The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Direct aired earlier today. If you missed out, then no worries. Mammoth Gamers has you covered with our recap of what exactly went down with the eagerly anticipated Nintendo Switch title.
The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Direct wasted no time in starting things off with a bang. A beautiful new cinematic shows Luigi exploring a haunted and foreboding castle when he lands himself in trouble. That’s when none other than Simon Belmont, from the Castlevania series, comes to Luigi’s rescue. Simon was shown to make use of his holy whip weapon from the NES classic, along with explosives. His final smash looks like he stuffs his opponent in a coffin that fires them off stage. There will be a Castlevania stage as well, with Dracula himself acting as a stage hazard. This is similar to how Ridley was a stage hazard in previous Smash games.
In another cinematic, Simon is knocked back by Dracula, when he gets help from Richter Belmont, who fans must remember fondly from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood.
Masahiro Sakurai goes on to discuss Simon Belmont and his moveset, noting that Simon’s holy whip has the greatest reach of any character making use of a whip-like weapon. It has a slow start but makes up for it with the distance it covers. His other special attacks make use of his cross axe and holy water. His up special is a powerful uppercut, and Simon’s final smash is given the name Grand Cross.
The Dracula’s Castle stage features candlesticks that can be attacked to release an item, much like in the game it’s based on. Many creatures stalk the halls of the castle; like mummies, Death itself, werewolves, and a Medusa statue. The Smash Direct also features a stunning list of music from the Castlevania series. There will be 34 tracks alone from the series, some classic and some given that Smash touch.
Alucard, the son of Dracula, acts as an assist trophy. Alucard can move around the stage seamlessly while in bat form and can also dodge attacks by shifting into mist, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t capable of being knocked out.
Sakurai confirms that Richter Belmont will act as an echo fighter to Simon Belmont, however, Richter will have different power, voice acting, and animations to that of Simon.
Speaking of echo fighters, Sakurai introduced two brand new characters: Chrom and Dark Samus. Yes, while both fighters are largely based on existing characters, they’ll possess abilities that the other will not. For example, Dark Samus’ missile special has a delayed effect compared to Samus. In terms of cosmetics, players can choose to display every single fighter on the character select screen at once or relegate echo fighters to a corner picture in the slot of the character they’re based on.
Some previously unannounced stages are making their return. These stages include: Pokemon Stadium, Garden of Hope, Brinstar Depths, Summit, Unova Pokemon League, Magicant, Gamer, and Final Destination.
A new stage was shown off: New Donk City Hall, which is a tour through the iconic city first seen in Super Mario Odyssey. And yes, the best part is that Rosalina and her band will appear to sing the catchy “Jump Up Super Star.”
Stages from previous games are being balanced to meet the standards of the new Smash games. That being said, Sakurai confirms there will be a whopping total of 103 playable stages in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Once again every stage can be played in its Omega form if desired. Now 8-player battles are compatible with every stage in the game, all of which are available from the beginning.
A cool future was announced regarding stages. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will feature a Stage Morph option in which stages can seamlessly transition from one game series to another. For example, you could be fighting in Brinstar Depths one moment, only to find yourself whisked away to the Mushroom Kingdom on top of Peach’s Castle.
Stage music is getting a bit of a tweak. Originally music choices were confined to that stage. For example, while you could listen to music from the Wind Waker from an equivalent themed stage, you couldn’t find that music, say, in Hyrule Field. Now, as long as you’re playing in a stage from a specific series, any and all music from that series can be applied to those stages. There will be over 900 individual music tracks in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. There will even be a custom playlist option if you just want to have music playing in the background, or on your Nintendo Switch on the go.
Other notable features include creating custom rule sets, stage select coming before character select, stamina battles, even losers can have a pick at the next stage. Sudden death matches now feature a camera zooming in to up the intensity. Most curious of all is the ability to enable a final smash charge. Instead of fighting for control of the Smash Ball, players can now charge a meter that will trigger a final smash by dealing out damage until the meter is full. The catch is that the final smash will be a little weaker than one obtained from a Smash Ball. Through this option, no two final smashes can happen at the same time.
Squad Strike is introduced, which is a 5 v 5, or 3 v 3 elimination battle. You can either play all five fighters by yourself or with ten people controlling each of those characters. Tourney Mode was also discussed. Players can choose how many slots to open, if CPU characters are allowed, and the game will automatically generate a tournament bracket. Smashdown is a mode in which you can play all the characters in the roster, but with each passing match, the characters selected previously will no longer be available to choose in the next round. This is a perfect mode for players who move around the roster and not stick with a “main” exclusively.
Classic Mode, which pits you against a series of consecutive fighters, returns from classic Smash games.
New items include: Banana Gun, Bomber, Death’s Scythe, Staff, Ramblin’s Evil Mushroom, and Rage Blaster. New Pokemon include: Alolan Exeggutor, Abra, Solgaleo, Lunala, Mimikyu, Pkukumuku, Vulpix, Alolan Vulpix, Ditto. Assist trophies include: Zero, Knuckles, Krystal, Klaptrap, Kapp’n, Chef Kawasaki, Gray Fox, Nikki, Shovel Knight, Moon (Majora’s Mask).
From the Monster Hunter series comes Rathalos, a dragon assist trophy that swoops in and lights the stage with its fire breath. Rathalos can also act as a boss character.
Sakurai ends the Direct with a look at the menu screen, but there are several areas where the menu is blurred out. Sakurai promises to visit and describe these mysterious features in the future.
It wouldn’t be a Smash Direct if there weren’t some last minute surprises. An ending cinematic reveals King K. Rool will finally join the roster.
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