SUPER SMASH BROS games generate hype like no other. SMASH ULTIMATE, releasing on the Switch on December 7, is certainly no exception. Earlier this morning, Nintendo released a special Nintendo Direct (which is a brief video presentation) documenting some of the new additions to SMASH ULTIMATE. I was expecting to see one or maybe two new characters, as well as some new stages, but, boy, was I wrong.
The Direct starts off with a mysterious, hooded man walking towards a gloomy castle. Inside, Luigi confronts multiple monsters and is justifiably terrified. This all culminates when the Grim Reaper swoops in and actually KILLS Luigi — his ghost emerges from his body and everything.
Then, out of nowhere, a mace adorned chain swings into frame and hits the Reaper square in the jaw. This mace belongs to none other than Simon Belmont, of the CASTLEVANIA series!
Simon’s moves in SMASH ULTIMATE seem to be a pretty good representation of what he can do in the CASTLEVANIA games. He primarily attacks with his whip (which has a ridiculously long range), but he can also use other weapons such as the boomerang-like cross, holy water, and the arcing axe. These weapons, on top of some flashy slides and dives, make Simon out to be a fun, unique addition to the roster.
Next comes a cinematic of Simon facing off against his nemesis, Dracula. He looks overwhelmed, but, suddenly, Richter Belmont comes to save the day!
Richter is one of SMASH ULTIMATE’s newly introduced echo fighters, which are basically clones of an existing character with a different name and skin.
Speaking of echo fighters, two more were announced!
Right after coming down from the hype over Simon and Richter, Masahiro Sakurai, SMASH ULTIMATE’s director, announces two new echo fighters. The two fighters in question are Dark Samus, of METROID fame, and Chrom, from the FIRE EMBLEM SERIES. Both of these fighters have been highly sought after by fans.
Dark Samus is, unsurprisingly, an echo fighter for regular Samus. Chrom is an echo fighter of Roy, as confirmed on the official SMASH ULTIMATE website, though I initially had a hard time deciding if he is based on Roy or Ike.
That covers all of the character announcements… for now.
Stages and Items Galore!
The next chunk of the direct showcased many of the miscellaneous additions to SMASH ULTIMATE. As with any new SMASH title, the amount of content in SMASH ULTIMATE is downright overwhelming. First off are the stages. Some new stages appear, like New Donk City from SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY, but a bunch of classics are returning as well. In total, there are over 100 stages in SMASH ULTIMATE.
That’s ridiculous! Next up are the new items. Some standard items are shown, like the Rage Blaster, which does more damage depending on the player’s own damage percentage. The main focus here is on the Assist Trophies and Pokeballs.
There are tons of new assist trophies. Zero from the MEGAMAN series is making his SMASH debut, as well as Knuckles the echidna, MONSTER HUNTER’s Rathalos, along with many more.
As for Pokeballs, a bunch of Pokemon from SUN and MOON are now present in SMASH ULTIMATE. My favorite addition, however, first appeared in the original RED and BLUE. This Pokemon is none other than Ditto, who transforms into a copy of the player who summoned it. What a cool mechanic!
SMASH ULTIMATE’s New and Returning Game Modes
The next section of the direct was dedicated to some of SMASH ULTIMATE’s game modes, as well as giving an exclusive first look at the game’s main menu.
Bracketed tournaments are back, after being absent from SMASH for WII U/3DS. A mode where players cycle through multiple characters in one fight debuts. Stages can swap to other stages in the middle of a match. There’s honestly too much to cover here, check out the direct for many more modes and details!
And, thus, comes the conclusion of the direct, complete with Sakurai’s usual farewell to the camera. I noticed something odd though, the screen was periodically shaking. Well…
King K Rool
Did you really think the direct was over? Sakurai cannot pull one over on me because he constantly fakes out SMASH fans.
A brief montage was shown of Nintendo heroes, such as Mario and Link, facing off against their respective villains. Next, we see Donkey and Diddy Kong chilling in their house when the thumping continues. This thumping belongs to, you’ve guessed it, King K Rool! His introductory trailer was so funny that I am not going to spoil it here — just check it out at the end of the direct!
King K Rool looks like a really unique character. First of all, he is a heavy, powerhouse type of character, which I tend to love playing as. Unlike all of the other heavies, he possesses a projectile and a counter. I definitely cannot wait to get my hands on King K Rool, and I am glad that the DONKEY KONG series is getting more love in SMASH ULTIMATE.
That actually concludes this SMASH direct. As usual, I will probably be thinking about this news for the rest of the day and awaiting any more news with bated breath. The SMASH BROS series is one of my absolute favorites, and, judging by content alone, SMASH ULTIMATE seems to be the best one yet. December 7 cannot come sooner!