Here’s our recap of the final pre-launch Nintendo Direct on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
It’s hard to believe folks, but we’re almost a month away from the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. As expected, a recent Nintendo Direct revealed the final characters included in the game’s base roster, in addition to information about the new Spirits Mode.
You can check out the Nintendo Direct here if you haven’t already.
The Direct began with game director/dreamboat Masahiro Sakurai revealing the remaining fighters in the base roster via a very fun boxing themed trailer starring Ken from Street Fighter and Incineroar from Pokemon.
Ken is, as expected, an Echo Fighter of Ryu. His attacks seem to deviate more than other Echo Fighters though as in addition to a fiery effect of his attacks, some have added principles. His side special Hurricane Kick for example, will hit opponents multiple times.
Incineroar is the final evolution of the Fire-type starter line introduced in the seventh generation of Pokémon games with Sun and Moon. A big beefy cat boy, Incineroar uses flashy pro-wrestling moves for his attacks and throws. Most notably, his side special attack throws an opponent at ropes, bouncing them back, and with correct timing, Incineroar performs a sick looking lariat.
With Ken and Incineroar the final roster comes to a whopping 74 fighters (including Echoes). While these two certainly deconfirm the Grinch Leak,–and they too were ironically leak/presumed to be playable–you can’t deny how much fun Incineroar looks like, and the interesting variations Ken makes to Ryu’s moveset.
But more fighters are on the way! Later in the Direct it was confirmed that downloadable content is indeed coming to Ultimate via five new characters. These fighters will be separately bundled with music tracks and a stage for $5.99. Or, you can purchase the Fighters Pass, which includes all five character bundles, for $25.
The DLC is expected to release post-launch over the next year, so keep hope that any character you wanted to make it in the game still can. #prayersforgeno
BUT WAIT THERE’S STILL MORE! Sakurai also unannounced a special free bonus for those who prepurchase Ultimate. It’s, of course, none other than, a new playable fighter… Piranha Plant.
Yep, Piranha Plant is officially the game’s 75th playable character. Initially I was baffled and confused, and I still kind of am, but overall Piranha Plant looks to be a tricky, tactical, and completely unpredictable character; all things Sakurai is a master of.
Piranha Plant will be available “a couple of months” after the game’s launch, and you’ll be able to purchase him at a later date if you didn’t preorder the game.
Other than the characters, the big reveal in the Direct was Spirits Mode. Overall, this mode encompasses the new Spirits mechanic, where the player can equip a Spirit (an image of an Nintendo character) to their fighter to enhance certain stats.
Each fighter can be equipped with a Primary Spirit, and unlocked, Support Spirits can be equipped to the Primary. To obtain Spirits, you need to fight in Spirit Battles, similar to the Event modes of past Smash games, each with a wacky premise or set of conditions.
The biggest reveal related to Spirits Mode, and perhaps in the entire Direct, is World of Light, Ultimate’s single player Adventure Mode.
In World of Light, a cataclysmic event has literally killed very playable fighter/ Nintendo character…except for Kirby! As the little pink puffball, you must participate in Spirit Battles to save spirits of your fallen allies, and restore order to the world of Smash.
This is all revealed in an extremely hype trailer complete with fun details (Snake hiding in his box) and voice acting! AND LYRICS TO THE THEME SONG! (We’ve gone full anime people.)
While almost too much time in the Direct was placed on Spirits Mode, and many still baffled by Piranha Plant, this doesn’t change how hype and incredible a package Ultimate.
For the next month please remain calm and try not to let the hype get to you. #prayersforjake
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate releases for the Nintendo Switch on December 7.