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Nintendo scared us for a minute. After going one full year without hearing a peep about a new Super Smash Bros. game, we had almost given up hope.
And then, out of nowhere during a Nintendo Direct, Nintendo dropped the news: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the next generation of the series that’s coming to Nintendo Switch later this year. Details were scant then, but we knew enough to get excited.
Fast-forward to today when we know more about the game than ever. We know that it’s a honest-to-goodness new entry in the genre, not a remake or a port from the Wii U or Nintendo 3DS, and that it will include every fighter ever included in a Smash game – yes, even the third-party DLC characters from the last game.
In addition to the massive roster of returning characters, Nintendo surprised us with three new fighters exclusive to Ultimate that include Ridley, Inkling and Daisy. The latter is part of Super Smash Bros’ new Echo Fighter system wherein it takes a fighter from the roster – in this case Peach – and reworks their abilities for a different play-style. The result is a character that’s different but familiar.
There will be new items and maps to go along with the characters, plus hundreds of mechanical tweaks that Series Director Masahiro Sakurai is overseeing personally.
Ultimate might seem a bit overzealous, but in reality this is the closest we’re ever going to get to a complete collection and one that has some serious eSports potential.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The fifth entry in the vaunted Nintendo fighting game series
- When can I play it? December 7, 2018
- What can I play it on? Nintendo Switch
Super Smash Bros Ultimate – release date
Following the E3 2018 Nintendo Direct , we know Super Smash Bros will come out on December 7, 2018.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate – trailers
At E3 2018, a majority of the Nintendo Direct live stream was dedicated to Super Smash Bros Ultimate. At just over 25 minutes, this is a long reveal and you can watch it below:
Here’s the initial teaser from the March 2018 Nintendo Direct and it’s a good one. You can watch it below:
Super Smash Bros Ultimate – news and rumors
Revealed at E3
Good news for those excited about Super Smash Bros: the game was the star of Nintendo’s E3 show. During the livestream, Nintendo’s Masahiro Sakurai revealed almost everything we’ve been wanting to know about the next instalment of the Super Smash Bros series that will arrive on December 7, 2018.
Everyone is here
Every character that has ever appeared in Super Smash Bros is coming back to the Switch version. Nintendo has confirmed that there will be a total of 65 characters including the return of Ice Climbers as a duo and Pichu from Super Smash Bros Melee. We’ll see returning crossover characters like Sonic and Solid Snake.
Thus far the only new characters are the Inkling from the Splatoon series and Ridley from the Metroid series.
Available as both a boy or girl character (with dozens of clothing and style choices), the Inkling’s attacks all revolve around the different weapons available in Splatoon and inked opponents take more damage from attacks. Users will also have to press the B button while their shield is up to reload their inking ammo.
Ridley, meanwhile, was only appeared briefly in Nintendo’s E3 2018 Direct, and it seems as though he will be a very aerial-focused character with dive bomb moves.
All the classic characters have also received overhauls, here’ are just a few of the new moves of the veteran smashers:
- Mario: Throwable Odyssey hat, added wedding and builder outfits
- Ike: Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn versions added with different voices
- Pikachu: New female character with heFox’s design now based on Zox Zero.
- Fox: Landmaster final smash has been replaced with a straight to the point attack
- Falco: New final smash calls in a spaceship attack
- Marth: dancing blade is faster
- Pac-Man: Faster overall thanks to a speed boost
- Villager: Users can now choose from eight different characters
Compatible with the GameCube controller
In case you were curious, you will indeed be able to play the game with a GameCube controller, but Nintendo did not show off an controller adapter that will plug into the Switch or Switch Dock just yet
Masahiro Sakurai is on board
The series creator of Super Smash Bros, Masahiro Sakurai, has confirmed that he is working on the newly announced Nintendo Switch title.
Sakurai said in a tweet (via Siliconera) that he’s been “quietly working on it day after day” asking for fans to “please wait until we can reveal its content, or until the time of its release!!”
Sakurai’s involvement is unsurprising but promising given that he’s been involved with every other Super Smash Bros release.
Nintendo confirmed that Super Smash Bros would be coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2018 during its March 8 Nintendo Direct. It didn’t, however, give any more information than this.
A port or something more?
There are two schools of thought when it comes to what the next Super Smash Bros might be. One argument says the next entry will likely be a ‘deluxe’ re-release of Super Smash Bros 4 (the one that appeared simultaneously on Wii U and 3DS in 2014).
This is based on Nintendo’s decision to re-release Mario Kart 8 (which originally arrived on Wii U in 2014) as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch. The same thing happened with Pokkén Tournament, which debuted on Wii U in 2016 before dropping on Switch this year with a similar complete edition earlier this year.
Taking this approach would be an easier and faster way for Nintendo and developer Bandai Namco Games to release a Super Smash Bros Switch as the base game is already there. Adding new content would make the game seem fresh and exciting, and it’d also justify slapping on another big price tag.
Bundling in new characters and stages (much in the same way Nintendo included fresh racers for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe) would be a great way to sell a remastered version, as would including new skins for the current 58 characters on the roster. Gearing these skins around recent Switch/3DS releases (such as Link’s new look for Breath Of The Wild and Mario’s revealing attire for Odyssey) would also make a lot of sense.
The other argument is that Super Smash Bros Switch would be a brand new entry, built from the ground up for Switch. The new console is the most powerful bit of hardware Nintendo has ever released, so offering a bespoke entry just for Switch would make the next Super Smash Bros entry extra special and a much more attractive sell to new and existing players.
The recent teaser trailer certainly suggests we’re looking at a brand new entry rather than any kind of port, especially given new characters (the inklings from Splatoon and Link) appear.
At this point, though, we can’t be 100% sure whether this is a re-skin or a brand new entry but we can’t wait to find out.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate – which characters will appear?
As we mentioned, the previous entry in the series had 58 characters (including on-disc ones and DLC) so we’d expect to see a similarly big number this time around.
There are plenty of characters that have become staples in the series (such as Mario, Peach, Captain Falco and Kirby) and others (such as Sonic The Hedgehog, Ryu and Pac-Man) that have come and gone over the years.
After the recent trailer we know at the very least that the Inklings from Splatoon 2 and Link from The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild will appear. We’d also love to see Rex and Pyra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The meme-inducing popularity suggest Breath Of The Wild’s Prince Sidon could get appearance alongside Nipha. We’d love to see the new version of Zelda, too, considering how well-received her makeover was.
We could see some off-the-wall additions as well. Could Skyrim’s arrival on Nintendo Switch mean we’ll see the classic look of the Dovahkiin in the new Smash Bros? Those dragon shouts would certainly come in useful.
Then again, now that we know Crash Bandicoot is coming to the console we’d love to see him appear in game. His wild spin is made for Smash Bros and we can see a TNT-themed special move.
We certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rabbid rabbits after the success of their joint venture with Mario in 2017.
Naturally fans have characters they’d love to see appear in the game. One character who’s been a top request for years now is Dragon Ball Z’s Goku and demands are making the rounds again. This time, however, Funimation is in on the act and the company has even sent a tweet to Nintendo asking when Goku will make his debut.
Another character request is a more recent one but we love it just as much – LaboMan. Inspired by the small cardboard man who appeared in the trailer for the upcoming Nintendo Labo accessory, Javed L Sterritt designed LaboMan and animated him for a Smash Bros appearance. His main move would be to sling the Joy-Con on his back at enemies but he’ll also be able to transform into the Labo piano for a super smash. LaboMan would be a different addition to the roster but an adorable and on-brand one to be sure.
Will there be eSports?
eSports is an ever-growing field and Super Smash Bros would certainly be an excellent title for Nintendo to make a splash. The videos of fans screaming at the game’s announcement make it clear there would be an audience for competitive Smash Bros and it’d be a great way to show what Nintendo’s full online service can do when it launches in September.
More significantly, Japan has started to reduce the regulations around paid tournaments which has stopped eSports flourishing in the country so it’s possible that Nintendo may warm to this kind of play.
However, Nintendo has historically been rather cautious when it comes to eSports and it’s unlikely the company would wish to alienate the players who have no interest in the genre. However, times are rapidly changing and online streaming is becoming intricately tied with a game’s success – just look at PUBG, Fortnite and Sea of Thieves. Super Smash Bros is looking likely to be the title that will see Nintendo to start taking the genre more seriously, particularly as earlier versions of the game are already being used in eSports in the US.