We were expecting a lot of new information on Super Smash Bros Ultimate during today’s Nintendo Direct, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Nintendo and series creator Masahiro Sakurai managed to pack a lot into its relatively short running time, covering everything from new stages and characters to new assist trophies and game modes. In case you missed it, here’s everything that was discussed during today’s show.
In all, Nintendo announced five new characters for Super Smash Bros Ultimate today: Simon and Richter Belmont from Castlevania, Chrom from Fire Emblem, Dark Samus, and King K. Rool from Donkey Kong Country. Of these, only Simon and King K. Rool are entirely new, as Richter, Chrom, and Dark Samus are all echo characters that are essentially clones of other fighters. Sakurai hinted that there are more characters to come, so it looks like Ultimate‘s roster is about to become even more packed.
There weren’t a ton of new stages announced today, but we did to see a couple new ones. Accompanying the debut of Simon and Richter Belmont is Dracula’s Castle, which of course features candlesticks that drop items when they’re broken, as well as Castlevania‘s rogues gallery of monster movie villains. Another new stage is New Donk City Hall, which is based on the location from Super Mario Odyssey.
Sakurai says that there will be more than 100 stages in the game, but he also noted that each stage will have Battlefield and Omega (think Final Destination) versions as well. Players will be able to turn off hazards for each stage, allowing them to fight without the stage acting as an enemy too. Finally, there will be a new Stage Morph feature that allows players to pick two different stages and transition between them in the middle of a battle.
We normally wouldn’t expect music to be a major focus of a Super Smash Bros presentation, but today it was. There will be more than 800 tracks in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, and for the first time, you’ll be able to pick the song you want to hear as you fight.
Stages and music will be grouped by franchise, so if you’re playing on a Legend of Zelda-themed stage, you’ll be able to pick any song from The Legend of Zelda franchise as your battle’s backing track. You’ll even be able to listen to Ultimate‘s music while the Switch’s screen is off, which is a nice little touch.
Items and Pokemon
There will, of course, be new items and Pokemon to use in Super Smash Bros Ultimate too. Today we got a glimpse at just a handful of them, and some of the more interesting ones include the Rage Blaster, which becomes more powerful as the user’s damage percentage climbs, and Death’s Scythe, which will immediately KO heavily damaged players. New Pokemon that will appear in Ultimate include Alolan Exeggutor, Vulpix (both standard and Alolan varieties), Solgaleo, Lunala, Mimikyu, Abra, Ditto, and Pyukumuku.
Just as well, we’ll see a new batch of Assist Trophies added in Ultimate too. Knuckles, everyone’s favorite red echidna, will feature as an assist trophy, along with Zero from Mega Man X, Shovel Knight, and Alucard. We’ll also see the Moon from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and, in what was perhaps the most ridiculous announcement of the day, the massive dragon Rathalos from Monster Hunter, who will also be a boss.
As we assumed, Sakurai spent a fair amount of time talking about the game modes that will be available in Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Classic mode, which made its debut way back in the very first Super Smash Bros game for N64, will be returning in Ultimate. This single-player mode is pretty straightforward, as it simply challenges players to fight through a line up of different characters, culminating with a fight against Master Hand (or at least that’s the way it’s worked in previous games).
Stamina Battle is also returning, taking its place alongside Time Battle and Stock Battle as one of Ultimate‘s standard game modes. In Stamina Battle, players will have to deplete the stamina of their opponents and the last one standing wins. Though it’s fairly simple, it’s also quite a bit different from the other two standard modes, which focus on earning points through knock outs.
Squad Strike is an interesting new mode that allows players to go head-to-head with groups of fighters instead of just one. 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 battles will be available, with each player controlling an entire team.
Of course, there will also be a Tourney mode in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, but most veterans probably expected that. Tourney mode will be the one to play when you have more players than you can fit in a standard match, and up to 32 people can participate in a single tournament. You can fill any gaps you may have with AI players too, making this a viable mode for smaller groups as well.
Finally, we come to Smashdown, which is indeed a very interesting mode. In Smashdown, characters will become locked after they’ve been used once, so you’ll need to be well-versed in a number of fighters if you want to win.
While we probably could have grouped Training mode in with the rest of the other game modes, it definitely deserves its own mention. Ultimate‘s Training mode will come with a grid overlay, allowing you to easily determine ranges on abilities. You’ll also see launch trajectories for your attacks, with different trajectories assuming different amounts of damage (the red trajectory assumes 0% damage, while the blue one assumes 100%, for instance).
Because of these additions, Training mode sounds like it’s going to be a great way to learn a new character quickly. Obviously, some players will prefer to take them into battle and learn through a trial by fire, but if you really want to take a deep dive into ability ranges and launch potential for your smash attacks, Training mode will be the way the way to do it.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate Direct
Though we’ve covered nearly every thing that was announced today, it’s also worth watching the Direct to see it all in action. We’ve embedded the VOD of the livestream below so you can watch all of the announcements, so check it out if you have a half-hour to spare.
After today, it’s definitely clear that Super Smash Bros Ultimate will be unlike any Smash Bros game we’ve seen before. The amount of content that’s here, whether it’s all of the characters, stages, assist trophies, or even music, borders on absurd. The craziest thing is that Nintendo isn’t even done revealing things. Not only did Sakurai suggest that more character reveals are coming, but he also shared an image of the main menu which had one of the game modes blurred out – that reveal, he said, is coming later.
There’s plenty of time to make those extra reveals too, as Super Smash Bros Ultimate won’t be here until December 7. While we wait for the next batch of announcements, let us know if you’re excited for this game. What was your favorite reveal from the Direct today? Head down to the comments section and share your take!