After his initial announcement in early September, fighting game fans and Smash fans across the globe have waited for Terry Bogard to join Smash Ultimate. Now, the latest edition of Mr. Sakurai Presents has shown off the character, and plenty more — and with it, the gates are open for Terry Bogard in Smash. (Don’t forget to update before your locals tonight, if applicable.)
According to Sakurai, the video was recorded about a month ago in order to give a little bit of time to translate and edit the video. While he claims things may have changed since the recording, it doesn’t look like much has in the release. I’ll point out that surprisingly, we haven’t had much “leak” speculation, which is shocking given that’s what happens every damn presentation. Despite Nintendo’s best efforts, there’s always a small chance something leaks. It’s a little more difficult of a task when it comes to Sakurai’s character play-throughs, it seems.
Of course, that makes today’s reveal that much sweeter. Again, the whole “Mr Sakurai Presents” video is over 48 minutes long, with much of it being gameplay — and all of it being love for SNK titles.
He actually starts off the video by giving fans a history of the Neo Geo consoles and Fatal Fury series. And honestly, he was so, so enthusiastic about this segment, he even garnered a few laughs from the on-set crew. (Did you know Street Fighter 2 was inspired by Street Fighter? Sakurai knows.)
The passion carried on from Sakurai and Fatal Fury fans into Terry’s gameplay in Smash. This new character carries plenty of tricks new and old to Smash. Much like Street fighter’s Ryu and Ken, Terry faces the other character. They’ve brought many of Terry’s classic moves, including his many kicks and Karate Punches, into the game. They also have a new somersault kick for an air attack, since a game like Fatal Fury wouldn’t have air kicks like those in Smash.
But most interestingly to Smash fans, Terry has a wider variety of side specials. Namely, there’s a “command input” option for Terry to make a “strong” version of an attack. Instead of simply doing a side special, for instance, if you roll your stick ninety degrees (like for Hadouken in Street Fighter) you’ll get the “strong” version of the attack. Rising Tackle, his up-B, also has a “strong” version that grants invincibility by holding the stick down first.
In other words, we’re seeing Terry look a lot more like a fighting game character than just a Smash Ultimate character alone. And to be frank, half the presentation was Sakurai just showing off his skills with the new character, beating on some level five computers and letting us know how those bread-and-butter combos go. It was a heck of a time. No complaints, though, because the man was clearly having fun.
Smash does have a history of making DLC characters have a little “umph.” For instance, Bayonetta, the final DLC character introduced for Smash 4, was straight-up the most broken character until the end of the game’s lifespan. Cloud from Final Fantasy VII also had an interesting “Limit Break” move that could provide a near-instant KO.
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Even beyond Terry himself in Smash, there’s a lot of love for the King of Fighters series. The new stage, a King of Fighters tournament arena, features different characters based on the music. And speaking of music, they had to “narrow down” the selection to 50 new tracks. Yeah, you read that right. Fifty. The presentation loops through classic as Sakurai plays along, and it’s a treat to SNK fans. There’s also a new selection of SNK Mii Fighter skins:
- Iori Yagami, King of Fighters (Brawler Mii)
- Akira, Virtua Fighter (Brawler Mii)
- Jacky, Virtua Fighter (Brawler Mii)
- Ryo Sakazaki, Art of Fighting (Brawler Mii)
- Nakoruru, Samurai Shodown (Swordfighter Mii)
Yeah, they even squeezed in a Samurai Shodown Mii! (Though I’ll admit Ryo Sakazaki had me thinking we had Goku in the game for a minute.) Sakurai says that SNK collaborated very heavily with Sora Ltd. to bring all this to Smash, and even for the sheer amount of content shown, it really shines.
If you thought the presentation was a little long, you’re in good company.
“We crammed in a little too much content this time,” Sakurai said at the end of the presentation. “Hopefully I’ll be able to make future showcases a little shorter.” Never change, Mr. Sakurai.