Nintendo is bringing the Ultimate Super Smash Bros experience to Switch, here’s a comprehensive guide to what we know so far.
Super Smash Bros for Switch was initially confirmed back in March but, at this year’s E3, Nintendo finally revealed it would take the form of Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Intended to live up to its name, Super Smash Bros Ultimate is the definitive version of Super Smash Bros in existence. It features every single fighter, almost every single stage and every single assist to have ever appeared in a Super Smash Bros game from the N64 onwards.
If that wasn’t good enough news for you, Nintendo also revealed that Super Smash Bros Ultimate would be coming to Switch on 7 December this year. Yep, that’s right. You won’t have to wait very long at all to enjoy pummelling Ganondorf with Solid Snake while Yoshi watches on from the sidelines.
The Super Smash Bros Ultimate announcement took up nearly half of Nintendo’s 45-minute E3 Nintendo Direct showcase, so there’s certainly a lot of ground to cover in terms of getting you up to speed. You can watch the segment below, and then read on for some more in-depth analysis of just what Super Smash Bros Ultimate will be.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate release date: When’s it out?
Straightforward one this, Nintendo has announced Super Smash Bros Ultimate will launch on 7 December 2018. Currently there is no news around special editions or console bundles, but expect those to be announced in due course.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate fighter roster: Who stars in it?
Super Smash Bros Ultimate will contain every fighter to have ever come to the series over the years – even if they’ve only appeared in it once or were DLC. Nintendo has also broken out costume-change characters into their own slots. This means Dark Pit and Daisy are just a few of these new “Echo” characters who are now fully-playable, albeit with slightly different mannerisms despite similar move sets to their original counterparts.
Alongside every character coming back to Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Nintendo has also added eight optional skins for Splatoon 2’s Inklings and Animal Crossing Villagers. It also announced that Ridley of Metroid fame will be joining the roster too, which is a rather bizarre addition.
Nintendo has stated that you won’t have access to all 60+ characters right from the start, in fact, it may initially just limit you to the original Super Smash Bros roster. Don’t worry though, Nintendo wants to keep you playing and plan to reward you with popular players frequently so you should quickly unlock the entire roster without much effort.
Here’s the full roster in a handy table:
|Mario (with Cappy)||Squirtle||R.O.B.|
|Link from Breath of the Wild||Lucas||Palutena|
|Sheik||Jigglypuff||Rosalina and Luma|
|Villager||Pichu||Mii Gunner, Sword and Brawler|
|Captain Falcon||Mr Game and Watch||Yoshi|
|Zero Suit Samus||Greninja||Ridley|
|Wii Fit Trainer||Dr Mario|
Super Smash Bros Ultimate Gamecube controller support: Can you use your old pads?
Gamecube controllers are the preferred input method for competitive Smash players and Nintendo has announced that controllers will be supported from day one. No information around new controllers has been announced, so presumably it’ll be a similar setup to the USB adapter that was practically unobtainable for Super Smash Bros Wii U.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate Amiibos: Can you use your existing Amiibo?
Nintendo has stated that every single Amiibo compatible with Super Smash Bros Wii U will work with Super Smash Bros Ultimate. What’s more, Nintendo also revealed that every character Amiibo variation will now also work with Super Smash Bros Ultimate so, if you’ve got a pixel-Mario Amiibo or a handful of different Yoshi Amiibo, they’ll all work absolutely fine with Super Smash Bros Ultimate.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate gameplay: What’s changed?
So, now we know that Super Smash Bros Ultimate lives up to its name of stuffing everything about Super Smash Bros into a single game, what’s actually different about it?
One thing many Super Smash Bros fans love about the series is just how familiar each entry feels to play. There are subtle differences, improvements and tweaks to keep it fresh but, ultimately, it’s the same simple gameplay formula across every entry so far. With Super Smash Bros Ultimate, that still seems to be the case, but Nintendo has fiddled around to make it more accessible to newcomers while appealing to the broadest range of long-time Smash fans.
Going by early hands-on impressions straight out of E3, it seems that Nintendo is on to yet another winner here. Here’s what they’ve tweaked and changed for Super Smash Bros Ultimate on Switch.
You can also watch 30 minutes of gameplay footage from Nintendo Treehouse Live as well.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate is faster than ever before
One criticism of Super Smash Bros Wii U and Brawl before it was that it felt just that little bit too sluggish. It couldn’t compete with the pace and balance of Gamecube’s phenomenal Melee. That no longer seems to be the case, with Ultimate reportedly being fast-paced and responsive thanks to tweaks around fighter movement and actions.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate combat is more technical than ever
Alongside a general speed boost, Nintendo has added in slight new additions to improve how combat feels. A new air-dodge move has been implemented to help you avoid upwards vertical attacks when falling – avoiding the juggling issues of past games. Nintendo has also subtly reduced dodge range the more a player dodges in quick succession, meaning frequent dodgers need to mix up their evasive tactics if they want to maintain an edge on their opponent.
To improve one-on-one matches, and thus ensure matches stay fast-paced, Nintendo has upped the damage dealt to each opponent. It’s a slight change, but it means that these more tense fights will still be over as quickly as the more chaotic four- or eight-player matches would be.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate is making it easier to understand your fighter status
In past Super Smash Bros games you really had to know your individual character traits to understand how to make the most of them. While that’s still the case in Smash Ultimate, Nintendo has made the process less intimidating for newcomers.
In what could be classed as a series of quality-of-life updates, Super Smash Bros Ultimate introduces a set of new features for fights. Firstly, when you’re off-screen, but not eliminated, you’ll appear in a little box so you can work out your relative position and get back into the action. Fighters that rely upon move cooldowns or charges will now have a meter near their damage percentage to keep you informed. In life-based matches and K/O matches you’ll easily be able to see who’s in the lead thanks to a flash so you can work together to target the winning player. You also get K/O points for kicking off Assist Trophy characters as well.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate lets you pick maps before you fighters
In Super Smash Bros Ultimate you pick your stage setup before you pick your fighters, turning the usual model of fighting games on their head. This may sound like a small change but, for pro-level Smash players, it’s a welcome one. Now you can consider the right fighter for the right stage, meaning you should start to see some interesting and diverse matchups.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate has a lot of stages
Super Smash Bros games have always offered up plenty of stages to fight on but, in Smash Ultimate that number is through the roof. Not only does it feature almost all the popular stages of past Smash games in one place, it also has three different versions of each stage for whatever match setup you’re after. Every stage has its own full version alongside a Battlefield version and a Final Destination version.
This means there are more options for competitive play on no-frills stages where the only difference is purely aesthetic. Not bad.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate tightens up final Smash attacks
Final Smash attacks were brought into Super Smash Bros with Brawl on the Wii but they never resonated with the competitive scene due, in part, to just how long they went on for. With Smash Ultimate game director Masahiro Sakurai claims these attacks get “straight to the point” instead of disrupting flow. The hope is that players will start to embrace final Smash moves more now they fit into the pace of battle.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate looks better than ever before
Some of the side-by-side comparisons of past stages and new stages show that Super Smash Bros Ultimate has had a wonderful visual overhaul compared to Super Smash Bros Wii U. Nintendo has sharpened up character detail, given surfaces more defined lines and sweetened up visual fidelity in general.