Just two days ago, Nintendo has made an official announcement during E3 about a new(?) Switch version of Super Smash Bros. Thanks to that announcement video, we now know what Super Smash Bros for Nintendo Switch’s release date is, the game’s official name, and have a very clear idea of who’s returning to Smash. Read on to learn more!
The video begins with an introduction of the game’s creator, Masahiro Sakurai, his company, Sora Limited, and a very brief, if not humorous description of what Super Smash Bros. is. He plainly states in just 7 seconds that the game is about smashing, “beloved game characters” off the edge of the screen, with a “The End” screen shown afterwards. As simple as this may sound, the game is much, much, more involved than that, but at it’s core, this is true.
The video is also longer, however, running for just a little over 25 minutes. Sakurai then continues, through translator, to the roster of the game.
New Roster, New Game
As longtime fans of the series know, Super Smash Bros. is an excellent series, but with each new game, the playable character roster changes somewhat.
As an example, between Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl, some characters, such as Pokémon’s Pichu and Mewtwo, have been left out of the series, while Brawl introduces Metal Gear Solid’s Snake and Earthbound’s Lucas, only to have them again, removed with the 3DS and Wii U versions (before DLC.)
As a longtime series veteran myself, this also was a concern of mine. With Melee, I liked playing with Young Link, just for the sake of playing with the Hero of Time, while in the 3DS and Wii U releases, Greninja had become my absolute main character. Roster shakeups can easily deter fans from playing new games, and without Greninja, I don’t know who else I’d really stick with.
Sakurai acknowledges this concern by immediately going into a fighter roster reveal video, explaining that the numbers next to each revealed character indicate when they were added to the series.
Before showing any character at all, the video shows an entirely new, eye-catching rendition of the Battlefield stage. Within seconds, longtime fans know what this means: Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo Switch is an entirely new game, not a port!
After showing off different angles of the new stage, viewers see that the first character to be shown is… Mario, of course. After hopping out of a pipe, The game’s new theme begins playing, and honestly, it might be even more epic than Brawl’s theme.
From there, characters are rapidly revealed, showing a few of their moves and animations, before going to another fighter.
Fighters, to the Stage!
Immediately after Mario’s debut, characters from the original games are revealed, including Samus, Kirby, Bowser, Link, (in his Breath of the Wild Champion Tunic,) Donkey Kong, Fox, Falco, Marth, Zelda and Sheik.
The next character introduced is Villager, from Animal Crossing, followed by Meta Knight and Kirby. From there, the characters revealed don’t follow any sort of specific pattern.
Without drawing things out step by step, the next fighters revealed are Sonic, Peach, Pikachu, the Ice Climbers, Inklings, Captain Falcon, Zero Suit Samus, Wii Fit Trainer, the Pokémon Trainer, Ness, Lucas, Ryu, Ganondorf, Ike, Cloud, and, shockingly, Snake.
So far, the roster was looking pretty good, but other than Ryu and Zero Suit Samus, the characters I really wanted in weren’t shown, and I started to lose hope. Maybe my best character was a one and done fighter…? Before I could process how I felt about it, the words, “Everyone is here!” were slowly typed onto the screen.
Everyone?, I thought, does that mean…? And sure enough, one of the exact characters I was thinking of appears next. Hope is restored!
Jigglypuff rolls on the screen, Pichu crashes down, Roy blazes in, Olimar descends with Pikmin, and Diddy Kong blasts in with his jetpack.
Another batch of interesting characters, but where was Greninja?! I continued to watch, anxiously.
Lucario is shown on Suzaku Castle, Lucina poses as Robin appears, Umber Witch Bayonetta appears with costumes from both of her games, and then, finally, Greninja was shown, just after Mr. Game and Watch’s reveal. Barring any moveset changes, I could rest easier.
Dr. Mario pats his shoulder, R.O.B appears and flahes his lights, and the Duck Hunt duo slide into scene. Pit and Dark Pit are shown on Peach’s Castle, and are then “summoned” by Palutena. The Prince(ss) of the warring kingdoms, Corrin, is also shown, and Bowser Jr. and the Koopa Kids are seen playing on a rooftop.
Zelda fans: Toon Link from Wind Waker and the DS entries, as well as Young Link from the 64 games are also shown. Rosalina floats down and wakes up King Dedede, the Mii fighters join the fight, Wario rides in on his motorcycle before Little Mac blows it up, Pac-Man gobbles up the Koopa Kids, Shulk slams down on the Gaur Plain, Wilf claws in, and Mega-Man assembles.
But aren’t we forgetting some people?
After showing the game’s new title screen, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate shows off two unforgettable, but suprisingly unrevealed fighters until now: Luigi and Yoshi.
The video then scrolls through an amazing panoramic rendition of the game’s roster, before zooming out and re-stating, “Everyone is here!” It’s amazingly nerdy enough for me to want to buy a copy of the picture alone and display it. There’s just too much detail in it to describe with words alone!
Every Fighter, Ever?!
From the video itself, Sakurai adds,
“That’s right. Every fighter in Super Smash Bros. history is joining the battle! Indeed, absolutely every Super Smash Brothers fighter ever is in this game, whether they were originally DLC, or only appeared once in the past. We believe that’s what players want, so we made the impossible, possible.”
As a gamer and a Smash fan, this news was amazing! Far too often, characters from fighting games are introduced, and then pulled out from future releases, for reasons not entirely clear. So for the fans who’ve excelled with Ness, or play a mean Luigi, or even myself, being excellent with Greninja (amongst others,) this is fantastic, as you won’t have to re-learn a completely new character unless you want to.
Sakurai then begins to make a bold claim:
“Simply put, this is the biggest crossover in gaming history. Once again, worlds will collide.”
To be honest, I don’t really doubt that claim. With the 31 game series shown, I can’t really think of any other games with that high of a crossover. Of course, this includes mostly Nintendo games, but this also includes franchises that Nintendo doesn’t own, such as Street Fighter, Final Fantasy (VII), Metal Gear Solid, Mega Man, and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Also worth noting is that, again, 8-player battles will be making a triumphant return!
After teasing us with the character roster, Sakurai then dives into the changes to the fighters since the Wii U and 3DS versions of Super Smash Bros.
The first character showcased is Mario, with Sakurai pointing out that Mario has a new cosmetic change: Cappy. Mario can also use the Wedding costume from Super Mario Odyssey and the builder outfit from Super Mario Maker.
Second up is Link, who now wears his Champion Tunic from The legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A costume change isn’t the only difference for this veteran fighter, as his bombs are now remotely detonated, his final smash uses Ancient Arrows (similar to Zelda’s Final Smash,) and he is able to shoot beams from his Sword when at zero damage. If you liked the classic outfit, you also have the choice of using the Tunic of the Wild costume instead.
Ike now has both of his costumes from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. The costumes also bring a slight voice change to the character, matching the voice from both games, respectively.
Pikachu can now be male or female, with male Pikachu having a thunderbolt-like tail, while females have a more heart-shaped tail. Sakurai also points out that Pikachu Libre is a girl.
Fox’s costumes are now based on his appearance from the Wii U’s Star Fox Zero. His final Smash no longer has the Landmaster, but instead relies on a cinematic of the Star Fox fleet shooting fighters.
Falco’s Final smash is now like Fox’s in that it calls upon the Star Fox Fleet, only it uses a much wilder, showy formation. Sakurai adds that the Landmaster has been retired.
For Ryu, he now always faces his opponents in 1 v 1 fights, as he did in the original Street Fighter games. The goal of this is to reduce accidental commands, such as spin-kicking off the stage when a Hadoken was really intended. As I play with Ryu on occasion, this was welcome news, as I’ve self-destructed many a time trying to do said example.
Even though this change is shown with Samus, fighters with charge moves can now charge the moves in mid-air, adding more fluidity to fights. How this currently works is a little unclear, however, the charge can be cancelled with a jump or dodge, but it leaves the character vulnerable to counter-attacks.
The Legendary Hero King/Prince, Marth, has a faster Dancing Blade special attack, and is easier to use back-to-back. This change also applies to Lucina and Roy. Also, as predicted, Marth is now fully voiced in English, much like he is from Fire Emblem Warriors. Whether a setting exists to switch the voice from Japanese to English is currently unknown.
King DeDeDe’s Final Smash is now a Cage Fight wherein he fires missiles and smacks enemies with a jet-powered rocket.
Also worth mentioning, though not a change from its’ original appearance in Melee, Pichu’s electrical attacks still damage itself, though only slightly.
Zelda is based on her appearance from A Link Between Worlds instead of Breath of the Wild. Sakurai’s reasoning for this is that Zelda is more focused on research than on fighting in Breath of the Wild. Her Final Smash is completely new, trading the Arrows of Light for the Triforce of Sealing.
Sonic’s Final Smash is now much, much faster, making Super Sonic live up to his name. Likewise, Pac-Man’s Final Smash loops through the stage, getting faster and faster with each loop.
The Pokémon Trainer returns fully as a single character, meaning that players can use Squirtle, Ivysaur and/or Charizard with a single character. There are no longer any penalties for sticking with one, so players are encouraged to play with their favorites! A female Pokemon Trainer is also available as a costume change. Charizard no longer has his Rock Smash move, however, as it is replaced with the Pokemon change input.
With certain characters, like Captain Falcon, powerful moves can trigger a dramatic slow-motion effect on 1 v 1 battles. Captain Falcon’s infamous Falcon Punch does this, and Ganondorf’s signature punch move seems likely to do so as well.
Cloud, like his last appearance in Smash Bros., can use both his traditional costume from Final Fantasy VII, as well as the Advent Children costume from the titular series. His Limit gauge is now shown above his damage percent gauge, showing players where the gauge’s charge is at all times. And he’s not the only one… Robin’s Levin Sword and Tomes also have a display gauge, and Villagers’ pocketed items are shown on-screen as well.
Bowser’s Final Smash makes him even larger than before, making him as large as he was in the Yoshi’s Island games.
Mr. Game and watch has mostly cosmetic changes, with each attack more closely resembling each of his appearances in his own games. His Final Smash now appears to grab onto enemies, and carries them off-screen.
Wolf, like Fox, is now based on his Star Fox Zero appearance, and all of his attacks have received a “significant upgrade.”
Kirby is still the same, but he now has a new stone ability appearance to make him appear as a chest from The Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild.
Shulk has received a tremendous change in that his Monado Arts no longer require repeated button presses to change arts. Arts are now selected with a button press and directional input, dramatically improving his combat ability. Want to go from Jump to Buster to finish off an airborne enemy? Now you can! His Final Smash is the same, but Fiona now lends a helping hand.
Ganondorf’s costume is now based on his appearance from Ocarina of Time. He also wields two large swords, and instead of transforming into Ganon for his Final Smash, he now transforms into Demon King Ganon, though the rest of the Final Smash is unchanged.
Mii Fighters proportions have been adjusted to make them look more, gasp, realistic. Their moves have also been enhanced, and up to 12 voice options now exist for the fighters. The development team is working to add them as playable characters in online battles.
Pit’s Final smash has changed yet again, but instead of the Three Sacred Treasures, he now rides in on the Lightning Chariot, similarly to how players use the Hydra and Dragoon.
Zero Suit Samus’ Final Smash now uses her ship to fire a laser, as opposed to using it to fire multiple shots as Snake has in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Olimar now takes cosmetic damage to his helmet, but the damage is fixed quickly.
Bayonetta has costumes from both of her games, and similarly to Ike, her weapons sound different depending on which costume is being used.
Wario’s Final Smash, Wario-Man, is completely different, now using a comic-like cutscene as opposed to a transformation. In fact, Sakurai adds that there are no longer any transformational Final Smashes in the game.
Donkey Kong’s Final Smash no longer uses his bongo drums, but instead unleashes a flurry of rapid punches like in Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, when facing larger enemies. Sakurai points out that his facial reactions, like other characters, have been tweaked to be more expressive.
Little Mac’s Final Smash is nearly identical to Donkey Kong’s new one. Sakurai also adds, wittily, that all final smashes “get right to the punch.”
Ness’ Final Smash now has Paula and Poo, from Eartbound, appear, but not Jeff. Jeff is still relegated to being an assist trophy. Similarly, Lucas’ includes his pet dog Boney, as well as Kumatora.
As a request from the game’s developers, Wii Fit Trainer’s face has gotten a makeover, becoming much clearer and higher-resolution.
Mega-Man’s Final Smash now includes Proto-Man and Bass.
Palutena’s moves have been streamlined this iteration of Smash, and her Down Special move is both a Counter AND a reflector. How each is triggered is currently unknown.
R.O.B now has a new meter on his chassis that shows how much fuel he has left for his thrusters.
Echo Fighters? A New Fighter Approaches!
Backtracking a bit from all of the new character changes, Sakurai points out the Epsilon symbol that was shown next to certain characters’ name and entry number denotes something special about them. Remember Dark Pit and Lucina? The “clones” of Pit and Marth? They now have been given an official name: Echo Fighters.
As a special surprise, Sakurai reveals an entirely new Echo Fighter, and it’s one that many fans have been asking for. He introduces the Princess of Sarasaland, Daisy. He notes that they have similar moves, but very different characteristics.
“All in all, if you add up the changes we’re making, there could be tens of thousands!”
Which Controllers Can be Used?
So what are we looking at for controller inputs? Great question! So far, the Joy-Con controllers, (with or without comfort grip,) A single Joy-Con, Pro Controllers, and even Game Cube controllers are all usuable controller inputs. And yes, I did say Game Cube controllers.
Other possible inputs (of my own speculation) may include the 3DS, Wired Controllers (3rd Party), or possibly other Switch Systems (Joy-Con attached)
Why do I say these? Well, the Nintendo 3DS could be used as a controller for the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros., regardless of whether the 3DS game was owned or not. For those lacking a 3DS game cartridge, the 3DS had a Smash Controller application that could be downloaded from the eShop. (For a price.)
To further appease the fanbase, (and paid purchasers,) I can see the 3DS’ Smash Controller making a proud return to Smash. Connection-wise, I can’t help but to draw a blank, but if the Switch can use a smartphone to transfer data to Pokémon: Let’s Go, I’m sure Nintendo can work with their own 3DS hardware for controlling Smash Bros. Ultimate.
3rd-party wired controllers continue to stock shelves at most retailers, and could be used with the Switch’s Dock. While a bit of a corded hassle, I can’t see Nintendo (or any company) removing compatability with wired controllers. Just don’t expect to plug in more than two at a time from the dock, unless you have a spare USB Hub or two!
Lastly, I think using multiple switch systems for play won’t be too farfetched an idea, as the 3DS allowed for such with Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. Even the Switch was shown capable of doing so with Pokkén Tournament DX’s Wireless Battle mode!
Update — June 15, 2018:
This seems even more likely, from what Super Mario Party has shown. In one segment of the reveal video, two switch systems were placed side-by side to create a functional mini-game level. You can check it out here around the 20 second mark.
Of course, amiibo will also be making a return with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, just as they launched with the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros.
Sakurai states that all current Super Smash Bros. amiibo will be compatible, as will the fighters’ alternate series amiibo, such as Mario and all his prior amiibo, and Kirby with his Smash and Kirby series specific amiibo.
Like before, players tap an amiibo into the game, and add in a Figure Player (FP) to train and customize.
Also worth noting is that Sakurai adds that data from previous versions of Smash Bros can be transferred, which seems to imply that the previous save data from the 3DS and Wii U entries is ported over as data for the new game, and will not be compatible going back to the prior releases. This is likely because amiibo have small storages, and can only hold one game’s save data at a time, treating this new release as a separate game.
Pirate? Or Monster?
One of the last suprises is one that many fans of the series have asked for. But is it really such a good thing?
Within the announcement video is one of Smash Bros. tried and true character reveal trailers, and it’s a character with a loyal fanbase and shaky history within the Smash Bros. series.
By far they’re the most cruel and vicious fighter yet. Who is it? One of Samus’ most infamous of enemies. Her arch-nemesis, at that. The one, the only, Ridley.
Yes, THAT Ridley, the creepy, dragon-like beast that’s caused Samus grief, is now a playable character in his own right.
This isn’t Ridley’s first rodeo, however. Ridley made his first in-game appearance back in the Super Smash Bros. Brawl Subspace Emissary story, and in the Wii U version of Smash, he was a stage hazard that could be both recruited and defeated by any player. Now, he’s back, with no stage gimmicks or story constraints to bind him.
“In terms of his characteristics and terms of Smash Bros.,” Sakurai states, “He’s very much on the cruel side.”
And indeed he is. From his character reveal trailer, he picks off Mega-Man and Mario one by one, while in actual gameplay, he can be seen dragging a fighter across the stage with a Side Special attack, and impaling them with his tail in his Down Special attack. For more detailed information about Ridley and his moveset, you can watch the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Treehouse Video, Part 1.
All in all, from what I can see with Ridley, this game is shaping up to be one of the darkest Smash Bros. games yet.
After all of the hype this announcement has brought, one of the last things to be shown is the release date for this new iteration of Smash.
You can expect to Smash friend and foe alike on December 7, 2018, just in time for the holiday season.
https://youtu.be/L93H7YC-83o – E3 Announcement Video
https://youtu.be/7pu9t5AL1Ss. – Super Mario Party
https://youtu.be/8oPhDrn7juE – Nintendo Treehouse Pt. 1 w/ Sakurai