The new Smash Bros. game is finally here and it’s bloody great! Not only does it feature every single character that’s ever been in the series so far, but there’s also plenty of brand-new characters to try and figure out. But which one’s the best newbie?
Ultimate features six outright new additions to the roster, but there’s also seven new and returning Echo fighters, which are basically remixes of existing characters, like Street Fighter’s Ken being an echo of Ryu, Dark Samus of Samus, and Fire Emblem’s Chrom echoing Roy. We’re going to put those to one side and focus on the really exciting stuff: the new smashers.
So, without further ado, here is my pick for the best of the newcomers, and a little bit about each one.
This firefight Pokémon is a huge amount of fun to play with, but despite the bravado they hold themselves with, probably won’t be topping the tier charts. Incineroar’s wrestling style moves are fun, and generally fairly powerful, but the running speed is atrocious and recovery is nearly impossible thanks to the diving involved in the up-B move.
Having Incineroar pose after each big move is funny, and the way the get annoyed whenever they don’t connect an attack is great too, but they just don’t feel like they can keep up with the high pace of most matches. Incineroar is fun for sure, but the movement makes them more of an Inciner-bore.
One of the big bads from the Metroid series, Ridley is a strange character to play as. Despite being a fairly heavy feeling character Ridley can fly, but this mostly makes for horizontal movement not vertical. The power and speed are both pretty high, but some of the moves have very specific hit boxes and if you miss, you’ll find yourself open to counter-attacks. The move set is fun despite this, but I just couldn’t get on with Ridley as a character.
mayoral assistant queen of Animal Crossing is here, ready to help you fit in as the new mayor of Smash Village. Isabelle plays a bit like the Villager, but has a few extra tricks that allow for a slightly more technical playstyle. She can plant a Lloid as a trap which she can then activate on her own, or it’ll automatically be triggered when someone gets close enough. This is a great attack and is incredibly hard to spot in the chaos of the average smash bout. She can also use her fishing rod as a really long-range grab attack. Her versatility is great, and her technicality could lead to some great plays.
3. King K. Rool
The thorn in Donkey Kong’s side is here to throw down for title of best reptile. K. Rool is a heavy character with a few unique features to emphasize it. Lots of his moves have super armour due to his rotund physique – hell, even his counter attack has him smacking his great big belly!
The advantage of being able to power through most attacks makes him great for people who just want to crush the competition, but beware that his yellow-belly can only take so much damage before it cracks and you end up stunned for a little bit. Avoid that fate and King K. Rool is going to be making waves for sure.
The stars of Splatoon do pretty well in close combat, it turns out. They have the unique ability of covering an opponent in ink to increase the damage dealt. They have fantastic movement, good recovery, and some pretty spectacular special moves. Their side-B move has them rolling enemies into the ground and allows for some obnoxious combos as a result.
The only downside is that if you run out of ink, you’ll have to get out of the action in order to recharge – it’s this that gives them quite a high initial learning curve. The biggest issue with inkling is that you’ll struggle to land a killing blow, but when the damage output is so impressive I’m sure you’ll manage.
With good Castlevania games being a disappointingly distant memory, there is a fair amount of excitement for this whip-enthusiast joining the Smash Bros. lineup. The good news is that he is an absolute powerhouse.
His special attacks all allow for a tremendous amount of zone control and his axe can be thrown at different distances by altering the input. His reach is incredible and his ability to launch other characters is great. The only real downside is his recovery, as his up-B move isn’t very good for horizontal movement. You can however completely overcome this by using his whip as a tether and pulling yourself up – just hit A while angling towards the platform edge and you’ll be unstoppable.
So that’s it, there are plenty of echo fighters to dive into as well, plus countless tweaks and changes that have been made across the game’s 74 character roster, but these are my thoughts on the sparkly new characters. You’ll no doubt come to find new favourites to play as, but make sure you give all of the new ones a shot to make sure you know what’s what.
Who are you planning on maining? Which characters do you normally use? Will Pirahna Plant be an instant Tier-1 fighter?