Nintendo’s final Direct presentation for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate before the game launches on December 3rd was this morning. It was completely ridiculous. As always, game director Masahiro Sakurai held court in the 40-minute video. He wasted no time getting to the goods.
The New Fighters
Ryu’s cooler counterpart (do not @ me) will make his first appearance in the series. He’s an echo fighter, but not a mere palette swap. This version of Ken is based on Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Just like in his origin franchise, his Heavy Shoryuken sets opponents on fire and his signature kicks will change based on your inputs.
The final launch fighter announced for Ultimate is the Generation VII, professional wrestling, fire/dark Pokemon, Incineroar. What a combo.
Incineroar will pose every time he hits a move, which is the most professional wrestling thing you could put into a game. Amazing. You can cancel the poses at any time, so you’re not left vulnerable in frantic matches. He’s very throw-heavy and you can bet your bottom dollar that I will main him.
While the previous two fighters will launch with the game on December 3rd, Sakurai announced that with pre-orders of the game, you’ll get a free DLC fighter sometime after launch. It’s Mario’s famous foe, the Piranha Plant!
It appears the fighter will take many forms as it has over the years, with spikey attacks, poison attacks, and a Final Smash where he turns into the giant Petey, of course.
Sakurai also announced there would be five DLC packs, sold individually at $5.99 or as a group in the Fighter’s Pass for $24.99. These fighters are yet to be announced, but with each pack you’ll receive one fighter, one stage, and multiple music tracks.
Get the Waluigi rumor mill started again.
World of Light
Sakurai introduced us to Ultimate’s single player mode, called World of Light. He began this introduction by vaporizing every character in Smash except for Kirby, who waddles across the vast, empty wastes alone.
While the mode will apparently be more about “fun than story,” the premise of the game’s enormous adventure mode seems pretty clear and also pretty dark! It appears you’ll be freeing other fighters from their ghostly forms while traversing beautiful hand-drawn board game-like spaces.
On top of battling other fighters with specific win conditions and developing your stats, you’ll be freeing Spirits, who add quite an interesting wrinkle to the Super Smash Bros. formula.
Connected to the game’s robust single-player mode, Spirits are incorporeal versions of beloved Nintendo characters who meld with fighters to create specific versions of said fighter. By defeating a fighter with a connected Spirit, you’ll be able to collect that Spirit and equip it to your fighter, giving you specific attributes and abilities in battle.
The way this plays out is a rock-paper-scissors-like process, where each Spirit has a type compatible (and incompatible) with another type.
Not only does this seem like a massive piece of the Ultimate puzzle, it’s a tremendous amount of fan service. For example, shown was a mix of Mega Man (a fighter) and Guts Man (a Spirit). Mega Man was huge and could throw enemies like Guts Man.
Also, this mashup of Animal Crossing’s Able Sisters and Sonic the Hedgehog!
I’m barely scratching the surface of the nature of Spirits in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Today’s Nintendo Direct was jam-packed with information and we’ll provide even more of it in our Ultimate game hub. We’ll pop today’s news in our guides and add one for Spirits soon.