The lion’s share of Nintendo’s E3 showcase was given over to the upcoming Switch Smash Bros., Smash Bros. Ultimate. Longtime director Masuhiro Sakurai's opening chat about the roster soon led into a long and detail-packed presentation about the upcoming brawler, headlined with a killer hook: everyone is here!
Every single past series character from Super Smash Bros., a series that began on the Nintendo 64, will be included in this version. It’s pretty jaw-dropping, especially as that involves a lot of returning thirdparty guests like Cloud, Pac-Man, and best of all Solid Snake.
“That’s right,” said Sakurai through a translated voiceover. “Every fighter in smash history is joining the battle. Indeed, absolutely every Smash fighter is in this game. We believe that’s what players want [...] any way you slice it, this is as much smash as you can get for your buck.”
The presentation went on to highlight minor changes to the characters, in a rather winning touch that showed how seriously Nintendo takes this series. Smash is the subject of much in the way of claim and frenzied counter-claim about various of its techniques and how the game works. Sakurai and his team usually defy expectations and do their own thing, but this time there seems a bit more love for the competitive side of Smash.
Here are the changes the presentation highlighted. This is a big list and it does show something. Think about how the other big companies show off their ‘big’ game at E3 - maybe a 2 minute trailer, a scripted on-stage walkthrough if you’re lucky. This one just dove right into the guts.
Mario does have Cappy, but it's a visual effect only. Link's new final smash involves ancient arrows, and he has been redesigned to look like his Breath of the Wild form. Ice Climbers are back. You can now play as a female heart tailed Pikachu. Falco and Fox have new redesigned final smashes. Ryu always faces his opponent in one-on-one fights. Samus can charge her beam in mid air. Marth has a faster dancing blade, which can be done back to back more easily, same for other characters with that move. Dedede's new final smash is a cage match. Pichu's electric shock still hurts him. Zelda's design is based around a Link Between Worlds. Sonic has a faster super sonic final smash. PacMan's final smash is faster too.
There's no longer a penalty for not switching up Pokémon as Pokémon trainer, and you can be a female trainer too.
Final smashes are streamlined across the board, with the intention being to make the game as fast as possible.
Right, back into the bulletpoints.
Cloud now has his limit gauge near his health bar. Robin now has a bar for their secret magic tome. Villager now shows off what you have pocketed. Giga Bowser is bigger. Wolf has a redesigned moveset, and his new visual design is based on Star Fox Zero. Kirby has BOTW chests as a stone drop option. Shulk now can change arts by using a directional tilt, not multiple uses of the move, and Fiora joins his final smash. Mii Fighter proportions have been tweaked, as have the moves, they now have voices, and they want to have them in online which possibly suggests no more levelling up their movesets, maybe they will have solid stable movesets?. Pit has a lightning chariot final smash. Olimar now gets a visual crack in his helmet when harmed. Bayonetta can pick Bayo 1 or 2 outfits. Wario's final smash has changed, no longer chosen attacks, now one big attack. Little Mac now does a rush of giga mac smashes as his final smash. Wii Fit Trainer has a new face. Mega Man stage has all 3DS and Wii u hazards. Palutena down special is now both a counter and a deflector. R.O.B. has a hover gauge.
Had enough yet? Can't take any more? Mr Sakurai doesn't care. All that Mr Sakurai cares about is to tell you that 8-player fights are BACK.
Echo fighters are fighters like Dark Pit who are based on existing archetypes. Daisy is a new echo fighter of Peach, they fight similarly with small tweaks. Oh yeah, Daisy is a new fighter!
We got our first proper look at the Inkling. Enemies soaked in ink take extra damage, but you will need to 'shield', by becoming a squid and diving into the ground, to recharge your ink. The Inkling's attacks are all based on different weapons from Splatoon 2, and the final smash is the Killer Wail.
You can now KO assist trophies, which will get you points in stock matches. There are over 50 assist trophies in the game, new pokemon, and a new item which is a fake Smash ball.
Many stages, but not all, are returning to the game. Miiverse is probably why we can't get all stages brought over, as that one died a while back. New stages include Prism Tower, and Great Plateau Tower. All stages have omega forms (a simple layout over a void) available for competitive players.
You can now do directional air dodges, but excessive dodging reduces your invincibility window. You can do short hop jump attacks. Perfect shield now requires more precise timing, and can be punished. Damage dealt is higher in one-on-one battles than multiplayer battles. Gamecube controller support is back, with new Switch-compatible Gamecube controllers shown off. All Smash amiibo work in Ultimate, the same way they did on Wii U, and even amiibo from other games will work too.
Sakurai said not to expect too many new characters, but ended the conference revealing Ridley being added as a new character. RIDLEY!!!!
Ridley is introduced in an hilarious trailer that sees it sweeping away first Mega Man, then Mario, scaring the bejesus out of Samus and then twirling Mario’s cap on a finger. He looks exciting!
And Smash Bros. Ultimate releases on December 7th.
Right, I need a drink. That was exhausting.