In preparation for the launch of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Nintendo hosted an epic 40-minute Nintendo Direct event where the company announced a lot of new information on the fighting game. Here are the highlights from the event.
There will be 74 fighters available in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at launch, with the Pokémon Trainer counted as three separate characters. During the event, Nintendo also revealed the inclusion of Ken from Street Fighter and Incineroar from Pokémon. Ken is an “echo” of Ryu, but has a slightly different moveset that takes advantage of his superior kicking ability and speed.
Incineroar, meanwhile, is a pro-wrestling-type monster who boasts powerful throws and poses after each attack. His special “cross chop” attack lets him leap into the air and slam down for high damage, and he can even make an opponent “run the ropes” in order to deliver a finishing blow.
If you prepurchase Super Smash Bros. Ultimate or register your copy of the game before January 31, 2019, you’ll also receive the Piranha Plant character as a free update. It won’t be available at launch, but the character makes use of devastating long-range attacks and turns into the legendary Petey Piranha for its Final Smash attack.
Additional characters will arrive as paid DLC, but development hasn’t started on them yet. Five packs will be released together as a set for $25, or individually for $6. Each will contain one fighter, one stage, and multiple music tracks.
Story mode is back in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, though it won’t feature the same open-ended structure as the Subspace Emissary of Brawl. Called “World of Light,” the mode sees almost every fighter corrupted by dark energy, and only one hero can save the multiverse from total chaos. Naturally, that hero is Kirby. It isn’t clear exactly how the mode will play out, but that’s part of the fun!
Spirits are a new feature in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that have the potential to completely change how matches play out. These sort-of-ghosts are characters from games that weren’t included as full-fledged fighters, and they give extra attributes or abilities to fighters in matches. Each fighter can select one primary Spirit. as well as multiple secondary Spirits, and they can be acquired by winning “Spirit Battles.” These will take place against fighters that are similar in design to the Spirits. In order to get the Lakitu Spirit, for instance, you’ll fight Iggy from the Mario series.
Multiplayer has undergone some tweaks and changes as well. Matchmaking is now based on your Global Smash Power, as well as your preferred rules and geographical location. Nintendo recommends using a wired LAN connection for competitive play.
Once you’ve reached a high enough rank, you can participate in special “Elite” battles, and defeating an opponent will reward you with their “tag” as a sort of badge of honor. If you want to play against friends, you can do so in a special Battle Arena, an area that also lets you observe other players.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is out for Switch on December 7, and the game will support 11 different languages. We can’t wait to try out all the new fighters and then go back to using Ike exclusively.
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