, giving an emphasis on quickly dispatching each other.
Stamina Battle is now a standard option so you can have a more traditional fighting match, and if that’s not enough you can enable Final Smash Charges. Enabling this will set a Final Smash Meter for fighters to fill and use a low-powered Final Smash. Additionally, only one Final Smash can be activate at one time, so there’s no interrupting a player with your own.
Other than that, of course there are new modes to try out. We have “Classic mode” coming back with two new multiplayer modes, “Squad Strike” and “Tourney Mode“. It looks like they’re going back to more traditional modes while focusing on battling instead of creating new ones such as Smash Run.
Training mode has been given an update for those who want to take Smash Bros. more seriously. The stage for Training now has a grid to measure distance and such so you can be pixel perfect with your technique. It will also display the launch distance of a fighter to see how far you can get them at certain damage percentages, and this also has their weight calculated so you can know how quickly King Dedede would land face down.
And finally, there are the new fighters. The two (of three) new Echo Fighters are Chrom (Marth Echo) and Dark Samus (Samus Echo). It’s nice to see Chrom is in the game without having to be a Mii Swordfighter, but, with a slight exception of Robin, there really are too many swordfighters from the “Fire Emblem” series. I’m pretty sure there were other FE heroes that are just as popular. As for Dark Samus, it’s also nice to see another villain added to the roster. Nevertheless, I’ve been wondering what her other color schemes will be (mostly because I want to see her as an SA-X).
However, before their introduction there was the awesomely dramatic introduction of Simon Belmont smashing Death’s face in with the tip of Vampire Killer. Dawned in his original “Castlevania Chronicles” gear Simon comes with his iconic weapons (though he was given Richter’s Uppercut, so he could at least have an upper recover). Speaking of Richter, they added him as Simon’s Echo as well, complete with returning hammy lines from “Symphony of the Night”.
Simon and Richter also came with a new stage and Assist Trophy (I could have mentioned these earlier, but this is a Castlenvania package) to commemorate their arrival. The stage is Dracula’s Castle, a bit shrunk down, but it has always been an ever-changing entity of its own.
This gothic stage will have functional candlesticks for hidden items and Stage Bosses from the Castlevania series, including Dracula with his Second Form from “Rando of Blood”. Dracula’s Castle will have 34 Castlevania music tracks, a mix of remixes from the series and new ones for the stage. That’s more Castlevania though! You see, everyone’s favorite vampire son, Alucard, is returning as his “Symphony of the Night” incarnation with his gear and transformations to assist in battle.
Last but not least, King K Rool enters the fray, crown and all (which the Villager can steal). His moveset consists of a mix of his attacks from his final boss career and some wrestling/fighting techniques, but his run cycle seems to suggest that he’ll let a bit of his animal side to strong-arm Donkey Kong into giving up his Banana Hoard. I guess he may have gone bananas if he hasn’t already.
Alongside with the normal release of “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” there will also be a limited edition that comes with the game, a GameCube controller, and an official Nintendo GameCube adapter. You would think that they would come around to selling Pro Controllers based on the GameCube controller’s design, but I guess this is the next-best thing if you can even get your hands on a limited edition.
Whether you plan on getting the normal or special release “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” is going to keep its subtitle namesake. There is so much new, revised, and returning content going into the game it certainly seems like it’s going to be the Ultimate version.
Even so, how much more is left to be seen? I’m sure all of you still have wishes, but I think it’s safe to pass along some advice I heard: never expect anything from Nintendo; you’ll never know what they’re going to do.
Nevertheless, if there is one thing to expected, then its the fact that this year’s Christmas is going to be a really crazy Christmas for sure. Even so, how hyped are you guys for “Smash Bros. Ultimate”? Is the ultimate “Smash Bros.” title missing something or are your bodies ready for winter? And with that said, what’s your take on the game and the latest Nintendo Direct stream?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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