Been a little while since I jumped into one of these ‘my thoughts’ posts, but I got pretty into the Twitter hype after the Smash Ultimate Direct this morning and it felt like a good topic to kill some time talking about!
Certainly a better topic than school stuff right now.
BUT that’s why we have distractions like video games to keep us sane as we stare into the void. Between this and that little Delta Rune thing Toby Fox put out yesterday I’ll likely have a couple video game-related posts this weekend just to keep my stress levels down.
So let’s jump into Smash Bros., shall we?
The Direct this morning (which you can watch here if you haven’t yet) was about 40 minutes long.
In the interest of time I don’t think I’m going to go into each and every detail of every minute part-by-part like I would if this was a general Nintendo Direct. I’m going to pick out the most interesting/relevant bits and have a basic discussion on each of them.
Let’s a go.
As our boy Masahiro Sakurai said, all 74 characters in the game have now been confirmed. Up until now we only had 72, with this Direct revealing the final few:
Ken (Street Fighter): I didn’t play a whole lot of Ryu in Smash 4. He was a DLC character and I never went through with buying any of that game’s DLC. So having an echo fighter of Ryu in his eternal rival Ken, while pretty sweet from a content/lore standpoint, doesn’t necessarily mean a whole lot to me.
It’ll be cool to watch people have Street Fighter fights in the middle of a Smash Bros. game, though.
Incineroar: Now, personal bias coming into play, I would have preferred to see Decidueye get into Smash over Incineroar. Because Rowlet is mah BOI.
But I can’t deny that Incineroar looks pretty incredible and makes a lot of sense from a fighting-game perspective. He’s all about grapples and throws as a professional wrestler in Pokémon, so why wouldn’t he fit into a fighting game like this?
I also love how hard this guy goes. I tweeted this morning in the midst of my hype after seeing a picture on Serebii because, well…
Just. So hardcore.
Plus his signature Z-Move, Malicious Moonsault, is also his final smash. Such attention to detail brings a tear to my little nerdy eye.
While those two are the last fighters being implemented into the official game, there are also DLC characters coming some time in the near future. The first one announced as a bonus for pre-ordering the game is…
It’s about as weird a choice as it sounds. Especially since it’s still planted in a pipe and just… Has feet underneath that pipe?
I might have preferred if they went down the Petey Piranha route, but Petey is his final smash so I guess I can’t complain.
I’ll probably be more willing to buy the DLC on this ultimate version for the Switch anyway.
Gotta love how Nintendo does season pass content, but unlike every other company on the planet does so in a way we know we can trust it because this is Sakurai’s baby.
Oh, also I would be remiss not to mention that there’s assist trophies coming in from Fire Emblem, Golden Sun, ARMS, Mega Man, Fatal Frame, the Art Academy series and more. A whole bunch of good additions in my opinion!
Now here’s an interesting idea. Instead of having collectible trophies like in most other Smash games, this time around we have subsidiary characters available as Spirits.
The lore behind them seems like over-complicated junk — and part of the next thing I’ll discuss.
So the important thing is that in certain modes, you can choose Spirits to give your fighter power-ups. They’re like the collectible trophies from before, but actually provide a useful service in-game.
That’s super neat!
The Spirits come in four levels that offer differing levels of support:
- Novice (lowest)
- Legend (highest)
And can only be assigned one at a time. There’s a weapon triangle system to the abilities of each Spirit, similar to Fire Emblem. However, much like gear in Monster Hunter, you can also attach other Spirits onto your primary one to provide additional skills.
To unlock the Spirits you have to go through challenge battles against a fighter themed after the character, which is another really cool way to incorporate things from earlier Smash games.
Also, there’s this individual training system and trade-in mechanic that’s similar to Fire Emblem Heroes where you can get Spirits, send them away to get cores that can be exchanged for new Spirits.
Plus there’s a casual time-based system where they can go out and find items like it’s a mobile game.
And Doc Louis from Punch-Out runs the training gym.
I swear, these guys put so much effort into optimizing, polishing and streamlining that we should give them all of the awards right now.
Long story short, I’m very ready to get lost in Spirits.
World of Light
After years of asking, it seems like Smash Ultimate is going to have a story mode! Though it’s a little different than Brawl’s Subspace Emissary.
Instead of going through character-driven missions across full-fledged platforming worlds, it seems like World of Light is more akin to a Kirby Star Allies-esque overworld that has challenge battles at each stop.
There is an overarching story of sorts where Kirby is the sole survivor of an apocalyptic flash of light and has to save each of the other fighters from having copies that are taken over by Spirits.
Which sounds way weirder than it is considering that was essentially the threat in Subspace Emissary as well — just with Spirits, clearly a tie-in to the new mechanic in Smash Ultimate.
Looks like it’s going to be fun, and I’m glad to get a story mode again. I just don’t have very much to say about it right now.
My only semi-serious complaint is that I prefer the orchestral version of the Smash Ultimate theme to the Square Enix style anime vocal version of it used in the trailer for the story mode.
But that’s probably just me.
Now I didn’t talk about everything here today. Plenty of the Direct was spent talking about things like online mode changes and optimization.
Or the 11 languages supported in-game.
Or the fact that you can make and post videos off of saved battle Replays.
But like I said, I just wanted to discuss the things that stood out to me right now.
So, that said, tell me what you thought about the Smash Direct! Are you even more excited about the game now? Because I know I am.
This truly is the ultimate version of Sakurai’s baby, and I’m more than willing to go on the journey that he and his team have created.
Luckily the holidays are coming up, so I have something to ask for this year!