By Evan Calderon,
In the final Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct, game director Masahiro Sakurai went in-depth about what you can expect for the full game out this December 7th. In the 40-minute video presentation, we got a full look at the roster, new modes, and a wide variety of settings the game will have to offer.
Starting off the Direct we were shown the last two characters joining the massive 74-character roster. Ken Masters from the Street Fighter series joins the battle as Ryu’s echo fighter, and Incineroar from Pokémon Sun and Moon joins as new character. Both were revealed through an amazing cinematic featuring Punch Out’s Little Mac in a boxing ring. Both these fighters hail from fighting backgrounds so it only makes sense they’d be shown off together. Ken being from the fighting game Street Fighter, and Incineroar being a wrestling-based Pokémon led to some very creative moves for the newcomers. With the reveal of Ken and Incineroar, all fighters in the base game have been revealed, and if you count the Pokémon Trainer character as three, the total number of fighters is 76!
The Direct then went into a great amount of detail regarding Spirits, the brand-new mode that has different characters from across the dozens of franchises featured in Smash lend a hand to enhance your main fighter. These Spirits come in different strengths, types, and can even be leveled up, trained, and sent out to collect rewards while you’re not playing. When equipped to a fighter, these Spirits give different perks used to aid you in Spirit battles. These battles aim to use the roster of character to simulate battles of who those Spirits are. While you won’t be fighting exactly what the Spirit character is, they goal is to try to make you feel as if you’re fighting that Spirit.
With a good chunk of the single player content revealed, Sakurai went into detail about the co-op and online features for this iteration of Smash. Local co-op works exactly as it has in the past, 2 to players can link up and play together on their respective Switch systems or on a single system. Online however has gotten a pretty big change altogether, with the removal of “For Fun” and “For Glory”. Now online will consider three factors, preferred rules, “Global Smash Power”, and location. Preferred rules are giving the player choices on how they’d like to play, 1v1’s, no items, all stages, just to name a few settings. The matchmaking will consider those rules and try to match up with other players with similar rules. Global Smash Power now works as rankings, with the higher your GSP is, the harder your opponent’s online. You can even set a GSP for each character so you aren’t at a disadvantage for picking up a new character. Lastly, location-based matchmaking will prioritize proximity in order to maintain the best connection. These changes seem to be for the better, but we’ll have to wait until launch to see how this online pan out.
A good amount of focus was then given to some of the options that can be found in the game. There is a staggering amount of language options available, up to 11 languages are offered that change both voice and in game text. Brightest differs from both handheld mode and docked mode, so preferences can be set accordingly. The game also includes a variety of helpful tips and character descriptions ranging from their move sets to their video game histories. As well as a look at player stats, the in-game store to purchase Spirits, Mii costumes, music, and the dashboard which provides quick access to all these menus.
Before closing the off the presentation, Sakurai announced that downloadable content in the form of brand-new fighters will be coming. Nintendo played a role in selecting 5 additional fighters, with Sakurai’s approval, and will begin work on them once the game releases. These characters will be sold for $5.99 and include the character, a stage, and multiple music tracks. You can get all 5 fighters in a bundle for $25.00 and get a bonus Mii costume of Rex from the Xenoblade franchise. In a surprise announcement, the Piranha Plant from the Super Mario series will be a free fighter for those who purchase the game at launch, and is a separate bonus not part of the 5 DLC fighters.
The final reveal of the Direct was an announcement of “World of Light” a brand-new Adventure Mode. Starting with an incredible cinematic, it gives context behind why all these “Spirits” have shown up. With a board game like map to run around in, you start off as Kirby in order to free the full roster who’ve been taken over by a mysterious new threat. The mode features a multitude of Spirit battles, bosses, and secrets to discover. While there does seem to be an opening cinematic, they made it very clear the focus is less on story and more on adventure. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches only on Nintendo Switch December 7th