There was only one thing on Nintendo fans’ minds today and that was the final Super Smash Brothers Ultimate Nintendo Direct. After a week of arguing, potential leaks and a load of conspiracy theories, we finally know the complete 74 character roster that we’ll be getting to play with next month.
The final two playable characters to be announced are Street Fighter alumni Ken and Pokémon grappler Incineroar. While plenty of people had foretold of Ken’s appearance, the inclusion of Incineroar is a little more left-field, though his pro-wrestling flavoured moveset should be a hit with a certain subset of players.
However, that’s not all they have planned with characters. For those that get the game early – if bought physically you need to redeem the My Nintendo Gold Points – you’ll get an extra free character in the shape of Piranha Plant, who’ll appear a couple of months after launch. Sporting a Petey Piranha Final Smash and a bunch of bite-y and stretchy attacks, it looks like he’ll be plenty of fun when he joins the roster.
Surprising no-one Nintendo confirmed that there’ll be multiple sets of DLC which will include one fighter, level and music track, at a cost of £5.39/€5.99 per pack. Alternatively you can grab get the Fighter Pass for all five sets which will be available before what’s in it has been revealed. The pass will cost £22.49/ €24.99 , while those that put the money down will get a bonus Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Rex outfit for their Mii Fighter – making it a must buy for me.
Speaking of Mii Fighters, they get a bunch of new outfits including Yiga Clan, Splatoon 2, Ribbon Girl, Chibi-Robo, Ray Mk III, and Toy-Con.
Nintendo announced that they felt as though there wasn’t any place for collectible trophies this time out – saying that they were a ton of extra work too. Instead though we’re getting a new support system where a huge number of additional characters will appear to enhance your main.
The probably-forgotten fiction behind Smash Brothers is that the characters are all toys that are fighting their way back to the real world. Spirits are characters who’ve lost their physical forms and whose only remaining use is to help those who still have a chance to save themselves. You set a main spirit who you can then add up to three additional support spirits to that provide extra skills. You’ll be able to level them all up by feeding them candles that you collect along the way, as well as by sending them off for training or searching for treasure while your Switch is off.
The ultimate message seems to be that not only are these spirits going to be crucial, some of the combinations could be hugely powerful, and it’s going to open up some really deep meta play for the hardcore. What impact it’ll have on casual players remains to be seen.
Nintendo also went out of their way to talk through the online matchmaking features that the game will ship with, with Global Smash Power the main method of matching you up against others. You can set your own preferred rules, and it’ll be a random selection between yours and the other players over which ruleset is chosen.
Beyond that there’s the return of spectator mode, you can send friendly taunt messages to others, and collect Smash Tags from people you beat. You can also play online in co-op pairs, create custom arenas for you and friends, as well as place tokens to watch, fight and wait in queue.
Just when you thought that Nintendo had given everything they were willing to, the Direct closed out with the announcement of the World Of Light Adventure Mode which’ll see players making their way across a map encountering different incarnations of the characters, much in the same vein of the SoulCalibur series.
Last but by no means least, we have more amiibo on the way:
- Inkling, Ridley and Wolf – 7th December, 2018
- King K. Rool, Ice Climbers and Piranha Plant – 15th February 2019
- Isabelle, Pichu, Ken, Young Link, Daisy – 2019
All in all, it looks as though fans are in for a real treat this December.