Nintendo Direct Smash Ultimate Recap
The new installment to the Super Smash Bros franchise is looking to live up to its title as Ultimate. The plan to include as much as possible from all previous games in the series really makes this game feel like the Ultimate Smash fans deserve, and the new Nintendo Directs explains how.
Belmont Boys and More
Right out of the gates, the first thing to be announced was everything Castlevania. From Simon Belmont himself, to Richter Belmont, and Dracula’s Castle, diehard Konami fans are sure to be impressed. Personally, I haven’t played the Castlevania games, but I welcome the unique movesets Simon and his echo Richter contribute to the fight. The whip brings back a classic mechanic I have so dearly missed, essentially functioning as Sheik’s chain from Melee and Brawl. Overall, Nintendo’s willingness to collaborate with different studios opens up worlds of possibilities for those few characters we haven’t been introduced to yet.
Speaking of echo fighters, Chrom was also introduced to the roster. Before you groan at another Marth echo, you’ll be pleased to know that Chrom is actually a Roy echo instead. For those of you who are fans of the Fire Emblem series, I’m sure you’re confused as to why, since Chrom is a closer descendant of Marth than Lucina is. Unfortunately, I don’t know why, either.
As much as I love Fire Emblem: Awakening, I couldn’t help but sigh at another sword-wielding Fire Emblem character. I hoped for something a little more unique, like Corrin’s sword/melee playstyle, or even Robin’s ranged kit, with the use of different tomes, but I suppose adding Chrom in makes sense. I guess his small cameo in Smash 4 could be considered an easter egg now?
Dark Samus has also had cameos in previous Smash games, believe it or not. She’s been a trophy twice, in Brawl and in Smash 4. Her addition was highly requested by fans, and she’s finally been made her own fighter. It’s a little too early to tell, but her moveset looks nearly identical to Samus’s, the only difference being the color palette and her passive hover animation.
And last, but certainly not least, King K. Rool has joined the battle! I’m ecstatic to see another heavy character added to the roster, as well as a fresh moveset. It feels like everyone and their mother mains a heavy character, but none of them quite appealed to me. The addition of more heavies makes me optimistic that they’ll add more, since the thicker side of the roster seems to be neglected just a bit. I welcome King K. Rool’s addition.
Tracks, Stages, and Trophies – Oh My!
Nintendo has really stepped their game up with Ultimate. They’ve outdone themselves in quantity to showcase their quality, with roughly 900 music tracks, 103 stages, and every character from the series to date. The amount of content in this installment is absolutely crazy, calling for well deserved hype from the Smash community.
Assist Trophies feature another exciting crossover, this time with Capcom in the form of Rathalos, the most iconic beast in the Monster Hunter franchise. This Assist Trophy is the first in Smash history to not only assist, but also appear as a boss. This could possibly be an implication of more Monster Hunter content in Ultimate that we haven’t been shown yet, which is fantastic news for all you diehard MH fans.
Game Modes and Rules
This part of the Direct is what I was most excited about. I know, sounds lame, but as an avid Little Mac player, the amount of times I’ve been screwed over from stage selections purposely meant to make sad Mac suffer with his poor recovery, I’m relieved this issue will be avoided entirely.
On top of stage select first, there’s also Stage Morph, which also looks amazing. The ability to swap between two stages at random ensures matches are interesting and engaging, keeping all players on their toes.
And lastly for stages is the music customization. You can select any track, for any stage from the same series, like the Gerudo Valley theme on a Wind Waker stage.
I’ve personally never been a huge fan of any game modes besides the regular run-of-the-mill multiplayer free-for-all, classic, and story mode “Subspace Emissary” of course. However, with the addition of Squad Smash, Smash Down, and an updated Tourney mode, I am finally set free from Final Destination, no items, three stock hell.
Smash Down is specifically what I’m most interested in from the new Direct. Being able to excel at more than one or two top tier fighters is now less important than being able to dominate with not just Bayonetta, but Palutena as well. This addition can level the playing field a little more between you, and your sweaty Cloud playing friends. Who needs a counter when you can lemon them to death with C tier ranked Mega Man?
Overall, the content showcased in the new Smash Direct was very promising. An entire new character, plus a personal stage is exactly the content everyone wants to see more of, but the rule changes and additions are a nice surprise as well. The fifth installment to the Smash series is really living up to the name Ultimate, as it’s shaping up to be exactly that; the Ultimate Smash experience.